I’ll admit after going through such an intense labor and delivery with my son (you can read about it here), I felt ready for anything with my daughter. I had confidence in God and an assurance that with His help, regardless of what may happen with my second born, my daughter and I would pull through it healthy and in peace. Still I held on to my faith for an easier labor and delivery. I prayed I wouldn’t have to labor strapped to the gurney again, in fact I hoped to labor in the water bath. I was believing God would give me “double the blessing, for the trouble I experienced before”.
When it came to my 39th week of pregnancy, I had emotions of both relief and anxiousness. I was relieved, she was a full-term baby. However, like most mothers in their ninth month of pregnancy, I was ready to hold my baby girl in my arms. I know my husband probably found me quite comical, as I was desperately tried all these natural ways to induce labor. I can remember one night, I did this entire “labor dance” that was supposedly a great kick-starter for contractions. All I did was end up with was a sore back, legs and an exhausted body.
The night before she was born, we went to a local burger fast casual restaurant, The Habit, for dinner. I was really craving a milkshake; however my husband was very hesitant to get me one. He knew my lactose intolerant history and he didn’t want me to be in pain all night with a bloated stomach. Nevertheless, he surprised me with a mocha milkshake right before we left. My favorite!
Coincidentally, throughout the night I was having cramps-which I assumed was from the milkshake. Quite honestly, I wasn’t able to recall what an initial contraction felt like since my son’s delivery did not begin naturally. Finally, after tossing and turning all night, I woke up my husband around 2am. I complained about how much I was cramping and I wasn’t sure if it was from the milk. He suggested we time the cramps. I thought it was silly idea but before I would use my timer, I called my parents to be on standby as a precaution. They were going to watch my son, in case we needed to head into the hospital and they live about 30 minutes away from us. After the call, I attempted to time the cramps but I was struggling. I couldn’t start or end timer correctly because the cramps were too strong.
Eventually, my husband got out of bed and helped me track the cramps. It turned out they were not cramps but contractions! They were long enough and close enough to give a call to the Hospital. After talking with the nurse, I was instructed to come in; however I did not head to the Hospital right away because I still had to wait for my parents to come over. I wasn’t too worried about the time, since my contractions were bearable. In fact, I told my parents to pick up breakfast on the way to our house, which I never even ate. It was wishful thinking for me to assume, I’d actually enjoy breakfast before laboring. I don’t know what I was thinking!
While I waited for them, I decided to freshen up. In preparation for the labor, I braided my long, thick hair and put it in a bun. I acquired a massive hair knot with my son’s delivery, so I planned to braid it for my daughter’s delivery. God knows I didn’t want to deal with that mess again. Then I began to put on some make-up. Because, why not? I wanted to look picture ready when my baby girl arrived. Yet, right when I was about to put on some casual clothes. I heard the Holy Spirit say to me the hospital staff was not going to believe I was in labor; so I decided to stay in pajamas to appear “distressed”.
By the time my parents arrived it was after 6am. My son was still snuggled in our bed. I was a little concerned how he would wake-up with me not around. He was used to Mommy being present the moment he wakes up (benefits of a stay-at-home mom). Plus I was still nursing him at that time. Nevertheless, I had to focus on my baby girl. It was time for us to go to the Hospital and I knew he was in good hands.
When my hubby and I arrived at the Hospital it seemed very busy. Apparently other expectant moms were coming in around the same hour. We patiently waited in the lobby for my vitals to be checked. Once I was put in a room to check my vitals, I found out from a friend, who happens to be the RN Supervisor, that the admin staff didn’t believe I was in labor. I looked “too calm” and they were going to send me home. In that moment, my friend prayed with me that I would be ready to have the baby. Coincidentally, the doctor that came in to measure my cervix was the one who delivered my son. It had been almost two years since he saw us. I surprised he remembered me but he quickly recollected I was his first pre-eclampsia patient.
Once he measured me, we were delighted to hear I was already 7-8 centimeters dilated! The hospital staff immediately became nervous about my daughter’s arrival. They didn’t know if they had enough time to admit me. At that moment, I became thrilled about laboring. I know that probably sounds ridiculous but just knowing I wasn’t going to be strapped to a bed or confined in any way had me excited. I immediately requested they prep a bath for me to labor in.
Thankfully, the staff had time to admit me, monitor the baby’s heartbeat and prep my bath. Unfortunately, I was not comfortable with laboring in any kind of “bent” position. I had to decline the water bath the nurses so graciously prepared for me. They suggested I opt for a shower, which was just what I needed.
For the next hour or more, I labored in the shower. My husband, Juan stood outside of the shower curtain reading to me scriptures from the Bible. God’s presence and peace filled the room. I wasn’t anxious, in any unbearable pain or stressed. God was answering my prayers. I was going to have my baby without medication and vaginally, like I desired.
Around 11:30am, I called for a nurse once I felt compelled to push. I was measured once again and instructed to get in position on the bed. My baby girl was ready to come out but I wasn’t ready.
By the time I was in position to deliver the baby, my Midwife was not available. Anxiety gripped my heart and stress came into the room. I told my husband I didn’t know why but I’m started to feel fear. It literally felt paralyzing. I couldn’t push my baby out and for the first time I felt overwhelmed with pain. The young and seemingly new Doctor (she was literally touring my room, when I was getting admitted) was quickly becoming impatient with me. She commented to my assigned nurse to notify her when I was “really ready”. Before she left the delivery room, she broke my water bag after noticing it was still intact. I was bummed since the scientist part of me wanted to see my baby born in the amniotic sac. How cool would that have been? I had to really work at not letting that doctor bother me. Nevertheless, I kept believing that God was still at work for me. Within moments, He brought in the midwife to help me deliver my baby girl.
I was informed, the assigned midwife had a reputation for being stern but very knowledgeable. I was pleasantly surprised to see a very patient side of her. With her gentle guidance and my husband’s prayers, I was able to get overcome the spirit of fear I was up against. Once again, I felt God’s love, power and sound mind embrace me.
The moment when my daughter’s head came out, my Midwife asked me if I would like to pull my daughter out. I laughed. I couldn’t imagine how I would push and pull my daughter out at the same time. I declined her offer. She then asked my husband. He was completely surprised but delightfully agreed. With one last push and beautiful moment, my husband pulled her out and gave my daughter to me right away. We both cried tears of joy and thanksgiving to God for blessing us. My husband cut the umbilical cord, while my daughter immediately nursed like a pro.
I admit I was completely overwhelmed by it all. Not the labor, but how God truly blessed me. I felt like He redeemed me from all my trouble I had with the delivery of my son. He heard my heart and answered my prayers. I wasn’t the only one in awe, my nurse later commented to my husband and I, ” I have never seen that before…you literally prayed that baby out.”