I have hesitated to write THE STORY for a month now. Mainly because I have not had time. And also because I was not sure how to write it. When I was pregnant I was so surprised at how many women thought it necessary to tell me their birth horror stories. Not helpful. My intention with this story is to bless, encourage and glorify God.
Our due date of June 23rd by sono as well as June 26th by last menstrual period had passed. The average gestation for a first time mom is actually 41 weeks and 1 day. So based on our latest due date of June 26th, that would be July 4th! Well, we woke up the morning of July 4th and no baby… yet. It was time to get a bit more aggressive with some natural induction techniques. We went for a long walk that am and again that afternoon. And my husband’s favorite technique – more sex!!! (note to self for next baby, try these techniques early in the am, not at 3 pm in the afternoon :)… During our walk I started to have contractions – I was not positive this was the “real thing” but they for sure stopped me in my tracks and were about 5 minutes apart. Sure enough they progressed and with fire works in the background we called Connie, our midwife. Chelsea our doula came over around 6pm I think. By this time I was sure this was the real thing, I was also vomiting and already saying… “I don’t want to do this!” Haha, so much for thinking I was pretty tough. Oh did I mention we were having a natural home birth, big birth pool and all!!!
Our midwife arrived around 11pm and I was only 2cm I think. I was a mess saying over and over again, “Connie this hurst too much, I can’t do this.” I felt like such a whimp… only later did I find out that EVERY woman at some point goes through this. Connie boldly told me, “Kelly, every woman at some point has to surrender to the process, you are doing this, this is the path you have chosen and that God has led you on, we are here and we will help you. But you must chose, you must surrender to the process, and better now than later.” It still took me several hours to surrender to be honest. Note to self.. surrender faster next time!!!
I progressed quickly to 6 cm and then to 8cm!!! I was excited about that for sure. My husband was incredible. He was in and out of the birth pool with me. He practically never left my side. I hear stories of women yelling at their husbands, “dont touch me, or you did this to me”… haha. But I never had those feelings with Andrew during this birth. In fact, this birth really brought us closer, I felt so much love, and comfort and protection from my husband.
A few hours later, still at 8cm. And contractions had spaced out a lot as well. Hmmm. We sent out prayer requests for longer, harder contractions (oh goodie :) We tried different positions, relaxation techniques, breast pumping, etc etc. We finally got to 10 cm at about 11am the next morning. And it was time to push!!! Well, first we had to push past a cervical lip… that was fun (if you had that you know what I mean). Pushing felt good, for a while. And then it did not. I was still vomiting. Connie had started an IV to keep me hydrated. I could not hold anything down, unable to eat I was really getting weak, and tired.
We tried every position possible. I would push and the baby would move down, a little, but would not stay down. My contractions continued to space farther apart. So I was pushing and pushing but making no progress. After about 5 hours Natalie (another midwife came to help). She thought that maybe my pelvis was too narrow and the baby was stuck. We tried more crazy positions. Seriously, at one point I was kneeling on the ottoman in the living room, but in the air, forearms on the floor trying to get this baby to move!!! (Any insecurity or modesty I may have still had before this experience… gone! I was naked in crazy positions, and just to be clear, it was not at all attractive, I peed and puked and pooped all over the midwives, more than once!) After almost 5 hours of pushing, I was exhausted and physically unable to push effectively. The midwives were suggesting that we transfer to the hospital for a possible forceps delivery and maybe c-section. Honestly, at this point a c-section sounded great to me.
But my husband was broken. He could not believe that after so many hours of hard labor we were going to have to go to the hospital. He said he just could not make that decision. (This entire time mom and babies vital signs were completely normal and there was never any impending danger to us.) Drew said that ultimately he had to surrender as well. Surrender to the process, to God’s faithfulness and to His will. Through many tears he cried out simple prayer, “God we need a miracle!”
(this picture is actually dad’s face when he saw our baby girl for the first time!)
Connie told me to rest in Drews lap through the next few contractions as they got things ready to leave for the hospital. The next contraction came fast, and hard, unlike any I had felt before! (This whole time I never had an uncontrollable urge to push, until now.) I screamed, “what do I do, I cant rest, I can’t stop it.” And Connie said ok push… and I did. And everything changed! The next contraction came hard and fast like the first!!! Connie checked me and with joy in her voice said “Kelly, this baby is coming, when u feel the urge push with everything you have, this is it!” A few more contractions and my baby girl was on my chest, just 53 minutes after my husband asked for a miracle.
We were undecided on her name going into labor. As soon as Andrew saw her on my chest, through tears he said, “babe, her name is Mykah, it has to be, cause Who is like our God, her name is Mykah babe, God did this for us, she is a miracle!”
So many lessons learned and so much has been done in our hearts throughout this journey. Mykah is a month old now!!! God is faithful, to the end! And despite my total confidence during labor that I would never go through that again… I am looking forward to a second child already.. and a second home birth!!! Love that postpartum amnesia!!!
All said and done, I am thrilled we were able to have a home birth. I loved having NO separation from Mykah immediately after birth. All evaluations and procedures were done w Mykah on my chest after birth. Dad was there with her when she was weighted etc. She was skin to skin on either mom or dad for the first few days of her life. Right after delivery baby and I sat in a nice warm herb bath and just relaxed and dad and I got to just sit and stare at her for a while! My amazing midwives cleaned up the room and I got to come back to a nice warm (totally clean) bed and just settle in with my daughter and husband! Thanking God again for our little miracle!
<<photography by Lindsay Schott @ http://www.LSchottArtistry.com>>