Introducing Lake Robert Gielow. Born 3/15 at 2:05p. 7 lbs 13 oz, 18 1/2″ long. We are smitten with this sweet boy.


I had 18 hours of prodromal labor the day before. The contractions were much more intense than the Braxton Hicks that I felt over the weekend, but I was still very hesitant to believe that they would turn into true labor. I had begged and pleaded to God that I would go into labor on my own. The entire week before he was born, I cried almost everyday worrying that I would have to be induced again. I had a rough induction with Kitt and prayed for a redeeming birth this time around. At the same time, I tried to leave my hands open to whatever was going to come.

The contractions throughout the day were intense enough that I had to breathe through most of them. But, they stayed around 15-30 minutes apart. Around midnight I went to bed, and the contractions became more intense to the point that I had to get on all fours to get through them. I woke Brendan up, and he started timing them. They went from 7 minutes apart, to 6, to 5, to 4. Could this be the real deal?!

We called our doula and then decided to call our friend, Elizabeth, to watch Kitt in case this was truly labor. Pretty quickly, I went from being able to talk through things and then my sounds became very low. Destinee (doula) picked up on this and decided that she should come over. Things were picking up! Elizabeth and Destinee showed up around 4:00a. We chatted in between contractions until they got to a point when I couldn’t. I labored at the house for two more hours before Destinee felt like I was in active labor and recommended heading to the hospital. We wanted to avoid morning traffic at all costs, as we had about a 20-30 minute commute. The car ride was the absolute worst. I was bent over my seat trying to make it through each contraction while also feeling nauseous from sitting backwards.

Mission Hospital requires a 20 minute strip to be admitted to be certain that baby is OK and that labor has actually started. When I was checked on Friday, I was between 1-2 and 25-50% effaced. Upon admittance, I was a 4, 90% effaced, -2 station. Everyone was thrilled with the progress that had already been made! As we waited for the 20 minutes to be up, the sun rose out the window. The sky was bright pink, and we all agreed it was a beautiful day to be born.

Being in triage masked was probably the most challenging part of labor. The room is very small. Between contractions I was signing paperwork and answering the nurse’s questions. A friend of mine is a L&D nurse, and she stopped by briefly to say hi. I could not get in a comfortable position to labor and was anxiously waiting for them to take us to our room.

Finally about an hour later (or at least it felt like that to me), we made it to our room. I thanked God for a water room, and I instantly wanted to get in the tub. Our nurse (who was a Godsend) recommend waiting so that labor didn’t stall, but thankfully everyone was on board with letting me have some reprieve in water.

The tub was amazing. I could relax (as much as possible) between contractions. I remember Destinee spraying water on my back, and it was the most heavenly thing. My contractions became more intense, but they started to space out a little bit (4-5 mins). The OB came in, and she asked if I wanted her to break my water or to keep going as we were. I felt very conflicted because I knew the baby was ROA/ROT, which is not an ideal birthing position. I had spent the past month doing exercises to help him turn, but he wanted to stay put. I wasn’t sure if he was going to turn 45º left or try to turn all the way round clockwise, like most posterior babies do. Kitt was OP, and I blame his position on my very long labor and induction. I knew if she broke my water, my back labor would be almost unbearable (it already was at this point). It might also delay the baby’s ability to turn. However, it will help put pressure on my cervix to open.

At this point, I had been laboring for almost 36 hours. Yes, I’m counting the prodromal labor because it mentally taxed me for over 24 hours. I didn’t sleep much the night before, and I hadn’t slept this night at all. I was exhausted. I had wanted to try for an unmedicated birth, but I also was mindful that the epidural was an incredibly helpful tool with Kitt’s birth. After I had the epidural with him, I went from a 4 (that I had been at for 12 hours) to a 10 in an hour. I felt incredibly conflicted but was also beyond exhausted. I knew I could keep going, but I also didn’t want to drain every ounce of energy to ultimately get an epidural a few hours later.

I had peace with my decision to get the epidural at this point and have the OB break my water. I was ready to meet our baby. The OB checked me, and I was a 5, 90% effaced still.

After the epidural was in, they laid me on my side with the peanut ball to try to get baby to turn. I started to get a hot spot that felt like a muscle spasm, and it was insanely painful. We tried to change positions, but I was stuck with it until after the epidural wore off. I couldn’t stop shaking. I had been shaking since midnight (part anxiety/part adrenaline). I physically could not relax my body. This was another reason why I opted for the epidural because I felt like it would help relax the parts of my body that I could not to progress my labor.

Brendan said I had the epidural for about three hours before the OB came back. I prayed that I was a 10. She checked me and said, “You are complete!” I started crying and told her that she was my favorite person today. Baby was at 0 station and had turned to LOA. Praise!

Both the OB and nurse said I wouldn’t have to push long because it was my second delivery. I only pushed for about 10 minutes with Kitt, so I was hoping for a similar experience. I was very numb from the epidural, so the nurse had to tell me when to push. After 15 minutes with my eyes closed, I opened them, and the doctor had Lake in her hands. I was so surprised because I didn’t know that he was out!

They laid him on my chest, and I asked, “What is the gender?!” No one had checked! I tried to pick him up, and saw that he was a boy!

I felt so much more at peace with this labor than I did with Kitt. I don’t know if it was because it was the second time around or if the lack of Pitocin (and induction) allowed my body to release the hormones it needed to. Overall, I felt much more alert and overwhelmingly happy vs. shock and awe. I truly felt like our prayers were answered over so many things that I had prayed about leading up to his birth. We had an amazing labor team. Covid numbers were low. I didn’t have to be induced. We were both healthy upon delivery without complications. His solo kidney was working! We had people to watch Kitt while we were at the hospital. I could go on and on. It’s truly amazing how God works, and I couldn’t be more grateful for such a redeeming birth.


We didn’t find out the gender this time around. We decided that Lake was going to be part of the name for boy or girl, but we weren’t sure it was going to be a first or middle name. Like with Kitt, we had lots of girl names, but we didn’t have many boy names. Of course, we never got around to deciding on a full boy’s name until we had a few hours to make a decision (otherwise, we’d have to go to the courthouse to fill out the paperwork, which we wanted to avoid).

We decided on Lake for his first name. I grew up on the lake, and it’s also where we were married. This past year we lived on Lake Michigan temporarily, and it was the calm in the storm of a very stressful and unpredictable year. Lake felt like the perfect fit for this sweet boy because he was the calm and bright spot throughout a very overwhelming season.

Robert is Brendan’s grandpa’s name. He was a creative soul and an honorable man. Kitt’s middle name is after my grandpa, Emert. We liked that both boys will have a piece of their great-grandparents in their names. Robert also means “bright fame.” I was looking for a name that meant “light,” and Robert happened to appear on the page.

Kitt has been the best big brother and has enjoyed having Gram and Poppy around this week to entertain him while we adjust to being a family of four. I’ve included a few images from our first week with Lake (a mix of mirrorless and iPhone photos).

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  1. Caitlin says:

    Congratulations Megan! Thank you for sharing! I’m so thrilled for your family.

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