Let me start off by saying how much I have come to love birth, babies, pregnancy and all that comes with these topics. I know it sounds strange that I say love. I think that I love these topics because The Lord brought me through the shadow of death and up the mountain where I was able to breathe fresh air about the subject. I love these topics as well because for me birth has been an utter dependence upon my God to get me through to the bitter end, which always ends so sweetly. I love pregnancy because I honestly love watching my body change and knowing that God is doing something amazing inside, knitting together something so special you have to wait 9 whole months to find out the surprise.
I understand that pregnancy is not always fun nor is it always easy and birth is the same way. Not every day of my 9 months plus 3 days (I might add) was smooth sailing but every moment of waiting, feeling queasy, growing larger, was worth it.
On May 20th, 2013 I held a sweet, amazing, beautiful little girl in my arms.
(fresh baby on the boob…. sorry if this is too much, but its raw life)
And her story starts like this…
The month of May started with anticipation of a tiny baby to be born 3rd in line at the Munson household. We had no idea what to expect. Boy? Girl? I honestly thought this time around was a boy. It felt different inside this time. Much more aggressive than the last two babes. Major jabbing and rolling all.of.the.time. As the days flew off the calendar many people around me were having babies. I’d see their photos shoot up on technology left and right. Facebook newborn: 6lbs. Instagram newborn: 7lbs. I would get so excited seeing fresh babies and was eager to hold my own flesh and blood. I was due on May 17th, but as most of you know this is called an EDD (estimated due date). In the world of birth you can’t tell God when He’s done, you can share your wants and desires but when the baby is ready, it’s ready. I had started to have Braxton hicks contractions weeks before and to be honest this was incredibly different from the last two times around. The start of these contractions would have me questioning if this was the start of the real thing. In prior births my tummy would tighten up but nothing would take my breath away or cause me to sit and rest for a second. But this time was more intense. So you can see why I thought this might be it.
May 13th was our 7 year anniversary and we celebrated as a family by going to Bauman’s Farm and buying some hanging flower baskets. (I know I know it was an anniversary but I was low on energy and those pesky contractions… I just wanted to hang with the whole clan). I had contractions the entire time we were there and thought this was it, but to tell you the truth I was not ready. I was not ready to endure contraction after contraction. I was not ready for my two little girls to share their spot on my lap with someone new. I was not ready to become a mom of 3. I was just not ready. And the Lord knew that I was not quite ready….
Day after day for the next week came and went… a few contractions here and there… I would go to bed each night and ask the Lord if I could have just one more night to rest up. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for who knows how many hours of labor was to come.
Finally May 17th, (the EDD) came and went. No baby.
May 18th, no baby.
May 19th, I was ready. The house was spotless, my bags were packed, and I had started to get stretch marks! I had never seen these before, so I was like baby come out! I was now starting to become tired from the size I had become (all 30 extra pounds of me). That night Steve made me dinner. He said I needed something super healthy just in case the baby decided to come that night and who knows how long labor would be. He made: spinach salad with avocado, apples, and sweet peppers. Some chicken with sated onions and black beans with rice and cilantro. Best.meal.ever!
Went to sleep that night with a belly full of goodness. As I laid my head on my pillow I pleaded with the Lord that I wouldn’t start labor until the morning. This was not my M.O. I usually was woken up in the middle of the night with contractions. Because of my crazy type A personality I had been putting together scenarios over and over again on how my children would be watched and taken care of in this whole labor/birth shindig. The first baby is easy because it is still in you… 2nd baby not as easy READ HERE, because you must find someone to watch the first… and 3rd baby… well who wants to come to your house in the middle of the night to watch your kids???? So I prayed that everything would start in the morning because it would be more convenient for EVERYONE!
May 20th hit and around 7:45am I hear the girls. I seriously don’t want to get out of bed and have assumed that I wont go into labor now until that night. I feel sick to my stomach and really don’t want to do anything. I roll out of bed. Get the girls juice and a bowl of cereal. Now this is odd for me, because cereal in our house is usually not a common breakfast food. It’s usually cheesy eggs or blueberry oatmeal. But cereal was easy. I also threw on some Netflix cartoon which is way out of the norm for me as well. I felt so sick and thought to myself, “well crapppppp am I getting sick???” Not “ohhhh maybe I’m starting labor”. So I went back to my bed and laid down for a bit.
About an hour later I get out of bed and make some eggs for myself… and started to fold some laundry. My stomach feels crampy and sick. I text a few friends… “could I be in labor??? I am able to do stuff around my house and be in labor?” I get a phone call from my doula friend, Whitney. We chat. She tells me to lay down and if things don’t go away after 30 minutes then I’m probably in labor… and I’m probably in labor because I am already 3 days late!” I decide maybe I’ll call Steve and let him know that I feel sick.
We chat… He finally asks after I have informed him of my “sickness” if I have been timing my tummy aches. “well no, and why would I do that?” in a rather annoyed voice. “Well do that and I’ll call you back.” Rolling my eyes, I say “fine”. So I start to time my “sick” feeling… ehhh 5 minutes apart… interesting. Now you would think I would understand how this all goes by now… but apparently I was in denial.
Steve calls back… “they are 5 minutes apart but it’s no big deal and blah blah blah…”
Steve: “um I’m coming home right now and why you’re at it you need to contact Michelle to let her know.” Michelle was our on-call friend who was coming to watch the girls.
So I text Michelle… “so I think I’m in labor. contractions are about 3-5 minutes apart. You can come this way… if you want…” If you have never had a baby, 3-5 minutes apart is when you should be driving yourself to the hospital especially if you live 25 minutes away like myself. shake.my.head.
Steve gets home. And to be honest I was just annoyed that I felt sick and was in somewhat of denial that I was even having contractions. Michelle shows up with her daughter Grace. My girls eat lunch and go down for naps. I try to come hang out in the living room for a few, because I for some reason feel the need to be hospitable to my “guests” who have come to watch my girls so I can go have a baby…. Stubborn woman I am.
I go and lay down with Ava for a few, (she naps in our bed). She starts to kick me in the back (thanks kid). I, being in labor, ignore the kicks from my 4-year-old and decide, maybe, just maybe, Steve should drive me to the hospital.
He calls the OB to let them know we are on our way, and they ask if I would like to come in and get checked first, Steve somewhat annoyed on the phone states: this is our 3rd baby, my wifes contractions are 3 minutes apart and…. “Steve I can go to the OB, I don’t even care….”… “Ok apparently we can come get checked.” 5 minutes later I decide that was a stupid idea and make him call them back and have them meet us at the hospital. (When you’re in labor, husbands tend not to argue with the craziness that overtakes ones mind).
We get to the hospital. Get registered. Go upstairs to the labor and delivery wing and I get shoved into a closet with a bed. First all rooms are full. Second they don’t think I am as far into labor as I am. Nurses come and nurses go. At this point I could care less where I am at and am fine staying in the closet. I finally get checked and whoaaaaaaa. “This girl is ready to deliver”! They roll me down the hall. At this point we are thinking of having this baby in a birthing tub. We get in the room, I tell them I’m ready to push, they check the heart rate and people start yelling. “Haley you need to push now!” I’m like whhhat??? Steve responds “she can push when she wants.” But people are yelling, and the quiet that had once been there is gone. It felt like the TV shows which I despise because of the yelling. Now in my first two births there was no yelling. Things seemed much calmer. Yelling is not relaxing. Apparently one reason for the yelling was there were about 5 too many people in the room trying to fill up the birthing tub, then they realized baby’s heart rate had dropped. So to get things over with and to stop the yelling, I decided to shoot that baby out. I pushed and pushed and pushed. No stopping to breathe. (Now if you are about to have a baby, this is not the best way to push a baby out. It causes you to tear. Pushing when you feel like pushing is best, slow and gradual). So out shot the baby. Wrapped up in her cord. Did I tear? Yup. And at that moment, I could care less.
I ask well what is it????
“it’s a girl!” Steve says, as if I’m supposed to know this.
My immediate response was “im sorry Steve.” (inside I was not, but had to at least let the guy think I was sorry for overtaking the house with 4 women strong).
The next thing that happens when you have a baby is this sweet scent that fills your nose. I inhaled the sweet scent of fresh newborn skin and squeezed her close. I was in love all over again.
The next thing that I heard out of my husbands mouth was, “can we leave here in 24 hours?” Oh what did you say??? I mean yes I want to go home but sheesh. So the next 24 hours went fast.
Hannah Ruth Munson was 8lbs. 14oz. and 21 inches long. 2nd largest baby born to this family. And so for the next 24 hours we settled into our room and drank in the sweetness of the new baby.
By the way we had no name for a week, but it didn’t matter because God knew who she was and all we needed to do was soak in every ounce of baby freshness. So we did. Hardly any pictures were taken and the only visitors we had in the hospital were Ava, Charis, my mom & dad, and one friend. I know that seems like a lot for 24 hours but it wasn’t and it was quiet. And like I said we soaked in our new baby girl and fell in love with her sweet little, tiny self.
Ava’s in love.
So is Charis.
Hannah Ruth, you have forever changed our lives and our lives are better because you are here. We love having a house full of girls.
(Hannah Ruth: Gift & Friend)