I can’t thank you guys enough for the joy expressed regarding Selah’s birth, which happened exactly 8 days ago! It’s rather overwhelming to think that Selah is already a week old, and as I see the many apparent changes in her body, face, and even in the way that she acts, I get somewhat teary eyed yet still excited at the prospect of what the future holds. I hope you enjoy my little story of how Selah Marcia Betzen came to be in this world! As many of you are aware, our little angel was 2 days past due since she was expected to be born on June 14, 2013. Then fast forward to Saturday the 15th and imagine me lying in bed--rolling around due to strange discomforts that were akin to flu like symptoms. I wasn’t sure if those sensations were pregnancy related, labor related, or just a plain cold that I had caught. I felt so extremely exhausted and nauseated with a chill that was seemingly freezing my bones off! I quickly called one of the most influential and trust-worthy people that I know, and that was my one and only sister. As she listened to my concern, she advised me to call my ob gyn’s emergency line right away because it could easily indicate that labor was about to begin. I was so glad that I called my doctor because that weekend happened to be her turn to be on call.
Without hesitation she told me to go to the hospital. So…what happened next? After running around just a bit frantically, Greg calmly collected his thoughts and rushed me to the hospital. After having been monitored for at least 6 hours by the nurses to see how much I’d dilated—and it was a mere 2-3 cm on Saturday night—I was admitted to stay because my labor would have to be somewhat induced. I recall that the nurses called it “augmentation” since it was just a matter of time for me to fully dilate.
I couldn’t have asked for better nurses throughout my whole stay because they were so encouraging and comforting! I spent that entire night in bed connected to IVs; come Sunday 10 am I was still roughly at 4-5 cm because they had put me on Pitocin to accelerate the whole process. All I can say is that the contractions started to get stronger and stronger as each one hit me, but the dilation process was still somewhat slow. And here’s where disappointment could have affected me but I chose to not let it bother me so much…Even though I had always planned on at least trying to give birth without the Epidural for various reasons, I knew that I wanted to have the option if it came down to it. Well, between 5-6 cm I finally learned that my body couldn’t tolerate any more pain, especially since they had estimated for it to take about 6 more hours to complete. I finally confessed to my wonderful and empathetic nurse that I just couldn’t take it anymore. Knowing the emotional roller coaster I was going through, she assured me that I wasn’t cowering away from the pain and she actually commended me for wanting to try and for getting that far into the game. Her words alone comforted me, and as I took the nearly painless epidural (painless compared to the paralyzing contractions), I finally relaxed and carried on in peace.
My labor must have lasted at least 7-8 hours if I remember correctly. Since Selah’s head had been positioned so low for over a week I mistakenly thought that pushing would be that much easier. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as I thought because I pushed for 2 hours and almost felt like giving up towards the end. I guess my pelvic bone was barely able to pass her through, but I still knew that I could trust my doctor’s discernment in carrying on with a vaginal birth. Finally after tearing a bit and getting an episiotomy (really sorry for the TMI!), I felt her every single limb being expelled out of my body! It was such an excruciating experience and yet strangely enough, it was extremely rewarding and humbling altogether.
As I type about my experience I marvel at the fact that part of me misses that day! I clearly remember how laborious it was, but I guess that having Selah here made that day so worth it. My recovery has been extremely speedy and blessed so far as I’m able to move around just fine, but of course I try to get as much rest as I can throughout the day since breastfeeding has kept me up for hours on end. And while we’re on the subject of breastfeeding! It started out perfectly with Selah latching on the moment she was placed on my chest. There were a few bumps on the road as I physically and mentally shut down the night that I came back home from the hospital. I won’t go into much detail. But let’s just say that I felt anxious that night and my body didn’t handle that anxiety very well. After that night, however, Greg and I have been adapting really well thanks to Gramma Betzen (Greg’s mom) helping me through the evening and a hired lady that helps me during the day. Soon after they leave we’ll be on our own, but more than ready to tackle this thing called parenting!
We’re infinitely thankful to the Lord for allowing us to have a smooth birth and a healthy daughter, and we’re so encouraged by all the love that our friends and family have shown us through Selah’s birth. Our Selah is such a great baby and such a pleasure to be with! She eats, poops, and sleeps well (so far). Her cries are scarce unless she gets hungry—then, all hell breaks loose and I come storming in to feed her. I guess that’s one thing she and I have in common.
Thank you all for your support and constant encouragement, guys! I love this little community that we’ve built together and I only wish to grow with you more.
Swaddling comes her down right away
Before her 1st pediatrician’s appointment
Dressed up for service
Was your birthing experience long? Please share about your experience!
Any practical tips for this new momma?