This is a powerful story from a mama who wasn’t able to take my classes, but prepared diligently on her own with the book and CDs. She truly had a birth without fear, even during some complications which her skilled midwives handled beautifully. This story is a perfect example of being “prepared to calmly accept whatever turn my birthing takes” as one of our affirmations states.
The Back Story
For me, I cannot describe my incredible birth story without first describing our incredible journey to holding our baby in our arms for the first time.
John and I met in the Fall of 2003, the following Fall we were married. Like most couples, we had plans to start our family in one or two years. However, several months later we felt strongly not to wait and so our journey began. After several miscarriages we found ourselves unable to get pregnant and in a world we didn’t understand. Our hearts were broken and we felt no happiness in our souls. Furthermore, we didn’t know if we could handle listening to another family member or friend announce their pregnancy while our arms lay emptied. Our lives changed as we found closure and allowed new opportunities to enter our hearts from; new fertility treatments to adoption to accepting our infertility. We would learn to be happy and I would continue to take care of my body whether or not treatments worked or adoption was successful. Then we learned of our wonderful miracle and as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months and we had renewed hope that this time the pregnancy would last, we called Agape.
Before choosing Agape, I had interviewed several midwives and birth centers, mostly in Utah. Either they did not meet our standards or we didn’t meet theirs. I was concerned Agape would not take us on as clients due to my miscarriages, but they did. I felt relief come over me because I did not want to give birth in a hospital. Unless of course there truly was a reason for it, but I had done my part to ensure a healthy pregnancy and both John and I felt giving birth outside the hospital was the best for our baby and me.
We first met with Valerie and Krista. We loved them from the start and knew from that first visit we wanted them to be the ones to attend our birth.
As I prepared for our beautiful baby, I found strength and peace in knowing we had chosen the perfect midwives for us. I had no fear in allowing my body to do exactly what it was capable of and made for – giving birth without medical intervention in a peaceful environment. I felt no pressure from anyone to be perfect. I had often felt this pressure from OBGYNs, Naturopaths, and Health Coaches as they would make comments through my process with them about having the perfect vessel to conceive and carry to term. I no longer felt I needed to be perfect, I just needed to do my best and Heavenly Father would take care of the rest.
Why I Choose A Natural Birth Outside The Hospital
I grew up in the suburbs surrounded by medicine and the culture of hospitals. I never knew there were other options. John grew up on a farm in a rural area where medicine and hospitals were for emergencies. When we met I was on so many prescription drugs and over the counter meds that he called me a pharmacy. It didn’t take me long to begin learning about herbs and slowly my pharmacy began to disappear. Eventually I also learned (and am still learning) about tunics, flower essences, supplements, teas, homeopaths, diet, and essential oils. All of which played a huge part in strengthening my reproductive system so when we were given our miracle my body was ready to accept it.
Now, here I was, full of new information and my eyes open to a whole new world outside of a subdivision. I had gone from a medium size town to a rural farm just outside a town of about 300 people and I’m not even sure that’s year round. I went from shopping at a mall on the weekends to feeding calves and driving tractors (no I’m not a pro yet.) Since marrying John and learning you could still give birth outside of hospitals, I knew I wanted this for myself and my baby; if we both felt Heavenly Father would bless us with this experience. A lot of prayer and soul searching went into our decision. It was not made lightly just because it looked “fun” and it was the new “trend.” However, it wasn’t until experiencing life on a farm that I truly understood the concept and possibilities of natural birth.
I truly felt inspired and knew I could give birth in just the type of environment I wanted in the Spring time of 2011. John and I were returning home from town. It was still sinking in that by Thanksgiving we would be parents. Our neighbor’s cattle were beginning to calve and as we drove by, there stood a heifer, eating hay and suddenly a calf fell out and she continued to eat casually as her newborn calf breathed his first breaths of life. I was so excited about what I had just witnessed that I made John turn around and we watched as the mother tended to her newborn. I was completely amazed and felt my heart swell within. I could do that! I could give birth while eating hay!
I felt as though I had just witnessed something incredibly sacred and I wanted to experience just what that cow had – a birth without fear. I knew I wanted a home birth and I wanted it to take place in the field where our ancestors labored with their hands to make our modern lives possible. I would later learn our place of choice wouldn’t be possible due to paperwork and weather. It had just become legal for midwives in Wyoming, but it was proving to be a pain to get all the paperwork done in time. And of course I just had to be due in November about the time the temperatures drop and we receive the first snow fall of the season.
After a few, okay a lot, of tears and time to accept the changes, I found peace with birthing at the birth center. John even informed me it could still be like home with the cows next door and if I was lucky maybe they would moo just for me when I gave birth – they did. It should be noted that John thought I was crazy for wanting to birth in the field. I thought it would be incredibly Spiritual and Sacred.
I knew if my body and baby were healthy and all was well than a natural birth outside of a hospital was possible. Over a year went into preparing for our baby’s birth. I feared birth a great deal and I knew I would need to be fully prepared the moment we were expecting. I chose Hypnobirthing, Yoga, and Belly Dancing for my birthing technique. I feel strongly learning and practicing these techniques (along with visualization) prior to becoming pregnant, helped prepare my body both pysically and mentally to accept my baby and to birth my baby.
I blogged and facebook stalked my friend Rachel the moment I learned she was planning a homebirth herself and eventually online met Laura and devoured all the information I could through Laura’s Hypnobirthing Group. I spent many hours educating myself, talking with other mothers who gave birth at home, at birth centers, in the hospital, with drugs, without drugs, births that were perfect, and births that weren’t. I picked their brains as much as I dared without prying too much into their personal lives. Sometimes I didn’t even have to ask, they just volunteered the information. Sometimes I wish they hadn’t….
Every step forward, every day closer to my due date, I felt healthier and stronger. I knew I was healthy enough to have the birth I desired for our baby and me. And who would have thought, the nerd from the suburbs would be inspired to give birth with no drugs outside of a hospital- by a cow?
His Beautiful Birth
Where do I even begin? I was done being pregnant. I was done puking a million times a day every day for nearly 40 weeks (We originally thought I was puking due to my migraines, but surprise!) I was done peeing a million times throughout the day. I was done struggling to fit into my maternity clothes that I purposely bought a size bigger so I could still fit into them at this stage. I was done waddling and trying to fit into my shoes. I was so over the dry skin and acne. And I was so sick of hearing; “Wow! You’re huge! (and not always talking about the baby bump.)” and “Are you having twins?” I felt as though I were going to give birth to a toddler if he didn’t come soon and I guess in a way I did!
My due date was November 6, 2011. Since we knew our conception date (you learn to keep track when you’re preparing for fertility treatments) I was excited to see if he would come on time. My father in law kept telling everyone our baby would be born on his birthday, November 8th. He was so excited. I guess his constant stating November 8th to everyone out did my November 6th visuals :)
In my mind I prepared myself to be ready to go over two weeks and not get excited for him to come early or right on schedule. For weeks I would have surges and time them. I had been having surges since 19 weeks. I originally thought they were Braxton Hicks, but it was later explained to me that what I was feeling were indeed actual surges. Although frustrating, I feel they helped prepare my body for the intenisty I was about to experieince and resulted in a faster labor.
John would get excited, grab the keys, and say, “We go to Rigby now?!” I would laugh and shake my head, “No Dear…I’m still too chatty and happy. It’s not time yet.” We continued to play this game until November 4th when the surges were closer and more intense than they had been previously. “Now we go?” He asked excitedly. I glared at him and through clenched teeth said, “Do I look chatty and happy to you?” I put my head down on his desk as another surge came and he sized up the situation. “Uh. No. No, you don’t.” He pulled out his cell phone and helped me up, but by the time I got to the door the surges stopped, “Never mind. Don’t call.”
We once again faced another false alarm on my due date at which point I had enough (This in itself is an amazing story involving the prayers of one of our midwives, but that is for another time.) Although I told myself not to get my hopes up, I was so miserable it was no longer about excitement and hopes. I just wanted to be done! I wasn’t going to sit around and wait any longer. I spent all day Sunday and Monday trying to naturally induce myself and get my body in gear. Enough was enough! Like my mother in law would say “Either do your business or get off the pot.” I was not getting off this time. But my body was full of stubbornness! Nothing was working and we tried everything! I tried to relax and just accept my fate and Baby’s wishes, but I had an unsettling feeling and felt very strongly that he need to come by November 8th.
Finally, at 3:45pm on November 7th (Monday), after a long walk and some final house cleaning details, I saw a real sign that I just might go into labor either that night or within a few days. I decided to conserve my energy, eat lots, and go to bed early (7:30pm. I love my sleep.) I thought maybe, just maybe I was feeling some real surges, not this sissy garbage that had been playing mind games with me for the last few weeks. The surges I had been experiencing since 19 weeks had become so intense toward the end of my pregnancy I would have to stop what I was doing to work through them.
At 12:50am I woke up for my nightly routine of peeing, getting some water, and going back to bed. I laid there, waiting to see if I felt anything. Nothing. I stood and walked around . Still nothing. I was so frustrated! I was now two days late and not showing any progress. No wonder women go insane after two weeks! It’s just plain cruel. Determined to have him that day, I decided to use an essential oil that supposedly helped induce labor. I figured nothing else worked, might as well see what happens. I applied the oil (one drop) to my abdomen at 12:55am. I laid back down to force myself to sleep. Suddenly my eyes flew back open. What was that? I held my breath. It came again and again. They were surges and stronger than ever! I glanced at the time. 1:00am. Seriously? That fast? I have a sneaky suspicion that labor was going to start at 1:00am whether I used an oil or not, but I sure get a kick out of people’s expresssions when I tell them it only took 5 minutes to work :)
I knew it would be several hours before we needed to leave for the birth center, so I decided to soak in the tub before waking John. At 1:10am my first bag of water broke. I must have already been using my vocals and zoning out because John was suddenly in the doorway. It was 1:15am. This time it was no longer a funny game. He knew I was past the point of being chatty and happy. He would ask me questions and I either wouldn’t answer or would nod/shake my head.
“We need to get to Rigby.”
I shook my head and gasped, “No. Still. Early. Got. Hours.”
John laughed, “Uh, no. I’m pretty sure we don’t. I’m calling Valerie.”
Again I argued with him (if you can call it that. He claims I wasn’t audible.) I was not convinced it was time to leave and there was no point in waking our midwives up so early if they could sleep a little longer, especially if they had already attended a birth the day before.
I suppose it’s a good thing he doesn’t always listen to me. He called Valerie at about 1:30am. I had been trying to time the surges but they were coming too fast and too strong. I could barely speak and kept thinking, It’s too soon. We still have hours. It was happening way too fast. I really should have known better. The women in my family are known for their fast labors.
I guess Valerie could hear me in the background and advised John to bring me in. It didn’t take him any convincing. He began piling things in the truck. He helped me out of the tub (I hadn’t even realized I had gotten in) and away we went, leaving behind a few items that made us laugh later – good thing it wasn’t anything vital for giving birth. It was 1:55am.
Along the way I began to have horrible pressure in my abdomen from the seatbelt. I prayed we wouldn’t crash and decided to take it off. The sudden release of pressure caused a muscle spasm which resulted in blood curdling screams from moi. I had been having muscle spasms/Charlie Horses throughout my pregnancy. I had no idea I could scream like that. I should be an extra in a horror movie :)
Unfortunately this made John think he was going to be delivering a baby in the dark, along side the road, so he flipped the hazards on and pressed the gas pedal. Opps. I guess I should have warned him. Maybe next time…maybe.
As we drew closer to Rigby, but still not close enough, even I began to wonder if we were going to make it in time. I felt my body tense up and fear overcome me. This threw my vocals and breathing off. I struggled to regain control. What if we did have this baby in the truck? I began to pray that we would make it to the birth center on time. Having a baby in a truck makes for a good story in the paper, but I did not find it humorous at all and I really did not want to repeat history. One of John’s brothers was born in the car on route to the hospital and one of mine almost was. I didn’t even want to almost repeat history.
I was so grateful John’s 80mph driving didn’t kill us or that we were pulled over. I actually prayed that John would just keep going if he saw lights in the rear view mirror. He later said he would have :) Love that man. Looking back it may have all seemed silly and a little dramatic to one standing by, but when you’re in that moment it truly is difficult to stay calm. Thank goodness John doesn’t show panic or fear easily and I had such amazing midwives to bring me back to calm.
John called Valerie just outside of Rigby to let her know we were almost there. I think he needed to do something to calm his nerves. We arrived in the parking lot at 3:08am and sat through a few surges. Actually John was trying to pull me out of the truck and inside the birth center, but I couldn’t walk through the surges, which disappointed me because I had practiced using yoga and belly dancing to move through the surges. Now it was all I could do to breathe through them. Oddly, I felt no fear and the pain I was feeling wasn’t from the surges.
I’m not sure how to explain it. With every surge I struggled to breathe, but I felt no pain. The pain I did experience that was pretty intense was in my back, my spine, I thought at the time. It was originally thought that I had broken my tail bone but later learned I had serverily twisted my sacrum sometime during the last month of my pregnancy. Had I gone in for an adjustment labor would have gone much smoother and Baby most likely wouldn’t have struggled so much. Guess I’ll try not to whip out next time :) I was tense from the drive and felt as though everything was starting to fall apart. I wanted to return to my vocals and breathing. I wanted to be home. Stupid Wyoming laws.
We were inside, it was about 3:17am (From here I am using a cheat sheet since all manner of time and events get a little hazy for me.) As I leaned against the entrance counter Valerie and Krista came from the Blue Room to greet us. I was so relieved to see them, I’m pretty sure I started crying at this point. Seeing them meant we made it. I wouldn’t have to give birth in a truck (Yes. I can give birth in a field, but not a truck. Makes perfect sense I know.)
Valerie embraced me as another surge came through and I relaxed into her arms. I felt as though I were being embraced by a mother’s love. I could do this now. I was safe and at peace. I was home. After one more surge in the hall, we made it to the Blue Room. I wanted to try to empty my bladder and bowels before the real fun began so I went to the bathroom where I promptly threw up in the trashcan. I’d never been so happy to stuff my head in a trashcan.
Apparently this is called “Early Labor.” I have to respectfully disagree. I thought “Early Labor” meant dance parties and jokes and laughter in between surges. Well, I didn’t feel like dancing and jokes and laughter were left at last week’s Open Mic Night. I just wanted to get in the tub, hunker down, and have this baby! I must have been at the end of “Early Labor” and ready to transcend into the next stage because at 3:37am I was officially moved to Active Labor! So close to graduation!
I could not have asked for better midwives. Sometime during Early Labor, Krista and Valerie helped me in the tub and helped me to re-find myself. I drew upon the Spirit’s of my ancestral women who came before me and their strengths to help me find my focus. Krista taught me a breathing technique I actually ended up liking better than the one I had practiced. Both Valerie and Krista spoke softly, words of encouragement as I continued to focus in on the women from my past. Such amazing women from both mine and John’s families. Women who went through some incredible trials. Women who knew what this moment meant for me. Women who also loved and lost babies in pregnancy, birth, and infancy. Though I could not physically see or feel them there with me, I drew strength from their stories and amazingness.
Somewhere along the way John got in the tub behind me and I felt myself relax in his arms and I could hear myself crying. I’m not even sure why I was crying, but oddly, whenever I cried, more and more tension left my body. I could focus better and I was able to steady my breathing. The transition from one stage to another happened so quickly we thought for sure our little man would arrive shortly, but he had other plans in store for us.
The best way I can describe this part of labor for me is it felt as though I were having an out of body experience. I felt as if someone much stronger than me was inside my body doing all the work, like I was in a hazy dream with dim lights, soft voices whispering me through, and strong hands applying pressure to my back. In a far off voice someone was moaning and begging for more pressure. Suddenly I was brought back into myself. I was aware again of Valerie, Krista, and John getting me to eat and drink (which I really didn’t want to but I am grateful for their efforts. It gave me a little more strength to keep going.)
Questions were being asked and decisions were being made. The pain in my back was increasing and now I was crying for relief. The thought of drugs and an epidural never entered my mind, although I can see why one would want to go that route.
Instead, I began to worry that the pain in my back would warrant a transfer to the hospital for a c-section. I didn’t want to confess how much it hurt. My new focus became working through the pain and not needing a c- section. My midwives had a solution. An injection (I received 4 actually) into my back to help relieve the pain. It was like a vision. Natural pain relief – duh. It never occurred to me that you can help pain during labor with natural remedies. My biggest reason for not wanting an epidural was I wanted to feel my surges. I wanted to know when I needed to push and I wanted to be able to move. I did not want any kind of drug that could harm my baby (even if the risk was one in a billion) and I did not want my baby so drugged up that he couldn’t move himself down the birth canal. This decision later saved his life. And so I was just gonna suck it up and deal with the pain. While the injections did not take the pain away completely, it was manageable. I was on my way again – ready to birth this beautiful baby inside of me.
We aren’t sure when my second bag of water broke, but our best guess was in the truck on our way (I can’t help but wonder if it happened during one of my muscle spasms.) I was too busy working through surges to pay attention. I don’t remember when I heard these wonderful words, “You’re fully dilated. Feel free to push whenever you feel the urge.” But it felt as though I had just gotten there, how could it be time to push? I have did not feel like pushing so I allowed myself to take a break and rest. An hour and twenty-five mintues later at 6:25am, I began to move Baby down. I was once again turning into myself, experiencing my hazy dream.
This time I was more focused on staying in control and working with my body and baby to avoid a c-section. I could feel him moving down with each surge. We were doing it! We were working together and I could feel every moment of it. It was exhilarating. Somewhere in the distance I heard Valerie’s voice and she had hold of my arms, “Rebecca, you’re doing this. He’s almost here. The sun is rising and his head is coming.” The sun is rising? I opened my eyes. The sun was rising. It was just as I had envisioned. He truly would be here soon. I repositioned myself and hunkered even further down.
I have no idea if my surges became strong or closer. I was so focused on having that baby I didn’t pay attention. I don’t even remember 95% of what was said and done. John has had to help fill in the blanks. I do remember the different positions we tried; in an effort to help baby move through the birth canal and get his heart rate up. I had planned to birth in a squatting position and I had wanted to be able to stand and move around through the process, but found myself unable to. I guess the pain in my back was just too much. Squatting helped though and it was my favorite position. If Baby had been happy at that position I would have stayed in it the whole time. His heart rate kept dropping though so I had to keep moving and trying diiferent techniques. With the help of John and our midwives, I was placed in some very talented positions. I have no idea what they were called. I was on my side (in the bed, not in the tub at this point,) on my back with my knees to my head (I felt like an acrobat,) on the toilet (strangely comfortable), on a birthing stool (I had requested a birthing stool in case I wasn’t strong enough for the squatting position. I absolutely hated it. Worst request ever,) and hands and knees (another favorite, but I don’t think I was able to push or something. I don’t remember, just something didn’t feel right. Great for working through the surges though.) There might have been more but I don’t remember. As the hours passed, I was in and out of the tub, rotating through the different positions, keeping baby’s heart rate up.
As he began to crown, Valerie asked if I wanted to hold a mirror up to see his head. I had thought beforehand it might be cool, but hadn’t quite made up my mind yet. I decided not to. I have to laugh at this memory because I think I was a little more forceful in my “no” than I had intended to be and I think it startled everyone. I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. I really didn’t want to be a birthzilla and yell at everyone and anyone who was helping me through this amazing journey. John says my vocals were loud (my midwives said they were normal range), but that I managed to keep from calling him a jackapple in the process. The reason I choose not to look at my sweet baby’s head in the mirror was because I was in the zone. I was so focused on pushing through those surges, I couldn’t bring myself back to enough awareness to comprehend looking in the mirror. I did however feel for his head and it was amazing to feel that progress, even though it took forever for him to crown!
Toward the end, the decision was made to get out of the tub and finish birthing him in the bed. I didn’t want to get out. Truth be told, I thought if I stood up at this point the movement would jiggle him out and he would fall to the floor. I know, the crazy things we think of during labor :)
Once I was settled in the bed the real fun began. With my knees to my head (I was slightly curled forward) I worked with my team of birthers (body, surges, mind, baby, John, and midwives) and my baby’s head began to crown. This is where his other plans became apparent. I didn’t know it at the time, but his head was slightly to the right so he wasn’t in the full face down position (I believe it is called ROA and in our case, with a military position. I couldn’t really remember what our midwives told us, going off our charts here, and all John remembers is how purple-blackish Baby looked). I think at this point I ended up on the birthing stool. I could tell my body was struggling to get his head out the rest of the way. Again I encouraged myself by reminding myself if I did not keep pushing than I would require a c-section. Yeah, I know at this point it was too late for that, but for some reason the thought kept me going. I ended up back on the bed again, trying different positions to get that head out!
I decided I liked the bed. I was wearing down and if John and Krista weren’t helping me in the different positions I don’t think I could have done it. I think I even had a moment where I cried out, “Why isn’t he coming?” I’m not sure if I actually said it out loud or not, but I sure was thinking it!
A little funny. I refused to let John go to the bathroom. It was three feet away and I did not want him to go. Valerie asked me why and I said I didn’t want him to miss the birth. I swear Krista laughed (could have been my imagination) but they assured me he wouldn’t miss it. I wasn’t convinced. The midwives let him go. Guess I was a little bit of a birthzilla there :)
It wasn’t long after he returned that our baby’s head finally began to emerge from his crowning state. At one point, I could see a small portion of his beautiful head to which I exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! He’s so tiny!” To which I know everyone laughed. “You should see him from this side.” Someone said.
Finally his head was out, along with most of his umbilical cord, and suddenly the room erupted into a calming chaos. I immediately knew something was seriously wrong. The head was supposed to be the hardest part and then it would only take a couple more pushes for the rest of him to come, but he wasn’t coming. I didn’t know what was happening and though my heart began to race, I found myself calm and only one thing on my mine – Push. I would later learn the umbilical cord had wrapped around his shoulder, neck, and torso in a lasso, and with his head positioned the way it was, it was being pinched, cutting off oxygen to his brain. His right arm was also stuck behind my tail bone, I was later told it was Shoulder Dystocia.
With every surge I pushed. Exhausted and wanting to just go to sleep – I pushed. The room now had Valerie, Krista, Kathy, Christy, Shannon, John, and me. Everyone was doing their part to help in this difficult situation. Phrases such as; “Push Rebecca!” You’ve got to Push!” “Give it everything you’ve got!” One minute! Two minutes!” “Get her on her feet!” were being shouted. I could feel John’s trembling hands as he helped lift me to my feet, a task that felt nearly impossible. I could hear Krista saying something to me but I couldn’t make it out. I suddenly felt as though I were being tossed about like a ship in stormy seas. I pushed and pushed, but he would not come. I was on my feet, John and Krista supporting me on either side. Valerie with both hands and forearms in my birth canal, trying to gently maneuver Baby’s arm out from behind my tail bone. Which I had no idea at the time and everyone was shocked that I didn’t feel her in there. We were even more shock that I did not tear.
My head was pressed against the wall/something hard (I actually had a nice little bruise across my forehead for a few days from this.) My hands gripping John and Kirsta’s for dear life. The movement to my feet caused my surges to stop. For the first time I felt myself start to panic. How was I going to push without surges? As though my thoughts were being read, someone shouted at me, “Push Rebecca, whether you’re having contractions or not. Push!”
I felt myself drift away again. I was lost. I didn’t understand what was happening. Why wasn’t he coming? I cried and prayed, “Heavenly Father. I can’t do this by myself. Please. I’m losing him.” Then suddenly, as though I were surrounded by angels I heard a woman’s voice whisper softly in my ear, “Just one more push Rebecca. You can do this.” Maybe it was Krista, or maybe it was Verena Goldenburger Weber, or Hilda Clark White, or Julia Doyle Johnson, or Klea, or Anna, or my grandmother, for I swear I suddenly felt their spirits engulf me. Either way, I found strength and with a deep anguish cry I heard myself yell, “Pressure!” and I pushed and suddenly he was out. Amazingly, we did all of this while I was standing up, unmedicated, hands in my birth canal, and his umbilical cord still attached. It took four minutes for him to come out. Another three for him to breath on his own. It felt like an eternity to me.
I was lowered to the bed and braced myself for what I was about to see. Surrounded by midwives I saw my worst nightmare come true. It was all surreal as though life playing itself back to me in slow motion and yet it was as though someone had pressed the fast forward button. John knelt at his head, Krista was kneeling at his torso, Kathy knelt on his other side, Christy stood next to me, Valerie at his head with the mask over his nose and mouth, and I laying off to the side watching as my very purple (starting to turn pink) and nearly lifeless son laid there. I felt my world die. Why? How could this be happening? He was perfect. Up til that moment he and all were perfect. Why would God do this to us? And, then, like the women before me, I knew what I had to do. I reached out to him. I grabbed his feet and I began to rub them. I would not lose my son. I would not bury another child under the tall trees in the pasture. I refused to give him up after all we went through to get him here. After all I just did to birth him! I was his mother and I would fight for him!
My awareness was brought back to the room. Without skipping a beat Valerie, Krista, everyone was right there, right where they needed to be, doing their part to save our son. John caressing his head and whispering in his ear. Kathy rubbing his arms and legs. Krista monitoring his heart rate. Valerie giving our baby oxygen. Me rubbing his feet and calling out to him. His skin began to turn pink. I wanted to hold him. I wanted to take him into my arms and breathe life into him. Tears filled my eyes and voice as I cried out to him, “Please Baby!” “Breathe.” “Mommy loves you.” “Breath sweet Baby!” “We’re right here.”
I could hear the bag pumping, the watch ticking. I begged and pleaded with Heavenly Father to let us keep our son. John knelt helplessly at our baby’s side. Knowing there was nothing he could do. He prayed.
To most this moment may not seem like a big deal. Baby’s often need help breathing when they first come out. Sometimes they need their nose and mouth cleared before they can take that first breath. But for John and me, our world was slipping away. Our hopes, our dreams. There would be no next time if he did not breathe. We could not, would not suffer through another failed pregnancy.
In four days it would be our seventh anniversary. It was now nearly seven years since we lost our first baby. Seven long years of wondering if we would ever be given this moment and now it looked as though it were all coming to an end. Our hearts could not bare it. How tender His mercies truly are. Struggling between faith and fear, Heavenly Father stepped in and blessed us once again with a miracle. It has given an even deeper meaning to the scripture “Help Thou My Unbelief.”
It felt like an eternity before we heard a gasp come from his lungs and his chest rose. I rubbed more vigorously, calling out to him. Others did the same. “Does he have a name?!” Someone asked. I looked at John. We had two names, both noble and sacred to us, but John wanted to wait until he saw him before choosing. “I don’t know.” I said, “John??” John nodded. “Yes. Nathan John.” Meaning “God Gave Graciously.” From there he was called by name. And then I heard a sound that song mercy, humility, and miracle to my heart and soul. I heard him cry. He was breathing and he was pink. And he was amazing.
Valerie looked at me and asked, “Would you like to hold your baby?”
At that moment (according to those who were there) my countenance changed and I began to glow as I held out my arms, “Yes! Oh yes! Very much!” He was beautiful. He was just perfect. John came beside me. I looked up at him and smiled, “You have a son.” The moment was magical.
Nathan John was born Tuesday, November 8th at 9:53am weighing 9 lbs 3 oz and 22 inches long. He was born on his Grandpa’s birthday and is grandbaby number 50. He is grandbaby number 6 for my mother.
I could not have asked for a more glorious birth for my son. I knew exactly the type of birth I wanted, but Heavenly Father had something even more beautiful in mind. Words cannot describe how we feel about our experience at Agape and with our midwives. We hold it dear and sacred to our hearts. Valerie and Krista are everything to us. Not only were they amazing throughout the pregnancy but at the birth they surpassed all our expectations and I will never know how to truly thank them for the amazing job they did. Our son will grow up knowing he was brought into this world with the help of two wonderful women. I am grateful for everything I learned prior to becoming pregnant and giving birth because I recognized a fear and changed it into confidence. I am grateful for the guidance I was given from Laura and Rachel, even if they never know just how much they supported and taught me from a distance. I am grateful and empowered by the fact that I accomplished something so magnificiantly wonderful that very few thought my body was capable of. Truly there isn’t a better job in the world than bringing life into this world.
Nathan’s life and story has changed so many in such a short period of time. I love him with all my heart. He is an inspiration and joy to all of us. I have cried and I have wept in wonderment as to why I would be chosen to wait so long, to suffer so much, and then to finally be given this beautiful creature from heaven. I am humbled to be his mother. Heavenly Father knew what he was doing and in my darkest hour, he gave me my son.