Monday, April 10, 2017

The birth of Stellamaris

I wrote a post about her birth a while back but somehow Blogger didn't save it or my computer messed up. I wrote and then napped, so I could have magically deleted it as well. But nonetheless here is another go at writing her story.

Most of you know that Stellamaris was a rainbow baby, and that came with a lot of anxiety during her entire pregnancy about everything being okay. It still manifests itself sometimes in little ways here or there, but for the most part the fact that she is a live baby in my hands is amazing thing and I am trying my hardest not to take that for granted because I understand how much more at this stage in my live how everything is not a guarantee.

I am thankful for her and her sweetness, and just the moments where all her siblings are crowded around her wanting to hold her or interact with her or help with her. It keeps me going in the tired moments.  But back to her actual birth story.

The day before Stella was born, I was having mild contractions, nothing to write home about and I had been having some days and evenings with this for a while, so I didn't think much about it all. I took the kids to their homeschool class at the library all the while having contractions, but again, I could completely function with these, and I figured if it did get bad, I'd call my husband and he would come get us.

But then I took a nap, and by the end of the nap everything stopped. But this was later in the afternoon and I was at the point that I needed to have dinner done and I had nothing for dinner. So I packed the kids in the car to get some groceries. I was hungry for specific things that take out wasn't going to cure.  I should have thought twice about this, because it was awful.  My two older children were crazy in the store and especially the oldest.  It culminated with my oldest thinking that rolling a watermelon at full speed down the bagging isle of Aldi a good idea, which resulted in a broken watermelon, me in tears and grocery store employees taking pity on me saying I could get another and the security guard telling me it would be okay.  I was a hot mess along with my kids. Me on another day would have never attempted this, so I blame hunger and end of pregnancy craziness. I felt like at the moment that this fourth child was a very bad idea because well I couldn't even handle my seven year old.

I texted some close friends and they said to be gentle to myself and the kids and I ate dinner and Ben had consequences for his behavior. We all went to bed with no expectation for the following day to happen.

I woke up a bit after 4am with contractions, looking back it seems that the indicator for me to be in this is it labor is to wake up with contractions. It was enough that I could no longer sleep. So I did what I do in labor, I binge watch TV.  This time I watched Girl Meets World and hung out on the birthing ball downstairs. The house's pint sized inhabitants were still all sleeping soundly, so I thought it might be good to keep it that way.

I called the midwife at 6am to tell her what was happening, and then decided to take a shower, I was having a decent amount of back labor and showers have helped me in the past greatly with that. Post shower though I decided to call the midwife again because while it felt good to be upright in the shower, I quickly went to hands and knees which meant I was closer to transition. The midwife got here at little after 7:30am and she told me while that position felt better it was counterproductive because baby girl was on the opposite side from what she needed to be.

The kids woke up around this time but Keith shooed them downstairs and they actually complied. The only thing was that my MIL was running late to pick them up so they didn't get picked up until about 8:30.  For me, if my kids are present I tend to struggle to give full focus to the birthing process even if they aren't needing me.  Before they left they made sure we had our "It's a Girl" balloon we had gotten at the school baby shower, but afterwards I knew I could fully focus again.

So back to the birthing ball I went and before long I was fully dilated and ready to push.  There was an issue though because she was on the wrong side and so to push her out she needed to turn and she was sitting higher instead of actually descending like my other babies did.  I had to work ridiculously hard to fight against what I wanted to do to what baby needed me to do to get her out and it was seriously the hardest time I had every in the pushing phase post first baby. I remember after a push feeling like I was getting somewhere but then feeling her head go back up and I screamed "That is not okay." But somehow I got through it and 15 minutes later she was on my chest and healthy and alive. I think honestly I was stunned that all this had resulted in a live baby because last time it didn't.

It actually took me a few days to process everything and to realize how much I was holding my breath through her whole pregnancy. I think I questioned everything that probably I normally wouldn't have thought twice about.  But Stellamaris has been an amazing light to us after the darkness, and while she is a baby and does baby things, somehow I think I am more amazed this time around because it feels like a gift, something that I wasn't expecting but am so happy to have here and to hold her each day.

So, here she is: