It's strange - living in the world among people and doing the usual things I do while feeling so completely unusual. Those days of laboring and contracting took place in their own dimension. It's otherworldly to me, and it felt like that with Nova too. It's a weird and quiet kind of reverent feeling. Not necessarily serious or miserable (until, of course, it gets serious and miserable). But it's solemn. It feels tender and strong both physically and mentally. I feel the urge to be still and rest as much as I can to store up energy. It's similar to a fever. Not feverish in the way it feels, but feverish in the sense that all you want is for everything stay in place and remain peaceful. Not a lot of movement, not a lot of noise, not a lot of commotion.
It seems like it'd be almost impossible for an environment to feel like that with two other kids around, but they knew things were different. They were their usual 2 and 5 year old selves all throughout those 3 days, but once they saw my hands reach out to the closest piece of furniture, my body bent over, and heard my breathing, they came to my side quietly and rubbed my back. I would nod my head as they asked, "Mom, are you having a 'constraction'?" They had been watching how Colt responded to me and decided to react in the same way. It was really precious.
On Friday morning, March 10th, at 3:45 a.m. we had been at the hospital for around 30 minutes. Once we signed our names on some initial paperwork, the nurse checked me and I was a 5. A five! I was so relieved and so excited. By 4 a.m., we were in a room and by 4:30 a.m., I was a 6 and fully effaced. My doctor came in around this time and broke my water. As soon as we got settled, I told the nurse I'd like an epidural whenever they could get around to it.
It was totally my plan to try for another natural birth like I had with Duke, but I also didn't want to labor all the way to a 9 and stall for 3 hours like I did with Nova. Getting an epidural at a 9 was not something I wanted to repeat. And because I had been up with practically zero sleep for the past 72 hours, there was no way that I had the energy, stamina, or mental power to continue laboring. Opting for an epidural was a no-brainer. I needed that bed and I needed those drugs and I needed some rest.
|Several of Bethany Barnard's songs made it onto my labor playlist. "Your praise is an ocean, and my troubles are a puddle"|
|Contracting as the epidural was kicking in|
After about 5-10 minutes of pushing, our sweet Veda arrived at 8:07 a.m. on Friday, March 10th, 2017.
She was identical to Nova when she came out except for that full head of BROWN hair. My heart leapt when I saw it! She was a dream come true. All of the nurses began commenting on her size and I thought, Eh, she looks average. Then I heard the nurse shout, "10 lbs. 1 oz.!" from the scale. I laughed and thought no wonder it hurt to walk! Later on, they measured her length and she was 22 inches. Colt noted, "She's almost halfway to a Frontier City ride!"
|Duke had his spring pre-k program that morning, hence the dots on his face. :)|
To me, Veda's birth story is the least dramatic of the three. It was the longest labor and there were exhausting and painful hours when I felt really desperate, but the hospital part of it? E-a-s-y. By the time I got to that point, I was planning on getting an epidural so there was nothing to question or decide. I knew after 3 full days of contractions that this birth would resemble the others, but most certainly Nova's. This wasn't going to be one of those "My 3rd baby just slipped right out!" stories. All signs were pointing to a long and hard and 3-hours-to-change-1-centimeter kind of birth. Because I had experienced a natural birth and an almost natural birth that was absolutely crazy, it made sense to take a completely different route. What if I sat in the hospital bed and hung out and waited to dilate? I could hardly fathom it!
I love that they each have their own special story. One was by the book, one threw the book out the window and set it on fire, and one gently reminded me that the book doesn't exist. Although my birth experiences didn't come without a handful of doubts, disappointments, and, ultimately, life lessons alongside them, my dreams came true. The Lord wanted my story and these kids' stories to look this way. I have three healthy children and there was not one moment in any of their labors or deliveries that was an emergency. That right there is a blessing and a miracle, and I will never take it for granted.
We are so thankful for our sweet Veda making us a family of 5.
Photos taken by the lovely Sara Young
Read Nova's birth story here and Duke's birth story here.