Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lilly Love {a birth story}

I woke up snuggling Lilly today,
well actually, she was snuggling me. Her legs were draped over my back, keeping me warm. 
Snuggling is my favorite, I don't care how it works.
She's turning four, and she is the love of my life....
along with my other loves: Max, Molly, Nick, Euly, Ceci and my dear, sweet husband.

Lots of love.

I love being a mom... being their mom.

I was at the park the other day, and Lilly was making her rounds visiting with the other moms and one young mom yelled over to me, "Is this your daughter?" "Yes" "She just told me that you are awesome." So I yelled back over to Lilly that she was awesome too. 

Love. I just love it!

I never imagine my babies before they are here, not during the months of pregnancy, I just can't,  I am unable to visualize that there is a baby inside.  I may know it's a baby, and communicate and touch and talk to, but until that moment after that baby emerges do I really believe it's truly a baby, my baby. I am wonderfully slammed with love at first sight. A real breath taking realization, feeling, awareness.

I have to hold that squiggly ball of flesh in my arms right away!  Snuggle, never want to let go. 

It's the best experience ever. Lilly's is probably the last time I feel that experience. So, here is Lilly's love story birth story.

Since I am getting up there in years, and mainly I didn't know a midwife that would deliver at my home anymore (we moved since last baby, last midwife in Texas had moved off while I was in Georgia...) a birth center wasn't far away, and it made sense to trust a birth center this time. I found a lovely group of midwives to be by my side during my sixth pregnancy. 

All went well with the pregnancy.  We had to watch the blood pressure, and thankfully didn't have to worry about gestational diabetes since this pregnancy I hated sugar the moment of her conception. I craved good foods, mostly protein and vegetables, and so had no trouble with weight gain. Wonderfully healthy pregnancy. My stomach muscles were not too happy being stretched again, my back was tired, and I needed lots of naps.

Ever since Nick's pregnancy and delivery (birth story in progress, long story short- maybe two weeks or more past due, ten pounds twelve ounces) , my body and I agreed, any future babies would not wait, but come as soon as the midwife gave the green light at around 37 weeks, we would have this baby. Don't ask me the secret, maybe red raspberry leaf tea helped, or my body just knew we weren't going there again. So at about 36 1/2 weeks, on a Friday night, Craig and Molly has just returned from a trip to Costco,  we decided to watch a movie, at ten at night. Both these events should have signaled some thing's up, because besides naps, I also relished in going to bed early and sleeping late.

Just as I sat down on the ottoman, and my water broke, ..a little, not completely. My heart leaped a beat, and excitement ran in my veins faster than my mind processed. I knew we would see a baby soon.

"Kids go to bed..
Craig call the midwife,
Molly grab my stuff!"

The midwife thought we should wait to come in until contractions started.  Here's the problem with new caretakers each pregnancy, they don't have your history in mind, and think oh, all moms think it will happen fast, haha. We have a history of quick labors. We end up surprising them and making Craig nervous. 

I had some look in my eye that told Craig, get in the car and go.
Midwife said she'd meet us there at midnight. I said let's get in the car and drive around the parking lot until she showed up. (Birthing center, not open 24 hours). Every bump in the road was painful, excitement was the overriding feeling, thought and emotion.

The midwife drove up as we did, and we all rushed in, flipping on lights. We met the night midwife on duty, I hadn't met her before. But there is a quality in woman that aids in delivery which creates an immediate bond, building trust, excitement in sharing this miracle.

She review my chart, and the last lab test revealed something that needed and iv before delivery. I don't remember what it was, but agreed because although contractions hadn't hit bad, I knew we didn't have time to waste. So iv done as quick as possible, then I walked into birthing room.

I had remembered the birthing room had a welcoming southern style bed, and I had noticed the tubs before during my visit, but after midnight, in the dark quiet room, the lights were on the tub the the center of the room, calling me-  cue angelic singing. 

I felt a wave of nausea, quickly emptied my stomach, and asked if I could go ahead and get in the tub.
Still no major contractions, I'm sure she thought, sure, lady, you'll be here for hours, but warmed the water for me. I didn't wait for the tub to be more than a few inches deep and I settled in. Something I didn't notice in my birthing room tour were the foot hold and hand holds in the tubs design, which proved most helped in the next moments.

Once in the water, cue serious contractions.  Craig and Molly were there with me. Craig has learned what I need during labor is to know he is there, to let me hold and squeeze his strong hand during contractions, and keep conversation to a minimum. 
Molly was 13 (3 days from her 14th birthday). Since she probably will be a mom some day, it would be a good experience to see labor. And it was. I would moan, or yell with a contraction,  then apologize or explain to her that I was ok, not to worry. Not sure what she was thinking. 

It didn't last long and I asked the midwife if I could push. She seemed surprised, but said, sure! Not many pushes and that baby shot across the tub, not really, but I felt like she should have.

I couldn't get her in my arms fast enough. 

She was fair and had a touch of red in her hair. The midwife exchanged out the water, and let me relax holding her in the warm water. 

Heavenly moments floating on a cloud.

I decided to get out and try the bed for nursing, get cleaned up a bit. And then hunger pains hit. This is wee hours of the morning, my darling hero goes out in search of food and brings back a breakfast feast. I remember pancakes and bacon and syrup. Sugar hate was over, bring on the syrup! 
With a full belly, I was starting to feel sleepy and asked if I could go home. The midwife answered, sure! So at 4 am, we were tucked back in the car, headed home with our sleepy precious baby.

It was the most efficient four hours of my life.

After the thirty minute drive home, we were greeted by Max at the back door, he had been too excited to sleep. The other kids woke to welcome their new sister.

Days of joy followed.

 and followed...
Motherhood is the best. It's my reason, my purpose in life, and in return I receive many joys and gifts along the journey of life. You know how people will ask (after you've had your first two kids)  are you done? Well, after you get a few gray hair and wrinkles,  that question seems more like a command. I would love to have another baby. But that phase of my life seems to be passing. What better experience is there in life than participate with God to bring another life into this world? And that isn't just some random some body, it is part you and part your husband, a formula for instant love and bonding. 

Happy birthday my sweet little Lilly. I am so thankful you are here!

I'm linking Lilly's birth story at Grace's Camp Paton link along with ones I wrote for Max, Molly and Eulalia.


  1. Oh, how I loved this!
    Your words are straight from your heart...
    Thank you for sharing.
    My own baby is 4, and I too, am beginning to realize that she is most likely our last blessing.
    My heart aches with that knowledge...
    But it helps to meet other mothers like yourself that are experiencing the same emotions.
    Meanwhile, I immerse myself in the love of the four amazing souls God entrusted to us.
    And I have yet to write a birth story...I think you have inspired me to give it a try!
    Have a cozy day!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Billie Jo. It is hard to think of Lilly being the last, but then I am also ready for the new freedom having my little one grow independent.

      I love hearing about others' birth stories. I hope you write yours. It's funny how so many detail of those special days remain.
      God bless you day!

  2. What a breathtaking story, what precious insights. It was a privilege reading your birth story and your thoughts about motherhood. Thank you; it was most generous of you to share.

    Easter blessings!