On April, 29th 2015 at 8:40pm I sat on the couch watching my son expend his last bit of energy before bed. My stomach began burning as a simultaneous burst of excitement rose in my heart. It’s happening. I was two days past my due date and eager to meet our little boy or girl.
The anticipation of not knowing the gender was incredible motivation to want labor to come quickly!
It didn’t take long for the burning in my abdomen to begin cramping in regular intervals. I let my husband know and we lay in bed together waiting to see how my body progressed. As I began to get restless because of the pain I got up and distracted myself by cleaning the house and doing our last load of laundry. This was a great way for me to take my mind off of contractions, as well as make sure my house would be ready to bring our newborn home to.
By 11pm, the contractions were increasing in intensity and getting closer together. We gathered up our bags and put our sleeping son in the car. We dropped Eliott off at his aunt and uncle’s house, hung out for a bit to be sure he was comfortable and then headed to the hospital.
I was admitted around 12:30am. I was at 4cm and almost 100% effaced. From the time I was admitted to walking down the hall toward my labor room, I could feel my body progressing rapidly.
My plan was to give birth naturally and I relied heavily on the Lord for the strength to do so. Because I did not have an epidural I had the freedom to walk around and move in whatever way was comfortable to get through contractions, keeping my focus on the prize that would soon be in my arms.
There came a point I could feel the baby moving down through each contraction…and then the major one that compelled me to announce the baby was coming.
After laboring in the hospital for just over two and a half hours, I knew it was time to start pushing. It was as if I didn’t have a choice, my body was ready, the doctor was ready. For some reason laying down hurt worse than standing, so I asked if I could stay where I was, standing next to the bedside with my hands pressed firmly into the mattress.
My water never broke. I continued to push and when I felt an intense amount of pain I knew the baby was closer than ever. My water broke just as the baby crowned. I reached down to grab my baby…it’s a girl! The room erupted with emotion, mostly me saying over and over again,
A girl! We have a girl!”
Baby Olive Ann Smith came at 3:28am on April 30th, weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long.
I had posted before about my labor playlist, which I did have playing during labor and delivery. It helped me so much as the lyrics reminded me to give God the glory for something so miraculous! Despite the pain I was experiencing, it was beyond beautiful to go through for the sake of having a child, for giving life. I ended up delivering Olive to a song by Natalie Grant titled You Deserve, followed up by Your Great Name also by Natalie Grant.
My husband and my friend Angie, along with the amazing staff at the hospital encouraged me and cheered me on during delivery. Everything was perfect and I was so thankful for the support I had throughout the experience.
**When my husband and I were chatting about our baby’s birth I realized I learned something that I want to share. When I went into labor with my son I told myself and my husband that although I wanted to try and delivery naturally, the option for the epidural was available. In the moment of pain and strain on my body I called for the epidural, even though I was so far along I never ended up using it. Having the confidence from that birth to attempt this second birth naturally, I never considered an epidural an option, it was never in my mind. I share this because I believe when we know we have options in the back of our mind, whether with a birth plan or even with marriage, when the going gets tough our tendency will be to call for that option. So I hope you grasp the importance of this as I have, that instead of giving ourselves options for ways of avoiding pain and hardship, embrace those things as part of the journey and rely on God for the strength to endure.
I am still in awe that I have a sweet baby girl! I remember thinking, I can’t wait for Eliott to meet her! And he is the best big brother! He asks me all day long if he can kiss her. I am so thankful for how the Lord has blessed us. I give Him all the glory for this beautiful birth story and for gifting us such a miraculous little baby!
Here are a few snapshots of our first hours with Olive and our first day home with her!