This pregnancy has been a whirlwind.
I’ve never been great at being pregnant, despite this being my third time.
I don’t feel like I am one of those glowing, goddess women, made to be pregnant. I do, however, thrive as a Mama. It’s where I feel I am called to be, I feel confident in my abilities, and feel so much better once I have my body (somewhat) back to myself!
All of my pregnancies have taught me some of life’s biggest and hardest lessons.
With my first, I had big dreams of a natural childbirth with my wonderful midwife. I had unrelenting nausea and vomiting for the first 20 weeks, followed by kidney stones from dehydration, and then found out at 35 weeks, that my little surprise gender baby was breech. Despite trying to turn the baby twice via ECV, and all the wives tails for spinning babies, it just wasn’t meant to happen. And all my dreams of having the birth I desired, went out the window.
Micah, my wonderful husband, held me as I cried.
I am not a crier guys. So it was a big deal that this rocked me that hard. My midwife helped me find the most wonderful OB doctor. He held me in place during my spinal (usually the nurse does this), said a prayer over me before starting my cesarean birth, and even came to see me on his day off to see how I was recovering. Did I mention, I had only met him for two office visits before that?! I didn’t know then what a gem he was!
Beckham’s birth was beautiful. Micah got to look over the surgery drape and announce “It’s a BOY”, to which I bawled my eyes out again. I was able to do skin to skin in the operating room, breast feed right away, and he never left my side. Looking back now, I really wouldn’t change his birth experience at all! He taught me a lot of how to let go, and trust in God that there is a bigger plan than my own.
Fast forward to pregnancy number 2: I found an amazing midwife/OBGYN group that would support my desires to have a natural childbirth, even though I had had a previous cesarean, in the hospital. Again, I had nausea and vomiting for the first 18 weeks or so, but nothing like the first. We decided to not find out the gender of our sweet baby again, until birth. This pregnancy flew by, as I was busy chasing after Beckham! I worried often if I’d love another child as much as I loved him. How would he react? Would he know I still love him just the same? Would my heart be able to love two, how would I divide my time? I also had the added worry that this baby would too, be breech, or that something else would happen that would take away my chances of having my dream natural child birth. I had the most reassuring midwife, who had nothing but confidence in me and my body’s ability to do what we were designed to do. Often, my office visits would be mostly of talks about “Can I do this?”, “What if it’s breech again?”, “What if I don’t go into labor, and I have to be induced?” , “What if I get too scared, and back out on my plan?”. My midwife always had a reassuring smile, discussed the what if’s and I always left her feeling renewed and reset. I think being a midwife must also be like being a therapist ;).
Leighton’s birth was healing. I went one day over due, but when it was time, it was TIME. I labored at work for half of the day, and got to help deliver my patient’s baby, charted on the birthing ball, took laps around the unit to increase contractions with my nurse friends on shift with me, and then was sent home so I could be more relaxed and labor at home like I wanted to. I had an amazing doula, Kelly, who came to my house ( along with my amazing labor nurse friend, Whitney ) to support me. Kelly and Whitney helped me decide when it was time to head to the hospital.
Things got really real on the drive there. Micah, bless his heart, drove as fast as he safely could, with me draped over the front seat backwards, because sitting just wasn’t an option with the contractions. We arrived at the hospital, and had to enter through the ER, so, I draped myself backwards in a wheelchair, and yelled mean things at any of the nurses trying to get my vital signs, because I just wanted to bypass the ER and get to labor and delivery! Haha! My dramatic entrance worked in my favor, and I was able to go straight up to a labor room. When my midwife checked me, I was 7 CM. No wonder I was feeling like I couldn’t do it anymore! Micah started filling up the laboring tub for me, while my midwife and doula helped get me into positions to help with contractions. A few minutes later, and the labor tub not even all the way rolled out, I was 10 CM, and it was time to have a baby!
Micah held my hand, and supported me through pushing. After only a couple of contractions of pushing, it was my turn to look down, and announce “It’s a GIRL!”! I got to do immediate skin to skin again, and breast feed for her first hour of life. It was such a fast, furious, healing experience. I felt so proud of myself, and recovery was a BREEZE compared to my cesarean delivery! I am still proud of my self, for not only being able to VBAC, but to also have been able to do it medication free. My birth team was a huge part of that, and I’ll be forever grateful for the experience!
Baby 3’s pregnancy, has been a trying one. Since about 7 weeks, I’ve had horrendous nausea and vomiting. I’ve been in a mental battle of can I do this any longer, feeling guilty for not being there for my kids as much as I want to be, not being the wife I want to be, and having to really push myself to do daily tasks. I’ve been dehydrated, on home health for IV fluids, connected to a continuous nausea medication pump in my stomach, taken oral medications, and had more mental breakdowns than ever before. Going to work has been the hardest task of all. Helping a mama labor and deliver a baby, or running my butt off in OB Triage, while trying not to vomit, is no easy feat. Luckily, I have a great team of nurses around me, that help when I have my head in a trash can, or just look a little green! I also have very gracious and understanding patients. I am convinced Hyperemesis Gravidarum might be the hardest thing I’ve had to battle in my life so far!
We decided to not find out the gender of this baby until birth again, because, why not!?
At our 20 week anatomy scan, a complication showed itself, that my placenta may be growing into my previous uterine scar from my first cesarean birth. This is called a Placenta Accreta. It is a known risk factor of having a cesarean birth if you plan to have more children after. I am still waiting to have a followup ultrasound to see if I do indeed have this, to which I would be required to have a cesarean birth, and likely, a hysterectomy.
This has been an added battle to my mental abilities. Thinking of all the what if’s… the “I’m only 30, I’m not ready to say for sure that we don’t want more babies”, the seemingly selfish thoughts of “I don’t want another cesarean birth, I know my body can do this!”, to the opposite thoughts of, thanking God that we have the ability to see these complications ahead of time, and I’ll be birthing in a safe place, with all equipment available to make sure my baby is safe, and I am too.
I haven’t cried yet about this, and I’m not entirely sure if it’s because I don’t know for sure yet if it is or isn’t, or if I’ve maybe grown in my faith since my first pregnancy. And though I may still have negative thoughts occasionally about it, I know that ultimately, I have no control over the issue, and I need to have faith that what happens in the end, is what was meant to be for me.
Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve tried my best to see the beauty in the small things.
Like the sweet little kicks, seeing my older children’s eyes light up when they feel the baby move, cherishing the sweet snuggles in my bed where all four of us are touching my belly, talking to the baby. These are the moments I want to remember forever.
Strangely, I don’t have any of the wonders of “can I love a third child, as much as the other two?” like I did when I went from one child to two. I think, because I’ve experienced the feeling of my heart melting and expanding to fit these tiny humans, I know I’ll have more than enough room for another.
I can’t wait to see who this little soul is.
If it’s a brother or a sister, and what kind of personality this little one will have!
We have 9 Weeks left until due date, and there was truly no better way to cherish the moments than to have our family maternity photo’s taken! I love that Beckham’s sweet soul shines through, and Leighton’s sassy tendencies were captured, as well as her snuggly self. Ashly did such a wonderful job showcasing my family, just the way we are, right now.
This has been a trying season, but one I know I am blessed to experience.
I have grown more and more with each pregnancy, and have pushed myself further than I ever thought I could. I have seen the love my husband has for me, through good times and bad. I have experienced the unrelenting grace children can give, and their unconditional love. Though it is hard work, this journey of making me a Mother is one I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Special thanks to Ashly Shae for the most gorgeous Maternity photo’s I could have dreamed of!
Photography | Ashly Shae Photography