Sunday, July 8, 2012

River Jane's Birth Story

So, River Jane just turned 6 months old, and I am just now getting around to writing her birth story (insert image of me hanging my head in shame). 

But, since I did all that work, you know, birthing a baby and all, this post needs to happen. I also figure she will feel cheated since I wrote one for Taylor.

As all birth stories go, there will be details about a birth. So, it might be a little more than you want. Do not read on from here if you can't handle the details. I warned you.

Here it goes:

We found out we were pregnant right before Mother's Day, so we decided to wait to tell our family on Mother's Day and make it all special. They were extremely excited of course. The due date was January 2nd, so I knew that was going to make for an interesting and crazy time with our anniversary, Christmas, my birthday, and New Years all happening around then. 

We found out we were having another girl; I knew it. I can totally see us as an all-girl family. Don't get me wrong, a boy would be fun, but I'm glad it was a she. I was so excited about Taylor and baby girl #2 being so close in age. They are 18 months apart, so I pray they are best friends. Sisters. Wonderful.

The pregnancy went great with no problems, thank you, Lord. I don't take that for granted; I am so thankful for that. I gained around 25 pounds, like with Taylor. I was a little more uncomfortable this time around, just with having another small child to care for. I was exhausted a lot, so I did a lot of napping when Taylor napped. I also wasn't where I needed to be physically before getting pregnant, so I think the lack of exercise played into me being more uncomfortable. I wasn't as comfortable being big this time around either. I felt more insecure and just full out large all over. Baby #2 I guess. 

December rolls around and we still haven't decided on a name; I knew we'd figure it out eventually. Not having a name isn't fun for other people. Everyone asks, and I just started giving a standard answer, "We have two names and we are going to pick when we see her. It will be a surprise." That's hard for people to handle, I get it. Our two names were Emma and River. For both names we liked the middle name Jane. We liked Emma a lot, but we also liked River because it was different. Jonathan loved River Jane. I loved it too, but I had a hard time with it, because I was worried about her hating it later on in life. I found the name on a blog. They actually were naming their baby River June, but I switched it to River Jane. Anyways, two names, River Jane or Emma Jane: to be decided at birth. 

It was a little stressful for me with all the unknown. There were so many little events coming up, so many things happening. Waiting on a baby was difficult for me. We were also having the Owens' down for Christmas, so I felt pressure (not from anyone) to have the baby before or during their visit. It was hard trying to make plans for Taylor and our holidays not knowing when a baby was arriving. I know I sound silly, but I'm documenting how I felt. It's my blog, and I'll cry if I want to. 

I wasn't counting on baby girl #2 coming early. I was preparing myself for way after the due date, like with Taylor. But still every day, I would think, maybe it's today. 

I had a few Braxton Hicks contractions earlier in the pregnancy, just a few times, but not enough to do anything. On New Years Day I started having some stronger Braxton Hick's. They were sporadic, but strong. I would have a couple then none for a few hours. Then a couple more, then none for a few hours. Jonathan and I went to a movie by ourselves (me having a hard time focusing due to contractions), while the Owens watched Taylor. I remember secretly thinking they were real contractions, but not allowing myself to believe or get excited. I especially didn't want to tell anyone, not even Jonathan, for fear of getting everyone's hopes up and then crushing them. I felt like everyone was just watching me, waiting. So much pressure. I really wanted to have her before the Owen's had to leave. I would have felt horrible if they missed another birth. I finally told Jonathan that I was having Braxton Hicks, but I totally downplayed it to him, so he didn't even think anything. 

The next day, January 2nd, the due date, I was still having contractions, but they were so sporadic. 3 really strong ones, then nothing for hours. 4 more, then nada. In the evening they were the strongest; I even had to rock and breathe through some of them. It was funny because I didn't want anyone (besides Jonathan) to know, so I did my best to mask my discomfort. I went to bed early, because I was uncomfortable. They were pretty strong. This time around, I knew better what to expect, so I think I had a better handle on the pain. I was in bed, rocking my hips through the contractions, and I decided to start timing them. But those silly things would not get regular in length or in time between each. I thought I was in labor, but I was waiting it out as long as I could. I contacted my doula, Rachel, to ask her advice. She talked to Jonathan, and based on how I didn't appear to be in a lot of pain, he didn't really think I was far yet. But I felt like I was in labor, and I decided it was time to go. Like I said earlier, I think I just had a better handle on my pain. P.S. The rocking of my hips worked well for awhile, but it was starting to get beyond that, so I thought I was ready to go. 

I was scared, scared that I was about to wake everybody up, get their hopes up, go to the hospital, and then, nope, you are not in labor. I would have felt a sense of failure. I finally let Jonathan tell his family that we were headed to the hospital, and I alerted mine as well. I remember someone trying to hug me in all that, and I held my hand up, and left the room. I was in labor; don't touch me unless you are asked. Insert winky face. But for real. 

Side note: Every night before the baby was born, I remember holding Taylor and rocking her and just cherishing those last moments of her as an only child. It was kinda sad. (But of course so happy as well).

Jonathan and I headed out, grabbed some fast food, and off to the hospital we went. I talked to the on-call doctor and Rachel to let them know we were heading to the hospital. In the car on the way, I had like one small contraction. Stink. I immediately began doubting that this was the real thing. I felt sick at the thought of having to go back home with a false alarm. 

We arrived at the hospital around 5:45 am on the 3rd. Rachel arrived shortly after. We were supposed to get the tub room, but it wasn't working. We were also supposed to get an inflatable tub, but they were out of liners. What?! Come on, Brookwood, you let me down. I just wanted the tub for the labor part, not the birth. 

Rachel being goofy. 
I got my fancy hospital gown on and got ready to be checked. I had only had like 2 contractions since leaving the house. I was so prepared to hear false alarm, but what do ya know, I was already 6-7 centimeters! Thank you, Lord! This was the real deal. We called our photog, Miss Haley Richter and told her to get on up there. As soon as I was allowed, I started walking around. I walked for awhile around the empty halls, and then went back in for them to monitor the heartbeat. There were a few decels (is that right?) so they wanted me strapped to a monitor. We walked some more and danced during contractions. Rachel suggested some squats and different positions to help with the drop in heart rates. I think they helped, but since I still had some, they were wanting me to have my water broken to see if there was meconium in with the baby. They decided to break my water at 8 am. (There wasn't meconium in the waters for your info.) I was 8 centimeters. Just like last time, as soon as my water was broken, I felt the pain so much more. 

Us walking the halls.
Rachel suggested several things to help with the pain. I labored some on the toilet. I also sat on the birthing ball a lot and leaned over the side of the bed. When I was losing it several times, Rachel would bring me back. Bless her. I remember one time she had me pat my hand to her counting. I had such a hard time focusing on keeping with her rhythm. It helped me though. She was great. I was much more "here" for this birth. I remember it being more painful, but i think that's just because I was much more alert during all of it. Rachel managed to keep me focused and relatively calm. Several times I lost it. I think I even hit Jonathan some. I kept trying to touch Jonathan's skin during contractions. It calmed me. He was a fabulous partner of course. He is so patient and supportive and calm and great. I moaned a lot. Rachel would remind me to breathe and moan deep and breathe some more.


I got to the point where I was starting to feel A LOT of pressure. It was really hurting. Rachel relieved some of the pressure by doing some magic thing where she pressed on my hips. It worked wonders. I could feel the baby sliding down...crazy. I had the strongest urge to push, but we didn't think I was at 10 yet. I finally requested they check me at 9:28 and victory! 10 centimeters! Time to push. I sat on the bed semi-upright and got my feet in those stirrups. Getting into the bed is the worst. I hate that part. It's so uncomfortable. Dr. Adcock came in and we were ready. I had already been bearing down, because I couldn't help it. It feels so much better to push. 
My super awesome husband at work.

Me pulling her up.
One of my goals this time was to look down while I was pushing. With Taylor I was so scared that I kept my eyes closed. I also didn't want an episiotomy. They brought the mirror over so I could see what I was doing while I pushed. Let me tell you, that was so helpful. I could see action when I pushed, so I could push better. I pushed a couple times while they counted for me, and I started to see a head. Awesome. I pushed again, and the head came out, with a tear, oh well. There was my baby's head! Right there! I could see it in the mirror. Dr. Adcock had me reach down and grab the baby's head, and he let me pull her up onto my belly. He did this when I had Taylor as well, but I had my eyes closed shut the first time. It was such a wonderful feeling. All that hard work, and then I get to pull my baby up onto me. So incredible. I held her and cried and praised God. Our baby was here. She arrived at 9:38 am. I only pushed for under 10 minutes. I don't know how long I was technically in labor, because I don't know when it officially started. You could say 2 days, but I think I'll just say starting from when we got there, so 4 hours.

Such an awesome moment. God is good.

They waited for the cord to stop, it didn't seem like it took very long at all, and then we did the rest of the delivery. I don't like that there is still stuff happening after the baby comes out. It annoys me, but I know God designed it just the way it's supposed to be. It felt like it took forever to stitch me up, I had two tears, but it didn't hurt as much this time. My legs were tired of being up and open though. I was so ready to just close them. I held her for a bit, then they took her to weigh. She was 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 3/4 inches. Our River Jane (we had already decided on the name, but we still kept it a secret). I got her back and River Jane immediately latched on and started nursing. Precious. I love that skin-to-skin time. 

River Jane Owen.

Our sweet doctor praying with us after.

The team.
So, there it is. The story of her birth. I am writing this 6 months later, so I may have missed some details. I did my best to remember everything. Thanks to our doula, Rachel, for an awesome job. She was such a great support and helper and encourager.  

Daddy's in love.

Mommy and Rio.

We are overjoyed with our sweet River Jane. She is a precious and snuggly baby, and we are so thankful. This birth was just as wonderful as Taylor's was, but I remember more. That means I remember more of the detailed pain, but that's okay. It's birth. It's going to be painful. But it is so worth it. I love natural birth. That's what was best for me. I highly recommend it. 


  1. I love reading birth stories and especially your's since I get a little peak inside your brain while things are transpiring. The part about someone trying to hug you? Awesome. :) And good gracious, I forgot you were already 6-7 when you got to the hospital. That's awesome too.

    You are a blessed woman and I know you know it!
    I'm proud of you, friend!

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