Posted on August 22, 2019

RaeLynn’s Birth Story

Family

The draft for RaeLynn’s birth story had been in progress since January of 2018.  A big part of the reason I couldn’t actually finish this post is because I was in denial about how my birth plan panned out. In finding out I was pregnant once again back in November, I realized just how much trauma and emotional pain I still had from my two cesarean births. I know that I need to write this birth story in order to heal and accept the way my beautiful babe was brought into the world. I’m a week overdue with our next baby girl, so I figure it’s about time we finished writing this story.

Let’s be honest, you can’t stick to a plan perfectly when it comes to children. We couldn’t plan when we would start having children, and we certainly couldn’t plan how it would all pan out either. I mean, I sure never thought I would adopt an 18 year old! {That story here} But the process is always so exciting and I enjoy the suspense of it all!

Little miss RaeLynn was a complete surprise. As one who had gone through years of trying to figure out how to balance my hormones, navigate the frustrations of PCOS and learn how Western Medicine is not always your friend, I never thought I would have a surprise baby. Our first pregnancy (Elliana) was also a surprise!

Just Say No…Or not.

I don’t like drugs. Even before I really got into researching the natural, more holistic lifestyle, I never liked the idea of my body being forced to do something unnatural or the thought of not being in control of my body during labor. With both of my pregnancies, I had hoped and prayed for a natural labor and delivery. My sweet Elliana was a breech bum (The Breech Bum Story) and didn’t want to turn, so her birth resulted in a cesarean. I had a terrible recovery and a bad reaction to the pain medication they gave me afterwards as well. (Flashback to when I hallucinated and saw Phil in a bunny suit.) I never, ever wanted to have another cesarean. I wish I had been better prepared for the possibility of a cesarean though. I didn’t even look into it at all. I also would have tried to find a doctor that was comfortable delivering breech. We live and learn!

“Overdue”

I’m not one who dislikes pregnancy. Don’t hate me. I even enjoy it all the way to the end, even if the end goes on for another 1 week and 2 days. In the weeks leading up to my due date I was so anxious with anticipation. I was super excited and believed I would truly have the birth I so desperately hoped for. August 23rd came and went. I remained hopeful that she would come on her own and declined offers of an induction from my OBGYN. At 40+6 I was at a 0 and 60% effaced.

RaeLynn's Birth Story

It’s Go Time

At 4:50am on Thursday, August 31st, I woke up to what I thought was me wetting the bed for the first time as an adult…but no, it was my water breaking! What I didn’t know at the time was that it was a slow leak. Baby wasn’t really ready. But the adrenaline was pumping so what did I do? Curl my hair of course! I had already cleaned the entire house top to bottom. I also let Phil know but he wasn’t as excited about waking up so early.

I arranged for my friend Lori to take Elliana so she got picked up later that morning. I did not call my doctor because I wanted to get labor really ramped up before letting them know as I wanted to avoid the hospital for as long as possible. The best part of this day was that we got a lunch date! I wore a random diaper (not kidding) that I had found in Elli’s room since my water was kind of a slow leak. (TMI?) And off we went on our hot date!

We grabbed lunch at Panera and laughed a whole lot. We really need to date each other more often. It looked like an intense storm was heading our way, so we made our way to the hospital.

3:40pm

We arrived to the hospital and everyone and their Mother was there to birth a baby. It took quite a while to get taken back to triage. A huge hurricane had hit Houston, Texas and we were getting a pretty nasty storm because of it. After they confirmed I was in labor, I was moved to Labor and Delivery. There were tornado warnings and sirens going off and they mentioned that if it got bad we would be moved to the hallway–wouldn’t THAT be fun?!

Contractions and Dilation

A few hours passed and I began singing a little song to my Instagram friends about needing some contractions and dilation to happen! I had some light Braxton Hicks type surges but that’s about it. Have I told you how much I dislike the hospital setting? There are so many distractions with people coming in and out, monitoring babe every 40 minutes for 20 minute increments, machines dinging, nurses telling you that you can’t eat (uhm yeah, no. Lalalalala I can’t hear you!) etc.

The following morning my Doctor came to visit and I allowed her to check me and I was a 2! After hours of walking the halls, nothing. I felt so defeated. 

This is where I will tell you to be sure to do a ton of research and have a support team that is VBAC friendly (not tolerant, but folks that want it with you!) and knowledgeable when it comes to stalling out in labor! There are so many positions and techniques that you can do to get baby in a better position and move things along. I sat on a ball. Walked around in circles because they had me hooked up to a monitor 24/7. That’s it. 

They started me on a small amount of pitocin which I have since learned is not good for a VBAC patient as it puts a lot of stress on the uterus. Noted. 

Here They Come!

Well the Pit got those contractions going alright! They were intense and they came on fast. For the rest of the day until about 3:30pm I labored. I was so incredibly peaceful and there were even moments where I could open my hands and just worship the God who had given us this incredible blessing. I was so thankful I was finally experiencing the birth I had wanted. 

RaeLynn's Birth Story

The contractions were right on top of each other and I thought for sure we were close to transition. My Doctor came in to check me once again, and immediately I could see the disappointment in her eyes as she looked up at me. While having an intense contraction, she told me I was a 2. 

I’m at a 2? What? After all of that? How is this possible? 

I felt completely defeated. Not like I had failed. I’m not sure I was really able to process all that I felt in that moment, especially with back to back contractions. I just wish we had more time. Again, in doing research since then, we did have more time. Baby was fine, I was fine. But this is where you want to be surrounded by people that know how to get baby engaged in the pelvis and get things progressing the way they should. 

From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean

I’m thankful my doula captured this shot of the moment we were told we would need to do a cesarean. I was in so much pain at the moment but the emotions took over. I just wanted more time. 

This is where I will say something that just needs to be said for the Mama’s out there who need to hear it. Of course everyone wants a healthy baby. That’s the goal. Healthy Mama, healthy baby. But the emotional and physical trauma that can come from a cesarean is not to be ignored. Those feelings must be validated and most importantly, they must be processed. It’s only in this 3rd pregnancy, while sitting on a birthing ball at 41 weeks and 3 days, that I can tell you how difficult a cesarean can be on a woman. It’s two weeks shy of her 2nd birthday and I’m just finally finishing this post. 

It has taken a while for me to process my emotions. After learning all that could have been done to help baby engage and realizing I shouldn’t have gone to the hospital until I was in active labor because the hospital setting can really stall things, I had regrets. I had no idea how much trauma I had from my 2 cesareans. Pass the Acceptance oil. Cause you know there is an oil for everything!

Acceptance

From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean

Well here it is. My signature makeup touch-up shot before going in. Because duh, your baby is totally going to remember the first time they met you and you better look good! 

After 2-3 tries placing my epidural, all the while having contractions, we were ready to go! I couldn’t wait to meet my baby girl. 

The surgery began and I got so excited when they told Phil to stand up and get some photos of his little girl, RaeLynn Jean. 

From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean

From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean

Hi. I’m RaeRae.

Sweet RaeLynn Jean you are a dream! They placed you on my chest immediately and I began to tell you over and over how much I love you. I sang Jesus Love Me and You Are My Sunshine to you while they finished the surgery. I thanked Jesus for your life.

The next day my dear friend Mel brought the girls to meet their sister. We had the nurse take RaeLynn down the hall so that Elli could call them and request they bring her in. Someone told me that presenting the baby to the siblings is a great way to do the first meet and greet.

From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean
From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean
From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean
From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean
From Natural Birth Plans to Cesarean

We are so thankful to my friend Mel McLellan for capturing these precious moments. I think photography is one of the greatest gifts to a family.

Birth Story Complete!

So her birth story is finally finished just in time for another one to be written. I cannot wait to experience this birth. I am hopeful that I will get the VBA2C that I so desperately want. No matter how I bring her into the world, I will have the peace knowing that I was prepared, educated, informed, and that I had the most loving and supportive team around me.

Let’s do this!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

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