The day of Amaea’s birth I woke up the night previous w/ painful contractions. This pregnancy had been different from the start though, w/ Braxton Hicks beginning around 6 months. And for the last month I had ones that were a bit more painful, ones in my lower back. I say all this because I believe that experience set me up for not quite knowing true labor was just that. On birth day I woke up after a not so restful night w/ all the thoughts circling my head from the hours past. During the 3hrs I was awake w/ contractions I began thinking of all the reasons why I wasn’t ready for this baby. Lists of undone tasks, and fears of what was to come. While still in bed I debated waking Dustin for some love but decided against it thinking it might bring on labor, so to be safe I didn’t. Normal morning, we made breakfast, took Tukuli to school together… late as we ended up making it after all. I was having contractions but nothing that hadn’t been happening for a month. The only difference was that night they began in the butt, my thought was “great, another week of this”.
Dustin and I went to Target to check if sheets were on sale and browse for a cheap coffee pot. Our current method of using a stovetop espresso maker and then pouring it into boiling water I thought might not fair well w/ the business of a new addition. During our leisurly strole I would occassionally squat down through a contraction, still not thinking this was anything to fuss w/. We went to the grocery store next in preparation for my making dinner w/ friends that evening.
Once home I decided I better nap as I didn’t sleep well the night before and just in case anything happened in the coming days. After my nap I found it hard to do much around the house. Contractions were making me get on all fours and wag my tail around. Earlier the day before, I discovered if Dustin put pressure on both of my sides the pain almost went away through rushes. I asked him to do this and my mother did the same here and there. I was thinking this is going to suck if i have to do this for 5 more days, again it never clicking this could actually be labor. As they began to get closer together and a little more painful I called my midwife who seemed certain I was in labor. Not wanting her to drive the hour and 45mins it would take to get to our house for no reason, I asked if I could call her back in 30 mins…she oblidged. 30mins later I was sure I was in labor. At 3mins apart and putting me on the ground each time I knew. I texted my husband who by this point was an 1/2 an hour away and nestled myself on the floor near the clock. I tried to clean up here and there in between but quickly noticed how it made the rushes stronger and more frequent, so I stopped that not loving the pain. When Dustin called back minutes later I was practically in tears from the pain, shock and missing his hands pressing on my sides. My mother was busy cleaning what I couldn’t and would occassionally stop to rub my back, which felt amazing. On arrival Dustin was given strict instructions by the midwife to not let me get up, even on all fours for the pain. Any.movement would bring the baby sooner. I thought surely she is joking, no peeing. Turns out she was right, any adjustment in position only increased what I was feeling. So I stayed on my left side on the floor just as you walk into our bedroom. This is where Amaea would soon be born. When Dustin arrived we breathed through the pain together and learned what worked and what didn’t. He was the perfect partner, keeping me focused, laughing, and assured all was just fine. I felt his strength as tangible and borrowed some as needed. Not being able to move from my side was a challenge at first but a decision I’m glad we respected. We laughed and talked in between the rushes and I enjoyed sniffing my Arabian Sandalwood essential oil.
With each call from the midwife my labor seemed to progress, as if my mind told by body it was ok to keep opening. I was soon yelling a little through rushes for distraction and to satisfy not being able to move. When Michelle was 12 mins away the pain changed and I felt the baby seem to pop and descend further. My pelvis ached w/ pain. She burst through the door mins later throwing bags on the floor. I was anxious about her checking my dialation as I didn’t want to move an inch knowing the pain would only increase. I was right. Quickly though I got into a better position for birthing realizing w/in seconds being on my back was the worst feeling ever. I set up on the birthing chair and squatted to my immediate relief. Everything was happening fast and soon it was time to push. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to push but tried anyway. It felt good to do something in response to the increasing pressure in my hips. Michelle grabbed some olive oil and warm water, using the water to give me direction on where to bear down. The warm water felt soo amazing and helped quite a bit. She allowed me to choose when I wanted to push and when I wanted to just breathe through contractions to gather my strength. At some point her brother and other midwives showed up. One was filming a documentary. All of this didn’t bother me one bit. I was very aware of everything, the orders being shouted out, the scurrying but still felt very able to center on my job of breathing and pushing as I felt the need. After only a few pushes Michelle told me to feel the top of her head, I shook my head “no” only wanting to get this baby out and not wanting to move at all. She insisted, so my shakey hand reached down and there she was. It was the motivation I needed to push her out, and w/ the next rush out she was. Daddy caught her and I was then holding her. She was born 30 mins after the midwife arrived and less than 3hrs after I first called her. By body was shaking uncontrollably I’m told from hormones, but I didn’t care. I was done, she was here. I didn’t even think about checking the sex, Dustin did and called out it’s a girl. I responded ” I knew you were a girl” The pain wasn’t quite over as Michelle pushed on my sore stomach and checked placenta happenings. I was tired of the pain but kept thinking the worst is certainly over. I delivered the placenta and was helped to the bed where we began nursing and just enjoyed laying down.
I loved all the commotion around me and the different conversations happening. Everyone there was so wonderful and supportive, I had an absolute blast. We weighed her and got her footprints, dressed her too and w/in a couple of hours the room was cleared out. Our little girl was sleeping and our new job was to sleep too being reassured it would be a while before that might happen again. The colors of birth were a soft payne’s grey and some flannel. All very soothing. My midwife was wearing the softest flannel shirt at the time so maybe that played a role. I remember grabbing her neck during some of the pain… it was immensely helpful. Both leaning forward and breathing in her confindence in me was very comforting. I felt completely safe and capable w/ her eyes in front of mine and my husbands complete support behind me. The presence of my Jesus was also there as promised keeping everything going on in a bubble of His Providence. I felt no matter what happened He was aware of it and some how in control as well.
Now days after the birth I am thinking of how it came to be that I am on this day laying down nursing this beautiful little girl not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Each morning and after our naps I am wakened by her “chirping” and can’t help but be amazed at this process of life God has designed. I am here experiencing this because of a thousand simple “yes’s ” to my Savior. One of the biggest saying He could in fact have my body as well as my thoughts, soul, and heart. In my case this meant going off birth control, and learning in the process what else it was I wanted to “control”. We are now at the beginning of a new adventure w/ Jesus, and will
begin a new one each day.