Isabelle Hannah's Birth Story

It was long overdue! After exactly a year later, I finally wrote Isabelle's birth story. I don't want to forget this ever, so I knew I had to write it quick before I forgot all the details. Here goes.


Last prego pic before birth

August 23 was the estimated due date we got. It's exactly the same due date with big brother's due date. Darrell was 41 weeks and 5 days overdue, a lot late! I was hoping this one would not be that late. 

A month before our due date, we came in for monthly checkup with our midwife. We went to this midwife in a group practice, but she is actually the only midwife in a practice full of OBGyns. In that checkup, she delivered a sad, sad news that she will be resigning in about a month. I panicked because we love her so much and there is no one in the practice I would love to deliver my baby other than her! In my heart, I was praying hard that my baby will be born on time before she left but I knew I had to be prepared mentally if that doesn't happen. I'm glad she told me a month in advance so I could process the news!

For some reason, I had a feeling that this baby would not be overdue, but I guess I was wrong. I came in for checkup again on the due date, but not much progress. I have been through it before and I knew 1 cm dilation doesn't really mean anything. My midwife also told me that August 26 (Thursday) would be her last day. I came back for check up on August 25, and still not much progress. I hugged her goodbye, although she told me that if baby is born between now and tomorrow, she would still be on call. 

The next day, August 26, I finally had a few contractions here and there. The timing was irregular, but still tiring me out. I really thought that it was going to be THE day and that I would be laboring soon and could still be delivered by my midwife! I tried to walk to speed up the labor, but it was just so slow. Now that I look back, it seemed like I had what they call "prodromal labor", exactly what happened when I was pregnant and in labor with Darrell as well (52 hours!). 

His world is going to change real soon

Nothing much really happened all day, but I had a feeling it would be soon. I remember kissing Darrell in his nap and taking a picture of him sleeping. He is not going to be my only child soon. His world was going to change BIG time and it crushed my heart to imagine the uncertainties and the unknown. I prayed hard that our transition time to be family of 4 will be smooth and that Darrell will be proud to be a big brother and love his baby sister a lot. David will be with me if I have to go to the hospital and we would have to leave Darrell with one of our friends. So I prepared a backpack filled with Darrell's favorite things and also started to contact people who could be available to babysit Darrell. 

In the evening at around 7, we went to a Bible Study and I had a few contractions as well here and there. Still irregular but got a little more intense. I didn't have any plan to call the OB practice unless my water broke or the contractions got really, really bad. We went home from the Bible Study. I tried to sleep but was awaken in the middle of the night by the contractions and bathroom trips. I went to the bathroom and saw my mucus plug started to come out. With Darrell back then, everything changed the moment I saw my mucus plug (contraction got more intense and closer). So at that time I knew it was real, active labor! I was SO excited. I know that my midwife could no longer deliver my baby, so I just prayed hard that the right and the best OB will deliver my baby.

I got my iPod filled with positive Christian songs and audio Bible verses to accompany me laboring. In the morning at around 6, I tried to labor in the shower. The contraction got really, really intense. I had an appointment anyway with one of the OB in the practice so we were wondering if we should kept the appointment or just go to the L&D at the hospital. We called the practice and they told us to just keep the appointment and come over for an exam.

The pic Maggie texted us when we were at the hospital

We left Darrell with Maggie, one of our friends who lived at the same apartment complex. The car ride was hard. Walking from the parking lot was hard. I had to pause in between contraction and barely could walk. We got there at around 9. One of the OBs there checked my dilation and told me that I was 6cm dilated!!! I was shocked since I thought it was going to be a low number. I was tired and emotional and I almost cried, especially when she looked at me in the eye and said, "You have done a great job laboring all night. You are so close. You are going to have this baby soon, I promise." 

She instructed me to go to Baylor's L&D right away. We called our pastor to help take turn with Maggie and babysit Darrell for the rest of the day since we knew we weren't going back home at all. I labored in the hospital and I was glad to find a birth ball which was helpful. Our nurse was really sweet and nice. She made sure I got everything I needed. She saw my birth plan and knew I wanted to pursue a natural birth so she never ever mentioned about epidural. She gave me a lot of encouragement and praises.

Laboring on the birth ball

My laboring partner :)

From around 10am to 2pm, I was laboring in the hospital. My water also broke at some point and contraction was WAY more intense afterwards. Sadly, I was stuck at 7cm and I couldn't get past it while the contraction was already unbearable. I was also EXHAUSTED since I had been laboring since yesterday and didn't get any sleep. At that point I told myself, if I am still at 7cm dilation the next time the nurse checked me, I will get the epidural so I can rest and save my energy for pushing. Sure enough, when the nurse checked me, I was still at 7cm. I felt very defeated but I knew I want the epidural at that point. I told the nurse and she was a bit surprised and even tried to talk me out of it :-D I told her that I was so exhausted and want to reserve my energy for pushing. She called the anesthesiologist right away, which felt like forever. 

Resting on the bed after epidural

So I got the epidural at around 3pm and then got stuck in bed. With Darrell, I got the epidural as well (after laboring for more than 46 hours!) but it completely numbed my feet and I absolutely could not feel anything. This time, I still had a bit sense of feeling on my feet which was wonderful. It's really hard to explain, but the anesthesiologist did an awesome job! With Darrell, I was not at peace with my decision to get epidural. I was really, really sad and scared that epidural meant that it would slow down labor and that I would be getting a C-section. This time, I was at peace with my decision. I knew that this epidural will help me rest and get some energy to push. It was not the most natural birth that I always dreamed of, but really, all I wanted is a healthy baby!

From around 3pm to 6pm, my dilation progressed and at 5pm, I was 10cm and ready to push! The thing is, we had to wait on the OB who was on-call. I had not meet this OB who was supposed to deliver my baby at this point! So crazy and I felt very uneasy. She didn't even stop by to meet me. The nurse said that there were 4 other patients who were ready to deliver! I heard about this particular OB and she was one of the ones that I truly hope NOT going to be the one who deliver my baby. I knew that nothing could change this and I just prayed that she was going to do her best. 

At 6pm, the OB finally arrived and I could finally start to push. I guess she was okay and really, I didn't have time to think whether I like her or not, ha! With Darrell, I pushed for around 30 minutes, so I was totally hoping this would be shorter and easier. WRONG. I was so frustrated that it took a long time. I couldn't get the mechanism correctly and I couldn't push effectively so I cried and I felt so defeated. The nurse wasn't giving me a direction that I could understand. She offered a mirror that I refused at first, but finally agreed. There was another nurse coming in and thankfully she was more positive and more helpful. 

At 7:08pm, after what felt like an eternity, Isabelle Hannah was finally born! She cried right away, which was a relief. Like Darrell, they suspected meconium as well. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't offer David to cut the umbilical cord. They also couldn't bring her to have immediate skin to skin with me and it felt like they had her for maybe a good 10 minutes! I was dying to hold my baby girl!!! I had to speak up and told them that I really want to hold her. When I met her, I held her tiny fingers and told her that I love her. I let her nurse and she nursed right away. 

Isabelle meeting mama for the first time

Isabelle's first pic with Daddy

Wefie with our brand new baby daughter

The nurses tried to deliver my placenta around that time. The OB said that I wasn't tearing too bad, but still need a few stitches. My epidural was still in effect around that time. However, the nurses kept coming back to me and told me that there was still some blood clots left and they kept massaging my uterus to get it out. At that point, I was SO mad that they didn't just do this BEFORE my epidural was taken off. It was agonizing and REALLY, REALLY painful! I screamed so, so loud. The pain was the WORST pain I have ever felt, even worse than laboring and giving birth. Then, they told me that I had postpartum hemorrhage and I lost about 1100ml of blood, which is a lot for vaginal birth. They did tell me that I can take pain relief drug but I refuse since I would be breastfeeding and didn't want to take any risk.

Darrell meeting baby sister Isabelle for the first time

They "tortured" me for about 5 hours. So from the moment Isabelle was born, they had to keep massaging my uterus for maybe 5 times every hour to get all the blood clots out. I was just so exhausted and SO angry. I was crying so hard. In between those times, David left to pick up Darrell. I missed my son so much! Darrell and David came at around 9. Darrell met his baby sister for the first time and I was so elated with joy. I was still emotional about this hemorrhage and the fact that the nurse was not able to get it all out. I cried to David and I remember saying, "When is this going to be over?". I told David to get Darrell out of the room while the nurse came in to massage my uterus so Darrell didn't have to see the horrific scene and my ultra loud screaming.

Going through the horror of postpartum hemorrhage

At around midnight, they were finally done. Thank God! I was so upset with the nurses that that moment, but I was thankful as well that they were able to get it all out. I thanked them and I was happily wheeled to the postpartum room, yay! Thank God! I was starving as well at that point since I literally didn't have any meals all day, only snacks here and there.

I wasn't suppose to get any meal since it was so late, but the nice postpartum nurse gave me a meal and I remember finished it in like 5 minutes :) I kissed David and Darrell good night as they went home. I was happy to spend a time alone with my new baby girl, although I knew it was probably going to be the beginning of months of sleepless nights!

I wish I could say that my labor was quick and easy, but it was far from that. I endured 20 hours of prodromal labor, followed by 17 hours of active labor (13hrs without the epidural), 1 hour of pushing, and 5 hours of postpartum hemorrhage hell. But, it's true, what they say. The moment you look at your baby, you forgot ALL of that :)

Isabelle, I thank the Lord every day for you! You are truly our sunshine who brighten our lives. We love you more than you would ever know. Our prayer everyday is for you to grow in the fear and love of the Lord. Bright future and favor of the Lord be your portion forever. We pray that you will grow to be a woman of God who loves to serve God's people and be a blessing for many people.

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