Olivia's Birth Story- Part 1

Tuesday, July 12th was a busy day for us. I had a doctor appointment in the morning where we scheduled some monitoring for the following week knowing I'd be going late yet again. After the kids and I left there, we ran some errands in preparation of Noah's big birthday party & celebration for the following day.

Once home, I began working on Noah's birthday cake. I had planned for the last 6 months just what I was going to make. I spent most of later afternoon and evening working on the cake. (I'll post pics of it when I blog about Noah's birthday). I hadn't been feeling the greatest till later in the day because I had been on my feet most of the day and had just been downright busy doing a lot of things at once. Around 8pm I went out to the garden as I had 2 long rows of green beans that needed picked. The kids and Kevin were outside playing. When I was done with all that squatting and picking, I noticed I was feeling a bit crampy and having contractions. Nothing new though as that had been happening off and on for quite awhile.

Kevin had planned to take off work on Wednesday for Noah's birthday so we figured we'd make it a later night. We had gotten a redbox movie to watch once we put the kids to bed. Around 9:15 pm I glanced at the clock between contractions, though I felt I was being premature doing that because after all, these were going to stop just like all the other times. I figured being on my feet all day then working in the garden had brought them on. I was surprised to see that the contractions were 4-7 minutes apart and had been at this point for a good hour.

I decided to put together my supper as I hadn't eaten earlier. I made a big ole plate of loaded nachos with taco meat I had made earlier, including jalapenos & onions from my garden as well! lol As I was heating stuff up, I thought well, it wouldn't hurt to gather up our cameras and a bag of snacks for the kids "just in case" so it was in an easy place to grab last minute. You know, murphy's law, if I gather the stuff, we won't need it.

So we headed up to our room to watch the movie while I ate. Contractions continued and by the time I was done eating, I was getting a bit uncomfortable sitting in bed so I moved to my rocking chair to watch the movie. By this point in time, Kevin was able to tell when I was contracting because they were getting more uncomfortable and I was having to concentrate a little more to work through them. I kept telling him I don't know if this is really going to be it. I mean, I wasn't even late yet, there's no way that this could be it.

But at the same time, every so often I got up and threw something into my hospital bag "just in case". I hadn't really packed a bag yet because there isn't much ya really need to take to the hospital. I had a few baby things gathered in my bag already but that was it. So I put in some clothes for me. Then a bit later I put some toiletries in to finish it off.

The kids knew before going to bed that I was having contractions and they were cheering! In fact, they kept coming up to our room to check on me to see if I was still having contractions. When they realized I was, they said they were going to pack their bag. I said that was fine but not to be disappointed if my contractions stopped.

Towards the end of the movie, I was getting more uncomfortable and felt better standing when contractions hit. I was distracted thankfully as the movie was pretty hilarious. Contractions had remained 4-7 minutes apart the whole time. After the movie, Kevin suggested going and sitting out in the hot tub to see if that would help. (and yes, it's at a safe temp of 97 as I've been sitting out there throughout  pregnancy because it feels SO good). So about 11:20pm we headed out to the hot tub with the laptop to watch some tv. I said that I bet once I am sitting in the warm water, my contractions will stop. Ok, so I ended up being wrong. Within minutes of getting in there, my contractions started coming 2-3 minutes apart and were getting more intense.

I finally came to the realization that I was indeed in active labor. Once that truly hit me, I lost it. I sat there and just bawled. I honestly couldn't believe it was all happening so fast. And that of all days, I was going to be having this baby on Noah's birthday. I was due the day Noah died (the 14th) so people often asked what my thoughts were if I was to have this baby on his birthday or the day he died and I always just shrugged it off, knowing my history of going really late, I never thought it would happen. So all of a sudden I was being faced with this. Kevin reminded me that this was totally a thing from God and Noah. I think too, I was in tears because it was bringing back all the memories from Noah's birth, it really felt like a flashback.

We sat out in the hot tub for about 20 min and my contractions continued to be close and ones that I had to breathe through. I finally said we better get out as I wasn't sure where things were headed. Plus I knew I could get to that point where I won't want to get out and I figured I probably shouldn't be delivering in the hot tub (though I always wanted a water birth!)

We headed inside and while I got myself changed, Kevin called the answering service for the midwife to call me and he also woke up the kids. He said when he woke the kids up, they were groggy as they had only fallen asleep an hour earlier due to their excitement over my contractions (crazy kids!) They looked at him and said are you serious? When they realized it was time to head to the hospital, they flew into action. He had warned them before bed that when he tells them it's time, they need to keep moving. I think they were ready before I was!! When the midwife called me, she said since it's my 6th baby and I know what I'm doing, she didn't care if I wanted to stay at home for awhile yet or head in.

My contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart and pretty intense so we decided to head in. We pulled up to the hospital about 12:30am. Took me a bit to make my way in as I kept having to stop walking and work through contractions. As we walked through the doors of the maternity unit, my eyes teared up. I hadn't been here since the day Noah died and I walked out with empty arms. It felt like yesterday.

The nurse met us and lead us to our room. As soon as I stepped in that room, I threw myself on Kevin and sobbed. It was the SAME room Noah was born in and died in. The poor nurse just stood there confused. I motioned to Kevin for him to explain to her. She felt bad and offered to put us in a different room. I said no, they all look the same anyway. Besides, what are the chances that I am having this baby on Noah's birthday then to be unknowingly put in the same room that I was in with him? It was obvious there was a divine hand orchestrating all this and I felt that it would be something special to have this rainbow baby born right where Noah was born exactly a year earlier.

So we all got situated. When I saw who the midwife was, I was SO estatic! I had just met her a few weeks ago for the first time at one of my checkups. She talked a lot to the kids during that visit as well and we discovered that she had been homeschooled until she went to college. She was also 1 of 8 kids and seemed to be a lot like us in our thoughts and beliefs. And once she knew about Noah, she didn't hesitate to talk about him as well. I remember telling Kevin after that visit that I would love if she'd be the one delivering.

She checked me and I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was already 5cm! (ok as pleasantly as I could be in the midst of hard labor! lol) The kids cheered when she said that as well. (for those that may not remember, the kids were also present for Noah's birth so they are pretty well knowledged in what a lot of the birth terminology is).

It took till around 2am till we were done with some of the paperwork and just getting all the typical admission type stuff done. The midwife was so sweet, she took the kids to get a snack while the nurse was doing all the stuff that she needed to get done. I found out in talking with my labor nurse during this time, that she too had had a son die years ago when he was 3 months old. Wow!! So she knew exactly the emotions I was experiancing right then and there as she also had kids after her son died. She was great and it was encouraging having her share her story. Not only did God provide my great midwife, he also gave me a compassionate nurse who could relate to me as well.

 When the kids came back, we pulled out the sofa bed for them to try and catch a little nap. The midwife felt I was going to go pretty fast but we figured in the meantime, they might as well rest a bit.

About 4:30am I was checked and was a good 8cm. She broke my water at this point as it has never broke on it's own in the past. Sarah and Hannah woke up about this time and were getting excited as they knew it was going to be soon. I think around 5, we switched the tv on to have the news on in the background and as a distraction. Somewhere around 5:30, Erik & Susan woke up and of course the other 2 told them the baby was soon coming.

I was beginning to feel a lot of pressure at this point and knew it would be soon. The kids had cleaned up their sleeping stuff and were patiently waiting. I was getting ready to ring for the midwife when she came walking in to check me. She smiled and said I was 10cm and ready to have a baby which I sort've figured by this point. I had felt like the baby was ready to slide out and had made Kevin take a peek prior to her coming in to make sure a head wasn't hanging out! lol

Everything was so laid back, a totally different experiance than having a doctor deliver. It was only the midwife and 1 nurse in the room. We had had the lights dimmed a bit to be relaxing during labor and as the midwife was getting situated I said that's fine to adjust stuff. She said no we don't need to. So we had no harsh overhead lights, just nice, comforting lighting.  In fact, she just put her basic gear on and made sure the table of stuff was near her and that was it. She didn't take the bed apart, just put the redbag on it. No putting me in a weird position or in stirrups, I was allowed to just be like I wanted.

As the midwife was getting situated, my nurse said I could start pushing when I felt ready. As I started to push, she sort've yelled to stop (cuz the midwife was only getting her gown on) and told the midwife the baby was literally ready to come out very quick. I looked at her and said oops, I guess I should've told you all it takes is barely a push and my kiddos slide out. She laughed and said yes that would've been helpful. Thankfully the midwife was ready pretty quick and on my next contraction with only half a push, out slowly slid a head. She had positioned a mirror for me to see which was really neat. As the midwife shifted the baby's shoulders, out came the rest of the baby's body with no effort on my part except to watch the miraculous process of birth. Praise God I once again had a great delivery with no ill effects on my body! (I was once again blessed to leave the hospital not even feeling like I had a baby.)

The baby was immediately placed on my belly and we asked the kids "what is it" as the midwife was letting them announce the gender (we hadn't asked her to but she seemed so in tuned to them). We moved the umbilical cord out of the way and they said "it's a girl". The kids already knew the names we had picked, as the girls name we had chosen when I was pregnant with Erik and would've used it for Noah. So right away they started calling Olivia by name. What a precious sound to hear her crying, it just all seemed so surreal. I know I've said it so many times but it seemed just like yesterday we were going through the same thing with Noah, it was so de ja vu.

Olivia was born at 6:17am. We got to cuddle her for a bit on my chest while the midwife waited for her cord to stop pulsating (another difference having a midwife verses a doctor, which I loved.) When the midwife told Kevin he can now cut the cord, he asked the midwife if Erik could cut the cord (this was something he decided last minute). The midwife said sure. So the midwife and nurse showed Erik what to do, and with a beaming smile on his face, he cut Olivia's cord forever giving them a special bond.

I should back up and share that about a month before having her, Erik came to us and said he felt that God told him we were having a girl. You could hear the disappoint in his voice as he so desparately wanted another brother, an earthly brother. So we decided to try and help him prepare in case he was right. We said if it's a girl, he can chose her going home outfit so we took him out shopping the week before I was due and he picked out an outfit. We also said if he was right, he could be the first of the kids to hold her. Kevin thought allowing him to cut the cord would also give him a special bond with his little sister. Erik has been quite proud to tell everyone he got to cut the cord!

Once the cord was cut, they weighed and measured her. We knew Olivia was small but we were surprised to see that she broke the mold of our kids measuring 19". The older 5 were all 19" but she was 18"! I think because she was "early" she ended up a bit smaller then the rest. She weighed in at 6lb 8oz which is average for my babies as well.

Shortly after having Olivia, I started getting sick on my stomach. It wouldn't stop so they had to give me meds to stop it. Which I was thankful for because I was so hungry by this point (I always am after labor) and was really wanting to eat.

-continued on part 2 here-


  1. Anxiously awaiting part two...so far though what an amazing story. Your family is so strong and little Oliva is blessed to be a part of it.

  2. I love reading birth stories! :)


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