I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t start this story back in December when God started orchestrating Colette’s birth story.
The week of Christmas, I woke up with horrible pain in my stomach. I was 29 weeks pregnant. As much as I tried to bear through the pain, I ended up on the floor of my bedroom, crippled by waves of pain that were making my physically ill. After a call to my doc, we were on our way to the hospital, in pain and full of fear.
After a few excruciating hours getting poked, prodded and tested without pain meds, they finally managed to get the pain under control. Yet, they still couldn’t find the source of the problem. The decision to put an NG tube in (a tube from my nose down my throat and into my stomach)((yes, while I was awake…)) was made and that was easily one of the most traumatic things I’ve experienced.
After 3 days in the hospital, they released me with a few guesses of what it could have been and strict instructions to eat an extremely low fat diet and small portions. A few days before Christmas. Awesome.
All that mattered to me though was that baby girl was ok. Her little heartbeat never wavered, even when I was in so much pain and going through really hard procedures. She stayed steady. She is so strong.
So…how does this play into my birth story?? Here is how. With my son, Wyatt, I had a very difficult delivery that ended in an emergency C-section after almost 4 hours of pushing. He was almost 10 pounds, sunny side up and coming in crooked. I gained a few more pounds than I should have (what can I say, the kid loved pizza!) which could have resulted in my toddler sized baby. Also, when I received my epidural with Wyatt my labor completely stalled for hours requiring I get pitocin to move it along. Once they realized he was in the wrong position, it was very hard to move him because i couldn’t stand or get into positions that could assist in that because I had an epidural.
Ok, got that all filed away?? Now onto Colette’s big debut…
At one of my routine appointments around 30 weeks pregnant, my doctor had to go home sick and a midwife was sent to see his patients for the rest of the day. This was no coincidence. As she spent some time talking to me and learning about my first birth and learning that my goal was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), she made two suggestions.
One- to get as far as I possibly could in labor without an epidural. She explained that if it stalled my labor before it would likely have the same effect and if this baby was in bad positioning being able to move around could decrease my chance of another C-section.
Two- go to a hypno-birthing class. Now don’t get me wrong, I am totally into all things “hippie” but this one sounded a little out there. But I researched it anyway.
I decided to sign us up for the refresher course at the hospital and here is another example of God literally hand picking people for me in this process. The class only had two other couples in it and what do you know, the teacher was trained in hypno-birthing. Another fun fact, the other couple couldn’t get an epidural due to health complications so we both wanted to learn natural pain management…at a hospital birthing class. I mean COME ON! Sometimes God moves so clearly it gives me chills! The teacher gave me all the resources I needed for hypno-birthing and I practiced for the next 5 weeks!
It was a Sunday night when it all began. I was 39 weeks 6 days pregnant, although it felt more like 93 weeks 6 days pregnant! I went to bed grumpy that I would be pregnant forever. I woke up around 12:30am with a few contractions. I refused to get excited because I had been having them for days and they turned into nothing. After 3 or 4 I decided to tell Kevin. He immediately said we should time them and then he got up and put clothes on! I was so mad that he would jinx them away by turning on lights and getting dressed. He didn’t. They continued. They got stronger. I decided a shower and some make-up would help me pass the time. Kevin laughed as I curled my hair in between contractions. We decided to leave for the hospital by 6am so we didn’t have to deal with rush hour traffic. Kevin was anxious to leave, he had heard one too many stories of second babies being delivered by husbands on the side of the freeway!
I was in NO rush. My goal was a VBAC. It was the victory at the finish line. A healthy baby born via VBAC. I had been practicing hypno-birthing for weeks.. I knew the longer I stayed home, the less intervention I would have at the hospital. So I stalled as long as I could!
My parents showed up at our house around 630am and we got ready to leave. My sweet Wyatt woke up and was so excited his baby sister was coming. I kissed my only child goodbye for the last time before we became a family of 4!
I’ll never forget that drive to the hospital. The sun was just rising, the sky had a warm glow and all seemed…calm. My hypno-birthing track was playing in the background and I remember feeling so at peace. I wanted so badly to have the birth I had been envisioning and praying for, but I also knew that God had already seen it played out and I could rest knowing He was in charge. Kevin and I rode in silence for a while, soaking in the calmness of the morning. Then we talked about meeting our daughter, what she would look like, how big she would be. We prayed. And then we arrived.
The sweetest nurse checked us in and told us we were a keeper! I was dilated to a good 4cm and contractions were rolling in faster than I would have liked. When the doc came in, he was asking us to make some hard decisions regarding monitoring the baby because I was a VBAC and her heart rate was hard to pick up because my belly was so pointy. We decided to check me before making any decisions and that’s when my midwife came in.
She had the softest smile, a calming motherly way about her. I instantly felt safe and comfortable. Low and behold, she checked me and I was already at 8cm…without an epidural! She said I didn’t need the monitor on baby and helped me find a better position. She sat on the foot of my bed, rubbed my legs and feet and talked me through transition. That was some toe curling, cuss word, someone just cut my leg off kind of pain. I am so thankful I had prepared as much as I did mentally and learned all of the techniques that hypno-birthing has to offer. She checked me again. 10cm.
I DID IT. I still cant believe it but I did it. I got to 10cm without an epidural. No stalling labor. No piton. No bad positioning of baby. No talk of C-section (yet).
So it was time to push. I told my midwife I was terrified to push without drugs. She said, “Fear has no place here. You were made to do this. If you need the drugs, then by all means get them. If you just want them because you are scared, you got this”
What a pep talk! I wasn’t going to let fear bully me into a decision, not when I had made it this far. BUT you can bet your bottom dollar that I would 100% let pain bully me into that decision! LOL. I had my next contraction, a 2min long ride through hell and back, was pretty sure my baby was trying to get out my butt, (great, im having a butt baby) and I started waving that white flag so fast!
“I WANT IT! KEVIN…NOW!!”
I have never seen an anesthesiologist come into a room so fast. I see you lookin’ out Jesus! He literally finished in about 5 min and that sweet sweet nectar of the gods was running through my tired body. A little myth busted, you can get an epidural whenever you want. Even if you are at 10cm and ready to push. Just wanted to leave that there.
So…I pushed. And pushed. Then pushed some more. I kept watching Kevin’s face, watching the nurses face, scanning all traces of emotion from them to see if I was making progress. It seemed to go so slow. I was an hour in wondering how I was going to keep going. Kevin kept telling me she was moving, later I found out he was lying to me! You’re a smart man Kev.
I have never felt the Holy Spirit more present in a situation than I did that day. Everything was so perfectly orchestrated. Every person in that room was there for a reason. My sweet husband, my mom, my mother in law, my awesome photographer, my amazing nurse and my incredible midwife. When I asked my mom to put some music on to push with, the song “I have this hope came on”. It became my anthem for that day because it so perfectly described my journey through this pregnancy. Listen HERE.
I was so worried she wasn’t moving. But she did move. Ever so slowly. At one point my c-section scar started hurting. This is a major concern because the biggest risk in a VBAC is a uterine rupture which can be fatal. I could see the concern in my nurses face. She boosted my meds and said we would keep an eye on it. This was the first time I panicked. I felt like I was so close to my VBAC, so close to holding my daughter and having them bring her to my chest. I felt it all slipping away. And I prayed. Not my will, but Yours.
The pain went away as fast as it came. Maybe she was just moving past my scar, or maybe God interceded. Or maybe both.
The midwife came in, took a look and I’ll never forget what she did next. She suited up.
That was the moment I knew it. I could see the victory. I was going to get my VBAC. I wasn’t going to have surgery. I was going to hold my daughter right when she was born, not hours later.
A few pushes later, there she was. They put her on my chest and all I could say over and over was “I did it”. Then of course, I did a quick crotch check to make sure she was still a girl 🙂 She was, and she was absolutely perfect. All 8 pounds 11 ounces and 19 inches of her.
I’m so grateful that we were both safe and healthy.
Im so grateful that God hand picked every person who was involved in her birth.
We named her Colette Jade Smith.
Her name means “victory”.
In so many ways her little life is such a victory for me.
Her middle name means “precious jewel” and is a combo of my mom’s first and middle name. My grandpa Wayne used to call me precious.
Welcome to the world Colette Jade Smith. We love you so much already.
My talented husband made this amazing video of the whole day. Watch it HERE and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to his channel!
Amazing Photography by Melissa Madden Photography