One Month Fresh…. Our Birth Story
I woke up as I was jumping out of my bed. So strange to be standing next to my bed and having to figure out why water was splashing around me.
I tried to walk toward the bathroom…Splash. I looked at the clock; midnight.Splash.
My water had broke and it was ridiculous. I managed to stand in the shower and call to my HusBen. He tried to walk towards me and all I could think of was of him slipping and falling on the lake that was now covering our hardwood floors…”Stop!” But he kept going…and his abandon of my control…and him grabbing the reigns of this situation nearly made me cry. All at once I wasn’t taking care of someone and a flood (ha) of emotion came over me….” I don’t have any labor… I can’t do this… it can’t be like 36hours of hell again… you need to pray… call the midwife.”
So he took the phone and prayed prayers I couldn’t pray… and I …well I stood in the shower and looked at the humor section of Pinterest on my phone. I know you expect something so much deeper and spiritual of me or maybe you expect a mother about to birth her 8th baby would be calm and serene…. but the truth is I looked at Grumpy cats and funny Ecards until I got some sense in my head. My third birth had started much like this… and it went on to be 36 hours of torture…and it was all I could think of…so that is where the blissful distraction of Pinterest helped.
I opened the door …My HusBen standing there on the phone with Mary , our midwife. “She says we can just go back to bed… labor will kick in soon… or she will call in the morning.” This mother of soon to be 8 already knew all that and was none too happy, but whaddya gonna do? So we went to bed and fell back asleep watching a show about Disney cruise ships on the Travel channel.
When 7am rolled around and we woke up pregnant… my heart fell.
When the midwife stopped by at 9am and I still had zero contractions… I told her my plan. “If I have nothing by noon… I am going to the hospital. I am great there, you should see me. You will be thoroughly entertained. ” I explained that with my 3rd baby experience I wasn’t waiting any longer than noon… She encouraged me to do what ever felt best to me. She said she would stop by again at noon and if nothing had happened we would head over to the hospital.
We walked the property a zillion times.
I blasted music ( the Helser’s album “The Awakening”) in my studio and begged a Provider for safety… and then all at once my vision caught one thing…and then another. The amethyst rocks from my great grandparents…the mimosa tree in bloom… I grabbed my camera and took pictures of both…so I wouldn’t forget this moment. Then I prayed, “Let her be there too… just like my birth of Zim... let the feeling of my great grandmother be there for this birth.” It was then that I felt this baby would be a girl.
As eleven o’clock arrived I knew I needed to make preparations for my other 7kids. Without any family to come over and watch them I started calling friends in our community…. those who come to Sunday Dinner….those who know me and what I needed to hear.
“I will be there at 1:30….and I can stay the night… I actually don’t have my kids today so this works out perfectly…everything is perfect.”
“I can be there at noon…. and I can stay till 2pm… your baby will be born today, how exciting.”
I did my hair… I packed my bag… I gave up on one hope and took hold of a new plan, it was eleven and I knew I couldn’t go into labor fast enough to be done by noon. Although I have nothing against hospitals..and have never had a bad hospital birth I do like the peace of home birth. I should stop here and explain that early on in my pregnancy I had a vision of birthing with a few women in my community and not my husband…strange, as I am super private with birth. So many of my births have started or been followed up with an onslaught of …. umm…family drama… that I didn’t have to be pavlov’s dog to decide I would hide out….not that it thwarted them… but it at least would give me a bubble of peace. All that to say I don’t “share” my birth space anymore….it is sacred to me. It is sacred… and then I heard Him tell me, “call your friends… ask them to pray.” So I did…and through my phone came the most beautiful prayers encircling me…this community HE provided for all of us, was doing something it was built for. This is exactly why He does this… He loves seeing relationship. They made this space even more sacred. I was safe. I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer force of their prayers… prayers for a birth I had barely gotten my brain around. The spiritual side of me was at peace but there was the other side of me which was very aware of the reality of labor.
11:30… I came out and told my husband, “I don’t want to do this… no I don’t think you understand me… I don’t want to do this.. I don’t want to do labor… or anything… I want to do something else today… but I don’t want to do this. I haven’t had contractions.. and I don’t want any.. I am done.” He looked at me in a funny way… was it a knowing way… and said, “Yes honey.. but you are doing it… I will be back, I am going to go down stairs and get lunch finished for the kids before Jess and Sam come to watch them. Mary said she will be here by noon.” He left and Ash came in…. chattering on and on about me “having to go to the hospital… and why would I need to… why do I have to have contractions… why can’t I just stay here……” I was doing my best to answer him and as I glanced at the clock…..12:02…
“Shut it Ash…get Dad…get Dad….OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Go. Get. Dad!!!!”
and so it began… I remember Ash running down the hall and yelling down the stairs, “momma is in pain Dad…come up here.”
From then on it was just one solid contraction. There were no breaks. No easing into it. No relief. Just nonstop contractions. By 12:32 I had to get in the shower. I hoped that would elevate the pain. At the same time I was worried about using up all the hot water this early on in labor…. I mean I had only labored for 30mins.
The contractions were so intense and with no breaks…I mean NO. Breaks. I remember at one point singing like a black gospel singer, “Oh Lord give me my wits… I need my wits Lord… I hate this plumbing… this was a shitty idea… get me ouuuuut!” My midwife came in…”are you trapped in birth or in the shower?”
I plopped my hand right on her head, “Let me pray for you Mary…” I then proceeded to pray the nuttiest prayer for this woman… but if all goes well and my prayers are answered her car will never get a scratch on it and an offensive billboard that Mary doesn’t like will be torn down! Upon hearing “Amen” Mary proceeded to help me out… and to the place I had designed for birth. I never have ever had an urge to push that everyone talks about. All I do is get to my designated birth spot and push…I know nothing else…. I don’t know if I am 10cms… I don’t have an urge… I just kneel on my trusty comforter and push a baby out.
I don’t birth like you see in hospitals… I can’t stand the idea of everyone staring at me…so I birth on my knees, facing my HusBen…. that way I just push my head into his shoulder and a baby just sort of ends up on the floor. It all happened so quickly she didn’t have time to rotate as she came out…so there was a few seconds after her head came out that she stalled….she wasn’t stuck… but she didn’t swim right out and I remember thinking, “Oh no you don’t… you are getting out. You aren’t getting stuck.” Then there she was….laying right there on the floor. I scooped her up with one hand, sort of like a mama gorilla. Her blasting entrance had been a bit shocking to her and her color looked funny to me…although in retrospect I think that may have been about me never having birthed in broad daylight before. So I batted her around to get her squeak sounds to more of a yelping sound. Mary waved a bit of oxygen in front of her and she pinked right up.
My HusBen blurted her name out…and I remember thinking, “Well I guess that is that…. guess that will be her name”
Everyone kept going on about “how fast it all was”. I glanced at the clock and was shocked to see she had been born in an hour and half!
She. Hour and a Half.
A few minutes later I got up and got into bed. A few minutes after that…alllllllllll my kids came into see….
her! They all feel in love.
I asked if my friends had showed up….yes? ask them up.
In came these women…mighty women. People He provided for me to share life with… they came in with teary eyes and joy.
He did this. He gave me the vision. He made it so I would have to call them. He made them safe. He made this safe.
He knit this baby.
He knit this community.
He knit us all together.
He did this and we all got to have a front seat to His love for us.