I can hardly believe that I am doing this. Hold on...I can hardly believe that I have "kids" or "daughters" LIKE IT'S PLURAL!!! I NEVER take it for granted EVER. I GET to write another birth story. What an honour, a privilege to tell another babies journey into the world. I have a feeling this one won't be another ten pager, like Hazel's birth story was. Nola wasn't as high maintenance as her sister.
Even though this birth story might not be as many pages, it might not include as much drama, you won't find any medical jargon, there wasn't an imminent threat of surgery or death upon arrival. It still has enough power and strength to have changed my heart in a completely different and utterly necessary way.
I hope you enjoy!
(I am so thankful that Tiff, from Vita Photography, was there to capture these sweet moments. I look at them often and treasure them deeply. I am not sure this would have been possible had her and I not been so close. It helps to have extremely talented and supportive cousins. There are not really any before shots cause she literally walked in RIGHT before I started pushing. No fault of her own. What can I say? My babies come fast)
I'm 41 weeks pregnant, which is great.
No not great!!! NOPE - NOT AT ALL!!!
Couldn't sleep, couldn't walk, couldn't move, COULDN'T DEAL!!!! Trying to be a good mother to Hazel felt completely out of the question. Trust me when I tell you, that added emotional failure to the daily routine was productive. I literally felt like this baby was never going to come.
NO I wasn't enjoying the lasts days of my baby and I sharing one body. Not one bit. I prayed so hard. Every. Single. Night, for her to come OUT!!! Let's just say I am not my "best-self" anywhere from 35 to 41 weeks pregnant. Do NOT judge me!
So after a few very, VERY uncomfortable visits to the OB and still no baby we decide that it's time to induce. Naturally, I went diving head first into panic mode.
This really wasn't expected. I had no knowledge of what being induced would entail. I didn't want to start looking it up on the internet and I had a hard time asking people for their experiences, as it's so different for everyone. All I knew in the back of my mind was that being induced is generally "not ideal". I immediately became so afraid of labour. A feeling that I never had prior. Fears like, was it going to take longer? Would it be more painful?
WAS IT GOING TO TAKE LONGER?!!! Ugh.
I got a few opinions. Some were great, some not so much. Anyways....
We decide on the day. Saturday (not realizing at the time that it was November 9th - my sweet Allie Belle's birthday). As good a day as any. I got into bed the night before praying to go into labour. NOPE!
I got the call at 6:30 am. They had a bed for me. No rush. Have a shower, something to eat and come on in whenever you're ready. The whole morning was pretty chill. I walk into the the OB wing of the hospital at about 8ish, only to be greeted by what seemed like the entire nursing staff and doc. Lovely entry to arms-a-wavin' and happy, smiling faces saying...
"Your having a baby today?"
By 8:30 I was in a gown and my water was broken. I immediately started contracting on my own. No drugs necessary. Nurses started taking a history. Wondering what my last labour was like. "Hmmmmmmmm, so you went from 4 to 10cms in 20 minutes?" The wheels were turning. Contractions were getting very intense, very fast.
VERY VERY FAST!!!!
The plan quickly turned into, "let's just see where these contractions take us" before we start the Oxycontin. My body started to command the stage. I was in some serious pain. It came fast and furious and was holding nothing back. It was too MUCH, TOO FAST!
9:30 was the limit. I need drugs now please. PLEASE!!!!!
Oh, there's no anesthesiologist available right now? AMAZING!!!
The nurse took one look at me and said, "I think we'll call someone in for you."
By 10 the epi was getting put in, still at 2 cms. Hmmmmmm...I don't think so. Not with these contractions.
Matt was kicked out into the waiting arms of the family. Of which there was no shortage of. Same crazy bunch that were there for Hazel. We take over. That's our thing. We fill waiting rooms to the brim with family. Sometimes, my father-in-law's thing, is to offer money to other awaiting family members for the "boy" that they are waiting to meet. I guess he's pretty determined to get his grandson (don't think I didn't hear that little tidbit Pip!!!)
So epi is getting put in, Matt is out of the room, contractions are getting very strong, but I felt great! 10:30 things are happening, nurse decides to check again, just in case things happened to change. HEEEEEELLO...10cms. HA! It creeps up on you that elusive 10cm cervix. FAST!
Drugs were in full effect, I was thinking this pushing thing was not going to be productive. The doc came in, checked the baby's heart print out and made a call. We need to get her out. Right now. She's having some stress and he was not comfortable waiting for the drugs to wear off a bit. Turns out when a doc tells you that your baby is in distress you figure out pretty quickly how to push her out.
Within about 4 pushes, out came her little head. I watched her first seconds entering the world. Still very much a part of me. I let out a huge gasp of amazement. I cried in awe, "Oh My God...There's her head!" There she was. Her perfect little grey head. How is this even possible? A couple more pushes and she was free. She was here. We were two bodies.
She filled the room. Her smell, her cries, her squeaks, her new life.
And there it was. It came barreling over me. Consuming me, flooding me, like water that breaks free from a damn, coating everything in its path. That feeling...
That feeling when they put this brand new baby on your chest and nobody is quite ready to take in what has just happened. It doesn't matter. There's a baby. Her face is super crunched up, she's crying and flailing and covered in that last little bit of mama. The world fades away, all the pain is gone, the anticipation is exchanged with love, the fatigue turns into nurture, the stress turns into joy. All in a split second - an instant - a snap of the finger. That's how long it takes for this little tiny person that was growing inside you, to change your soul forever. In those first few moments, when you exist only for this little being, only to provide for her. She rests so desperately there on your bare chest. Her skin on your skin. Her senses take over and she searches, wiggles and crawls her way down your chest, staking her claim. This is where she eats. This is where she lives. This is where she feels safe, cared for, and secure. Drinking in my scent, it's all she knows. Both of us clinging to each other aching to feel our bodies, our skin, her weight on my chest.
These moments were taken from Hazel. We didn't have these first few moments that are driven purely on instinct and love. This time, we got to truly appreciate the birthing process. I got to literally watch her come out of my body. Not worrying about her health, her heart, her belly. With each push, focusing on bringing her into the world and meeting our second daughter.
This is the story of how this girl healed me. It's my birth story.
From the moment I learned that she was growing inside me, until this very present moment. She took a broken, grieving woman and turned her into a completely satisfied, completed mama. She sewed up wounds that I didn't know I had. I thought Hazel cured me. She made me a mother. But the soul knows what it needs to feel peace. And my peace came with little Nola. I never dreamed of her. I never thought she was possible. And yet she is here. She just came.
I still look at her everyday and wonder how the universe got it sooooooooo right?
How the universe knew that my soul still needed healing?
My girl Nola, let me abandon all of those grieving, infertile moments that I had no idea I was still carrying around with me. She allowed me to believe, the absolute truth is, that God will provide. I struggled with this truth during our years of infertility. Nothing ever made sense and I felt abandoned. I could spend my entire lifetime providing, nurturing, loving, and supporting Nola and I still would NEVER be able to repay her for how she has given my soul peace and my heart contentment. She erased so much pain and replaced it with hope.
Not to mention how important she will be for Hazel in the future. Something my mama heart can't even begin to comprehend. If I focus on it I get all goose-bumpy and heart-fluttery. It's TOO much. Entirely, TOO much!
Looking back now, Hazel's birth/arrival was about healing Hazel. It was about forever changing the way that we view life, people and society. It was about teaching and allowing Hazel to send her message to the world. It was about accepting things that seemed like challenges but ended up filling our hearts with pure love. She allowed us to see everything with LOVE in our hearts and therefore letting us accept real LOVE into our lives.
Nola's birth/arrival was about healing us ALL as a family. She made us complete, whole. She brought balance and peace. She was exactly what we needed and she came at exactly the right time.
You were not planned for, you seemed impossible. You are a miracle, a little gift from God. You are welcomed, you are loved. You will never know the weight of your presence in our lives. We owe you baby girl and we plan to spend the rest of our lives repaying you in unconditional LOVE and support. You filled in all the cracks and made us impenetrable.
Gosh - I love you.
God is good.