Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect giving birth the second time around. I wasn’t nervous about labor. Truthfully, I was super excited to experience this amazing and beautiful miracle of life. I hope that the birth story of our second baby will give you encouragement and confidence to birth your little one.
Before I share the story of my second daughter’s birth, I want to be upfront. This was supposed to be a restorative and healing experience since my first daughter was born in a hospital and taken away immediately due to TTN.
Although I had a beautiful and easy labor with my second daughter, the postpartum period was overshadowed by an unexpected diagnosis. Just three days after birth, we found out she was born with a rare congenital heart defect known as Ebstein’s Anomaly.
This completely shattered my world. Truthfully, I didn’t know if I would ever feel “normal” again. That’s why I decided to write this post, in hopes of finding healing and acceptance of her diagnosis.
The Birth Story of Our Second Baby Girl
I’m going to share a bit about my pregnancy (which was pretty uneventful), simply because this will give you a bit of context for our birth story!
Finding Out I’m Pregnant
At just 3 weeks pregnant, I found out we were expecting another little baby. We were over the moon excited and also in shock. Let’s be honest, we weren’t actively trying but obviously, we left things up to God… so we were pretty surprised.
My Uneventful Pregnancy
Just a week later, I tested positive for Covid. Ugh. I was paralyzed in fear of losing this sweet baby.
When I went to my first midwife appointment at 9 weeks, I was obviously a little nervous. But was relieved when we saw and heard the heartbeat.
Fast forward to the 20-week ultrasound, we had an ultrasound done at one of the 3D places. Although they typically don’t do diagnostic ultrasounds, this technician did and was willing to send it to a radiologist.
In hindsight, we should have just had a radiologist look it over, but to the naked eye, our baby girl looked perfect.
At this time, we were full-time RVing in our 40ft fifth wheel and had every intention of bringing this little girl home to it. But as my due date got closer, I began feeling like we needed to move into a house…. And I couldn’t ignore it.
After lots of prayer, a house came up…. And we signed papers for a one-year lease on 3 bedroom house. We moved in when I was 36 weeks pregnant.
What’s funny about this detail is that I had my first daughter at 36 weeks, so I was pretty convinced I wouldn’t make it full term.
37 Weeks… 38 Weeks…..
Yup, I made it to my 38 week prenatal appointment. My midwife checked all my vitals, the baby’s position, and heart rate. Everything was perfect!
She asked me if I wanted to be checked for dilation and a membrane sweep. I was really nervous about having this done because I didn’t want to be disappointed. My husband knew how uncomfortable I was, so he encouraged me to have it done.
To my surprise, I was already dilated to a 4!!!
The membrane sweep did make me a bit crampy, but no real contractions.
I Made it to 39 Weeks…
Part of me was celebrating the fact that I had made it this far and the other part was ready to be done. I was really uncomfortable at this point, I did everything and anything to get labor started.
That day, I decided to try the Miles Circuit. If you aren’t familiar with this, you can check out this Youtube video.
Honestly, I expected to go into labor during the miles circuit and was really disappointed that I hadn’t. So, that evening I took a warm bath to relax my body and then crawled into bed.
Did I pee?? Or did my water just break?
I woke up to what felt like my water breaking. But at the moment, I couldn’t tell if I maybe I wet the bed. So I woke up my husband and had him get me a towel. I knew from my first birth that if it was my water, it would continue leaking out once I stood up.
Sure enough, it was my water!
The Miles Circuit worked…… and I was so grateful.
I ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet in hopes of letting all the fluid drain.
I was finally in Labor!
Now that my water broke, I knew that contractions would soon follow. With my first birth, it took quite a while.
So, we packed up the car and got the house ready… then decided to lay down and hopefully get a little sleep before contractions started.
I laid there and tossed and turned for about 15 minutes. I couldn’t sleep. I was having tightness in my low back and a radiating pain that I remembered so vividly from my first birth. It came and went, but it kept me from sleeping.
At some point, I realized these were contractions. So, I started timing them.
6 minutes… 5 Minutes…. 6 minutes.. 4 minutes…
So, I got up and decided I would labor in the living room where I could be a bit more comfortable.
Should we go to the Birth House?
My husband felt like we should start heading to the birth house since it was a little over an hour away. But, I was in denial that I was actually in labor.
I wanted to be comfortable and wait it out at home… just a little longer.
At this point, my water had only broken an hour ago.. and in my mind, there was no way I was ready to leave for the birth house. I didn’t want to get there prematurely and on top of that, I didn’t want to wake up the midwife if I wasn’t ready.
I decided to curl my hair and put on some mascara to pass the time.
My contractions only continued to get closer and closer together. They were maybe 3-4 minutes apart. Now, my husband wasn’t giving me an option… he wanted to leave for the birth house.
We Called the Midwife
I wanted to be sure she thought I was ready to come in. The fact that I was feeling fine, just needing to breathe through contractions made me question if I was ready to leave.
She left it up to my husband.. and of course, he wanted to leave 40 minutes ago… so we got on the road.
Once we got into the car, contractions became more intense, but I was feeling just fine between them. Because my first labor was so long, my husband wanted to stop at McDonald’s and get food before we got there.
If you know me, I hate the smell of McDonald’s… so I was not overly thrilled that we were stopping. But I reassured him I was doing just fine… even though contractions kept getting closer and closer.
Arriving at the Birth House
By the time we got to the Birth House, my contractions are 2-3 minutes apart. But, I was still feeling good.. especially between contractions.
My midwife immediately began doing counterpressure on my back, which was pretty helpful. In between the next contraction, she checked how far along I was….. and I was a 6. But as she was doing the exam, I had another contraction and she realized I was actually an 8.
She told us that we would have our baby girl in the next 3 hours.
Then I needed antibiotics.
At my 36 week prenatal appointment, I tested positive for GBS, so I opted to have antibiotics. I didn’t want to risk having another NICU baby, so I decided to play it safe.
Sitting still for 15 minutes wasn’t easy. I was pretty uncomfortable while I had the IV in.
Contractions started to become INTENSE
My contractions were becoming really powerful. I could no longer pay attention in-between contractions. The only thing I wanted to do was sway with my husband.
I highly recommend having your husband go through a birth course with you (I absolutely love the Built to Birth and Mama Natural Birth Course). This really helped me to have a calm and relaxed labor. I trusted that my husband knew what was best and he often would remind me of things, like how to breathe.
I need to push
Out of nowhere, I got the sudden urge to push. I really wanted a water birth, so my midwife began filling up the tub for me. Before it was even full, I was jumping in.
Side note: I highly recommend your own birth pool. I loved being in the water but didn’t love being in a traditional tub. It was pretty uncomfortable.
Anyhow, my midwife checks me again and says I am a 10.. but I needed to take it slow. Before the next contraction, she was coaching me on how to push.
But to my surprise, my body began pushing without me trying. I couldn’t stop it.
Is that her head?
After just 5 minutes of pushing, my midwife exclaims “that’s her head! One more push and you will birth her shoulders.”
Sure enough, after one strong push… my baby girl was earthside!
The cord was wrapped around her neck
As I went to grab her, my midwife firmly told me to stop. She unwound the cord and placed her on my chest. After a few seconds, she began to cry. It was the most beautiful sound in the world.
We were able to spend those first minutes just getting to know each other. My husband and I were in awe of our precious baby girl.
It’s crazy how one moment you are experiencing some of the most intense pain of your life and in the next, you are so in love that you forget all about labor.
After about 20 minutes, I was ready to birth the placenta. Which after birthing a baby is barely even noticeable.
Did I tear?
After getting out of the tub, the midwife needed to check and see if I tore. I was pretty sure I did because of how quickly my body pushed her out.
I was relieved to find out that I hadn’t torn AT ALL.
After I got all cleaned up, my husband brought me our daughter, so we could do some skin-to-skin and hopefully start breastfeeding.
After about 20 minutes she latched
Since my first daughter was immediately taken to the NICU, I didn’t get to experience the first latch. It’s amazing how instinctive this moment is for both mom and baby.
It was nice to be able to nurse for a bit and soak up my beautiful baby girl.
Let’s Go Home
About 2 hours after birth, we were discharged and finally got to bring her home
From the time my water broke until she was born was just 5 hours…. My body didn’t know how to comprehend how fast this all happened! Looking back, I see that God knew her little heart wouldn’t be able to withstand much longer than that.
He is so good.. so gracious.. and truly wants what is best for us. It’s important that we trust Him through the entire process because He knows exactly what we need!
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