To begin, our goal was to have another birth as natural as possible. I have preexisting issues that could get complicated with induction, epidural, and/or c-section. I really don’t mind the challenge of a natural birth. With Eli’s birth, I was super pumped and ready to rise to the challenge. This time around I was apprehensive because I knew how tough a natural birth is and how difficult and LONG Eli’s was. I knew with Jeff’s help, we could do it. I didn’t feel as strong physically or mentally though. My verse for Eli’s birth was “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. I kept this verse for Micah’s birth, but it was more about God giving me that sound mind than me having it on my own this time. Really, that’s how this whole pregnancy had been. God was teaching me so much about humility and was showing me that I couldn’t do all of this on my own. He broke down my pride and brought me back to Him, to rely on Him and trust Him.
Micah “dropped” back on October 7 while I was shooting my last wedding at 36 weeks and 5 days. Earlier in the day I greeted the mother-of-the-groom and chatted with her. An hour or two later, after doing portraits. The groom’s mom said “Jenny, your baby has moved, your belly looks different!” He certainly had! I was extremely uncomfortable from this point on!
My due date, October 30, was approaching. We wanted so badly to dodge a Halloween and November birth date. I finished up all my photography work and was ready to go the weekend before our due date. We started intentionally trying to go into labor by walking, vacuuming, cleaning, drinking raspberry tea etc.! We even ate Little Ceasar’s pizza which what we had before Eli’s labor. I had contractions all Saturday afternoon and knew we were progressing.
I woke up to strong contractions around 12:30am Sunday, October 28. I tracked them and realized we were at the 5-1-1 and 4-1-1 range. By 2:30amI called the doctor and they said come on in. My Mom came over to stay with Eli. Jeff and I calmly finished packing our bags. Oddly, contractions were slowing down, but we were already headed to the hospital. I kept flashing back to Eli’s delivery, this was all around the same timing as his, even down to the day of the week!
There was a horrible vacuum infomercial playing in the triage room. Measurements were promising so they kept us! Yaaay! By the time we got to a room everything STOPPED.
Not a single contraction for 30 minutes!! Even walking the halls didn’t cause them! I was devastated, confused, and defeated. The nurses even mentioned us going home!
No way was I going home. It was time to birth this child!
We managed to get a short nap in while we waited for the doctor to come. This was so weird to me. Napping? During natural labor? It was not supposed to be this way. Why has everything stopped?
It was a struggle to have “sound mind” at this point.
We decided to wait for the doctor to arrive and break my water. We broke my water with Eli’s birth too. If that didn’t work we’d do pitocin. Doctor broke my water at 10:20am, contractions started back within 15 minutes. Stronger than before and 8-10 minutes apart. I know it sounds weird, but it felt so good to be back on track.
They offered to start the jacuzzi tub. “Will that speed things up?” I asked? Ya know, anything to naturally help the process. I remember laboring in the tub for Eli too. At this point I was a bit fearful that we were settling in for another long labor. God please let this one be shorter. Please.
4 hours later we’re still going at it, getting closer every minute with horribly difficult contractions some lasting 3 minutes. Jeff and I were both sore from working through those. Jeff stayed with me and continued to soothe and encourage me! I knew I wanted Mom to be with us for the end of labor and delivery, but I couldn’t figure out how to manage Eli’s care and get her to the hospital at the same time. I kept asking for her…
After laboring in the tub, I was one contraction away from asking for meds. As I dried off, I said, I either need something to take the edge off or I need to push this baby out (around 1:35pm).
Maybe that was a tell tell sign Micah was coming because the nurse checked and told me I could ease into pushing!!!
They started to set up the room for delivery.
There’s no better sight to a laboring momma than to see the room shift into delivery mode.
Once I was completely ready, I began to really push.
15 minutes in, doctor announced that she could see his head! “That’s a lot of dark hair!”
TMI part: After another strong push, she said “put your hand down here! Feel his head!” I did and it was the sweetest little slimy hairy mess.
I pushed and focused with every inch of my being. Trying to use all the right muscles and relax the others in the midst of the pain. Not the easiest thing in the world. I felt like a crazy lady not able to do all the things nurses were telling me, just pushing.
Get him out. Stay focused. Get him out. Don’t stop. Get him out.
Minutes away from meeting our boy, my Mom arrived to the hospital following the sounds of delivery to our room. She walks in all sweet and calm. I said with a hoarse voice “Momma! Come talk to me!” She rushed around the nurses to my side.
I don’t know what she told me…something empowering. With my left hand still molded into Jeff’s hands and my right hand in Mom’s, I continued to push.
Maybe I’m task oriented, and maybe being results driven got the best of me, but I just kept thinking “Get him out! Get him out!” I occasionally yelled it…in case anyone needed a reminder of our end goal.
I was pushing and pushing and finally he was almost here! Doctor paused
She was trying to get me to reach down and pull him out for a really authentic, superwoman moment…I didn’t quite comprehend her sentimental effort. I just yelled “get him out!” Doctor made the catch and we birthed a precious, 7 pound, 12 ounce, hairy human at 2:02pm!
Proud daddy cut the cord, and just like that…we were done. Done.
10 months of trying. 39 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy. 12 hours of active labor. 20 minutes of pushing.
Our baby boy resting on my chest. My mom crying beside me. My husband and I high-fiving.
The beginning. Trading one marathon for another….
Thank you LORD for bring us here and bring us through.