I feel like the only time I blog is when I have a baby, so most probably this will be my last one until next year:D Just kidding…maybe. I really want to be more intentional about blogging, so thank you for your time and patience!
Ok, so it’s taken me almost a year to finish writing this! So, with no further ado, Ada Lynn’s Birth Story! Ada’s birth story is nuts. I kind of don’t even know where to begin. I’ll start with the week before we met her.
Sunday morning, January 31, I woke up and felt so weird. I was nauseous and dizzy and couldn’t stop cleaning… I was nesting to the max! I called my midwife and she decided to come check on me. Everything looked great, I was in tiptop shape and I asked her to go ahead and check me just to see if I was dilated at all. To our surprise, I was a 6! I wasn’t having any contractions that I could feel so she just told me to let her know if I progressed at all. We decided that on my next visit we had scheduled for the following Thursday, February 4th, and Rebecca would strip my membranes to get things going.
On the way home I started feeling my contractions but they weren’t painful at all. They just felt like I was flexing my abs… She told me to get home, eat some cucumbers to keep my blood pressure at bay, to get in the bath and lay on my side and rest. So there I was with my giant belly, my cucumbers, and a nice hot bath… I promise it wasn’t as romantic or pervy as that sounded:D By the time she arrived at was fully dilated!!! Like a 10!!! Like, a 10, 10! What?! How?! I thought I would at least feel some pain by this point?! We were sure we would be meeting Ada any moment. Well, long story, short… We did not…
So, come Thursday I felt great, just very ready to meet our little lady. The whole drive I just rubbed my belly and kept thinking about being a family of 5 and how excited Norah and Charlie were to meet their little sister! Norah kept telling me she was going to cath Ada and pull her out, but I’ll talk more about that later! So Rebecca decided to check me before stripping my membranes and I will never forget the look in her eyes:D She looked at me with these huge eyes and was like, “Amanda! Amanda! How are you not feeling these contractions?! You’re having one right now!” She then looked at her apprentice, looked back at me and was like, “Um, you’re dilated to a 9!” What the what?! I was dilated to a 9, baby was at a +1 station and I wasn’t feeling my contractions?! SO weird. We decided stripping my membranes would not be necessary and that we would head home and she would head over a little later to deliver Ada that day!!!
We would fill the tub, drain the tub, repeat…I am pretty sure we tried every midwife trick there is. After trying everything from essential oils, a full bottle of chaulophyllum, a few different herbs, 2 different meds, rest, squats, and even playing tag with Norah and Charlie around the house, nothing seemed to get my contractions strong enough. Most labor inducing techniques involve ripening the cervix but I was fully dilated so it was like…what the heck is happening?! We decided the next step would be breaking my water… Welp, guess what? This didn’t work either!… Like, that bag was so thick we couldn’t pop it. My midwife encouraged me to eat lots of oranges with as much pericarp during my pregnancy as I could to strengthen . We joked that I shouldn’t have eaten that many since apparently it definitely made my bag of waters strong!
So, after a day full of trying to induce labor, laughter, good conversation, delicious pizza’s sent from a sweet friend in Colorado (Thanks Lacee!) we decided to call it a night. I remember Rebecca asking me what I felt like I wanted to do and just crying because I was so tired and so confused…Chris held me…Reminded me of how strong I was and that I had this…Rebecca held me and whispered encouraging words to me and then everyone came over, laid hands on me and prayed. It was amazing. I felt such peace and security and the presence of the Holy Spirit in such a cool way! Rebecca, her team, our photographer Courtney Unruh and one of my dearest friends Olivia all set up camp in the living room and said they weren’t leaving until Ada arrived. Having that many people choose to stay with me and support me was such an incredible feeling. I felt so loved!
One of my favorite things about home birth is the wonderful atmosphere and comfort that comes with just being in your home. There was no rush, no other women needing tended to and no agenda besides my comfort & Ada and I’s health. At one point in the day we all got starbucks and just hung out visiting by the birthpool:D Everyone involved had a wonderful sense of humor so the atmosphere just felt fun and relaxed the entire time. Rebecca’s team was made up of her two oldest daughters, (she has 11 children! #Goals) and her Apprentice, Angie. Her girls played with our girls and watching the incredible relationship that these teenage girls shared with their mother made em so excited for the relationship that my girls and I will share one day!3
I mentioned above how badly Norah wanted to help or at least witness the birth of Ada and I wanted this so badly too, but it just didn’t happen. After such a long day, we decided that maybe it would be best for Norah and Charlie to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the evening so Chris and I could get some rest and wake up ready to go! I was super bummed, but also felt like we needed to do it this way. The next morning I woke up, still dilated to a 10 and was beyond ready to meet our little lady!
Just like the day before, we tried all kinds of things until I was just so ready! We were determined to get my water to break so we decided to go to the bedroom and make it happen! Everybody huddled in my bedroom, I think at this point there were 8 of us, and when I was having a hard contraction, I was told to push! A few times of doing this and my water BURST! Like, sprayed me in the face and everyone around me kind of burst. I remember laughing, and then getting a contraction that was like the mother of all contractions! Up until this point, my contractions were almost painless. I would have a few minutes of some painful contractions followed by hours of nothing… It was emotionally so strange and draining because they would start to get a little more painful and I would think, “this is it! Here we go!” and then nothing. But this contraction, I knew she was coming and FAST!
I asked Rebecca and Chris to get me downstairs and back into the tub. I got in and there was another huge contraction! I was on my hands and knees and reached down and could feel Ada’s head. I remember Rebecca asking me to roll over and I was like, “Nope! Not happening!” She rolled me over herself and told me to push! Now, this was my third labor and I feel like after all this work and being dilated to a 10 for so long pushing would be so easy, but I’ve never had to push like this. Charlie was 2 painless pushes but this was like, no matter how hard I pushed, I felt like I needed to push harder! So with every fiber in my being and an amazonian style of screaming, I screamed and pushed and then… Rebecca told me to slow down! Slow down?! Ada was finally right there and I had to slow my pushing down?!
This is another area where I am so incredibly thankful for the extra time, care, consideration and attention that you receive with a homebirth midwife. Rebecca realized that Ada was coming out with a Nuchal hand. It’s not what it sounds like. Her hands were great! This just means that she was crowing with her hand on her head with her elbow bent out wanting to exit at the same time as her head! Think Burt Reynolds 1972 centerfold style. She was just wanting to arrive with extra class but this class is not so great for your lady biz, and we realized this was the reason my pushing was so dang hard!!! Rebecca used her sweet skills and gently pushed Ada’s hand and arm back while having me slowly push and I am happy to say that no vagines were hurt or torn in any way during this delivery!!! Woot woot!!! Thanks Rebecca! After that, I reached down and with one more push, pulled my sweet little Ada out and onto my chest!
I then remember something really special. My mom was there with me when I delivered Norah and Charlie but timing was a little off on this one and it didn’t work for my mom to be there this time. Sorry Mom! However, my best friend was there with me the entire time! I remember looking down at Ada again and looking up and meeting eyes with Olivia, both us with large tears streaming down our faces. And here I go again! It’s hard not to get emotional when I think about my friendship with Olivia. She is a true blessing and I’m just so thankful for her! I was there as she delivered her son Aymos at home and I remember looking into her eyes as she held her son for the first time and just feeling so proud of her and so amazed with her strength and the beauty of birth. In that moment, I knew how much she loved me, how proud of me she was and how much wonder she saw in me giving birth to Ada as well! It was just a special thing that I’ll never forget. Thank you Olivia!
I will never forget the sensation or that moment when each one of my ladies first laid on my chest! Reaching down and picking your own baby up and out of yourself and up onto your chest yourself in a sensation that is truly incredible! I exclaimed, “You’re here! You’re here!” I remember kissing her, looking at her hands which were so small in comparison to her sisters, and looking into her face and just being in awe of how perfect she was. Her pouty lips, her dimpled chin, her soft brown hair. I remember looking at Chris and smiling and having this funny sense of relief and while he didn’t say anything, in my head he was laughing and saying, “finally!”:D
After cuddling with Ada awhile, we got out of the tub and got settled in our bedroom. Our room was set up with all the necessities you might find in a hospital except way cozier! By this time, Chris had gone and picked up Norah and Charlie. I was so bummed they weren’t there when I delivered but looking back to the screams I screamed with the last few pushes, it was probably for the best! I was on the bed nursing Ada as the girls rushed in screaming, “She’s here! She’s here!”Norah jumped up onto the bed, put her hand on my cheek and said in the sweetest little voice, “I really wanted to pull her out… BUT YOU DID IT!” She was so proud! Her and Charlie huddled around us just smiling, laughing, and cooing about how much they loved their new little sister and how cute they thought she was!
Then we just got to cuddle up and love on one another while we watched all of Ada’s vitals taken.
I am so thankful for this incredible family of mine and for all if the incredible people who took part in lavishing us with love and care while we welcomed our sweet little Ada Lynn! Thank you so much toTruly You Midwifery Services and to everyone who prayed for us, encouraged us, supported and loved us throughout our pregnancy and welcoming Ada! This was one of the most incredible days of our lives. I can hardly believe that Ada is almost one. It doesn’t seem possible that this much time could have passed already.