Archive for September, 2017

Emerson’s Birth Story

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful gifts that requires the most strength I have ever needed. From debilitating nausea for months throughout (even the end), hormonal fluctuations that manifest as panic attacks, sciatica and other silly pains, food aversions,  and eeeeeeeeverything else—but it is SO worth it. SO worth it.


There’s these two separate realities in your head when you’re overdue: the reality of the present and the reality that there will be a baby soon, and you can’t quite accept that second reality until that baby is in your arms because it’s almost too wonderful. On Thursday, August 31, I was trying desperately to accept the reality that I would probably be induced again because I was again overdue. I’d had consistent Braxton Hicks for months and woken up nightly for several weeks with consistent contractions for hours that I couldn’t sleep through. The last few days relaxin had been working a little too well and my hips would give way without warning, leaving me grabbing for something to keep me from falling. It’s hard to live life that way with a toddler, and more infuriating to me was the fact that it made caring for my family difficult.


All that to say, on Thursday we were taking it slow, enjoying each other, and giving extra grace. There was 3 short walks, many books read together, all the snuggles, and somewhere in there Derek snapped a belly shot because “you never know which one will be the last one.” Then we went to bed.


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At midnight I woke up and realized I’d been struggling to sleep because my contractions had been picking up in intensity. I got up and packed a few things while keeping an eye on the clock: 1 contractions after 10 minutes—woke Derek: “I’m 99% sure I’m going into labor.”—5 minutes later another, 3 minutes later another—definitely happening. We were out the door with a toddler by 12:30.


Rainee’s labor was 5 hours start to finish, so we knew we had to go quickly after meeting up with PopPop to pass off a toddler. Derek dropped me off at the entrance and I sat to wait for him. Hilariously, a worried nurse walked by and offered to take me in on a wheelchair and I was all “No, I’m good. I’ll just wait for my husband.” Derek ran in and we sped through triage checks. I still had the decency of mind at the point to tell Derek to flush the toilet because “We’re not cavemen!” (which is probably his favorite memory of the labor process and a long standing inside joke in our marriage.)


After that we were in active labor, back labor again, and every ounce of me was focused on just breathing well.Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

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Last labor I learned how important mobility is to me and laboring standing seemed to work the best for me. So we sat between contractions, but stood to ride them out.


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I was saying, “I already feel like I need to push,” but we decided to wait till the urge was stronger and spent 30 minutes on an exercise ball because we couldn’t believe it would be time already.


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But as the midwife went to break my water, she shook her head and said, “Better suit up first. This baby is coming!” And indeed, she broke my water at 3:04 and he arrived after 13 minutes of pushing.  My midwife was SO fantastic at coaching through pushing, using warm compresses, and dousing me with oil like a salad that I didn’t tear at all this time around. (Last time I had a single tear that took over an hour and one stressed doctor to repair.)


Pushing was far more intense this time-the biggest difference with labor and the first time I’ve made noise DURING labor and I’m pretty sure it was rather primal. Emerson had clearly been performing gymnastics in utero because he popped out with the cord loosely around his neck twice, but absolutely fine, praise the Lord! 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20 inches long.


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In the first hour he immediately calmed down, peed on me, nursed like a champ, and mostly stared and stared at everything. We sang him the song we’d dubbed as his, “Your Song.”


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Oh! Also that nurse who offered to wheelchair me in ended up being our nurse. She was laughing afterwards about how she didn’t anticipate being called in for 2 hours and getting to see a baby born in that time. She was with us from start to finish! Emerson also managed to be the first baby born in the hospital on September 1.


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Derek was an absolute champ through the entire 2 1/2 hours of labor and the best support a girl could ask for through the entire pregnancy. So grateful for him.


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Both our moms were again such a fantastic support team (the nurses asked to keep them) and we were so glad they could be part of the process again. And Jen, our midwife, was incredible.

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Rainee has adapted so well to the role of “big sister”. She’s always loved babies, so we knew she would love “Baby Murry”, but we didn’t anticipate how much personal connection she would have with him from the get-go. There is so much grace for the transition, as there should be, but she’s really doing a great job. She loves to help with diaper changes, giving him his pacifier, and will have a large breakdown if she isn’t allowed to hold him. She’s being a great sport about tandem nursing too!

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Thank you for praying for us, encouraging us, and supporting us as we become a family of four! We are truly thankful for the community of wonderful individuals God has blessed us with. Keep us in your prayers as I continue to recover and as we lead these dear hearts the Lord has blessed us with.



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Much love,


(for the growing Mast family)

“Your Song”


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