The all natural home-birth of our second child.
The day of your birth I held my breath in anticipation; nine months of wondering if you would be a boy or a girl and now I would finally know. The months had been short, but the days had been long, three false starts, and 13 days overdue; I was having a hard time actually believing my body was really in labor.
I woke your father up after calling our midwife, he was on nights at the time so he would head to work shortly unless I thought you’d come quickly.
“No, go,” I said calmly, “I think it’s still going to be awhile.”
He showered, dressed, and with a light kiss was off to work. I climbed the stairs slowly to wake your brother from his afternoon nap. I paused at the door as another light contraction hit, not horribly painful, but I still took a minute to breath and let it pass before I woke up the ball of energy that is your brother.
“Zeke,” I said softly, “It’s time to get up from your nap, the baby is coming.”
That those two pieces of information had nothing to do with one another never occurred to him. He rolled over, eyes blurry with sleep, and raised his hands to me. As I held him snuggled to my chest I realized this would be the last day he was an only child; some of my last moments as a mommy of one.
We ate dinner, played on the floor together, and when the contractions started coming harder and closer together, we turned on a movie and watched from the couch. Well, he watched, I lay on the couch breathing through my nose during contractions and thanking God labor had actually started for real every time they subsided.
Around 9 things started to pick up. Your brother was safely in bed which I think removed every last hindrance and allowed my body and mind to be completely given over to the labor process. I called the midwife again, told her where I was at, she told me if possible to get some rest, it could be a long night.
There came a point when I just knew; I called your papa, “I need you.”
I climbed the stairs to our bedroom and felt the contractions come even harder; was it because I knew that he was on his way that things started moving even faster? Who knows, labor is it’s own beast my dear.
I tried laying down to see if I could rest a bit, nope. When I couldn’t take it any longer I got in the shower and turned the heat up as high as it would go, leaning against the wall and letting the hot water rush over my back during each contraction…That is where your father found me. He took over and started timing contractions, he was hardly home for 20 minutes before he knew he need to call the midwife, “It’s time,” He said softly into the phone. “I think you should come now.”
Midwives know no hours, they come when called, and stay until no longer needed. In the dark of night my midwife rushed out the door, away from her warm bed and sleeping kids to be by my side and see me through to the end. Midwives are a whole other breed of wonderful human being, but that dear one, is a story all it’s own.
When she arrived we moved to the birthing tub that had been set up in our bedroom for the last three weeks, solely awaiting your arrival. The relief I felt upon entering the tub was not imagined, although nothing could completely take away the pain of those contractions, just the knowledge that you were finally about to make your way into the world brought so much peace to my mind that I felt myself relax and give in to the process; I just wanted you here in my arms.
I breathed and grimaced, and leaned into your father for support. I reached out my hand to my midwife and she grasped it gently yet firmly, the same way that she helped deliver you into the world.
For one brief moment in between contractions the sassy side of my personality surfaced once again, I looked at your father and then my midwife and said, “Why am I doing this again? Next time I’m getting an epidural!” I laughed, I think they each gave a soft pity chuckle, and then we got back to the business at hand.
It didn’t take long, the process wasn’t hard and excruciating like your brother’s entrance to the world, it actually progressed fairly quickly but also was soft and quiet in a sense (well, I wasn’t quiet…But the mood surrounding your birth was).
You were on my chest, gooshy and a tad purple. I was wrought with emotion.
“So,” my midwife’s soft voice broke through my cloud of ecstasy, “do you want to find out?”
“Oh!” I said. We lifted one leg slowly, “A girl! I have a baby girl!” I lay back against the side of the pool clutching you to my chest and sobbed with happiness. Your father and the midwife shared a look and started to reach for me before they realized I was crying with joy. You see sweet one, I knew you were a girl all along. You were the hope in my heart from the day you were planted in my womb, I prayed for you, dreamed of you, and knew you would be the sweet baby girl I’d always wanted. And then you were there, in my arms, perfect.
“Come on, breathe baby, breathe.” Suddenly the words registered in my head and I realized that the midwife was vigorously rubbing your back.
“Is she okay!?” My heart started to race just a bit as she took you from me. Laying you face down on your chest over her arm she began to gently pat you and rub your back until you let out a cry, soft at first, and then lusty. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized you were more purple than pink, later I would come to find out that you had had your umbilical cord wrapped around your neck twice, which was the reason you’d tried to make your entrance a few times but had been further delayed.
“Yes, she is going to be just fine.” My midwife wrapped you in a blanket and handed you over to your father and then turned to help me. Once I was setttled back into our bed you were brought to me again. Your papa’s eyes were shiny when he handed you over to me,
“We have a little girl!” He said, smiling and kissing me.
“Yes, yes we do.” I breathed in your scent a nuzzled you close, resting my head on the pillows I smiled and thought of your big brother sleeping peacefully upstairs; he had a sister! Wouldn’t he be surprised come morning!