It took me months, maybe even a full year to revisit pictures of Selah’s birth. She was my firstborn. My labor was different this time around with my second. It was harder than I imagined, but without the trauma I felt after Selah’s birth.
I was much more relaxed in the beginning stages of labor. Travis and I took walks around the neighborhood. Hey I could do this all day! This isn’t so bad! Bring it on.
We put Selah down for her nap, while I labored unbeknownst to her. In this picture I’m in labor (not having a contraction) and saying goodbye to Selah while she goes to stay with her grandparents for the night. I got really emotional after she left. I wondered how much her little life would change when she came back in the morning. I wondered if she would still feel loved and cherished by me.
Travis was obviously very relaxed during the early stages of my labor! There were many hours of this early labor stuff.
I’m getting Duke’s heart rate checked by my midwife. For some reason I camped out on this chair. I hardly ever sit here!
AAAnnnnd it’s not too long after this picture was taken that I went in the pool. I’ve got my labor face on and it lasted for the next 9 hours or so.
My eyes were mostly closed the rest of the day. I forgot how hard labor was. And I got scared. I remember thinking, Jessica what did you get yourself into?! This was a dumb idea! I will NEVER do this again. As my labor continued into the night I began to doze off between intense contractions. I started really regretting not working out during this pregnancy. I began to feel like I lacked the stamina it would take to birth this boy. Travis’ encouragement became less convincing. I could tell he was scared too. His confident, You got this babe you’re doing great, had dwindled to a mere, You’re doing okay. You’re okay. I could tell he wasn’t so sure and neither was I. During transition, doubt began to flood my mind and I had to get out of the pool because I was so exhausted I wanted to just lay down and sleep.
This is the part where most women say, I can’t do this anymore. Give me drugs. And I assure you, I would have said the same thing, given the option. I didn’t say those words outloud, but they raged loudly in my ears. Clearly exhausted, I laid down on the window seat and fell asleep. I woke up to yet another intense contraction but this time coupled with a feeling to PUSH. Praise GOD! I couldn’t believe it! I knew the end was near and the adrenaline kicked in. Back in the pool I went, this time carrying another set of fears.
I dreaded pushing. Could I bring myself to push with the strength I knew it took to push this baby out? Four contractions later, the answer was YES. Yes I could. Duke was born in the caul, meaning he was born in his bag of waters. He was also born with his cord wrapped around him about 4 times, including his neck. My midwife quickly and calmly untangled him and placed him here on my chest. Where he currently spends most of his days:)
My bond with his was so immediate and intense. He’s my treasure, my prize after all that hard work. Weighing in at almost 10lbs, everyone tells me how big he is. But to me, he looks so small. My little one whom I love dearly.