The Most Painful & Beautiful 24 Hours (part 1)

As I stare at my sleeping beauty this morning I am filled once more with awe and humility that God saw fit to open my womb. This journey of parenthood has surely been one of the most unexpected road trips of my life. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be writing this post, I probably would have rolled my eyes at them and in my heart plead with God that it would be true.

I’ve been writing this post in my head for about 10 days. But I just didn’t know how to share it because I also want to be aware of my friends and readers who are still longing for this day to happen to them. A few days ago I was reading my friend, Wynne Elder‘s blog, and she shared a quote from her friend Kate who had experienced a similar journey as I am on. Instead of me attempting to articulate my feelings, I feel that her words express my heart, so I will share them with you too:

“I do want to mention that if you are a lady reading today who is struggling to become pregnant or waiting on adoption, I am praying for you today. I have met many women through blogging and social media because of my miscarriage and adoption journey who have unfortunately struggled with infertility or are waiting the long wait with adoption. My heart goes out to you today. I’m asking the Lord to open your womb, to hear your cries and prayers, to bring your child home to you, to let you see that positive line, to hear that little heart beat, to receive the call you’ve been chosen, and most importantly to grant you peace and rest until that time comes. We serve a mighty, gracious God.”

And with that, I humbly share with you how our sweet Naomi entered this big world on April 23rd.

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I woke up on April 22nd at 4:30 in the morning determined to do all that I could to encourage my one week over due body to go into labor. The Birth Center that Jason and I had been receiving all of our care from has a policy for their mamas…once you pass the 41 week mark of pregnancy, you are required to labor and deliver at the hospital. I had less than 24 hours to attempt to deliver my baby girl where I had been longing to all of my pregnancy.

So early that morning, I started my naturally prescribed labor inducing methods (which included the dreaded castor oil) my midwives encouraged me to start. Then I went to town cleaning my house and baking muffins. Thankfully Jason had taken the day off from work to encourage me to keep moving, but to also help me stay sane.

By 9am, nothing had progressed besides my status quo contractions that had been about 10-12 minutes a part (that had been happening for days). I was on the tearful verge of giving up and watching TV all day because I had expected the castor oil to kick things off right away, but it didn’t…

Jason looked at me at 9am and in his tough love said, “So is this it? Are you just going to give up now and stay on the couch all day? Should we just schedule the induction?” If looks could kill, I’m sure the one I gave him would have done the trick. BUT what he said actually did the trick for me. I got up off the couch, made an appointment with my chiropractor at 10am and decided to keep going.

While at the chiropractor, I started feeling my contractions increase a little in timing and in intensity. So as Dr. Tim’s orders, we went home and started walking. We walked for 30 minutes, did squats, drank tons of water and did it again (I should also mention that I vacuumed the whole house in between walks to “cool down” from the warm weather). During the second walk around the park, we noticed that the contractions were closer to 2-3 minutes apart, so we called the midwives to see what we should do. At 12:30, they told us to come to the Birth Center…it looked like we were having a baby today!

So I called our doula and told her to not meet us at our house, but to meet us at the birth center. Jason threw stuff together in our bags and packed up food. We put the dogs in their kennels and headed out the door! We arrived at the birth center at 1pm and I was still nervous they would send us home because I truly did not believe that this little girl was ever going to come. The nurses checked me and I had dilated to 3cm!  They told me to unpack my things…we were staying! I was excited but also nervous.

I still didn’t believe this was all happening.

When Lindsay, our doula, arrived to the center we went on a walk around the building and up and down the stairs. It was so nice to have the freedom to go wherever we wanted and do whatever we wanted. I was loving the birth center environment. It was quiet and peaceful. We were blessed to be the only family laboring at the time, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The nurses were wonderful and I was enjoying my time…well in between contractions I was!

At around 2:30, we were noticing that things weren’t progressing, so we brainstormed. I had previously made an appointment with my acupuncturist for the 22nd, so I gave her a call and asked if I could still come see her even though I was in labor. She was at first hesitant, but when she heard that my nurses gave me the go-ahead, we started the drive over to see her. At 3pm I had my appointment (I should also mention that the castor oil started to take effect too…not cool) and I definitely felt a shift in my body from my time spent with Leslie, my acupuncturist. And so did Jason and Lindsay! My contractions started to get a little harder and last a little longer, which according to Lindsay was a good thing 🙂

By the time we arrived back at the birth center, the last member of my labor team had arrived. My best friend Katie was here to provide me support and also document the labor and delivery with her talented photography.

1404_Wood birth_026026I was still feeling pretty good in this above picture!

My midwife had arrived around 4:30 to check on how I was doing, so she and I went to our labor bedroom to see if anything had moved forward in the past 4 hours. Sadly, I was still at a 3-4, so she decided to strip my membranes. As she was doing that she was chatting away about something and I will never forget the words that she said next at 5:15 pm, “Opps! I just broke your water!”

At that moment-everything changed…the next 14 hours would be the most difficult hours of my life…

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  1. jennymarrsphotography says:

    Beautiful. I cannot wait to hear the rest of the story…


  1. […] (if you didn’t get a chance to read part 1, click here) […]

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