Friday, March 22, 2013

Hadley Grace Bowen: its not supposed to be like this

Haddie Grace's birth story really begins several weeks earlier than her actual delivery date.  You see for some unknown reason I was convinced that this baby was going to come early so I had been anticipating her labor and delivery since around 38 weeks.  The theme of this whole labor and delivery is "it's not supposed to be like this".  Not to put a damper on her birth story- I promise it happened exactly as the Lord had planned and for that reason it is good; the outcome was a BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL (how could it not be good?), but it certainly didn't go according to my plan.

For starters my due date came and went and I was still pregnant: it's not supposed to be like this!  They started talking about induction, which I was very uncomfortable with.  I know I've mentioned this before, but I just really wanted things to progress naturally without any interventions.  After all, it worked for Phoebe, so why couldn't it happen again?

When I went into labor with Phoebe it was right after my doctor stripped my membranes and she was born a day before her due date.  So naturally stripping my membranes, should have put me into labor this time as well :)  My doctor had stripped my membranes twice, with no success.  (Obviously this baby wasn't ready to come yet.)  Sunday afternoon I was getting anxious, so I went over to a co-workers house and had her strip my membranes.  Well that finally got something started.  I had irregular contractions that evening and around 11:30pm Sunday evening I started contracting regularly- every 8 minutes.  They were uncomfortable, but not unbearable.  I thought something was probably starting.  I woke Chris up at some point later in the morning and we packed everything up in anticipation of heading to the hospital at some point and just hung out for awhile.  The problem was that the contractions weren't really getting any stronger or any closer together.  So we tried to go back to bed for a little while.  Of course I couldn't sleep, so I spent some time in the tub and they felt a lot better.  After that I was able to lay down and rest (not sleep) for an hour or two before it was time to get up Monday morning.  Monday morning I had a doctor's appointment so Chris and I dropped Phoebe off at Mom's Morning Out and headed to the doctor.  My contractions had started to feel stronger at this point, so I thought surely something had to be starting.  We had the bags in the car- just in case.  I had expected my second labor to be quicker than my first, but it wasn't: it's not supposed to be like this.

At around 11am at the doctor I was 4cm and completely effaced.  Contractions still not much closer together, but they were getting more uncomfortable.  She was very hesitant about me going home because she thought my labor could "take-off" and go very quickly at any point.  I was hesitant about going to the hospital, but she really wanted us to go ahead and get admitted.  Again I didn't want to go to the hospital until I was in active labor, but she promised I could just labor there in the tub on my own.  We went and got some lunch and walked around a walking path near the hospital for a little bit and went to check-in around 1:30pm.  She came over and checked me around 2:30 and I was 5cm.  I was hoping for a little more progress.  She wanted to break my water, but again I was hesitant.  She broke my water when I was 7cm last time and I still remember how bad it hurt.  Thankfully I transitioned quickly after that and delivered within a couple hours of my water breaking, but this time I was only 5 cm with weaker contractions that were more like every 3-6 minutes; I wasn't feeling all of them so I knew they couldn't be that strong.

For the next 3-4 hours I labored walking around the hospital and getting in and out of the tub.  My contractions were a little bit closer, but still not as strong as I would have expected.  Don't get me wrong- I was hurting; but more than anything I was tired- physically and emotionally tired.  Even if I were at home I would have been miserable trying to look after Phoebe and anticipating labor.  I decided she needed to break my water and we needed to get this show going.  Obviously my body wasn't taking over and moving forward on its own.  Again I kept thinking: it's not supposed to be like this.

Around 6 or 6:30 I was still only 6cm.  I was so discouraged because this labor was dragging on and on.  She broke my water.  I had light meconium so she put in an internal monitor to flush out some of it out.  The internal monitor also measures the exact pressure of the contractions; as suspected, they were very weak.  No wonder they weren't changing my cervix.  They were strong enough to hurt (especially being so tired and frustrated already) but not strong enough to effectively dilate my cervix.  Again it was discouraging to see how weak my contractions really were, but at this point they are really starting to hurt and I was not able to relax anymore.  I really did not want to have an epidural, and I thought I should be able to labor without one since I had the first time.  Your second labor is supposed to be easier/quicker than your first.  I kept thinking: it's not supposed to be like this.  But I knew at this point I needed pitocin or my contractions were never going to dilate my cervix and that I was going to need an epidural.  I was hurting so much (even with the wimpy contractions) all I wanted to do was sleep.  I hadn't slept in 36+ hours.  I labored for a couple more hours before getting the epidural at around 8:30.  I really hated getting the epidural, but I knew at that point it was the best option.  I also knew I really needed to sleep.  I was exhausted and at this point all I was thinking about was wanting to nurse her and needing some rest.

But again the epidural was not what I expected.  I wanted that blissful epidural where I would feel nothing and fall asleep- no such luck.  I hated the way the epidural made me feel!  It was awful!  I had that pins & needles feeling in my feet and legs like you feel when your foot falls asleep.  I hate that feeling and kept freaking out about it.  I couldn't relax or get comfortable not-to-mention sleep!  It's not supposed to be like this!!  I'm thankful for the epidural and have no regrets- I needed it and my contractions felt much better, but it was not what it was supposed to be.  They started pitocin around 8:45 (because I was still 6cm) and that is what I needed.  By around 10:20 or 10:30 I knew it was time to have a baby.  I waited for the doctor to get there and then pushed for 10 minutes and felt a lot more than I should have felt for having an epidural.  I kept thinking I'm not supposed to feel all this with an epidural- this epidural stinks!  All I wanted to do at that point was deliver so we could turn the stupid thing off!!

Well deliver I did.  At 10:44 pm (almost 24 hours after all this started but about 2 hours after they started the pitocin) Haddie Grace was born.  Phoebe was 6lbs 14oz full-term and I was expecting this baby to be bigger.  We were thinking around 8 lbs.  She was a whooping 9lbs 4oz!!!  What?!  I had no idea I was capable of carrying or delivering a 9+lb baby.  I knew my belly was bigger, but not that big!

We are thrilled and thank God for our little big blessing!  I have more to share, but this has gotten long so for now I will leave you with some pictures of our new bundle of joy.  We are enjoying loving on her, which is exactly how it is supposed to be :)

A huge thanks to Aubra for being "on-call" and picking up Phoebe from Mom's Morning Out, taking care of her Monday afternoon and getting Knox to the vet to board while we were at the hospital!  Don't know what we would do without you!!


My Joy-Filled Life


  1. Congratulations again Jen! You're so medically competent, obviously. So many of your terms I have no idea what they mean. Because I'll have to have a C section I guess I'll never know what they mean...

  2. Congratulations, Jen! Although it sounds much different than what you had planned, I'm glad everything worked out. Haddie is adorable and she has such a beautiful name :)


  3. Jen this birth story reminds me so much of my second sons birth (Micah). When I think back on that birth what I remember the most is the emotional frustrations throughout the birth. I was supposed to have a home birth but instead had to be induced at almost 42 weeks. Then after 12 hours on pitocin with no progress (2 maybe 3 cm) they had to break my water. Then at 17 hours on pitocin and minimal progress (I think it was 6 cm) I lost it and demanded an epidural. He arrived within an hour after that. It was not the birth I had wanted nor was it similar to my previous birth. But the result was a wonderful child, also a 9+lbs. Here's hoping the third is less emotional.

    thanks for sharing your birth story. Haddie Grace is precious and hopefully a good sleeper.

  4. My goodness I can't believe how different this time was for you than compared with Phoebe! I also can't get over how big Hadley was... WOW so crazy! So happy for you guys!

  5. Isn't it amazing how God handcrafts each one of our stories, starting from conception? It reassures me that He knows best, and thought you had the epidural & induction that you didn't want, it produced a beautiful BIG baby girl! congratulations again!

  6. What an experience you had! She is gorgeous though, and I love her name!!

  7. It is very hard that "it's not supposed to be like this" feeling - but massive congratulations and wow what a size :-)

    Would love for you to link this up at the Baby Shower a link party for all things pregnancy and new baby - Alice @ Mums Make Lists xx

  8. Congratulations! This is great, and you will definitely have a story to remember. But um... can you please tell me what stripping your membranes means?! That sounds terrible.

  9. awww!!! I cry! I can't help it, these stories just take over me. No matter how much you went you through you're right, it all ended just the way it was supposed to. My goodness you look beautiful in labor and little Miss Haddie is a doll baby!! Congratulations, so incredibly happy for you and your family :)

  10. Congratulations!! So exciting and so glad you have a healthy baby girl to snuggle! I completely understand the it's not suppose to be that way feeling. After 2 babies being born at 37 & 38 weeks both 7.7lbs I was SHOCKED when my 3rd came at 41 and 1 day, not to mention was 10.1 lbs at home.
    Hailey @ Love, Laughter and Lipstick

  11. Congratulations! She is precious!

  12. I'm so sorry things didn't go exactly as planned but all that matters is in the end you have your beautiful, healthy baby girl! Congrats!

  13. Thanks so much for linking up at the Friday Baby Shower Alice xxx

  14. I'm so sorry Haddie didn't come quite as planned, but I think it's great you did the best thing for you and her even if it wasn't "supposed to be like that.". She is a beautiful baby! Phoebe and Haddie are lucky to have such a strong, thoughtful, loving mama. Hope you finally got some rest after the delivery.

  15. Congrats (Late) on your baby girl!! I am been MIA from the blog world for a while! =) 1 computer and a husband in school means I dont get the laptop very often!! =) I am about 5 1/2 weeks away from my little girls c-section!! =)


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