*Just FYI, I have included a picture of the exact moment Lydia was born towards the end of this post. I am in the water tub and you can’t really see anything other than her head. It is my absolute favorite picture that anyone has ever taken of me and I felt it was important to include it in the post. However, I totally understand if you don’t want to see it.*
If the theme of Lydia’s Birth Story Part 2 was peace than the theme of Part 3 would be surprise! I know it’s taken a couple of weeks to get to it but there was so much background that I wanted to share. Hopefully, this will tie it all together nicely and give you a little glimpse into just how sovereign my God is. He truly had His hand in this entire journey!
The first surprise was Lydia’s birthday because Aymen & Ada were both late arrivals. Like really late. Aymen was 6 days late and ended up arriving on my birthday. Ada was NINE days late and arrived quickly. So, naturally, we assumed Lydia would follow suit and come after her due date (Feb. 4th). Mentally, I was telling myself that she wouldn’t be here until Valentine’s Day. I knew that was a stretch but at least anything before then would be extra joyful! I was also preparing myself for having a SuperBowl Baby. The Panthers had made it for the first time in TWELVE YEARS and seriously, even being in labor wasn’t going to stop me from watching it.
The second surprise was how fast Lydia arrived. My labor & delivery was roughly 3.5 hours from start to finish and it took me about half of that time to realize that I was in actual labor! So here’s timeline of how it all went down.
Monday, February 1st
10am: I’m at my 39 week prenatal appointment. I had experienced some strong but sporadic contractions the night before, nothing unusual though. Marcia, my wonderful midwife at Natural Beginnings Birth Center, checked me at my request to see if any progress was being made. Surprisingly, she said I was dilated to 3, almost 4 cm. She asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes and I said sure, it couldn’t hurt anything. In my mind, it would still be another week before Lydia would get here. We finished up, I scheduled my 40-wk appointment, and headed out the door calling back “See y’all later!” as I was leaving. I had no idea that “later” would mean “later this afternoon.”
1pm: It was a beautiful day outside and I took Aymen & Ada out for a walk before naptime. Ada was in her Little Tykes red/yellow car and I was stooped over pushing her back up our road when the first contraction hit me. Maybe it was because I was bent over but I had to stop and breathe through it. We headed back to the garage and 15 minutes later, another contraction that made me stop. I packed everyone up to head inside when 15 minutes later, another one came. I laid Ada down for her nap and 10 minutes later, another one. 4 really strong, regular contractions in a matter of 45 minutes might have gotten any other momma excited but I just said “maybe if I lie down on the couch, they’ll slow down.”
2pm: Aymen & I were curled up on the couch and I was breathing through contractions that were now about 6-7 minutes apart. I texted Lee and told him that I was having ‘some contractions but they would probably slow down soon since I was relaxing on the couch.’ After a couple more, I realized that I was to the point where I didn’t want Aymen touching me during them. I would kind of push her off my legs for a minute so I could breathe & focus. She wasn’t too happy about that. I texted Lee again and casually said ‘If you get to a stopping point, come on home. I’m need to go take a bath.” I guess it still hadn’t hit me that this could be it.
3pm: I’m taking a bath with my Labor Mix music playing. I’m now draped over the side of the tub during each contraction. Aymen is coming in the bathroom every few minutes to ‘check’ on me … “Mommy, is that water too hot, lemme touch it and see.” “Mommy, is your belly hurting? Is Lydia still in there?” Ada is awake & crying to get out of her crib but I’m not moving. It was a very stressful 15 minutes until Lee came home. I remember looking at him and saying “I’m so glad you’re here. I didn’t think the contractions would stop with everyone freaking out. I’m pretty sure they’ll slow down now.” Bear in mind that at this point, the contractions are over a minute long & are now 4-5 minutes apart. But I was sure they would slow down.
3:30ish: I called my mom to ask if she could make her way to our house and watch the girls because this might be it and she was about 45 minutes away. Lee called his mom to see where she was and she was about 30 minutes away and he told her to get here fast. About 10 minutes later, I stood up to get out of the tub and had three BIG contractions back-to-back which is when it FINALLY hit me. THIS IS IT! LEE, WHERE IS NANA??? CALL HER NOW. GET THE CARSEATS OUT OF MY CAR, PACK THE DIAPER BAG FOR THE GIRLS, WHERE IS YOUR MOTHER? WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW!!!!!!!!
3:45pm: Nana arrived about 15 mintues ahead of schedule, she ran inside and helped me get dressed while Lee is loaded up her car. I got in our car and we are backed out of the driveway at 3:55pm before she got either of the girls buckled into their carseats. They were headed back to her house for the night so we could rest & sleep with Lydia before we had all three girls together.
Remember in Part 2 that I was praying for PEACE. Well, my God delivered in a big way. I was laboring, my contractions were close, long, and hard. 3 minutes apart, over a minute long the entire car ride. The miracle was that for the 2 minutes or so in between them, I was so peaceful. No pain, no labored breathing. I was texting my friends and family, singing along with my playlist, & praising my God for the beauty of what was happening. It was surreal. I remember that the worst part of Ada’s birth was the car ride and I specifically prayed that I wouldn’t experience anything close to that again. God answers prayers, y’all.
4:19pm: We arrive at the birth center and Marcia checks me. I’m 8 cm dilated and they began to fill up the tub. Lee later laughed and said “Well, she said there was time to fill up the tub but her face said there probably wasn’t.” I found that sitting on the edge of the bed during my contractions was the most comfortable so that’s where I was for about 10 minutes. My mom arrived and I was joking with her and talking to her. I don’t think anyone realized how close delivery was because of how calm & peaceful I acted. The student midwife came in to check on me and tell me that I had about 15 more minutes before I could get into the tub.
4:30 pm: I felt everything shift down during a big contraction, looked at the student midwife, and exclaimed “I think I need to get in the tub NOW.” They help me in the tub and my water breaks with the next contraction. I kid you not that with the 2nd contraction in the tub, Lydia’s head comes out. I still have about a minute or two between contractions & am just sitting in the tub with her head out waiting for my next contraction. The sense of peace & calm in me was stronger than I’ve ever felt in my life.
4:37 pm: My next contraction comes and so does Lydia. As I’m pushing her out, I see that no one is reaching in the tub to catch her so I reach down, grab her, and bring her right to me! She had arrived….18 minutes after we got to the birth center, SURPRISE! What a beautiful moment that I’ll cherish forever. My first baby that I got to catch. My first labor that I felt totally in control of and aware of the entire time. My first child born BEFORE her due date.
So many firsts and surprises with our third daughter. God’s perfect orchestration always amazes me. Looking back it was so easy to spot His hand guiding all of us through this fast & furious delivery. He placed Lee’s mom 20 minutes closer to us because if we had we waited on my mom, Lydia would have been born in the parking lot of the birth center or on the side of Highway 70.
A few days after she was born, I realized just how well she fit into our family….you see, Aymen & I share a birthday (12/1) and Lydia was born on 2/1. Ada was 9 days late and was born on 7/22 and Lee’s birthday is 5/22. There was absolutely no way that Lydia didn’t fit in with us! I don’t know what I was worried about =) God was and still is truly in control!
Click to read Part 1 of Lydia’s Natural Birth story here.
Check out Part 2 of Lydia’s Birth story here.
You can read about Aymen’s natural birth story here.
Don’t forget to read about Ada’s natural birth story here.