Hollis June is here! Actually, she’s been around for almost 9 weeks now. We love her. I can tell her personality is much different than my spirited Benjamin. She’s sweet and snuggly and she loves to be swaddled almost all the time.
I’ve had quite a few people ask me for the birth story of Hollis. Can I just say … this birth was completely different my birth experience with Benjamin (you can read about that here). She was born 6/18/2014 at 6:01am, weighing in at 6 pounds 6 ounces.
Let me preface real quick: I was terrified of this labor. My birth experience with Benjamin was difficult and the end result was a mixture of heartbreak and joy all at the same time. In my birth with Benjamin, I had the presence of my husband, my parents, and two (yes, two!) doulas. This time around, I decided I only wanted my husband in the room so that we could make decisions on our own. Though doula’s are amazing, I felt pressured during my birth with Benjamin to not have a c-section (when, looking back, I should have definitely had one because he had lost oxygen and needed to be taken out of me immediately).
On Monday night, June 16 (which was my due date), I was up all night with contractions. They were about 15 minutes apart and only lasted from about 11pm to 7am. Then, they just stopped and I figured I must have just been paranoid. I was exhausted, considering I had not gotten any sleep the night prior. But, when you’ve got a toddler running around the house trying to stick his hand down the toilet and demanding a “Nack” (snack), I just didn’t have time to take a nap. Thankfully, my sweet husband had part of the day off from studying and had asked his mom to come over and manhandle the toddler for me. So glad she did, because I was able to get a little nap in during the day. My husband suggested that we send Benjamin home with his parents for the night so that I could get some rest and he could take care of me that night if I happened to be up all night again with contractions. The Lord must have been speaking to him because as soon as my mother-in-law left with Benjamin, I started having contractions that were 5 minutes apart for over an hour. I told the husband that we should go ahead and get to the hospital, so we packed our bags REALLY quickly and zoomed to labor & delivery.
At this point, I was definitely having contractions but was mentally preparing in my mind to be sent home. A few days prior, when my OB had checked me, I was at 0 cm. So, I was thinking that for sure I was probably still at a 0 or 1.
When we got to triage at 8pm, they checked me and surprised my by telling me that I was already at 4cm! My first response, “Oh my gosh! Get me my epidural!!” I tried the whole natural, no medicine route with Benjamin and it didn’t work out. So, I knew with Hollis’ birth that I would want the medicine and I have no shame in that!
About an hour or so later, I was given my epidural and felt much better. Except, just like my birth with Benjamin, I could feel all the pain in the lower, right back. My thoughts flooded with memories of his birth at that moment, and I began to panic a little bit at the thought of something going wrong (again). I asked the doctor to come back in and give me another dose of the epidural, which he did. I could still feel the pain and it was painful. Around 1am, they checked me again and I was at 7cm. At this point, I could not believe that I had been in labor for only 6 hours and was already at a 7. I couldn’t believe that I was going to meet my little girl so soon!
Around 2:30am, I was at 8 1/2cm. I could feel a lot of pain because the epidural had not worked completely, but was excited that I was almost there.
Except that I stalled at 8 1/2 cm. And the nurse came in around 4:45am and told me that they had called the OB in to come and talk to me about what my options were since I had been at 8 1/2 for longer than normal. I was kind of screaming at this point because my epidural felt like it had worn off and there was no end in sight. The anesthesiologist told me that if I wanted another dose of medicine, he would have to start all over and do it again. I screamed and laughed and panicked all at the same time, because I knew that was absolutely, positively not an option. The pain was too excruciating to have him start all over.
The OB came in (not my doctor) and checked me. Thankfully, I was at 10cm and he told me that it was time to push. I was crying at this point because I realized that I was going to feel everything and that the epidural would not be working like I had hoped it would. I was also in mounts of fear because the last time I had pushed to get my baby out, he had come out almost lifeless. All I could think was that something was going to go wrong. Thankfully, my husband is in medical school and had just finished his OB/GYN rotation. He had been meticulously watching Hollis’ heart the entire time and kept telling me, “She looks great. Her heartbeat is perfect.” His reassurance helped me in my panicked state.
The OB put on his scrubs and I panicked once again. Except this time, the doctor looked at me straight in the eyes and told me, “Brittany, you are going to push because we do not want the other option, do we?”
“Right, I don’t want a c-section!”
“Okay, let’s do this.”
Whew. He told me to push and even though I could feel everything and the pain was terrible, I did it. I waited and then pushed again. She was crowning…already! I pushed for the third time, and she was almost here. AND ON THE FOURTH PUSH, SHE WAS HERE!
Completely different than my first birth.
I cried as I saw her for the first time. She looked exactly like my firstborn. And all I could say was, “I love you. I love you. Oh, I love you!” She cried as they cleaned her up and then they placed her on my chest and all I could think was how redeeming this birth was for me. Just as the Lord had spoken over me for the entire pregnancy – that he would be redeeming the birth experience for me. God was faithful, again.
We love you, HJ! You are precious and loved.