Isabelle’s Birth Story: Part Three

Isabelle's Birth Story @ This is a birth story and as such, it will contain details of a personal nature. If you’re offended by TMI or get queasy at the mention on bodily fluids or functions you may want to bypass today’s post :) )

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Be sure to catch up with Part 1 and Part 2.

A Baby is Born Within the Hour

When we arrived in the labor, delivery, and recovery room it was a little after 6 AM. The doctor on call, a young female OB came in to check my progress shortly after we settled in. I was thrilled to hear I was fully dilated with a tiny cervical lip which she was sure would disappear as soon as I started pushing.

I could hardly believe I had dilated 5 cm since arriving at the hospital only 30 minutes earlier!

The doctor quickly decided the midwife would need to be called in earlier than her 8 AM timeframe. A few minutes later, a nurse came in to tell us that Kim was going to take a quick shower and then she’d be right in.

At this point I was still hooked up to monitors and breathing through contractions while lying on the bed. Surprisingly, I was able to stay on top of the contractions by simply breathing in through my nose, blowing out my exhale and focusing on relaxing my entire body. However, I couldn’t control the awful shaking of my legs. I’ve experienced “the shakes” after delivery, but never during labor and found the shaking very annoying.

The nurses kindly lowered the lights as my normal laboring music played quietly in the background. As the nurses set up the room for delivery they commented on how much they liked the Hidden in my Heart CD.

As the contractions started coming closer and closer I gave up opening my eyes between them. Tim sat by my side, holding my hand and stroking my forehead. This helped me focus and I found the rhythmic movement comforting.

After laboring quietly for a few minutes I asked our nurse, Brooke if I could get up to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, she said she’d rather me wait because she was afraid if I pushed at all the baby might be born before Kim arrived.

Ten minutes later I was almost to the point of saying that I didn’t care whether Kim made it in time for the birth or not :)

Thankfully, Kim arrived around 6:40. Her calming voice and demeanor added to the calm in the room.

Within 10 minutes I felt like I couldn’t handle much more. Even at the time I was glad to remember that I always think that during transition.

In between contractions our new nurse arrived. It was Dawn, the nurse we had when I delivered Lillian last summer. She smiled and said, “I thought I remembered your name.”

I felt the tiniest urge to push at the end of my next contraction. I told Tim and he put on his gloves and moved closer to the foot of the bed while Kim told him she would check for the cord and then move out of his way so he could catch the baby.

Kim asked Tim if he was right or left handed and determined that he’d probably be better on her side of the bed. I told her it didn’t matter–he’d had enough practice to catch the baby from any side :)

With Brooke and Dawn by my head and side and Kim and Tim ready to receive the baby I got to work pushing her out.

Within a few contractions (and only about 5 minutes), Isabelle was born into her daddy’s hands at 6:52 AM. She was completely quiet as she took in her new surroundings which worried me at first, but she was nice and pink so no one was really concerned.

The nurses quickly helped me unsnap the hospital gown and Tim placed Isabelle skin-to-skin on my chest. Dawn covered us with a warmed blanket and Brooke used the bulb syringe on Isabelle since she was a bit raspy from being born so quickly. Kim and the nurses joked that I made labor and delivery look easy as we all admired our beautiful new baby girl.

Isabelle still didn’t have a first name at this point, but I told everyone her middle name was Joan which means “God is gracious.”

(Boy, was he ever! My labor with Isabelle was only two hours from the time of my first contraction until the time she was born. Also, I was able to handle the pain of labor while lying on a bed, which is something I’ve never done before. Another sign of God’s grace was the arrival of Kim and Dawn at the very end. There’s nothing quite as encouraging as hearing the nurse from your previous delivery telling everyone how amazing that birth was right as you feel you can’t go on much longer. God’s hand was definitely upon us and even in the midst of the pain I was so glad to know that people were praying for our little girl, for me, and for our entire family.)

As Kim waited for the placenta and the nurses cleaned up the bed and room, Tim and I thanked God for our newest blessing and admired our beautiful baby and the beautiful sunrise outside of the room’s huge window.

Within a few minutes, the cord stopped pulsing so it was clamped and Tim cut it. I also delivered the placenta and Kim checked me for any tears. Thankfully, there were none (although later I did discover a small abrasion).

I felt amazing after Isabelle’s birth and noticed immediately that my feet were much less swollen than they had been in weeks.

After spending some time with Isabelle and calling family to announce the birth, Tim quickly fell asleep on the window seat/spare bed. I, however, was filled with adrenaline, ordered a huge breakfast, and didn’t sleep until well after dark that night.

Isabelle nursed wonderfully from the start, but after sleeping for the majority of the first day, was up off and on all night. Finally, I was able to fall asleep while lying on my side and nursing her.

As a side note, Isabelle didn’t have a first name for the first 6 hours of her life. We went to the hospital with a few choices and I continued to mull them over while Tim had quite a long nap. After getting online and looking up the names’ meanings again we decided on Isabelle.

Isabelle ~ “God is my oath”

Joan ~ “God is gracious” ~ Tim’s grandmother’s first name

August 17, 2014

6:52 AM

7 pounds 3 ounces

19 1/2 inches

Please, tell me I’m not the only one who thinks babies look cute when they cry…

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during my labor and delivery and in the coming weeks as we continue to adjust to being a family of eight.

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Isabelle’s Birth Story: Part Two

Isabelle's Birth Story: Part Two @

(Disclaimer: This is a birth story and as such, it will contain details of a personal nature. If you’re offended by TMI or get queasy at the mention on bodily fluids or functions you may want to bypass today’s post :) )

Be sure to catch up with Part 1.

Contractions Begin and Intensify Quickly

As Tim and I drove to the hospital, I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I really wanted to fall asleep for a few minutes, but felt too excited and nervous for that to happen. I continued to pray that labor would soon begin.

I was not to be disappointed and at 4:46am, just a few minutes into our drive, I experienced my first contraction. It was surprisingly long and strong. While I was a little nervous about the intensity, the relief of labor actually beginning overshadowed my fear. Like clockwork, fifteen minutes later another strong contraction hit. A third contraction fifteen minutes after that sealed the thought that active labor had begun.

We decided to eat an early breakfast before heading to the hospital and stopped off at McDonald’s since it was one of the only places open that early in the morning. I managed to get down a go-gurt and Tim enjoyed his breakfast sandwiches as well as the one I had ordered :)

We arrived at the hospital shortly after my third contraction (around 5:20am). Tim dropped me off at the entrance and then went to park while I walked into the ER to get registered. As soon as I got to the desk another contraction hit. By the time I finished registering and Tim arrived with all of our laboring things I had experiences two more contractions, now only 5 minutes apart.

A transporter arrived to guide us to the birthing center and in the short walk another contraction hit.

Within a few minutes we were settled into a triage room (the same one Jonathan was born in) and I was hooked up to be monitored. At this point I was only 5 cm dilated. I was a little disappointed by this number as contractions were already really strong and I wasn’t sure I could make it through hours of contractions of this intensity.

My first contraction laying in the hospital bed caused Isabelle’s heart rate to plummet so quickly that our nurse, Brooke had me roll to my left side and then to my hands and knees to stabilize the baby’s heart beat. This was definitely a scare and I vividly remember asking Tim if they needed to just get the baby out now.

Thankfully, after further investigation, Brooke discovered that the monitor simply wasn’t picking up the heartbeat because Isabelle was much lower than expected.

After about 20 minutes and several contractions (now only 3 minutes apart) we made our way down the hall to our room (the same one Amelia was born in), Tim going back a forth a couple of times to carry everything and me gladly accepting a ride in a wheelchair.

Part 3 (Isabelle is born) coming soon…

I’d love to hear about your labors. Also, any guesses for how long it took us to name Isabelle after she was born?

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Isabelle’s Birth Story: Part One

Isabelle's Birth Story: Part 1 @

(Disclaimer: This is a birth story and as such, it will contain details of a personal nature. If you’re offended by TMI or get queasy at the mention on bodily fluids or functions you may want to bypass today’s post :) )

Labor Starts in an All-Too-Familiar (and slightly scary) Way

On Saturday night, Tim, the kids and I joined my parents and sister at their house for dinner. I was feeling fine (other than being very huge) and enjoyed eating some of the most delicious barbecued ribs I’ve ever tasted.

On the way home I started thinking I had eaten too much as my stomach began to feel uncomfortable.

As soon as we were home, Tim and I worked together to get the kids to bed. I went to bed soon after around 9:30 PM.

I woke up off and on starting around midnight. At 3:18 AM I woke up to roll over. As I did, my water broke and gushed all over the bed. Thankfully, we always keep a waterproof cover on our mattress.

I woke Tim and told him what had happened. He quickly told Jonathan to go back to bed (he had crawled into our bed at some point during the night) and sent Eliya to the couch (she had made her way to the floor in our room). Then Tim brought me some towels as he started pulling the linens off of the bed.

As I moved to the bathroom, Tim put the sheets in the wash, started the laundry, and remade the bed for my parents who would be coming to watch the kids.

I got cleaned up and changed, trying hard not to worry about my water breaking before contractions. The only other labor where my water broke before labor began was my first labor with our daughter, Emahry.

My labor with Emahry was the hardest by far at 27 hours total and almost 24 hours of contractions 2-4 minutes apart. (You can read Emahry’s birth story here.)

As I tried not to worry about this labor repeating the difficulty I experienced with my first, I set to work mixing up a large batch of goat’s milk formula for Lillian and Tim called the hospital to tell them we’d soon be making the 45 minute drive. Tim also called my sister who woke my parents.

It just so happens that from 8pm Saturday night until 8am Sunday morning is the only time one of our midwives is not on call. While Kim, the midwife scheduled for Sunday, had assured me she would come in early, the hospital didn’t want to call her in before her 8 AM shift if it wasn’t necessary.

I finished getting a few things packed and posted our status on Facebook and here on the blog while Tim loaded everything into the new-to-us Suburban. As I made sure we had everything we would need I prayed that my contractions would begin soon on their own and that I would be able to deal with whatever labor would bring.

Around 4:15 AM, my parents arrived and after a brief prayer together, Tim and I began our drive to the hospital.

Stay tuned for Part 2…

How did labor begin for you? Did your water break first? Did you start out with contractions 20 minutes apart? Were you thrown quickly into intense contraction? Every labor is unique, so tell us about yours.

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