the bravest day of my life. / / molly junes birth story.

its been 6 weeks today since the bravest day of my whole life.
6 slow but fast weeks.
6 blurry, bleary eyed, sleep deprived weeks.
6 wonderfully challenging, incredibly hard weeks.
6 beautiful and brave weeks.

i have wanted to write this so many times. i think about it often - the words rolling around in my head, and i have wanted it to be perfect, because the day was perfect. i want to remember every detail and i know i wont - i know i will have already forgotten some of it and if you were there, please remind me what i missed. 

do you ever have days where you wish you could relive them over and over again and not change anything? i never did. i always felt like i could relive my favorite days, but that i could change them to make them better - or more magical. except for this day. 

Friday, February 27th started out like every other day that week. over due, uncomfortable from a night of restless sleep and a day of contractions and a huge belly. Nick had decided to stay home from work, because He just felt like he needed to be with me. We all got up and got dressed and ready to take maggie to preschool. it was 2 days past my due date and we were dropping mags off at school and then heading into a doctors appointment, the last one before my scheduled induction that Sunday (because i just couldnt be pregnant anymore.) i had been dilated to a 3 since that wednesday and i was eager to see if there was any progress. as i was putting my make up on, i just had a feeling and i told nick to add our hospital bags to the car when we left - just in case.

we dropped maggie off at school and headed to starbucks to grab a latte before our appointment. i felt calm and happy - ready for whatever the day would bring or wouldnt bring. we got to our appointment and lori, (our incredible, amazing midwife) confirmed that i was dilated to a 5, but that baby girls hands were positioned on her head. HER HANDS WERE ON HER HEAD. making it impossible for her to engage and be born. if her hands didnt more, we would have to talk about a c section instead of induction for that sunday. her advice was to walk around in an effort to get her hands to move. ( side note: i had been telling nick for weeks that i felt like i was feeling her fingers move around by her head, and i TOTALLY was!) we left and i felt a little defeated, a lot huge and nick and i laughed because i said she was probably running her fingers through her hair and nick suggested that she was actually massaging her bald head. ha.

we still had a lot of time before we needed to pick up maggie, so we went and walked around the mall. every step was achy and sore. i felt crampy and huge, but being in labor never crossed my mind. i walked and walked. never stood still and laughed thinking that my water could break any second and how awkward it would be if it broke while i was looking at coffee mugs in anthropologie. we went to red robin and split a burger and fries and then started the 40 minute drive to pick up maggie.
on that drive, i started feeling more achy. mild contractions but i figured that it was just like the ones i had been having for days -  or that i was tired from the walking and sitting in the car. i checked my email and had a message from Nicks mom who was supposed to watch maggie if and when i went into labor, but she had come down with a really terrible chest infection and couldnt watch maggie. i felt stressed, but calm because i didnt think we would actually be having a baby that day. we got to maggies school and i could tell that the contractions were picking up. on the way home they were getting so bad that i couldnt talk through some of them and had to hold onto the car. Nick and I quickly made some calls and our sweet friends were able to come last minute if we needed them too. my amazing husband urged me to call Lori back and let her know what was happening, and reluctantly i did. she said to come in and get rechecked if the contractions didnt slow down, as they had been.
Just like with my first birth, Nick was the one to make the call. our friend showed up to watch maggie while we went back to get checked and i kissed my girl and told them that i was sure we would be back before bedtime. all the way to the office, i had zero contractions. i was for the first time that day, frustrated that my body kept doing that. what a shock when Lori told me that i was suddenly 5.5 centimeters and indeed in labor. she sent me to go on a long walk and then to come back and that we would take it from there. that i was going to have a baby that day!
the excitement that ensued during our walk was my favorite. i'll never forget nick holding my hands as we walked down the street in downtown bellevue, and laps around the parking lot. its my favorite memories because it was just the 2 of us and i felt so much peace and joy. Nick is the best during labor -  he is calm and amazing. plus, he offered to take photos of me  - the last one with molly in my belly. (because he knew how much they meant to me) and he makes the littlest things fun. we headed back inside and were told to just go to the hospital - that there was a room waiting for me and they would break my water and deliver my baby girl - i couldnt believe it!

we called all the people & headed over to the hospital, it was around 5:45pm. i was so calm during every painful contraction - excited about every one because it was one step closer to meeting my Molly June. they got us all checked in and we set up and i got changed into my hospital gown and nick got me a giant cup of ice (my dream!) i had to get into the bed for some needle pokes and a little baby monitoring before they broke my water. i was so happy - and i have never felt more calm. so different from my first labor.
I didnt want to sit down, only keep walking and talking with my husband. Lori came in and broke my water - promising that contractions would be more painful and more intense after that, but that i needed to walk around the hospital a few times after. i was more than happy to do that, since sitting in bed was not in my plan.

since my labor with maggie was 100 percent different than this, i had already had an epidural when they broke my water, so this time around i had no idea what to expect. i'll tell you, its the most uncomfortable feeling in the world and the gush of water that comes out without your control is bananas. Nick and I walked around the hospital a few times, talking about what was about to happen and about maggie. i am pretty sure we called her on the phone to tell her that her baby sister was coming (although those details seem foggy to me now) the contractions got worse, just like Lori said and they were getting stronger. we went back to the room because i was feeling really achy in my back and the contractions were getting intense. by the time we got back i was in a lot of pain. i remember with each building wave of a contraction i would close my eyes, focus on being brave and just allow it to wash over my body. i didnt try to stop them or tense up. i just let it do what it was supposed to do, causing me to moan and rock my body onto my very tip toes. its an incredible feeling and even though its an awful pain i pray that i get to do it again someday. Lori told me the pain would not get much worse than it already was, and i decided that it was a good time to get an epidural, and it was the best epidural that you could ever imagine. i couldnt feel pain, just pressure, i could move my legs and it didnt really take on my right side, so i could feel a lot more there. it was amazing. im pretty sure that my mom, dad, brother and Lizzy and Rose were there by that time. i loved being able to visit with them but i was also very focused on the fact that i was soon, oh so soon going to give birth to the little girl that i had prayed for and over for months.
 they put me on a little bit of pitocin just to keep the contractions going after the epidural, and that sped things up quite a bit, i was dilated to a 7 or so and then i got these incredible shakes. it was like i was freezing and hot at the same time. nauseated and dizzy. i remember just laying there, with my eyes closed, dreaming about what was going to happen next, praying that i wouldnt throw up and that i would stay calm and anxious free. the next time i was checked, i said to Lori " i wonder if she will look like her sister!" and Lori said, " well, did Maggie have hair? because this little girl has hair and a lot of it!" literal cheers from my mom and I filled the room. my heart was racing with excitement. a few more visitors came and by 11pm i was 8 or more centimeters.
Lori came in and told me it was time to push. there was rushing around, and laughter and all the people were getting in their places. (im crying as i write this because it was the best feeling) and i started to push. i remember the feeling of her coming out, the way the pressure felt and how with every loud push i knew i was closer to meeting my beautiful, redemptive baby girl.
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 Lori asked who was going to cut the cord, and nick didnt want to do it, so she asked if i wanted to be the one who did and i said yes, in less than 10 minutes but maybe not more than 5 and 3 pushes i felt Molly June slide out of my body. i'll never forget the feeling of her exiting my body and entering my arms. its the most exhilarating addictive feeling ive ever felt. Lori lifted her our of my body and onto my chest and i set eyes on the second most beautiful girl i had ever seen. while i was holding her tiny, gooey body as close to me as possible, i kept talking about how i had never felt so brave. i had never felt so brave, and so beautiful and so strong. there was not an ounce of fear in me and i cut her from my body and she was here. Molly June was born at 11:17pm on Friday February 27th, and she made my heart whole. she filled in all the broken afraid places with joy and strength and bravery. everyone was crying, and even Lori was emotional as she was finishing things up. i remember the warm feeling of that sweet newborn baby girl who was wailing and finally here. i had waited so long, prayed for those moments for years and when they were finally here, they were even more amazing than i could have imagined. i never wanted it to be over, and i still dont. there was nothing about her birth that i would change. NOTHING. it went perfectly, and the love i felt for her when she entered this world has only grown and grown.
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Molly June has changed my life. Jesus used her and her birth to show me how brave i am, how brave i can be. how free and beautiful life is and that i dont need to hide behind fear. its a theme that has carried me through the past 6 weeks. i can do hard things, things i never thought possible. i can do hard things, i do hard things and i do them without fear and trembling because i know that with Jesus they are possible. Molly June is the bravest thing i have ever done. Molly June came into this world so fast, all 7 pounds and 18 inches of her, and just as swiftly as she came she changed me. when i looked into her big blue eyes and at her darling crooked nose (from being pushed out so fast!) while rubbing my fingers over her beautiful dark hair i knew that we were going to be ok. i knew that we were going to get through, and i knew it would be different than before. Molly June, changed me and made me whole and i'll want to relive her birthday over and over again for the rest of my life.
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1 comment:

  1. AH! In a few years you're going to be so glad you blogged all of this. A friend once asked me "Why write out your birth story? its not like you're going to forget!" and she is SO wrong. You start to forget little (important) details.

    Also, the pictures of you holding Molly after she was born literally brought me to tears. Beautiful.


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