If you haven’t read Zachary’s Birth Story – Part 1, do that first!
When I called everyone, I was downstairs. I really wanted to labor downstairs this time and then go up to my bedroom when I was ready to get in the pool. Last time, I felt very confined to one room, like I couldn’t go out of my room even if I wanted to. I wasn’t as comfortable with my birth team and therefore wasn’t as comfortable in labor. This time was very different though. I loved my birth team and wanted to invite them to everywhere in my home.
I walked up the stairs to my room. I wanted to be sure everything was ready for when I went up there. I had been having some major pain shooting down the fronts of my legs for a couple of days. The baby was so low that he was pinching a nerve and it hurt to walk. As I was going up the stairs, Leilani arrived and I had one of those shooting pains. She thought it was a contraction, I assured her (while laughing) that it wasn’t, I just couldn’t walk very well.
That is when I decided to go to a room and stay there. Walking around was too uncomfortable.
Leilani was the first to arrive and while she was taking pictures outside, I asked Jeremy to give me a priesthood blessing. This is something I do every time I am in labor. It helps me, gives me direction, focus and sets my mind and heart at ease. This time was no different. I remember him promising me that the baby would be healthy and strong. I also remember him counseling me to listen to and trust my midwife and birth team. That they are here for me and the baby and if I will trust them, everything will be fine. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it would come back to me later.
By 9:30 Laurie and Sarah were both here. We were all laughing and chatting – it was so great. Everyone was really good at being quiet when I started having contractions. As soon as they were done though, we would pick up where we left off – more laughing. Laurie actually told me that she has never been at a birth with so much laughter before. This is what happens when you are surrounded by your friends and those you love. Sarah is my best friend, Leilani is her sister-in-law, Laurie is Sarah’s midwife (second time around) – so we are all good friends.
Everything in this birth went pretty quickly. I don’t know why I was surprised since I had been in early labor for weeks. I am sure I was already dilated to 5 cm by the time Laurie got to the house. My contractions started picking up and I was starting to have to lean on Jeremy through them. Sarah gave me great pressure on my back while I leaned on him – it was so great.
We set up the tub and started filling it. Every contraction I would have, I would look at the tub and tell myself I was that much closer to getting in. At one point I had to go to the bathroom. That was when the contractions would really start to pick up. They were strong as I sat. In fact, I needed Jeremy in there with me because they were so intense.
Eventually I got in the tub – according to the birth record, this was at 10:20. It is funny to look back at the timeline of events. In my mind things were going much slower than they actually did. It’s the labor time vortex.
From this point on, things were really intense and hazy. I didn’t feel like I was getting much of a break. About 30 minutes into the tub, I asked Laurie to check me. I was at 7 cm. This gave me lots of confidence and hope that I wouldn’t be doing this for much longer.
The contractions were coming right on top of each other. I still had a chance to giggle with my girlfriends a bit, but I was much more serious now. In fact, I was squeezing Jeremy’s arms (something I have never done in labor before). It was helping me to stay focused and grounded. When I didn’t think I could do it anymore, Jeremy would wipe the tension from my brow and help me to relax. I would squeeze his arms and look into his eyes. He would keep telling me I could do this, that I was doing great and he was so proud of me. That helped tremendously. The next day I asked how his arms were and he confessed then that every time I squeezed his arms I was pinching a nerve. This man is so great – he kept his mouth shut about his own pain and helped me focus on mine.
Eventually I felt the urge to push. I was so glad because each contraction was giving me pain on my pubic bone. I had only had this one other time, when I was in labor with Libby. It hurt so much and I was ready to push this kid past my pubic bone so it wouldn’t hurt anymore.
When in labor with Amelia, Libby and Elliott, I was able to breathe my babies down. When I say that, I mean I could do “horse lips” and not push them down my vagina. I would do that until I was crowning and then do one push for the head and one for the body. This time I knew I couldn’t do that. I knew this time was different.
The urge to push came and I PUSHED. I made noises I have never made in birth before. It was primal, from the heart, from the gut. I felt like a lioness roaring her baby into the world. I was on my knees in the tub facing Jeremy. When I felt the baby’s head, I tried to slow everything down. I remember Erica telling me to slow down so I wouldn’t tear. I waited as long as I possibly could stand it and then pushed hard. As soon as his head was out I wanted to change positions. I don’t remember this being a conscious decision, just an urge and I went with it. As I sat back, I felt the hands of all those who love me helping me. Sarah, Laurie, Erica all helped me get into a more comfortable position. As soon as I was settled I gave one more push and my sweet boy was born. All in all, it took 13 minutes to push my big boy out. Funny side note - Jeremy had no idea that I had pushed out his head until someone said something and almost missed everything because he was turning on the video camera again.
I lifted the baby to my chest and started rubbing his back. He wasn’t making any noises, but was looking around. Laurie and Erica helped him breathe while I held him, talked to him, rubbed him and told him to breathe. I wasn’t scared because he was still attached to the placenta and getting oxygenated blood. I also remembered the blessing I had gotten just hours earlier. The words telling me to trust my midwife and birth team echoed in my head and resonated in my heart. I knew my baby would be okay. After a short while, he pinked up and was breathing well.
I stayed in the tub with my sweet boy. I delivered his life giving placenta, we put it in a bag and eventually handed the baby and placenta to Jeremy. I got out of the tub, got settled in bed and snuggled up to my sweet babe for some skin to skin time. About 30 minutes after birth, he latched on and has been a great nurser ever since.
Jeremy went and woke the big kids so they could meet their brother and help cut the cord. They were all so excited to meet him and give him kisses and hugs. We weighed him and were all so surprised at his weight – 9 lbs. 15 oz. I say 10 lbs because he pooped right after he came out – so I pushed out 10 pounds of baby for sure!
Around 2 am, everyone left and tucked us into bed. Our sweet Zachary Isaac is healthy and strong. He is such a blessing to our lives and brings so much joy and happiness to us all. I am so very grateful that the Lord has blessed us one last time with such a beautiful soul.