There are no words to properly describe how I feel about the birth of Nora Reeves. It was the birth experience Jeremiah and I both prayed for and dreamed about.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Nora, I knew I wanted to have her at the Birthing Center just as I had had Eden. Giving birth there was altogether a better labor and birthing experience than what I’d had at a hospital. Jeremiah and I both felt comfortable there and knew that was the route we wanted to go again.
My pregnancy with Nora flew by so quickly. Overall we had a healthy time and no major complications. Towards the beginning of my pregnancy I remembered I had a book called Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. I had won it off of a facebook page named the same. I knew it was about having a childbirth/pregnancy experience the way God intended – pain free. And, so I read the book and affirmed in my heart that’s what I wanted Nora’s birth to be. I encourage all mommas a read it, no matter what kind of birth you’re wanting, it’s good! It’s not a common type of childbirth experience, so I didn't go around shouting from the rooftops about it, but in my heart, I focused on God’s plan for me.
Since Eden was 2 weeks overdue, I had no idea what to expect from Nora. I knew 2 things, her expected due date was April 5 – Easter Sunday, and I did NOT want her born on April 1, April Fool’s day. Other than that, I was ok with her coming anytime.
I hadn't experienced going into labor on my own with my older girls. With Emery I was induced with Pitocin and with Eden I had my water broken at the birthing center and used a breast pump to get the contractions started, so I prayed to go into labor on my own. I really prayed that I would have a cool experience and my water would break on its own. Jeremiah even prayed he could have the experience of me going into labor on my own. So thankful it happened!
The week leading up to Nora’s birth, I had experienced some early signs of labor. I had a series of contractions (that were pain free, but not just Braxton Hicks). My body also cleaned itself out, if you know what I mean. Ha! I could feel Nora’s head engage and un-engage during the contractions I was experiencing. I had a feeling she would be coming sooner than later. When I went to my check-up the Friday before, I had dilated 3-4 cm. So, that night Jeremiah and I went to Nashville on what we figured would be our last date night before Nora came. Grandma and Poppa took care of the older girls and we got a night to ourselves. That Friday and Saturday I went into extreme nesting, it’s like my body knew she was coming soon.
Sunday, March 29, we did our normal church and afternoon nap. We had a nice family dinner and got the girls in bed. Jeremiah and I started our routine of watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix and folding laundry after the girls went to sleep. When it was time for us to go to bed (around midnight), I told Jeremiah, “If I go into labor tonight I have a plan of what I want to happen.” I told him the plan which included alerting our parents, showering and shaving my legs (that’s important ha!), and getting the girls where they needed to be. Little did I know, that’s what would happen.
I woke up at 5:15 AM to hearing a little pop and water gushing out. Thankfully, I ran to the bathroom so there wasn't a huge mess everywhere. As I was running, I excitedly told Jeremiah that my water broke. Great way for me to wake him up! He handled it well, and knew exactly what to do since I told him my plan the night before.
After I showered, we called the midwife around 6:00 AM. I told her that I thought my water broke, but I wasn't really sure because I hadn't had any contractions or gushing of water since then. She was going off of her shift at 7:00, so she told me to put on a pad for an hour and see if it fills up with water. In the mean time she would alert the midwife who would be coming on shift. I was so excited to find out it would be Tina, AND that Susan would be working in the office at the birthing center that day. I knew both of these midwives during my pregnancy with Eden and loved them both. I was very thankful they’d be there! So, until 7:00, I finished getting ready, got packed for the birthing center, did some laundry, did some dishes, and ate breakfast Jeremiah made. By then my mom was there with us to watch the girls, so we visited while we waited. Right around 7, I started having contractions. They were about 3 ½ minutes apart, but not painful. When I had one, I would stop what I was doing and breathe as I focused, then when it was over, I went right back to what I was doing. Somewhere around 7 or so, the midwife called and said to head over to the birthing center and she’d check to see if my water broke.
By then, both girls were up so, I got to spend some time with them as we finished up. At 7:30 AM, I remember looking at Jeremiah and telling him, “We need to leave right now.” I just knew it was time to go. There was no urgency in my contractions or anything, I just knew it was time. So we packed up and left. On our way we called my sisters to let them know. We assumed that by lunch time we’d have a baby.
We got to the birthing center around 7:40 AM. I was having some pretty intense contractions by the time we got there, still not miserable. Our midwife, Tina, checked me immediately. I was at 5 cm and she confirmed that my water broke. We headed to the monitoring room to check Nora’s heart rate, my hemoglobin, blood pressure, etc. I also had to get an antibiotic at this point because I had tested positive from Group B Strep. All that took about 15 minutes. I told Jeremiah to go ahead and bring our bags up because I knew we’d be staying. When he got back up with all of our things, I told him we needed to move to our birthing room. We got the Tuscany Suite, which is the same room I had Eden in. It’s so relaxing and beautiful in there.
We got into the room around 8 or a little after. At this point, I remember telling Jeremiah and Tina I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, but I wasn't sure. She said ok, that she would check me again if I wanted and she’d start filling up the tub. Everything felt like it was moving so fast (contractions, pressure from Nora’s head, etc.), I had a moment of panic. My contractions were becoming very painful, and I remember looking at Jeremiah and telling him, “I don’t know what to do!” in a very panicked state. He immediately calmed me down by just firmly saying, “Kristen.” When he did that, I snapped out of panic and decided to have Tina check me again. I got on the bed and she checked me. I was at 8-9 cm. Basically, right after she checked me, I knew it was time to push. I told Tina and Jeremiah it was time and Nora was coming right then. Thankfully, Tina had enough time to call Susan up from the office to help her because the nurse hadn't even had time to get there yet.
I started pushing. Nora’s head came out and Susan walked in the room just in time to help Tina with the rest. After a few minutes of pushing, Nora was here! She arrived at 8:25 AM. They placed her on top of me (I was still in my clothes since I hadn't had time to change), and I got to love on her and her sweet cheeks!
Unfortunately, she came so fast, we didn't get any pictures, I didn't get to have any time in the tub, and my mom didn't get to be there. But, thank God she was healthy and it was by far the easiest and quickest delivery I could have ever imagined having. While it wasn't completely pain free as I had hoped, it was extremely manageable, and I realize that when I let panic and fear take over, is when I felt the most pain. It was such a learning experience, and I’m very thankful I had Jeremiah there to ‘bring me back’ and remind me of my vision for this labor and delivery.
I had prayed for a ‘Hebrew Woman’ childbirth, and I believe I got to experience that! Thank God!
|Midwife Tina who kept her cool and got the job done!|
|Midwife Susan who got there just in time!|
|Nurse Priscilla who kept us entertained and pray-ed up!|
We had such a great team around us the rest of the day. Sweet nurses, and of course the greatest midwives! God went above and beyond in providing us with this birth experience. I am so so thankful!
A little bit after Nora was born, my mom got there and my sister, Amanda, got there and were able to meet her. Also, Jeremiah's mom got to bring Emery and Eden by to meet their new sister. Emery fell in love at first sight. Eden wasn't sure what to think of the new baby and new surroundings. Since then, Eden seems to really enjoy Nora and likes to 'pet' her. :)
We're blessed to have our family of 5! We love our girls!
Nora Reeves Miller
March 30, 2015
9 lbs 1 oz