Today we are celebrating our youngest son’s 5th birthday. I seriously can’t believe that 5 years have passed already. His birth was a whirlwind to say the least. We were planning another (our 3rd) homebirth, assisted by a midwife. I was nearly 3 weeks past my due date (typical for me) and my midwife had informed me weeks before that our baby was going to be at least 10 pounds. At first this was overwhelming to me and I was scared of my impending birth. My midwife reassured me regularly that I could do it and that I had to trust God that He would help me through it. I prayed and prayed, agonized about it, lived in fear, and prayed some more. After a couple weeks of living this way, I came to a place of peace, knowing that God made me for birth and that I would be ok. I finally rationalized that our first son weighed 9 lb. 3 oz., so basically one more pound was no big deal, especially since it would be spread out over an approximately 20″ baby. Once I came to grips with his size, I was ok and mentally prepared.
I woke up at 7am, the morning of January 28, 2007 with major contractions. I knew I hadn’t been having contractions throughout the night because I was awake most of the night, hugely round and unable to rest. I instantly called my midwife, who lived about 30 minutes away. My contractions were choppy and not consistent in length, so she told me to take a walk to get things going or to go take a shower to see if that would help. I was in intense pain, but told her I would try one or the other. I instantly knew I couldn’t go for a walk, just due to how uncomfortable I was and because it was snowing like crazy outside. I opted for the shower and headed upstairs. My hubby was in the bathroom with me and I was quickly growing increasingly more uncomfortable with each passing minute. I got out of the shower and called my sister, who lived just two streets away to come pick up our other three children and take them to her house.
I asked my husband to call my midwife back and tell her to come immediately. Although my contractions were irregular in length, they were intense and I could tell it wouldn’t be long now. I was pacing and moaning with each contraction and when my husband got my midwife on the phone, she could hear me in the background. She instantly told my husband that she knew those noises meant that baby would be here soon and that due to distance and weather conditions, there was no way she would get there before the baby arrived. At this point, she hopped in her car and was on the way. We called my sister and told her to come back to our house because we needed an extra set of hands since the midwife would not be there to help. Her husband kept our kids and she was there in minutes.
My husband, although we had been through two homebirths before this, was shaken up when he realized that we would not have the midwife to coach us through. I was so into my labor that this didn’t phase me one bit. He kept telling me “You have to wait, she will be here soon.” The baby was coming quickly and I told him it would only be minutes now and that I needed him to keep it together and help me. I knew what I had to do, and I knew I could do it. I felt the baby coming and I got on our living room floor, on all fours, with my head on my sisters lap and my husband behind me ready to catch our baby. We had a small but complete homebirth kit ready. My sister was on the phone with our midwife, who was coaching us through what would happen, play by play. I pushed a couple of times and quickly our son’s head emerged halfway. He was big and I had to stop to regroup. My husband was telling me to hurry and push him out because his head was turning blue. I told him it was ok and that I needed a few seconds to regain my strength. Another big push and his head was out. Our son turned his head like the midwife said he would, opened his eyes and looked at his daddy. To this day, it is still the most touching moment of my husband’s life. Another big push and our son’s plump, slippery, perfect body slid out and into my husband’s waiting hands. He laid him on the floor and wrapped him in a towel. We didn’t find out the sex of any of our children, so I quickly wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. In my heart I just knew it was a girl, and was shocked when my husband said “It’s a boy!”. I remember asking if he was sure and then looking through my legs (baby and I were still attached by the cord) at our baby and making sure my husband was right. Sure enough, another boy!
Less than an hour had passed since my first phone call to my midwife. It had all happened so fast that I felt “shocky” and weak. I laid down and held our new son against me as we waited for our midwife. She arrived within 5 minutes of his birth. I could not believe that we had just done this without her. While I was disappointed that she wasn’t there to share this time with us, I felt so strong and empowered that I could birth a baby that weighed over 10 pounds with just the help of my husband and sister. It was like God allowed me this opportunity to overcome my fears, grow my trust in Him and to trust my body to do what he made it to do. It was by far my easiest birth, even though he was my biggest baby.
While I wasn’t expecting our birth to go this way, it was one of the most amazing days we’ve ever experienced and one that we will never forget. It is a day that not only gave us a beautiful son, but one that also taught me to fully trust.