I’m pretty sure with my other two baby girls, I had their birth stories written out within a few weeks of them being born. This go round has been a little different. Lerner’s birth was so heavy with emotion that I just needed time to let it sit and process in my soul.
I think four months is just enough time for it to do that. LOL!
Leading up to this birth, I was SO emotional. I was exhausted. I was stressed. I was anxious. I was all the things. Don’t get me wrong, I was still excited to meet this precious baby, but the events surrounding her entire pregnancy had just been plain HARD.
I was so sick for the first two months that I could barely even function. Literally. God bless my sweet husband and all he did to care for us. I was pretty much useless. I would have to laugh when people asked about my exercise routine during pregnancy. It pretty much involved running to the bathroom to throw up. So fun.
Toward the end of my pregnancy. emotions were running HIGH when we found out Lerner was breech. We tried everything we could to help encourage her to turn but ended up having an External Cephalic Version (ECV) and praise God it was a success. Thanks to Dr. Bootstaylor at See Baby for being so wonderful to us during this process!
All that to say, I felt spent before my labor even started. This worried me. A lot.
If you’ve ever experienced natural birth then you know that it is SO mental. When a woman asks me how I can have my babies naturally, my first response is “I decide that’s my only option.” When you have a home birth, it really is. But if you’re mentally drained, it’s just not a great way to start the laboring process.
Knowing this, I did my very best to relax and prepare mentally for the birth.
The Sunday before Lerner was born, our worship team sang a new song called “Touch of Heaven” and it was like the biggest GIFT from the Lord. It was all about being still in His presence and surrendering in total trust. I played this song on repeat every single day until she was born.
We had officially reached the due date, and it this point I just assumed I’d be pregnant forever. I took the girls to ballet that afternoon and experienced some very crampy contractions but that had been happening for weeks. So I thought very little of it.
We got home that afternoon and I bathed the girls and decided to start preparing for dinner. Around 5:30 I had a little meltdown (as pregnant women often do) and I just finally allowed all my pushed down feelings to come up…
I couldn’t do a natural birth again. I wasn’t going to be a good mom to three. My big girls would doubt my love. My baby would not get enough either.
The common theme was that I just felt like I wasn’t enough. I gave that to Jesus knowing it wasn’t true and asked Him for strength for whatever would like ahead. I just needed him to sustain me. Keep my head above the water.
I pulled it together in time for Matt to get home and when he walked in, he suggested we go out for Mexican. Well, you don’t have to ask me twice!
When we got home from supper, my contractions continued but they still weren’t super consistent. My basic rule of thumb is that until they demand my attention, I try not to give them any.
We had a sweet night night time with our big girls and then around 10:30 that night, my attention had been demanded.
Contractions were 5-10 minutes apart so I knew I at least needed to call my midwife to let her know if this continued. I decided to try to go to sleep before calling but around 1:30 AM, the intensity picked up enough to where I knew she needed to be on her way.
We planned a water birth so Matt started getting everything ready for that. Since the pool wasn’t ready, I labored in the bath for as long as I could. Over the next hour, my mom, two sisters, and midwives arrived.
I knew at this point (around 2:30 am) I had to be pretty far along but there’s always the fear that you’ll get checked and be like a 1 when you think you MUST be at least a 7. Thankfully I WAS a 6-7 so that meant I could go ahead and get into the pool.
Up to this point with every contraction, I just prayed and thanked God that my baby was moving down and my body was working to get her there. I prayed out loud as a breathed through each one and it really helped me to focus and feel present and grounded.
Once I transferred into the pool, I had only been there for a little while when I started to feel sweaty and nauseated. I wasn’t really thinking super clear at that point and can only remember feeling SO angry that no one else in the room was in pain except me. Looking back now it makes me laugh but I was clearly in transition.
Each contraction at this point came like a wave that started low and then reached a peak that threatened to take me down with it. Just as soon as I felt it would completely take me under, I would feel a bit of relief. But knowing pushing was coming made me feel more anxious.
One of my fears was that I wouldn’t feel the urge to push, which is what happened during my labor with Reese. I pushed for three and a half hours with her and I knew I didn’t have that in me this time.
My midwife quickly checked me in between contractions and said I was close to 10 so I could push when I felt like it.
Well, I didn’t feel like it but I for sure wanted this to be over so I pushed with all my might during each contraction. At one point, I looked up at everyone surrounding the pool and said “I can’t do it. I’m sorry! I just can’t do it.” My sweet husband said “Oh yes you can and you WILL. You’re almost there. You’ve got this.” I’m sure most husbands feel sorry for their wives when they’re in pain. Not mine. Maybe if I stubbed my toe, but not when I’m having a baby!
A few more pushes and my water finally burst. I was on my knees with my arms draped over the side of the pool for most of the time I was in the water but at this point I knew she could come any time and I wanted to see her better so I flipped quickly over to a sitting position.
One more push and she was crowning. They call this sensation here the “Ring of Fire” and it is just that.
I pushed again and her head came out though in the moment I thought the relief I felt was her head going back IN so I screamed NOOOOO! Labor makes you crazy.
Matt said “Baby, her head is out now get that body out and you’re done!”
One more mighty push and she was here.
I’ve never felt more relived in my entire life.
Everything leading up this point, all the anxiety and stress, just seemed to melt away as I looked at her little wide eyed face.
We had worship music playing in the background and at the moment that she was born and I held her in my arms for the first time, I finally could hear what was playing in the background. It was my gift from God song.
The chorus says:
“All I want is to live within your love.
Be undone by who you are.
My desire is to know You deeper.
Lord, I will open up again.
Throw my fears into the wind.
I am desperate for a touch from Heaven.”
It was 6:24 am and my touch from heaven was here. She was born at night while the girls slept. They were able to meet her before they went to school that morning. I felt completely present during the entire birth. I didn’t have to push for an eternally long time (though it felt like it was in the moment!). She was completely healthy. I didn’t tear. She latched on from the first moment we tried.
It was all just too much for me to soak in. God had been so so good to us.
Our transition over the next few weeks was smooth and sweet. I’ll share a blog post soon about what I attribute this to!
Thank you so much for reading our story of how our little Lerner Lu came into the world! I also want to thank our amazing midwife team from Dawning Life. Constance and Olivia, you two are a dream team and I’m so grateful for the incredible support you provided from the moment we met!
To view the video my sweet sister, Anna, made of Lerner’s birth, please see my instagram highlights.