“The third pregnancy was similar but different than my first two. There were unexpected twists and turns but the familiarity of a burgeoning belly. Approaching my late-30s and my first ‘geriatric’ pregnancy, my body did not feel older, but there were unwelcome signs – veins appearing from my under eye area to my legs and an increasing number of white hairs. However, I physically and mentally (mostly) felt fantastic.
The fatigue was present, similar to my pregnancy with Connor, but I was in better physical shape thanks to two years of barre classes, and daily prescription iron pills that made me feel fantastic in the often-dreaded third trimester. As with my other two pregnancies, I wanted as much time as possible to carry my third child.
I pushed for about 20 minutes. Pushing was hard. It was physically demanding and exhausting. Despite the necessity of brute strength, I was SO present for this birthing moment and felt every sensation as the baby descended through my pelvis and the birth canal. It was a glorious feeling.
My body was strong; baby was strong; Dad was a supportive partner every step of the way.
I remember looking at the clock at 5:07 p.m. and knew that he or she was to be arriving soon. On the next contraction, I performed three colossal push efforts and could not withdraw the baby from my pelvis. The ‘ring of fire’ ensued as the baby crowned and the doctor gently untangled the umbilical cord.
One more push effort at 5:11 p.m. and our beautiful crying baby girl with dark hair emerged in-midst of a large gush of amniotic fluid. The same bag of waters that had protected her in my womb and cushioned her from two tumultuous falls at 15 and 33 weeks.
Our third baby – Alice Helena – had arrived. The emotions surrounding her entrance into this world were abundant. The mindful presence and relaxation were surreal. I was in complete control of the entire birthing process.
Alice and I had worked together in unity as we had the past nine months. I felt grateful, blessed, thankful, and strong.
As fast as labor had started; it quickly dissipated into the distance. Perhaps, there was a passing moment of sadness, as this was quite possibly my last birthing experience. However, this was overshadowed by elation and insurmountable love in celebration of Alice’s unforgettable arrival.
You cleared NICU in flying colors and were on my chest in minutes. You latched easily and loved the colostrum. You did not appear to be as large as Abigail or Connor but, nevertheless, weighed in at 8-pounds, 6.5-ounces. All three babies were separated by less than 1 ounce! To me, this is a crazy phenomenon.
Charlene brought Abigail and Connor to the labor and delivery within an hour of the birth. Abigail was hesitant, but thrilled that she had a sister.
Connor was also excited but promptly stated that he also wanted a baby brother.
The only remaining sensation was the pure joy experienced from an amazing, natural, healthy birth. It was a magical experience, and a tremendous end to a wondrous nine months.
Reflecting back, your birth was all that we could have asked for and more. We LOVE YOU and are so blessed that you are a part of our family.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rachel Throop, 38, of Austin, Texas, and birthing photographer, Leilani Rogers. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
Please SHARE this story on Facebook if you believe in the beauty of motherhood.