Lillian's story is one written by her mom, Michelle. Michelle and I were not only close friends in high-school (well, before I moved away), but we were on the same cheerleading squad AND we lived in the same neighborhood which made it very easy for us to hang-out whenever we wanted to! Years later, Michelle and I reconnected on social media (thank you Facebook) and she has guest posted on the blog and she actually even helped me to get this blog up and running (she has one too and hers is way cooler so be sure to check her out... link is at the bottom of this post). I am so grateful to have another post from Michelle on my blog. Here is the story of Michelle's first born, little miss Lillian June...
When I become interested in a topic, I tend to get… obsessed. Obviously, as a pregnant woman, my labor and delivery was a topic of particular interest. It started, against my better judgment, by watching YouTube videos of live births. I’m one of those people that just wants to be completely prepared and have a plan for all possible outcomes. Watching the birthing videos did not scare me at all, as I thought it might. In fact, I became fascinated by the different ways each woman brought her baby into the world, and by how beautiful the whole process was. I decided I wanted to have a “natural” birth.
I watched The Business of Being Born. I read every book written by Ina May Gasken. I even immersed myself in the Hypnobabies program, convinced that a bit of hypnotherapy was all I needed to have a smooth and pain-free delivery without the need for those toxic drugs and doctor-centered rules put in place by the patriarchal establishment. I am woman. Hear me roar.
Inside my uterus, my daughter was laughing.
She broke my water at approximately 6:30 AM on June 22nd, 2015. A week before her due date and 15 minutes after her father had kissed me on the head and left for work that morning. Being the type A person that I am, I had wisely put a waterproof pad on our bed the week before, for just this scenario. Nobody can prepare you for just how much fluid is in there. I jumped up out of bed, faster than I had moved in the past 9 months, and dribbled my way into the bathroom, my dog following close behind and licking up the mess. I called my husband and told him he needed to turn around and come home. It was go time.
Aside from the “oh sh*t” moment of realization that this was actually happening, I felt great! I took a shower. I fixed my hair. I finished packing my bag. I pulled on my diaper and we headed out the door. Yep, you read that right. I invested in a pack of Depends in case my water broke. I was comfy and dry and my car upholstery remained clean on the way to the hospital. Another point for the crazy lady.
I confidently waltzed into the hospital and waited for my doctor to give me an exam. I was rocking this labor thing. Except, it turns out, I wasn’t in labor. Once Dr. Lehnert arrived, he explained that although my water had broken, I wasn’t dilated. I wasn’t effaced. I wasn’t having any contractions. But since the amniotic sac had ruptured, it was important to get the baby out within 24 hours. Which meant (insert foreboding music) we had to induce.
I tossed my two-page birthing plan into the air. Great. There goes my dream of a drug-free delivery. The doctor explained that the baby was at higher risk of infection since her protective barrier was now gone, which was the reasoning behind the induction. That was good enough for me. But I was NOT going to get an epidural.
I lasted 7 hours, which in hindsight, I’m pretty proud of. I have no idea whether the Pitocin was making things harder, but at that point I didn’t care. I couldn’t catch my breath. It was time to give in. My husband had been watching my contractions on the monitor all day, so once my epidural had been administered and he saw another one coming on, he asked me, “How was that contraction?” I said, “What contraction?” and from then on labor was wonderful.
When it was time to push, they brought in a mirror so I could watch my very own real live birth. Not as magical when you’re watching poo fall out of your own butt while a dozen people look on. But when I saw that dark little head of hair, the embarrassment went out the window and I brought Lillian June into the world with only 15 minutes of pushing. Despite all the “evil” drugs, we had an amazing birth free of complications, and I can honestly say it was the best day of my life. I can’t wait to do it all over again someday. With an epidural.
About the Author: Michelle Herschend is a former librarian and teacher trying to make the most of her time as a stay-at-home mom. She enjoys reading, decorating, crafting, shopping, experimenting with hair, makeup, and fashion, traveling, trying simple recipes, and watching Real Housewives reruns. You can find her blog online at lillianabbey.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/lillianabbeyblog.