Seneca Epley


Thea’s Birth Story

It was my due date, March 26th. At 7:30 p.m., Jared, Harvey and I went for our usual walk around the neighborhood. It was then I began to feel the pain. It came every 11 minutes or so but I thought it couldn’t be contractions since they weren’t painful and felt like menstrual cramps. I had been feeling crampy on and off since that morning when I had my membranes stripped for the second time at my weekly doctor’s appointment.

Our last photo as a family of two!

We went to bed that night around 10:00 and as soon as I laid down I got out my phone to time the pain. I began to believe that they were real contractions as they came and went every 6ish minutes. With my heart beating with excitement and mind racing, I got out of bed and began tidying up the house and packing the last bit of things for the hospital.

The contractions grew intensity and were 5 minutes apart when I woke Jared at 2:30 a.m. and headed to the hospital.

From there I learned I was still dilated to 4 cm, and needed to show progression to get admitted. We spent the next 4 hours walking the halls of the hospital (thank goodness it was in the middle of the night for I was wincing in pain every 4 minutes!). The doctor broke the news at 7:30 am that I wasn’t dilated further and suggested I labor at home for a while. This wasn’t what I’d wanted to hear but by 8:00 a.m. we were walking out the doors to head back home. Side note: On the way out, I had a contraction that nearly knocked me to my knees. Two hospital workers saw this and asked me to get a wheelchair. I smiled and said, “No thanks, I’m headed home.” They didn’t think that was a good idea. J

The contraction grew in intensity as I labored at home. I was almost sure I was dilated further but didn’t want to leave room for doubt. By 3:00 p.m., I told Jared that I couldn’t take much more and needed to go back to the hospital.

Sure enough, I was dilated to 6 cm and was quickly admitted. By 5:00 p.m. I got an epidural which provided some much-needed pain relief!

My contractions weren’t getting closer together so I was given Pitocin to get things rolling. And that they did! So much so, that I was feeling the contractions every couple of minutes and man, they were intense. It was quite an odd sensation because I had no feeling in my legs what-so-ever but could feel the contractions.

The anesthesiologist came in several times to try to adjust the dosage. Pain relief came and went. Long story short, I was very excited when they told me it was almost time to push around 11:30 p.m.

After I was told, “The baby will be here soon!”, the nurses began prepping the room and calling the doctor. Before I knew it, it was 1:00 a.m., and I was pushing. Thirty-minutes later, my greatest gift was laid on my chest and I instantly fell in love. Thea Grace, was born at 1:28 a.m. on March 28th – her Uncle Andrew’s birthday – after 30 hours of labor.

First family photo!

We had no complications – praise the Lord! You all know I very anxious and somewhat grumpy that I carried her for the full 40 weeks but looking back I was being really silly. She was born healthy and perfect. Waiting to have her in my arms, was worth every minute. I’m so incredibly thankful.

When I’m asked how labor went, my response has been “Great!” because it truly was the most miraculous experience. I had a couple of mental breakdowns weeks prior going into labor. I didn’t think I could do it, but Jared reassured me I was a strong woman and I would be just fine. And he was right.

Now four weeks later, I still cry watching her sleep in my arms, overwhelmed by the precious gift she is. Not a day goes by that I haven’t thanked God for her. Thea Grace, you are so loved little girl. Welcome to the world!

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