Birth Story: Sunshine Mikelle
It all began last Thursday night (the 23rd) at 10:20 PM when my water broke. I knew it immediately because I was watching Netflix with Joe in bed. I was 3 days past due (like Levi!) and was antsy, so I spent the day eating pineapple, licorice, and getting foot rubs from my amazing mama! I guess it worked! 😉 I got on the toilet and called Ann (my midwife) with amniotic fluid leaking and the whole shabang! I told her no contractions had started, so she informed me to wait until the morning and get some rest…right. 😉 About 10 minutes later, contractions began, and they were close!! 3-4 minutes apart lasting 30-50 seconds, but they just lacked intensity. I let Joe sleep a bit, but by midnight we had the car packed, food prepared, and were heading to my mom’s house for the home birth. Ann met us there but my contractions still lacked intensity, so she left us in bed watching Kate and Leopold after setting up. I felt kind of embarrassed that I asked her to come so early but she was sweet. However, by 2 AM, I had major diarrhea (a sign of labor) and was now unable to lay or sit during contractions. I woke up Joe because I started to feel nauseous and needed the company. He also gave me a priesthood blessing which calmed my nerves. Soon after, he called Ann and informed her I was in active labor, as well as my doula and videographer. By the time they arrived, I was sitting on the exercise ball with my eyes completely shut as I went into my own place. I would lean into a pillow against the bed during downtime and extend my legs / rock my hips during contractions, vocalizing words of encouragement to myself. Things like, “Sunshine is so close”, “I am strong and I can do this”, “I love this feeling”, etc. I imagined my cervix opening with each contraction and really tried to enjoy them! Ann helped me breathe through contractions because they were so close and hard and I was moaning up a storm (which actually made me more breathless than just breathing). I always listen to Ann and get positive results! Amy, my doula kept me hydrated and we joked a bit here and there between contractions. Of course my laugh was just a faint breath. My eyes were closed tightly for the entire the labor, pretty much! This helped me tune out any distractions, plus I was extremely tired, which I vocalized quite often!
I didn’t know if I was being forward, but my contractions felt strong (to the point I knew I couldn’t keep up the pace much longer), so I asked Ann if it would be wise to get in the tub. She said I could if I wanted to, and I did because I needed something to relieve the contraction pains that were ever-increasing. Now the challenge was just walking there. 😉 I remember excusing myself for the immodesty while undressing, ha! When I got in the tub I was a happy camper. It was just amazing. My contractions slowed just a bit, but then I had some insanely strong ones! I never thought I would, but I asked Ann to check my dilation, because I didn’t think I could handle much more. To my surprise (and relief), I was at an 8 and Ann could feel Sunshine’s head! I said, “she’s almost here!”, but Ann reminded me there was a bit of cervix to go. Within a couple minutes, I had another strong contraction and was shocked that I felt the need to push. I thought it may have been all in my head, but then out came her head! Ann quickly stepped into the water to assist as everyone in the room was in utter shock, including myself! This was happening, and fast! The next contraction, I pushed out her shoulders and she was peacefully placed right onto my chest. She was born at 3:54 AM, making it a 5.5 hour labor from start to finish??! She was the best sight I could possibly imagine, and so serene! We loved each other from the moment our eyes locked, and it was such a special feeling. Not to mention that pushing her out felt like a huge weight had been lifted at last. We were stunned at how fast it all went! I couldn’t believe it. She cried a bit but mostly just cuddled me like the angel she is.
I guess I wasn’t as loud as I thought I was while pushing as I look back at the video, and because my birth team kept telling me that they had just witnessed the most peaceful birth they had ever attended! That was really neat to hear, as I truly tried to enjoy the whole process.
Next, I delivered the placenta after the water was drained from the tub and could already feel the cramping of my uterus begin. I walked to the bed (amazing, the recovery!) and cuddled and nursed Sunshine as we all adored her. She is truly angelic.
Her measurements were taken after Joe and I had our time with her (20 inches long, 8 pounds and 9 ounces) and I was also examined (no tearing!!!). I definitely felt the cramps and sore nipples much more than with Levi (I don’t remember feeling much of anything after him), but I think that was partly due to the fact that my uterus was so stretched since this was technically my fourth pregnancy.
Within the next few hours we all packed up and were at home and in our own bed at 5:30 AM! That was such a nice factor since I could use all of my own things. When I told Joe I wanted to go home right after,he didn’t think I would really be up for it. Well, I was! It felt so good to be home with our blessing in my arms.
Watching Levi meet Sunny the next afternoon was so fun. He was a bit standoffish at first but by the end of the day was loving on her, singing her itsy bitsy spider, and wanted to hold her and take pictures with her. It is so incredible to see our family grow!!
I slept but 2 hours the following day (adrenaline-induced craziness!) and fell asleep at 2 AM the next night, but we are working on a schedule and it seems to be paying off already! My thoughts about this birth are that one, it was fast, two, it was intense, and three, it couldn’t be more seamless. I felt so connected with my family and with all of the women who have given birth before me. And delivering in the water made a tremendous difference, I must say!! Sunshine’s birth totally differed from Levi’s in the way that I didn’t want to be touched and I wasn’t as aware of the outer world because I locked my eyes shut. Both were incredible and such pivotal moments for me!!
We love you so much, Sunshine!!!
*A HUGE thank you to the incredible Olivia Rose Photography for these gorgeous photos!! These were taken at 3 days old. ♡