Life with three little children was filled to the brim with fun and love! I really couldn’t imagine my life with a fourth baby, but I also acknowledge God as the creator of life and if it is His will that I have more babies, then I’m not stopping him, past what I see as a responsible way of natural child spacing and family planning. After Samuel was born I really struggled with what our “birth control” plan should be. His birth was pretty tough at the end and I could still “feel” the discomfort of it and wasn’t excited about giving birth again. However, through lots (and lots) of prayers and tears I heard the calling of another child, a girl. I didn’t know when it would happen but I knew that I couldn’t stop her from coming earth-side.
Adam told me I was pregnant before I took a test, like he has done every single time. There was a part of me that didn’t want to be pregnant and a part of me that was overjoyed with the gift of a new life. The busyness of life as it was took precedence over my swelling belly. We had just started our second year of home school and were in the throws of Fall harvest. Pregnancy symptoms weren’t very prominent besides being tired and slightly nauseous.
I told my extended family at Thanksgiving and had my fist prenatal appointment the following day at around 12 weeks.
I started feeling movement around 18 weeks.
All routine test results came back perfect, though with a decent vitamin D deficiency that I worked on correcting (which explained my pretty extreme tiredness) Sugar, blood pressure, protein, etc. were all great.
I was measuring 5 weeks ahead of schedule around the 20 week mark, which isn’t unusual for me, my uterus just seems to like that spot. Nevertheless I had an ultrasound at 23 weeks to just track baby’s size. Baby measured right on schedule but was breech. We DID NOT find out the baby’s sex although I really wanted to this time around for convinces sake more than anything else. Even though many babies are usually breech at 23 weeks, none of my other babies were, so it caused me some really great anxiety for a long time. I was already practicing a lot of spinning-babies techniques to make sure baby was in an optimal delivery presentation. Then, when I found out baby was breech, I started to go to the Chiropractor for some pretty intense pubic and pelvic bone adjustments. I did Forward Leaning Inversions, Breech Tilts, and even took some homeopathic medicine supposed to shape and relax the uterus to encourage baby to turn. I looked into which hospital I’d have a c-section at and what my options were in that regard. But finally, the baby turned at 34 weeks. Whether it was just timing or if it was all those crazy things I did, we will never know…but I was THRILLED!
Feeling this baby move in my belly was so different compared to my other babies because my placenta was in the back. I could feel the little legs and fists instead of just big bulges and bumps. I had Braxton Hicks since 25 weeks but no other body cramps, Hallelujah!
My due date neared and I was trying not to get excited about it because I tend to deliver late. I was also still a little nervous about giving birth and I wasn’t in too much discomfort-though my belly had grown to a size even bigger than my previous pregnancies! But the date was coming and I tried my best to get myself ready emotionally for it.
In the evening on Wednesday June 14th, the day after my first sons birthday, I was finishing up the novel that I was reading when I felt the first “real” contraction. They started coming every 10 minutes but were not getting any stronger than a slight twinge of discomfort. Through the evening and all night long they stayed the same. I went to bed around 11pm and at 2am I came down to my “birth room” to finish sleeping. No changes. I was kind of thankful for that because I just wasn’t ready to give birth yet. In the morning contractions got lighter and about 20-40 minutes apart. I was in no rush to get things going and I think that attitude is what kept things stringing along so slowly, but I’m sure those contractions weren’t in vain and did aid in dilation. My mom came and got the big kids around 11am (Thursday the 15th). After that I didn’t know if I wanted to lay down and sleep or start walking to get contractions moving. In the end, laying down won. Then, when that got boring, I walked around the house. I cleaned the kids bedrooms. Took a shower. Put on some mascara. Checked over my birth supplies again. Around 7pm I was ready to get things moving. I was bored and figured there wasn’t a better time than now! So far contractions were still weak and 20-40 minutes apart. (This is were things get really interesting!) I was laying down looking at the clock and I told my body that it was time for a good contraction. I started deep breathing and then I got one! Then I told my body that I needed them to come every 5 minutes. When the time came, I started deep breathing and sure enough a contraction would roll in. I stayed focused on them for an hour then they just took over and I was in full fledged labor! At 9:30pm my Midwife said she was coming over. I prayed a Mercy Chaplet and for all of the special intentions that were on my list and my own personal intention. Through this labor standing and walking felt the best and counter-pressure on my back helped immensely. I was just doing my thing. Praying. Walking. Leaning. My amazing midwife arrived around 10:15pm and her assistant around 11pm. It was dark and cozy in the house and I welcomed each contraction while everyone else whispered softly, read books, and watched TV. They checked on me every once in a while to hear the baby’s heartbeat and to see if I needed anything. They came into the birth room and set up everything that was needed for birth when my midwife knew that birth was close. My contractions were right on top of each other at this point and it was very exciting. I didn’t know what time it was but I knew labor was moving fast! My midwife was asking me how my energy levels were and if I wanted to eat or drink anything. Adam suggesting a few things to eat and just the thought of them made me want to throw up. And so I did. I had one HUGE contraction and called for the puke bucket. Then, because I’m a mom and it’s ingrained in me, I walked myself to the bathroom and flushed that stuff down the toilet and rinsed the bucket all the while thinking to myself how silly it was that I was doing that. But that’s life, baby. Just as I was getting tired of the contractions they slowed down and I was getting pushy. I was so happy and it was very peaceful. I was standing up holding onto Adam for support and I knew our baby would be here soon. Contractions started getting intense again and I was instantly drenched in sweat. My MW was about to do a vaginal check when my bag of waters bulged out still intact like a softball between my legs (gross!) That’s when Adam, so like himself, said “Well, that’s what it feels like to be a man!”. Through a few more contractions it popped and fell away. That’s when I got leg cramps from laying and sitting on the bed awkwardly, and let me tell ya, they felt worse than the contractions did! I made my way to the floor on my hands and knees and instantly felt better. Through a few contractions and a lot of hard pushes, Baby emerged, very slowly. Forehead, chin, neck. Then I lifted on leg up and shoulders came out followed by the rest of her. Adam caught her and handed her up to me. My new, beautiful, slippery, newborn. A girl! I rubbed her and talked to her. So much happens in that little moment; towels being passed around, heartbeats counted, happy and relieved sighs, excitement all around. But it is also one of the rare moments when time stands still. The hardest work is over but the hardest work has also just begun.
Emily May Raver – June 16, 2017 – 1:54 am – 8lbs 4oz – 20 inches long
Last pregnant profile
Just in labor… no big deal :)
Minutes old having skin to skin with Daddy
Charting, measuring, picture taking. Probably an hour after birth.
early morning snuggles