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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chasing A Rainbow: Evaelia's Birth Story- Part 1

I think most people find rainbows to be very intriguing and one of the great wonders of God's creation. My little Ellie does, and she's a little rainbow chaser! She is looking for one after every storm. As a matter of  fact, we just saw one the other day and she was very inquisitive about how they are made. I went through a simple explanation of the process. Then, I asked  her " When do you usually see rainbows Ellie?" Her reply was so perfect, " After a BIG storm mommy!"

Ever since the loss of  Zion, and then the subsequent loss of Selah, I've been "chasing my rainbow", so to speak. This certain rainbow was also one that my whole family, and so many of you dear friends were chasing after right alongside me. I desperately wanted a live baby! For me, when my babies died I just felt like I was not capable of producing a live, breathing baby! Still, in my heart, I didn't want my story to end that way. I wanted to feel the joy of holding life in my arms again ! I wanted beauty for my ashes! I wanted my "Rainbow Baby!"  Babies born to families after the loss of a child are referred to as "Rainbow Babies." The idea is that the baby is like a Rainbow after the storm.
My Rainbow Baby's story started sometime in early September, but I wasn't aware of it until that cool, Fall day in October, when the two pink lines appeared! I was scared... to... death, and honestly, in utter disbelief! It seemed impossible for me to be pregnant! The dates just didn't line up, thus giving me 2 different due dates! We were so surprised, yet thankful, that God saw fit to give us another chance at holding a precious new life in our arms, and we knew it was the right and perfect time.
 
I will admit, in the beginning it was hard! My pregnancy with my precious Selah was so full of  fear and anxiety after losing Zion, and I didn't want the same for this pregnancy.  However, I believe that finding out about my disorder helped me to move forward and be less anxious about my pregnancy this time. God began to give me peace after hearing every perfect heartbeat, and after viewing every beautiful ultrasound. I actually enjoyed my pregnancy!  Needless to say, my poor midwives did get their share of  tearful conversations filled with my strong desires for a live baby and my concerns to do be as healthy as I could be. They were always so compassionate and  understanding of where my fear was coming from and they were great at reminding me of how beautiful this pregnancy would be. 
 
Most of you know that I am a lover of birth, and I have been alongside many mothers, and witnessed many beautiful births since becoming a birth doula.  All my own prior 3 births were traumatic in their own sense, but Zion & Selah's birth really made my desires for a different birth much stronger. I wanted this birth to be peaceful, unlike my previous births, so I switched doctors completely.  I began the long haul to Statesville, NC to  Natural Beginnings Birth Center, which is over an hr drive from my home. The doctor there, Dr. Susan Roque, was the same doctor that confirmed Selah's death and also the one that discovered my disorder. She was very confident that I was healthy and that I could have a live baby again. She also assured me that I was healthy enough to have the home birth that I always wanted, if  I so desired. If not, the birth center was always another great option.We had already decided that if we had to deliver in a hospital, and it wasn't an emergency, that we would deliver in Statesville with Dr.Roque.
 
My pregnancy was beautiful , and my baby seemed perfectly healthy and vibrant! She kept me up all night with her lively squirms, and she kept me sleepless during most of my days too! I loved sharing moments of her with so many of my friends and loved ones! She really was/is everybody's rainbow  baby! It wasn't long and  June 7th, my first due date, was right around the corner, and I was getting anxious to hold my new baby! Using Zion and Selah's death as tools, satan  tried to convince me that my baby would die and that my choices on where to birth would be detrimental to his/her life. However, I knew that the briefness of my baby's lives here on Earth had nothing to do with my choice on where to birth, nor my care providers. Throughout the remainder of the pregnancy we were very prayerful in our decisions on where, and how to birth our baby.We always wanted to have a peaceful water birth at home but just like before, we knew that things might not turn out how we may plan or desire.

Now on to the birth story!! On June 7th I still felt pretty good. I hadn't become miserable yet!  Remember, I'm known to go past my "due dates" at least 3 days.  June 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th passed, and still nothing much more than strong Braxton Hicks contractions. Before I knew it,  I was over a week past my first due date and soon approaching my 2nd one, June 18th!!  I'll admit, I was so anxious to hold my baby alive and in my arms!! I had people calling me daily to see if anything was stirring and to make sure that I hadn't had the baby yet. I had a whole week of on and off contractions that became very tiring , and to be honest, aggravating! They ranged anywhere from 8 min apart to 3 hrs. apart!! I was getting so tired that by that time, the only thing I wanted to do was hold my baby. It was June 15th, and was desperate, so I decided to go on a long, treacherous hike in the woods. The trail was over 2 miles long and was decorated with beautiful scenery!! I know ...I'm crazy but I went into labor with Ellie after running up and down hills at our local park , so I thought I would try it again!! LOL! I still laugh when I picture myself that day in that hot, July heat. I had on the thinnest dress I could find and my tennies running up those steep, rolling hills. Onlookers laughed and gazed, all while , my ever so inspirational husband coached me on! 
 
Just like then , I came home that afternoon and expected to feel something and.... NOTHING! The contractions had went from 10-14 min apart while hiking, to absolutely nothing! I didn't have another one until I made a phone call to my midwife. At her advice,  I decided to pump my breast for about an hour to see if  it could initiate stronger and closer contractions. A rush of contraction-causing hormones are released naturally into the mother’s bloodstream when nipples are stimulated!  There my crazy self  was trying to stim- MOO-late my nipples! Hehe!(Yes... I'm snickering!) So I drug out the old milk machine and thought " Hey... it's worth a shot!" Well ....good golly Miss Molly it was!! I  only had the pump on for  5 min.s and instantly  I was like, "Whoa...!!!" They hurt  and they became closer together and tons stronger!! Ba.....Bam... they just kept comin' !!  At 30 mins they had went from 5 mins apart to 3 mins. apart , and they were consistent! Wow.... I couldn't believe it! IT was happening! After those first 30 min I couldn't take it anymore!! I had went from 0 to 60 quickly and  I wanted to see if they would remain, so I stopped pumping. Then, they actually got further apart,  but they still had that same fierce strength to them! I knew this feeling well  and  I knew there was NO TURNING BACK!!  I was wondering how long this would go on considering I'm known to have 24 hr labors!!  I knew I was getting ready to meet my baby!
 
 ** Stay tuned for part 2 of Evaelia's birth story!**
 

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