On January 17, 2011 at 1:10am, we welcomed our second son, Jameson, into the world. He was born at home, in the water and we couldn’t feel more blessed.
Saturday, January 16th, I had a feeling Jameson would be here in the next day or so. Mind you, I was 39 weeks and he was bound to come soon, but I could tell it was going to be sooner than later. I nested like crazy that day. We cleaned bathrooms, did laundry, organized, everything we could to prepare for little man’s arrival. Moving 1 week prior to having a baby, at home, definitely takes nesting to a whole new limit.
That night, I tossed and turned like usual, but contracted throughout the night and had a hard time getting any rest. Around 4am, I remember thinking about how tired I would be the next morning, especially since Nate couldn’t help with Levi since he would be teaching at church. Levi usually sleeps until 7-7:30, but this particular morning he slept until 9am. Let me express how rare that was because Levi hasn’t slept until 9am since before Thanksgiving. I was beyond thankful for the rest! Looking back, I realized that this was the Lord being gracious, knowing that I would need all the strength I could for the night ahead.
Around 11am, Sunday, I started having contractions that were 7 minutes apart, 30-45 seconds in length. I suspected they would either tinker out throughout the day, but that we’d have the baby in the next few days. I called Nate at church and told him to bring what he needed home with him for the work week, but not to rush. Contractions were steady for the next few hours and I relaxed and labored in our room, listening to labor CD’s and resting. Around 5 our new friend, Katie, came to get Levi since we didn’t know how long labor would last. Side note: The three families that were possibly going to watch Levi were all unavailable this particular weekend. One of our friends suggested her friend Katie who I met 2 weeks prior, and she graciously agreed, 4 days before I went into labor. We were beyond grateful for her help!!!
At this point between contractions, I was joking, playing Words with Friends with my brother and doing last minute preparations for our little one. I was nervous though, not for pushing, delivery or the homebirth. I was nervous this would be a false alarm and I would labor for days like I did with Levi. There were no “signs” of labor like I had with Levi, which further reinforced my concerns. I had to surrender to those fears and know that even if I did labor for days again, the Lord would sustain me. Like I mentioned with Levi’s birth story, the mind is a powerful tool in labor that can either hinder or help your labor along.
By 7, I was contracting at least every 5 minutes lasting at least 1 minute. I would sit on my knees and bow down like I was praying as this was the most comfortable position. I imagined riding a wave and knew that at the peak of the pain it would soon subside. This was the imagery I had to cling to as contractions grew stronger and stronger. If I wasn’t in the right position or didn’t focus, I felt out of control and the pain was magnified. The mind is truly an amazing thing. All the while Nate was seeing where I was tense, reminding me to relax and helped make our room a peaceful place to labor. He was such a gift.
Our midwives, Barb and Jenn arrived around 8 and hung out until things picked up around 11. By then, I needed to take a hot shower to help subside the back pain and couldn’t talk between and during contractions. It was business time. (Not like the song by Flight of the Concords) 🙂 My body took over and I felt like I needed to stand and sway with the contractions. I had entered “transition” and don’t remember much from this time. Around 12:45am, the midwives filled our bathtub (since our birthing pool we bought could possibly collapse if I put my weight on the side) but the hot water ran out quickly. Nate boiled pots of water on the stove and thankfully it didn’t take long to fill the tub. The low guttural moans started and the pressure became intense. Jameson was close to arriving, I didn’t realize how close though.
At 1:00, I got in the tub and instantly felt the urge to push. My water broke in the tub with the first push. The urge to push was nothing like Levi’s labor. With Levi, I did so for over 45 minutes and took a break between and finally realized I just had to push past the pain. Each push with Jameson was intense, but extremely productive. I felt the top of his head after a few pushes and started to feel out of control, like I couldn’t manage the pain. I asked if Barb could give me something to help and she replied, “No, but I could give you more encouragement.” While I knew I didn’t need anything for the pain, I wanted it and more than that, I had to say it out loud to make sure I was heard. You say and think strange things during this time. I kept thinking, “Vasectomy. Vasectomy.” Case in point. 🙂
I refocused and feeling Jameson’s head again gave me the encouragement I needed to realize the end was near. After only 10 minutes of pushing, I gave one final push and pulled my baby out of the water and onto my chest. It was an exhilarating, magical moment. I would give birth naturally over and over to experience that final push and literally feel the bringing of life into the world. Nothing is comparable. Weighing in at 7lbs 9oz, our healthy baby boy joined me in bed immediately as the midwives took care of us. At that moment I realized I’d given birth in the most natural of places and it couldn’t feel more right. Our wonderful, loving midwives left at 4:00am and we excitedly called our parents shortly after.
The three of us fell asleep in our bed around 5, exhausted, thankful and overjoyed.