I am a marriage & family photographer based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When I'm not editing your photographs, you can find me gardening with my boys or exploring the local hiking trails.
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Finn was born on October 9, 2015. He was a healthy 7lbs 1oz and 18.25 inches long.
It’s unclear when labor actually started. The last three months of my pregnancy I had terrible Braxton Hicks. It was really common for me to have between 5 and 10 an hour depending on how much I was on my feet that day. For those of you who may be unsure, Braxton Hicks are contractions that are usually noticeable in the last few months of pregnancy and are typically harmless. They do nothing to progress labor and are essentially just your body practicing for the real thing. For most women they are just an uncomfortable inconvenience.
For whatever reason, they made things a bit more complicated for me. They started toward the end of my second trimester and were more frequent then my doctor said they would be. I was a little worried by them one night in the end of July, so I called the doctor. The next thing I knew I was in triage at the hospital being monitored for preterm labor. After a long night, I was sent home and told to continue keeping track of them.
The very next day my husband and I found ourselves back in the triage unit of the hospital. I had began to efface, which meant that preterm labor was a real possibility. As a result, they decided to preform a fetal fibronectin test. This type of test determines whether or not it is possible for you to go into labor within the next two weeks. To our disbelief, it came back positive. Though It is more of an indicator that you will not go into labor rather than you will, the fact that my result was positive was not in the least comforting. I was admitted for 24 hours of observation and released the next day after labor had stopped progressing. The doctor had strongly recommended that I go on modified bed rest. I was allowed to get up from time to time, but the majority of my day was to be spent laying down and resting. Despite there being many more trips to triage those last few months, God allowed Finn to be brought to term. He was born in my 39th week.
At 12:15 AM on October 9th I heard two POPS. Seconds later I realized my water had broke! Josh and I jolted out of bed. My mind went blank and I completely froze. Though I had practiced what I would do several times, my mind went blank! I stood there next to our bed unsure of where to even start. Thank God that Josh kept a clear head! He gathered the last few details for our hospital bags while I called the doctor and off we went.
Labor progressed very easily. I received an epidural after I could no longer focus and then by 10:30 AM I was ready to begin pushing. I pushed for two hours with a nurse’s help and then was approached by the midwife. I had barely made any progress and if I hadn’t in another hour they would want to send me into c-section.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have an irrational fear of needles. I’ve done my best to avoid them before this pregnancy. I had also never had surgery. As you could imagine, the thought of being AWAKE for my first surgery was absolutely terrifying. I felt completely unprepared for that kind of procedure and recovery.
Another hour passed and there was still no progress. I cried as the midwife walked into the room. She had spoken with the doctor and they had agreed that if I wanted to keep pushing for another hour, they would allow it.
Another hour went by and still no progress, except this time my temperature was slightly elevated and Finn’s heart rate had sped up. The midwife rushed into the room to assess whether or not they should send me into surgery. Luckily, after just a few minutes everything stabilized and I was allowed to keep pushing.
By the end of that hour, I had made the amount of progress they expect women to make in one hour, not three. It became clear that Finn’s head was stuck and unless something changed I would be in surgery soon. Again, the doctor and midwife allowed for me to continue pushing. The end of this next hour with no progress would mean a c-section.
It was 10 minutes before the end of the 4th hour and I had given up. I was more exhausted than I have ever been in my life and I figured that there was nothing I could do except adjust my expectations for delivery and recovery. That’s when the nurse exclaimed that Finn had FINALLY moved down. I cried as Josh, the nurse, and the midwife screamed for me to push. After just a few minutes more Finn was born! Josh and I sobbed as we looked at our newborn son. He was perfect.
December 23, 2015