Lumen’s Birth Story.

If you’ve been reading my posts, follow my Instagram, or are my Facebook friend, you know I’ve been excited and impatient about my second daughter being born. The end of my pregnancy, I was just TOO excited. I couldn’t wait to hold her. But I thought I’d be pregnant for longer than I was.

38 weeks!

38 weeks!

Maybe baby girl picked up on my impatience, or maybe she was just impatient herself. At 38 weeks pregnant exactly, I surprisingly went into labor. That day I was feeling a little weird at first. I decided to take a walk, drink a couple glasses of raspberry leaf tea, and help with our horses, hoping I’d get things moving. I really didn’t expect much to happen because, even though I had noticed my belly hanging much lower and the pressure was getting very annoying, I didn’t have any sign that anything was happening. *TMI ahead* I hadn’t lost my plug. I wasn’t dilated when I was checked at 36 weeks, I didn’t even have any softening. I thought this baby was going to make me wait forever.

That night, while dishing up my plate for dinner to be exact, I experienced a strong contraction, that was in my lower stomach. I assumed it was a mixture of Braxton Hicks and stretching. I went about my night normally. I lay in bed watching Walking Dead, chillin’. I had a few more irregular contractions. No biggie, I had been having practice contractions from 14 weeks. I didn’t think anything of it. Later that night I started getting more and decided to time them. They were 20 minutes apart, 15, 12, back to 20, then 45, then a whole hour went by without one. I tried taking a shower to see if they would go away. I still had them, but they felt a lot better in the water. After I got out I was convinced this wasn’t the real deal because they were so irregular. I stayed in bed listening to my Hypnobirthing tracks, breathing through these “practice contractions” that happened to be getting stronger. I managed to fall asleep for an hour, then woke back up around 2 something am with more contractions, still irregular, but strong. I had a couple that were 20 minutes apart, then jumped to 10 minutes apart. I had only a couple that were 10 mintutes apart, but the strength grew. At one point I tried getting on my hands and knees and swaying my hips. But it just felt worse, and I couldn’t get up until it was over. At that point I decided maybe I should wake my mom, and just let her know what’s been going on. Real or not, she should just be aware. So I woke her and assured her she didn’t have to jump up and rush to the hospital or anything. However, right when I woke her up (3am), my contractions went from a couple at 10 minutes apart, straight to 2-3 minutes apart, strong and suddenly regular.

I stayed calm, did my breathing. I wasn’t afraid. In fact, I don’t know if it had even hit me at that point that I really was in labor. I even did a little bit of make up before leaving. At 3:30 am we headed to the hospital. The whole ride was not easy. We drive a large Ford, diesel, with bad breaks and barrings, which causes the truck to bounce and shake way more than it should. A rough ride indeed. I was having regular very strong contractions, with slight pressure, the whole way there. I cannot recall how long it actually took to get there. But I’m sure we made it there around 4 am. I walked through the doors with my mom, and stopped to hold the wall while I swayed to a contraction. A male nurse with a pretty sweet beard came out and helped me into a wheelchair. I was hoping to walk, but looking back, it would have taken forever to get there if I were walking. We made it to labor and delivery and I got into a room quickly. I didn’t want to be hooked up to everything the whole time, and the nurse assured me it would only be 20 minutes (liar). I changed into the robe, and climbed into the bed and was hooked up to the monitor. Also, I had tested positive for the Group B Strep, so I had to get an IV for antibiotics. My contractions continued, stronger. I was informed my doctor wasn’t on call and couldn’t come in. I was disappointed because I didn’t want to have to explain or defend my birth plan to someone new. Luckily, the wonderful doctor who was there, kindly read my birth plan sheet, nodded, and seemed pleased.The nurse wanted to check me to see how far along I was. Now listen ladies, if you’re going to have someone check your cervix while you are having strong contractions every 2 minutes, make sure they don’t have the worlds shortest fingers. I swear she was purposely digging around in there just to torture me. Anyways, I was 4 cm. 4 cm! I expected to be much farther by then. At that point, I admit, I said, “I don’t know if I can do this naturally thing if this is what it’s like at only 4 cm”. But, I swallowed my bitchassness, and declined the pain medication. 5 minutes later I was checked again because I was having more pressure. 7 cm. In 5 minutes I went from 4 to 7 cm. It was all going so fast. I remember this was the point where the contractions got to their worst. I stayed in my zone, and didn’t let myself tense up. I did start vocalizing a little, because for me, it helped with the pain. Not to mention my body started shaking uncontrollably. I remember holding my right hand up for some reason. The nurse held it. I never squeezed her hand or put any pressure on it at all. I kept as relaxed as I could manage. Suddenly, with every contraction my body was pushing itself. Everyone always says, “Once your body is ready to push, there’s no stopping it”. SO TRUE. I never purposely pushed throughout my labor. I let my body do whatever it wanted to do all on it’s own. The doctor kept speaking in hypnobirthing terms, which made me much more comfortable because it told me she had experience with this kind of birth and approved. She just sat and waited for my cues, encouraging me with birth affirmations I had been listening to for the past weeks to prepare for this moment. I was so grateful she was there. At that point, I held up my hand and cued the doctor over because something was happening. She checked and said, “Baby is right there”. I knew it. My step dad exited the room, and my mom joined me by my right side. I first tried the side laying position while my body pushed my baby down. It wasn’t very comfortable for me, and the awesome doctor (I’ll be referring to her as the awesome doctor from now on), read my mind and asked to put the squat bar on. It was quickly assembled and they helped me up. My body felt weak and shaking. I could hardly hold myself up. I managed to get my arms around the bar, holding my weight. I think I was on my left knee, while I rigged my right leg up on the side of the bar, holding it in place so it would stay out of the way. I loved that I wasn’t being told what to do. I did what my body wanted to do and what I felt I needed to. That was when shit got real. Every contraction, my baby was moving down and I was vocalizing. It felt like I was being loud, but my mom said I really wasn’t loud at all. I did remain calm at all times. I wasn’t afraid. There was only 4 or 5 pushes until the ring of fire graced me with it’s presence. The awesome doctor asked if I’d like to feel her head. I wanted to but replied with, “I can’t let go”. I was trying very hard to hold my body up. My eyes were closed the whole time. Within seconds I was feeling my baby coming out into the world, and before I knew it I was swooping her up into my arms with everyone telling me to be careful of the cord. I lay back with my just born baby on my bare chest, and kept telling her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. I was amazed. Amazed that I had really just done that.

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October 21st, at 5:53 am, Lumen Jane was welcomed into the world.

First latch!

First latch!

She laid on my chest, and naturally began to breastfeed when she was ready. Her father wasn’t able to make it to the birth, so I was lucky enough to cut her umbilical cord after it was finished pulsating. When she finished eating her first meal, she was weighed and bathed. A dainty 5 lbs 14 oz. And 19 1/2 inches long.

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Because it happened so fast, I didn’t get all the antibiotics that I was suppose to receive before she came. So, I had to stay two nights. I really didn’t want to be trapped at the hospital, but the nurses were so kind, helpful and respectful, it wasn’t that bad.

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After I gave birth, the awesome doctor held my hand and told me I was amazing. She paid me what was probably the best compliment I had ever received. “Most girls your age don’t have their shit together to have a hypnobirth”. Then continued to call me a “dream patient”. As you can imagine, I was over the moon. 

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I was blessed with an awesome birth, and awesome people around me.

Phew! Birth Plan, Check!

Today I had my check up/ NST. I was a little nervous because I would be presenting my birth plan, or what I named “My Birth Preference”.

I thought it would be a little too natural for my doctor, but as she was reading, she kept saying, “Mhm, Perfect”. Which made me feel better. I told her that if there was anything she wasn’t comfortable with I would like to discuss it. The only thing she asked for me to change slightly, was the part where I asked to not have an IV. She said it’s if fine for me to self hydrate, but she would like to have an IV put in, but not hooked up. Just in case something happens and I need medication or hydration through it, because it might be harder to get one in place if I were say, to hemorrhage. Which I understand completely, and agree. I would rather have a ‘just in case’ than have to get poked a bunch in an emergency. 

But, besides that, she agreed to everything! I was worried because a lot of what I asked does take up more of her time. But she is awesome and was happy with everything! 

What exactly did I put in my birth plan?

  1. Natural birth, no pain medications and avoiding all unnecessary interventions.
  2. Because I am Hypnobirthing, I ask for a very peaceful, calm environment. Dimmed lights, soft speaking, limited interruptions and as much alone time as I can be allowed.
  3. Self hydration.
  4. I would like to be allowed to move around as I feel comfortable.
  5. I would Like to deliver in a position comfortable for me.
  6. I will be delaying clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord until after it has stopped pulsing.
  7. Immediate skin-to-skin or “Kangaroo Care” is very important to me.
  8. I would like to delay all newborn procedures until after we have had time to bond and nurse.
  9. Baby will be exclusively breastfed and will not have any formula or pacifiers.
  10. Baby will room with me at all times.

Honestly, I could ask for more. But these are the things I found very important or a “must have” for this labor and birth experience. I’m so glad I can feel confident that I will be able to have the birth I want without being opposed. It’s a major weight off of me for sure!

Memory lane and a glance at the future.

Rolling up on 2 years of being a mother is making me realize just how fast time goes by. Yes, I’m only going to be on year 2 of parenthood, but it seems like just yesterday I was getting up five times a night and dressing a human that couldn’t hold their own head and seemed too tiny to even exist. I was a mess. A confused, sleep deprived, scared, mess.

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I took this picture when Rayne was still a very new baby. She was maybe a month old. But possibly not even that old. Obviously, I had not been getting any sleep.

This picture makes me very thankful that Rayne usually sleeps through the night now and my only issue with sleep is just insomnia, or “momsomnia”.

But there is a lot of things I’ll miss now that Rayne isn’t so new. For example: Her first smile.

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This is literally her first real smile. How lucky was I to get a picture of it!?! 

I loved those firsts. New expressions and milestones. And seeing that smile made the whole world melt away for a brief moment. I suffered from postpartum depression for the first 8 months of her life. But when I see that smile, it all makes sense and everything is right. I know, that sounds so cheesy and gross. That’s so not me. But that’s the truth. All those disgusting mushy parent sayings are true.

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Rayne did a lot of things before she could even notice what was going on. She went on her first road trip at 12 days old. Then her first motocross race when she was 15 days. In this picture we were up in the woods camping out of the day, I think she was around 3-4 months.

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But one thing was always for sure: we’re close. I think that’s one of the perks of being a single mom. It’s the two of us against the world. It’s a bond that can’t even be explained.

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My daughter may not always be the sweet, quiet little baby that is in this above photo, but she’s my daughter. I love everything about her. Every smile, every fit, every “mommy” I hear in my ear in the morning. It’s all apart of the best thing to ever happen to me. It’s not easy and it never will be. But I now have a purpose in the world, a reason to be here. And she’s quite the pistol. 

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Even though it’s quite daunting knowing the years will fly by and before I know it she’ll hate my guts, be out on her own, then love me again, then I’ll die, I know there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. 

The love of my life from day one & Toddler dorm room.

In August of this year, Rayne will be 2 years old. In the past 6 months, she has become a whole new child.

August 23rd 2010, I went into labor. I was 38 weeks pregnant. I started having contractions around noon. They were getting more often throughout the day. I was getting so nervous. One of my closest friends came over to see me and was super excited that that could potentially be “the day”. As my contractions were getting more intense, and closer together, I got more nervous. I kept saying “5 more minutes”. Then my contractions were 5 minutes apart, so everyone declared it was time to go. I wasn’t feeling a lot of pain. Most of my contractions were just discomfort and pressure. But they were consistent. We got to Portland Adventist at 7pm. I walked into labor&delivery and told them my contractions were 5 minutes apart, they took me into my room. Which, funny enough happened to be the same room another friend of mine had given birth to her son a few years prior. I had to take a UTI test, then they got me hooked up to all sorts of things. I was scared. I remember them asking me questions, and before I knew it my contractions started getting really painful.

The nurses concluded that I had a terrible UTI and that was the cause of my contractions, not labor. So they hooked me up to some sort of drip to help and that would “for sure” stop the contractions. I disagreed, because I had never had any symptoms or signs of a UTI, and I just knew I was really in labor. But I went with it.

Soon my contractions were so painful I could hardly breathe. To top it all off, the belt that measures contractions, wasn’t working. It wasn’t keeping track of them or measuring them. So the nurses didn’t know how much pain I was actually in. They said I couldn’t have an epidural until I was 4cm dilated. I was 1 1/2cm. My contractions were very close together and extremely painful. I was completely out of it.

The nurse came in and took my temperature, I had a fever. She also brought it to my attention that Rayne hadn’t been moving as much as they would like, but her heart rate was rather high. They worried that she had contracted my UTI and fever. At that point I started to cry. I was in so much pain and so worried about my little girl. The nurse said I still couldn’t have an epidural but she could give me something else to help. I remember asking, “Will it take this pain away?”. She said, “No, but it’ll make it so you don’t care anymore”. I agreed to it. She put it into my IV. In a matter of maybe 2 minutes, I felt it. I could feel the pressure and pain, but I couldn’t complain about it. I was seriously doped up on I don’t even know what. I lost all sense of time. I didn’t know what was going on, who was in the room, or what anyone was doing or talking about. I remember them bringing in an ultrasound tech to check on Rayne. They wanted to make sure she was okay, and see whether or not they needed to do a c-section. I laid there motionless. Totally high. I heard a phone ringing..and ringing and ringing. The room was all dark. I didn’t know who was in the room besides the nurse and Ultrasound tech. But I started mumbling for them to “shut that phone up”. I can’t remember much after that until the nurse came in to check my progress. I was finally 4cm dilated. She called the anaesthesiologist and he was there rather quickly from what I remember. I remember him trying to explain everything to me. I wasn’t listening but said “okay”. I laid on my left side, hunched around my belly. I wasn’t allowed to move at all. This made it more difficult when the contractions hit. They were very close together. I think 1 minute apart, at most. I held onto the side bar of the bed and tried my best to focus on whatever I could find, and breathe. It took him longer than expected. As I was laying on my side, I felt a pop…then my bed filled up with wetness. “Uhh…My water just broke”, I said nonchalantly. It literally felt like a water balloon had popped inside my uterus. After he set up my epidural, which had been at least a half hour, They rolled me over. She checked my progress again, 8cm. From 4cm to 8cm within and hour. Finally I was getting somewhere. And now I could relax without pain. They shut off the light and let my try to nap until push time. I remember drifting in and out of light sleep. I was feeling pressure that was new. It was time. I was nervous. But really excited. I called the nurse and told her. She checked…yep..her head was right there.

She called my doctor and told her to hurry. I had my mom on one side of me, and Rayne’s father on the other. I was pain free and fully coherent. She said it was time for a couple practice pushes. I did a couple…then she told me to stop because she was about to come out and we had to wait for the doctor. I started laughing….that didn’t help the situation. She began to laugh, too, and told me I was about to laugh her out. In my opinion, that would be a great way to enter the world! But we had to wait, she said. Soon the doctor came and had me push. It was about 5-10 minutes before she was laying on my belly crying. 3:10 am, August 24th 2010. They said the same thing to me as the doctors and nurses said to my mother, “You’re made for having kids!”, I didn’t know how to take that.

I looked at her and couldn’t help but have the biggest smile possible across my face. I looked up at her father, we both had tears in our eyes, but we didn’t cry. I looked down at her and said, “Hey”. She stopped crying and calmed down. He cut her cord, then they took her and set her on a table to take measurements and weigh her. 6 lbs. 5.9oz. and 19 inches long. They didn’t tell me until afterwords, but she was born double corded. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice. But she was completely fine, and totally healthy.

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My little girl was RIGHT THERE. In front of me. This whole time you’re pregnant, expecting a baby, seeing ultrasounds and feeling her move around, but it never really sinks in or seems real. Now she was real. They handed her to me and I started to feed her. The smile couldn’t leave my face.

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After a sleepless night, there were many people coming in to see us. People trying to sell us stuff and take our photos. Everyone that came in said I had an amazing glow. I felt it.

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Now, March 12th 2012, My daughter is half way to 2 years old and growing up before my eyes. She’s so independent and sassy. She’s a “big girl” now. Using the grown up toilet, Sleeping in a toddler bed, and as of today has no more baby toys, but has a pull-out princess couch and princess tent. It’s like a dorm for a toddler. She walks around doing what she pleases. She likes to do things on her own terms. She doesn’t like being told what to do, or forced to do anything. It has to be when she wants to do it and how she wants to do it. She is a mini me. Every personality trait in her, I know is from me. Everything that drives me nuts about her and at the same time makes me so proud of her, is everything in myself that makes me feel the same.

I am so proud of her already. I know she’ll continue to blow my mind with how blessed I am to be her mother.

Here are some pictures from today when Rayne walked into her newly upgraded bedroom/hangout.

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Image And this is what she decided to do with the activity space. : /