Lilah’s Birth Story

14 Mar

It has been months since I have actually posted on this blog. The reality of being huge and pregnant and caring for a toddler was all that I could handle, apparently. I am now 4 weeks into mothering a newborn and a two year old and  I just managed to write out our daughter’s birth story!


Lilah’s due date was February 8th. Everyone had  expected her to arrive somewhat early since Linden had showed up 3 days ahead of schedule. Read his birth story here. Meanwhile, I was horribly ill with an awful cold and cough for about 2 weeks and was terrified that I would go into labor early and sick. I was also awaiting the arrival of my sweet parents that were going to be staying with us for a while to help care for Linden and be here for Lilah’s birth. They got to our home on February 5th and I was still sick but relieved that if I went into labor early, at least my mom and dad were here! It was such a blessing that they came when they did because I believe having them here to help wrangle my wild boy, allowed me the rest I needed to recover completely. In fact, I have since come to view even being sick as a blessing as well because I honestly think our little girl may have been early and my parents might have missed the whole thing! Although, being sick at 39 weeks pregnant with a 2 year old makes it difficult to see as a blessing at the time.

I had an appointment with my midwife on February 6th where I had my first cervical check. I was a tight 2cm dilated and about 50% effaced, so still pretty thick. Even though the numbers can change quickly, everyone was pretty sure that I would most likely not go into labor early or “on time”. Her due date came and went without a hint of her coming. I had my next appointment on February 11th with exactly the same results as my first cervical check. At this time I was getting nervous that Lilah would be really late and my parents would miss it because they were planning to leave on February 16th. Due to the time crunch I was under, I started to discuss my options for natural induction. I did not want to do anything to induce her but I was starting to feel that I had to consider it. My midwife said that we could do castor oil over the weekend if she hadn’t come yet. She scheduled me for a non stress test for Friday the 14th since I would be 41 weeks on Saturday. I was growing very concerned about having to try the castor oil or have my membranes swept because I would have been fine letting Lilah bake as long as she wanted, if it weren’t for my desire to have my parents around for her birth.

Over the next few days I did try to encourage Lilah to come sooner by doing some little things, like extra walks and eating various foods and beverages known for helping things along. Thursday night Steven and I went on an evening walk which was extra long and I think it did the trick because I woke up at 2:30 am having very light contractions. I stayed awake for an hour or so timing them with my contraction app on my phone. They weren’t very close together or strong but were coming regularly enough that I assumed I was in early labor. I didn’t tell Steven and let him sleep. Thankfully, I was able to go back to sleep as well. I would wake up periodically with the stronger contractions and just fall back to sleep. I even remember having a few in my dreams. Steven’s alarm went off at 7:00am and at that time I told him about my contractions. I asked him to stay home from work just in case they picked up and turned into active labor.

I called the birth center around 9:00 am to let them know I was having contractions and to see if I should come in for my 10:00 am non stress test appointment or not. They had me come in anyway. It was nice to have Steven there with me for the appointment because it took a few hours. Due to my contractions, it was hard to pick up on Lilah’s movements for the non stress test. We eventually got enough of her movements in the allotted time needed and past the test. While there, we got the castor oil instructions from our midwife Jane just in case we needed to go that route later if my contractions were “false labor”.  After the appointment we went home and had a pretty normal day. We finished packing up the little things we hadn’t already put in our go bags, had lunch, played with Linden etc. My mom, Steven and I even took Linden to the park that afternoon. At the park my contractions picked up but were still pretty inconsistent. For example, I would have a very intense 90 second contraction followed by a weaker one lasting 45-60 seconds. Some were 13 minutes apart while others were 9 minutes apart. The wonderful part of all of this was that I was able to be normal in between contractions! With Linden’s birth I had back labor from the start of contractions and so even in the lull, I was in pain. I remember joking at the park that if this is what “normal” labor was like, what were women complaining about!? Of course I was joking, but for me the comparison made it easier to endure.

When we got home from the park my contractions picked up even more.

IMG_6125(A super flattering photo of me laboring on the fitness ball and resting on Steven)

My dad started to make dinner and suddenly the smell of the food cooking made me incredibly nauseous, and it wasn’t my dad’s cooking!  I opened the doors and windows but it didn’t help. I sat outside for a little while and even walked over to my neighbors house to loan her a kitchen gadget but it didn’t help. I decided to go upstairs to lay down in bed and rest while everyone else ate dinner. I think I went upstairs around 5:30 and by 6:00 my contractions were probably about 7 minutes apart consistently. They still were somewhat irregular but the average time was getting shorter between.

At 7:18 pm I posted this update on Facebook, “Still at home. Contractions have stayed on average every 7 minutes, for a long time. I’ve been having contractions for about 17 hours….. So much for a faster labor! She might not be here till tomorrow.” I was pretty convinced Lilah was not going to be making her appearance that day. At the time I made that update, Steven had put Linden in the bath tub. I was laying on my side in bed and heard a little pop sound and felt a tiny trickle of fluid between my legs. I was wearing tights and I wasn’t wet to the touch but I thought perhaps my water had just ruptured. I called my mom to come help me walk to the bathroom. I had a contraction on the bed then by the time she helped me walk to the bathroom across the hall I had another one. They were suddenly much more intense and I yelled at Steven, “put Linden in bed NOW!” I went pee and walked back to the bed and had another contraction which forced my waters to come gushing out. My mom was behind me putting towels down and Steven paged Jane. I updated my Facebook at 7:38pm, “Well, water broke!!” What a difference 20 minutes can make haha!

Jane returned Steven’s page and  told us she would meet us at the birth center at 8:30 but if our birthing assistant Jennifer got their earlier she would call us. Jennifer called a bit before 8:00 to say she was there and we could come on over. The half hour between our page and leaving was a bit of a whirlwind. Steven and my mom were frantically putting Linden to bed and  loading the van. It took a bit to get me down the stairs because after my water broke my contractions were coming every 2 minutes apart. We got in the van and made our way to the birth center. Thankfully we live about 4 minutes from there because being in a car while having contractions so close together is awful. We arrived and had to drive around the block a couple times because there wasn’t any parking. We were so confused why it was so busy. We had completely forgot that it was Friday night and Valentine’s Day! I finally just hopped out with my mom while Steven went to find a spot. I walked into the birth center at 8:10 pm.

It’s difficult to remember the details but after arriving, Jennifer had me lay down while she tried to monitor Lilah’s heart sounds. Minutes later Steven and Jane were there too. Jane said the most helpful things to me at that time. I forget her words verbatim but it was basically, “I think you are comparing your labor to Linden’s and I think it would make you feel much better if I checked you now because I bet you are further than you think you are.” She was right. I let her check me and I was 7cm dilated. That was amazing to me! While in labor with Linden my water never broke spontaneously and I was stalled at 6cm for a long time. They broke my water to help me get to a 7 and I still had 5-6 hours left to go before he was born. So while I was thrilled to be at  7cm so soon and without my waters being manually broken, I was still doing the labor math and wondering how on earth I was going to last 5 more hours? Thankfully I wouldn’t have to wait that long!

So, it was probably around 8:30pm, I believe, when I got into the tub.

DSC_0133(Steven praying for me as I labored in the tub)

I labored without much reprieve between contractions. I even got very annoyed at Jennifer at one point and said, ” I don’t remember having to be monitored this much with Linden!” because she was constantly trying to find Lilah’s heart sounds but my contractions were so close together that I would push her way only to have her try again afterwards but there was never enough time in between to actually hear them. This was obviously transition! I said a few times that, “I don’t think I can do this again!” Less than an hour after getting in the tub I felt an urge to push. I said it out loud and Jane told me to go ahead. I felt so confused because I hadn’t been in the tub long and it seemed wrong that I could start pushing so soon. I even asked, “are you sure I can push? It’s not too soon?” I never had the urge to push with Linden, I pushed because I was exhausted and it was time to push. So, that primal urge to push was new to me but I gladly went into the pushing phase. It is the best phase of labor!

I was still in the tub and on my hands and knees. My arms were starting to turn to jello from laboring in this position and everyone asked me if I would like to change, but with the contractions coming one after the other and desiring so much to push, I couldn’t do it. I went into full pushing mode making some sounds I never made with Linden! From the moment I said I felt the urge to push and the moment Lilah was born was 23 minutes, which Jane later told me was probably about 5 pushes. My water broke at 7:30 and Lilah joined us at 9:43pm!! No wonder the sounds I was making were so different, her birth was so much shorter but so much more intense. Linden was born after 1 hour and 45 minutes of pushing. He was born with more of a cone head as well because his head probably had a bit more time in the canal. Little miss Lilah was born with a perfectly round head full of black hair! Jane later told me that Lilah was so low that they gave up trying to use the doppler to hear her heart sounds and just monitored her pulse by feeling her pulse through the soft spot on her head!

Lilah came out at 9:43 and was passed up underneath my legs as I sat back and grabbed her. She was wide eyed and beautiful with a head covered in thick black hair. I held her to my chest as I drank her in. It was such a lovely time full of joy and relief. We waited for her cord to stop pulsating and Steven cut it. Her cord was actually pretty short which made it a little hard to hold her as high on my chest as I wanted.


I feel like I was so much more present in these after birth moments than I was with Linden because I wasn’t exhausted from 2 days of sleep deprivation.

DSC_0289 IMG_6127 - Version 2

We were talking and laughing and things were rather jovial!

IMG_6170 - Version 2(Daddy with his baby girl)

IMG_6208 - Version 2(Gam and Lilah)

Lilah weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and was 20 1/2 inches tall. Her newborn exam was perfect.


After the hubbub and mandatory 2 hour wait we got to go home. We came home about midnight where Lilah met her grandpa, my dad, who was waiting at home while Linden slept.

IMG_6239(Pa and Lilah)

We were all able to get some rest that night and in the morning Linden woke up to meet his baby sister “Yah Yah”!


(Linden’s first look at his sister)



5 Responses to “Lilah’s Birth Story”

  1. Denise taylor March 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    My girl, I am so very blessed that you allowed me to be a part of little Miss Lilah’s birth day. You did am amazing job. For months every time I would wonder what day she would be born I felt in my heart that she might come on valentines day. Knowing how late she would be, and how this wouldn’t work the best with our vacation time, I would dismiss the thought. I was hoping she would come around the fifth, so that we would have more time to visit with her. As the fifth passed, then the eighth, I felt that God was telling me she was coming on valentines day, and shared this again. Why not? You were two weeks late, and you were actually conceived on that day. It is also my second birthday, (the day I was born again) A Love day! As the days passed I felt so strongly that God was speaking to my heart “valentines day”, when the day came at 4:00 pm I told Steven I felt she was coming about 10:00 pm. That was only 6 hours away, and your contractions weren’t regular yet. Then your water broke and everything went in turbo mode. At the birthing center you were in the tub right away, and I remember with Linden it was hours before they put you in the tub. Then there she was! at 9:43 pm. Lilah was ready to come be welcomed into this world.(tears of joy as I am typing this). God knew that this was the perfect day for her to be born, a day of LOVE. What a special valentines day gift she is to all of us. I am soo blessed for those special moments with you, Steven, and Lilah, Linden, and Pa. I will cherish them for- ever. Now you have a baby girl, like I have you ( my girl) I love you so much and I am so proud of the woman and mother you have become, and am proud of the husband you have chosen to spend your life with to parent my grand babies.

    • Amanda March 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      Thank you mom! Way to make me cry :-p

  2. Arielle April 27, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    I just love birth stories! 🙂 I know I heard yours in person, but if I remember correctly, the story was interrupted about every minute with one or the other of us having to address our children – haha! So it was nice to just be able to sit down and read all the details straight. 🙂 Way to go, Amanda!

    • Amanda April 27, 2014 at 3:01 am #

      Thanks! Yeah it was so nice seeing you yesterday and actually having a few uninterrupted conversations haha


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