June's Birth Story I woke up on Friday, the 21st, with a strong feeling that baby would be joining us sometime that weekend. Isla Mae and I ran some last minute errands together, I restocked on fresh, healthy foods, and I did my best to mentally prepare myself for what I felt was approaching. I had an appointment with Darcie, our amazing midwife, scheduled for thatafternoon, but some things came up we rescheduled for Saturday, instead. I told her I felt pretty strongly that we’d be seeing each other before that next afternoon, and I was right!As evening approached, we made our way home, and Ethan wrapped up his loose ends on the house for the day. I put Isla Mae down for bed and then laid down on the couch. I had an intense contraction but didn’t say anything, although Ethan definitely noticed. I decided to put R to bed one last time before our newest babe arrived, and as I laid with him as he drifted off, I had several good contractions. I slipped out of his room as Ethan was sitting down for the first time after spending the last 12 hours laying flooring, and said, “I think we’re having a baby tonight, E!” To which he replied, “Great! I think I have poison ivy!” (And oh baby, did he ever. And then he immediately hopped up and began airing up our birthing pool. My history has not been quick labors, but each labor is different, and he wanted to be prepared in case baby (who we didn’t know was a girl at the time) came quickly. I had been having contractions for weeks, so I did have my reservations about this being real, active labor. I took a bath to relax and spent the next hour or so refreshing my mind on my HypnoBirthing techniques. We let our midwife know around 10pm that contractions were consistent and picking up intensity so she could be prepared for night just in case. By 10:45 Ethan had called my parents to come grab the kids and Darcie to start prepping to head our way. We snuggled up in bed together to get what little rest we could and attempted to distract ourselves with an episode of Friends. I quickly decided that wasn’t what I needed, and we turned on my HypnoBirthing music instead, and I got lost in my own little world. Darcie arrived around 12:30am, we did a quick cervical check, per Ethan and I’s request (I was at a 5), and we all settled into our spaces and let baby and body do their thing without intervention. Contractions never picked up in frequency, and remained roughly 10 minutes apart throughout labor, allowing us to rest some. Somewhere around 3am Darcie, Mary (our incredible doula and photographer!) and I took a walk down our our small country road. We laughed and talked and enjoyed the beautiful cool air and starry night sky. As I was having an intense contraction a truck drove by. I can only imagine what he thought three young ladies were doing out in the middle of the road at 3:30am, but I can almost guarantee it wasn’t what we were actually doing. 😆 I labored for the next couple of hours in our birth pool while Ethan and the birth attendants rested. Everything was so calm, so peaceful, so opposite of what you think of when you picture labor. It was truly amazing. I kept thinking, “this can’t actually be real, can it?” We did more of the same throughout the next few hours. I received messages from several people throughout the morning, almost as if they knew I was in labor. Around 11am, after stalled progression, we used some techniques to get things moving, including a peanut ball and strategic positioning on the bed. Three contractions took me from 7cm to complete, and WHOA BABY, things got intense fast. Laboring while laying down is not my cup of tea and I requested we move immediately following that third contraction. We headed to the birth pool and 56 (tough) minutes later, she arrived! I doubted myself more in those last few minutes than I had the entire labor. Trauma from difficult deliveries passed resurfaced, and I lost my focus for a bit. I said, “I can’t do this!” more than once and questioned what on earth I was thinking when I chose this path for delivery. Darcie, knowing what I needed, lovingly and sternly said, “You’ve got five minutes to feel sorry for yourself, and then you dig yourself out of this hole and have this baby!” And SO I DID. 9lbs, 9oz and 21.5” of squishy baby girl goodness entered our world, in the water, at 1:31pm on June 22nd. We cleaned up and headed to our bed, and that’s where we got to stay for the next three days. No nurses woke us up throughout the night, no doctors took my baby for evaluations each morning, I didn’t have to remind a new nurse each shift of our wishes for our new babe, and the three of us got to lay in bed together as we rested and I began to heal. It. Was. Magical. Family and friends prepared us warm, healing meals, our big kids were kept until we were ready for them to come home, and we had the most peaceful few days in our own little world. The reality of what I had just conquered (a goal I’d had for myself for six years) took longer to sink in than I thought it would. As my body healed and my memories of the pain subsided, I became more and more excited about what I’d just accomplished. Truly, I feel like I’ve taken back my births, I’ve taken back my strength, and I’ve taken back control of me. I’m pretty sure I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to, now, and that is an incredible feeling. 🙌🏼 So many thanks to Darcie from Dreaming Tree Women’s Care for helping us own our birth story, for being more than a midwife, and for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You helped make my dreams come true, friend, and I can never thank you enough.
Abigail’s Birth Story 👶🏼👣🌸 Sunday morning I woke up feeling different and having thoughts of the reality that was about to come with labor, birth, and welcoming a newborn. Yes, it’s blissful and amazing but it doesn’t come without pain and discomfort. My mind shifted from excitement to game time. We went to The Rock, I received prayer over the upcoming birth, and we served our church family. It was an amazing Sunday morning. Our church family was checking on me and I kept saying it’ll be in the next couple days. I just knew it. After we got home and fed the kids I started having more intense contractions. My body had been contracting for weeks so the increase in intensity was exciting. I timed them for awhile and finally called my midwife and her assistant. They started heading our way. Jamison filled up the birth tub and I got all our stuff organized. At one point, we thought we were going to have to transfer to the hospital since baby kept having dips in her heart rate that were concerning. After moving her around and some more monitoring (which was difficult with her wiggly self) her heart rate remained safe to proceed with our home birth. Contractions continued, they got stronger but died down. Around 3am on Monday, it was decided that everyone would go to sleep and we would wait for my body to get back into it. Of course I only got like one hour of sleep between then and the kids waking. I had a lot on my mind! I spent majority of Monday trying to bring these contractions back and resting. They came back and we all thought this had to be it. We had everything ready, contractions were strong, and even spent some time pushing because baby was there. Nope! Yet again, around 2 am it was decided we would rest and see what tomorrow brought. Exhausted and confused doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling. I didn’t understand why my body was slowing down. I didn’t get why the baby was right there for birth but my body shut that down. So to bed we went. I slept pretty hard considering the fact I was still having intense contractions. At 7am I woke up feeling that labor was picking back up. I was not holding any hope to them continuing considering what we had gone through since Sunday. I started moving around the house trying to keep my body open and motivate these contractions in the right direction. My sweet midwife, who has been a very busy midwife and mom the past few days, said she didn’t want to disrupt the contractions with her arrival so she was going to wait till they were closer together before heading our way. Well, an hour later, at 9 am, I’m calling her telling her they aren’t consistently closer, they are ranging from 3 minutes apart to 7 minutes apart but so very intense with tons of pressure. She started heading our way. Jamison jumped in the shower, I’m hanging in the living room with the kids while I’m working through each contraction. All of the sudden, 15 minutes later, baby is ready! I send Amelia to get Jamison and tell him baby is coming. He is like, “Yeah, baby is coming soon.” I start yelling down the hall, “No! Baby is coming now!!” He runs down the hall with just enough time to lay down a mat and pads and call Darcie. Baby is really coming! On Tuesday, October 22 at 9:22 AM, with my midwife hurrying to us and coaching me via FaceTime, our sweet girl graced our family with her presence in the middle of our living room. Mary, the midwife assistant, came running into the house shortly after her birth, with shampoo still in her hair, gave us a quick look over and said we were doing great. Everything was great. It was amazing. We had our baby!! Our unexpected joy during this crazy season of life was finally here. Once our sweet daughter and I were in bed resting after a crazy, fast, and hilarious birth I was able to tell Jamison her name. (Yes, I said hilarious. It was!) We knew we’d name our next daughter Abigail. I declared this to God. This was decided after I had a life changing encounter with a stranger in a Target parking lot the summer after Jeremy was born. Her name was Abigail. Fast forward to Jamison leaving QuikTrip and starting his own business, we find out we’re pregnant. For a hot second we were freaking out. We quickly embraced the excitement and knew that there was a reason God was giving us another baby during a very unsure time. Back to us sitting here looking at our girl in person and her name was announced. Abigail, meaning giver of joy. Elizabeth, my mom’s middle name (we carry on a female name from my mom’s side of the family) which means promised to God. Perfect fit for our newest perfect blessing! 💛💛💛