The labor journey to Veda Estelle began on a Sunday with mild contractions. Being 8 days over due, and losing my mucous plug (in its entirety combined with bloody show), I decided I would not be attending church... something tells me seeing what a sweet angel I helped into this world, God would forgive me.
What can I say about my husband coach? Let me go back to when we were just eight years old. We not only had the luxury of growing up together, but also being childhood sweethearts. We were also each other's first kiss. Dallas has shared he always knew he would end up with me, but I was not sure about that all those years ago. We hung out as teenagers, but did not date during those years and found ourselves dating after high school. We married June 24, 2018 and wanted to enjoy being young married for a while prior to starting a family. Several years later, we found out we were expecting, but sadly miscarried in the first trimester.
Looking back, I wish someone would have encouraged me to share my news and grieve. Because, I was only 8 weeks along we hadn't yet shared our news. Since most loss occurs within the first 12 weeks, and because we had not yet announced our pregnancy, I just felt it best to consider other pregnant friends feelings, instead of bringing a negative vibe to the room. Frankly, I did not know how to talk about what I was feeling, so I found it easier not to share my loss at that time. Clearly, being our first pregnancy, Dallas was also disappointed and sad, but as a man, his concern was first and foremost for me and what I was going though at the time. Some knew I seemed to not be my normal self, they just didn't specifically know why. Each woman and couple has to decide how to best handle such devastating news. If I could go back in time, I would not have tried to hide it. Whenever loss occurs, we rely on our family and friends to surround us. God can also bless us through the comfort of others or empowering stories of personal loss that so many experience, but if we hide it we bear the burden of loss alone.
Like a lot of women, time for my period came and went and well, let's say there was a personal emphasis on the "went and never came back for a total of 18 months!" My Meemaw was ill at the time, and I hadn't missed my cycle at all. Then one day Dallas said, "Don't you think you should take a test or something?" But, deep down, I already knew I was pregnant with our rainbow baby! Fast forward to the photo above. We were around 36 weeks along and growing closer every day to our baby's "BIRTH" day. I was blessed with a very uneventful, healthy pregnancy and simply felt great. Well, until the very end when we are out of space, more challenged to get adequate sleep and your due date comes and goes. The dreaded hormones have a way of robbing us of JOY when we are tired of being pregnant and ready for a baby in our arms. Despite the growing anticipation of labor beginning, we welcomed the last few days and weeks of pregnancy knowing as a healthy person we were likely to go beyond my due date. Deep down, we were ready, but apparently our baby was not. Soon there was talk of being over due and offers to consider induction. We graciously declined and continue to focus on what we had control over, eating well, exercising, relaxing and prepping my body naturally for labor. We were confident in our decision making to wait for spontaneous labor to begin, because we had educated ourselves. We took the Your Birth Helper® Symbiotic Birth course with Pam virtually. I wish I had spent more time relaxing my mind and not only focused on learning about labor, but actually applying it before contractions commenced. Next time, I will be way more intentional and religious about my practice time.
Now back to that Sunday morning...
the reason we skipped church, finally our baby was coming! I was the putsy- putsy laborer. Although, it can be a more manageable labor, the challenge is it seems to take FOREVER! So, we started this story with the bloody show and came to finally cross the finish line of my labor marathon TWO DAYS LATER. I didn't just have to wait 8 days over my due date for labor, but now I get the SLOW TO PROGRESS labor cards.... what next?
Pitocin began around 9:30 p.m. due to contractions slowing down.
Dallas wanted other dads and labor coaches to know, he wished he had taken more snacks or arranged for different food options to sustain him through his two days of labor coaching. He found it a necessity to wear comfy clothes, as well. He couldn't rest, because adrenaline was flowing, and obviously not to take away from my challenging work, his hands and arms were super tired from assisting with counter pressure to ease the back labor and at one point before pushing, I wanted constant double hip squeeze with each contraction. Needless to say, even taking turns with our doula, he found the physical aspects of assisting me tiresome, especially since neither of us had gotten any sleep for quite some time.
Lastly, Dallas wanted the men to know it is not just physically challenging to coach a woman through natural childbirth, but it is also quite the mental mind game requiring a level of preparedness. Meaning, you should expect labor to have its challenges. I had two sisters and multiple sister-in-laws, who all experienced something different, and because I was aware of the challenges they faced I was better prepared for ours.
My suggestion for women who endure back labor, KNOW the various POSITIONS that can bring about some form of relief. Sadly, with the use of Pitocin to bring about stronger contractions, I was not able to utilize the tub to relieve my back discomfort.
When I was finally completely dilated, with the baby still in a form of posterior rotation and the contractions mostly being felt in my back, it was a no brainer to push on my hands and knees using the top of bed to help hold my position.
I found the staff at Atrium Pineville LDR to be both absolutely wonderful and very supportive of our natural birth wishes. Our nurse was such a breath of fresh air. Special thanks to Piedmont OBGYN Midwife Susan Corbett for catching our baby!
With great anticipation we awaited our surprise gender baby... drum roll please!
Dallas had the honor of announcing the sex...
"It's a GIRL!" Dallas proclaimed! He shared for a moment time kind of stood still, and that hearing our daughter cry for the first time was the most exciting moment for him.
I was in a form of non belief myself for a few minutes, but she was here. She was really in my arms. We had a sweet baby girl! Our rainbow baby had arrived!
The staff helped me turn over and sit back and relax for a moment as there was still work to be done. See, we think as soon as our baby is born, it is over. But, in fact literally third stage labor is just beginning. Considering how long I had been laboring, I was not surprised that my uterus was not properly clamping down after the birth of my placenta. I was immediately given both a shot of Pitocin and oral Cytotec to slow the postpartum hemorrhaging. Fortunately, the medicine did its job and I did not need blood.
We named our baby girl Veda after Dallas, as his middle name is Vaid. Similarly pronounced, "Vaid" is a family name passed down several generations within the Helms family. We just gave it a girly touch. Dallas was opposed at first, until he heard the name trending as a new popular girls name.
Special thanks to MTH Photography for capturing such beautiful pictures of our baby.
We leave you with this verse, Psalm 127: 3, 4
3) Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
4) Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are children born in one's youth.
We hope that our story of both sorrow and joy has both glorified God, as well as, encouraged and empowered you!
Jade & Dallas