My due date of January 2nd, 2016 had come and passed. As did many more days with no signs of oncoming labor. From the very beginning, I had said this baby would come between January 11th-15th. And I was totally at peace with that. I was just enjoying the last days with baby in my belly. My nerves were beginning to pick up because I knew the pain that was coming for me to endure during labor, but I was keeping my eyes and heart focused on Jesus to bring me through it.
At 8 days overdue, on Sunday January 10th, the hubs and I got ready for bed and did what husbands and wives do to express their love for one another (insert winky face). And right afterwards I felt like I was leaking. I thought that maybe just being towards the end of the my pregnancy, I had accidently peed a little. I put on my pajama pants and then wet through them. Not a ton of fluid but enough that it made me uncomfortable to change. I then wet another pair of pants enough to need to change again. Still not thinking much of it, I tried to go to sleep. Every time I got up during the night to pee or check on the other kids, I would have more fluid come out. At this point I thought, okay… maybe my water actually broke. And then the nerves kicked in and I didn’t sleep that well the rest of the night and I was basically up from 1am-4am. I called my midwife in my morning to let her know about the fluid but it wasn’t extremely definitive if my water actually broke, if there was an outer sac leak, or maybe if it was just very watery discharge.
I went about my day on Monday the 11th and continued to leak enough fluid that I had to wear a pad and change it throughout the day. If your water does break, your body will continue to create the fluid anyways so you will continue to leak. I snuggled, napped, and played with my two youngest kiddos. My mind constantly on pending labor and everything going on.
I knew that things were starting to make progress so I wanted to help it along. I was diffusing my essential oils, applying them topically and ingesting them in hopes to kick start contractions since I had truly believed my water had broke. And if it had, at 8pm that night before, it would be 24 hours that it have been broken for. I had also been pooping throughout the entire day (and the whole next day as well as a form of my body cleansing and preparing for birth.) I started noticing muchmore mucus discharge around 2:30 that afternoon as well that also just continued. Some contractions began on that Monday and were present between 3:30-5:30pm and then stopped for a while. Things were happening.
Seborn and my 2 older girls got home from school and we were all excited that things were starting up and we would have our baby soon! We went about our evening and contractions began again at 9pm and became more intense. They continued on throughout the night until 6am and were 10-15 minutes apart. I tried my best to sleep in between contractions but between nerves and the pain, it proved to be quite difficult. Night 2 of little sleep.
Woke up to a beautiful morning on Tuesday, January 12. It was my sisters 26th birthday and I was SURE to give her a big present today. I was absolutely convinced today would be the day!
I was ready for Yancy baby #5 to arrive! Plus, I felt like I already had a lot of labor under my belt and didn’t have much energy to go longer than this day. Today needed to be the day. I felt I had been “mentally laboring” for days (maybe weeks, ha) and had been contracting since 9pm the night before already.
I applied and ingested more of my Young Living essential oils and decided to try my breast pump to stimulate contractions as well. I took a hot bath to relax and found out later that I was NOT supposed to take a bath once your water has already broken. But all was well. Throughout the day I continued to use my oils and breast pump and just be in positions to labor through contractions.
9:30am-12:30pm Contractions were about 5 minutes apart and more on the mild side but beginning to pick up and my parents and sister came to get our other kids around 1pm so we could buckle down and get this baby here! They were able to stay in our apartment complex in the community room while we labored in our apartment.
12:30pm-3:00 Contractions were about every 10-15 minutes but had really intensified in pain. I needed to stop and focus on each one and quietly moan through the pain.
They were painful contractions. Low and deep and I was able to go about life in between them but really needed to zero in while having them. They were painful and unending. Knowing that after one, another would come. I needed something to lean on and moan through some of them. At times, they were inconsistent. But mostly stayed between 10-15 minutes apart besides the morning where they started to pick up and were only 5 minutes apart. But no noticeable progression occurred after that or later on in the day. I continued to work hard it though. I was laboring to try to speed labor up. I was working through the pain and working to make things happen. And the intensity of the contractions made me feel like this baby was coming soon.
I continued to switch things up. I rested for a while. Then my husband and I went walking through our apartment hallways. We went up and down stairs. I did squats in the kitchen. We tried distracting me through contractions while watching a movie. Contractions continued to stay 10-15 minutes apart and still very painful. But nothing really progressing. It was discouraged most of the day. I felt this negativity about the whole situation. I was melting in frustration that I was still in labor. Had been all day. My husband had taken the day off work. My parents and sisters took their whole day to watch our kids and there was no baby here. And didn’t seem like one was coming any time soon. What was the point of this whole day?! Negativity definitely got the best of me many times throughout this day. And my sister…. my sweet sister had spent her whole entire birthday here waiting… and no baby. No birthday present. Happy birthday, Keena!
My midwife came over around 6pm that night to check on me and test if my water had broken. Because at 8pm this evening, we are looking at 48 hours of my water being broken. The first test came back negative but I let her know that with one of my other kids, the test came back negative as well but then they realized it really had broken. So, we retested a different way and sure enough, my water was definitely broken and we were going on 48 hours of it now. I needed to make sure to keep an eye on my temperature, not take a bath, make sure nothing was ever on the toilet seat, and no intercourse. We just needed to make sure there was no way any bacteria would be able to enter.
By about 7pm, we had the kids come back and got them ready for bed and everyone went home. Seborn and I went to bed… not knowing what the night or tomorrow would bring us. At this point, I just thought I would end up laboring an entire day more.
Throughout the night, I had deep and low contractions every 10-15 minutes. Another night of very little sleep. I do not like laboring sitting or laying down. I can’t stand it. I need to be up and on my feet (or knees.) So with every contraction, I would roll out of bed and lean up against my bedroom wall or go squat over the toilet and work through the contraction. It was so deep and low… and painful. I felt not much contraction through my whole stomach area but all below and in my pelvis. There were many contractions that were so painful and deep that I would come back to bed shaking with the chills. Some of the contractions made me nausea and I was close to vomiting. I tried my best to sleep in between but it was an intense night of labor. The constant waking up with contractions… and very painful contractions, was utterly exhausting.
In the morning, Wednesday January 13th, I awoke at 7am… exhausted. I felt defeated. I had nothing left. My dad came to pick up all our kids again around 7:30 am and brought them back to work with him at the church. I sat on the couch and my husband came over to me and asked if there was anything he could do for me. I said I just needed to cry. So he held me as I wept in his arms. I told him I was just tired. I was done. I missed the kids. I just wanted baby here. The pain was overtaking me. I didn’t want to go on or felt that I could.
Seborn got up and went around our apartment and started reading out loud to me all the Bible verses I had taped up.
“A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16:21
“But she will be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” 1 Timothy 2:15
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:13
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul- not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the Glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into Joy, thanking the Father who makes strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us.” Colossians 1:11-12 (The Message).
He read that last verse to me multiple times. Telling me how God gives me the strength to ENDURE what seems unendurable with his GLORY STRENGTH. Not simply gritting my teeth and getting by, but with His supernatural strength that spills into JOY because this experience and this reward IS bright and beautiful.
It’s exactly what I needed to hear in that exact moment. I wiped my tears, I got up from the couch, and I was ready to go. Let’s do this. I got in my laboring clothes- Seborn’s flannel shirt and some snowman socks and was ready to make this the day.
Throughout the morning, we labored together. We watched a little of a movie while I worked through intensifying contractions. I tried many different positions to see what I was most comfortable with. I laid down pads in the living room and our bedroom. I tried laboring on all fours. I labored over the toilet. I knelt down over our bed while standing and kneeling. I moved around our apartment taking each contraction as it came. A couple hours later the exhaustion was setting in again.
I would labor on all fours on the ground and then basically just slowly fall to the ground on my side and lay there in and out of alertness until the next contraction came. They were beginning to be about 4-6 minutes apart and extremely intense (as they had been most of the morning since 7am).
I felt the energy draining from me at times and would bask in the restlessness. Easing through the contractions and dreading the next one because I just wanted to sleep and not feel pain anymore. And then after a while, I would dig down deep and find the strength- that Glory strength that only God can provide and I would get up and attack the labor head on- taking each painful contraction as a battle of war- not afraid, moaning and groaning and working through each one. Deep and loud moans were echoing from my mouth as I would sway my hips and imagine the baby descending. Seborn would sometimes come behind me and push my hips together providing me the perfect amount of relief during the pain. He applied my essential oils to my hips and back and would massage me. He continued to speak life into my, encouraging me that I can do this, that I’m doing awesome, and proclaiming goodness to me throughout the labor. He is completely my rock.
We kept asking each other when we should call our family and midwives to come over. We didn’t want anyone to have to arrive too early and just wait but also didn’t want anyone to miss out. But we just had no clue where we were at. This could continue all day, or this baby could be here within an hour. Seborn had told me that morning that baby would be here by noon… and I was totally okay with that!
I went to labor over our bed some more and I had a very low and painful contraction. One where I felt so much pressure but not quite enough to push yet. A bunch of fluid came out and was dripping on the mat below me and at that point I think Seborn and I both realized it was maybe time to call the midwives over. But we still thought we had a ways to go but it would be best to have them here to be able to start setting up their gear. They arrived about 30 minutes later around 10:30am.
Once here, I started to feel slight urges to push. I wanted to just let it rip and push with everything I had but my midwife said to push with how my body was feeling the urge and to not push it beyond what my body was saying. I wanted so bad to be done, but used all the patience I could muster to just go with how my body was processing the labor.
An extreme contraction would come and then I’d wait for the next. Going through each one hoping it would be my last but knowing full well I could be in the trenches for a while. My midwives, by my side, continually guiding me and encouraging me. They both had taken turns massaging my hips and back and helping me through labor. My husband holding my hand and whispering encouragement to me with each intense pain.
And I began feeling something I hadn’t experienced in labor before. An excruciating pain in my lower back. That I just couldn’t get through. With each contraction, my lower back would pulse and pain just as much as the front and I felt I could no longer stand on my own 2 legs. I didn’t want to lay down, but I had not much left in me to stand. We tried having Seborn on his knees and being the leverage as a birth stool for me, but that position wasn’t working for either of us. So, Seborn leaned back and I laid down on him between his legs. I felt like I just fell back and closed my eyes and laid on him. I had a few contractions in this position and felt like I was able to rest a little and gain a little break with some lesser intense contractions. But I knew I couldn’t stay like this for long.
I got up a little later and went back over to lean over the bed. I was on my knees and just laid my head on the bed and had my arms flung on top of the bed too. I was limp. I would have a contraction where I felt some urge to push and I would give a little push and then I would have 3-5 contractions where there was no urge to push. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t having an extreme urge to push every time. My midwife said my body was still probably processing through the transition and dilating to the full 10cm. I just needed to wait for it to get there.
I was leaning over the bed and watched as the blood began to drip from me. Drop by drop. I just had to be close. Each contraction. Each pain. Each drip of blood. I was getting closer and closer. Keep going. Keep pushing forward. I lay over my bed… limp. My eyes opening and closing. How much longer?
Seborn was right by me, looking at me, holding my hand and speaking life into me. I looked up at him and knew I was at the end, but I needed to exercise my battle cry. I said, “Seborn, just slap me in the face and help me wake up. I need to get into Beastmode. BEASTMODE!” (Seborn and the midwives giggled.) And at that, I slowly stood up from my kneeling position and leaned over the bed…. ready for action.
No more resting. Let’s do this.
I stood over the bed, taking each contraction as it came with force and tenacity. I watched the blood continue to drip down from me. My back was still killing me and Seborn asked if I wanted him to come stand in front of me so I could hold onto him and have my back more straight instead of bent over the bed or over my knees, so we tried that. He came in front of me and I wrapped my arms around him. Next contraction. I squatted low and started pushing. I finally felt a bit more of the urge. And it came stronger than I had expected and I let out a loud scream. Just what I needed to motivate me more. I felt more pressure and asked my midwife if she saw the head yet. Not yet. Almost there.
I waited for the next contraction and was ready to bear down and get this baby out. Another contraction. More pushing. More screaming. Squatting and bearing down. More blood. Still no baby.
I was holding onto Seborn with everything I had and squatting low. He held up strong- my pillar! Another contraction. I push with everything I have. All I think I have left. I feel my midwife reach up and she is trying to help baby out. Having her hands there gave me even more of an urge to push so I pushed harder and yelled louder. I heard my midwives say the head was almost out. I pushed again. Half of baby’s head was out. That is all I needed to know. The pain was unbelieveable but I was almost there. I pushed more and they said baby’s head was out. Come on Meghan… one more push and you can get the rest of baby’s body out. Screaming and holding onto Seborn’s waist with all of my might, I squatted low and gave everything I had to push. Baby’s body came slidding out and my midwife placed baby right into my arms and wrapped a towel over us.
Seborn sat on the bed and I leaned back against him, holding our precious child. Weeping uncontrollably and gazing on our perfect baby! HERE! In my arms! At last! At 11:35am on a beautiful January day. The perfect day God had planned. And Seborn was right, baby came before noon!
All I could say over and over again is “This is amazing! You are amazing!” I just stared at baby and was in pure awe. And then I’d look at Seborn and tell him how much I loved him. And then look back at baby and say how much I loved baby. Pure joy in this moment. Seborn asked me if I wanted to look and see if it a boy or a girl and I said, “Not yet. I just want to be in this moment right now.”
And about 5 more minutes after just being in heaven on earth, I finally looked and saw that we had a BOY! Our second son. I just held him in my arms and couldn’t take my eyes off him. We were cradled so perfectly in Seborn’s arms. I was going back and forth between giving my husband and son kisses. Was this real life?!
I got settled onto my bed and nuzzled my baby in close, skin to skin. My family arrived with all our kids shortly after and were able to meet the little guy! I had just birthed the placenta and had let my midwives and family know beforehand that we would be taking some pictures and I wanted to leave the chord attached until after that was done.
I laid there with little Zion in my arms, sweetly resting on my chest. I had tried to breastfeed him within maybe 15 minutes of his birth and he latched on right away and was a pro. About 1 1/2 hours after his birth, we were ready to take pictures and begin the baby exam and for me to hop in the shower. Since Zion had stayed attached to his placenta for so long, all the precious chord blood went right back into him and the chord was completely drained of all the blood. It was also really cool when Seborn cut the chord and they were able to see the 2 vessels in the chord. (Refer to previous posts for 2 vessel chord info.) We took some incredible placenta pictures and I hopped in the shower. I tell ya what, that after birth shower is Uh. Maze. Ing. (Especially in your own shower in your own home.)
Seborn finally got to hold his son and it was incredible to see his beaming face. His second son. Our oldest, Makkedah 6, had asked us if she can be the first one to hold the baby after us so she was up next and the look on her face was priceless as she beheld her new baby brother she had waited so long for.
All of us gathered around as the midwives did his newborn exam and checked out every nook and cranny. He was such a little trooper and weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce and 20 1/2 inches long. And my midwives are incredible. Throughout the entire journey of pregnancy, labor and birth, they have just been amazing. Always giving me the time, love and commitment I need and the knowledge, advice and care that you can’t find anywhere else. And when I think of all the unnecessary medical interventions that would be pushed on me if I was in a hospital, I am so grateful for the patience and wisdom I get from my midwives. I went over 63 hours with my water broken and baby and I were just fine. Who knows what they would have made us do if we weren’t able to do homebirths. I also found out that Jeanne had to get involved with the pushing phase because Zion’s head was tilted to the side (which also caused the back pain.) His head was unable to crown because the cervix wasn’t fully opening. Jeanne recognized what was going on and was able to push aside the rest of the cervix and help tilt his head so that he was able to descend correctly. Grateful for my precious midwives and their care.
You can see the original post with included pictures here.