There is something pretty great about women finding their power in the midst of lots of self doubt, high expectations, and pressure from all sorts of forces in their lives. This is one of those stories- and an *almost* holiday birth to boot! A very special shout out and huge thank you to our doula-sister Hallie of Milk & Honey who captured these moments and so graciously shared them with us so they could accompany this mama's story. It is always a pleasure to attend a birth with other members of our community. Hallie and I began our doula journeys around the same time and it is really exciting to see how our paths continue to cross and intertwine as our community continues to grow! Enjoy!
"My husband and I never really made an actual decision to have a second child. We always said that our cutoff was when our daughter turned 5 years old. Once that happened that was it, it was over. My husband would get “fixed” and the thought of a second child would be over. Five years goes fast, let me tell you. In March of 2013 my dad passed away from cancer after a very long two year fight. It took us a month, but here we were finally having his memorial, and something for me just felt “off”. I knew that I was pregnant. So many emotions to deal with, but the very first thing that popped into my head was something so incredibly crazy, “It’s a boy”. I just knew it, and I just knew that my dad was sending us someone special. I took a test just to make sure, and sure enough, here we were two months away from our daughters 5th birthday and I was pregnant. The panic set in!
The birth of my second child comes in a two part series. My son definitely reminds me of my dad in a way, he likes the attention. Our first child came at 38 weeks after two experiences of pre-term labor. Naturally I got ahead of myself with my second pregnancy and had the mindset that I would definitely birth well before EDD. Man, I really wish I had just let it all go and started with the mind frame of “he’ll come when he comes”. I had a very different pregnancy the second time around. Every weird and incredibly gross pregnancy symptom you could experience, I experienced and boy was it a roller coaster. We also had a very crazy whirlwind experience when picking our Midwife. The first midwife we chose didn’t exactly work for us, so around 20 weeks here we were searching high and low for a new midwife. Our search led us to Charlie Rae Young. She was highly recommended by almost every single person I talked too, the only downfall being she wasn’t quite yet a certified midwife. I was disappointed but still made the decision to call her and see what I could do. I was so incredibly excited when we spoke and she told me she would be able to take me on as a client as she was just waiting on her license number! Let me tell you all, Charlie is just absolutely amazing to work with.
Let’s go ahead and skip to 38 weeks and three days of pregnancy, I just knew that “today was the day”! After 12 hours of “labor” (I mean labor, pain in the back labor!) and it all just came to a screeching halt.
My midwife explained to me that I would know when it was happening, and to trust my body. I was defeated and definitely became very unsure of myself after that humbling experience. I spent the next week trying to ignore my body and feeling just so out of touch with it all. Let’s skip ahead again, here we are, Christmas! I woke at 7am to what felt like contractions, but it just couldn’t be, it was Christmas day. I felt like our daughter had already been pushed aside so many times during my pregnancy that I just couldn’t let this day be about anything else other than her enjoying Christmas. I had all of the symptoms, I even finally had my bloody show everyone kept talking about, but I ignored it all. We went about our morning, opening gifts, making a huge breakfast, just enjoying it all as well as I could.
By the time noon rolled around the contractions had somewhat slacked and I felt like I was headed down the same road I had been down the week before. I was so upset and I remember crying to my husband (literally, thank you pregnancy hormones!) that it was never going to happen; this child was never going to come out. I was so irrational, but honestly, what pregnant woman isn’t by the time she hits 39 weeks?! I remember telling my mom that I would not be coming upstairs to enjoy Christmas dinner with our family and friends. I was just to upset and tired and wanted to be alone. Of course that didn’t last long; I ended up enjoying my Christmas dinner with everyone and just trying to remember that it would happen when it happened. A family friend of ours who also happened to be my Hypnobirthing coach was joining us for Christmas dinner and offered to rub my feet for me and help me relax for a little while. She must have known that I needed it.
Whatever she did, it worked! By the time 5pm rolled around I was in labor! I called Charlie, my midwife, and let her know that I was fairly confident that this was the real deal. Just to ease my own mind I told her I was going to take another hour to make sure and I would call her as soon as I felt more confident about it all. Of course here I was calling her back before the hour was fully up. It was just around 6:45pm (from what I can remember) when my midwife, birth assistant, Hallie, my Hypnobirthing coach and of course my amazing friend Miranda arrived for the show. Everyone started getting thing’s ready. The tub was being filled and things were being situated and put into place. At this point I was in my bed, moaning through contractions. I was very uncomfortable and honestly I was just ready for it to be over.
Things continued to pick up and I remember my daughter coming to tell me goodnight sometime around 9pm. She was very upset that she had to leave all of the commotion and go to sleep. I reminded her that it would be good to rest as it could still be a very long time before her little brother was to arrive. Off she went. By 9:45pm I was ready for the tub, the contractions were so intense I just needed some relief.
The tub was very relaxing and helped to relieve a lot of the pain and discomfort I was having. By 11:30pm I felt the urge to push! I remember thinking, “holy crap, he’s going to be a Christmas baby!”
While pushing, the pain was so intense. I thought that I just couldn’t do it anymore. At that point, my water broke. Such a relief! It made such a difference in the pushing and the discomfort. At this point my husband ended up in the tub, I had been having such a hard time getting into a position that I could get my footing and handle on pushing correctly.
My husband now being behind me in the pool helped tremendously, and at 12:16am our son, Jax Lynux Keeven, made his grand entrance into this crazy world.
We knew going into this birth that we wanted a home birth. We pushed through a lot of backlash from family and friends throughout my entire pregnancy, I even had my own doubts at times that it just wasn’t going to happen for us… I’m so glad that we chose the birthing team that we did.
Our son entered the world surrounded by family and friends and we really could not have asked for anything better. "