Its funny how God gives me this intuition sometimes. I’m not really sure if its intuition actually, or if its more like, a premonition? Zariah’s birth was one of those times in my life where I sort of knew what would happen, before it happened.
As soon as I found out when my due date was, I just felt like June 21st (Fathers day) would be the day she was to be born. It was the first day of summer, a Sunday, and I knew that THEZMAKER would be off work. I also really wanted a June baby, as we had birthdays in May and in July. I didn’t want to get my hopes up just in case I was wrong, but I knew I wasn’t going to be wrong. I knew Zariah was going to be born on Fathers day, and she was.
A few months prior to her being born I had visions about her birth in dreams. They would come to me periodically whenever I would meditate on her birth and try to picture myself home birthing in the water It just didn’t feel right. I felt like that was way off, and definitely weird because my previous birth was a water birth and in my heart I wanted another birth just like his. Every time I would practice my birth meditation however, my soul just wasn’t sitting right. Eventually I felt like maybe I should play out this birth in my mind a little bit and see where my mind would lead. Eventually I did do that and my heart told me that Zariah would actually be born on my bed, not in the water. I tried so hard to ignore that feeling and every day I would try to do my meditation, completing my water birth. God would step in and say, “Its not going to happen that way this time.” Eventually I stopped meditating on having a water birth and just focused on the labor. I knew Zariah would be born on the bed, and I knew when I would have her.
The weeks before she was born I had a LOT going on in our lives. I kept super busy as to not focus on the pregnancy and I was writing a lot, working a lot, and our dog had puppies… It. Was. Insanity. I even had this chalk board on the fridge- I just had to get to that day… and then I was I the clear to have a baby. Everything was working out perfectly on the timeline to have a baby on Fathers Day.
On Thursday, the 18th I started getting some contractions. Off and on they would come and would really pick up at night. Friday, they picked up again at night but stopped in the early morning hours. Finally on Saturday I decided to take a little castor oil smoothie just in case my contractions came back maybe they would pick up. At this point I think it was very mental. I was terrified of having this baby. I wanted to have her, but I was very afraid of having a sixth child. Nothing could prepare me for that transition and I knew that it was hindering my birth. Taking the castor oil was my way of saying “Okay God, I’m ready to do this. Lets do it. I’m putting my birth, and my life in your hands once again.” That night, my body started the contractions again. They were light and I wasn’t sure they would pick up but I decided to get some taco time, and go to bed. So, that’s what I did.
Once the contractions picked up at about 2 am, I knew this was happening. After all, she was going to be born on June 21! I really had to pray and pray and pray, a lot during labor. Not because of pain- in fact, It was another painless labor all the way up until ten centimeters dilated! Praise the Lord. I was praying to keep my mind out of my own way. I was fearful and I know what fear does to labor- it stops it. I was laboring in the tub. I had candles lit (one for each of my children that they had decorated for me), and my painting that I had painted next to me on the sill. We decided to call the midwives… My poor midwives had been to two births already the night before, and had just gotten home from one, when he called them. They drove over and one fell asleep on my bed, the other the floor and one was sitting up on her phone in case I needed them. In my birth plan it stated that I wanted no help from the midwives unless asked. They were there simply as a back up in case I felt like I needed help.
It was 4am, and my midwives had come around 3:30 in the morning. Up until that point it had just been THEZMAKER and myself, in the quiet. He sort of talking to me from next to the tub and me just relaxing. Honestly, my labors are amazing when I let my body do what it does. I was fine, and I really thought I probably wasn’t even in full blown labor. I thought my water had broken in the tub, so I decided to start trying to push. My contractions slowed WAY down. They were coming one ever ten minutes or so. I was pushing with all I had during the contraction, but nothing was happening. After an hour or so, the water was getting cold so my midwives and husband were trying to fill up the tub again with hot water. I kept wondering what was going on and why this labor was taking so long. My last birth was so very fast and I knew I was fully dilated already. I started to panic and fear that Zariah must be a ten pound baby and was stuck. (Even though I know that is an extremely rare situation, and that I pushed out a 9lb4oz baby last time with no problems). So I asked one of the midwives to just check me and see if there was some kind of weird presentation going on. (What that means is maybe the head was to one side, or maybe tipped backward- or possibly the baby had turned around and was butt first.) None of that was going on. In fact, she said everything felt great- I just wasn’t pushing hard enough. I told her, The hell I wasn’t!
The water was too cold. So instead of pushing with contractions I just let them happen as the midwives and my husband added hot water into the bath. Once it was warm enough, I started trying to push. This was the first time ever that I had trouble pushing. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Pushing has never been an issue for me, ever. My babies are usually born very quickly. My water also usually breaks before I push. I also thought at this point that my water had broken but was not 100% sure since I was in the water. By now it was 730am, and I was getting very frustrated.
The contractions were now hurting in my back and hips and with each contraction I had to have THEZMAKER press on my back and press my hips together. I was still completely calm and my contractions were still spread out to every ten minutes. I had been fully dilated since 4am, and could not figure out why this baby wasn’t coming out.
I was getting kind of nervous too, and every time fear would come into my mind I had to pray again. Each time it was about something different. I was worried because the kids were now awake, and Zaynah was the only one watching them. I was worried because the baby wasn’t coming fast, and we had someone stopping by at 9 o’clock that day to pick up a puppy. I was worried because if something went wrong, I would need to transfer to the hospital and leave my kids home alone. I KNEW none of these things would even have been an issue though. I knew that God was going to protect me, that God had a plan for this labor, I knew that if something did go wrong, one of the midwives would have stayed there until a family member got there. But they were fears I needed to deal with and let go of.
I sat on the toilet and pushed with all my might trying to break my water, but it wouldn’t break. Then I stood in the bathroom and while my husband pushed on my hips I pushed and pushed. It still wasn’t working. At this point I had kind of mental block and had to talk myself out of it. I really didn’t understand what was happening so I decided to text my doula and midwife friend (who actually is a big reason of why I am a doula now). I told her some of my fears about how I worried that maybe she was just a really big baby, and how I was pushing and she wasn’t moving down. She gave me some pointers which I tried, but also were not working at that time.
Finally, I remembered what the Lord had told me about my birth… Zariah needed to be born on my bed. I needed to relax and let this happen and surrender to this plan. I had been standing in my bathroom against the sink wearing my favorite robe, and I decided to go over to my bed, and have the midwife break my water- I wanted this over with- and in retrospect I wish that I would have been patient and let her come out in the caul. She broke my water and moved quickly out of the way so that THEZMAKER could do the rest. I pushed her out in one push, and she flew past his hands right onto the bed, where he caught her feet! All the while still in my favorite robe, haha. She immediately was placed on my chest.
Its funny because in this picture I was smiling because she came out so fast. I knew she would come out fast, and afterward my midwife said to me “I can see now why you were getting so frustrated!” Yes, one push. They usually come out pretty easily. I then noticed as I was cleaning her off, Zanders little hand helping me as he was saying “baby!” I had not noticed that he was in the room sitting right next to me.
I do feel like in retrospect a lot of my labor was very calm, but there were some moments of fear, even though I didn’t show it. It was an internal struggle. I wish I had taken more time to meditate this time around, as last time I did SO MUCH more meditation and I didn’t feel any fear at all.
After she was born the rest went fairly well. The kids came up to see her, and the midwives cleaned up. My after pains were pretty horrific this time around too, but you know, that’s just how it goes sometimes. My homebirth was really amazing though, and If I have the opportunity again I will for sure do it at home.