Rhema Lynn : A Birth Story

Rhema Lynn : A Birth Story
Some photos on this post were taken by Adam Pflederer Photography

I took a break from creating content in November and December and the reason for this was the arrival of my daughter, Rhema Lynn. Birth is so crazy because even if you plan, ask questions, read books, prepare, you still will never know how your baby will actually arrive. Here’s a little blog post on some of the moments, surprises, joys, and unexpected challenges of Rhema’s birth story.

Birth Plan

My birth plan was always to do what was best for my little girl. I didn’t have anything really written down and I really was just going along with the ride. We went to a great hospital for my OB appointments and for my delivery. I had great care along the way. John knew I was ok with an epidural and medication when it seemed time and I was also preparing for a C-section if that was needed too. My mom had all four of her babies delivered with a C-section and I was fully prepared this might happen to me too. Going into the pregnancy I felt like John and I were on the same page and that was what was the most important.

How it Started

It all started when I went in for a regular routine OB appointment. I was in my 38th week and I was starting to get pretty tired of being pregnant. I was really hoping baby girl would come early and I felt like she was fully cooked (if you know what I mean). However, I could also feel her not wanting to leave her cozy space. I had just said goodbye to my clients a few days prior as I was planning to take a month off of maternity leave. The first of November was when my maternity leave started and that was the day before this OB appointment. John and I were planning on doing some fun things that day since we were soaking in the time it was just the two of us. My doctor took my blood pressure three times and asked if I was running to the appointment. I was because it was raining a bit that day, but it shouldn’t have been that high. The doctor told us to go to the hospital and get blood work done to look for protein that would be a sign of preeclampsia. I just remember say, “but we had plans” and the doctor saying, “well now your plan may be having a baby”.

This was a glimmer moment (The opposite of a trigger). But as we had to drive over to the hospital, which was just a few parking lots over from the OB office, we had to drive around a group of landscapers. I didn’t know this, but the landscape company that my dad works for landscapes the hospital that Rhema was delivered at. This was comforting to me because when I lived by myself in Chicago and had bad days or was scared I would almost always run into my dad working in the city or I would see one of his company’s trucks. It was weirdly comforting. So anyway I took it as a sign all was going to be ok.


I had my blood drawn in the baby and womens part of the hospital. John and I are in a little room with no windows for a good few hours waiting for the results to come back. I was very nervous and frustrated. In my mind baby girl wasn’t even going to be on time. She was going to be late. So I had mentally prepared this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. I felt great. I thought for sure I didn’t have preeclampsia. I walked .5 – 1 miles everyday when I was pregnant and I had barely any swelling. I didn’t have a head ache until that morning, but I thought it was because I didn’t have much coffee. I was texting a friend of mine who had preeclampsia to just be prepared.

Finally a nurse came in and simple said, “Congratulations, you’re having a baby”. I was so confused and said to John later, “no duh.” But then the nurse went on to say they were going to induce me that day.

It was Thursday the 2nd of November. Rhema’s due date was November 10th.

Being Induced

After being told I was going to be induced it feels like a blur. John had to go home and grab my hospital bag. Thankfully it was mostly packed. John, however, was not packed at all. I was off and on crying just from not feeling mentally prepared. I did end up calling my friend to just talk through all that was happening. I did not know what to expect but it did feel surreal.

24 hours

I labored for 24 hours. This was the hardest part. I had a great nurse with me most of the laboring. I think I scared her a little because of how much pain I was in. It was funny because at the end of the contraction adventure she shared that the hardest thing she’s done was getting her masters and she went on to say it’s nothing like what I was doing right now. I told her mid contraction, absolutely not!!! Getting my masters was still so much harder than laboring. Hahaha. I think she enjoyed that. I labored for most of Friday and I was barely dilated.

The Epidural

So this was the first time I came in contact with someone who was extremely rude and horrible during the process. The guy who did the epidural was truly a horrible person. He was complaining about his job the whole time and saying he wanted to retire. When he came into the room I was mid-contraction and was crying. He started yelling at me. Not only do I not respond well to needles I also do even worse with jerk men who speak so disrespectfully to women. I was in so much pain, however, I didn’t even respond to him. I just let him keep talking. He also complained about my scoliosis and said that he was the only one who would be able to give me the epidural because of how curved my spine was. At one point he said to the nurse, “well at least this one is skinny”…… I am literally pregnant why would you say that?! Wild.

This is when I remind you if you are a boomer and miserable at work — retire.

Big surprise, the epidural didn’t work. I couldn’t feel my right leg but everything else I could feel. They had to do the epidural again and thankfully the last guy had gone home. And the second man who did the epidural was very kind. Unfortunately the epidural still didn’t work. By this point it was 1 am at night and I was starting to be fully dilated.

The next part was probably the easiest part for me. I did feel a lot of relief when I finally started pushing. It motivated me to keep pushing. I could feel most of what was going on and it actually helped me not tear a lot. I do want to say that this whole time I was still thinking that at some point they will say they need to do a C-section. I literally thought this might happen until the doctor literally pulled Rhema out. I know I was dissociating a little bit during this time because I just started picturing myself at all of the vacations I’ve taken that have been happy places or memories. I think it really helped me stay calm and focus on what I needed to do — breath, count, and push.

There was one nurse that really is my hero. She was yelling at me but it was so what I needed. She was telling me if I yell my baby is going to go back inside me. So direct but I needed to here that. It didn’t seem too long but it was two hours of pushing. John was with me the whole time holding my legs and helping talk me through it all.

Her Arrival

She came at 2:55 am. She was an 8 pound perfect baby girl. Immediately, I knew her. She and I knew each other so well. I had this intense need to protect her and be with her.

They were going to have to take her to the NICU because she might have breathed in her own poop. I still don’t understand that whole thing, but she came out covered in her own poop. Shortly after they told us she was perfectly fine. They put her on my chest and she held her head up right away and looked at me.

It was love at first sight.

7 Days in the Hospital

I am getting tired just typing all of this out and reliving the craziness so I will make this quick. We had family visit us in the hospital right away. I loved sharing Rhema with those who were going to be very important to her. My sister came that morning along with my parents. Johns parents and my cousin came later that afternoon. John and I were so tired but so happy to share Rhema’s first day of life with our family.

Because of my blood pressure and that my milk hadn’t come in we spent about 5 days in the hospital. I was so ready to be home by Monday.

High Blood Pressure

We were home for about 12 hours before I was sent back to the emergency room for high blood pressure. My blood pressure was 150/118. This part was the most traumatic. I felt like it was a nightmare. I had to be on a magnesium drip for 24 hours to prevent seizures. However, during that time they ran me to the ER without Rhema. I was without her for 6 hours. Luckily my mom was with me otherwise I don’t know what I would have done because I was so distraught. The ER put my IV for the drip in the part of my arm that I needed to nurse Rhema. So all night I cried not being able to feed my daughter. Rhema and John did come to spend the night with me but it was still so hard to not be able to take care of her. My blood pressure did go down a bit after the 24 hour monitoring and I did go home Tuesday night, but it was the worst experience by far.

My blood pressure still is high and I am still on the medication which is still discouraging since I am 2 months post-partum. So if you think of me send me a prayer. I should be going to a primary doctor soon to get some additional support. My mom’s close friend had this happen to her with her first and said it didn’t happen with her three other children so that gives me hope, but it was a dark cloud on the birthing experience.


As soon as we got home everything has been smooth sailing. Lots of people said that would be a hard adjustment. I don’t know if it was because John and I are older or because we are both oldests in our family or because we spent so much time in the hospital but we were so happy to be home. It was not a hard adjustment at all. I love being home more and it’s been so fun having a new born around the holidays. We definitely did so many things with a newborn and really enjoyed having our friends and family around. She’s not just ours she’s also loved by so many in our lives too.

That’s Rhema’s birth story < 3

Hannah Lynn Miller
Hannah Lynn Miller

Hannah is a radio/podcast host, blogger, and mental health therapist who loves Jesus and fashion. Her work revolves around betrayal trauma and the eldest daughter population.

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Some photos on this post were taken by Adam Pflederer Photography

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