OK, it’s been way too long since I’ve been in this space. I can’t believe our sweet little man is 4 weeks old today. This post has been awhile in the making- but mostly from the practical limitations of available “two-handed” typing time! This baby has loved to nurse, and nurse some more. Time for a little catch up.
I can’t help but start off with the overall feeling of gratitude in my heart for this pregnancy and birth. God has been so gracious with me!
While pregnant, I was strangely at peace with how simple it all felt…no major symptoms of discomfort to manage, and no compelling need to do much beyond what my normal healthy lifestyle already offers. This was a very different experience than my pregnancy with Will- where after experiencing a placental abruption and emergency c-section with Ethan’s birth, I was very focused and intentional about rebuilding health and strength and healing to my body. Occasionally I would feel this self-check of doubt, like “I should be doing more”- but I recognized that voice to be a little lie trying to creep in to my peaceful place…and I left it at that.
I have loved the care of the most wonderful midwife, Michele Buchman of Dandelion Midwifery. She is so relaxed, peaceful, and has been an empowering, compassionate listening ear. She has been totally supportive to follow my lead, while carefully answering questions and directing plans as needed.
My last weeks of pregnancy were wonderful…after the hectic month of June, I was ready to settle in at the poolside with my little crew of swimmers, and was able to catch up on visiting time with so many friends that the busy homeschooling year just doesn’t allow for. I regularly visited the wonderful chiropractor Misty Watson, and got this baby into a good position with the use of the Webster technique- which also brought much relief to my achy pelvis. I had beautiful pregnancy photos taken by the wonderful Shelly Wason , as we snuck away in the wee hours before dawn to enjoy the light of early morning sunrise together at Saxe Point Park.
Labour started slowly, as it has for all my babes. Two nights of contractions for a few hours- just enough to keep me awake part of the night. By 3:30 or so the following Tuesday afternoon, one week past my due date everything shifted, becoming a little bit stronger and more frequent. I knew this was the start of the real thing, so I gave Michele a call after a half hour or so, just to be sure.
Once Michele came, contractions were regular, every few minutes, but still very manageable. Shelly came over to take photos, Trysta came for support and prayer, the kids were out with friends, Al put on the coffee and made snacks for all. I plugged in and found a nice groove as I worshiped along with Will Reagan to one simple song, “Climb.” I had been listening to this one for a few weeks, knowing it would be the perfect labour song- and it was.
It was a gorgeous, sunny late afternoon…Trysta had a mini photography lesson outside with Shelly and I did my own thing…tucked into bed for awhile, had a shower, made some tea (“Comforting” by Aveda- the perfect labour tea!), and walked around for an hour or so.
Jill Pearman, our 2nd midwife came by shortly after, and within a few contractions I knew I was transitioning. As I was still doing my own thing, tucked away in the bathroom at that point, I realized I better move on out after Al came in asking if I wanted a veggie burger! “Um…no!?” It was that hilarious moment where I realized that they didn’t think I was as far along as I was, and I better get out of that bathroom…
Moving out was harder than I expected- I had several good hard contractions back to back- and I knew I wanted to make my way over to my birthing pool. I stuck my head out the back door for some fresh air between contractions, bent over for the next one and my water broke. They helped me get into the tub, and the soothing water felt instantly welcoming. I was mentally preparing for the intensity of the pushing stage, which has always been the most challenging part of labour for me.
I reached down and could feel his little head right there! I told my midwives- and one contraction later, his head was birthed…
One more contraction, and his body slipped out easily. I was in absolute disbelief….totally blown away that it was all over, and so fast!
Only a few minutes after stepping into the water, I pulled him up into my arms.
I have loved my water births so much.
He pinked up within a minute, and I marveled at the smallness of his head. His smaller 7lb 6oz body, seemed to make for a much easier go than my round-headed, 8-9 lb chubsters. Grateful moment captured in this photo below- thank-you God!
Still in awe, I hung out in the pool nuzzling my baby and enjoying the sweetness of these incredible early moments before climbing out to deliver the placenta and tuck into bed.
Number eight- the number of new beginnings. My best birth! A seamless experience, full of laughs and a light-hearted enjoyment that I knew God had given me the confidence & assurance for beforehand. Such a gift.
A few days later, we chose his name: Jesse Jack Matthew
Jesse means “gift and wealth”. Jack is Hebrew for “God is gracious”. Matthew is also “gift”. We feel that his life and his birth have been huge gifts to our family, and that his life will be full of the empowering presence of God’s grace as He brings life and hope and a richness of life to others.