Ahava's Birth Story/ Joy comes in the morning

Friday, January 27, 2017

It's hard to believe I am sharing the story of my 6th birth!

Ahava is already a month old and it's taken me that long to write out her birth story. I have been soaking up every minute with her and the days have literally flown by. I have sat down a couple of times and written some of it and finally found some time to finish it!

Having a baby plus 5 kids is all consuming and I wouldn't change it for anything, but other things like this blog have had to go to the back burner; which I am sure you understand.

If you have been following my pregnancy posts you know that everything has gone pretty smoothly and that I have really been blessed to not have any complications.

The last month of this pregnancy was of course the hardest. I wasn't sleeping at night due to insomnia and becoming increasingly more uncomfortable. Not to mention it was a very stressful month as we were finishing the addition on our house, we had to move in with my in-laws and my mom had to go into the hospital. You can be sure I had a couple of breakdowns.

As my due date was drawing nearer and we still had so much to accomplish, I prayed that she would wait a little longer and come late. I usually go late with all my pregnancies so I was really depending on that this time. But you just never know. I knew that no matter what, God would work it all out and bring her in his perfect timing, whether we were able to be back in our house or not.

My due date came and went and my husband was working from dawn till dusk to get things done on the house( which in itself is a whole other post.) So many things went wrong, but somehow he finally got enough done to where we were able to move back in on Monday the 19th of December.

There was still so much to do before the baby came (with Christmas right around the corner) and by some miracle I was able to cross most off most of my to do list!

Tuesday we got things cleaned up as much as we could. Construction dust is the worst. You keep cleaning it up and it just keeps reappearing.

That day we had the plumber and electrician at our house and they hooked up everything in the kitchen and our new bathroom!

The kids really wanted a Christmas tree and I have to admit I did too, so I managed to take them out and get one. It was a lot of fun to bring it home to our new and bigger house. I let the kids go to town decorating it.

I had been really wanting to get a pedicure before I had the baby but hadn't had a chance since Josh was so busy working on the house. It might sound silly, but I felt I could face labor better knowing my feet were pretty and manicured. It just so happened my girls life group from church was meeting that night and we were all going to be given pedicure/manicures by one of the ladies who did nails!

After the pedicures I stopped by Target since I didn't have the kids and picked up some things that I hadn't been able to get yet. After a busy and hectic week it was so nice to walk around Target without any kids. It was so therapeutic! Target...with no kids..can I get an amen!?

Wednesday I was determined to get all the Christmas gifts for our family wrapped and put into gift bags. Thankfully I had gathered everything ahead of time and was able to put them all together. The last of the gifts I ordered on amazon came and those got wrapped also.

I also got the kids bags packed up for when they would have to go back over to Papa and Grandma's.

While I was busy getting things put back as much as possible in the house and cleaning up, Josh was installing the rest of our countertops and cabinets. He went to the store to get us some frozen pizzas for dinner when I started getting some steady contractions. Before the pizza was even done the contractions were coming on stronger and closer together. I wanted to wait a little longer at home before we set out for the hospital but he was adamant that we leave right away since my last birth was really fast and the hospital was 45 minutes away. This was happening!

Thankfully Papa and Grandma live not even 5 minutes away, so as soon as they got here we were on our way. We were both really excited to finally be meeting our baby girl and were so relieved to be back in our home. The kids were also so excited as we left. Ellie said she was so excited she was shaking!!

We made it to the hospital around 8:30pm and though my contractions were getting stronger and still steady I was only 3cm dilated. In the hospital they won't admit you unless you are 5. The midwife on call asked if I wanted pitocin to which I declined and I also told her I didn't want my water broke. Because of the speed of my last deliveries and because I had had them all come very smoothly on their own, I didn't want any intervention.

The midwife said they might be sending me home if I didn't dilate any further. Noooooo!!! I started to panic as I did not want to be sent home. My worst fear this whole pregnancy was that I would have the baby in the car. One of my midwives said at an appointment that I should have towels in the car and be prepared since all my other births came so fast!!! What!!!???

I explained to my midwife that we lived 45 minutes away and that my last birth was really quick and shared my concerns about having the baby in the car. Thank goodness she let us be admitted and told us to get some rest and call her when things started to progress. So by now it's around 12pm.

We got settled in another room and tried to lay down and get some rest. Around 3:00am my contractions started getting much stronger and I definitely could not sleep. They were getting to the point where I had to really breathe/ moan through them. I knew I must be more dilated by now. The nurse on call began to monitor the contractions and the midwife came in and said she would be back in a little bit. It seemed like forever before she returned, so I asked the nurse if she could get her to come back and check me. I was really wanting to get in the birthing tub and labor in there.

Now I have to admit that the midwife on call was the one I was hoping I wouldn't get. I honestly did not like her. There are 4 midwives at the practice I go to and 2 of them have delivered my babies before. The other new one I really liked, but this particular one just rubbed me the wrong way. She just wasn't very compassionate or helpful...so of course I got her.

She finally came back and checked me and lo and behold I was 8cm!! I was getting so frustrated that I wasn't in that tub yet. If I was going to do this naturally... I wanted my tub!

I was really surprised that it was taking so long for this baby to come. I was sure I would have had her by now.

I finally was able to get in the tub around 4:00am. The contractions were still coming on really strong and I was exhausted and had already thrown up a couple of times. Fun! So glad I didn't end up eating that pizza!

 I knew I could do this but I felt like I was going to die. I literally started weeping through the contractions. The stress of the week and everything else just hit me full force. I didn't know if I could go on. My midwife was so comforting(I'm being sarcastic) to tell me that this baby was going to beat me and that I was pretty much not going to be able to do this. I was so mad that I waved my hand at her; dismissing her negativity. Josh had my back and said, "You got this honey."

As I was in so much pain and things still were not progressing, my husband suggested I get my water broken.(As I said, my midwife was no help.) I was just afraid that I would go into intense labor and not have any break in between contractions. Even though my contractions were not letting up I did have a breather in between them to recoup. I finally told my midwife to break my water and just as she was going to with needle in hand; I got a really strong contraction and "POP" my water broke all on it's own! As I tried to eek out what strength I had left to push, so many emotions flooded through me. I literally sobbed and groaned as she finally came out of me! (at 5:18 am)

What relief!!

I was so glad that period of pain and waiting was over and that she was here!  I was also so exhausted from being up all day and night and was so thankful for God bringing us this beautiful baby. It really was overwhelming!

I have never cried with any of my other births. Yes, they have been painful but nothing like this.

I was so so glad and thankful she was here! I kept saying, "I am so glad that's over!"

Now for those of you who have never yet birthed a baby and are starting to freak out at the thought of a natural birth from this story, please go and read my last birth story because it was the total opposite. It was the best birth possible! Though not without pain;)

Just be glad I didn't show any pictures of during the birth...which I don't have anyway;p

It just goes to show you how different things can go. Each birth is so unique and different. I of course was hoping that it would have been much easier, but we both made it to the other side and I have so much to be thankful for.

That moment of going from such pain to utter joy and amazement is truly indescribable. After all that hard work, anticipation and waiting; it's so amazing to be finally holding that precious little life you have been carrying around for over 9 months!  What joy and relief flooded me as she was placed on my chest!

We had never completely decided on what her name would be. I knew I really liked Ahava( Hebrew for love) but we didn't even decide on a middle name. But when she came I just knew her name needed to be Ahava Joy!

After I got out of the tub and was soaking in her newborn goodness. I was able to to nurse her right away. As she nursed,  I gazed at this beautiful baby of mine; still in awe that she was finally here. She pooped all over me confirming that yes, she was here! Ha!

I was so weak and exhausted. I felt like I was 100 years old. I could barely move. I also had the chills and could not stop shaking.

After I birthed the placenta and got cleaned up, they moved us to a different room. The nurse we had was so great and just let us sleep as long as we needed without poking and prodding us. I was so tired after being up for over 24 hours that I conked right out with my baby snuggled against me.

I slept most of the day away and but for a few feedings so did the baby. One of the main reasons I like having my babies in the hospital is that I can sleep and recuperate before going home. I really need those 2 days of rest and just snuggling my baby. And I don't mind being waited on hand and foot with room service. I am sure it would work out if I had to go home early but it's so nice not to have any of the distractions of home and just focus on getting rested.

After the 2 days I am more then ready to get back home to my other babies. One of my favorite moments is when the kids came up to see the baby in the hospital. They were over the moon! I loved watching their expressions as they saw her for the first time! So sweet!

We were released from the hospital on Christmas Eve, and without out a doubt it was one of the best Christmas' ever!!

After having a rough couple of months it was so amazing to come home to our new home with a new baby!

One of the days I was in the hospital Josh was able to come back to the house and finish our new room. He got us a new mattress and set it up and put up curtains and blinds. Not only that but a sweet friend of mine who has a cleaning service came and cleaned the house.( as much as she could with everything all over the place) Talk about the best gift ever!!

When I got home it felt like I was staying at a luxury hotel. A bathroom in my own room!? I felt so spoiled!

The week after I had her was like a babymoon. Josh was home and I just got to rest and love on my new baby and family. The kids were all so sweet! They would come in our room in the morning and just "oooo" and "ahhhh" over her.

After all the craziness leading up to her birth and the difficulty of her birth it was so good to rest in God's goodness and just stand in awe of all that he had done.

The day after I had her, as I was laying in the hospital snuggling her, this verse came to my mind:

              "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

This birth did not go as I had planned or expected; I literally wept as I brought her into the world. It was painful, hard and exhausting. Looking back I am sure there were some things I could have chosen to do differently that might have sped things up and helped ease my pain.

But you know what? Joy really did come in the morning, our Ahava Joy. No matter how painful and exhausting it was birthing her, I would do it all over again. After having gone through that hard birth it makes me appreciate holding her in my arms all the more.

No, I didn't have a pain free birth or a great midwife, but I gave birth to a beautiful healthy girl in God's perfect timing.  And the thing about labor and birth is that it doesn't last forever. Of course while I was going through it I was thinking I never wanted to do this again or that I should have got an epidural, but it's over and the joy of giving birth to a perfect little baby outweighs the pain of childbirth. (After experiencing losing a baby before Ahava; I treasure the gift of being able to carry and give birth to her all the more)

None of us wants to go through pain or hardships but it is often through these things that God shapes and molds us into who he wants us to be.  He is glorified when we give him our hopes and dreams. He takes the ugly and hard things (like the reality of childbirth) and turns them into the most amazing and beautiful experiences; even if they are not how we had envisioned them.

A natural birth is a wonderful and beautiful experience but the reality is that it is also painful, bloody, messy and exhausting. Though I have experienced great births, not one of them was without pain and exhaustion.(and I have had 6!) There is a lot of pressure out there for women to have a perfect, pain free childbirth with no complications. Also there is the expectation to have a perfect, healthy baby, which in very many cases does not happen in this fallen world.

Although I am an advocate for a natural birth experience, I don't think that we should pretend that birth is easy or uncomplicated. Things can go perfectly or they can often go perfectly wrong. We don't always have control over the outcome, but what we do have control of is our attitude, our perspective and where we place our hope.

We can have joy because of the pain, and all that we have gone through to get to that sweet moment of holding our baby in our arms!

"When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for the joy that a human being has been born into the world." John 16:21 

This verse is so true and though I do still remember the pain to a point... it has left me. As I hold my baby in my arms I know that I would do it all again to experience this baby bliss. It goes by way too fast and I absolutely love newborn babies. They are just the most perfect little people that God has gifted us with.

I hope my story didn't scare you away if you are considering a natural birth, but I want you to know that though it is hard, God has given us the amazing capability to do it. YOU CAN DO IT!!! It is possible, it doesn't last forever and joy really does come in the morning!!

I am not ready for this babymoon to be over and you can be sure that when I get a chance I will be updating you on Ahava's growth and the progress of our home, but until then you will find me getting in as many newborn snuggles as I can, smelling her sweet milky breath and cherishing this time with my kids. Having a newborn really makes you aware of how fast time passes and I don't want to miss out on a minute of it!

What was your birth experience? 

Did you have a almost pain free birth or a really hard, long birth???

I would love to hear!!! ( If you have written your birth story please share it in the comments!)

Linking up here!

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