I had the honor of working with Julianne and Micah 19 months ago when they welcomed their son Jeremiah into their family (click here for that birth story). And now she was expecting her second son, Levi Everett on August 4th.
Julianne had a complication free pregnancy but did test positive for Group B strep. Funny thing happened: once her due date came, she went to the doctor the day before her EDD only to find out that they had her due date as the 4th instead of the 6th, as she thought. So when she thought she was a day away from her EDD, she realized she was actually already a day “late.” No worries though, because her doctor was happy to support her going to 42 weeks. So the waiting began. Then on August 11th she went to her 41-week check up and decided to get her membranes “stripped.”
After leaving her appointment she said she had contractions periodically throughout the rest of the day and then around 6 o’clock that night they became more consistent. She texted me around 7:30 p.m. and said they were coming every 5 minutes or so, but only lasting about half a minute. Since she had been up cleaning I recommended she try to lie down for 30 minutes and see what happened, to time a couple (in length) and let me know of the change. After 30 minutes she called and said once she laid down they went to every 6-7 minutes but were lasting about a minute! GREAT!! At that point she was comfortable and didn’t feel she needed me there. So we texted back and forth over the next hour and a half and at 10 o’clock she said that she just had 2 contractions that were 10 minutes apart but were 2 minutes long. (That is code for: great cervical change. No doubt). So I was asking if I could come over (please???). I jest, because, Mrs. Julianne is a rock star. She is great at concentrating through contractions; staying on top of them and making it truly look easy. I totally understand that on the inside, there may be a different battle going on but to us outsiders, she truly is amazing to observe.
So at 10:45 she tells me to head on over. I got my stuff ready and headed her way. I got to her house at about 11:30. When I walked in the door she was kneeling in front of the couch with her upper body leaning against the couch. Micah (her wonderful husband and awesome coach) was putting counter pressure on her lower back. Julianne was moaning very nicely through the contractions that were coming about every 4 minutes and lasting about 60-80 seconds.
(laboring at home)
Knowing that Julianne was getting close, I knew we needed to head to the hospital because she wanted to make sure she had enough time to get her IV antibiotics. (Now, while I knew she was close, it would turn out that she wouldn’t get her full dose of those antibiotics.)
After about 15-20 minutes I suggested we make the 8 minute drive to the hospital. While I knew her emotional signpost was indicative of beginning transition, I knew with her BOW still intact, we had time to get her there without having to do all of transition in the car.
We get to the hospital and (8 minutes ya’ll) Julianne is fully complete: 10/100/0!! (At 12:15 a.m.). Yes, that is right. Her water is still in tact and the baby is still at 0, so there is still some time. At that point Julianne uses the squat bar (leaning over it) to work through some contractions, and then I suggest leaning over the back of the bed to give her legs a break. After 30 minutes she was checked again and was still 10/100/0. At that point I told her that if she would stand beside the bed, lean her upper body against the birth ball and rock her hips side to side through the contractions, I was convinced that she would be pushing very soon. She needed gravity and the moving of the pelvis to help baby Levi labor down.
So she did, and had two contractions and then her BOW ruptured (12:51 a.m.). AWESOME!! I reminded her that the contractions may feel a bit more intense but that she could do it and she was about to meet her baby. Then on the third contraction she said, “I am really having to push now!” (Before she had been bearing down, but now the urge was involuntary). It’s amazing how the body just takes over as you work with it!
She decided to go the squat bar and after about three contractions, the head was crowning. At that point she said she really wanted to lean back (to a upright seated position) and within a few pushes she pushed out her adorable baby!! And Micah got to help deliver! He had gloves on and helped catch! And that precious boy was 8lbs 1 oz. and 20 inches long. (1:06 a.m.)
He was immediately able to nurse with success and after he nursed on one side and Julianne was burping him, I suggested that maybe she could try the “Breast Crawl.” So she placed Levi in between her breasts and as I am saying, “well it may take a baby up to an hour to find the nipple..” wouldn’t you know that boy immediately lifted his head straight up, bobbed several times and successfully latched on in under a minute. I don’t think I had even finished my “spill” about how long it can take, and that boy was done! It was so beautiful to watch! It’s amazing how they know what to do!
Once again, Julianne you were amazing. And Micah, I am sorry I butchered Everett and confused it with Everest. You already know I’m kind of loopy sometimes. I am so proud of you both and excited for your growing family! May the Lord continue to bless you!