Warning: This is a birth story, with pictures of a birth at home. If you don’t want to keep reading or see pics, do not scroll down. That being said, I did try to select the least graphic pictures I had, and birth is absolutely beautiful.
For those who want the short and sweet version- 2 days early labor. 30 minutes active labor. 2 pushes. It’s a boy!
Without a doubt, this time was the best labor and delivery I have ever been through.
It started (as far as I am concerned) on July 16th, with consistent contractions every 5 minutes from about 2:30PM.
Six hours later, my midwife arrived to check me, in the middle of our community group house Bible study. Andy Andes pretended he was in labor when she walked in the door and made her laugh pretty hard.
No dice. She said I was still at 2cm, that it was probably just braxton hicks, and it would likely go away when I fell asleep that night.
They didn’t go away for two days, and only varied in length to about 6 or 7 minutes apart, but the intensity of the pain never picked up.
Around 4AM on the 18th, I just got up and did squats for the rest of the morning, hoping for anything. I did squats until I felt like my calves were going to snap in half. I was determined to make something progress.
I was happy to have progressed and mildly enraged that it had only been one centimeter.
However, she finally had some worthwhile information to go with the disappointing number. There was a “forebag” of water, or in laymen’s terms, a bubble of the amniotic fluid was in front of the baby’s head. This was what was being shoved up against my cervix and therefore the dilation was moving along as slow as molasses. If it had not been in front of his head, he would have been born already.
There wasn’t much debate in my mind when she offered to break my water. In fact, I only asked for her opinion out of courtesy. I let her break it, and immediately saw stars with the next bout of contractions.
There was a bit of mec, which scared me, because I had never encountered that situation and had only heard horror stories of babies coming out with lung problems because of it. She assured me everything was fine, and that it was only a little. After being scared I switched to simply finding it gross, in all honesty. I think I will forever remember that this is the kid that pooped inside of me. Good thing he’s so cute.
Everyone kept telling me, “As soon as you reach 4cm, it will progress much faster.” The midwife even cited a birth she remembered going “as quickly as one hour.” Without my permission, my body declared, “challenge accepted!” I went to wash my feet off and get into the birth pool that I had been dreaming of, and as soon as I did it was as calming as I had expected. Then, of course, my body had to try out a contraction in the pool, and several others. They all hurt, but they were definitely easier to deal with. At some point, the midwife could tell I was in enough pain that I needed to be checked and everyone was shocked that I had hit 8cm already.
The pain increased quickly and severely, and I began to look around the room for help in any form. The face of Andi Clements helping be to breathe and the Bible verses I had posted on the wall (they’re still there) became a great source of help. When even those things wouldn’t help me maintain my sanity, I began to withdraw and my mind argued within itself, almost without my consent. “Pray.” “I’m too scared to pray.” “Ask someone to pray.” “Why make them do what I can’t?” “Just pray then.” …
Eventually I just yelled out in desperation for someone to pray for me, and a friend came through with flying colors. Sarah’s prayer brought God into that room, no doubt. She asked for me to feel His presence, and I absolutely did. It didn’t make it hurt any less, but I was changed. I could handle the pain, and my fear of whatever would happen next was gone. I was suddenly enabled to conquer the amazing feat before me. Never let fear paralyze your ability to ask God for help. He is always faithful.
There was a calm moment right after the prayer, and then the hard work started.
Someone told me to “moo through the pain,” and I felt like saying something epic about how stupid that sounded, but then it was interpreted for me to just “maintain a lower pitch when I made noise.” I was told not to push, but I was incapable of preventing it. My body was shoving this kid out of me. Ladeana Cochran once informed me about the “ring of fire,” and had I not been told about it before I would have very likely lost my mind wondering what was going on because of that pain. Instead, I thankfully accepted it as a good sign that the baby was emerging. I reached down to make sure what was happening and I yelled out, “A head, I can feel a head.” Then the head came out, and I was scared for the baby. I started yelling at everyone to just pull the rest of his body out. One more push and the rest of his body had no trouble though. I was so frantic, shocked, and elated that I didn’t even care about the gender, I just saw his face and loved him. Someone asked me though, and I came back to reality and happily cried, “A boy!”
The amount of time between the asterisks was 33 minutes total.
My body beat the record.
I never told it to try.
Regardless, his name means “Laughter Made by God” and he was born at 4:18 PM in our bedroom (the same room where I sat as a teenager on the computer talking with my husband about possibly dating him) in a kiddie pool with fish all over it, on 18 July 2013. Ace is short for his middle name. I am so glad he’s here. :D
With much love and thanks to:
DeEtte and her helpers, Andi, Sarah, Debby, Mom, All of my CRC Family who Prayed, Dawn, Catherine, Cindy, Sue, Everyone who Made Food, Trish for the Awesome Shots, Daniel My Love, and God above All. <3