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Welcome Selah Faith!

My 37-week appointment with the doctor got canceled, and there were many doctors out for the upcoming July 4th holiday, so I just skipped it since I wasn't having any complications. I saw my doctor the next week on Friday when I was 38 weeks 4 days pregnant. We did a non-stress test, which Selah passed. I was 3cm dilated and about 80% effaced. My weight was down a little more from the previous visit, so overall I was at 26 lbs gained this pregnancy. That's the smallest gain ever for me. I asked Dr. Spaulding to schedule an induction for the following week, and she agreed. She said she would call me back with the next available time the hospital had.

The induction was scheduled for Tuesday, July 10. Almost Micah's birthday, but not quite. Sorry, bud. We had to check in at the hospital at 7:15 a.m. That meant we had to leave camp by 5:30 a.m. Good thing I'm a morning person! I loved having the weekend to finish packing and cleaning and preparing for being gone for 3 days. I knew I could still go into labor on my own at any time, but I tried to stay calm and think through what all I needed to do. We had the van pretty much packed on Monday night, then headed to bed. I knew I wouldn't sleep well, but unfortunately, Mitch didn't either. He was falling asleep driving and asked me multiple times to help him stay awake (I was deep in a texting conversation, LOL). But he was a rock star helping us get out of the house. He helped direct the kids and made sure the dishes were clean and the garbage was taken out. He even had a staff person stop by to put our laundry into the dryer later since I had a stinky load that couldn't wait.

I told the kids, when we come back, we'll be bringing a baby in that car seat! In the back of my head, I knew that there was no guarantee, but I still spoke my hope.

 We dropped the kids off quickly with Micah and Katie at our St. Cloud house, then borrowed Micah's car to go to the hospital. I drove. I rarely drive Mitch anywhere, but he was so tired! And I thought it would be funny to say that I drove myself to the hospital. So there is that. :)

Check-in was a breeze and we got settled in the labor and delivery suite. We enjoyed chatting and getting to know the nurses who would be spending this time with us. I had one of the nurses in a previous delivery, so that was fun. Just don't ask me which delivery! Eden joined us soon after we checked in. At 8:30 a.m. the nurses got the Pitocin started. At 9:00 a.m. a doctor who was rounding for my doctor came in and broke my water. With that, the baby's head moved down and engaged a little better. I had a high AFI, so there was a LOT of fluid. Such a weird feeling. The fluid was clear and we were good to go. I asked for the epidural right away (no need to wait for the pain I knew was coming), and the anesthesiologist came in soon after. He was quite experienced and placed the epidural perfectly. It's never easy for me, but I have to say this was one of the easiest. While he worked, we all chatted about his family--he is a father to 6 kids. Maybe that's why he's so good at placing the epidural. ;) After that, I just laid back and relaxed.

We had such a nice view of the Mississippi River for our entire stay.

At 10:30, my doctor came in to check on me. She did not have appointments at the clinic that day, so she was going to hang out at the hospital and get some work done. I felt good knowing she was close by. I was 5 cm dilated, 70% effaced, and the baby was at a 0 station. We enjoyed chatting casually with some deeper moments of reflection too. It is always a special time when I get to talk with our doctors because I appreciate feeling like they are really getting to know our family.

Close to noon our nurses took a lunch break and left us in the care of another nurse. I was feeling pretty awesome. Eden and Mitch were relaxing too. At 12:25 I had a crazy different contraction. I told Mitch that he should go get the nurse. He stood up and said something about maybe waiting just a bit more. I was thinking that was not right when our substitute nurse came in at that same moment. I told her, she checked me, and baby's head was "right there" nearly crowning. She flipped on the lights, called my nurses back, and they picked up my doctor from the lounge on the way. She had me lay on my side with my knees was thinking that wasn't such a smart idea, but it didn't take everyone very long to get to the room.

I wasn't in any pain, and I wasn't suffering from anxiety. I just felt so calm and so excited. It was a precious moment we were sharing!

When it was time to push, Dr. Spaulding and the nurse started placing bets. My doctor said, "I bet 2 pushes." They probably shouldn't have challenged me. Ha! It took more than 2 pushes, but it was only 2 contractions that I pushed for. On the second contraction, her head came out. The doctor immediately asked me to stop pushing because the cord was around her neck. I was studying the faces of everyone, especially my doctor, as they went into action. The doctor calmly reached for a clamp and then scissors (from Mitch's perspective he could see that she tried to lift the cord above the head and it was so tight that she couldn't). I thought, "Oh bummer that she has to cut the cord now and we can't wait until after birth." After she cut the cord, she saw that it was around her neck a second time. It was so tight the doctor couldn't even get a finger under it. The nurse and the doctor were communicating with very few words, but they had my bed flat in seconds. Then the doctor did this crazy move where she held the baby's head against my body, asked me to push, and while I gave it everything I had, the doctor guided the baby's body to somersault the rest of the way out. It was amazing! I was still watching everyone intently as the doctor suctioned her. I was fully prepared for them to whisk her away for oxygen. She didn't make a sound. But the nurses were exclaiming, "She has such good tone!" Then they laid her on my tummy and kept rubbing her. I was so concerned that she wasn't crying, but she lifted her head and looked around. The nurses were impressed...and if they weren't worried, I wasn't going to be either. It was an awesome moment.

 She was born at 12:38 p.m. It's pretty cool how similar her induction was to Mercy's and Genna's inductions.

Since Selah seemed so calm and content, I asked for them to take her and weigh her right away. Before they took her, I noticed a cut on her neck from the cord. I'm not going to post the picture here because it might be disturbing, but you can click this link if you would like to see:
We are so thankful to God for her life and that she was able to be born without any complications! We are thankful for the skilled, calm hands of our doctor and how quickly she knew what to do. We are thankful for the way the entire team worked together during the delivery and how encouraging everyone was. I maybe wouldn't have pushed so hard and fast if they hadn't been placing bets (Selah's face was a little bruised from the fast delivery), but I'm glad it went quickly and she wasn't in distress from the cord.

I was doing very well after the delivery too. I had minimal blood loss and no tearing. After we all had a good look at her, I got undressed for some skin-to-skin and Selah latched on and nursed very well for the first time. She was SO calm. After a couple hours, we moved to the postpartum room. I was still fairly numb from the epidural, so I didn't get to clean up until later that night.

Micah and Katie brought the kids up to the hospital soon after we got settled in our room. They were so excited! The looks on Genna's and Mercy's faces were priceless.

 Micah was being trouble with a capital T and refused to hold Selah, but Katie was more than happy to.

Devona had taken Zeke, Josh, and Malachi to play ultimate frisbee, and brought them by soon after too.

We didn't get a whole family picture (we never were all together at the same time), but we did get a picture of all the girls, which is pretty sweet. We may have to wait until Fall to get that family picture...

Once we were in our postpartum room, Selah did begin to get more vocal. She did more "talking" than crying, but we were hearing her voice at least. She lost that calmness for most of the evening and night.

Everyone wants to know who Selah looks like the most. It took me hours of thinking, but in the end I think she looks most like Eden. They both have shorter foreheads and rounder faces. I may put together a future post of baby pictures comparing all of them.

Selah loved her bath when a nurse came by to do that later. That finally helped her calm down a little again. The nurse got her comfy and she slept for a little while.

Eden offered to come back after she went home for a while, and I invited her to stay the night. It was nice to not be alone with a crabby hours-old baby. I spent a lot of the night just switching Selah back and forth side to side nursing. She would seem to fall asleep, I would try to lay her down, and she would be awake again in minutes. I was finally so exhausted (I had gotten up at 4 a.m. Tuesday), that I fell asleep holding her, sitting up in my bed at 3 a.m. I knew the nurse was coming in to check the baby's vitals at 4. I figured if she couldn't get that baby calm and asleep, then I would ask for a bottle to supplement her. My night nurse was 37.5 weeks pregnant herself, and she had the magic touch. She wrapped up Selah and got her sleeping in the bassinet. I hope she is that awesome with her baby! I finally got about 3-4 hours of sleep.

We had several visitors on Wednesday. One of my favorites was Caleb. :) He is worried that he lost his baby whisperer touch, but I bet if he had more time it would come right back. Selah was crabby again most of the day Wednesday. I was a little worried.

 Is her hair light or dark? It depends on the light.

Wednesday night we seemed to turn a corner as my milk began to come in. Selah calmed down better and went to sleep. She only woke up once all night.

Thursday morning we were ready to go home! The doctor was a little concerned about her weight...she was down to 7 lbs 1 oz. Her bilirubin was only 8.2, so that was a low-intermediate risk for jaundice and was not a concern. I had an appointment scheduled for Friday morning with our family doctor. My milk was definitely in too, so I wasn't worried too much. Having an appointment on Friday morning meant that we would spend one more night in St. Cloud, so we wouldn't be "home" yet. I tried to get some pictures with my Nikon, but she wasn't so cooperative.

 I brought a couple different outfits to pick one to use as her "coming home" outfit, but then Katie brought me this one...I loved it so much that I decided to use it instead.

On Friday morning Selah weighed 7 lbs 3 oz. The doctor declared her "perfect" and sent us on our way. We had to run some errands and pick up groceries on our way out of town, but we finally got back to camp around 2 pm. I was so glad to be at home. Mitch and I both were anxious to check on things at camp--4 days away felt like we missed everything! Selah and I both napped through the afternoon. At night she did some cluster feeding again (she had done that Thursday night too) and didn't fall asleep until midnight. But then she only got up once in the night again.

Today has been very restful for me. I have done a little bit around the house as I felt like it, and Mitch has had the kids busy at camp. I am enamored with how tiny Selah is (2 lbs smaller than Genna was!) and how easily we forget--everything. We are so thankful to God for her life. I can't get over just how precious and sweet the past 9 months have been.


  1. Getting her started on Coke!! Good for you!! ❤️⛑


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