It was about 1:00 am on March 25th, when a sharp pain in my stomach woke me. Since this was one day before my due date, I knew there was a great chance it was labor beginning. I didn’t want to overthink it because just weeks before I had experienced days of false labor.
At my check-ups with Rosetta and Kayci, I was dilated the same for about 2 weeks. At every appointment I would tell myself not to get my hopes up. I knew Julia would come when she was ready, but waiting when you’re feeling so huge and uncomfortable seems almost impossible!
The day before when I had another routine check-up I was secretly hoping it was my last! To my surprise and excitement, I was 4 cm dilated and Julia was completely engaged against my cervix. Even though Rosetta didn’t tell me then, she later said that she knew that it was going to be my last check up. Part of me knew something was different that day so I spent time playing and cuddling with Kinsley just soaking in those precious moments of her being our only child.
As I laid there at 1 am, trying to assess the pain I just felt, I started praying that the Lord would give me strength if this indeed was labor. I went to the bathroom and then laid back down in bed. Shortly after, another one came. The difference between these contractions and the ones I had during false labor were noticeable! I decided to get out of bed and rock on my exercise ball. This is what I had done during my whole labor with Kinsley, and I knew it was a great way to help labor progress if this was the real deal. I leaned against our bed and rocked as I listened to the Gilmore Girls episode that was playing on our TV.
After an hour of contractions coming at exactly 5 minutes apart, I woke up Jared. He sat up quickly and said, “Where are we going??” I had a good laugh and told him nowhere but that I was in labor. I called Rosetta and told her I was sure this was it. To make sure it wasn’t false labor, she suggested that I take a shower and see what my contractions did. I stood in there for probably close to an hour and knew my contractions were getting closer together. It felt so good to have that hot water pour down my back when they were getting so intense. Jared sat in the bathroom and timed them and they were 3 minutes apart so I had him call Rosetta so she could come. She lived 45 minutes away so I didn’t want to take any chances!
The shower was no longer cutting it. I got out and sat on my exercise ball in the bathroom. I had praise and worship music playing and mentally talked myself through each contraction. Since I had Kinsley with a midwife at a Birth Center, I knew exactly what I needed to do to work through the contractions. Knowing I was able to stay home and not have to get in a car to drive anywhere was a relief to me.
At this point, I knew my contractions were 2 minutes or less apart. Just from hearing songs start and end, I could figure out timing. I had Jared rubbing Young Living’s Valor essential oil on my lower back, and I would rub Lavender all over my stomach. It truly did give me some relief. That didn’t last long though! My contractions were very close together and I found myself moaning through them. I’m a quiet sufferer so when I started doing that, I knew I had to be getting close to pushing.
The contractions were so intense I started thinking, “I don’t think I can handle much more of this.” From my previous birth, along with reading and prepping for labor, I knew this thought process was a sign of transition. Reminding myself of how close I was during the break in between contractions, I knew I could do this. I heard the front door open and I knew Rosetta and Kayci had made it.
It was now 4:00 am. The first thing they did was assess me and check Julia’s heart rate. It was strong! The contractions were coming so close together that I barely got a break. I wanted to get in the tub because this was ideally how I wanted to deliver Julia. They helped me get in and I drank some Gatorade because I knew I was going to need strength to push.
With the next contraction in the tub, I felt my body bear down and I knew I needed to push. As soon as I did, my water broke and the pressure was unlike anything I have ever felt! I immediately got onto my knees because I felt as though I couldn’t sit down. Rosetta told me that if I was going to deliver in the tub then I had to actually be in the water because at that moment, I was almost completely out. I felt a little frantic because I felt Julia coming and I wasn’t even trying to push. I decided to get out and sit on the toilet for a minute.
When the next contraction hit I felt Julia’s head coming and Jared said he could see it. I reached down and felt that squishy, little head that was crowning. I stood up and Rosetta had me hold onto Jared as I squatted and pushed. It didn’t take much and she had me stop so my body could stretch to accommodate Julia’s head. With another little push her head come out and one more, her body. It was the BEST feeling! I felt so much joy and relief all wrapped together.
She was born at 4:29 am, just 29 minutes after Rosetta, Kayci, and the team had gotten there!
After she came out, I sat down on the toilet because I was exhausted and it was the closest seat. All I could say was, “I did it!” Jared leaned down and kissed me and all I could think about was what an amazing husband I have to have supported me through this, now twice. He knew I could do it and sharing these moments together was in-explainable.
I sat there and looked down at this beautiful, red-headed beauty! Her hair was just too much! I couldn’t help but tell her how beautiful she was and how much I loved her.
After they cut Julia’s chord, Jared held her and they helped me back to my bed. Jared, Julia, and I laid there for about an hour as they monitored all my vitals.
It was now getting close to 7:00 am and, after receiving some stitches, I was able to get in the herbal bath with Julia. This is when Kinsley woke up. Jared got her up and brought her in to see her new sister. Still sleepy from just waking up, she didn’t say much. She was actually more concerned with the water and why it was brown. She later asked me if it was poop. Oh the mind of a toddler!
During the herbal bath, the midwifery team that also consisted of another head midwife, and two more assistants, stripped our bed and got our sheets on it and ready for me to crawl in. Best feeling ever! They continued to check my vitals while Jared got me something to eat. I had just finished one of the biggest workouts of my life so I was starving! When he got back, our team prayed over our family before they left. Talk about a special moment! I know this experience would not have been the same without them. They prayed with us constantly, always had encouraging words when I was worried or down, and truly made their imprints as members of our family. I’m beyond thankful for them! Jared and my mom were with me every step of the way and literally took care of EVERYTHING so I didn’t have to worry about a thing.
Julia Leigh Hudgins made her entrance in about 3 ½ hours, which beat her big sister’s 5-hour labor and delivery. It was fast and furious, but the Lord gave me strength I didn’t know I possessed. He gave me peace when many would panic. And, he brought me another priceless jewel that has already changed our lives. He is so good, all the time!