So, if you travel back a few years back you can see my first birth story with Keaton. I wrote it on his first birthday, because I was too raw to write it immediately after. With Beckham, I had plenty of time to write his story, but I think some stories get better with reflection  And I’m not sure why, but a part of me does not want to share this. Because it was personal & beautiful, but I also want to remember it. So, on B’s first birthday here I go again.
With Beckham, I waited til almost 3 months to have an initial consult because I was sweating about choosing a provider. I wanted an empowered natural labor, and I didn’t know where I could find that. I went with one provider, but at 32 weeks I prayerfully, pleadingly convinced my hubby to come with me to have a consult with a home birth midwife, because my current provider was stressing me to the max, creating a false case for a high risk pregnancy that didn’t exist and trying to convince me of an elective c-section at every moment in between.

I know many people would be fine with that story, but that wasn’t the one I wanted for me. I had changed my whole life and diet, to avoid group b strep (which I had the first time, and did not have this time) in order to have a natural birth.

Just going to the consult, I felt vindicated, she was the first medical person to “hear” my story. Really hear…. and give me sound counsel. But she was expensive. Like so expensive we couldn’t afford it, and it would be out of pocket. But she told us she would work with us, and we went home and prayed. My husband prayed for a sign, the next day we got a check in the mail (THAT WE WERE NOT EXPECTING) for a 3rd of the cost. And we were convinced. We were at peace. We were so happy to serve a God who hears. So, we started prepping for a home birth, and as crazy as it sounds. I was not one bit nervous,  bursting with anticipation (maybe), but peaceful. I had read Ina May’s The Guide to Childbirth and Hypnobirthing. I had not done a hypnobirthing course, but I listened to the cd practicing and meditating. With Keaton I was 12 days late. Beckham who was due Wednesday, July 31… I knew on his due date that I was close. I had been through this once before (and talk about a confidence booster), I knew I wasn’t 12 days away. That whole week before, I was having serious bouts of false labor, one night I even text my midwife, saying maybe, but I would text her back. Nothing…

A few days before I gave birth!

So, on Friday afternoon when my contractions were regular and building (not painful), just present,  I thought I was probably in labor. But this time I didn’t tell anyone but Jacob. I actually decided to go lay down at dinner, because every previous time in both pregnancies, that made my labor stop, but the contractions pressed on. After 10pm Jake and I went for a walk. I called my midwife and told her I thought I was in labor, but not active labor. She said why not active labor, (cause my contractions were pretty close), and I said because I’m walking, and I’ve been in active labor that doesn’t happen when I am. She agreed. We came back home, and my contractions chilled out a bit while I talked to my mom and best friend on the phone. So, I convinced Jake to go on one more walk, cause I didn’t want them to stall out. ( I have seriously had false labor numerous times for 3 hours or more) 🙂 And after our walk, I decided to lay down, because I really did think he was coming.

Jake asleep on the floor between walks. He was dying.

One thing I did not have with Keaton was a doula. Jake is a wonderful birth partner, but doula’s are different. I did not hire a professional, but I chose a friend who’d also had a homebirth. I told her at midnight, I thought tonight was the night, and that I would text her. I woke up at 1:50 in a panic to crazy intense contractions. I was calling for Jake to support me and he was tired and discombobulated. I text my doula to please come, because I needed some emotional support and she text me, like the loving, amazing friend she was, that she was already here. She had come when I had text before. She came inside and immediately my water broke. Things were chaotic and I was not at peace. She suggested I get in the bath, but I told her it was too early and I didn’t want my labor stalling out. But she assessed it was not too early. I listened. She helped me to find my center, and I spent like an hour that way, trying to stay relaxed through each intense contraction. She had luckily called my midwives, and they had arrived during that period. They suggested I get out of the bath, and as soon as I did, my labor was CUH-RAZY. (Like I’m not sure how people could possibly labor naturally while strapped to a bed, they are the real champs). I was crying to get back in the bath. I was in transition though I didn’t know it persay in the moment. I spent what felt like 10 minutes, but was actually closer to an hour on the side of the tub, in the most “other” mental place I have ever achieved.  I was kinda of singing, kind of crying. I guess it was a sing-cry, just focused from one contraction to the next.

I started telling them I felt “pushy” (like I needed to push) and I kept saying, but “it’s too soon to feel this way”. I had not been checked up to this point, cause that was a total downer in my first labor.  I wrongly assumed that since my other labor had been long and slow, that this one couldn’t possibly be quick and short. But if you do something different, sometimes you get different results!!! So, I was at 10 cm and it was only 5 in the morning. Now, here’s where the story goes a bit south. With Keaton, I had also progressed 10, and never felt the urge to push, and they had said he was not coming down.
With Beckham even before my labor, my midwife had said he wasn’t engaged in my pelvis like he should be, he was floating. A few days previous he had actually been turned wrong (posterior I think) and she thought he felt that way again. Which it is possible to deliver, but more complicated.  In hindsight, I’m sure this was the case with K too, but with an epidural there is nothing you can do to solve the problem. So, from 5-6am, I attempted to push a baby from every possibly position that “wasn’t coming down”. My midwife had told me several times that I need to do large stomps to engage him in the birth canal, but I was so tired between contractions that I just could not pull it together and get the energy.

There was a moment, when I actually thought, “I gave this my all. I guess I wasn’t made to have babies”, since this happened with Keaton too, but my doula was texting with my mom. And my mom gave me some encouraging words and Jacob prayed for me. (And I didn’t know it at the time, but Jacob’s mother was up interceding for me in the other room). And literally like an insane shot of energy, I said “teach me how to do this stomp, stomp thing” and I started doing it. Within 3 contractions Beckham was jiggling into place and my body was back on track for pushing out this little guy.  I was having to wait like 5 minutes between each one. I don’t remember how many pushes. It was still a lot to bring him down after he engaged, but right as the sun was dawning it took 2 legitimate pushes, and I pushed that little babe out at 7:00am. Mad as all stink he was too, for his rough travel out the birth canal.  He had blonde hair and I declared, Keaton was never this small. (Keaton was smaller). And I was asking for a drink and shower because that birthing a baby thing, it is hard work. But at 8 lbs and 22 1/2 inches of perfection, he was all worth it!
Happy Birthday Beckham. Love, Your Mama