Saturday, April 10, 2021

Juniper's birth story

She's here! We have a daughter. 
We both felt like God had a daughter for our family but it was still a special surprise to meet HER. 

So, her arrival story...
I was getting impatient. Not only because I wanted to meet our baby, and not be pregnant anymore.. but also because I really didn’t want to be induced. I wanted this baby’s entrance to the world to be natural and on its own time. 
With rainier my water broke at my 40 week dr visit. The hospital said that happened a lot with my dr specifically. This caused unnecessary chaos and pressure from the hospital and I wanted to avoid all of that. 
So, enter “trying all the things” but also trying to trust snd not stress. 
Eating dates, drinking tea, walking, curb walking, chiropractor, acupuncture, doula chats and so on. 

On Saturday 3/13 we headed to the park so Rainier could play and I could walk. My doula called and we talked about my discouragement and trusting what my body was doing. I really felt confident our baby would come right on time but that feeling would waver. 
In the afternoon I took another walk. I had a few signs labor might by near but I  didn’t want to get ahead of myself. We found a gift certificate for a local favorite restaurant (Rutabegorz) so we decided a last dinner out before baby would be nice. It would be the last indeed. At dinner I started to have some pains and I wondered if they could be contractions. By the time we got home we realized they were and they were about 6 minutes apart. We got our toddler in the bath and then a quick shower for me and while there my water broke. Now I knew labor indeed was happening but I was a bit in shock. 

It was my night to put the kiddo to sleep so I laid there with him having our night chats while realizing this was our last night as a family of three. Contractions were increasing in strength as I laid there. I texted my doula that it was time for her to come. Rainier and I snuggled and prayed as he drifted off to sleep. The timing of all of this was such a blessing. I had a lot of anxiety about leaving him for birth and being able to lay with him while he fell asleep was just what I needed. 
I snuck away and we began to gather things and called our team to come be with Rainier. 
Straight to the birth ball I went. My doula arrived to support me and began counter pressure. Our babysitters arrived and we all chatted and went over plans. As a bit of time passed contractions were more and more painful and getting closer together. After about an hour we decided it was time to head to the hospital. 

What an interesting drive. It’s dark. And quiet. And we’re driving to the hospital with all of the “wow this is happening.. we’re about to do this, again” thoughts. 
Charles pulled up to the endurance and was able to wheel me up. He then had to return to the parking structure to wait for word I was being admitted and he could come up (lovely Covid rules). Going through admittance and triage while having painful contractions was not fun. Charles did not have service in the lot and thankfully he pushed to be allowed up and they allowed him to come up right away. Things were progressing quickly. 
My widwife happened to be on duty that night. It was such a blessing to have the person I had built a relationship with be there for this birth. After checking on baby’s heart rate and answering all the questions it was time to head to a labor and delivery room. I had 3 contractions on the way that forced me to stop and focus through the pain. 
Once in our room I wanted to stay on the birth ball. Charles was doing counter pressure on my back and hips which brought some relief. They checked on Baby's heartbeat and wanted to have a monitor on us but we couldn’t keep it in position. They came back to try and find another option but while they were trying they decided things are moving fast and there wasn’t really time or a need. At some point they checked my dilation and told me I was a six. I was discouraged because the pain was so intense that I really just wanted to be done. This phase lasted for hours with Rainier. 

After that, each contraction was more intense than the previous. And with each contraction I straightened my upper body more as I felt our baby moving down further each time. It was clear that things were escalating and progress was being made. Pretty soon my midwife decided it was time to suit up and we would be ready for a baby soon. Charles was getting nervous I was going to push a baby out right on top of the ball.  They got me on the bed and the last place I wanted to be was laying on my back. I had a few contraction on all fours and when it was time to get into a push position I didn’t feel like I had to leverage on all fours. I rotated to a sitting up position and before I knew it they told me I indeed could push. I was so relieved. I knew I was close but this was such good news. I’m so thankful for how smooth and fast pushing was. After the first push they told me to reach down and feel my baby's head. We were close! Another push and her head and arm were out. One more and she was on my chest. This is the best feeling of power, relief and gratitude. It was over. I could hear my sweet baby cry and we did it. We were all waiting for Charles to announce what our baby was. Time went by with silence. My midwife whispered, "It's a girl" which Charles repeated the exciting news. While we felt we were having a girl he was a bit in shock. All these moments were so tender and sweet. Especially after such a fast and intense experience. Everything slows down. You're taking it all in and there is new life. And you get to lie back and soak up the best snuggle ever. 

Sweet Juniper Lisa was born March 14th at 12:38a at 8 pounds 6 ounces and 20.5 inches. 

I was 40 weeks 6 days and so thankful she decided to come in her own perfect timing. 

I am so glad birth is over but I also wish I could relive those final moments again and again. The accomplishment felt. The beauty of a new life. The quiet moments soaking her up. The first time her brother met her and I got to hug him again. The way my husband looks at her. His words of encouragement to me. I am deeply grateful. Thank you Jesus for this beautiful addition to our family. 

We love you, sweet baby girl.

Sidenote: I am still really sad we could have Taylor photograph her birth (like she did Rainier's). Charles captured beautiful moments but he wasn't able to be in them, too. If you can, hire a photographer!

Here are some of our special moments. 

ignore the fact that my pink mask makes me look like I have a weird chin

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