Every healthy birth is a blessing. I don’t share this to boast in anything but the grace of the Lord. Myla’s birth story is a reminder of God’s lovingkindness to us. Life is a gift!
I have learned to not rush my body. I have written mini blog posts about processing birth fear and God’s peace that prepares me for birth. I don’t get checked for dilation and spend the last weeks of pregnancy enjoying my baby inside my belly. If you have read our other birth stories, those last few days feel like Christmas Eve on repeat.
On November 23, I woke up a few times with light contractions. By 5:00 a.m. I felt a little uncomfortable and went to my usual CrossFit class thinking “If I’m in early labor I might as well keep moving.” I hopped on the bike and skipped the intense workout. My friends joked that it might be the day for baby’s arrival!
I went home and Drexel planned to be home for the day. Thankfully he was finished with his Monday class where he commutes 1.5 hours away. I was feeling like baby may come in the next 24 hours. I cleaned our bathroom and tidied my room a little. I texted my midwife in the morning and told her it would probably be that day and that I would keep in touch.
I did my usual morning routine with the kids, but by 11:30 a.m. I was feeling tired. We finished lunch and I tagged out telling Drexel, “I’m done honey, I need to lay down.” He got the little ones down for nap. At 1:30 p.m I laid down for a nap and “pop” – my water broke. I figured I wouldn’t be getting a nap from that point on.
I got out of bed and put a towel beneath me. I called for Drexel and he is always my hype man. His face gets so excited and he shouted something like “Game time!” The older kids and him went into prep mode. They blew up the birth pool and made sure the hose was ready.
I texted my midwives that my water had broke. We all knew once my water broke, things would progress pretty quickly. She dropped what she was doing and came my way. I continued to labor standing up next to my bed while the boys filled up the pool. They had practiced the hose connection, but when it came time – something wasn’t lining up right and my men stood there holding it up while the pool filled up. They were so patient! It felt like a long time, but it was only an hour.
My wonderful midwives had arrived and checked the baby’s heart rate. She set up her stuff and then gave us privacy. By 2:30 p.m. I climbed into the pool to labor. The water always feels amazing. I labored on my knees for a little while. Then I checked myself to see if baby’s head was any lower. I couldn’t feel a head and felt a bit defeated. I talked myself out of that feeling and encouraged baby to make her way down the birth canal. I was tired and hadn’t got a nap since my early wake up. I rolled onto my back in the tub and told myself to rest.
Birth is extremely mental. I could feel things slowing down and I didn’t want worst case scenario to dwell in my mind. I laid there in the warm water and prayed over baby. I prayed for my mind to be still between contractions and each contraction to help move her down. They weren’t super strong or super painful, but I could tell they were working.
I nearly fell asleep and it was the rest I needed. I think 40 minutes or so had passed and I sensed she was lower and more ready. I flipped back onto my knees to see if I was closer to pushing.
After one contraction I felt the urge to push. Transition hit! I know that mental place like the back of my hand. It doesn’t get easy by any means, but I do believe knowing that feeling and not falling prey to it changes everything. I took captive the “I can’t do this!” thought. It came and went quickly. I knew that once transition passed I would be close to pushing. I checked myself and felt her head. I was so excited!!
I felt the urge to push and talked baby down. Each contraction was wonderful progress and I was proud of baby’s good work to help me. I think Drexel was taking pictures at that point. I could feel her coming quickly. I pushed and prayed on the next strong contraction. Her head was almost out. On the third strong push, I guided her head out. I thought I would get a breather and her body would come on the next contraction, but that didn’t happen. Her whole head and body came in one long contraction! I was surprised and flipped over in the tub mid-contraction. She came out and I guided her up to my chest. She let out a long beautiful cry!
We welcomed the kiddos and midwives into the room. It was calm and everyone was waiting for me to check the gender. My midwives respect my space and I held baby to my chest for a few minutes before checking and then together we all looked. A GIRL!
Sweet baby girl Myla!
Myla means merciful and her middle name, Amaris, means God has promised. We had her name picked out for a while even though we didn’t know what we were having. We didn’t have a boy name and had peace about not needing one.
Myla’s entire story has been nothing but God’s new mercies on our family each day! Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved –”
I held her until the cord stopped pulsing and then Drexel cut it. My midwives helped me into the bed so I could deliver the placenta. They cleaned everything up and helped us with the other kiddos. We have a tradition of eating Chick-fil-A after we have a baby and my midwife treated us. Together we ate, took pictures and enjoyed the experience. My midwives are such a gift. They are like family and my dear sisters in Christ. They are supportive, tender and understanding of how beautiful, natural and intimate birth can be.
I am beyond thankful for a calm, healthy and memorable birth story. It’s a joy to welcome life into this world with all my children gathered around. We were able to spend the first few weeks recovering and bonding as a family. We had meals brought to us every night and help from so many faithful friends.
I would do it over and over again. I am never promised fertility, healthy children or healthy births, and for that I am forever grateful. I have learned that God knows every detail of my life so intimately that His plans for our family and each one of our children are far beyond my wildest dreams. Each child and each birth stretches my faith in new and miraculous ways. I am grateful to be their mother and I am confident it is the most powerful impact I have on this earth!
Birth is very personal and although I love sharing, it does leave me vulnerable to negative comments. Please feel free to message me privately if you have any questions!
With All My Love,