On January 1st I went to bed and began having mild contractions thru the night. The pain was strong and didn’t feel like the tightening of Braxton Hicks so I knew these were real contractions. The next morning we stayed in bed for a while and Eisley told us stories and showed us the cut she had on her forehead. (9:14 am)
I told Isaac about my contractions and he decided that we should walk around the mall to see if it could help things progress. My mom had the same idea, so I took a shower and asked her to braid my hair. Once my sisters and dad saw my hair, they asked if I was going to have my baby that day. I laughed and said “No.”
My sister, Korie, has always told me that when I go into labor I need to have my hair braided. Even back when E was born… but I didn’t listen to her that time. My mind kept telling me that wasn’t going to be the day, but my heart felt something different and I wanted to be prepared. For some reason, I didn’t want to tell anyone how I was feeling, I didn’t want to excite them or myself… for a “False Alarm”
BUT I was hopeful that if we walked around a bit, then the contractions would pick up and we would soon have a baby. I surprisingly remained calm.
I decided to wear the exact same outfit I was wearing when I went into labor with my first. I figured it may bring some luck 😉 On the left is me pregnant with E at 40 weeks (She ended up being 6 days late and came 1 day before her induction date) On the right is me pregnant with Leighland at 39 weeks and 4 days. So neat to see the difference! Ever since I was a couple of months pregnant, I felt like Leigh would be bigger than Eisley. As she reached full term, she liked to lay sideways in the center of my belly with her legs criss cross on my right side and her butt on my left. E liked to be on my right side with her butt near my ribs. I could definitely feel that baby girl had dropped ( E hadn’t in this photo) and by looking at the pictures side by side, you can see that she had indeed! (12:24 pm)
Isaac took a shower then Korie did quickly after and they both prepared themselves for the arrival of baby Leighland. Once Isaac and I got to the mall we got a pineapple keva juice, I figured we could (sort of) try the pineapple thing! I didn’t want to take Eisley with us, “just in case” so she hung out with my mom and we were kept updated on what she was doing. (Drinking hot cocoa at 3:22 pm.)
After walking through every section of the mall my contractions were about 25 minutes apart and seemed to get further away from each other. Every so often I had to stop what I was doing so I could breathe through the pain. I didn’t want anyone to see me grabbing onto walls and bending over feeling paralyzed but Isaac reminded me of my large belly and that people probably knew what I was doing there. He also pointed out that I waddled. Thanks beb!
Finally we got hungry and ate at Johnny Rockets and talked about so many different things. It was nice to laugh together and spend alone time with him.
We walked around a little more and decided that maybe it wasn’t the day to meet baby L. We decided on one more stop before heading home. Target! I love looking around Target but Isaac… not so much. I never get to go down every aisle, but if walking is what I needed then I wanted to use that to my advantage 😉 We walked until I got too tired and then we decided it was time to go home. I ended up buying a couple of things, one of which was a large, yellow, bottle brush tree for $5! I think everyone who goes into Target not meaning to buy anything comes out with some sort of something.
We went home and watched “Planes: Fire and Rescue” with my family. My contractions started to get closer together and Korie began to time them. They finally got to 10 minutes apart and it was about 6 pm. Isaac and I think that sitting down and resting helped calm me enough to progress faster. The same happened with my first labor except I needed the epidural at that point because I was exhausted and my body was working so hard against itself, I couldn’t get past 6 cm. I decided to take a bath and see if it helped make me feel better. (6:14 pm) With E baths never seemed to help but I had been soaking my hips nightly with Leigh since about 14 weeks. After about 10 minutes I went to my bedroom and Isaac asked if I wanted to play a computer game. That’s when I realized how much the pain was progressing. I tried bending over the bed with pillows near my belly and that seemed to be the most painful position to be in. I also noticed that I had labor shakes. I had them most of the day but just thought that maybe I was cold. I was GBS positive and needed antibiotics (3 sets of 4 hours) so Isaac was concerned that we wouldn’t make it in time. The contractions were about 8 minutes apart by 8 pm and Isaac called our doula as well as the Doctor but they both said it was still too early to come in, even if I was GBS positive. Around 10 pm contractions got to 5 minutes apart and we decided to come in. Korie came with us and warmed some heat pads but before we left my dad told me not to wait to get pain medication. My plan was to have Leighland naturally but if this labor ended up being anything like my first, I was considering an epidural. I figured I should come to terms with not having “superwoman powers” and be at peace with myself early on rather than getting upset during and after the fact. Early in my pregnancy I prayed that this labor would be short. At least shorter than Eisley’s.
The car ride over was freezing but our vehicle had seat warmers and that helped my back and bum tremendously. We ended up getting behind a drunk driver and I started getting more nervous. Finally we pulled into the main entrance of the hospital and Korie helped carry my bags while Isaac parked the vehicle. The door was locked so we had to walk to another entrance and I was bent over in pain and shaking uncontrollably but my goal was to quickly make it to triage. We were stopped by security to check in and I told him I was in labor and it flustered him. We quickly walked to the elevators because I wanted to make it there without having a million contractions in between. I ended up having one that made me weak and I had to sit down. I remember closing my eyes during the contraction and opened them to another security officer looking at me as he passed by. As soon as we got to the front desk in triage the nurse asked me what seemed to be a lot of questions and I could barely think of my birth date much less answer what she was asking me. She took me to one of the rooms there and said she would be back to see if I was dilated. She asked me a few times if they had checked me at my appointment the week prior and when I told her “no” she looked confused. I took off my clothes and could not -for the life of me- give a urine sample between contractions and I couldn’t get my gown on. The nurse seemed like she took atleast 15 minutes to come back. By then Isaac was already in the room and was trying to help me work thru the contractions. I sat at the edge of the bed and held tightly onto the bathroom door. When the nurse decided to come back she checked to see if I was dilated. I didn’t feel much pain when she checked me but I was nervous she was going to tell me I was barely at 2 cm. In a surprised voice she said that I was at a 6 almost 7 and I needed a room in labor and delivery immediately. Funny how she took her time until that point. I’m positive she thought I was in early labor. She was rushing around after that and my doula finally arrived but had yet to help me. Once I got to the room there were a few nurses already there getting started on things and the Doctor walked in. She laughed and asked if we were the ones who had called her and said “I guess it was time to come in!”
The nurse quickly put an IV in my arm for the antibiotics, and it was painless! Then I was hooked up to the monitors and everything was set. I believe it was a little after 11 pm. The contractions came hard and strong and once my doula got comfortable she began to help. I still sat at the edge of the bed and pushed onto Isaac’s hand each time a contraction came. The doula helped me know when I was at the peak of the contraction and when I was coming down from it. I tried to keep calm and breathe through each one. The more I focused on staying calm and breathing, the better I felt. Every few minutes I had a contraction that I would lose control of and everything seemed to skyrocket. I held onto my doula and pressed my face into her chest while she brushed my shoulders down and I pushed down on Isaac’s hand. She smelled nice and that helped more than I would expect it to. My nurse would also help me remember to breathe and everyone, including my doctor, was encouraging me the whole time. I was checked a couple of more times and had no change. Once I heard that I felt defeated and said ” I don’t think I can do it anymore” and Isaac looked back with concerned, warm eyes. I asked if there was any pain medication other than an epidural and the doctor explained to me that there was but if the baby was born quickly after, then it could affect her in a negative way. I immediately said no and asked for an epidural a while later. The nurse prepared herself and I was told I needed a certain amount of fluid before I could have the epidural. I remember checking the bag every couple of minutes to see if it was going down. Watching it go down was helping me take my mind off the pain. The doctor checked me again. I was at an 8 and I felt so relieved. The doula was excited and along with Isaac, talked me out of the epidural. I’m extremely thankful they did and that’s one of the reasons I knew I needed a doula for this labor. It’s amazing how much encouraging words can change your mood and give you the push you need. I asked Isaac to say a prayer as well and it helped me feel ready to take on what was yet to come. My doctor kept coming in and checking on me. I kept feeling the need to push and I almost vomited 3 times. It was an uncontrollable feeling. I was also getting light headed and dizzy. My mouth was extremely dry so Isaac gave me ice chips and it helped tremendously. Then before I knew it I was at a 10 and it was baby time! Hearing this scared the heck out of me. What if I tore? I had 0 pain medication in me to get me through stitches and everything else. What if I can’t do it? How will I find the energy to push? I was so exhausted by then and all I wanted to do was sleep.
The doctor said that my water hadn’t broken yet so she needed to break it, I was nervous. I felt a lot of pressure and then felt a warm rush of water. I was lying on my back and had my legs bent. Every few minutes my labor shakes got extremely bad and made my legs shake so hard they started hitting each other. Such a weird feeling. The doctor explained to me how to push and I just couldn’t get the strength I needed. Baby’s heartrate started going down so Isaac was told to give me the oxygen mask. He was supposed to put it on me in between pushes but he kept forgetting! He did this during Eisley’s birth as well and I couldn’t help but laugh. Korie held and stroked my right leg while the doula held the other. After a few pushes someone finally suggested the idea to push against my legs so I had more control. I remember looking at the clock and it was already a little after 2 am. I pushed a few more times and could feel when I was doing it correctly because it was just so painful. The doctor checked me and said the pushing helped move the baby down and I was close to meeting her! At one point I remember feeling like this was it, it was time to meet Leighland. I pushed with all my might and felt an unexplainable pain and I started screaming. I heard Korie yell out that I needed to keep going because baby girl was on her way out (She later told me the cord was near baby’s neck and looked questionable) While I was pushing I felt Leigh’s head, then her shoulders and knees and feet as they all came out. It felt so different compared to how it did with E. I had no idea I was capable of screaming so loud and I know I shocked Isaac. I remember him saying “You did it! I can’t believe you did it!” and I immediately felt so relieved. Leighland was put on my chest right away and I started to feel better. I think that having the water broken so close to her birth helped her come compared to E’s birth. With Eisley, my water broke on it’s own at 6 cm and I ended up getting a bilateral sulcus tear. With Leighland, I didn’t tear at all but I did have a couple of “scrapes”
I remember hearing the doctor tell someone “Did you see that? Did you see how her head was up and she turned it sideways like ‘wait a minute..'” Then I heard the nurse say something about it as well. It seemed like they were saying she was “sunny side up” and then changed position. I also learned that babies are usually born looking at the mothers right leg, super interesting.
It took quite a while after to deliver my placenta. I noticed the Doctor started to get antsy but kept me calm and said that once I felt the need to push again, I needed to push like I did with Leighland. Once I finally delivered the placenta the nurse pushed on my belly and I was taken back to Eisley’s birth. It felt the same exact way and I remembered it so clearly. The Doctor said I had a fairly large placenta and that it was probably bigger than the baby and that it weighed a lot. She brought it to my side and explained each part of it. So amazing how God has a purpose for every thing.
Leighland was born at 2:21 am and was 19 1/2 inches long, weighed 6 lbs 6.3 ounces (Eisley was 6.62! so neat) and had a head full of black hair. During my pregnancy, I had the worst heartburn you could ever imagine. Nothing would help and I constantly thought “This baby better have hair” 😉 I even had heartburn while I pushed!
I did skin to skin with Leighland for about an hour while everything was being cleaned up and put away. My nurse then came to my side to talk about my labor. She said that once a contraction came on, I got really quiet and focused. She laughed at how I turned down the idea of putting music on and changing positions because I already knew what was working for me. It was so neat to hear her point of view. Then my doula and Isaac laughed about how I didn’t have any “bad” language and the only thing I had said was “son of a gun” which I’m guessing no one ever says by the way they were laughing..
My doula also said that I was “too nice” during labor and that we’d be surprised at what some women do.
Isaac kept saying how he could never have their job. I agreed.
When we got to the Mother Baby room to sleep, we were told that Leighland was the only girl born that night! The rest were boys
My nurses, doctor, and doula were all SO wonderful. I couldn’t believe how great my experience was. Everything ended up working out perfectly and I felt happy. A different doula spoke to me the next day and said “labor isn’t perfect” and in my mind, I disagreed. Yes, my labor was messy and tough but that’s what labor is. I felt completely blessed and was grateful it went the way it did. God gave me my perfect labor.
I text my mom that visiting hours started at 8 and she said she would come as soon as E woke up. I was so excited for Eisley to meet her new baby sister. I never cried during my labor or delivery but as soon as E came into the room my eyes filled with tears and I was so happy that she was finally with me again. E kept whispering “baby sister” and even patted my belly a few times because she didn’t understand what was going on. I could tell that E fell in love immediately though. She was so shy at first and gave her a few kisses. She also pointed out that the baby had her “eyes closed” had “tiny toes” “long hair” and was “so cute”
I was filled with so many emotions my heart felt like it could burst. These two were made for each other and it was like Eisley already knew her. So amazing!
We had to stay in the hospital for 48 hours since I did not end up getting all of the antibiotics I needed. I was only able to get 1 set. We went home on January 5th and it snowed! Same as the day we brought E home.
I decided to put Leighland in the same outfit Eisley went home in. I even had the mittens but forgot to put them on. Eisley used a pacifier on day 2 and Leighland still has no interest in them.
I am so thankful to God for my labor and delivery experience. It far exceeded all of my expectations and truly gave FAITH a new meaning to me. Mark 4:40 “And he said to them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” During early labor, I had little faith in myself and I was fearful of the whole process. I doubted my mind and my body and by doing so, I believe I doubted God. Because I am his Creation. It’s easy to tell yourself you can’t do something. It takes real faith to believe in yourself and to believe that you are capable through God and only God.
My mom sent this to me a few days after Eisley was born and it’s still perfect this time around.