Tax day, due date, had came and went. We enjoyed Jason being around more and honestly I was thankful that baby was overdue! I always presumed that baby would come before tax season ended...I guess that’s my pessimistic mind. However, the day after tax day, Jason took a day off and we got to enjoy some time as a family. So refreshing!
Of course, when you’re overdue, everyone is impatient...except me! We enjoyed the week and the weekend. Sunday morning I was lying in bed feeling early contractions. For whatever it’s worth...since I tend to have long early labors. I felt sporadic mild contractions throughout the day. We went to church with impatient friends who wondered when baby was going to come. Out of my control, people! Talk to the big man! We enjoyed the day, but honestly I had all my to-do’s done and told Jason that I felt a little bored. What should we do with ourselves! That afternoon I took a walk with a friend. I’d been having contractions but nothing worth stopping for.
That night they got more serious. I ended up moving beds so that I wouldn’t wake Jason and the girls up while I was working through them. It was nice to sleep between and I knew that sleep was the best thing for me. This birth, I had the mindset of following my instincts. I woke up and just wondered how long it would take. My previous 2 labors were long...and they felt really long when I was going through them! With Bella I had 52 hours before my eventual c-section. With Geni, I was laboring 2 full days and then active labor set in. Of course, I have since learned that there is labor...early labor and active labor. And I tend to have long early labor! However this birth I was deliberate about freeing myself from fears that may hinder my progress. I dealt with those, prayed and also ate dates which had been recommended to provide a shorter labor.
So Monday morning I woke up feeling somewhat rested. We had breakfast and then Mom took the girls somewhere (can’t remember!) We let the midwife and our doula know that I was in labor. Of course we prefaced that with the fact that I have long early labors. The midwife asked us to time the contractions. I am not one to focus on the contractions...I prefer to stay oblivious so I don’t focus on the details and get overwhelmed. Jason and I decided to go for a walk and he could time then and report back to the midwife.
We had an enjoyable walk. It was about 10-11AM when we walked. It was a beautiful spring day, and it was nice to hang out with my sweet husband. The labor was not too intense at this point. I would typically stop for contractions and looking back my contractions were about 2-5 minutes apart lasting on average 45 seconds. Jason made some comment that eluded to the fact that this could go on for a couple days. Boy, those were not the words I needed to hear...or maybe they were! Because, we got back home and the button seemed to click and labor seemed to get more intense. We let the doula and midwife know and also our photographer.
It seems like everyone got here around 1230-130. It always feels silly of me to think this, but to me once everyone shows up there’s the expectation that I need to perform. Like I’m having guests over and I have to have a meal ready. Except the meal is actually labor and a baby! I prefer not to be checked so that I don’t find myself disappointed if I’ve worked hard and I’m only at a 2. It reminds me of my college days when I would get a test back and stick it in my backpack and not check the score for a week or so. I am a strange one, I know. From how I was laboring though, one of the midwives predicted I was around a 5-6.
This labor I had the mindset of really focusing on God, worshiping Him and trusting Him through the tough times and the wonderful times. I had made a sheet of scriptures and also a playlist of worship music. It was nice to listen to the music and just focus on Him and be in the pain and not run from it. I contemplated the pain that Jesus suffered for us, for me. And it comforted me to know that Jesus knows what pain feels like.
I also felt a lot more comfortable in labor this time...not to say that labor was comfortable, but that I knew what I needed. I enjoyed walking around, being outside, just moving. I actually even felt like through labor, it could’ve just been Jason and me and it would’ve felt right. However we felt really blessed to have all the help we did.
A little later I felt really nauseous. This surprised me because I usually was only nauseous close to the end of labor. Jason was so sweet to help me in the bathroom and support his pitiful wife while she lost those larabars she had enjoyed earlier.
One of the midwives suggested taking a shower to just allow my body to relax. We did have a birthing tub, but I’ve learned from previous labors that if I get in too early, it can sometimes slow me down. And I did not want another long labor! So I got in the shower and OH it felt so good! I stayed in there a long time...and squatted and lunged and just labored more. I decided to get out because I didn’t want to test out our hot water supply and be surprised with a cool shower...that sounded like the opposite of relaxing!
I continued to labor and then what happened next could only be described as a God-hug. The music was playing through the house. We were all sitting in the living room and a song I hadn’t heard before came on called You are for Me by Kari Jobe. Words can simply do no justice to describe the overwhelming presence of God I felt through this song. My spirit just felt Jesus saying, “I’m here...I know this hurts, but I’m here with you through it all.” I cried through the song. Turns out later that everyone thought I was crying because of pain. Oh, but it was a special moment and my favorite part of this labor. God is so big, and yet so intimate. I wish everyone could experience what it is to go through a journey, a challenging journey of labor and walk in it with God. It is transforming!
We all decided it might be nice to get in the birthing tub. And it was nice. Water is wonderful! I moved around in it and labor progressed nicely. The girls were with me a lot during this time...probably because they wanted to get in the tub too! I stayed in there for at least an hour. I began to feel the pushing urges at the end of my contractions. INstinct told me that I should probably get out to help pushing along.
I started squatting and pushing was just really painful. It’s interesting how every labor is different...with Geni’s labor, transition was TOUGH and pushing didn’t seem hard. This time around, I don’t even know when transition happened, but pushing was a BEAR! It was really painful (or I like to call it HARD WORK) and I kept wondering when there’d be a little head to feel. There was a contraction I pushed hard and my water bag broke. I knew that was good but knew it would be work of pushing this little one out! I was pushing all the while feeling like not much was happening. I was still squatting while holding on to Jason and it required a lot...my legs were started to cramp up a bit since I’d been in that position awhile now. Plus it didn’t help that I always gravitate to the most cramped spot in the room...with Geni I gave birth right next to the doorway to our bathroom. This time around I was at the door to our bedroom. I guess that’s my “special place”.
They encouraged me to scream because it hurt so bad. I screamed loud and finally there was painful progress. Poor Jason was such a trooper...I leaned on him so much and he was sweating so hard but never relinquished. At one point, bless his heart, I bit his shoulder because it hurt so bad. He said one time I squeezed his belly so much that he had to reposition so that I wouldn’t squeeze it again! Strong husbands in labor are such a blessing!!!! Hard to believe that our grandmother’s generation were forced to do this with their husbands in the waiting rooms!
Anyways, I was pushing hard and one push was so hard (the midwife told me later that’s probably the point I tore) and we had progress and a head came out. The next push produced the sweet little body. Our midwife set the baby down and we got to see what this little one was! My eyes went instantly to the parts and discovered we had a BOY!!! Everyone was saying how big he was and I thought he looked so little! Someone told me to pick him up but I didn’t even have the strength left! Jason graciously handed him to me and I was in love. Instantly I knew what all those moms had said about how little boys are so precious!
The girls came in almost immediately and saw their new little brother. They were just in awe. Geni asked if he needed a paci. And she proceeded to come back with one and she was so diligent in finding one that wasn’t pink of course!
This moment is just so precious and words can’t describe the emotion contained in witnessing a new life sent from God. I think the hard work of it makes it even more special. I sat there on the floor for awhile just holding him. My midwife told me that I tore; my immediate worry was whether I would have to go to the hospital to get it stitched. Thankfully she said no. Home truly is the only place I want to be before birth, during birth, and after birth.
The cord stopped pulsing and Jason cut the cord. I tried nursing him but he wasn’t interested yet. The midwife suggested I move to the bed. I walked gingerly to the bed and nursed him and then pushed the placenta out.
The worst part of the day came when they had to stitch me up. My mom held Zech while the midwives worked on me. Bless their hearts. the midwives were wonderful. After delivering a baby, the last thing I want anyone to do is touch down there. One of them started singing. When I commented that it took my mind off things, the other one chimed in with It is Well with my Soul. And now every time I hear that song, it takes me back. It might be well with my soul, but not my vagina! Anyways, they finished, and I was able again to hold the fruit of my literal labor!
Later on, my midwife explained that pushing was difficult because he came out with his hand by his head. That and he weighed 9 lbs, 14 oz. Zechariah James Anderson was (to quote Mary Poppins) “practically perfect in every way.” So perfect I’ll forgive his shenanigans of coming out with his hand on his head.
Praise God for another blessing!
9 lbs 14 oz. 22” long
Born at home
22 April 2013 6:25PM (Jason won that wager! And lucky for him, he gets to live with the prize!)