Laura's Water Birth at the ABC
The day of your birth I woke early, at about 4:30am, and thought, "Are those contractions?" They were mild, inconsistent and, to be honest, went away for a few hours. Today was the day we had planned to go buy a piano. Your papa and I often joked, "I hope she waits until after we go piano shopping!" I took a shower, and did my hair in hopes that I would "look good" for your arrival. I jokingly texted my girlfriends and said, "Ok, she can come today! I'm having a great hair day".
Theo and I met your Papa in Ann Arbor for lunch at noon and then headed over to the University of Michigan School of Music to peruse pianos. Papa's friend, Uncle Mike, joined us for lunch. Your papa jokingly said, "You're in labor, aren't you?!" but I attempted to ignore the contractions, now coming every 10 minutes or so. We continued on with lunch and started looking at pianos. After we had decided on one, I told your Papa, "Hey boo, Theo and I are going to head home. It's a 45 minute drive and these contractions are starting to come closer together. I thnk I'll go home and rest." By the time we got home it was around 4pm. I was angry at your Papa because he ran a few errands after work (to prepare for when we brought you home) and I wanted to rest, but couldn't. Your brother had napped in the car and wanted to play.
When Papa arrived home, I still didn't want to admit that "this could be it", but he suggested we call Mummum to pick Theo up for the evening. Having her come and get Theo made it feel like I was commiting to "being in labor", so it freaked me out, but she came anyways.
Contractions continued into the early evening. I was famished, so we made a pizza. The contactions were intense, but only coming between 5-8 minutes apart, so I wasn't ready to admit that your arrival was imminent. I went in and out of the shower and bath, and rolled around on the ball watched "Glee" with Papa. At around 8pm, Papa said, "If these are still continuing at 9, let's call the midwives". Well they continued so we called the midwives, and the midwife suggested we come in.
My tribe of best girlfriends wanted to meet us there. I wanted them to be there but felt guilty because they're all mamas of young children. Once I arrived, Ms. Sarah was there ready to take pictures. Becky, Ashley and Vanessa arrived soon after. We set up the music, essential oils, and started to draw a bath. The pressure of having all of my friends there made me a bit anxious and labor slowed. I told them, "please know you have freedom to go. we could be here for awhile" - after I said that, releasing the anxiety, labor picked up again. I remained on a ball, breathing through my contractions for awhile.
Our nurse, Mary, walked with God. I fervently prayed that the women who staffed my birth would be followers of Christ and I KNEW, the minute she walked in, how much God loved me by sending her to us. She prayed for me, loved me well, advocated for me and was so gentle.. My midwife did encourage me to get checked, which I didn't really want, but she respected my wishes and didn't tell me how far dialated I was (I was at a 6! and you were very low and engaged).
Mary suggested I get into the bath at round 11:30pm. It was such a relief! I stayed on my knees and on my bottom, clenching Papa's hand, until you arrived. Contractions continued to be intense, but still 2-3 minutes apart. As they increased in intensity, and the intervals between them shortened, I closed my eyes and prayed. I opened my hands and repeated, "There is NO fear in childbirth" through each contraction.
As you descended, I quietly let your papa know that you were coming. I didn't really want the midwife to know because I knew she would ask me to get out of the water. Eventually, she did ask me to get out but your head had already made it's way out. I looked at her and gently said, "I'm sorry, but I'm not moving, her head is already out!" Two more breaths and your body slid out, into your mama's arms, with so much ease. It was such a peaceful birth. No tearing, no screaming, just a gentle entrace Earthside. (See, hospitals aren't supposed to let women actually BIRTH in the tub. It's so silly.)
Everyone was SHOCKED that you were here because I was so calm. I apologized to the midwife because I know she didn't want me to deliver my own baby in the tub...but too bad! I was also trusting the Lord that you would be born in the caul because I was Group B Strep Positive and didn't receive antibiotics.. And guess what? My water didn't break until my final push! I pulled the sac off of your head after you were born! God is so good.
I think the peace you arrived into has played a part into your peaceful, easy-going personality. Although it was peaceful, I can't say that I didn't request an epidural several times, or jokingly tell your papa that we would have no more children! I'm glad my team of sister-friends and papa know me and knew how to handle my craziness amidst the intensity.
Your birth, arrival, and life have been such a gift, sweet Naomi. Naomi means "my joy", and you certainly have been a joy. It has been such a good reminder of God's love for me. Oh my sweet, sweet, Naomi. You are three months today and I feel like everyday of your life has been a gift. Thank you for coming into our family.