Motherhood + Liliana Rae’s Birth Story

August 26, 2019

I’ve desired to be a mama for…forever. If you’ve known me for a while it may surprise you and it may not be a surprise, but I’ve always had this deep longing to enter into motherhood and have lots of babies! I started praying for my babies at a young age, maybe in my teens, and have never given up on my dream of being a mother.

To me, being a mother, is not what makes a woman more womanly or a Christian woman more godly (which I feel still hold some tension in today’s culture), but rather it’s a state of complete surrender, a deeper process of sanctification, and more responsibility. When I was young and all throughout growing up, I would gaze upon the moms I knew and simply hoped and prayed I could become one someday.

I also prayed for the man I would someday marry, that he would have a desire to become a father and allow me to dream about being a stay at home mom and help support our family in order for that dream to come true.

Fast forward several years, I met Alexander, now my husband, and we fell hard and fast for one another. We got engaged 5 months after dating (looking back I now understand why people stared at us blinking like pigeons when we told them this with wild, naive excitement) and got married 8 months after he asked me to be his wife.

Alexander and I had talked about having kids even before we were married. We would have conversations about how many kids we wanted, when we wanted to start trying, where we hoped to be financially, relationally and where we could see ourselves living when we first started having kids – all general topics about starting a family. And to be honest, we weren’t always on the same page. I wanted more kids than he did, I wanted to start trying sooner than he wanted to, he didn’t have a strong desire to be a dad right off the bat. None of this was really hard for me to swallow, but we did try to meet in the middle when discussing our future together. I think we basically decided that we’d wait a few years into marriage and we hoped to be in a 3-bedroom house and be more financially stable. HAHA! Which is an ideal situation and is probably what a lot of couples want! If you’ve seen our home, you’ll know it’s not a 3-bedroom house ;).

This past September, we celebrated our first anniversary. We booked an Airbnb in Buena Vista, CO and I was running a half marathon that weekend as well. It was a blast! I finished my first half marathon, we ate tasty food and had a few drinks, explored the cute little downtown and drove up further into the mountains to see all the Aspens changing color.

Once we got back from our weekend getaway, I was late with my period and I started feeling extremely tired and got a little cold, I thought it might be my body telling me to slow down because all summer we were on-the-go, I switched jobs, we were traveling and I was waking up early every day to train for the half marathon. The tiredness didn’t leave for weeks and I took a pregnancy test but it came back negative, so I didn’t think twice about it.

Around this time, I remember Alexander and I were sitting on our couch watching a movie and I got this overwhelming desire that I wanted to start trying to have kids. It had been on my mind for weeks, but I hadn’t told Alexander yet because I wasn’t sure if he was ready to have the conversation. I planned to talk with him the next day to explain how I had been processing it and praying about it. However, by this point, I was 2ish weeks late and decided to take another pregnancy test early that next morning. Alexander was still sleeping and I really thought the test would be negative, but to my surprise it was positive!!! I think my eyes were as wide as an owls’ and I was as speechless as I’ve ever been. I just sat there in awe, staring at the little blue plus sign. It took me a few minutes to muster up the courage to walk out of the bathroom, wake Alexander up and tell him the news.

I crawled back into bed and slowly woke him up and with a shaky voice I said something along the lines of, “Alexander…umm, I’m pregnant.” And he rolled over and said, “I’m not surprised” and fell back asleep haha. I’m not sure how he could actually fall back asleep after I told him this news because I was wide awake! I went into our living and sat down on the couch. My mind was blank and I began to feel excited and overwhelmingly nervous all at once. I tried to pray, but somehow couldn’t find the words. After several minutes, I said out loud, “Lord, please protect this baby with your might and with your gentleness” and that has been my prayer for my sweet baby ever since.

Nine months later, our sweet baby girl arrived on June 18th, 2019 at 9:43am. I’ve described her delivery as “painful but perfect” to several people and that’s exactly what it was.

The night before, Alexander and I had dinner and decided to go out for ice cream and afterwards came home to watch a movie. I had consistent Braxton-Hicks (warm-up contractions) for 4 straight days at this point and I was already 8 days overdue, so we were hoping our baby would come soon, and that night sitting on the couch the contractions started to change. It definitely wasn’t a slow transition into actual contractions, it seemed immediately different. They were painful right from the start and seemed pretty close together, but I didn’t feel like I should time them quite yet.

After the movie, the contractions were slightly worse in pain, but we decided to try to get some sleep. By no surprise, Alexander fell right to sleep and I couldn’t sleep for the life of me – I was in pain and I was excited that I could be in labor! Lying awake in bed, I started making a list of all the things we needed to remember when going to the hospital: our hospital bag, folder of information the hospital gave us, my diffuser and essential oils, Alexander’s overnight bag. I eventually, not sure what time, started timing the contractions and they were already 4 and a half minutes apart. The hospital said to call when they were 5 minutes apart for an hour, but my body didn’t feel ready to call quite yet.

I timed them for an hour and a half and by this point they were 3.5-4 minutes apart, so I woke Alexander up and told him we need to get going! As he was slowing waking up and getting out of bed, I was already walking around the house, gathering the things we needed and hunched over when a contraction would happen, unable to talk. We called the hospital and they told us to wait 20 minutes until someone called us back, but I looked at him and said “no, I think I need to get to the hospital soon.” So we called back to tell them we were on our way and we were off! 

It was 2 in the morning and I texted my family letting them know we were on our way to the hospital. My mom, of course, woke up and called me right away to see how I was doing. And after hanging up with her, I kept thinking they were going to tell me I wasn’t actually in labor and send me home. But then I would have another contraction and I knew I was in labor! Haha

By the time we got there it was around 2:30am and when we got to our room, I put on the hospital gown and were all settled in, I’m sure it was around 3am. The contractions continued to get worse and they checked to see how far along I was. I was very disappointed because I was only 2cm dilated and they told me I would be there until the next afternoon (which would be over a 12 hour labor). I started to question why I was at the hospital and not just waiting at home, but once the contractions began to get more intense, my sense of time was lost.

I’m not sure how much time had passed, maybe 2 hours, they checked me again and I was at 6cm. The midwife still told us we would be there for a while and I overheard Alexander talking with her saying, “it seems to be moving kind of quick, are you sure we’ll be here that long?”

Within the hour I was wanting to push. By now I was 9 centimeters and my water was leaking and I had the urge to push! I was resisting, but asked if there was anything I could do and they mentioned they could break my water fully since it was slowly leaking and if they did that I could start pushing right away. I didn’t hesitate at all, so I had them break my water!

As I began to push I asked for a mirror because I wanted to see what was happening and watch the birth of my baby! This might be T.M.I, but as soon as I looked in the mirror I quickly glanced at the midwife and told her a baby was not coming out of there! Ha, she gave me a sweet smile. Herself, along with the nurse, were unbelievably encouraging and helped me (and Alexander) from beginning to end.

After a few pushes I got pretty frustrated because I felt as if nothing was happening, but it took a little bit to figure out and learn how to push – it’s so different than I ever thought! Once I got the hang of it, our baby was out in 20 minutes! I’ll save you the gory details, but let me just say, watching a birth is one of the most beautiful experiences. I watched in the mirror the entire time until the head was out and then I looked down to see the midwife pull our baby out and lay him/her on my stomach.

I was overwhelmed, and so was Alexander! He had to pull himself together before letting me know our baby was a girl. I kept looking around, at the midwife stitching me up, at the nurse taking our babies temperature and at Alexander who was crying, confused because no one told me if we had a girl or boy. Surprisingly I didn’t shed a tear, I think I was too amazed and slightly in shock. Once Alexander could speak he told me we had a girl and I was in awe and he kept crying. It was beautiful. And absolutely perfect.

It’s now been just over two months from that wildly perfect morning. Liliana Rae is the sweetest, sassiest baby you’ll ever meet! I might be biased, but she’s the cutest too 😉

All of those years of praying for my baby and she’s finally here! I’m awestruck every time I think about how great the Lord is. He surely protected her with his might and with his gentleness. What an amazing God and Father we have.