Friday, June 20, 2014

Brielle's Birth Story - Part 1

When I first found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child, I was very happy, excited, nervous, and a little bit scared/anxious, if I'm being completely honest. Our circumstances were quite different this time as we were in the middle of struggling and praying through some potential major changes in our life. We had felt ready and called to have a 3rd child, but then suddenly life got really crazy. We were stressed out. Big time. No, we'd better wait a bit longer, we thought. I doubted...but God's plan is perfect... at this point I was already expecting! :-). I'm sure my main prayer throughout my entire pregnancy was for greater faith

Truthfully, I do not really enjoy being pregnant. Some people feel wonderful being pregnant - I am not one of those people. Though I am grateful and feel blessed to be able to carry a child, and I have enjoyable moments being pregnant, I struggle throughout my pregnancies. I actually knew I was pregnant before I even took the test because I was so horribly nauseous right from the start. After experiencing awful morning sickness with my first pregnancy and not wanting to endure that again, I headed straight to the doctor for a pregnancy test and prescription. I likely would have had awful, debilitating morning sickness with this pregnancy, but I took medication (the highest dose) for it right from the start to ease it, though I was still glued to the couch and feeling quite sick for the first 4 months. It would have been far, far worse without the medication, though.  I think I gained 30 pounds in just the first trimester. Hardest of all, though, was the depression that I struggled through (and blogged a bit about) during the pregnancy. Our stressful circumstances combined with the hormones of pregnancy really tested me and stretched my faith throughout the pregnancy. I had not experienced that kind of emotional and mental turmoil since middle school. Nearly every day I fell in a heap in the bathroom sobbing my heart out before the Lord. I truly felt as though I was in a pit that I could not get out of unless God would pull me out. It was difficult. I didn't feel like "myself" at all. I didn't want to be around anyone...not even closest friends and family....because I just felt I just wanted to be alone all the time, but I knew that that would only make things worse, so I forced myself to try to spend time with people even when I didn't feel like it.

My due date was set for February 14. I felt that likely my "real" due date fell somewhere between February 8 and February 14, but because I seem to go way overdue (11 days and 9 days) and after calculating things out, we set it for February 14. My midwife was leaving town on February 14, and we joked that I would go into labour the day she was leaving as she had missed Nathanael's birth, too. (My 2nd midwife ended up delivering him, and I had a great experience with her).

Around February 8, my Braxton Hicks contractions started picking up and becoming quite strong. I remember attending my husband's grandpa's 80th birthday party and being distracted by them. I was hoping the spicy Chinese food we ate for supper would trigger real labour :-).
We did not attend church the next day because I felt that I wouldn't be able to hide when I was having the B.H. contractions (and we have to drive out quite far to get to church). For the whole next week, I had strong Braxton Hicks contractions that would wake me up at night. It was reminiscent of my pregnancy and labour with Nathanael, and I knew this could go on for weeks yet, so I wasn't too concerned as they were definitely not "real" labour-like contractions.

On February 14th, I woke up around 4:30 a.m. with contractions, but unlike the strong Braxton Hicks contractions I had been experiencing for the past week, these ones "real" contractions. They affected my back, front, and legs. They came in waves with definite peaks of intensity/pain. Those who have experienced labour know what I'm talking about. They started off coming about every 9 minutes, like clockwork. Then, every 6 minutes. They were getting more painful and closer together and lasting longer. Once they started coming every 5 minutes and lasting for a minute, I called my parents to come drive in. About 45 minutes after calling them the first time, I called again, asking them to hurry because now they were coming every 3 to 4 minutes and were getting much more painful (My parents still had a bit of a drive to get to our house and the intensity of the contractions had me a bit concerned that if things kept picking up, I could be entering transition soon.) My parents arrived, and I called the midwife to let her know I was in labour. I was convinced this was the real deal. We decided I would call the midwife again in 2 hours to check-in unless I could not handle it at home before then. At this point, I was breathing through them and not able to talk during the contractions. My whole body was even shaking through some of them (which was kind of freaking my sister out, I think). I was sure baby was on her way, likely to arrive that day, possibly even that afternoon. Through the contractions I would think about Brielle and remind myself that "God is my strength," which is the meaning of her name.

To be continued...

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