I offer a quick warning: if you aren’t into homebirths… It’s about to get weird.
We had waited forever. Judging by how I feel and these new stretch marks I get daily, I must be 48 weeks pregnant. Is there a Guiness World Book of Records for this? Save your self some time, I’ve already checked…
My midwife Rachel would be out of town for two different windows in August. Getting her daughter off to college then later in Hawaii on vacay. I’m over here trying to have a baby while she’s in town. A Category 5 hurricane postponed their trip an extra week (to September) so she says: “You now have by Friday, August 31st at 9pm to go into labor, after that I’m off duty.”
Aye, aye, Captain!
I had just met the the backup midwife just a few appointments ago. “Whats your birthing plan?” she asked.
“Um, get the baby out.”
(Being a thorough woman, I think she was looking for more details…)
“Nope, that’s it.. Just get the baby out.”
“…At home, preferrably.”
My mom left town on a work trip on a Sunday. She would be back Friday night (Aug 31st) at 9pm. I don’t care how old you get, ya always want ya mama around, especially if you’re about to have a baby. I thought I’d have a 2 week old by now so her leaving would be no big deal.
It just feels like a big deal now.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…
Christine, the photographer said the only commitment she needs to be at was Friday (31st). Ok. Try not to have a baby this Friday.
Another friend had her baby at Holmes Regional on the 28th. When I went to visit her, I got the staff wondering if I was admitting myself. Easy there, I don’t play like that…However, I am 2 weeks overdue and lookin’ for an adventure.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…
On Thursday, I’m in for a second round of testing: this testing will be a sonogram to make sure baby (and all the other ingredients) look healthy. At the appt, I learned that:
- Baby seemed good- although he didn’t cooperate as much as they wanted, he seemed just fine.
- Usually when overdue, the amniotic fluid measures typically lower. In my case, I had an above average fluid.. (Maybe this is why I’m all swag when I walk.)
- He was measuring at 8lbs 15oz. WOW! That would be my biggest baby yet. However, it may not be accurate- it’s plus or minus 1 pound 5 oz, so there’s plenty of room for margin. In my mind, i figured he’d be small- like Joram and Jethro- both born 2 weeks late and were 7pound4oz babies.
That night, August 30th, Rachel came over. “Somethings up with the result here.”
“Based on the scoring, they are recommending an induction (at the hospital). ” She sent my results over to a referring physician and assured me he was a good, liberal physician- Whew, I need someone not quick to jump to conclusions or c-section, roll with the punches with me, please. A low risk woman can be a gazillion days overdue and still have a healthy delivery, right people? I tend to question much of the practices in the medical field these days. I digress.
*I had already surrendered this birth over to the Lord. I obviously have no control over the course of history so I may as well put it all in His hands. He knows my desires but ultimately, He decides. So if it’s hospital induction/C-section or a lively homebirth, I’ll be as flexible as I can..
Rachel talked my results over to another sonographer. because it was contradictory. And Rachel is officially off duty ToMorRoW NiGhT at 9pm. So let’s have this baby, shall we? I’m gonna talk with the referring physician tomorrow, get the medical records straight but we need to do this.
Friday, August 31st.
I’ve been taking this stuff to naturally induce labor all day but no signs of anything. A contraction here or there but nothing major. Rachel is throwin’ the fleece out there: Anything??
I felt a bit tired and wanted to snag a nap in. Wait, it’s almost September, we should do a monthly budget. (Can you see him rolling his eyes? He’s been staring at my all day thinking I’d spontaneously go into labor…) He went along with it anyway. Thanks for always putting up with me, JSchro!
We had dinner.
I missed my nap.
7:30pm. “So, yeah, Rachel, I’m 3 minutes apart.”
My birth team have been “doomsday preppin’ with me all month, waiting for that call, ready at a moment’s notice. My photographer friend Christine was the first to show up, 8pm. She made a beeline from Orlando and showed up ready to go. Next the doula who was across town. Then the midwives, Rachel making it before her 9pm deadline and Ka-POW! It’s party time.
I had anticipated it being a fast delivery.
The “Dream Team” as I called them, Jonathan and myself just hung out in the living room like we were about to make history. Idk what happened but I caught the giggles. It was my own stand- up comedy tour in my living room, tickets were free and all proceeds would go towards replacing missing binkies for the next year.
Contractions were hard but I laughed between them.
Jonathan said, “Amy, get in a rhythm.”
And all I could think was…
I can’t even…
Around 9pm, I get a text… It’s from Rachel, who is in the other room… She’s updating me (on accident) about my own status…
I was trying to take bets on August or September baby. We were inching towards midnight and I remembered I had bought an August birthstone bracelet on Etsy when we had made it out of July without a baby.
Wait a minute, what’s the return policy on this thing?!
Rachel suggested it was time to get out of the tub. My dream of this being a waterbirth, with a baby named Jonah, was out the window. I didn’t care at this point. Something’s different about this one. Labor has kicked into high gear and I am wondering how much longer I can keep going. It’s September now.
We headed back towards our room, J-town wielding some essential oils to keep me in the game. Why is this child not coming?!
We changed things up again and all got in position, it unquestionably the pinnacle of the journey- Jonah was officially on his way. Someone started swearing (haha, and it wasn’t me!), Jonathan had a Job 41 moment, and there were tears. He had finally arrived.
The rest of the night was a bit of a blur. I think everyone spent a minute or two in different corners of the house catching their breath. At least I did. I truly believe the Lord was giving me the gift of laughter leading up to that most intense, 25 minute-Level 10- birthing a Butterball Turkey.
We were all in shock – he looks like he’s 6 weeks old. All of my troubles with my hips and walking in August made sense now: I had more fluid than normal, the placenta was the size of a small Thanksgiving platter and I just given birth to a small manatee.
As I go over the events of the night, I’m amazed at how the Lord orchestrated it so well. The timing of that night was rediculous- I could’ve missed the window by 1 hour and Rachel would’ve been off duty, and with medical record funk and juggling a different set of attendants, we could’ve ended up in the hospital with a Csection. It all came together: My mom was back in town. My photographer made it. The kids were out of the house. Jonah was more than healthy and had already outgrown all things newborn by mid-June. He sported some Edward Scissorhand claws, sideburns and was in 3-6month clothing by Day 2 and we are more than happy to welcome him!
I am so grateful- that once again God has redeemed one of my biggest fears and exchanged it into something new. A completely different perspective. About half way through this pregnancy, I felt the Lord ask me to stay open to what He wanted, not going the route of the last delivery with a list. It was quite the lively birth- a bit intense at the end as to be expected with a 10 pounder -yet the majority of it, I legit laughed through- an unexpected blessing! This will definitely go down as the most fun labors I’ve ever had. Thank you, Lord. He sees all the things I’ve wrestled through and how long I’ve carried it I know it’s the Lord that can clothe a woman with strength and bring about good things And what a gift it was!
We can’t thank everyone enough for their prayers on our behalf. It was quite the remarkable journey, one that won’t be easily forgotten. We have been so encouraged by the support we’ve received and are in awe at God’s faithfulness once again.
Happy Birth Day Mr. Jonah!
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him. Psalm 28:7