7 weeks ago today, our sweet daughter joined our family. When my dear friend told me that she believed this birth experience would be a very healing one, I couldn’t quite fathom what she meant. Despite her saying that, I truly couldn’t imagine how amazing this birth experience would be, or how different. I’ve tried to think of what I would say, or how I would say it, and the first word that always comes to mind is:
That is how RC’s birth was. I’ve always wanted a home birth, but money has always been the issue in making that happen. I should have learned by now not to let money make decisions for me, but to direct my money where I want it to go. I guess I’m pretty hard-headed, but the money thing is a whole other post entirely.
I didn’t think home birth was going to be an option this time either, but by the grace of God, and some really amazing people, it became an option. Money was still an issue, and I believed I had let the opportunity slip through my fingers once more. I knew that my family was already strained beyond measure, and I couldn’t add to the burden. Then, with just a few weeks to my due date, God made home birth a possibility for us once again.
I have to be honest, all of the back and forth was a little bit hard on me emotionally. It would feel so close, then impossible, and my hopes would rise and fall each time. I’m sure hormones had a lot to do with how much it all affected me.
When home birth became a possibility the last time, it was a Plan A, B, C kind of thing. See, my baby before this one came in 3.5 hours, and everyone was concerned that this labor would happen just as quickly, if not more so. Not to mention, I wasn’t being induced, and that would make labor different than I had previously experienced.
So, Plan A was to make it to the hospital, but in the event that I didn’t think we’d make it from home to the hospital without birthing the baby in the truck, Plan B was to contact my dear friend Chelsey, who works with the home birth Midwives at CMS. If Chelsey and Michelle (the midwife) were available to make it to the house in time, we would have a baby at home. Plan C was to call 911 if Chelsey and Michelle were unavailable.
I had an appointment the day after our due date, with my midwife at the hospital. She offered to strip my membranes and I felt rushed to make a decision and went with yes. After I left the appointment I was seriously second-guessing that decision, and was wishing I had just left things alone. I sent Chelsey a message and let her know what happened at the appointment, she “warned” me to be expecting a baby probably that night.
That’s when the waiting really got frustrating. Chelsey told me to stay close to home…after calling and finding that I was out to dinner with my hubby. This worried both of us a bit, and we went home and stayed there the rest of the evening instead of shopping like we had planned. We slept through the night, and Saturday morning decided we would go to breakfast and go get dog food.
As we finished breakfast I had a contraction, and I had two more just driving to the store for dog food. The walk around the store worried Jimmy, because the contractions kept coming and I would stop and just hold the basket. I was so convinced that this baby would come fast that we hurried out of the store, and my mom called as we were checking out.
She said it wasn’t the real thing because I still found humor in the things Jimmy was saying or doing. When he wasn’t funny anymore, then I should go to the hospital. To be honest, she annoyed me with that because she wasn’t listening. This baby was going to come fast. Then, we spent 7 hours walking around the hospital and doing squats, and I was just getting a rhythm going (contractions every 3-4 minutes lasting for 45 seconds), when they informed me it was time to go home. (Guess Mom wasn’t so wrong afterall…)
Go home? No, we are going to have a baby. Obviously, not a fast baby, but a baby. We hung out in the waiting room for a bit, and everything came to a dead stop. I was disappointed, tired, and I felt like I was being pulled in a million directions. Hurry up. Wait. Hurry up. Wait. And I kept worrying about the boys meeting their sister. (They were with their dad for the weekend.)
Chelsey came to the house to spend the night because we all thought that after a little rest, I’d go into labor for real. We all slept through the night, so she left and we went to church. We picked up the boys, and we came home and rearranged the living room so I could sit backwards on the couch and watch the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl came on and I joked with Jimmy the whole time that she would interrupt the show. She didn’t.
Bed time came again, and at this point we just kind of shrugged it off, thinking that Jimmy would go to work in the morning, the boys and I would do school, and life would just go on. No more of this sitting on pins and needles! Then I woke up around 12:30, having a contraction. I went to the bathroom, and lay back down. I knew if I fell back to sleep it couldn’t be the real thing. I woke up at 1:30 having a contraction. So, same thing, I went to the bathroom.
My water broke, and I kind of froze. I grabbed a towel and waddled back to our room. I put the towel on the floor and knelt at the foot of the bed. I rubbed Jimmy’s foot and when he startled and sat straight up, asking me “What?” I said (apparently rather quietly) “My water broke.” I laugh every time I’m thinking about this part. He jumped straight up, and asked what I needed. I just told him I needed him to wake up. He nodded enthusiastically, got out of bed, came into the living room, sat on the couch, and turned on the news.
And then it hit him what was going on, and he came right back to my side and asked what I needed. I hadn’t been contracting until right about then, and I can’t describe how I felt, but I wanted socks on my feet. So he got socks and put them on me, and turned the heater up cause I was chilly. He called Chelsey and my sister. My sister was supposed to stay with the kids so we could go to the hospital, but I knew I wasn’t moving from that spot at the foot of the bed. Well, aside from one attempt to get in bed and lay on my side. That sucked!
I wanted my music on; I was getting really intense and focused. So Jimmy got my music, and then I wanted it OFF. It was too much. And my back hurt badly, so I kept asking him to push on it, and he did. And he held my hand and helped me believe that I really could do it. I had no idea how much time had passed, but things were getting really intense.
Then Chelsey’s sweet voice was talking to me asking me if I felt like I needed to push and confirming that we weren’t moving from there because the baby was (as Jimmy puts it) a bunch of numbers and things that sounded really important but didn’t make sense. (You know, like a plus 3, fully dilated, and all of those other terms that mean you’re probably going to have a baby soon.)
10 minutes after Chelsey’s arrival, I was pushing, and 2 minutes and 2 pushes later, our sweet baby was earthside! I just wanted to hold her, and everyone helped me get situated and got my shirt off and I just sat there with her. She was amazing, and she was here, and I didn’t have to wait anymore. We didn’t have to wait anymore. There are not words for the way I felt, strong and capable are just the tip of the iceberg. I had a voice in all of it, and no one took my baby away from me. I got to just hold her. She nursed right away, and there was so much joy in our little bedroom.
I am beyond honored and thankful by the fact that Chelsey caught my baby girl. I couldn’t have done it without Jimmy’s hand to squeeze or his patience for my fickle on again/off again things. The little boys slept right through it. Before RC was born, Jimmy had called the oldest and his mom, and they came over so he could be the first to hold her after Jimmy and I.
RC was pink and healthy, and we were all so peaceful. We even went back to bed for a few hours after her birth, and the little boys got to wake up to the best surprise ever… their little sister was finally here!!
(My water broke at 1:35am or so, and RC was born at 2:32am. So, she really did come fast when she finally decided it was time! She was 8lbs 12oz and 20-¾ in. long.)