Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eden Lee's Birth Story

What a sweet surprise to find out I was pregnant with Eden!  I found out in October of 2012 and was really excited we'd be having a summer baby (rare occurrence in our family!)  Time passed when in January 2013 we found out we were having another girl!  I've always known Jeremiah makes the perfect daddy to just fits.  In February after prayer and research I decided to switch from my regular OBGYN to a midwife and have a natural birth at our local birthing center.  It was a tough decision for us to make as a family because of some of the things we went through with Emery's labor and delivery, but I had a strong peace about it and desire for it.

Emery's birth was a tough one.  She had shoulder dystocia and a broken collar bone.  As new parents, we were devastated and never wanted any of our children to go through anything like that again.  I felt like being able to labor the way I wanted, labor in the water, move, get up from the bed when I wanted, etc., would be the key to preventing that from happening with Eden's birth and I knew I could easily do that at the birthing center.

As my pregnancy with Eden progressed, the midwives kept a close eye on her weight gain to make sure she wouldn't be 'too big' for me to deliver.  When I was 38 weeks they did an ultra sound and found out she was tiny (6lbs 5oz) and decided to do ultrasounds every week until I delivered to make sure she wasn't too tiny.  She continued to grow at her own pace.  My due date (June 23) came and went.  I was so ready to have her!  I thought she would come early, but she had her own plans.

On July 1, a Monday, when I was 41 weeks 1 day pregnant, the midwife told me I had until Wednesday to have her at the birthing center.  It's their policy to only have patients 41 weeks 3-4 days for safety reasons.  I was stressed!  I desperately wanted to avoid hospital birth.  I had some friends and family pray for very specific things regarding labor and delivery of Eden that being that I would have supernatural favor with the doctor and midwife that they'd give me extra time if needed.  We went in the next day for natural induction methods (nipple stimulation) and it didn't work.  Again, I was super bummed because that meant Eden only had 1 more day to come on 'my terms' :) .  We went in again on Wednesday, July 3, to try the natural induction method again and when we went in we had another ultra sound and non stress test.  Everything was still perfect in the womb and with Eden's growth, so the midwife came in and told me they would give me until Saturday when I would be 41 weeks and 6 days pregnant to have her at the birthing center!  I was SO relieved.  God answered the prayer of so many.  I knew she had to come by then, my stress level dropped tremendously, and I relaxed.  She said we could come in on Friday, July 5, and have my bag of waters broken and start the natural induction method again.  I would have 12 hours to get into active labor and could stay at the birthing center to have Eden without a transfer to the hospital.  That plan sounded the best to me and Jeremiah.

We had a restful 4th of July at my parent's house and spending time with Emery.  She spent the night with her grandma and poppa so we could get to the birthing center the next morning and relax.

Friday morning, July 5, Jeremiah and I went to the birthing center, had another ultra sound and non stress test where everything looked perfect still.  We went up to our birthing suite, The Tuscany Suite, and got settled.  My midwife was Annie.  Around 10:30 am she checked me (3-4 cm), broke my bag of waters, and we started the natural induction method again.  Things were progressing slowly.  Contractions were coming, but not very strong or regular.  My mom, sisters, and friend Natalie all arrived around noon to be my support alongside Jeremiah.  While we continued timing contractions, bouncing on the birthing ball, walking, squatting, etc, they all kept me laughing and entertained chatting and listening to worship music.  We were all praying active labor would kick in soon.  I loved having the freedom to eat and move around how I wanted to.  Such a different experience from a hospital birth!  After a couple of rounds of the natural induction, I noticed every time I would go to the bathroom, my contractions would get stronger and I was feeling a lot of pressure.  So, after sitting on the toilet for awhile, the contractions kept coming and coming.  I was in active labor!  The position must have been perfect for Eden to come down.  After getting checked again I was at 6 cm and remained there for awhile.  I got in the birthing tub around 8 pm because I was now in active labor from the contractions I had while on the toilet. :)  It was relaxing and the water helped ease the contractions.  We were all listening to the Civil Wars, chatting in between contractions, and watching the fireworks outside the window.  At this point, it was my dream labor come true.  It was easy, relaxing, and just how I wanted it.

After some time, I decided to get checked again because my contractions slowed in timing and intensity after being in the tub.  So, I got out and was checked and hadn't progressed at all.  At this point I was pretty discouraged.  In the back of my mind I was worried I wouldn't progress quickly enough and have to be sent to the hospital.  I think Annie must have known I was holding onto a fear because she had Jeremiah and I stay in the birthing room alone and talk about it and try to 'let go' of that fear.  After that, and some amazing hip motion exercises she helped me do, the contractions came back very strong, very consistent.  She had Jeremiah and I rest in the bed...which was what I really felt like I needed.  The contractions from that point on are what I consider transition contractions -- the contractions that build up to pushing.  During the contractions I could feel Eden moving down (finally!).  In between contractions I would rest in the bed and when they came, I would wake Jeremiah up (poor fella was exhausted) so he could help me through them.  At one point I remember yelling, "HELP, HELP, HELP!" and Jeremiah jumping out of the bed to get Annie.  When she came back in I told her I wanted to get back in the tub...I needed some relief and I felt like it was getting close.  As they filled the tub, I sat on the toilet again and let the contractions do their thing.  Annie and Jeremiah helped and encouraged me.  Then, it was time to get in the tub.  When I got in the tub it felt so good!  Just what I needed to relax.  The contractions were super intense at this point and it was impossible to get comfortable, but the water helped.  I don't think I was in the tub for 5 to 10 minutes before I felt like it was time to push.  I remember looking at Annie right as I felt a contraction coming on and saying, "Help me."  And she did, bless her heart! ha :)

The first urge to push I was hesitant on and didn't do it.  I didn't have myself in a good position to feel supported and push.  But, by the second time it was time to push, I just let my body do it's thing.  No one coached me on when to push, I just did it when I needed to.  I felt everything including the ring of fire!  I was extremely...vocal...during pushing lol!  I felt like Xena Warrior Princess!  It's a good thing I was the only momma in the birthing center that night.  I remember screaming to Annie, "Get her out of me!!!" a couple of times. Haha!  Once her head was out everyone told me to feel it, but I couldn't...I was so concentrated on pushing I couldn't think of anything else at that point. I remember at one point Annie telling me not to push for whatever reason, but it was nearly impossible not to.  Within a couple of minutes (at 12:46 am) Eden was completely out and Annie laid her on top of me.  She was completely covered in vernix and I was completely shocked I had just given birth to her.  Jeremiah and I were in love immediately!  It was such a cool moment.

We had decided to do delayed cord clamping, so it was kind of tricky getting from the tub to the bed with the cord still intact.  But, we did it!  And, once her cord stopped pulsing, Jeremiah got to cut it. :)  Once I got in bed I started having more totally freaked me out!  I thought I was done! Haha!  After some time the placenta came out and I finally felt relaxed.  Eden latched right on to nurse and we had skin to skin while Annie and our nurse were taking care of everything else.  It was such a precious moment.

We left that morning around 10:00 am to go home.  I loved being able to go to my own house and be in my own bed!  I was really looking forward to having both of my girls together.  Jeremiah's parents brought Emery later that afternoon to meet her little sister.  Emery was in love!  It was the sweetest moment to see them meet.  Pride beamed from Emery!  She's such a protective, sweet, and loving big sister.

Big Sister & Little Sister

I feel overwhelming gratitude for Annie.  It's hard to explain.  I can never thank her enough!  She worked so extremely hard to help me have my dream birth experience.  She bent over backwards to accommodate.  She was nurturing and comforting. She prayed with us, gently guided us, and made Eden's birth amazing.

Eden with our midwife, Annie

Jeremiah was such a rock for me.  He is such a good partner in this life.  I'm thankful he was with me every step of the way.

My momma and sisters (including Natalie) :)  made me feel comforted.  They knew when to pray, laugh, be funny, be quiet, and be supportive.  I'm thankful they all go to be apart of Eden's birth.

Aunt Natatlie, Aunt Rachel, and Dea (Aunt Amanda was taking the picture)

I would do it all over again if I could.  I'm so thankful to have both of my girls in my life!  God is so good!

Eden Lee Miller
July 6, 2013
12:46 am
8 lbs 1 oz
21.5 inches
Coming out of the water

I love Jeremiah's face!


  1. Oh the coming out of the water brought tears to my eyes and then Miah's face made them fall! Precious Kristen, just precious! Never gets old seeing/hearing about the miracle of birth.

  2. What An Amazing Story Kristen. Thank You For Sharing! you're Girls Are Darling.

  3. LOVE this story and Love your entire family! So happy for you all!

  4. Congratulations! She's so beautiful!

  5. So precious. We drove by on Neal street that night and I just knew she was coming! Glad you had a great experience with little Eden.

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