Esther's Birth Story

My favorite postpartum activity seems to be writing the birth story, so I’ve been very excited to share with you all about how my sweet Esther girl made her debut into the world THREE weeks ago now. Time flies when you’re nursing a baby all day every day!

I am loving all the baby snuggles and seeing my son give little forehead kisses to baby sister. On the rare occasion that I squish both my kids onto my lap, my heart feels the fullness of joy rushing through it. I can’t imagine life without my babies.

A few weeks ago, I was nearing my due date, and for some reason could not shake the anxiety that surrounded the anticipation of labor. Because I’d experienced it before, I assume, the idea of going through it again scared me. I wrestled with this fear all day long, and all I could do was pray or try to take my mind off it. Two days before she was born, I began to feel mild contractions that were very far apart. The anxiety worsened. I prayed. I finished the baby quilt, I went to bed early to make sure I was well-rested in case I went into labor.

When I woke up the next morning I had a few contractions closer together, and considered asking my husband to stay home from work. But before his alarm went off they stopped, so I went back to sleep. That morning I had my 40 week appointment with my midwife. I was measuring four centimeters. Pretty good for full term, but not in active labor yet. Those annoying contractions were happening once or twice an hour. But again, the anxiety kept drumming in my chest so I went home and parked myself on the couch.

I did this because I didn’t want to move about and cause anything to progress before my husband got home from work. My mind was racing with trying to figure out the logistics of getting to the hospital if he wasn’t here to drive me. With my son, once I was in labor it was very intense, so I was nervous about it starting when I was alone.

So, I stayed on the couch as much as I could. When my husband got home from work we ate dinner, relaxed, and I told him how nervous I felt. By this point I was feeling kind of shaky, my body shivering even though I wasn’t cold. But the contractions were still very far apart. My husband prayed over me for the anxiety. I read through the Bible verses my sister had written down for me, and tried to relax. Then we went to bed. Early, just in case.

I woke up at 1 am to painful contractions that were still ten-fifteen minutes apart. I no longer could sleep through them, and spent an hour enduring a few contractions while dozing off in between. At 2 am my husband got out his stopwatch and they began to be five minutes apart. He told me we needed to get ready to leave. I asked if we could wait. I didn’t want to go if it wasn’t time yet. What if labor stopped? My husband told me I was being silly and told me to call my midwife. So I did, and told her I’d be to the hospital by 3am. Then I called my mom, who had agreed to meet us at the hospital to take my son for a little sleepover while I had the baby. Thank God for parents who were willing to do that at 2am!

While we packed up the car I just paved on our driveway because the contractions were just rolling, with no breaks in between. I got in the car and prayed as we went to the hospital, releasing my fear and choosing to trust God. I knew I’d be meeting my baby girl soon.

By 3am we’d gotten baby boy handed over to the grandparents and we checked in to the hospital. In the delivery room they got us all checked in. I declined an IV, signed some paperwork, and they began monitoring baby’s heartbeat. My midwife got there and checked me and I was measuring seven centimeters. While they established the baby’s heart rate, I did some contractions by the bed, and in between I rested or hugged my husband. He’s the best.

Once they’d gotten comfortable with the baby’s heart rate, they took me off the monitor and I was able to change positions for contractions. I told my midwife where the pain was and she thought the baby might need help getting into the right position. She suggested I walk through the next several contractions. This was torture. I paced back and forth the length of the delivery room through several contractions. They were very intense and I could feel things progressing. As I neared transition, I began to feel very emotional. I asked my husband to play some worship music, and I worshipped as I walked through the pain. I felt so grateful to God for this baby, and began to feel so much excitement to meet her.

My midwife filled up the tub while I did a few more contractions walking. She added some essential oils, and I got to get in and enjoy the relief of the warm water. In the tub, I had a few more contractions before I had a really big one that left me feeling a lot of pressure when it subsided.

I told my midwife that it was almost time for me to push, and since hospital policy is that you can’t give birth in the tub, that I needed to get out. She kind of hinted that if I wanted to stay in there I could, that she’d let me decide. After all, who’d care once the baby was there, right? I thought about it for a bit, but I wanted the support while I pushed, so I decided to get out of the tub and use the birth seat.

While preparing to push, my midwife asked if I wanted to be checked to see if I was fully dilated. I told her no, that I wanted to just trust my buddy and push when I felt the urge.

I felt nervous, so I talked about meeting the baby and said out loud the things I was looking forward to about meeting my daughter. This helped me relax and let go of my nerves. On the third push, I felt my water break and baby’s head begin to come down. One more push and her head was out, and then baby girl was here! She had the cord wrapped around her neck—no big deal, it wasn’t pinched—so my midwife untangled her and handed me my daughter. The picture my husband took of that first moment is perfect and captures the joy and astonishment on my face, though I won’t be sharing it here. I am thankful my hubby thinks to take pictures for me to look back on later.

I remember feeling so present and full of joy as I held her in my arms for the first time. She was born at 4:41 am, less than two hours after arriving to the hospital. But the entire process felt so calm and peaceful.

God is so good. Even with all the anxiety I felt before labor began, I was able to be calm and present while I welcomed my baby girl into the world. It was everything I prayed for. And Esther is healthy and precious and loves to snuggle.

My sweetie girl is three weeks old now. She’s adored by big brother, cherished by her aunties and uncles, and her cousins think she’s pretty cute. Well, I do too.

And for those of you who wanted to see it—here’s the finished quilt:


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