Our son’s due date was July 24th however I was praying that he would come a couple days or even weeks early as I was SO ready to meet our little boy. But, from all the reading and research that I had done, it seemed as though typically with your first child, they are normally late. Which is exactly what happened. Our son was born 5 days later on July 29th at 3:14 am.
I will admit that I did not love being pregnant. I definitely struggled a lot with my body changing and not really wanting to have a child at this time in my life. My husband and I had just gotten married and we had planned on waiting at least a year before having kids. Clearly, the Lord had other plans for us and we had a whole lot to learn and figure out very quickly. However, with that being said, I would not change any of it for the world! There have been so many challenges and ups and downs the past couple years but the growth that we have had as a family far outweighs all of that.
Ok, on to the birth of our son! I woke up Sunday morning feeling as though my water had somewhat broken. I called our midwife and she told us to come in around noon so that she could check to see if it was amniotic fluid. Sure enough, it was! However, I was not having any contractions at the time and this worried me because you only have a certain amount of time to deliver the baby once your water breaks. She sent us home with some natural things to do to try to get contractions to start but nothing seemed to work.
I tried walking, bouncing on an exercise ball, pumping with my breast pump, etc. and nothing was kick starting the contractions. She told us to come back to the birth center in the evening and we would camp out there for the night to continue to try and get things flowing.
We headed for the birth center around 7 pm that evening and stopped to get a salad and smoothie for me on the way. Once we got there, we got settled into our bedroom, ate dinner and then continued to pump and take some natural things to help start the contractions. Once again, none of those things helped. I was feeling very discouraged and knew that if something didn’t happen soon, then we would have to end up going to the hospital, and that was the last thing I wanted.
It was around 9:15 pm my midwife said it was time to try castor oil. Now, if you don’t know what castor oil is or does, it’s basically a laxative. Therefore, I will leave it at that:) I asked our midwife, “So should we go for a walk? How long should this take to kick in?” She replied, “I would try to get some sleep and if nothing happens in 6 hours, then we can take another dose.” So, we went back to try to get some rest and about 15 minutes later as I was about to fall asleep, I was in the bathroom. By 9:45 pm contractions had begun!
From this point on, I felt pain that I had never felt before. The unknown of not knowing how long the pain will last and if I was able to withstand the pain was something that I questioned constantly. I kept on reminding myself that “My body was made for this! The pain will end and we will meet our son!” And I kept on reciting, “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) My husband supported and encouraged me the whole time and I could not have done it without him. I remember saying at one point to him, “I don’t know if I can do this.” Fortunately, he didn’t let me give up and just continued to encourage and help in any way he could.
There were times that I was laboring in the bathtub, on the toilet, on a birthing stool, over an exercise ball, or on my hands and knees on the bed. It was so nice to have the freedom to labor how I wanted to and to not be confined to a bed. I found that being on my back was the WORST position for me, but my midwife continued to help me with different positions as the contractions became stronger.
After 5 hours of labor (and other gory details I will spare you from;)) and roughly an hour of pushing, we finally met our little boy on Monday morning July 29th at 3:14 am weighing in at 8 pounds 21.5 inches long. It was such a relief and joyous feeling when you see your child for the first time, all the pain that you just went through, suddenly goes away.
We enjoyed our time as a new family for a couple hours, tried to get some rest, showered up and then by 9:30 am we packed up and headed home! I have never seen my husband drive as slow and as careful as he did on that drive home;)
Just 6 hours later after giving birth we were home in our own bed resting up and trying to figure out this whole “parenting” adventure. I can’t believe it’s been a year since that day and I will never forget it!