Here's the story of Ezrah's amazing homebirth:
On Thursday, Dec 8 (2 days before my due date), I was having "one of those days" with the kids. I think I even posted my facebook status as "today is a welcome home daddy, I'm going to hide in the bathroom- kind of days". I was tired. I was feeling stressed. The kids were on the edge of craziness. As Michael walked in the door at 4:30, I sort of collapsed onto him. My wonderful husband saw my desperation, and without hesitation, he cooked dinner, played with the kids & did those dishes that I had never gotten to while I showered in peace.
I showered for a while. As I relaxed, I started having contractions. They were what I call "the tricky contractions". You know, the ones that make you second guess if you are actually in labor. They are uncomfortable, but only for about 30 seconds, so it's bearable. I brushed them off. I probably just needed to eat & drink some extra water.
After dinner, we loaded up the kids & my enormous list, heading for the store! Contractions were still happening, but I still was not paying attention. We walked through the store, with my uterus secretly contracting. I wasn't going to tell Michael yet, but I told the Lord "if you want this baby to come, we are going to need food, so give me a couple more hours!"
The contractions became more regular, but we made it home. They were 10 minutes apart! I am a smart woman & I knew my early labor in the hospital was always the longest... & that was with cervadyl or pitocin (boo!) to drive the contractions! So, we sent a text to our Midwife & one of my best friends, Teresa, who would be my doula/whatever I needed at the birth. I told them to be prepared to get a call in the night, but it might be another week. Haha! I really did not want to get my hopes up! So we picked up the kitchen & went to bed. I remember waking up with a few contractions, but then I remember dreaming about others. Some time in the night, they slowed down to every 20 minutes.
When I woke up on Friday morning, I was disappointed to find myself waiting 20-30 minutes between contractions. I had decided, however, that those had definitely been real contractions & we were probably going to have the baby sometime in the next week.
If that baby was coming in a few days I wanted to make sure I was ready. So, I went to the chiropractor. That always helps! Dr. Jen adjusted me & announced "Well, something is definitely going on. Your round ligaments have never been this tight!". Ha! That is music to a pregnant mommy's ears! I thought, for sure we'll have a baby this next week! I went home, took some Evening Primrose Oil (which prepares a mother's uterus & cervix for labor), & sent Michael to work because "nothing is happening today"! An hour later, my contractions went back to every 10 minutes!!!
I called my parents to come over. I felt like I didn't want to be alone with the kids, but I still wanted to be with them. We decided that I should keep moving. Each time I would sit or lay down, the contractions would slow down a little. So, we loaded up the kids (again). I texted Teresa & said "if this isn't it, at least I'm getting exercise!" We went to Target & walked... & walked... & walked. I probably took the kids to the bathroom 10x & with every contraction I would need to pee anyway, so it was no big deal!
Somewhere during my 8th potty trip, I noticed I had been having lots more contractions. I opened up my "contraction timer" app on my iPhone & realized THEY WERE AT EVERY 5 MINUTES! I didn't want to freak anyone out (especially myself) and I still wanted to help my mom finish Christmas shopping, so I with-held the "5 minute" info for a bit... that is, until my mom said "didn't you JUST have a contraction?" I replied, "ummm... yes, 5 minutes ago!" She frantically tried to find my dad & the boys in the toy department. I decided I should probably let Michael know, but I still wasn't convinced it would be "the night". Part ignorance, part denial & part just silly pregnant lady!
So, I texted him at work. He called me, but I was in the middle of a contraction being timed & had to call him back. Keep in mind, this is all in an aisle at Target! Haha! I nonchalantly told him we were "wrapping it up here & heading home. I'll call you if they get more intense!" Well, he is a very wise husband & knew we were closer than I was admitting. He said "I think I'll leave & meet you at home". Good call, dad!
As I sat in the passenger seat of my parents van, with my mom driving recklessly and my dad getting nervous in the back with my four kids, I felt a little reminiscent. First of all, I reminded them that I would not give birth in their van, so we could all calm down! But 6 years ago I was 19 years old, pregnant & in that van, feeling my very first baby move for the very first time. I had my first maternal moments there & it felt very surreal to be in labor with my 5th child in that same vehicle! How far we've come!!
We got home, but I didn't want to call anyone until I knew this was it! "I'll take another shower," was my thought. I figured if the contractions were from stress bc I had been walking for 2 hours, that a shower would calm things down. Teresa reminded me ibn a text that "5 min apart is no joke!". As I stood under the water, they began to get intense. I was trying to time them on my phone & found that they were getting closer with each contraction. Holy cow!!! I'm having contractions every three minutes! THIS IS IT!
I quickly turned off the shower & called Michael, who was making the kids dinner downstairs. I said "we are having a baby! I'm calling Jessica & Teresa!" Within about 30-45 minutes our Midwife, Jessica was at the door. First thing, she checked my cervix & I was 5 cm dilated, but would stretch to 6. With the other kids, 5 cm was the magic number. I always had a baby shortly after reaching that marker (45 min later w one & even 20 min w another) Despite that, I was still super calm & patient. I never felt like I needed to rush things. I never felt out of control. We called Michael's mom & my grandma. For the next hour I was just "doing life". Between contractions I was making the bed (where I had planned on giving birth), washing Eliza's hair, getting Eli to eat his broccoli, & eating dinner. This birth would just be part of our life... just as it should be!
7:45 Teresa had arrived & was boiling herbs for after birth. Jessica's assistant, Genieve had arrived. I was just drinking water & walking around the house, pausing or leaning against the wall during peaks of contractions. Moving around was the key! Every once in a while, I'd need Michael to rub my lower back, but it wasn't ever too much to handle... Well, until about 8:15.
We had put a movie on for the kids. They had eaten, been bathed & were in jammies! I was talking to my dad in the kitchen when I felt "THE contraction". I looked at Michael & said "I think I want to go upstairs now". He knew. I still didn't grasp all that he did. Thank God! I think if I knew what was about to happen, I would have lost control! The Lord knew I needed that!
I had one contraction on the side of the bed, as Michael turned on my "birth playlist", then another soon after. He suggested I go change into my gown, so my water didn't break in my sweats. He knew what was important to me. Ha! The next contraction was intense. I made it to the bathroom to change, but told him as I got there, "something is about to happen". About 2 minutes later, (before my sweats were off... of course) my water broke. A minute later, I had another contraction & announced "my body is ready to push!" The next 5 minutes are almost unreal!
I had a contraction & felt the urge to push. So... I did. Jessica suddenly said "I have his head in my hands"! I pushed again... his shoulders. I pushed again... His body! 8:37 pm, I held my beautiful baby boy in my arms! We had to unravel his umbilical cord from around his arms & legs, but as I practically fell to the floor on top of Michael, I just sighed! As I had pushed him out, that very song, "Worth It All" came on in our room! It was this unbelievable moment! I had not only had a baby with no drugs, but I had that baby at home, without fear of the unknown & really, REALLY FAST!! I wasn't scared of what "could" happen, because I knew that this is what God had created a woman's body to do! Now, I am still completely weirded-out that I had a baby in our bathroom. But how perfect is it, that at the end of this amazing journey, God would have me humble myself even more as I bring His new life into the world.
As we held him in those first moments, we fell so in love. I just held him close & nursed him for probably 30 minutes. We got all cleaned up & brought the kids in to meet their new brother. I have never seen such excitement. They were so happy! In fact, for days after, Efton would tell his new baby "I'm so glad you are here!!". The kids got to watch the baby be measured & announced his weight (a perfect 7 lbs.) downstairs to the grandparents. We spent the most beautiful first moments together! My favorite part is that he was born in the very place he will grow up. This is where we live, but mostly where we love! It's our home!
Grandparents came in to see Ezrah, the ladies cleaned things up & before I knew it, Michael had kids tucked in bed. We both just laid there, looking at him in amazement of what had happened. There was just an understanding. A knowing of what had taken place, but an astonishment of even the past 9 months. It has been an awesome journey. I've grown more than I thought I could. I've ventured into new places (aka: homebirth) that I never imagined. And for a bonus... I get to have the sweetest, most relaxed little baby boy ever! He nurses well. He sleeps well. He is healthy! I can't wait to see what this next season holds for our family... it's gonna have to be pretty awesome to top this!
*See "My Journey to Ezrah" for part 1 to this post