Where do I begin? I suppose our birth story begins right around 37 weeks. I began having contractions that I originally assumed were Braxton Hicks. They were consistent and strong so we made the decision to go into triage (those of you who are local understand the 222 trouble lately so we didn’t want to wait too long to get in). Long story short, it was a false alarm. Fast forward a few days and I’m still experiencing contractions, but also intense back pain. We went into triage again, again it was a false alarm. The following day, contractions are still strong and consistent, but this time we wait to be seen in the office. The car ride is misery and when we finally get there, I am bent over in so much pain. I will shorten the story as best I can to spare you the details. The midwife checked me and I was barely dilated. After more questions and examining, she suspected something related to the kidney or bladder and sent me over to triage…..my third visit in a week. This time, they ordered an ultrasound of my kidneys and bladder and discovered I had Hydronephrosis, or a swollen kidney. This explained all my pain and they suspected my body was contracting as a reaction to the pain. It took about a week and a half to recover, but I was finally feeling okay again. Then, two days before my due date, contractions started again. Back to triage we go. Again, they sent me home. The next day, I cleaned the house top to bottom - like on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor kind of cleaning. I couldn’t sleep that night because the contractions were getting stronger. Ben woke up for work at 5:00 and could tell things were picking up. He left for work and told me to keep him updated.
I did not want to get sent home from triage again so I did everything I could to stop the contractions. I took a warm bath, chugged a ton of water, laid down and put my feet up, but alas, they were getting much more intense and close together. I labored as long as I could, but when Jackson began to appear worried about me, I knew I had to make the call. The midwife told me to come in for a labor check. Ben was ready to leave work, but wouldn’t make it home in time to get me in to see the midwife. Lucky for me, I am blessed with sweet friends and family in my life and one of these friends didn’t hesitate to jump in her car and head over. She was at my house in less than ten minutes, packed up the boys and started driving us in. She was timing my contractions the whole ride and by the time we arrived, they were a solid three minutes apart and I was not able to talk through them. She dropped me at the door and took the kids to play at the mall for a bit. Ben was on his way so I just went in to get started. Fast forward a bit, I was 5 cm and fully effaced! I broke down in tears just relieved to not be sent home again. They brought Ben back to me when he arrived and off to triage we went again.
It took some time for a delivery room to open up and for them to get my IV started so there I was in triage breathing through contractions as best I could, but I was so ready for that epidural. Once I got to my room, got the epidural and was checked, I was 7 cm. The midwife broke my water and then we waited and rested. My nurses (shout out to the awesome nurses at Women & Babies!!!) had been with me from the start of their shift and would be leaving at 7:00 so the running joke was that we had to get her out by then so they could meet her.
It was probably around 6:30 I started feeling lots of pressure and let my nurse know. It was time! I was 10 cm and ready to go! The midwife was with another mama at the time so she told my nurses to help me with a practice push. Ben was on my right and my nurse was on my left. Here we go….I began pushing, but immediately was met with wide eyes from both of them and being told firmly to “Stop, stop pushing.” Apparently, Isabel was ready to come out and didn’t want to wait any longer. (She had made her appearance during that practice push, but we didn’t have our midwife in the room yet). Our midwife came in and quickly got ready. I had to breathe through the next contraction which proved to be very challenging. Then when the midwife gave the go ahead, I gave a big old push and Isabel joined us…at 7:01….just in time to meet the sweet nurses that had supported me all day. After pushing for over two hours with each of the boys, one push was a pleasant surprise. She was absolutely perfect and hung out on my chest for the next hour.
We arranged for the boys to come in right away to meet her and let me just say, there is nothing sweeter as a parent than watching your children become big siblings. Jackson was in awe and kept loving and kissing on her. Sawyer wanted to snuggle and hold her right away. The night will not leave my memory anytime soon. We were a finally a family of five and I can’t explain the feeling that rushed over Ben and I of feeling complete - as if Isabel was always meant to be ours, we just needed to trust God’s timing.
I have shared so much of our journey from our miscarriages to secondary infertility to my tumor and so much more. I pray that somehow our story can encourage another mama out there and if you are currently struggling with infertility or anything for that matter that is challenging to you and your family, please know we are praying for you. We are on the other end of it now, but going through it, I remember all to well the raw feelings and emotions. I am so grateful for the family God has blessed me with and I promise you that I am not taking a single day of it for granted.
Now for some fun…here are some shares from our hospital stay (phone pictures) and then some of my captures of Isabel in the studio.