The Birth of Loralai Elaine
The week before I had Loralai, I started trying to do a few things that might induce labor. My sister had arrived from North Carolina and I wanted to make sure she would be able to be my doula birth before she had to head back! I went and got an adjustment from my chiropractor to make sure baby would be able to settle into the best position for birth. She flipped back and forth ALOT the last week and couldn't seem to decide on whether she wanted to be LOA or ROA. I did a lot of exercises from the Spinning Babies website as well. I also went back to chiropractor and had some acupuncture done to see if that would induce labor, but all it did was make for some slightly more intense Braxton hicks contractions. I walked and walked and walked and ate my eggplant parmesan casserole, but to no avail. I was hoping for baby to come either a day before or a day after the 4th of July but that wasn't in the cards for me.
That whole week, I would wake up around 3 or 4 am with some intense consistent contractions, but they would always fizzle out around 7am. Leaving me disappointed and tired. I can only assume I was experiencing prodromal labor and that was incredibly frustrating! Friday morning those contractions started again. I tried to not get excited when they lasted past 7am.
I woke up and got breakfast for Hayes and I, then we went on a walk. When we got back, they were still happening, but only about 1 every 45 minutes. I tried to rest, bounce on my exercise ball, and distract myself with watching TV. My husband, Nate, got home from work and I was able to take a nap, but not for long as the contractions were starting to pick up. They weren't very strong but they were noticeable enough to keep me from being able to rest well. We ate supper, got Hayes ready for bed and rocked him to sleep. I continued to have contractions. They just weren't consistent whenever I timed them, so I tried to ignore them and rest. It was around 10pm when they were getting stronger and I think I called my sister to let her know they were picking up, but I figured it would be a while before we’d need to notify the midwives.
With my first child, Hayes, everything moved so slowly and I assumed it would be the same. I was waiting for that point when they'd last for a minute, be 3-4 minutes apart for an hour. I would lay on the couch and time them. They'd just be all over the place! No real consistency and vary in intensity.
Nate fell asleep. I'd get up to go to the bathroom. They'd be really hard to breath through and it would be like one long contraction until I laid back down. Then they'd space out again. I woke up Nate and he kind of helped me through them, but apparently I was handling it well enough that no one felt like it was getting close.
I honestly didn't think it was close! I had called my sister again and wasn't sure if she should come over yet. She sounded unsure if she should yet either, but we decided to have her go ahead and come since I was feeling like needing more help with focusing.
I texted Brandi, my midwife, and told her that I had been having contractions since 11pm. Also that they were starting to pick up and lasting about 1 minute, happening every 7-10 minutes and that we'd be calling her in a while. This was at 1:34am. I was starting to get nauseous and got up to go to the kitchen and get some frozen grapes to eat. I had one LONG and INTENSE contraction the whole time I was up and quickly went to go lay back down. I was feeling pretty sick and started to wonder if I wasn't going into the transition phase as I remembered feeling that way with Hayes. But I thought that surely it couldn't be the case as my contractions were still so inconsistent and not quite 2-3 minutes apart. I was definitely starting to lose control of my emotions. Nate was airing up the birth pool and I was feeling pretty concerned about everything that was happening. Just as I was having another contraction, my sister stepped in the door. I felt my water break, which I immediately told her, and I felt the baby’s head drop. I pretty well knew I'd be having a baby soon. My sister sat on the floor by my head, kept me calm and helped me breath. It was such a relief to have her there as her presence was very calming. I finally felt in control again. I told her I felt like pushing and I believe at that time, Nate got on the phone with Brandi, who was headed our way, and told her that. I was trying VERY hard to not push with contractions. But it was getting impossible. My sister told me she might have to look to see if she could see the baby’s head.
It was then that I had another contraction.
My body took over and I pushed.
I stood up and immediately felt the head drop down and out!
Nate and Amanda were on the phone with Brandi while she was talking them through the delivery process. I just remember praying that everything would be okay. That God would protect me and my baby. That baby would be healthy.
My sister stayed very calm and kept me calm. I don't remember feeling scared or anxious. I just knew I had to finish the task. With one last push, Nate caught our baby girl at around 2:45am.
I had no real pain with pushing. I never really felt like we were in danger. I can only assume that the Holy Spirit was very present with us throughout the whole process and He was keeping everyone calm and collected. And obviously kept our baby from any complications that can come from childbirth.
I sat on the floor and held Loralai who was crying and pooping everywhere. I was just in absolute awe of how quickly and easily she came.
Now as all this was happening, Brandi got into a car accident while trying to tell Nate and Amanda how to deliver the placenta. Nate had to call our other midwife, Kathy, who is Brandi’s mother, to tell her what happened but also that we still needed help with the placenta and other things!
Things were getting a little stressful because it seemed like it was taking a little too long for me to deliver the placenta. The midwife had told me to stand up. As I did, the placenta was delivered and fortunately there wasn't too much bleeding afterwards. I was helped into bed where we waited for our midwives to arrive.
We all just sat there. Pretty dumbfounded at the events that had just taken place! My photographer, Jenny Good, had arrived (she showed up shortly after Loralai was delivered) and took pictures. I was a little disappointed she had missed the birth but it was no fault of her own as she didn't get a phone call to come out until I was pretty well pushing!
The midwives finally showed up, checked me and Loralai out and we both were just perfectly healthy. No tearing for me and she was a healthy 8lbs 3oz.
Brandi seemed to be doing fine. As it turned out though, he hurt her foot pretty bad and also had a concussion! I felt so awful for her and her new vehicle also got totaled. I felt almost like I was to blame for her accident. If only I had called her to come out sooner. All of this could have been avoided. But I know that everything happens for a reason and looking back I don't know how the situation could have really been remedied as I really never felt like it was urgent that we call sooner.
Hayes woke up shortly after they got there; I'm still surprised he didn't wake up sooner with all the commotion happening. Nate brought him in to meet Loralai and he seemed pretty unimpressed and mostly just wanted mommy to hold him. I'm sure he was pretty confused with everything happening and probably pretty tired since it was around 4am, but it didn't take long for him to warm up to her later that day. I didn't have any issues getting Loralai to nurse, and the whole healing process was so much better this time around. Hayes’ birth and recovery was just all around difficult, so I felt very blessed to have an easier second time around. Looking back, the birth of Loralai still amazes me. It's crazy what our bodies can do when we just let them take over and not try to intervene. I thank God for His provision over us and over the birth, but hope the next time around we can have our midwives present!
Photo credits: Simply Good Photography by Jenny Good