Malachi's Birth Story
My beautiful baby boy was born May 2nd, 2018. He was 7 lbs 14 oz and was 20.5 inches long, and his birth story is beautiful. He is our first baby, and labor was by far the hardest, most insane thing I have ever experienced. They say you forget it, that’s why people have more than one kid, but right now it’s still very fresh in my mind. To know more about the beginning of my pregnancy and our journey check out my previous blog post. The biggest thing about labor and delivery for a first-time mom is the fear of the unknown, or so I read. As I actually experienced labor and delivery, and I have to agree. Not sure how it will feel or how it will go is a scary thing, luckily I had my husband, my mom, and God to help me through.
My pregnancy was a little more complicated than your average pregnancy. I had what was called an incompetent cervix, meaning it wasn’t thick or long enough to support a growing baby. Because of it was put on restricted activity, which basically meant I was trapped inside my house unable to do much but rest and avoid any strain. It was at my 20 week check up that they found out, and usually with this condition, most women lose the baby by 13-14 weeks. I thank God every day for our little one making it that far along and for keeping him safe. At 34 weeks I started experiencing some bad back and stomach pains. We went to the hospital and luckily my doctor was on call. It’s nice to only have one OBgyn - it's a personal thing. You kind of want to keep it to a limited number of people. After a routine checkup, she found that baby was good and that I was 5 cm dilated. The expression on her face was priceless when she told me. She was shocked and amazed that all I was experiencing was a little discomfort. She admitted me into the hospital convinced that the baby was coming today. They set up the delivery room, got all the equipment out and got ready. I started to feel nervous and anxious about labor and how it would all go. I was also worried about my baby, she informed me that even though he would be quite premature, his chances were really good. He would have to be in the NICU for a little while and they would take him straight away. I wouldn’t get that moment after delivery to hold him. For safe measures though she would give me some steroid shots for the development of his lungs. I spent the next day and a half in the hospital with nothing. The baby was good, I wasn’t having contractions or any more pain. She came back that night and discharged me with strict orders not to do anything but relax and the minute I felt anything to come back right away. The next week or so was like walking on eggshells. My mom came down and stayed with us just in case Malachi decided to make his appearance. Every time I flinched my husband and my mom thought it was a contraction and that we should go to the hospital right away. By the next week, I was so uncomfortable; the weather was warming up, I was swelling and my back and hips hurt. I wasn’t sleeping, walking and sitting was a struggle too. I started to get excited every time I felt a contraction, I thought “YES! The baby is coming.” I think we went to emerge about 3 or 4 times within 4 weeks and each time they sent me home. It was so upsetting, the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy was me sitting at home wishing that he would come. I would plan my days but had no drive to do anything but sit around. I had check-ups every week and each week she would tell me the same thing, “Still 5 cm, nothing changed” I would leave the doctors office more upset than the time before. May 2nd at 12 pm I went in for another appointment. I was determined not to get my hopes up and convinced she would say the same thing - still 5 cm. However, that’s not what happened. To my surprise and my husbands, she said: “Let us go have a baby.” I was now 6-7 cm, but I wasn’t in active labor, but she would break my water and we were going to have a baby that day! I really started to freak out now. This was actually happening, we were going to have a baby. I was going to go into labor and deliver a tiny human. Once we got to the hospital things started to move quickly. She broke my water. It was the strangest feeling, especially when you’re lying in it. Nothing happened after, so my husband went for a sandwich and I got up and started moving around. About 30 minutes later things started progressing quickly. I don’t say this to scare anyone but the three stages of labor - important. Those first 2 stages, they prepare you because the last stage is the hardest. I didn’t have any lead up to the last stage of contractions - I went straight to contractions that were 1-2 minutes apart and it was… nothing like I’ve ever felt. The shower really helped - just focusing on my husband's voice and the feeling of the water hitting my back really helped me breathe through until the next one. I couldn’t have done any of this without my husband - he was my rock. His voice talking me through the whole thing, reminding me I could do it. That I was strong and capable. Helping me remember who I was in God and the strength that I have because of Him. When it came time to push, I really started questioning my strength again. I had been on bed rest, and my physical activity had significantly decreased and I was exhausted. I felt like I had nothing left. There wasn’t an ounce of strength left, but then during one of the breaks between contractions, my doctor told me to rest. In that moment, it felt like I had hours, I just felt at peace. I could hear my husband and the doctors talking, I could feel the cool cloth my mom held against my forehead and I just rested. In that moment God renewed my strength, I could feel him there - in the midst of the crazy and the pain and the exhaustion. When it came time for the next contraction, I was ready. I knew I could do it, that God made me so that I could bring THIS life into the world. That even though it felt like I couldn’t push anymore, there was always a little bit left. After about 2 more contractions, my son was born. They placed him directly on my chest and I couldn't believe my eyes. He was the most precious, beautiful thing I had ever seen. They let me keep him for a little before cleaning him off and weighing him. My husband got to hold him next before they decided to call the NICU. He wasn’t breathing very well, and his oxygen was low, and he had a heart murmur. When we were getting ready for his arrival, we knew there was a chance he could go to the NICU. If this happened I wouldn't have that chance to see him right away. I believe that God granted us that time - a chance to hold him as soon as he was born before they decided to take him to the NICU. His breathing improved the next day, his murmur was gone, and we got to go home 3 days later. This pregnancy was truly a God thing. From start to finish, through every appointment and every decision, His hand was in it all. Now as I look at my little guy, I know that God has great plans for him and I’m so excited to watch him grow up. I’m so blessed to be his mommy, and I thank God every day. As traumatic as an experience like labor is, it truly is a beautiful thing. That God created our bodies to grow and deliver a perfect little human. And husbands to put up with us along the way. It’s an amazing thing, and it may be scary if you’ve never experienced it before but know that you were made to do it. Even though you feel like you can’t, know that there’s enough strength left in you to do it. It takes courage to give birth - to know how hard it will be but you do it anyways, and nothing beats the outcome.Live courageously, Love Crystal