I realized the closer we get to the birth of our second baby girl I was more than likely going to be sharing her birth story on here and it only seemed fair to share Jessamyn's as well. Now the details are quite a bit fuzzier but seeing as I didn't have a blog when Jessamyn was born I figure a few fuzzy details are better than no details at all. Plus it gave me a chance to look at these scrumptious new born photos again and now I am seriously feeling all the feels and can't believe how tiny she once was.
Jessamyn was born a little after 5am on November 18, 2014 but her story does not even begin to start there. Pretty much everything with this birth was crazy and not how I wanted it and yet when I look back it was completely beautiful and I really couldn't imagine it any other way. For starters I was 100% set on a home birth from day one. Ben really wanted a hospital birth and so we argued about this quite a bit unfortunately for me I lost this one because our insurance wouldn't cover a home birth and the cost was just so much greater than what our insurance covered for the hospital. We compromised by having a doula though who was completely amazing and I would recommend having one at your birth!
Also we didn't find out the gender with Jessamyn until she was born. So basically what that ended up looking like was moments before rushing to the hospital Ben wrote both names down on a scrap of paper he stuck in his wallet to use so that we had the spelling right for the birth certificate. Ben actually picked our girl name and I picked the boy name which we didn't end up using.
Jessamyn was born on a Tuesday but my labor actually started the Saturday before. We even got up that night night and prepared to go to the hospital but every time the contractions would really pick up... they would then stop for a few hours so it was super confusing. My "due date" was the 15th which was a Sunday so my 40 week appointment was on Monday the 16th. We had hoped we would have a baby over the weekend but I was still in early labor Monday morning when I went to my appointment. They checked me and I was 1-2cm dilated and so the stripped my membranes and sent us home. We didn't actually go home but went and walked around a few stores for a little while. Around 5pm that night things were really picking up but my plan had been to labor at home as long as possible and go in near the end.... however with the intensity of the contractions OI wasn't sure where I was so we called our doula and asked her what she thought we should do. Her recommendation was to go in mainly because we were just hitting rush hour and had to take the highway to the hospital and if we did decide to go in in the next few hours it might be better to go now than to sit in traffic for an hour or longer in labor.
When we got to the hospital they checked me and I was 5cm so we decided to stay. I really love walking in labor (and in pregnancy) so I spent a lot of time pacing our room. I vaguely remember our doula starting a bath but sitting in it was so uncomfortable that lasted all of 5 minutes. My goal was to do this as naturally as possible so I refused an IV at first and pretty much told them to leave me alone and let me do my thing. This is where things start to get fuzzy but at some point they checked me again and I was 7cm. A little while later they checked and I was still 7-8cm.... and then later they checked again and still stuck at 7-8cm.
By that point I was completely exhausted and really struggling to stay in my body through contractions. I'm not sure when exactly but I finally reached a point after 5 hours of being stuck to get an epidural. I was super upset about this but also no longer able to cope through contractions and so after talking to Ben and my doula we agreed if I thought it was what I needed I should do it. They also broke my water at that point to try and help speed things up. Getting an epidural was not something I ever anticipated doing but it was actually such a lifesaver in the moment and allowed me to get a few hours rest. They had me on a monitor at that point and baby was doing fine, we all were able to sleep until I woke up and felt a strong urge to push.
I had heard that pushing can be hard on an epidural because you can't feel to push but I could and didn't even push for 30 minutes before Jessamyn was in the world and quietly crying.
I don't remember what her APGAR scores were but she did fine and I barely lost any blood. Over all it was a really amazing birth and had what I consider the best possible outcome. We did end up staying in the hospital a few days because she was a bit jaundiced but other than that everything really did go well and two years later looking back I really do feel good about her birth.
Birth is such a unique experience and Jessamyn's birth definitely didn't go how I imagined while I was pregnant with her but it was still so good and I am hoping for another beautiful experience with our second due in August. If you have a moment I would love to hear one thing that made all the difference for you in your birth? For me it was definitely having a doula, she was such a support and really helped Ben and I through labor, I don't know that we would have had the same outcome without her.