We’ve had our sweet Eli with us for two weeks now and we are all so smitten over him. Sharing this birth story is something I’ve looked forward to since finding out we were pregnant and knowing I wanted this experience in our home.
To be honest, I pictured this a little bit differently. With both of the other boys, I labored most of the day at home and had quite a bit of a heads up to get things together. With Eli, I woke up in the middle of the night pretty much in active labor and he joined us as the sun came up.
So I thought being at home we’d have time to clean the house, call our photographer, do some yoga together to help ease through the early stages of labor, make snacks, snuggle up, read the scripture I had chosen, and capture videos of our whole day and experience. I definitely forgot I almost had our last babe in the parking deck of the hospital and this stuff happens fast for me. 5 hours from the very start to laying in bed for the day with my new little love.
Obviously, none of that happened. The video camera barely made it out but I’m thankful that my mom did capture enough of these moments for us.
Contractions started around 2 am. They woke me up but I wasn’t positive and pretty sleepy. Failing to fall back asleep, I started timing and jeeesh, 5-6 mins apart already.
Around 3 am, they were still consistent so I texted my midwife and my mama thinking they’d see it when they woke up and have time to arrange their day. A shower sounded good, so I woke Drew up to keep timing for me and got in. 2-3 mins apart and starting to get painful! I laid back down to try to relax thinking I’d finish cleaning myself up in a little bit, which never happened. Wet hair in a bun and laid on to dry ended up being my look of the day.
They slowed down a bit when I got back in bed but by 5 I realized this was definitely happening quicker than anticipated and the contractions were strong, so I woke Drew back up with the to-do list I had just written and told him it was probably time to get moving before the kids got up for the day. I called my mom and apologized for the wake-up, but didn’t know how long she would need to get ready and asked her to be here around 7-7:30 to help with the kiddos. I checked in with my midwife, Jenni, and told her definitely soon, but not yet, and we’d touch base in an hour.
At 5:30 Drew made the executive decision to tell everyone it was time to get here, he started blowing up and filling the birthing pool (which woke the kids up for some fun company), and we had all hands on deck by 6:15.
I tried to lay down with Drew and my boys shortly after for a back massage and snuggles, but the back labor was intensifying and I could feel Elijah moving down the birth canal and got in the tub.
By 7, I was ready to push. My water broke soon after and with a few changes in position, counter pressure, and a whole lot of encouragement, I brought him up out of the water and into my arms a little bit later.
Bringing him into the world was the hardest work I’ve ever done. I had the pain meds with Kainen and Jairus was so itty bitty that he came out with one push as my water broke, but Eli was tough and I was already exhausted from only having 2 hours of sleep before go-time. The biggest difference was knowing how strong and capable I am, not fearing labor, and being in the comfort of our home. I knew with every breath and every rush I was so much closer to meeting our baby boy.
And then he was here, and it was all worth it. I’d do it a million times over.
I went straight from the birthing pool to our own bed, and just a couple hours later everyone else was gone and Drew and I got to attend church online with our new baby skin-to-skin.
I want a home birth again and again and again. The care we received from Jenni from our first month of pregnancy on was above and beyond. We found such a friend and support in her and felt so deeply cared for. We weren’t just another appointment for the day in an office. We were genuinely known and loved. And not just me and Eli, but also Drew and our big boys.
We’re down to one more postpartum appointment and I already got pretty emotional at the last one knowing this story is almost written but I know Jenni will always be a text/call away.
P.S., Our decision to home birth came before and had nothing to do with Covid-19, but we couldn’t have picked a better year to not have to worry about hospital protocols and added stress during labor and delivery. I couldn’t recommend it more.