Before Theodore. Well, before the thought of Theodore, I always knew that IF we ever had another child and that was a Big. Fat. IF for a long time, that I would without a doubt go for a natural home birth. I was born at home along with my two younger sisters.
Lets start with baby #1 Everett,
Lets start with baby #1 Everett,
Everett's birth was my first. I was afraid. I was unsure of my abilities to go natural like my mom did and to be honest I didn't even think about it. Just take me to the hospital, they'll know what to do. Everyone does it this way. So we did.
By the time I delivered him I was on pitocin all night, with an epidural, my doctor broke my water. I tore through my urethra and had a badly bruised tail bone from my doctor whacking it while I was pushing him out. The recovery was brutal, and I didn't like my doctor. I felt excited at being a new Mom but felt like my experience wasn't what I thought it would be.
17 months later I'm walking into the hospital on an early rainy morning to have a c-section with our second son, Harry. This was planned. Harry had been breeched the entire time, we knew through spiritual confirmations that this was how Harry needed to come. And I loved my doctor and felt like I was in the best hands.
13 months later I'm about to deliver Jane and my doctor was very pro having a VBAC with her. My body had healed very well despite the close gap between her brother's c-section. I wasn't considered high risk. I was given a very light dose of pitocin to keep my labor going. My doctor broke my water at 4 cm and within 10 minutes I was dialated to a 10 and Jane was crowning. She literally slipped out of me. I didn't even feel like I had a baby with her. Amazing. That's when I got it into my head that I could dot his naturally. My body can do this.
2 1/2 years later I decided on a natural birth with Kate because Janes birth was so amazing, Instilling in me confidence that I could do this. I opted for natural birth at the hospital so we could take advantage of our insurance. After 7 hours of a long drawn out labor, being stuck at a 6 cm, I gave up, my body was trembling I couldn't do it anymore, and got an epidural. A nurse suggested that I turn on my side for 5 minutes and lift my leg. I did. Kate turned and came right out. Mmmm....The labor was long. I had medical interventions. In the end I was bummed that it didn't go as I planned however, she was healthy and I was grateful. But I had a lot of emotions to work through. Mainly that I should of had a midwife attending to me if I was doing a natural birth. But I decided to use our insurance that's the route we took.
Whew. Okay. You still with me?
Jack wasn't keen on a home birth. Freaked out actually. So we compromised with a birthing center, and it was still a very long process to bring him on board. But eventually he did. Of course every person we ran into gave us a horror story of some sort, don't get me started, There is So much we could discuss on this issue. Bottom line, I am Pro respect. I don't believe in judgement, we all have rights to choose what we want. I'm grateful for doctors when they are needed. But medical interventions can cause a lot of problems too. I've had to keep an open mind, and I pray about everything.
On Tuesday May 30th at about 5 am I was awakened by a contraction. But no biggie right? It's not like I didn't have that early labor thing happen on Friday night that sent everyone into a mad dash to get ready just for it to stop. So I was like, I'm not getting my hopes up, nothing's happening today. Today was the day that we had our big 38 1/2 wk. appointment with my midwife. Jack was to attend and my best friend/doula Kelly.
We arrived at our birthing home. From that first contraction at 5:00am I kept having one about every 15 to 20 mins. But seriously, No big deal.
We picked out our delivery room, The Bluebonnet room. Said our goodbyes and schedule my 39 wk. appointment.
On our way home we swung by my chiropractor, got another adjustment, I dropped Jack at home so he could work. Work. Work.
Being the last week of school, we are busy and full of kids projects and programs. It's about 1 pm, I head to the kids school with my side kick Kate in tow, (Kate is always with me just so you know) for Janes kindergarten program. Thank goodness for friends who just so happen to have a seat next to them in the most overly crowded cafeteria full of eager parents, and a miracle that I was positioned right in front of Jane. My contractions are about 7 minutes to 10 minutes apart by the end of her program (Adorable btw) We are told to collapse our chairs and put them away. A sweet lady asked if she could take my chair for me, I'm still sitting in it because...just a minute...whew... contraction. I told her I needed a minute "Oh my goodness! She's in labor!" the woman says, which my friend replied, "Yeah, but this is like her 5th, she's got this." " Yes I do" I thought to myself, and really feeling proud about it. But again, I'm not really in labor remember? It's just early labor like Friday night.
Word spread quick, by the time I got to my daughters classroom I'm getting the craziest looks. Jane's teacher says, "You're in labor and you're here?" I reply with a laugh, "I wouldn't miss my daughters program if I was able to come, and who knows when this baby is coming." I kneel down by Jane, who is at her desk and whisper, "We need to go sweetie, mommy's having contractions" I'll never forget the Christmas morning look in her eyes, but like a thousand times better she says "Are you serious?" We held that sweet moment together and well, I couldn't stand up because, yep contraction. Me and the girls grab the boys from their classes and head home.
You guys. I may be contracting every 7 to 10 minutes. But I'm still in complete denial, "This will stop soon I thought". FRIDAY YOU RUINED MY HOPES!
At about 6:00pm I called my friend/doula Kelly, because these contractions were getting strong. Still far apart, but definitely strong. She came to my rescue, Jack took care of the kids and kept poking his head in to see if I was okay. Kelly gave me coconut water mixed with something fizzy and all I know is that it tasted yummy! I'm still thinking -this isn't going to go anywhere I'm not in true labor yet. Kelly starts timing my contractions to see how far apart they are and how long they are lasting. They were intense but still in my opinion manageable. Here is the most amazing thing through this, when I'd contract my body was like a raging sea, then the second it was over that sea turned to stillness, a sea of glass. I didn't even feel like I was in labor in-between the contractions, almost like it had never happened at all. It was quite remarkable and beautiful, I was so in awe of this feeling.
Kelly and I are listening to music while I bounce on my birthing ball, and while I eat pineapple in coconut milk, also YUMMY. If this was true labor I planned to do as much as I could at home, I'm loving this feeling.
By 7:00 pm I call my midwife after many promptings from Kelly, because labor doesn't feels like this right? My midwife says I sound amazing on the phone, but she wanted me to stay on the line with her until I have another contraction....(insert contraction) following my midwife says "Sarah, you are in labor, get your sitter there for your kids and get to the birth house" What?!
It's Go time. Midwife said so
My sweet friend Tori came, we packed my bag, Jack loaded his car with babies car seat. Kelly drove her car to the birth home to meet us there. My hardest contraction was in the blasted car. And it HURT. I think that's when I started practicing my yelling skills and digging my nails into Jacks strong arm. Thank goodness for strong arms.
We get to the birth home at 9:00pm. Now, I know that this is my 5th baby, and every delivery has been completely different. however, one thing that they have all had in common is that my water has never broke on its own. So I expected the same this time around. We went up to the Blue Bonnet room, I'm in my blue nightgown, my midwife checks me and I'm dialated to 7 cm! Wahoo! I'm Shocked! At this point I'm thinking, "This natural birth is amazing! My body is amazing! I can do this." About 30 minutes after getting checked I'm bouncing on the birthing ball, grooving to my music, talking with Kelly, Kendall (one of my midwives, I had two), and Jack, The most beautiful lighthearted feeling is in this room. I'm breathing through my Stormy sea contractions, when whoosh! My water breaks! The coolest feeling ever!! I'm LOVING THIS.
I decide to get into the tub, because I love baths and always thought I would probably deliver in the tub. nope, I did not like the tub. I felt like I had no control. You know that fight or flight response? I'm getting a clearer picture of who I am at this point, I'm wanting to run from my pain or at least move my body more through it. I don't know. It's like your wanting to run but you can't run from your pain? Make sense? So at this point, I'm in flight mode but I have to stay and fight. I get out of the tub. I move to the toilet (I know, so gross) and quickly realize I need to get back to the room and onto the bed. My cervix as it turns out was posterior. I'm dilated to an 8 but my cervix is too far back. I laid on the bed. Everyone btw, has been so amazing. Kelly kept making me drink, my midwives were in full attention to me. Jacks been by my side making jokes of course and making me laugh which also hurt! I finally said "Jack you can't make me laugh anymore!" lol. My friend Kristi was there documenting everything. Again, I just felt like the room had the such a beautiful spirit.
But this is getting real!!! I'm not laughing anymore, I'm not quoting movie lines (I know, lol).
Something takes over in me. I'm laying on the bed, and I just start screaming, and pushing and bearing down with every fiber of my being. This is it. Oh my gosh. If I don't push out this baby right now, I am done. I can't go on. Every part of my body was alive. I had reached that point. I scream, "No, I don't want this pain! Why do women do this natural?!! Are they crazy!! This is CRAZY!" Classic right? It's just Like those movies when the woman is like "YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!" Oh, I was SO there. Like I get it. I SO get it. Every cell in my body is on fire. I've never experienced something like this in my life. Oh my gosh. The intensity. This feeling of my body being the raging sea and this baby inside is the vessel pushing through it, pushing through me. This is so raw. I feel like we go through life trying to make ourselves comfortable, and we don't want to feel pain. Everything we want, we get. Everything is now. Well being in the now and about to meet this baby, was happening. There was no way to block the pain but to fight through it. All of these emotions coursing through me. All that I've fought for these past 9 months, not just me, me and Jack have worked for. It's about to end. It seems like it won't, it seems like the pain will never end. No one can do this for me. This is mine and mine alone. I bear down again, when I hear, "You've pushed out the head Sarah! Oh my goodness you are there, hold on." Everyone is staring at this miracle, I have my eyes shut tight because, oh my goodness I have never in my life needed to stay so focused. I felt like if I opened my eyes I'd give up. My midwife has a mirror to show me the babies head and how good I'm doing and I'm like, "The last thing I want to do is open my eyes and see whats happening!" I'm in the zone. Eyes closed, "Stay focused Sarah, don't give up, you can't give up." They gently unwrap the chord from babies neck, one, two, I give another push, and I hear, "You did it! Babies out! It's a BOY!" Oh. I. Just. Can't. There are no words for that moment. Never in my life have I felt so exhausted, I sobbed, with no tears, "Jack another son! Jack you were right, you knew!" We locked eyes, we couldn't believe we just brought in our fifth child. That look that we have given each other after each baby, cementing our love is my favorite moment in our lives together. We have been lucky to have now, five of those moments. One moment is enough, and we've had five. I love this man. This little crumpled up ball of a naked boy is laying on my chest, silent, breathing with me on the outside "I did it. I can't believe I did that! Jack we did it"
And I'd do it again.