For those of you that do not keep up with me via social media (first of all, shame on you – totally kidding!) big news, Madelyn Elizabeth Stevens has arrived!! She was born Tuesday, March 4th at 11:45am, weighing in at 9 pounds 5 ounces (I kept telling everyone she was big!) and measuring 21 inches long. She was born absolutely perfect – healthy, happy and hungry! It has been so fun snuggling with her, smelling her newborn skin, and getting to know her sweet spirit these past few days.
While I have a little ‘free time’ (my dear mother is here assisting us run our household the next week and half – bless her!) and before life gets crazy, crazy hectic and this blog is neglected for some time (it is bound to happen!), I want to write about Madelyn’s birth experience. Not the “birth” story (that will be for a later post – warning will be posted beforehand of graphic details, don’t worry!). I want to share the feelings and the experiences I had the day she was born and the amazing Spirit that was felt during this amazing experience and process.
I should start from the beginning. My birth plan and experience with Taden was a natural birth (aka no drugs), see his birth story here, and for this birth my plan and hope was to also go natural. I choose to go natural for multiple reasons, but in particular I am deathly scared of needles. I know, silly, huh?! I would rather go through natural childbirth, no drugs, no help, nothing, than have a needle stuck in me and feel a bit of pain for minutes. Crazy, I know!! I also choose natural because I am a slight control-freak. To me childbirth is one of, if not the most, vulnerable states a woman will ever be in. I hate the idea of letting go all of my control and power when I am in such a state. Therefore, my plan and hope for both births was to go natural (and I have been two for two!!).
If you are a frequent reader, you are aware that Miss Madelyn was late/past-due/much over-stayed-her-welcome, see here or basically any post within the past week and half. She was quickly approaching the doctor’s eviction deadline being born 9 days past her due date. With each appointment the discussion of induction became more frequent. I hated it. It scared me. That would mean I would have to have an IV (shot! needles!), fluids, Pitocin, maybe more drugs, more interventions, and maybe even the “e”-word. None of this was not a part of “the plan”. All these possibilities and “what-ifs” completely freaked me out. I was not prepared for this. I did not want this.
As I discussed induction with my doctor, he felt comfortable with the latest induction day of Friday, March 7th (almost two weeks pass her due date). That was the day my mother was scheduled to arrive. Geoff and I discussed the doctor’s date and decided it would be too complicated to (1) arrange logistics for Tate while we were in the hospital and (2) logistics for picking my mother up from the airport. Thursday was the new deadline date we set. That is until… Monday we remembered Geoff had a class he had to attend (completely mandatory) for work, in Indianapolis (nearly 2 hours away!), that Thursday. We had discussed the class months before and we felt comfortable with him attending this meeting because ‘of course she would be here by then,’ or so we thought!! Ahhh, now what were we to do?! Our new and final deadline for Miss Madelyn to arrive was now Wednesday, March 5th. At the time this final decision was made that meant she needed to be born Monday evening or sometime on Tuesday. If those two scenarios did not happen, induction was our only and final option. I was completely freaking out.
I basically spent all day Monday praying. Pleading. Begging. And pleading some more.
I was a complete mess. I felt so helpless. I had no control of the situation. I knew the only thing I could do was pray, and have faith. I do not think I have ever spoken to Heavenly Father more in a day. He knew every feeling, every thought, every emotion I had because I was telling Him. And basically freaking out.
I went to bed that evening (still Monday) trying to continue to be faithful, but feeling a bit hopeless. Every night for the past three weeks I had gone to bed hoping to be woken up by contractions, the real ones! Every morning I woke up I was disappointed - she was still inside me. I went to bed Monday night with that same hope, but truly expecting to see a round stomach when I woke in the morning.
Fast forward to 1:30AM Tuesday. I woke up for my usual insomnia period of the night. I went to the couch, watched Netflix for a couple of hours and played Solitaire on my phone (anything to pass the time). I started to feel tired again around 3:30AM and made my way back to bed. I laid in bed for the next 30 minutes literally pleading with my Father in Heaven. Praying to him with all my feelings and emotions. I was scared. I was worried. I was sad. I did not know what to do.
4:00AM, what was that?! 4:20AM, again, what was that?! 4:35AM… I know what that was!!!!! I rolled over, woke Geoff up and told him I thought I was having “real” contractions. The REAL ones. We timed the next couple and they were now 5 minutes apart. This was it. We quickly made our way to the hospital and later that morning we were richly blessed with the arrival our sweet daughter, Miss Maddie.
When the realization quickly sunk in that I was in fact in labor, I could not control my tears. I could not control my prayers of gratitude to my Father in Heaven. I know He was listening to all my pleadings the day before. I know He knew my hearts desires. At that very moment I knew a prayer was being answered by a loving God.
I am grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and of prayer. I know that we all have a loving Father in Heaven who watches over each of us every moment of every day. I know He wants the best for us. I know He listens to each of our prayers. I am grateful that He listened to this prayer, AND that He answered it so quickly! What a tender mercy this answered prayer was to me. What a wonderful, spiritual experience this and the entire birth was. I am grateful to be a woman and for my body and the ability to birth precious spirit sons and daughters. We have much to be grateful for in the Stevens’ household.
Now, for what you all have been waiting for……………… PICTURES!!
**Thanks to this girl for capturing these quick moments leaving the hospital. AND, thank you to her and husband for being our middle-of-the-night-call and entertaining Tate while I was in the hospital. We seriously have the best friends!!
Check out Madelyn’s full birth story HERE.