At some point, your soul just feels complete. While I can safely say that I am addicted to pregnancy/birth/babies, my soul is so complete. I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for well over eight (closer to nine) years without a break. I am not – and never will – complain about this great journey. I am, however, excited to enter one last breastfeeding relationship, and to know that my chapter on pregnancy is ending.
I have written five birth stories now. My heart is feeling heavy with this being my last, but again, the excitement of the journey ahead is enough to pull me through.
This birth was exactly the closure that I needed. I did not plan a photographer and a decorative background wall to birth in front of. I did not envision rainbows and unicorns. I honestly just talked to myself about the beauty that is my own ability. I knew that this birth would be exactly as it should.
My milk has just come in.
I’m only 24 hours out and have left my room maybe three times.
The herbs from my bath tub still fill the air.
And to my left is a 6.3lb baby girl who just completed our family.
For those of you who have been following our journey, you know that this fifth baby was quite the surprise. We found out we were pregnant just before we learned of a cross-country relocation. We bought a house, drove 20+ hours to our new Midwest location, struggled with the birthing options here, and battled months of random health issues. Life was basically messy – and we were expecting this tiny new life.
While we have finally started settling in here, and our bodies are *hopefully* beginning to adapt to this new environment, and my mind has stopped crazily wanting to run away, we prepared for this baby. The summer was spent swimming and playing. We traveled and explored. All the while, I anxiously grew this baby.
The days flew by and the weeks added up. We had to figure our birth plan out. We are a homebirthing family, and once you have experienced a homebirth, nothing else compares. We were faced with a huge dilemma due to the state we are currently living in… but we found a loop hole and proceeded forward. (Thank you God)
Fast forward a bit…
My babies have been born in the following order:
39w, 38w, 37.1w, 36.6w…
I needed to bake this baby until 37.1w to have this homebirth. Talk about anxiety.
Prodromal labor began at 36.2 weeks along. It was happening at night, and it was scaring us. But labor can be quite the mental game. I talked to the baby – and my body – begging everything to work out. While it was a long week, this baby listened.
I began having more intense contractions on the morning I turned 37.1w. After about 3-4 hours, they faded. I walked and danced, but they did not return. My body was in mom mode with 4 little kids to wrangle.
That night, though, after everyone went to bed, the contractions returned. Around 11pm, they started at 5-6 minutes apart. I hoped they wouldn’t stall again, but knew they could. I tried to sleep – and managed to do so from 12-1:30am. Intense, active labor with contractions 2-3 minutes apart woke me from my sleep. I knew this was it, but wasn’t ready to wake anyone up. I labored alone in the bathroom. I needed to accept this birth, talk to myself, meditate, and process the entire experience by myself. This was my last pregnancy. This was my last baby. This was my last birth.
By 2:00am, I knew I needed to wake my husband and friend up – yes, my lifelong friend had flown in to stay with us for the week. Let’s just say that she has amazing birth experience and is just the person you would want to attend a homebirth. By 2:30am, I was making tea and laboring downstairs. I didn’t want to wake the kids. The camera began snapping pictures, and my amazing birth supporters talked me through contractions and kept me smiling. Jack Johnson and Ryan Bingham played in the background…
Contractions were intense but I kept my composure. The thought that they could last for hours at this intensity terrified me. But our bodies are amazing… My friend suggested we head upstairs to the bath tub, but I was scared to get in too early. (Even after baby #4 was born within an hour of labor starting.) We packed up the camera and music and climbed the stairs.
I dropped to hands and knees at the side of the bed. – Oh, I forgot… My 17 month old had joined us downstairs and helped hug me throughout contractions. At this point, he was attached to my husband – which is what I needed. The bathtub was filling and I was moaning. Transition was hard and intense.
Contractions began to change, with urges to push becoming stronger. I crawled to the bathroom and eased into the tub. My water broke just as this baby’s head pushed through. My oldest, Scarlett was able to wake up and experience seeing it all. With one last push, I brought baby to my chest. The pain turned to endorphins. At 3:32am, this baby was welcomed earthside.
This tiny, vernix covered baby was pure perfection. Scarlett checked the gender and immediately began screaming that she had a sister. My husband and I were in utter shock! After 3 boys in a row, this little one was a GIRL.
Veda Ruth had completed our family… As my husband told her, “Veda, we have been waiting a long time for you.”
Her name means ‘A Beautiful Knowledge or Understanding’
I still cannot believe that I have given birth five times. I cannot believe our family of seven is real.
Happiness and love fill my soul.