Jael Luvy's birth story
Born to Micah & Lydia
Jael Luvy’s Birth Story:
40.6 weeks: Friday evening my contractions finally started to get stronger. I figured they would probably stop, as I had been having prodromal labor for nearly two weeks now with nothing progressing (in my mind at the time, though I know that even prodromal contractions are doing something, its just hard to see it in the moment). I had been frustrated and emotional, every time contractions would start and I would think they were going to keep coming they stopped completely. Especially when I thought my water had broken at 39.3 weeks, and expected labor to come anytime but it didn’t. I felt like something was wrong, like my body was not doing what it was supposed to do, or that I was too much in my head and keeping labor from coming. My husband, Micah, gently reminded me God’s timing is perfect, and that this baby will come exactly when the Lord has determined for her to come. I had been praying for patience and contentment, and God was answering that prayer, but in a very hard way! He is a good, good Father, and He knows exactly what I needed.
Friday night and into Saturday morning I was still having contractions. They were not very intense, though they were noticeably stronger than the ones I had been having. I notified my midwife Dorothy, and then continued with my day as usual. Micah had to finish a job in Ludington so I went with him to keep him company. We dropped Bethan, our fifteen month old, off at her grandparents, and headed up north together. I continued having contractions, and I was timing them off and on. They were mostly around 7-15 minutes apart, and lasting about 45 seconds. I was able to talk normally through them at this point, but the fact that they hadn’t stopped once I was up and around was very encouraging, and my husband and I were excited to meet our daughter very soon. We got some coffee while we were out, held hands, finished up the job, and walked to the lakeshore. It was a very nice afternoon together, and we enjoyed our time with just the two of us. Saturday I was 41 weeks exactly, and it was my dad’s birthday. Of course, we had talked about how fun it would be if my dad and our daughter shared a birthday, but it looked like that was not going to happen. Baby girl wanted her own birthday! We celebrated my dad’s birthday with my family that evening, and enjoyed our time together. As the evening progressed I could tell my contractions were getting stronger, and I was starting to get a little uncomfortable. When we went home we went straight to bed to get as much rest as possible.
Early Sunday morning I was awakened by stronger surges, which I had to start breathing through. I got up around 7 and took a shower to see if it would stop the contractions so we could go to worship, but it didn’t, so we decided it was a good time to labor at home, and notified Dorothy that things were picking up. During the day we timed the contractions, which were about 5-8 minutes apart now, and lasting 45 seconds to a minute. I bounced on my birth ball, Micah helped me with the side lying release, I did the miles circuit, we walked around outside, and I tried resting but the contractions were very intense and uncomfortable when I laid down. As the day progressed contractions got stronger, and I started moaning through them. They were 4-5 minutes apart and I was really having to concentrate on them now, so we asked Dorothy, Violet, and Rachel to come. Micah also notified my mom and sister Tabitha, and his mom that we were ready for them now too. Bethan was so excited when everyone came, and was being hilarious. Between contractions I was able to talk and laugh, so I enjoyed watching her interact with everyone in the last few hours she had as an only child. I was now vocalizing loudly through contractions now, and when I started getting teary from the overwhelming intensely of each surge, I knew that baby girl was going to be here soon. It was amazing being able to feel baby wiggling and moving down with contractions, and feeling her head putting pressure on my cervix. With Bethan I didn’t feel any of that so it was very encouraging to actually feel the progress this time, and to know that my body was doing exactly what God had designed it to do. I labored mostly on my birth ball, leaning into Micah. Everyone gave us our space, only checking on baby when needed and giving me verbal encouragement. My mom and mother-in-law took care of Bethan, and my sister Tabitha snapped some photos.
It got to the point where I wanted some more help managing the powerful contractions, so Micah filled our bathtub and I sank into the delightful warmth of the water. I started having contractions that were making me think ‘I can’t do this anymore’, so I asked my husband to pray for me, for strength and endurance to finish this good work God gave me to do. After that I asked to be checked, though I was a little afraid to be checked, because I thought I would be disappointed that I wasn’t as close as I thought, and that there would be a cervical lip like there was last time.
Dorothy’s words were so encouraging. “9 cm, nice stretchy cervix. You have a little bit of a lip, which I can hold back for a couple contractions if you want, or you can do some leaning back positions to help that lip move out of the way.” I opted to labor on my back for a few more contractions, and focused on opening up and relaxing my pelvic floor to let baby come down and out.
It wasn’t too much longer before I started to get really cold being in the water, and I asked Micah to help me get out. My birth team got our bed ready while I took a hot shower to warm up. Contractions were getting very strong and I started bearing down instead of vocalizing. It felt so good to finally feel that urge to push and being able to do something, instead of just riding along with the wave. As soon as I got on my hands and knees on the bed, I started pushing, and my water broke. A few minutes later I felt baby crowning, and Dorothy and Micah both encouraged me to blow, not push.
“Do you want to feel your baby’s head?” they asked. I wanted to but I never felt that contraction stop, and it was so powerful that I had to focus on not bearing down, so I kept blowing to help prevent tearing. Her head came out and then her body slid out all at once and up to me like she was in a water slide. I reached down and pulled her to my chest, full of relief and joy. “Oh thank you Lord!” I said, holding my brand new little baby to me. I then checked to make sure before I announced, “You are a girl!”
Everyone helped me sit back and rubbed baby girl with a blanket, which she reacted to with a loud cry. She looked right into my face and I knew that every stressful, scary, and frustrating event that happened during this pregnancy was 100% worth it. This little girl, Jael Luvy, was precious in God’s sight, and He has blessed us so much by choosing us to be her parents here on earth.
My husband was my greatest support during labor, I can’t even imagine what I would do without him. His prayers, encouragement and strong arms to hold me up were everything that I needed to cope with the powerful surges. The team at Genesis Midwifery was phenomenal, and I am so thankful that Dorothy has been my midwife for both of my girls.