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Renee’s Birth Story
On a Thursday in March, two friends invited me over for our kids to have a playdate. It was so nice to have something to do to get out of the house and stop thinking, “When will this baby arrive!” My friends did not look at me crazy when they asked, ‘When are you due?” My reply “over a week ago.” Earlier in the week, I was asked the same questions when I went for a prenatal massage. The secretary responded, “Aren’t’ you scared?” “Scared of what?” I said. She remarked, “the baby.” Um… “No ma’am I’m not scared of my baby. Thanks! I’ve been praying for this sweet baby for over a year. I can’t wait to meet him!” I thought this, but I didn’t articulate my thought aloud. I’m not sure why the end of pregnancy involves the term “scared” but apparently, that is a feeling often associated with it.
Back to that Thursday, my friends talked about their most recent births. They shared that walking helped their labor progress. I decided to add walking to my “things to try to help labor begin.” Friday, I had a relaxing day at home with my two older boys. We enjoyed a beautiful weather day playing outside and time in our home. That night I lost a little bit of my mucous plug. I never had this with my first two pregnancies. I was excited to see that my body was naturally beginning to prepare for labor.
The next morning, Saturday, I lost some more and started to feel crampy. I told my husband I was pretty confident this was the beginning of something. I decided to call my midwife to see what to do next, she suggested I go walk.
My husband and I devised a plan for the day. We went to our local mall. He took our two older boys to jump in a bounce house venue and I walked. I walked for about 3 hours. I was having contractions, but the consistency and strength did not convince me I was in labor yet. Then, we met for lunch. After lunch, we all walked for a little longer.
During lunch, we ran into a Pastor and his family at our church. They knew we were expecting and asked if they could support us in any way. This simple gesture was very encouraging. We also saw one of my coworkers and her family. She was kind and polite, but for some reason that conversation made my contractions stop. I asked my husband to leave the mall. I asked for quiet. At first, I asked him to take me home and to take the kids out somewhere else. Then, on the quick drive towards home, our kids fell asleep. I asked my husband to drive around for a little bit to see if my contractions would start back up. Slowly but surely, they did.
Around 4 P.M. I started feeling small consistent contractions. I told my husband I thought it was the real deal and I wanted to head home and see if it would continue. I asked him to leave me alone in the room and to keep our two boys as quiet as possible. I informed my husband -via texting from another room- I would contact our doula and midwife when I was ready for some support. I assumed we would meet our baby boy the following morning.
My previous labors were 22 and 20 hours from this point. I planned to have the baby the following afternoon. Which meant I would not sleep that night, nor would my husband. Around 7 P.M. I decided we should let our midwife know what was happening. I also wanted to call the doula to come over that night to help me cope with the contractions overnight. I told both not to rush, but I would probably want some support within a few hours.
My midwife said she was going to come right away. I told her there was no need to rush and she said she did not mind sleeping on our couch, but she did not want to miss the birth. I asked the doula to come over around 8:30 P.M. Our midwife arrived around the same time.
Our midwife arrived and completed a brief assessment. She was respectful of my desire for quiet and solidarity. She assessed me and politely exited the room as I requested -simply because that is how I felt comfortable at the time.
When the doula arrived, my husband left me and put our boys to sleep. Then, he began setting up the birthing pool in our bedroom. I labored in our nursery and then went into our bedroom when the pool was ready. My husband and doula applied counter pressure and squeezed my hips to help me through some contractions. By this time, they were getting more powerful. I could still talk and manage the sensations.
I was listening to praise music while I was by myself and had essential oils going in a diffuser. I felt very relaxed and empowered. I did not have any fear surrounding giving birth or my health or my baby’s health. I felt in tune with my body and my baby. I felt like we were a force working together to meet each other.
I felt so supported by my husband and doula. Their touch comforted my body to make each contraction flow smoothly through my body. I felt the power of the muscles working to move my baby into this world. I felt comforted by God and ready.
As the contractions grew in strength, I assumed we were a few hours away from meeting our baby. I started to think about moving into the pool, but I only had about 2 or 3 BIG contractions. My previous experiences were several hours of these. I wanted the pool as my last resort to help to cope with contractions. I was treating the pool like I did the epidural in my previous births (when I felt I could not manage the contractions any longer, I would use that as my pain relief).
After the few big contractions, I felt something between my legs! I still had my pants and underwear on. I told my doula and husband to get the midwife (thankfully, she was wise and was waiting on our couch-rather than listening to my advice of not coming when I called). She came into the room immediately.
When she came into our room, she said she could see the baby’s membranes. I knew at that time, it would no longer be a few hours before we would meet our boy, but a much shorter amount of time. With about 3 more big contractions, Ezra entered the world. I was in disbelief with how fast and easy it was to bring him here. He was beautiful and perfect.
His initial health assessment showed he was a healthy 8 lb baby boy! We held him and loved him. My husband went to wake up our other two boys. Ezra was born with a knot in his cord, which was interesting to see and to think about his little self-flipping in such a perfect way to tie a knot! Our 4-year-old was tasked with cutting the cord. This was a moment, we, as a family, planned for, prayed for, prepared for. We were overjoyed with the ease and God’s provision for our planned home birth.
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