It's been over a year since I wrote on the blog. What better way to return than with another birth story? We'd like you to meet...
Lillian Joy Spencer
Born November 16, 2017
8.5 pounds, 20 inches
Miss Lilly Joy kept us all on our toes last month. My due date was November 5, and my mother-in-law arrived in Taiwan on November 7, and we excitedly waited...and waited...and waited some more.
On the morning of November 16, I was desperate for some fun distraction from the fact that I was still pregnant. So we decided to put up the Christmas tree.
During that project, I was having some strong contractions, but nothing progressive. My midwife had explained that the baby was in a posterior position, which could be preventing labor from starting. I tried doing the exercises she recommended. Kalan headed up the tree decorating crew (no small feat, if you've ever tried Christmas decorating with several little helpers ages 5 and under). ;)
|Last photo as a family of five!|
After that, Kalan's mom took the kids to the park and Kalan and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to see if that would help get things going. (We were so thankful to have Grams here with us. She was a huge help with the kids and we all enjoyed getting to spend time with her!) After lunch I did those exercises again. Finally I felt like I was really in labor. Around 1:30 pm we went to the hospital and I was surprised to find out that I was only 3 cm dilated. (With the previous three babies, I was always at 5 or 6 by the time I felt I was really in labor...it never occurred to me that baby #4 would be so different!)
My Taiwanese friend Daisy (a trained doula) met us at the hospital. Her presence was calming and reassuring, especially since the hospital midwife wasn't available that day. Kalan and I were so glad to have her there! Not only did she help me cope with a labor, she also helped us fill out all the Chinese paperwork. She made our first hospital birth a great experience.
|Daisy and I after Lilly was born|
Around 3 pm my water broke and the contractions got more intense. The birthing pool was almost filled up, and I was on my knees nearby, using a birthing ball. The doctor came to check on me and said I could go ahead and get in the pool. Then she left.
A few minutes later (not yet in the birthing pool), I told Daisy I felt like pushing. "Ok," she said, "That's fine. Good job...wait, wait, stop pushing...stop, Kayt....STOP!" But after all that waiting around, there was no stopping her now. Lilly was born right there. Again, we were very thankful for Daisy! I vaguely remember hearing Kalan run a few steps out the door shouting "Yisheng! Yisheng!" (Doctor! Doctor!)
As Daisy later described, "It was like going for a slow walk and then suddenly finding yourself riding a rocket!" (是一個從慢慢走瞬間變成坐火箭的概念!)
The next day Grams and the other kids came to meet Lilly Joy. Just one look at their faces and I knew we had chosen a fitting name...
The hospital director also visited to wish us congratulations, and then asked if he could send a photographer to take our family photo to use for hospital advertising. (Our first year in Taiwan I would have found that super weird. But seven years later? Sure, why not. It still makes me laugh to think about it.)
Two days later we got an early discharge and settled into life at home as a family of six. It's been chaotic and exhausting and full of laughter and snuggles. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Lilly Joy, welcome to our family. We love you!