Mille Love Byler
Due: October 26, 2020
Born: November 2, 2020
Obviously most parents pray for a healthy baby and healthy mom. I prayed every single day of my pregnancy for a few other specific things as well though.
1.) To go into labor on my own.
2.) A healthy postpartum mental state.
3.) A child that was more calm/easy going than my first.
2/3 isn’t bad.
I had an absolutely terrible pregnancy. Nausea all day, every day until the third trimester. I couldn’t walk more than a mile without physical pain (and we were those casual 5 miles a day people at the time.) SEVERE pregnancy insomnia began at 13 weeks and lasted my entire pregnancy. Sciatic pain. The list goes on.
But most of all, beginning around 34 weeks, Mille Love was sitting so low that it was causing round ligament pain. This pain began by happening only once or twice a day but by the last week of my pregnancy there were days when it occurred 20x. What I mean by “it” is the 2 seconds of pure torture. When my doctor finally figured out what was happening and diagnosed me, he said the only way to describe the pain to other people was “a garden hose strangling your leg and then being electrocuted by a cattle prod.” As someone with a very high pain tolerance, and after having a natural birth the first time, I would say the pain of these “shocks” was as bad as any labor pains I ever felt. Now imagine them coming out of nowhere, absolutely no warning, and happening almost every hour for a week straight. It was a nightmare.
With all that being said, I was done.
At the 40 week 2 day mark I had an appointment that told me I was not dilated so my doctor asked me to come back in at 41 weeks for another check…to which I kindly asked him to go ahead and schedule an induction instead.
I continued to pray that I would go into labor naturally but I think I knew all along that it just wasn’t going to happen. The next few days went by, my parents came into town on Sunday to watch Belle, and we went to bed that night hoping tomorrow would be the day we meet our newest girl.
We were set to arrive at the hospital at 5am. When we got there we had to stay in the waiting area until they were ready for us. “Us” ended up just being me. No one explained what was going on or if Jeff would be able to come back at some point. We knew the Covid procedures were changing daily but last we heard I was allowed one support person. The nurse took me to a desk to fill out paperwork and then I was taken to a dark room and told to put my gown on. I had a Covid test done. They started my IV. Checked my dilation. And then I waited on the hospital bed…alone. After about 40 minutes Jeff walked in. I was so relieved! (I’m not sure what the point of him having to wait was.)
I was given the nice surprise of being 3cm dilated to start the morning out which meant we could skip a few steps and go straight to breaking my water once my doctor arrived.
5am- Arrival. 3cm dilated. IV started.
For some reason this hospital didn’t have IV poles on wheels so I wasn’t allowed to walk around at all or go to the bathroom on my own. I was stuck in the hospital bed. This was different from our first labor and I much prefer being able to move around.
7am-The Doctor broke my water. Contractions begin.
10am- 5cm dilated. Start pitocin.
Pitocin- AKA “The Devils Drug”
Pitocin and I have a love/hate relationship. I know it will get the job done, but it’s gonna hurt like no other while doing it. Immediately the contractions pick up and they are intense. My plan is to get an epidural but I thought it would slow down my progression (something I read online which apparently isn’t even true) so I wanted to wait as long as possible.
12pm- I order the epidural. 7cm dilated.
1pm- We go over the game plan with my nurse and anesthesiologist- my epidural didn’t take with my first pregnancy and I was forced to deliver naturally hopped up on pitocin. This time I had the BEST staff reassuring me that they would get it to work! I don’t know all of the “epidural lingo” but I learned there is a little vial of medication they attach to your IV pole and that most people only need 1-2 of it. I kept hearing “This will be the last contraction you’re going to feel”…and then I would feel another. And another. And another. Finally at 5 vials in I began to feel the pain fade.
2pm. My epidural has finally started working! I can still move my legs some but now everything is just pressure. No pain! My nurse checks my dilation and I’m at a 9. She jokes that we went through all of that just for 1cm of numbness left. WORTH IT.
I can’t believe the difference! They told me they thought we would meet our girl within the hour and I was smiling ear to ear. I was joking around with the nurses, Jeff and I took a picture together (inserted below. Would you have thought I was 9cm dilated here?!) I was so happy!
2:45pm- I called the nurse in to check me because of the pressure. A couple practice pushes later and it’s go time! Between pushes I remember telling Jeff that if epidurals always worked he might have a chance at a son still. I asked the nurses if they knew what was being served in the cafeteria. Everyone in the room was talking and laughing. It was truly such a birth redemption story after the trauma of Belle’s delivery. My Doctor let me take my time and breathe between pushes. There was no urgency which lead to less tearing.
3:10pm- Mille Love is born! From the moment I saw her I was connected. This is MY baby.
We had skin to skin right away (something I wasn’t allowed with Belle.) There was no nicu needed. No immediate testing that needed to be done. There weren’t 30 staff members in the room and 10 students. Of course a few nurses lingered to monitor both of us and I did need some stitches still- but overall, it was so much more calm. We sent out a simple message to let our families know she had arrived but we didn’t rush to take pictures of her or send texts to our friends. We didn’t even post on social media until the next day.
It was awesome.
The rest of that day went by pretty quickly. Eventually we did FaceTime our families and a few of our closest friends so they could “meet” her. Our hospital doesn’t allow visitors at this time and there is no nursery so there was no one else to hold her, give her a bottle, change a diaper, etc. I really think that time with just the 3 of us helped me bond with her.
Around 9pm my anxiety started to make an appearance. There is something about a hospital room, sleep deprivation, the bodily trauma of just having delivered a baby, and knowing that as tired as you are you don’t have any help coming and you aren’t going to get any sleep that night that’s very stressful. As I felt the anxiety setting in and myself start to get jittery I was able to stop and breathe and pray that morning would come quickly. Right after I prayed I had a calm come over me and a surge of energy.
We made it through the night and the sun came up! The nurses told me we would be in the hospital for two nights (question for other mommas- do you feel like night #2 in the hospital is TERRIBLE?! It’s like all hell breaks lose and this baby you just spent the day before getting to know is now a stranger and they hate you. No…just me? Cool.) All that to say, we were begging them to let us leave after one night. Mille Love had all of her checks done and looked perfect so my Doctor gave the go ahead for us to take her home at the 24 hour mark!
Since then I can say that I am SO THANKFUL to have had no signs of baby blues or postpartum depression. I stay home with the girls and while we definitely have rough days I can’t imagine them growing up any other way. I think the transition from 1-2 has been easier than the transition from none-1. I wonder if Jeff would say the same- I’ll have to ask his opinion!
Belle mostly ignores her little sister which we’re totally fine with! She says “baby” and sometimes she’ll hand me a burp cloth or pacifier.
Mille Love is a good sleeper (usually 2 wake ups a night just to eat and back down she goes.) We call her “shifty” because she just looks around and takes everything in. She is calm and sweet as can be! It’s almost like she knows her big sister is a handful so during the day she is willing to be chill and then once Belle goes to bed she’s ready for her cuddles and 1 on 1 time.
We are beyond blessed and thankful for our little family.