Oh my goodness, I feel like I am still re-living Vera’s birth after watching it this past week. Wow, what an incredible moment!!! Although there were other things that happened in this episode, just seeing that little miracle be born was one of the most incredible moments in my life.
Just like last week, this week we had several questions about the show, and I wanted to write a post to answer the majority of them! I will answer them below.
It is still a little surreal that such huge parts of our life are airing on national TV. I still have to somewhat take deep breaths and enjoy this whole process instead of feeling like our privacy has been violated! We said yes to every bit of this, but it is still surreal—especially when you see yourself give birth on national television!!!
1.) Was it hard to come to the decision that if both Aly and birth mom were in labor at the same time that Josh would go and be with birth mom?
Yes and no. Initially when we talked about it, I said, “I want you with me!” But the more we discussed it, we realized that I had our moms and Josh’s dad–my sister was in town, our Houston mom was in town– I would be supported if Josh wasn’t with me, even though it would kill me for him not to be there. Because we were given the opportunity to be at Lydia’s birth, and because we were in Kentucky, we could not imagine missing it. We know several people who have adopted newborns and weren’t there for the birth— most often because they weren’t given that opportunity, but since the birth mom invited us to be there during birth again, we knew what the right decision was. We wanted at least one of us to be at the birth of each of our kids, if possible. As our due dates kept getting closer and closer together, we knew we had to have a serious conversation about it all, and that is what you saw on television this past week.
2.) How did you know you were in labor?
Well, really I didn’t! It was so hard to tell to me! The day I went to the hospital I was having what I thought was contractions all day. They weren’t super close together though, and I knew that was something that had to happen before I would be considered in “Active labor”. Our entire family went to the mall that evening to eat and to walk, and Josh and I told them that we were going to head up to the hospital to just have me checked again to see if I had progressed and to see if anyone could tell me if I really was having contractions. We told them we really assumed that we would be sent home, but we would keep them updated! I was 5 days past my due date, so I know we were all so ready, but we weren’t trying to rush anything either. When I got the hospital, they told me I was at 5 cm, and I needed to walk around and they would check me in an hour. I did this, and then I was at 6 cm, and that is when I was considered in active labor. I was admitted to the hospital around 12 am.
3.) How was Josh during labor?
So many people have commented on how interested Josh seemed in the birthing process and how attentive he seemed. All of that is correct! He wanted to catch Vera, and was all up in everything! But he did make fun of the things I was doing during my contractions (which made me so happy:/) and I think often times he was at a loss of what to do. We were so thankful to have had a doula with us (Bluegrass Doulas). Rebecca helped me so much and Josh just kind of followed her lead with encouragement and touching me at certain times, but he really was great throughout it all!
4.) What were you thinking during your allergic reaction?
So, as you saw on the show, I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic given because I tested positive for Strep B (super common). After they administered it through my IV, immediately my face started feeling tight and like it was filling up with fluid. I remember telling my doula that my face was feeling funny and tight. She suggested I relax my face and thought it could be due to me tensing it up on contractions. Then quickly, she realized it wasn’t that as she saw my face swelling up. They quickly realized that I was having an allergic reaction, stopped the antibiotic, and administered an antihistamine. They addressed it quickly, but oh my goodness—was my face hurting! I just remember being in so much pain, I didn’t have much time to think, but I do remember thinking, “Seriously???” I would have never guessed that this would happen. Especially since I have never been allergic to anything in all of my life! The hardest part about it was not being able to open my eyes. I wish I could have seen Vera be born and been more alert during labor, but all of my other senses were in full force, for sure!
5.) Did you ever think about having pain medication during birth?
I didn’t really think about it. We discussed how much I wanted to experience natural childbirth, and so it was never really brought up. We had a child birth class where we made our “birth plan” with our doula and we discussed that I would want it, only if it was necessary or for medical reasons, so it didn’t come up. And at the very end where it was super intense pain, I just kept telling myself how close I was and that this pain wouldn’t last forever.
6.) What were the things that helped you most during labor?
The hospital, nurses, my midwife, my doula, and of course Josh for sure! It wasn’t some “thing” or something I had to eat or drink, but just the support. Seriously, Clark Memorial Hospital is amazing, and I am so blessed to have had Vera there. I just kept praying that the Lord’s presence would be so real during labor and when we had Vera, and that was definitely the case. So the Lord’s presence, Josh encouraging me, and the amazing team had to be what helped me most.
7.) How bad did it really hurt?
Oh my word, it was AWFUL! I can’t say what other women say when they say it wasn’t that bad, or that they would do it again! I remember my father-in-law asking me how it was, and me saying it was the most terrible thing I had ever experienced!!!! ha ha, but it was also the most amazing thing too…but I cannot even describe the pain. The most painful thing to me was actually pushing her out. The contractions were awful, but the pushing was definitely the most painful thing for me.
8.) Overall, what was it like to give birth and have Vera put on your chest?
It seriously was the most incredible experience. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, outside of the allergic reaction part :), but it was incredible. To be a part of bringing this miracle into the world was an absolute honor. To be able to experience my body doing this amazing thing was absolutely amazing. When I pushed her out and she was put on my chest, it was instant relief. Josh described it best—to be faced with mortality just a few years ago, and then to see this body bringing life to another body when my body wouldn’t have been considered “Full of life”. It was one miracle giving birth to another miracle…truly indescribable.
9.) What were things you wish would have been shown on TV that didn’t get shown?
The main thing that I wish would have been shown was Josh thanking the Lord for Vera right after she was born. Once she was placed on my chest, Josh immediately began praying and thanking God for this gift. We both felt so unworthy and undeserving of this miracle baby and having had this experience of seeing this new life. That moment was powerful, and I definitely wish it would have been shown. There was obviously lots that you guys didn’t see, but I am hoping and praying that Josh and I will get all of the footage from Vera’s birth! It was truly an incredible day/night.
10.) How long was your labor?
I am not sure where to count from, but I was admitted to the hospital at midnight, and Vera was born at 4:22 am. So, I guess that it is about 4 1/2 hours.
So, I hope that gives you a re-cap and helps you know more of what was going on in that episode. We are so excited for the episodes to come. You will see more of our parents in this next episode and more regarding Lydia’s birth!
The best episodes are yet to come.
Thank you for being so kind about our journey. None of this would be possible without our all-powerful God.
Love you guys!