Its taken me a long time to write her story. With Max, I needed to get it out straight away… to not forget one single detail.
With her, its taken me almost a month to process and absorb and reflect. There are some parts of her story that will always be just hers and mine… but there are some parts that just need to be shared and celebrated too.
So here we are – sharing and celebrating.
The first contraction came a little before 7am… I didn’t even recognise it as a contraction – I just laid down on the couch to rest, telling Jared I was having sharp pains in my back. After a little while, I realised they were coming and going – regularly – and realised they must be contractions.
I was SO grateful to be in labour! At 12 days overdue, I was scheduled for an induction the following night and was really hoping and praying to go into labour naturally.
The contractions were manageable so we all (Jared, Max and my mom who was visiting) headed down to our weekly YWAM worship service. It was a beautiful place to have early labour and a few hours later, when we can home, I hopped into the swimming pool while my mom entertained Max and Jared went to work. After a couple hours there, I was ready for a shower and a rest… and while I did lay down for a few minutes, it wasn’t long before I was ready to get to the birth centre.
We met our midwife there – the same one who delivered Max – at around 2:30 and I enjoyed the feeling of warm water in the shower and bath. Jared was amazing again – helping me through the contractions – and everyone in the room graciously let me listen to the same worship song… the. entire. time.
What can I say!? It was helping!!!
After a little while, I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable and it seems in hindsight that our girl had moved from posterior to anterior position. Long story short – they couldn’t find her heartbeat and I wasn’t able to stay still long enough to help much.
After around 5-10 minutes without a heartbeat, they decided to break my water and get an internal reading. Wouldn’t you know it – baby girl had pooped just like her big brother.
WIth no heart beat and meconium, they decided to transfer me again.
I was gutted… but a bit desperate. Ten minutes is a long time to wait to hear your little ones heartbeat.
Being raced through the hospital to transfer to birth suite during the middle of the day is a lot more intimidating than in the middle of the night. Between contractions, I watched a mother press her five children against the glass corridor as we sped by and a construction worker fumble to get his tools out of the elevator even though he had arrived on the “wrong floor.”
We made it and when they yelled, “No heartbeat” the room flooded with people…. who all left just a few short minutes later.
“So, does that beep mean that’s the heart beat?” Jared finally asked.
Indeed, she was all healthy and snug, albeit inaccessible to an external Doplar…
I wasn’t feeling so healthy myself. In fact, I was quite panicked. “Can you please just pull her out with a vaccuum like last time?”
“No… last time caused so much damage. You don’t want that,” our midwife calmly said.
“Okay… what about forceps? I really want to get her out now.”
“No… you don’t need forceps either,” she informed me.
“Okay. Then I want an epidural. Just give me an epidural. I’m panicked and I’m not coping here.”
“No… you don’t need an epidural. Give me 30 minutes and then you can push.”
And for 30 minutes, my mom and Jared each held one of my hands, one of my legs, Vanessa counted breaths for me to breath during the contractions, and the Lord spoke encouragement and wisdom and truth to me at the height of each pain. He sustained me in moments when I literally did not think I could cope.
And sure enough, after that 30 minutes was over, I was ready to push and in 9 short minutes at 5:30pm, she slipped/squirted/shot out of me.
Best. Feeling. Ever.
I couldn’t hold my girl straight away. I remember them holding her purple body over me, pulling entangled cords from around her neck and body, before they rushed her to a resuscitation table. They were determined to clear all the meconium she had swallowed before she took that first breath and breathed it into her lungs. It was only a few minutes and we knew everything was most likely okay, but boy did it feel good to hear her take those first big breaths and let out a cry.
She was on my chest in no time and I savoured the feeling of her warm, slippery body cuddled on the outside…
Elianna – my answer to prayer. The little girl I didn’t think we’d have… the result of a pregnancy I didn’t know if I could survive… a constant reminder of a God who answers.
We are in love.