Finding out that we were pregnant after only five months of marriage was a very big surprise. A very wonderful, exciting, unexpected surprise. At the time I had also just started working with Elizabeth as her student midwife, which made me feel obligated to use Elizabeth as my midwife. I knew I really liked her but I didnʼt want to feel pressure to pick her as my midwife. When I talk to Elizabeth about it she was so sweet and encouraged me to interview other midwives and not to feel any pressure at all. Once I started interviewing midwives I started feeling more and more drawn to Elizabeth and feeling more confident in my choice.
Pregnancy was really easy for me with only two weeks of nausea in the first trimester. I was very blessed. We planned on not getting an ultrasound unless something came up that we felt like we needed to. I ended up having a spotting episode and felt like it was best to have a peace of mind and had an ultrasound at 34 weeks, still not finding out the gender. Everything was perfect, although our little babe had turned frank breech within a few days of seeing Elizabeth. This gave me some unnecessary stress and a terrible headache for two weeks from hanging upside down but babe turned by 36 weeks and all was well!
My due date came and went. The full moon came and went. Family came in town to meet baby and still no sign of baby. I went on so many walks that I gave myself shinsplints. I know itʼs completely normal for first time moms to go over due. I have told that to many women. My husband reminded me what I would say and what I believed, but it was so different being the one waiting.
Tuesday, when I was 41 weeks and 3 days I had Elizabeth sweep my membranes. I was sure that would be it but sadly, no. Wednesday I was popping homeopathics all day long. Thursday I started herbal tinctures on a long walk and came home and used the breast pump. I got some cramps and then went straight to the acupuncturist. He was very confident that with everything I had been doing and what he did I would go into labor that night or the next day. Elizabeth encouraged me to just rest and go to bed early that night.
At 1:30 am I woke up with contractions! I was so excited my body kicked into gear! I laid in bed relaxing and reminded myself to enjoy the rests between contractions because I was hoping they would hurry up and be closer together. I was hungry and got up and ate a bit. I knew I needed to be resting but I was wide wake. Contractions were about every 8 minutes but pretty irregular. I headed back to bed and Devin (husband) asked if I was alright. I let him know what was happening but reassured him I didnʼt need his help yet and told him to get some sleep. Baby was very active this whole time and that gave me a peace that he was alright.
At 4:30 I got up and had a bowl of oatmeal and I realized the contractions were much easier to handle not laying down. I went ahead and texted Elizabeth sending her a picture of my contraction timer. I let my mom know as well because I knew she would be praying. I crawled back in bed around 6:00 feeling quite tired and started falling asleep in between contractions. They spaced out about every 10-15 minutes. The rest was nice but waking up in it was intense and hard to relax so Devin rubbed my legs where I showed him to and this helped. We got out of bed about 7:30 and showered. The shower was so nice and it really set in that we would meet our baby today!
Elizabeth got to our house, took vitals, and checked on baby. All was well! I did not have her check me so we really donʼt know when true active labor started. Baby was still a little high in my pelvis so Devin and I walked around outside. It was such a beautiful morning out I wanted to take a picture but I knew it wouldnʼt do it justice. I started getting waves of nausea after contractions so we headed inside and I ended up throwing up a bit. At this point I was curious what my dilation was but I didnʼt want to find out and be discouraged.
I shared my thoughts with Elizabeth and she encouraged me to do something distracting. I took another shower then started a movie. I sat on the birth ball and nibbled on a banana. It was nice to watch something and laugh a little. I would stop and breath though a contraction and Devin would talk me though it. Elizabeth ran out to grab lunch and I encouraged her to take her time and that we were fine. About 30-40 min later I was back in the bathroom throwing up and staying on my hands and knees. I was getting shaky and Devin pointed out that I had 4 contractions in 10 min and asked if he should fill up the pool. I told him to tell Elizabeth. She said she would be back soon and to start filling up the pool.
When Elizabeth got back she suggested doing some lunges, by this point my sister, Whitney, got to our house to take pictures. Labor was getting much harder and I was feeling a lot of pressure. It was hard to speak and to figure out how to form words. Getting in the water felt amazing. I started pushing a little with a contraction because it was all I felt like I could do. I wanted to know if I was close or if it was just the beginning.
Then my water broke. The following contractions where much more intense. I asked Elizabeth to check me but told her to lie if she needed to. She told me I was close. “Closer to an 8?” I asked. “No, further.” “Oh crap”, I responded, confused. “No, youʼre closer to a 10”, she reassured me. Yes! I was feeling like I couldnʼt go on much longer so that was great encouragement. I had been moving in every position and started to get a bit panicky. Elizabeth suggested moving back to hands & knees to be more in control and it helped. It started feeling too hard to handle again and Elizabeth encouraged me to reach down and feel my baby. She said “baby” but I didnʼt hear the word baby. I was too afraid to feel my cervix and know I had a long way off but she said it again so I felt, and yes, I felt my babyʼs head and could feel hair! Oh man, so exciting! I told Devin he had to feel too.
At this point I knew I could do it! I started pushing much harder. I moved to a squat for a few and pushed holding on to Devin. He was so amazing and encouraging telling me how great I was doing and giving me kisses. I turned around and Devin held me up under the arms. The plan was for Devin to catch the baby but at this point I needed him where he was and I really liked Elizabeth holding pressure at the perineum making me feel less like I would split in two. I could feel baby crowning and sliding back up. That was discouraging but I knew it would be close. Pushing was very hard work. It hurt when I pushed but it hurt worse if I didnʼt. I felt a little trapped but I knew it was worth it and it would be over soon.
Finally, I pushed the head out and body followed right after! Elizabeth helped me bring my baby to my chest. Oh my word, it was so overwhelming and so perfect. I couldnʼt think of any words. I still felt some pain but it didnʼt matter at all. My perfect little baby was in my arms! Devin was holding the both of us and it was just amazing. I waited a full minute to see the gender and when we did it was a full wave of emotion all over again! BOY! Judah Scott, born at 2:30pm, the most perfect baby! We climbed out of the pool and got on the birth stool to wait for the placenta. He latched on right away while we were waiting and I donʼt think he has stopped nursing since.
My birth went off my birth plan a little bit but I wouldnʼt change a thing. I listened to my body and did what I needed to do. I canʼt imagine starting motherhood in any other place than the comfort of our home surrounded by those who love and care for me and my baby.