GUEST POST: Hezekiah’s Birth Story

Written by: Martin & Danielle Miranda

First I’d like to start by sharing a little background information that will hopefully help you understand the full story. About halfway through my pregnancy, I made the decision to switch from an OB/hospital birth to a midwife/birthing center birth. I could go into detail as to why but that’s a story I’ll save for another day.

People often told me that each baby you have are likely to come earlier and earlier. Since I had my son, Eleazar, at 37.5 weeks I was preparing myself to possibly have baby before that while still keeping in mind that anything could happen. I was just praying I’d make it to 36.5 weeks otherwise I would have had to have a hospital birth. To my surprise, week 37, 38, and even 39 passed by and I was quickly approaching week 40.

During those last weeks I had braxton hicks contractions basically every day, but I figured that when it was real I would just know. On Sunday, September 19th, I called my Mom to wish her a happy birthday and I told her that I hope I have baby that day so he can share a birthday with her. I also wanted her to be FaceTimed in during the birth, so I told her to wait for the call. That same day I told my sister, Gabby, that I was more likely to give birth in a car than to call my midwife a million times because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time with a false alarm.

Sunday evening had come and even though I had contractions basically all day, they still weren’t super intense or even close enough to be actual labor. Or so I thought…

I went to bed that night and usually when I’d lay down the contractions would stop. Well this time they didn’t. But they were still only 8-9 minutes apart and although they were getting more intense, I was still convinced that they weren’t close enough yet. Suddenly one by one they got closer together. 7, 6, 5 minutes…

I quickly told my husband to call my midwife (12:20a.m. 9/20), so he did and I expressed to her that it’s baby time. Keep in mind, my midwife lives about an hour away but she had another midwife that was going to meet us at the birthing center that could get there sooner just in case.

Martín asked his mom to come stay with our other kids and we grabbed a few things (my bags were already in the car) and we quickly started heading to the car. The contractions were so intense and painful that I could barely walk and by the time I got to the car I literally felt the baby coming out of me. Yes, I probably woke up the neighbors. Martín called my midwife and she could hear me screaming and she knew there wasn’t time so she told us to go back into the house. Both my midwife and the other midwife started heading to our house instead of the birthing center.

The next part is a bit of a blur since everything happened very fast and I kind of went into shock so I asked Martin to share his perspective to help explain in more detail.

Start of Martin’s section:

“Chris I cannot hear you so I’m going to hang up…” I tell the midwife as Danielle screams so loudly that I cannot hear a word Chris is saying. Once I hung up I picked Danielle up and started carrying her back into the house. At this point my mom had come out after hearing my poor wife scream from the intense pain, so I frantically asked her to open the door for us which I had to repeat twice as she was half asleep.

She finally gets the door open and I rush Danielle into the house. Danielle says “just drop me off on the floor — this baby is coming out of me!!” I decided the bathtub was a much better place to have a baby, so after I put Danielle down I got it started. As it filled up I helped Danielle slowly down when all of the sudden I noticed baby was crowning. At this point I call our midwife back and give her the news. She then proceeds to say “well, you’re going to deliver your own baby!”

After she said that, I felt as calm as ever and proceeded to take as much control of the situation as I possibly could. I step foot into the tub, curl up my shorts, and position myself to receive a baby. Only a few minutes had gone by when I see the head is almost out. I then tell Danielle to give me one more push and that it’s almost over. As she pushed all I could think of was “his head is almost out”. It is at this point my very chest felt heavy as I heard my wife scream loudly in pain. I continued to watch the head come out when I finally feel a baby’s cheek. At this point I expose as much of the baby’s head as possible in order to reduce pressure on Danielle which given her feedback it seemed to help.

After that part was over I told her that the hardest part was over and that it’s all downhill from here. I told her to wait for the next contraction and told her to push yet one more time when it comes. It is at this very moment when I begin to feel our son’s head move around and I proceed to ask our midwife “his head is out, how hard do I pull now?” She reminds me that he is fine and to pull hard. I was confused as to what “hard” meant so I only pulled a little less hard than my wet slippery hands allowed me to.

While still pushing through the same contraction, I begin to feel baby’s making progress so I pull and all of the sudden the rest of his body is out. I decide then to pull on the umbilical cord to give me some “slack” as I place him over Danielle for proper skin-to-skin time. I run downstairs as fast as I can to grab a space heater and turn off the AC all while we continue to wait for our midwives. Chris tells me to “rub the baby’s back” and as soon as we start doing that my mom storms into the bathroom in absolute shock. I have never seen my mom so speechless before. She continues to cry her eyes out as she says “o mi niño!” Which translates to “o my son” which is an expression in Spanish in reference to our baby boy.

15 minutes later Ashley, the first midwife shows up and gets Danielle ready to deliver the placenta and have me cut off the umbilical cord.

From the time I carried Danielle into the house to the time that we were holding our son, only about 12 minutes had passed. The curious thing to us is that we had been diligently tracking contractions and as recommended had waited to the point of contractions being under 5 minutes in frequency. Apparently our son couldn’t wait.

End of Martin’s section.

Afterward, Martín kept telling me how impressed and proud of me he was to which I responded “Me?! You just delivered our baby!!”

Martín also called my mom to tell her the news (she thought she was getting the “baby time” call) and to let her know there wasn’t even time to FaceTime her in. Unfortunately, baby boy doesn’t share a birthday with my mom but he does share a birthday with my best friend, Taylor, which is still so exciting! My mother-in-law was in our living room the whole time, unsure of what was happening until she heard baby boy’s first cry. She was shocked but we are so happy she was there with us. In case anyone is wondering about Eleazar and Alannah during this time – they were sound asleep downstairs the whole time!

To sum it all up, I was supposed to have a birthing center birth with midwives (which I’m confident would have been amazing) but by God’s grace I ended up having a safe home water birth with baby being delivered by my husband and even though in the moment I was scared, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Hezekiah Calvin Miranda

9/20/21

7lbs 7oz

20 1/2 inches long

Soli Deo Gloria

Theodore’s Birth Story

On Monday the 15th I went to a routine check up. The midwife checked me and determined I was almost 3cm dilated and did a sweep to nudge things along. That night I woke around 1:30am to signs that early labor was beginning. Contractions soon began and were notable and strong enough to keep me awake, but pretty far apart. The next morning they began to space apart even more. I went for a curb walk to try and encourage progress, and then afterwards went home to nap, since I had been up most of the night.

Because I was now a full 41 weeks, I had to go in for a non stress test and ultrasound at 4pm to make sure everything looked good to continue to wait for him to come on his own. I had been having contractions and the clinic was pretty far away, so I asked David to drive me. Everything looked great, so David and I stopped off at Shake Shack for dinner on our way home. As I was eating my burger, I mentioned that it was spicy and it might kick start my labor. 😆

On the way home I noted a few slightly stronger contractions. We got home and David did bedtime routine with the kids while I showered. I could feel my contractions getting stronger and decided to start timing them. At this point they were 7-10 min apart. Once he came back I let him know things were picking up. He encouraged me to call the midwife and let them know I might be coming in soon.

The nurse on the phone didn’t sound super convinced I was in true labor, but because I was gbs+ this time, needed to come in on the earlier side to receive antibiotics.

We packed up our things and headed to the hospital. During the car ride contractions were 5 min apart and getting more painful, requiring me to focus on getting through them. By 10:30pm we arrived in triage. I was VERY discouraged to learn that I was still only 3cm dilated. But I could tell by my pain level that this was the real deal. Unfortunately the midwife seemed less convinced. She said she’d let me labor for 30 minutes or so and then see how we’re doing. My contractions continued to get stronger, but spread out to 7-8min apart as I sat on the birthing ball. So I tried pacing the room instead- the contractions were a little more bearable doing this, but were now 2-3 minutes apart. After about an hour the midwife finally came back and looked at my contractions. She focused on the fact that they were still a minute long each instead of getting longer. She offered to let me remain in triage longer to see if anything else changes or if I wanted to, I could go home.

Honestly- this is the most frustrating part of the birth story to me. If you know me, you know that childbirth absolutely fascinates me. I had always heard that if you choose to have a hospital birth, you need to know your rights and advocate for yourself. I knew this- but had never needed to. My experiences were always so amazing. I always felt so supported and encouraged.

Also worth noting at this point- I chose this hospital very specifically because it had a traditional birth center inside of the hospital, which is incredibly unique and kind of perfect for my desires around birth.

Moving along- I was finding myself frustrated with this midwife because she made me doubt whether or not I was actually in labor, so much so that she offered to let me go home and labor there until things “picked up”. Keeping in mind, I still needed to receive antibiotics 4 hours before the birth and I live a whopping 40 min away.

I asked her how on earth I was supposed to determine when to come back if my contractions are already 2-3 minutes apart and painful. She said to use it as a baseline. David and I agreed we should “wait it out” in triage a little longer. The midwife encouraged me to lay down and see if they spread out at all while she left to attend a delivery. Within minutes of laying down, my pain increases even more. This is not a good way to cope. I page the nurse and let her know I’m not coping with my contractions well and I think I should be checked. At this point we’ve been in triage about 2.5 hours or so. The nurse comes and checks me. I’m now between 4-5cm dilated, and she said they’d admit me because I’ve progressed. FINALLY!!

She does my bloodwork, inserts my IV, and does a covid test. I’m finally escorted to the birth center around 2am. David leaves to grab our bags from the car.

The nurses are filling up a bath for me and setting up the room. I’m trying to cope with my contractions, but having a difficult time. I’ve done unmedicated childbirth before, but these were much closer together and my back labor was even more intense, I believe due to his position.

I had been sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for the bath, but decided to try walking and swaying again since that helped earlier. As I’m swaying through an intense contraction, I feel a gush. Water broke. Maybe 2:30am or so? This makes my contractions even stronger. (Note- had we gone home, this would have happened in the car). They have me lean on something so they can confirm the rupture and my dilation- at a full 5. There are a lot of differences between this labor and my unmedicated labor with Xander coming into play at this point. 1. My back labor is way more intense. I had an anterior placenta this time and I could tell baby was facing it. This means his spine was against my spine, which causes even more back labor pain. 2. I’m not really jiving with the midwife on call. With Xander the vibe was very relaxed and fun. We laughed and joked the entire time- I was able to take the lead and was very supported. This time I felt questioned and doubted at every turn. First in triage, and then again now- when I told the midwife I wasn’t coping well and I’d like to be transferred to the regular birth wing so I could get an epidural. I had told her when I first got there that I wasn’t 100% committed to the unmedicated birth, though it was my plan. I’ve had great experiences both ways and just wanted to go with the flow this time. I knew I didn’t want to continue on this way only for it to get worse. Yet, she encouraged me to try the bath first to see if that helped, and proceeds to warn me that even if I request the epidural, I may not get it in time. She tells me that because my water is ruptured who knows how fast it will go now and if the anesthesiologist is busy, I may or may not even get it in time for it to kick in and do anything. Of course- I KNOW all this. I tell her I’m pretty certain I want it anyway- in fact I say it probably 5 times during our conversation.

I get into the bath, reluctantly because we’re waiting on my covid test results, and for the nurse to see if the anesthesiologist wait is long. The bath doesn’t help as much as I remember it helping last time- probably because my water is broken this time. I repeat for probably the 5th or 6th time that I’m not coping well and I’m 100% certain I want the epidural. The nurse returns to let us know that there is no wait for an epidural and that they’ll meet us in the new delivery room. So we pack up our stuff and go to the other wing.

The epidural is inserted shortly after we arrive in the regular labor and delivery room and I’m instantly relieved. Shortly after my epidural has fully kicked in I feel myself get hot, faint, and nauseous. My blood pressure is quickly dropping. This happened when I got epidurals with Ellavie and Will, and I had mentioned it to someone earlier but couldn’t remember who since I had been in so much pain at the time. (For reference- my pain level pre-epidural was comparable to how I felt in transition/pushing with Xander. So pretty intense). The nurse ends up paging back up to stabilize me. I can feel myself fading fast and groggily keep my focus on David, willing him to know I’m actually terrified that I’m about to black out completely. Between one nurse fanning me, a cold rag on my forehead, blood pressure medication, and something else injected in me, I finally start to feel better. My heart rate is now very high so my nurse barely leaves my side because she wanted to monitor me closely. David and I later talked about how we could tell she really cared – they practically had to force her to take her break.

They luckily figured out how to stabilize my medications and I’m doing well. David falls asleep and I try to rest through the adrenaline shakes and blood pressure cuff going off every 5 minutes. The midwife swings by at some point and the nurse fills her in on my blood pressure episode and mentions I’ll need to inform future care providers that I have this response if I ever receive anesthesia in the future. – the midwife responds with “oh that’s right, she did mention it to me, and I totally forgot to tell you. That’s my bad”. The midwife mentions she’ll be back around 6:30 to check me, and assumes that we’ll need to take some synthetic measures to move things along as she notes on the monitor that my contractions are getting further apart.

Finally around 7:30 she comes back and checks me. I’m STILL only 5cm dilated!! HOW? She says she’s going to order some pitocin to give the contractions a boost, and that she’ll be back in a few minutes to introduce me to the new midwife as it’s shift change.

This is the turning point. The positive one.

I meet the new midwife and I honestly couldn’t tell you much about her, except that I was just so happy to have a fresh face.

Minutes later… My nurse says she’s going to prep an IV line for my pitocin. Then she comments… “huh. That’s weird. I don’t think you’re going to need much pitocin because your contractions are suddenly picking up on their own quite a bit”.

Fun fact- I had heard this but hadn’t experienced it before. Did you know that there’s a lot of things that can stall or inhibit your labor? Feeling unsafe, unsupported, not trusting those in charge of your care, fear, etc are among those things. This suddenly felt very true as I looked back on the last several hours.

Around 8 the pitocin arrived. By 8:15 the the nurse turned it off because I just really didn’t need it.

At 8:45 I tell the nurse I’m not feeling the urge to push yet, but am feeling more pressure. David asks if it would be a good time for him to go grab breakfast and I say no, I think he’s coming soonish.

Around 9 I feel a big shift- almost like he pushed off my ribs and into the birth canal. I page the nurse.

By the time she comes I have this sensation two more times. She pages the midwife to check me.

“I hear you’re feeling some pressure- let’s take a look! ………okay, well….. you’re probably feeling that because you’re at 10cm and there’s his head!”

So…. I was stuck at a 5 from when I was admitted until 7:30/8… and then in about an hour went from 5-10cm. !!!

She asked me to give a small practice push and said “okay then- you know how to push… hold that thought and we’ll get set up and meet your baby!”

At 9:19 I started pushing. I did 2 pretty big pushes. In the middle of the 3rd push she told me to stop and just breathe- don’t push. I had a mirror and could see his head was about halfway out. I just kept breathing and not pushing at all, and watched in the mirror for the next minute as he quite literally just slowly fell out without me doing a single thing. 😱

Theo was born at 9:24am. ❤️❤️❤️

We actually didn’t name him until a couple hours later and had 3 names. We narrowed it down, and Theodore felt right. Right after we decided, I asked both the nurse and David if they knew what it meant. So the nurse searched and told me it means “God’s Gift”.

You sure are, Theodore. 😭

**Notes:

1. My nurse had tweaked her back the day before and was in a lot of pain. I felt bad whenever she had to apply counter pressure to my hips during a contraction. At the end, I joked that if anyone asks,I got the epidural so she could sit in front of the computer instead of helping me cope. 😂 She thought it was pretty funny.

2. I don’t mean to throw the first midwife under the bus. Her bedside manner was perfectly nice and she was kind. We just didn’t see eye to eye, which really isn’t a common occurrence for me. But in the middle of labor was the least ideal time.

3. To my friends that are future moms- all I can say is know your rights, trust your instincts, and listen to your body. You know your body best. Doctors and midwives are amazing and they know a LOT. But they’re not superhuman and they’re not psychic; they can only make educated guesses about your birth based on their experience. But no two birth stories are the same. Trust your gut, mama. ❤️

Mindless.

Today is the last day of the decade. It’s also the last day Friends is streaming on Netflix. (Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this…). A few nights ago I was up in the middle of the night, nursing my one year old. As I rocked him quietly in his dark room, I was thinking about how sad I was that one of my favorite “mindless viewing” shows was going to be gone (despite the fact I own most seasons on DVD; but hey… who uses those?! It’s 2020!) 😜 …and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Why was I sad to have my default mindless viewing disappear?

Mindless.

The word stuck out.

Interestingly enough, the dates coincide with my seasonal social media break for the month of January. My break from… wait for it… MINDLESS scrolling.

***(with short cheat days for our anniversary and kids’ birthdays because I love to brag on my cute fam! Sorry had to add that 🤣)***

Mindless.

Such a convicting word.

Why on earth would I want to do anything mindless?! I tell myself it’s because my overwhelmed brain needs a break- but that’s an excuse; not truth.

May I challenge you, as I challenge myself? Enough of the mindlessness.

Sure, there is joy in the comedy of a good sitcom. Nothing wrong with that.

There is community and connection to people worlds apart on social media. These are all good things.

However, I’m going to set those things aside this month to reset. Less mindless. More MINDFUL.

Mindful of what I watch. Mindful of what I say. Mindful of my time. Mindful of my example. Mindful of others. Mindful of every single thing that I do.

Will you join me?

Colossians 3:2, ESV: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Stolen Saturdays

This past Sunday I ran a marathon. It was a super big deal and I’m so very proud of it. After the race, we went out to lunch to celebrate. We joked about how I had to run 26.2 miles to get five hours to myself. We laughed because it’s funny, but also because it’s incredibly true.

As a mother, you find yourself hard pressed for alone time. You don’t get sick days, and you certainly don’t get lazy Saturdays.

I’m grateful- oh so insanely grateful- for my three beautiful, adorable, sweet kids. But there are days that they suck every last ounce of patience and energy straight out of me. Today is one of those days, which is what prompted this post, I suppose. You see, I know I’m not the only mom that feels this way. Or dad. Or nanny. Or grandparent. Etc.

Just a friendly reminder that it is not only okay, but it is NECESSARY for you to steal some Saturday-like moments to yourself. Sometimes that looks like a cup of coffee and a good devo. Perhaps it’s a babysitter and a scurry to the salon.

On this rainy day, for me, it’s getting all the kids down for nap, scooping up a mug full of ice cream, turning on the tv, lighting a candle and getting cozy under a blanket for a stolen Saturday.

Feels just like I remember it.

Grocery Delivery For The Mom Life Win

I’m going to lay it all out there: I’m obsessed with getting my groceries delivered.

There. I said it.

Now I’m going to tell you why.

I have been a Shipt customer for about seven months now and it has been one of the best decisions I could have made for our family and for myself.

  1. I don’t have to drag all three kids to the grocery store with me, distracting me while I’m trying to remember everything I need and taking up cart space.
  2. I don’t have to wait until my husband comes home so I can go alone.
  3. I don’t have to have HIM stop on his way home from work. This is a big one.
  4. This is sort of a combination of points 2 and 3, but it gives us SO MUCH time back. That time is directly turned back into time we can spend as a family.
  5. I can stick to a budget better- because I can see my cart total and don’t have to keep track in my head as I shop, it’s easier to adjust as needed.
  6. Also relating to a budget- I have a few different store options I can choose from, and have, on occasion, shopped from two in one day. This allowed me to get the better deals and selection I wanted.
  7. It’s easier for me to keep track of what I need to pick up. If my husband says, “babe we’re out of toothpaste”, I can literally go to the app and add it to my cart right away for my next order so I don’t forget. Same goes for any food item I don’t buy weekly and might otherwise forget.
  8. For the items I do buy regularly, I can “favorite” them and it makes my shopping that much quicker so I don’t have to search for my preferred brands every time!
  9. I’m able to shop more frequently. With a Shipt membership, there’s no delivery fee as long as your order is at least $35 or more. That being said, I don’t necessarily need to do a “big” haul. I tend to do 2-3 smaller orders every week. That way I can easily replenish things like milk, fruit and unexpectedly needed household items and save space in my pantry and fridge. (*household items: today I was doing laundry and my tiny kids basket was overflowing. By the time I dried the laundry I had a brand new, bigger laundry basket. HELLO convenience!)
  10. Meal planning made easier. Let’s say you want to try some new recipes. Being able to type in the ingredients you need rather than search the store for something you may not typically buy makes it 10x easier.

So how does it work? With Shipt, you pay an annual membership fee of $99, or you can sign up for $49 with my discount code: mWSZv.

How does it differ from Instacart? Well. They’re pretty similar actually. I don’t have anything against Instacart and have used it a few times. The major points are these:

  • Instacart doesn’t require a membership… but does have a membership option of $149.
  • Shipt DOES require a membership of $99.
  • Both offer free delivery on orders $35 or more with their memberships.
  • They carry different store options, which will vary by zip code.

For my personal preferences and budget, Shipt was the better option.

So there you have it!! Grocery delivery is amazing, and quite frankly, a total game-changer for this stay at home mom. ❤️

CLICK HERE and enter discount code mWSZv at checkout for $50 off your annual membership!

*this is not an affiliate/sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own and completely sincere. If you use my code to sign up for Shipt at the discounted rate, I do receive a discount on a future order. This does not influence my opinions.