I had the priveledge of writing a guest post on home birth for This Flourishing Life. She is doing a birthing series and I decided to join. Here is the link to my post, but I also posted it to my blog here. Hope you enjoy the story of Zayd’s Birth. 🙂

The eve before my due date- the same as any other Friday in January. We had actually ventured to the park that day in an effort to ward off the pending cabin fever of my newly turned 3 year old and her 14 month old brother.

We played until the Braxton Hicks I was so accustomed to were too much to take. Following bath time, I laid both kids down for bed. I asked -as had become the custom that month – my daughter to pray and ask Jesus to help baby Zayd come out soon. Contrary to the usual response of “not yet”, my daughter surprised me by praying a simple prayer that her brother would come out soon.

Exhausted from the days events, I found myself in bed by 9:30. About every ten minutes I woke up to what I thought were BH. I had BH with all three pregnancies- as other things, they grew worse with every pregnancy. Addisyns started at 32 weeks, Tyce’s at 29, Zayd’s at 27. Evenings were the worst. I remember doing puzzles in my living room to keep my mind off of them. Baths would sometimes work, showers other times. There was no cure-all.

Despite my daughters prayer, I was not expecting to birth anytime soon. My second was 2 weeks late- my first 11 days early (“natural” induction-if that is even a word) but I was pretty sure this would be a Super Bowl Sunday baby. As a Packers fan, I was so excited that my boy would be born the year they were in the Super Bowl.

I remember my husband getting home about the same time I laid down. After several trips to the bathroom, and hours of restless “sleep” I decided to get in the tub to calm down the contractions. The clock read 2am, I soaked till 2:30 realizing that these were not slowing, OR going away. I began to time them at 2:30

Here is a chart showing my contraction history:

Start Time
date
End Time
date
Duration
hrs : mins : sec
Frequency
hrs : mins : sec

03:36 AM
1/29/11

03:37 AM
1/29/11

00:00:51

00:03:57

03:32 AM
1/29/11

03:33 AM
1/29/11

00:00:50

00:04:37

03:27 AM
1/29/11

03:29 AM
1/29/11

00:01:46

00:04:17

03:23 AM
1/29/11

03:24 AM
1/29/11

00:00:53

00:02:15

03:21 AM
1/29/11

03:23 AM
1/29/11

00:01:52

00:04:20

03:17 AM
1/29/11

03:17 AM
1/29/11

00:00:52

00:03:37

03:13 AM
1/29/11

03:14 AM
1/29/11

00:01:01

00:05:14

03:08 AM
1/29/11

03:09 AM
1/29/11

00:00:56

00:04:35

03:03 AM
1/29/11

03:04 AM
1/29/11

00:00:55

00:04:46

02:58 AM
1/29/11

02:59 AM
1/29/11

00:01:00

00:06:40

02:52 AM
1/29/11

02:53 AM
1/29/11

00:01:12

00:03:56

02:48 AM
1/29/11

02:49 AM
1/29/11

00:00:54

00:02:27

02:45 AM
1/29/11

02:46 AM
1/29/11

00:00:51

00:02:17

02:43 AM
1/29/11

02:44 AM
1/29/11

00:00:59

00:04:58

02:38 AM
1/29/11

02:39 AM
1/29/11

00:01:00

00:08:26

02:30 AM
1/29/11

02:31 AM
1/29/11

00:01:03

00:06:00

My first call was to my midwife, Donnellyn Dominguez, at 3am. She would be getting up and ready to come. She is quite a drive (about an hour) from me, so even though I was still in early labor, it was decided she needed to come. My husband was sound asleep throughout this whole ordeal. I quietly informed him that we would be having a baby soon- but, to sleep until I needed him. My second call was to our birth photographers. My husband was adamant that this would be our last- he was a HUGE surprise. Three in three years had taken quite a toll on my body. So, factoring that in, I wanted to document this last birth as best I could. Our family photographer, Christina Bunger, had been wanting to photograph births and used me as a sort of intro to birth photography. :)She also brought a friend with her to do cinematography- Ceci Jane – a surprise I received about a week later when she came to do Zayds newborn pictures.

The nesting then took full effect as I readied My house for this soon coming child. The birth kit was laid out, the living room was cleared to make room for the birth pool, toys were placed in the rooms of my sleeping children in between contractions.

The photographers were first to arrive at 4:45. Donnellyn had text to say she would be about 15 more minutes. Depending on if I rested or worked between contractions, they were 2-5 min apart at this point. My trusty iPhone kept track while I assumed my favorite laboring position- somewhat similar to child’s pose in yoga. I woke Trey up somewhere around this time to set up the pool. He was so tired, he forgot to put the liner in the pool before he began filling it. It was hilarious as he actually had to roll the tub outside and dump it. Thankfully, January in Texas isn’t all that cold.

The midwives arrived and I was checked at 5 am. I was a 5. Excited that this was actually happening, I’m pretty sure I called my parents at this point, although, timing is pretty blurry to me. With all the BH I had experienced, active labor wasnt all that bad. Not to mention the fact that my amazing husband is now a pro at this and knew just how to ease the pain. He was there every moment I needed him to be. I credit this to him, and also to Donnellyn – as she knows how to step aside when all I wanted was Trey. She has this uncanny ability to be there, but mostly to be a support to Trey supporting me. I love her so and will always be connected to her. She gave me two births that were just what I wanted. I couldn’t have done this without her by my side. Her prayers and quiet confidence in me enabled me to do exactly what my body told me to do.

At 6 AM, Christiana, our live-in babysitter, woke up. We had discussed this day a million times. She was going to keep the older two during the labor/delivery and then bring them home when we were ready. I debated whether I wanted them there – Addisyn was at Tyce’s birth. But I ended up realizing I needed to focus on me and not the distraction of the kids. The timing was working out perfectly. The children were still sleeping, and by my estimations, I would get to see them before they left for transition and delivery.

At about 6:30, I was allowed to get in the birth pool. It was AMAZING.  I cant tell you the relief I felt when I was surrounded by that water. I felt like this might actually work! My previous two deliveries, I got way too hot and decided I wanted out of the water ASAP! But this time was different. I was in a room with people who supported and loved me. My birth track were playing in the background. I breathed through every contraction and not once felt like it was overwhelming. I do remember getiing out of the pool twice to relieve myself. It was crazy the difference in contractions out of the water. But Trey was there for every one to push that exact spot on my back that was like an off switch. Ok, maybe not off, maybe more like a dimmer on a light. It was immensly helpful.

The kids woke around 7-7:30 ish. They were both a little shocked to see both a pool in the living room, and so many people over when they got up. They sat at the kitchen table and had some breakfast as I labored on. I’m not sure who dressed them or what they ate – but i do remember getting to see them both. Trey sat with Addisyn at the edge of the tub while I labored.We talked about her soon coming little brother. She was a bit apprehensive, but still I could see her excitement.

Tyce was just so amused by the amount of people that were there. I think I got a small ‘Hi, Mommy”. Then I saw this picture – I guess he got a kiss too!  At barely 3 and 14 months old, they were coping remarkably well with all the changes.

Shortly after they were up and around, I remember saying it was time for them to go. I realize now why, but then I just thought I was trying to get them taken care of.  Christiana got them loaded up and pulled out of the driveway about 8, 8:05. I remember hearing the car pull out of the garage. I quickly called for Trey. It was getting much more intense. I remember breathing and repeating – It Hurts! Trey came straight over and put his face to mine.  I then realized it was time to push. In my mind, we were still hours away from this point. I was so focused on the kids and getting them situated, that I hadnt realized I was in transition. I pushed once and his head was out! I transitioned to a semi-sitting position to deliver the rest of him. I wanted to see and hold him right away. Trey was holding my hand the entire time. It felt like it was just him and I, ready to welcome this little guy into the world. Two more pushes and he was free of my body. Then he was on my chest, and I was sobbing like a baby.  He was perfect. Red little lips and skinny little fingers. 8:13AM. I cried and thanked Jesus for his safe entry into the world. We sat there for a little while, just getting to know one another. He was so tiny in my eyes. Nowhere near the 8lbs, 12oz his brother was!

The cord was cut after I’m not sure how long, and Trey finally got to hold the newest member of the family.

My parents arrived soon after, as did Christiana with Addisyn and Tyce.  They were only gone for about an hour! She couldnt believe that I had him that fast after they left. The kids were uninterested as Zayd and I enjoyed our herbal bath. I looked forward to that moment since I had Tyce’s. It was so relaxing to sit and talk. He opened his eyes and was so alert.  It was so peaceful, he soon drifted off to sleep. The Herbal bath is a concotion of herbs (duh!) that help expedite healing of the body after birth. I told Donnellyn they should call it the Miracle Bath!

Following the bath, my whole family got to know Zayd. They visited and loved on him while I got my checkup. 

 

Then comes the newborn exam. Its so cool to sit there and watch as they check him thouroghy and weigh him. It’s so different from a hospital birth. Everyone has already held him and so we all make guesses on his weight. 🙂  He weighs in at a nice 7lbs 8oz – right in the middle of my first and second. He measures 20 inches long. I love the picture that Ceci got of him being weighed.

His feet were so wrinkled. He was born on his due date – but had several signs of being late. No matter – He was right on time in my eyes.

It was such a beautiful day. I could not believe how quickly he showed up. I was also surprised by the ease of this labor. I took every contraction as they came. I tried not to estimate how much longer it was. I felt immensely supported and loved. It was the perfect delivery. I would not have changed a thing. I would like to say thank you to everyone who made it possible! Thank you to Donnellyn and her team of midwives that made this possible. Thank you to Trey who made me feel like I could do this every step of the way – despite his reluctancy to have a home birth. I will be forever grateful! Thank you to Christiana for being flexable and helping in every way with the little ones. Thank you to Christina and Ceci who documented an amazing day. It is because of you both that I am able to remember so much about that day! The <a href=”“>Birth Video  was such an amazing surprise. I still cry every time I watch it! Thank you to our family for supporting us through this surprise. He is such a sweet boy and I am so excited for what God has planned for his life.

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