I am thrilled to share the story of Lillian Jane’s birth. I decided to break the story down into three parts.
- Part one - preparing my body for labor and delivery and details regarding the day of Lillian’s arrival.
- Part two - labor and delivery.
- Part three - the first few days with Lillian and living my best postpartum life.
On Thursday January 4, after weeks of Braxton Hicks contractions and implementing daily strategies to prepare my body for labor and delivery, I decided to do two things I rarely do. I vacuumed and mopped the floors … and I sat in a tub and truly relaxed for two full hours starting around 6.30 p.m. If you read the end of my last post (part one of Lily’s birth story), you know that I was not feeling well on Thursday and I had just about given up hope that Lily would come on Friday, January 5, which had been my desire for months.
Two hours after getting in the tub to relax (and sulk since I was so over being pregnant and truly READY to meet my baby girl), I started feeling what seemed to be real contractions. I had experienced Braxton Hicks for weeks (really months) and was very aware of what those felt like. But my contractions in the tub were much stronger, faster, and deeper. What a pleasant surprise and a huge relief!!! I’ve never been so happy to be in pain. At 8.32, I texted Brandon from the tub to say I was getting what seemed to be real contractions.
He immediately came in the bathroom and I told him I was pretty sure this was the real thing and to call my parents to come over.
With both Emma and Cole, my water broke in the middle of the night and my contractions came on slowly. I even had time to get a shower, put on make-up, and casually make my way to the hospital. With Lily, I could tell it was going to be a much faster labor. Within 15-20 minutes my contractions were already coming faster and stronger. My parents quickly arrived at the house, we threw a few extra things into my hospital bag, and headed for the hospital.
At the hospital I checked in to triage to be “monitored.” Here, the triage doctor and nurses would decide if I should be admitted. I quickly told them that this was my third rodeo and I would not be going home that night. The doctor saw from my chart that we had the same birthday (April 2) and quickly acknowledged that he realized I was going to get my way that night, haha.
If you remember from part one, there was only ONE doc at my OBGYN who I truly trusted and liked. I found out when I was in Triage that she was on call that night in labor and delivery. That was a massive relief!!! I was so so so pleased that she would be the one to delivery Lily. It was my doc's first night back at work after the holiday break. AND I was even more thrilled that Lily would arrive on January 5 as I had hoped ... yay!
I was quickly admitted and moved from Triage into the Labor and Delivery area. The first nurse I had in labor and delivery wasn’t my favorite, so Brandon asked for a different one. The second nurse was AMAZING. She and my favorite doc came in to check on how I was doing. I had a dream team to deliver Lily. My doc (who was a huge fan of intermittent fasting and a big supporter of my fit pregnancy) was on a 36 hour fast which I loved to hear.
Once in labor and delivery, my contractions started coming even harder and faster. My “plan” was to get an epidural and rest for a bit before it was time to deliver. I had done this with both Emma and Cole and truly enjoyed my experience especially post-delivery while breastfeeding the babies for the first time, etc. Because I have VERY high pain tolerance and was carrying on a normal (smiling) conversation with my doc and the nurses, they did not seem in any big rush to get me an epidural. When I was checked in Triage I was 4 or 5 cm dilated, so my doc thought we had plenty of time, and even mentioned coming in to check on me around 3 a.m.
At around 11.30 p.m., I told Brandon to ask the nurse to call for my epidural. The anesthesiologist came in about 20 minutes later and slowly dinked around my room and made small talk. I told her I was hoping to get the epidural sooner than later and she remarked that I looked so calm, she didn’t realize it was an “urgent” matter. I told her I simply had really high pain tolerance (and I had been practicing some pretty intense “mind over matter” pain management) but was sure I needed it soon if I was going to be able to get an epidural. I am SO GLAD I rushed her because 5 minutes later and it would have been too late. Again, my “plan” had been to rest after getting the epidural. However, Lily had different plans. About 30 minutes later I turned to Brandon and asked him to get the nurse to check me because I felt a lot of pressure and ready to push. She came in and immediately said, “Ok, do NOT sneeze. I’m going to round up the team. This baby is coming.”
My doc and the nurses came in a few minutes past 12.30 on Friday, January 5, which was just in time. I was READY. I could still feel my contractions and move my legs without any issues. Brandon got a video of nearly the entire delivery which lasted for all of a couple minutes. I felt that I could push Lily out with one push, but my doc asked me to do three controlled pushes. She came out easily (no tearing!) and was handed to me. A nurse took my phone from Brandon and continued the video while Brandon cut the cord and also took a ton of still shots (she clearly knew what she was doing with an iPhone, haha). The nurses were so complimentary of how perfect Lily was and I was overcome with so much emotion.
My doc and the nurses left the room and I nursed Lily and did skin to skin for two full hours. This was a nice change from my delivery with Cole and Emma where they were immediately taken to be measured, weighed, etc.
Lily and I had some great conversations and she latched right away. I told her how thankful I was that she was cooperative and came on January 5. She was very alert and the sweetest, most petite little newborn - just like Emma!
The nurses came back in to weigh Lily and run their usual tests. My nurse asked if I could get up to go to the bathroom. I confidently stood up, and immediately collapsed and started throwing up. Oh, the joys. I pulled myself together and quickly got the peppermint beadlets out of my hospital bag to manage my nausea. The same thing happened to me after delivering Emma and Cole and I felt foolish for not seeing it coming. The peppermint beadlets did the trick and I quickly felt better. We headed to the mother/baby unit to rest after an eventful night.
The next morning (Friday morning) my doctor came in to check on me. I was recovering nicely and Lily was eating really well. I had pumped Colostrum the week before delivery, so my mom brought it to the hospital and we fed her with a dropper in between feedings to ensure she was pooping and peeing plenty. I also pumped Colostrum in between feedings to stockpile more. The nurses were shocked I was able to produce so much, but this was a strategy my doc up north had told me about, and I’m so glad he did. PS This is not a common strategy and I am not endorsing it or asking for a debate. I’m simply sharing my experience.
We enjoyed a wonderful first day together and loved having Emma and Cole come visit to see Lily for the first time on Friday afternoon. Emma was in awe of her baby sister and Cole kept saying, “She is so cool -- she is awesome.”
Friday night we got as much rest as possible and started packing up to leave on Saturday morning. The nurses and pediatrician cleared us to leave and we headed home. It was an absolutely beautiful day outside and we soaked up every minute of sun and newborn snuggles. Lucy (our Golden Doodle) was especially thrilled to see the baby. (She has been an amazing big sister and it’s so cute to see how attentive and caring she is). I took a walk with Lucy on Saturday after we returned home to give her some attention and to get my blood flowing. This time around I was much less puffy/swollen during my recovery, and I think it was due in part to walking shortly after delivery. More on that in part three of Lily’s birth story.
We went to bed around 7 p.m. on Saturday to try and catch up on rest and woke up to another gorgeous day on Sunday. My recovery seemed faster and easier than the previous two (third time’s a charm) so we enjoyed listening to the church sermon on live stream and a visit from one of our friends.
For more about my postpartum recovery - living my best postpartum life, stay tuned for part three of Lily’s birth story. I will share my top tips and strategies for preventing constipation, eliminating inflammation, minimizing the postpartum blues, and speeding up the recovery process.
Click on the gallery below to view a few highlights from Lily's birthday.