Dylan’s Birth Story| My 3rd Natural Hospital Birth

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This feels like the quickest year of my life! How is my baby 1 year old already? I have been meaning to write Dylan’s birth story (typical third child getting the shaft because mama is so busy) as a way for us to remember that special day, and our family’s experience as I brought our precious girl into the world one year ago. 

Dylan’s Birth Story

The day is still so fresh in my mind—even a year— I can remember every minute. It’s hard to forget something as monumental as labor, but after time, certain memories start to fade. Today, celebrating my daughter’s first birthday and while the memory is still vivid, I’m sharing the experience penned to paper.

I went in for my 39 week appointment, hoping it would be my last. I had been having a ton of Braxton hicks contractions for weeks, and baby girl was sooo low. This third pregnancy everything seemed to come sooner, morning sickness, showing earlier, Braxton hicks contractions around 30 weeks, and she dropped around 35 weeks. Needless to say I was almost certain she would arrive early. I was dilated to 4cm at that appointment. 

Week 39 was also the same week my oldest was supposed to start Kindergarten! We had back-to-school night, meet and greet with the teacher, the first day of school, and I was simultaneously expected to have a baby at any point. So to say I was a little stressed about the uncertainty of the timing of everything would be an understatement. I had my mind set on a natural labor, and a scheduled induction was not something I wanted to do, so we prayed A LOT. We prayed for God’s timing— for baby girl’s arrival, for the older kids to be taken care, for my labor to align with my police officer husband’s day off, and for my son to attend his first day of school. 

My second baby, Shay, came so quickly we barely made it out of the triage area. I prayed for a more easy-going delivery this time around, and I was hoping to deliver in a hospital. My doctor warned me that for my third delivery I should get to the hospital as soon as my contractions started. I prayed to go into labor the day after my doctor appointment. I then asked my doctor to strip my membranes to hopefully give the extra nudge needed (if the baby was ready) to start labor. I was dilated to 4cm and she told me it could start at any time. 

Soon after, I felt a ton of pressure but only a few infrequent contractions. We ordered pizza for dinner  (I was too tired and edgy to make dinner) and my in-laws offered to watch the kids, just in case we needed to leave in the middle of the night.

Brian and I walked around the neighborhood hoping that would jumpstart labor, nothing happened. I took a soothing bath using all the essential oils recommended to induce labor (clary sage), turned the lights down, listened to relaxing music, hoping the serenity in the tub would induce labor. Nothing. At this stage of pregnancy it’s all mental, you’re full of emotions and raging hormones, and time literally stands still.  

After a failed greasy pizza dinner, relaxing neighborhood walk, serene bath soak, I knew it was time to call it a night, roll into bed, watch Netflix and keep my mind off of the delivery. I so wanted to have the baby that day, I felt defeated.

I fell asleep and at 10:45pm I woke up to a gushing sensation, wondering if I just peed myself. My water didn’t break on its own with my other two births, so this was a new feeling for me. I got up to go to the bathroom and immediately felt a strong contraction. Then, two minutes later another contraction, the kind that takes your breath away  stopping you in your tracks. I woke up Brian and we decided to wait 20 minutes or so, watching the clock to notice a pattern. At 11:30pm I decided it was the real deal and time to go. We gathered the bags, headed to the car, and sped off to the hospital. I concentrated on the clock during the 20 minute drive to the hospital, keeping track of my contractions and preparing for the long night ahead. 

There was a lot of waiting at the hospital before getting admitted. Two hours later and I was finally getting wheeled to the labor and delivery room and everything around me intensified. I had a ton of back labor, and Brian was pushing on the small of my back though each contraction as I sat on the birthing ball. The nurses asked if I wanted an epidural, but I quietly declined, mid-contraction. Even though the pain is so intense, I like to be free to move around as I please through labor, and not be bound to my hospital bed. I also wanted to be able to push as quickly and efficiently as possible, and allow my body to do what it was made to do–birth a baby. 

After an hour of laboring I suddenly felt a ton of pressure, and started pushing. My body took over at that point and it knew exactly what to do. It’s almost an out of body experience, the pain and intensity in those moments is so extreme. 

The nurses quickly summoned the doctor, broke down the bed, and got me on there as I was pushing, intensely breathing, and basically screaming ( I’m a loud laborer!) After only two major pushes, our sweet Dylan Joy was born at 3:01am. They placed her on my chest, and we caught eyes for the first time. She had arrived! In under 4 hours of labor, we had our baby. 

My Third Natural Hospital Birth

I have a deep sense of pride and appreciation for labor because bottom line, it is hard work! You have moments when you think “I can’t stand the pain for one more minute” but you continue pushing. You get through the intensity, the pain and the fear, and then the outcome is so sweet and worth it. 

I am so thankful for three fast, amazing natural labors.

And just that like we were a family of 5. The older two just adore their baby sister!

I have really cherished my special time with Dylan everyday: nursing her, snuggling with her and watching her grow. It has been a tough year with the pandemic, and all the uncertainty and craziness in our world, but I am so grateful for this forced season at home to really slow down and soak up the family time, together.

I can’t believe how fast this day has come. The past year feels like a whirlwind, between juggling 3 little kids, being a police wife, running my own business & navigating a novel pandemic. Some days it feels exhausting, but most days I look in awe and thanking God for what He has brought us. I’m so incredibly grateful for this challenging season as it has refined me as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. It has taught me to take each day as it comes, not worrying about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worry on its own. It has shown me that grace is needed for the hard days.  That life is precious and sacred, and to never take it for granted. Most importantly, as I pour deep love into each of my children, I have discovered that motherhood is my greatest ministry and highest calling. I’m honored to share this precious and personal birth story. 

So now onto year one for our sweet Dylan Joy. I pray that she knows just how deeply loved she is!

XO, Sarah

Helpful Resources for Pregnant & Postpartum Moms

If you are pregnant and want to know what you really need to pack in your hospital bag, read this + get a helpful printable checklist so you don’t forget the essentials.

Here are 10 tips for better breastfeeding from a lactation consultant

4th trimester care tips

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