Layla Maria’s Birth Story
Two days before Christmas 2017 we found out we were expecting a baby, it was the best Christmas present we could have asked for! We announced the news to our families, and their reactions were priceless.
On New Year’s Day we had an appointment to tour the Family Birth Center. Having a natural pregnancy and birth was something I knew I always wanted, I just didn’t know exactly what that would look like. Galyn gave us the tour and answered all of our questions. The Birth Center was perfect and homey, the opposite of a sterile hospital setting we wanted to avoid. We felt very comfortable there.
Throughout the pregnancy I was fortunate and didn’t have any morning sickness, it was mostly smooth sailing. I did have some concerns about my low platelet disorder, but my levels were normal throughout. I was due August 23rd, but I had a feeling she would be late, and I was right!
My contractions started all of a sudden on Sunday, the 26th and lasted all night long. My husband tracked them on his app and it counted 45 contractions; it was a rough night! We were waiting for them to be consistently five minutes apart for one hour before we went into the Birth Center, but it never happened! Johnny was a wonderful coach and stayed up with me all night. Monday was even more difficult, I had contractions all day, but again, they never stayed five minutes apart for very long. My mucus plug did come out Monday morning around 11 am, but I knew it could still take quite a while. We were getting very close to seeing her, and that kept me going even though it was painful and frustrating!
Monday was a blur. We decided to go to bed early and try to get some rest until the contractions became consistent enough to finally go to the Birth Center and meet our little angel. Around 10pm I felt a very strong urge to go to the bathroom, which had been happening for about 24 hours, but this was much, much more intense. I drank some prune juice to help the process along, to no avail. Most likely because of sleep deprivation, I decided it would be a good idea to make a bed on the bathroom floor with bath mats until I was able to find some relief. A few minutes later the constant pain I felt for the past 24 hours changed into an unrelenting urge to push. It took me about fifteen minutes to realize that I had involuntarily started pushing! There was no doubting that I had entered into the second stage of labor.
At that point I yelled for my husband, who had fallen asleep. He came in the bathroom blurry-eyed and found me on the floor, on my hands and knees, screaming. My mom was at our house helping prepare for the arrival, and I yelled for her too. At first I told them to text Galyn, but then another contraction came, and I grunted for them to call her; at this point it was about 11:15pm. Johnny explained the situation to Galyn, she heard me screaming in the background and said she would meet us at the Birth Center in 30 minutes.
Luckily we only live 15 minutes from the Birth Center. The car ride there was miserable; we had the hazards on and were speeding while my contractions were coming steadily. We parked and I sat in the car between contractions. When the next one came I stood next to the car with my head on the seat, yelling. I assumed the neighbors had heard these sounds before. At that point I decided it would be best to move to the porch so that I wouldn’t have the baby on the gravel. My husband protested and tried to get me to stay by the car, but I was past being reasoned with. Luckily Galyn pulled up just then and let us in the back.
We made it inside to the bedroom and somehow I got on the bed. Galyn checked me and said that the baby was almost here, we’d be able to see her in just a few minutes. I moved onto my hands and knees instinctively and began pushing. Galyn guided me through the contractions while my husband encouraged me. My water bag was still in tact, and broke a few minutes before the baby’s arrival. I could feel her moving further and further down, and felt the “Ring of Fire” as she was crowning. I pushed with what I thought was everything I had, but it wasn’t enough for her head to come all the way out. Up until then I had been screaming, but when Galyn told me not to hold anything back and push as hard as I could, I figured I needed to stop expending energy on yelling and gripping the bed, so I went silent and gave it one more try.
This was the point I felt like giving up-- I was physically and mentally exhausted, and honestly didn’t think I could push any more. But all I wanted to do was hold the baby that I felt moving inside of me for so long. I wanted to finally see what she looked like, hold her and kiss her. That desire is what gave me the last bit of strength. One more big push and she was out! I heard my husband cry for joy as he caught her. I rested for a moment in my birthing position, and Galyn helped me turn over. My husband handed our baby to me, on August 28th at 12:05 am; that moment was indescribable.
That’s the moment I became a mother, when my capacity for love grew exponentially, and everything else seemed insignificant. All that mattered was this little life in my arms. She changed my life for the better, and I’m eternally grateful.