To begin, this post is all about my daughter Anna’s birth story, but if you want to read about Gwen’s as well, here is the link to it: The Birth Story of Our Little Gwendolyn.
Little Anna Bea Hughes was born on June 19th, 2020, at 1:17 pm. She weighed 6 pounds, 3 oz, and measured at 19.25 inches. We were instantly in love. Everything about the pregnancy, labor, and delivery was worth it to bring her into the world. But… that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard! 😜
I was pretty sick while pregnant with Anna, but it was a good deal better than how sick I was with my first. I still had some REALLY rough days, so you could imagine why I was ready for everything to be over once the last few weeks of the pregnancy came around.
About a week and a half before Anna came, I started having consistent contractions about 15-30 minutes apart and random spurts throughout the day where they were 5-7 minutes apart for a couple hours. As every day passed, they felt like they would get more intense, but I wasn’t in labor!!! This was EVERY DAY for, like I said, about a week and a half.
Finally, at my 39-week appointment, I was about 4 centimeters dilated. The doctor stripped my membranes, and I was admitted that night around 7 pm. But it wasn’t over yet! My contractions slowed down quite a bit, and I was there for a long time in pain and not allowed to eat. I ended up having a Hypoglycemic attack and started puking my guts out for a while. I asked for an epidural. When I finally got one, they decided to speed my contractions along with Pitocin. However, keep in mind that even though my contractions hadn’t been consistent, my body was still progressing. I went from 4 centimeters dilation to 6 pretty quickly. Then 7, then 8… you get the picture. The epidural really helped for about thirty minutes, but then it felt like it wasn’t doing anything as the contractions started growing CRAZY strong and began to happen one on top of the other. With my first, I couldn’t remember my contractions getting as intense as they did this time around. However, pushing with Anna was easier and a bit less painful than with Gwen. I pushed for less than five minutes, and then my second beautiful little girl was here.
The doctor told me that the baby had been sunny side up and that, because of this, I had been experiencing something called prodromal labor, which caused all of the contractions for that last week and a half, and the long labor once I was actually admitted. So… after almost 19 hours in the hospital, I had a wonderful little blessing in my arms. All the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual sacrifices a woman makes when creating and bringing a child into the world is SO worth it. I have felt that with my two daughters and don’t expect it to change with any future children.
Due to COVID-19, we weren’t allowed any visitors, so Gwendolyn wasn’t able to meet Anna until we were discharged from the hospital. Also, because I tested positive for Group B Strep and was given antibiotics throughout labor and delivery, I had to stay a bit longer at the hospital than usual. It was the same with my first child, but this time around was harder because I missed Gwendolyn and wanted so many other people to meet Anna! But there were also nice moments with Aaron, the baby, and me enjoying time away from the world. Of course, it would’ve been much better with Gwen there, but I guess that is what happens amidst a pandemic!
Did we have to wear masks, you ask? Yes, but they were pretty lenient with me. Aaron had to wear it a lot more than I did, but once we were in the room we stayed in for the next couple of nights, he was able to keep it off for more extended periods.
Speaking of Aaron, I wanted to mention how wonderful he was as a support person— BOTH times! He is my rock, and I couldn’t have done it without him!
I want to conclude with a picture and accompanying caption that I posted on my social media platforms the other day:
Three weeks postpartum… Motherhood is more than just about raising and loving the sweet children God blesses you with— It is also about loving and respecting the miraculous body He gave you. What does that entail? Well, it’s a never-ending battle, but I have learned that it is important for me to look at my body in all its forms and learn to feel awe and wonder for the things it can accomplish— even with the new stretch marks, extra pounds, and loose skin. My body has changed in order to bring new, beautiful lives into this world!! I love my two girls more than anything.
Our bodies aren’t the only things to change. Raising children can be HARD, but the love they have for their mothers is incredible and beautiful. Being a mother— whether biological, choosing to adopt, fostering (all EQUALLY noble and important)— can be taxing emotionally, physically, mentally, and even spiritually. I know that I have always struggled with anxiety and depression, and my postpartum depression after my first child’s birth was pretty intense. Some things have been a struggle this time around, but my husband and I have learned so much to help me through things. And of course, we look forward to learning even more. The struggle is real, but don’t let anyone or anything tell you that you’re not a good mother.
For ALL the moms out there: You are beautiful, you have worth, and those little angels in your care are lucky to have a woman like you to love them. This includes all the women who don’t have their own children— we are ALL nurturers, no matter what the circumstance may be. It is a divine role our Father in Heaven has bestowed upon women, and I am so grateful to be a part of His plan.
If you want to see all the wonderful pictures we have taken of Anna so far, click through to a previous post I made that includes them ALL: New Baby, New Motivation, and it is Time to Get Going!
Thank you for reading!