Francine is 5 weeks old, and she is napping on my chest as I type her birth story out—finally. 😀
BACK STORY: Francine is our second baby girl, and with our first daughter I had an elective c-section. The only reason I chose to even have one is because my body processed the epidural (I originally didn’t even want) way too fast to where it wasn’t working at all—after 3-4 redo’s. My first birth was awful, and I most definitely went in blind. I didn’t do research (not like I should have), and the hospital staff was rude, and unhelpful. Once I hit transition, which by the way I had no clue was even a thing until I was expecting Francine, was awful and I just wanted it to stop. I was tightening my whole body, and screaming out in agony. The super
helpful, not helpful nurse just told me not to tighten up during contractions. Well at the time I had no other options on what to do because I didn’t know how to labor at all!! So….I demanded a c-section, and got just that. Which the recovery time was long and painful.
Once we found out about baby Francine I joined so many groups on Facebook. A couple birthing without fear groups, a VBAC group, an October Baby group—just lots of groups for support and to gain personal knowledge. I was finally going to have my med-free vaginal water birth I had longed so bad for. It was happening. In fact the first question I asked my OBGYN was; “What are the chances of me having a VBAC?” I was filled with so much happiness when I got the 100% yes. Plus, I was in Germany where they are PRO natural birth. Everything on my birth plan (that by the way my husband never gave to the midwife) was already going to be granted—so him not giving them my birth plan ended up being fine and not a big deal at all.
October 14, 2017. I woke up mad about not getting enough sleep, somehow subconsciously knowing the next 24 hours was going to be life changing. I was pumped up, and ready to walk my baby girl out. I went hardcore grocery shopping that morning/afternoon which kick started a few real-time contractions. I did my homework this time around, so I relaxed my face and body and just kept breathing. Oh and kept walking—you know how people said walk.walk.walk.??? Yeah with Lauren and that labor, there was NO WAY I could’ve walked through those contractions. But anyway, I came home and laid on my birthing ball and rocked back and forth. This would soon become my favorite position (Francine was sunny-side up causing horrible back labor) in the upcoming hours.
Later that evening I was still having contractions. I was definitely in labor. Thank goodness that once I start having contractions, my body keeps going—bless all those women who’s prodromal labor last for days or weeks before they finally get things going!! Well, if anyone reading this has been in labor knows that EVERYTHING is heightened. Especially emotions. So if you know me then you know I’m already a drama queen, so obviously I started a huge fight with Kyle—HUGE. A good fight will definitely kickstart labor, let me tell you that. I was so mad, but in so much pain that I couldn’t even be mad. All I could do was shut our bedroom door, turn the lights off, and hug my birthing ball and just rock back and forth.
I was timing my contractions for a few hours, and they were getting closer and closer. Kyle came back in the room to check on me, look at the contractions and see where they were in terms of time. I was having contractions two to five minutes apart, but they hadn’t been that close for that long, so I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital. Good thing Kyle came back to check and made us leave because once we got to the hospital was when everything started moving fast. We arrived at the hospital at 11:45pm, leaving Lauren sleeping and having our neighbor sleep over.
Like I said before laying on the birthing ball was one of the only positions that really made me feel better, so I got on the ball right when I got there. My back and legs were so tired. A.) my back hurt from back labor—like REALLY hurt and B.) my legs were tired because I had been standing for hours and hours. I wanted to keep standing so bad, but I just couldn’t anymore. So I sat on the edge of the couch in the labor room, and just breathed with my eyes closed and lights off. I had previously made a labor playlist which let me tell you, helped SO SO SO much. It was so calming. Each contraction I kept saying out loud “I can do anything for a minute”, and just kept repeating that. It helped.
The midwife kept coming in to adjust my monitor, and kept saying “10 more minutes” and then we could go in the birthing room. I was begging for them to fill the tub up, I read time and time again how much water helped labor. Ya’ll I was begging……but it was always “10 more minutes” They were worried about her heart rate, so they had me lay on the bed for said 10 more minutes of monitoring. That is the position I didn’t want to be in; with Lauren I was in bed the whole time and it was awful. It was exactly like I thought it would be again—awful. Her heart rate was fine, but I was moving too much and they kept losing it.
You guys, I got there and I was dilated at 2cm, and got to a 7 in 40 minutes!!! You can imagine how close my contractions were, it was unreal folks. In between that time, my water broke while I was laying down. Such a cool experience because with Lauren they broke it while my epidural was working (for a few hours total) so I didn’t feel it. I was wondering if it was even going to break because it’s not too common. We finally moved over to the labor room with what felt like forever since they assured me it was only 10 more minutes. BUT, they wouldn’t let me get in the tub because of monitoring issues and the fact that she was sunny-side up and she needed to flip. I already mentioned how tired my legs and back were before, but in order for her to flip they needed me on all fours—that was awful. I was holding up all my weight with my arms and legs, and my stomach just felt so heavy. They kept telling me I could do it—they were right…I did do it. This whole time each contraction grew closer and closer together, and so did my uncontrollable screams. I was so tired, and I honestly just wanted to sleep. This was so constant I had no rest time. Sleep. That’s all I could think about. I told Kyle I was ready for an epidural. He gave in (which is what I told him not to do again like he did the first time :P).
SIDE NOTE: I begged Kyle to let me get a doula to be my voice, and our coach through this whole labor process. He didn’t think a doula was important enough to spend $300 on—mistake. Here we were the second time around and he gave into me asking for an epidural. Why would I ask for one knowing full well it wouldn’t work on me??? One word, transition. You ask for anything and everything, you just want it to be over. So I got an epidural—which hint hint: didn’t work in the upcoming hours after. God knew my plan, and he was totally on board with it. Literally less than 5 minutes after I got an epidural, I had Francine.
Did I get my doula? No. Did I end up getting an epidural? Yes. Did it work? No. Did I get my water birth? No. Did I get my VBAC? YES. Was my baby healthy? YES.
We welcomed Francine Madeline Lee into this world at 4:19am October 15, 2017. She weight 7.5lbs and was 21 1/4 inches long—and so perfect. We chose to go with two middle names because my mom recently passed away, and she would have loved for Lee to be one of my children’s middle names (it’s mine as well). That was our way of remembering her and honoring her memory. Plus, it kind of has a ring to it.
If we have a 3rd child (which isn’t in the works), I have already made it 100% clear that we are hiring a doula. No doubt. Cheers to not being pregnant anymore, and actually (no sarcasm) lots of sleep. Isn’t newborn stage wonderful?
Now the new adventure has begun—two under two. So blessed. Seriously, so so so blessed. God sure is good, and he always shows up.