July 29, Monday night
We lay in bed and I struggled to fall asleep for the first time. Felt my first REAL pressure wave at 10 p.m, immediately followed by a pop feeling. I got up to use the restroom and realized I had lost my plug, thus beginning the labor process. Contractions continued at 10 minutes apart for the rest of the night. I listened to my “easy first stage track” and slept through the night
July 30, Tuesday
Andrew got up and went to work at 4:15. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and started working around the house. I prepared my home for the birth of our firstborn. Pressure waves were coming all day and progressed to every 8 minutes by early afternoon. When Andrew got home at 6, they immediately progressed to 5 minutes apart. We contacted Kate (best friend + photographer) to come out. My parents also came out to keep the mood light, and pray with us as we began our journey into parenthood. I eventually felt the need to rest so we laid down hoping to get sleep before they progressed. Pressure calmed down and went back to 10 minutes apart. I rested for several hours.
July 31, Wednesday
Andrew stayed home from work today. Kate, Andrew and I went to the river walk to try and get things going again. We walked for 30 minutes while I did squats, stairs and side lunges every 10. When we went home, Kate left, and I started a 90 minute stretch session called Miles circuit. I listened to my fear clearing track and slept while holding each position. For the last several hours of the day, the pressure waves varied between 4-8 minutes apart. I tried to stay awake but felt too tired to continue. Andrew and I laid down, hoping to get some rest before they progressed. Waves kept coming every 5 minutes. Andrew slept while I labored through the night.
August 1, Thursday morning
Got up at 7 to a text from Mary Anne asking me to call her. She asked how I felt. At this point, I was pretty discouraged because I felt I hadn’t progressed. She expressed concerns of exhaustion causing me to hemorrhage afterward or stall in the final stage and told me what options I would have if I hadn’t progressed. She offered to come and check me. I prayed as soon as we hung up to please be at LEAST 6 cm and that I will be able to continue at home. I called my mom for encouragement. She prayed over me as I cried. As Mary Anne made her way to our home, Andrew filled the birth pool for me to relax. It felt amazing. I continued to pray for progress and to be at peace with whatever outcome brought us our precious girl. When she arrived, around 9 a.m, I moved to the bed and she checked my progress. “Oh wow! You need to get back in that pool, you’re fully dilated. We might be helping this baby out on our own” she said. A HUGE wave of relief hit me and Andrew and I both became very excited. They quickly started to prepare the space as I relaxed in the birth tub, moving through pressure waves to help bring comfort. The birth assistants, Maggie and Jessica, arrived. Maggie put a port in my hand because I was at high risk for hemorrhage. Kate arrived right before I started pushing. Andrew stayed by my side the whole time. . Giving me water, popsicle and love with every gaze and touch. He helped me to feel relaxed and breathe through each surge. My midwives encouraged and kept me informed and COVERED in positivity and oils
Hannah was closer and closer with each surge! I continued to put all of my strength towards pushing, working to bring her down. I panted during the final stretch to ease her head into the world. Andrew switched with Mary Anne to catch our daughter and place her on my chest. One more push and into the world she came! Instant joy, overwhelming love, + gratitude for the process washed over my body. I hemorrhaged as I stood to move to the bed. The team quietly started giving me fluids in the port in my hand to stop the bleeding. They had it under control and allowed me to completely relax while I welcomed my precious babe. Hannah instantly latched to my breast and Andrew and I gazed at her in excitement and love. Kate captured every precious moment.
Hannah Belle Anne Smith She is a strong and joyful powerhouse. She will show grace and kindness to those who need it most. She is joy. She is grace. And she is ours