If you don’t appreciate the gory details of a good ‘ole birth story, here is the blog in a nutshell: I had a baby. It took 36 hours. There was blood.
For those of you who enjoy a good birth tale, please continue. Gory details ahead!
It all began on my due date (Fun fact: I was born on my due date!). I hadn’t had any signs of labor up until about five o’clock on September 14th when the “show” showed up. We watched a movie and I thought I was experiencing some inconsistent contractions. I had been pretty paranoid about being sure I was in labor. I didn’t want to overreact or be wrong and end up causing my mom and sister a four-hour drive up north for nothing! However, it was pretty apparent on Thursday that I was in early labor.
SOMETHING I LEARNED: When they tell you to take a nap when you realize you’re going into labor, this isn’t a nice suggestion, this is WISDOM…I wish I had listened!
Thursday, September 15th was the day I spent making sure I was in labor. So what better way to know then by going for a walk! We logged three miles with our trip to Target (for last minute nesting needs) and a nice leisurely stroll through Rochester Hills. This was our last walk as a family of three. Walking didn’t decrease the contractions it only increased them. THIS WAS IT. Tim and I played Yahtzee (I should have been sleeping #smh) while we timed the contractions. Mom and Audge were summoned after I got the text from my midwife saying, “We’re gonna have a baby”. Oh, yes! We were FINALLY going to meet Claire.
It was in the wee hours of the morning that I began to have some weird pain in my lower back. At this point, I had transitioned from hanging out and cracking jokes to focusing. I remember my midwife saying there was a special place in hell for back labor, and boy, she wasn’t joking. In EVERY ultrasound photo we had of Claire the little angel had her hands up by her face. Apparently, she loved her hands so much she wanted them by her face as she made her way earthside. The problem? Well, it was causing intense back labor and no amount of spinning babies was correcting the situation. Have you done lunges and squats during an intense contraction with back labor?
Woof. Girl, mad props to you.
I labored all day Friday. The team of midwives arrived at the apartment Friday night: my midwife Courtney, Helen, Jenny, and Jamie. They were the dream team. Each was a piece of the puzzle my home birth needed working tirelessly with me those long hours. All the while I could hear my mom lightly praying for me and speaking my pregnancy verse over the situation that was slowly beginning to become more and more of a “situation”.
I was fully dilated but because of a cervical lip (caused by that darn hand), Lady Claire couldn’t progress through the birth canal. Helen had to push the lip out of the way so I could move Claire past that point and we could finally push her out (when I say “we” I mean ME). The problem now was that I had been laboring a loooong time and my body was tired, Claire was tired, and my contractions were now a whopping ten minutes apart. If I didn’t push this baby out soon we would all be taking an unexpected trip to the hospital.
NO WAY, JOSE. I was having my home birth.
They say you’ll have the miraculous urge to push. That this urge will take over your entire body and this reflex will just magically help everything. Unfortunately, I never got the magic urge. Instead, I had to “hospital push”. Chin to chest, hold your breath, and bear down like you’re trying to pop all the blood vessels in your brain kind of pushing. Can I be honest? This isn’t fun. But then…three hours of pushing and something magical happened – the urge to push! Can I be honest? This is the best feeling in the world.
I could see my mom faithfully holding Daisy at the end of the bed, Audge was off to the side, Tim, in a rush of courage, had moved to watch his daughter enter the world, and I was ELATED when I felt a contraction coming because that meant I was going to push and that meant BABYYYYY. Then it happened. Claire emerged into the world! Helen unwrapped the cord from her neck and she was lifted onto my chest. I was overwhelmed. This was my baby?! I was a mom?! Who gave me permission to do this?! Tim hovered over me as we viewed our perfect baby and giving him a kiss as a new dad will be one of my favorite memories.
Remember Claire’s hand obsession? Well, the little angel did a number on the way out causing third and second-degree tears and there was a lot of (GORE ALERT) blood (a liter to be exact). Thankfully, I was too distracted by my Claire to really realize what was going on. Tim, Mom, and Audge went into prayer mode. Helen went into suture mode. I was just in awe mode. After I was all sewn up I made eye contact with Tim and I could see the relief on his face. It was over. We had a baby. I wasn’t going to die (Haha!).
WE HAD A BABY.
This was not the labor/delivery I expected. I have a list of things I was “believing” for that I didn’t see happen. There were things I did see happen as well. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit always gives the answers to the questions. I asked Him why my experience wasn’t even close to the experience I had put on my vision board…but that’s another blog (coming soon!). This is MY birth story, it absolutely doesn’t have to be yours.
HUSBAND BRAG: I could NEVER have imagined how BRILLIANT my husband would be during this entire nine-month process. From taking care of me when I was pregnant to taking care of me while on bed rest, he has been my absolute hero. When I say he was my rock during labor, that is no exaggeration. I could not have done it without him. I have huge respect for single mothers because of how much I relied on Tim physically, mentally, and spiritually through the unexpected. Neither one of us expected a 36-hour labor. He took each moment in stride and was completely devoted to my needs in every way. You think you can’t love someone more than you do, but love KEEPS ON EXPANDING. I loved him to my capacity when we got engaged, then love multiplied. I loved him to my capacity on our wedding, then love multiplied. I can’t imagine loving him more now, yet I know that our love will continue to multiply and my capacity will just reach new thresholds!
Saturday, September 16th at 5:58 AM Claire Elise entered this world already full of the destiny God designed her for before the foundations of the earth. On that day we began the real work of raising a daughter of God to be everything she was created for. Becoming a mother and watching my husband become a father has been the best experience of my life. We are already looking forward to Frantz baby #2!
What is your “freeze frame” moment from your labor/delivery? Any tips for a first timer?
Thank you so much for sticking through to the end of this long blog 🙂 I’m now almost completely back to normal thanks to my husband, mom, and sweet sister (the real MVPs). God is good! Can’t wait to share homebirth number #2 (well, I CAN wait lol)!
P.S. Look out for the blog “The Answer to the Unexpected” (a much shorter read!).
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”
2 Samuel 22:33