Pregnancy & Postpartum

Two Epidurals and a Peanut Ball: Lyla’s Birth Story

With Lyla being my second baby, I remember from 38 weeks on feeling so ready and peaceful about going into labor at any time. While I had some anxiety because of complications with retained placenta following Hazel’s birth, I also wasn’t afraid of the actual GIVING BIRTH part this time. I knew I could do it, and couldn’t wait to welcome her into our arms. 

Because we were all healthy and I was already having contractions, I requested to have my OBGYN “strip my membranes” at my 39 week check-up. That was at 10am, and definitely worked to get things moving along.

I spent the day at home in early labor with Hazel, (trying to rest as much as possible but mostly pacing around the house and doing weird yoga poses to try and relieve pressure.) I called Shannon to come home early from work after lunch when I knew from the intensity of my contractions that I was in labor for real. By 5:30pm the contractions hit 4-5 minutes apart and we headed to the hospital. 

I was 4cm dilated and having contractions a few minutes apart when we arrived, and Shannon and I were both thrilled to be admitted immediately instead of being sent on the dreaded two hour “walk and see what happens” charade. I enjoyed some time and back relief in the tub in our room at first but my labor started to slow down (maybe I was TOO relaxed?) so I moved to the birthing ball for awhile and let gravity do her thing which certainly picked things back up.

After another hour or so my water still hadn’t broken and I knew I wanted an epidural before that happened. Unfortunately it wasn’t placed far enough in and so I spent a couple more hours breathing through contractions in bed until I could get a second epidural. 

That was a real bummer, since I could no longer walk around and contractions were intense. But I was so grateful for my husband, Shannon, and my Mom rubbing my back, breathing with me and supporting me in those hours. 

The second anesthesiologist was amazing, placed a second epidural lickety split, and I welcomed some relief and a few moments of rest before the doctor broke my water. I knew from Hazel’s birth that things would likely move quickly for me after that happened, and they did!

However, this time I laid on my side with a peanut ball positioned between my legs as soon as my water was broken to help the baby come down. The peanut ball is magic! I regret so much not knowing about them or using one with Hazel because it completely helps your body to relax and do the hard work of moving baby down during contractions before you even have to start pushing. 

I requested a labor mirror again, as well, since I had such a positive experience using it during Hazel’s birth and love getting to see my baby’s being born.

After not too long I felt extreme pressure and knew she was getting ready to come out. I told my nurse. She wanted to check to make sure I was fully dilated and ended up running out for the doctor as she could already see her head on the way.

Within four contractions and just under ten minutes of pushing, she was born. We welcomed all 7lbs 12oz of miss Lyla Kate Hartley into our family just after midnight. She was pink, perfect, and so ready to latch onto mama.

We were a family of four!

This girl is a nursing queen, full-time snuggler, a go-getter, and the sweetest addition to our family that I can’t imagine life without.

Welcome home, baby Lyla. You are so loved!

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