miller’s birth story | 6.9.17 {part 1}

miller is now 10 days young and guys, my mama heart is just overflowing with love.
i looked around this morning and was brought to tears {which happens at least once a day} thinking about just how blessed we really are.
God has blessed us with THREE kids… and after being told we couldn’t have kids just 4 years ago, i’m brought to my knees on a regular basis with praises.
i have been so excited to share this post, not because it went perfectly, or it wound up like i had planned..but because we went home with a healthy baby BOY, and i have the most beautiful pictures to document it all.
i had wanted birth pictures with the girls, but it just wasn’t in the cards, so when i hooked up with amanda, owner of amanda d. photography, i immediately fell in love with her and knew i wanted her there to document our labor and delivery.

the goal was to have a VBAC {vaginal birth after cesarean} and i was a good candidate for it…but, as i’ve learned in the past…babies don’t always read that book they’re supposed to and sometimes God just has different plans.
the one thing i said all along was that my main goal was to go home with a healthy baby boy… and i would not jeopardize that. so if at any point my health or miller’s safety was at question, i would be happy with a repeat c-section.

somewhere around 32 weeks, we had an ultrasound to confirm a few details like placenta location and development and discovered that miller was measuring pretty big…like in the 95th percentile.  there were no other concerns and he was totally healthy otherwise, but his size posed a bit of a concern with wanting to VBAC. as we approached my due date, we decided my best chances for a successful VBAC would be to induce.

after a very tearful drop-off of the girls at their mammaw and pappaw’s house {only from mama…the girls were so excited to be there!!}, zach and i grabbed a coffee and headed into the hospital. we got admitted and into our room, unloaded and got cozy.
i couldn’t believe we would be meeting our sweet baby boy so soon.
i so lucked out and got to have one of my good friends who has been through some of the hardest moments in mamahood with me as my labor and delivery nurse… i couldn’t have felt more comforted to have her by my side knowing God has done some amazing things in our lives together.

2:00 pm

our first step in induction was the foley bulb catheter.
the goal is to insert the cath into your cervix, it’s filled with saline water and then it manually dilates you to 3cm and then it falls out.  the whole process is supposed to take 5-6 hours.  because i wasn’t dialed at all and hadn’t shown any progress, it really wasn’t a pleasant process…good night it hurt.  the attending who inserted it actually said it was probably the most difficult one she’s done…at least i was winning at something! ha! once it was inserted, it was just uncomfortable, but not too terrible.
zach and i walked the halls, sat on the ball, tried some different positions, but i seemed to have the most contractions on the ball, so that’s what we did! it seemed to work because only 3 hours after it was inserted, i went to the bathroom and it fell out! hallelujah!
when they checked, i was actually 4cm and was super pumped.

6:00 pm

contractions at this point were coming every 3 minutes or so and were getting more intense, so our next step was to break my water.  this was such  a weird process… it didn’t hurt any more than a regular check did at that point, but melissa warned me that things would get significantly more painful after this point and she was right.
i quickly made it to 5 cm and we were doing pretty good. we had pretty much stopped walking the halls because contractions were getting so intense, but continued to use the ball, switch positions, etc. to help things along.
we sent amanda a text, told her we were 5cm and she was shortly there to document the rest of our labor.


about this time, my mom and sister came to the hospital as well… i knew this was going to be the hardest thing i had ever done and knew i would need their support in very different ways, if nothing else, to give zach a break because we knew this would be a l.o.n.g. process.

i was in really good spirits, felt super blessed to be going through labor and was really encouraged with the progress i was making.

11:00 pm

somewhere around 11pm…and my times start to get really blurry… i started to throw up. i’m not sure if it was a position i had been in, the pain of the contraction, or that miller had kicked right in the middle of it…but i lost it.  i was pretty nauseated from here on out and i really started to mentally struggle and fight each contraction.

christine and zach talked me through each contraction, reminding me to relax and to breathe. contractions were coming closer and closer and while i was exhausted, i also felt encouraged because surely that meant progress…except it didn’t.
my next check showed zero progress and i’ll be honest, i was really really discouraged.
i kept saying, ‘i just need a break’. i had been stuck at 5cm for hours and wasn’t making any progress and was continuing to get sick…and contractions were about 2 minutes apart and lasting about 60 seconds.

2:00 am

it was time for a change and against my original plan, it was time for an epidural. at that point, i felt like that was the only way i was going to make it far enough to vbac and when it came down to it, i would rather have an epidural and vaginally deliver than to just go for a c-section.

3:00 am

after the epidural, i was able to relax and everyone was able to rest up for a bit. i was still having contractions but was able to get the rest i needed to rejuvenate for the next steps.

friday morning

contractions had significantly slowed after the epidural, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because my body needed a break. that being said, morning came and i was ready to get going again.
we had started low levels of pitocin through the night and continued to increase.

unfortunately at some point, i also started to spike a fever. 

i’ve always heard about the risk of the chorioamnioitis infection {chorio} infection..the infection that you hear about when your water breaks and the reason why most of the time, you’re on a time schedule once your water breaks.  as soon as my water had broken, they were checking my temps and when it started to spike, the ears went up. as long as miller was handling and recovering from contractions okay, they would let me continue to labor.

1:00 pm

i had been in labor about 23 hours at this point, my water had been broken for about 19 hours.

.miller started to show signs of distress.

his heart rate was elevated and those lines that once were nicely in the ‘gray area’ {the area we wanted them} were now steadily elevated. in my heart, i knew what this meant and i started to feel pretty uneasy watching his heart rate be so high. for as much as i wanted to push through and be able to vaginally deliver, that line was haunting me.
we planned to check one more time and if i was at least 8cm dilated, we would go ahead and ride it out… but i was still only 5cm.
i was kind of heart broken and kind of relieved.
i knew what it meant, but i asked anyways, and melissa calmly replied that it was time for a c-section. miller couldn’t continue to be in distress and his elevated heartbeat meant that he had a fever as well and potentially had contracted the infection.

tears of fear. failure. disappointment… and then relief.
it was time to meet our baby.
tears turned to smiles and i knew in my heart that miller couldn’t handle any more. it was the right decision for him.

i was also extremely blessed that i got to have my primary ob, who i adore, would be able to deliver miller, along with this gem who also was the ob who delivered the girls…and of course, the ever-constant melissa who i knew would be with me every step of the way.

…and off we went… be continued..

** a GINORMOUS thank you to the very sweet + talented, amanda, who captured one of the most important days of our lives so beautifully.**

photography | amanda d. photography

lila + piper’s birth story part 1
lila + piper’s birth story part 2 {PICU}
lila + piper’s birth story part 3 {arrival}

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16 thoughts on “miller’s birth story | 6.9.17 {part 1}

  1. Aww…this is so sweet! The photos are beautiful and so happy to hear Miller & Mama are doing well! Blessings, Cecilia

  2. This is amazing! Def want to have my next birth if i am blessed to have another photpgraphed now! Beautiful story. Cant wait to hear the rest. Love a good birth story.

  3. What gorgeous photos! I love these! It’s wonderful to have this all recorded. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

  4. Oh friend, thank you for sharing your story! I’m sorry that you didn’t get the V-BAC (I too ended up with a c-section when I had hoped for a v-bac, so I can understand the disappointment), but so happy you came home with a healthy baby!

  5. That’s amazing that you were able to have a good friend as your nurse, what a blessing!

    With my first my water broke prematurely at 38 weeks, I hadn’t had any contractions or anything yet. Labor was SLOW since he wasn’t actually ready to come yet. They maxed me out on Pitocin and my labor ended up being 19 hours. I never had an epidural so I completely understand the exhaustion and pain of a long labor. I’m so glad you have the right mindset–all that matters is a healthy momma and baby!

  6. Such a terrific post, reading it made me emotional and also proud of you. A day you’ll never forget! Those three kids are so lucky to have such a strong and determined mama. XOXO ?

  7. Your pictures document everything so beautifully! I had a scheduled c-section with my first because she was breech, but was able to do a VBAC with my second. I never went into labor with my first so I didn’t really know what to expect. My water broke early in the morning and I was scheduled to be induced that morning so we just went in when they called. There was the possibility of a c-section though so I wasn’t able to walk through my contractions which was hard. Can’t wait to read more of your (and Miller’s) story. 🙂

  8. I love birth photos! Your photos are beautiful! I’m glad that you all are safe and healthy. I had a labor with a baby in distress too and it was rough. I hope you’re all getting some sleep and enjoying being a family of 5 (like us!)

  9. I totally understand what you felt when you had to go in for the csection. I had a similar experience with my birth w Simon. You did great though!

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