Editor’s Note: Patti gave birth to Finney vaginally after two c-sections! Finney was her first vaginal delivery and she has had two more home births since Finney’s birth.
I want to tell you about the day you were born. It began on a Wednesday morning. Daddy and I had decided not to go to church that night because we had so many errands to get done in town and since he’d worked late Monday and Tuesday, the rest of the week would be reserved to try to finish Ava’s room. We needed to find a new bed for Franky and to buy you and Franky new car seats. Then we were going to try to go Christmas shopping. That was a tall order for us, but I really felt these things needed to be accomplished that week.
We decided not to eat out since that would take up a lot of our time, so that morning I made some tuna and I packed a salad and some apples and, of course, a banana for Ava. It was kind of cold that day, but I packed the food in the little ice chest in the back of the van. The plan was for me to feed the kids lunch and then head on out to Walmart to buy a small piece of fabric that I needed to make Ava’s curtains.
After that I was going to drop off a map to our house at Beth’s house and then I would meet Daddy at work and we’d go from there. I was feeling pretty heavy and slow that morning. As I was feeding the kids their lunch I got a few strong contractions, but since I’d had Braxton Hicks contractions before, I thought that’s what they were. At one point I sat down and cried because I knew the day would be long and I was impatient with myself and my body. I prayed and asked God to help me get through the day. I guess I felt a little overwhelmed, but determined that the day would go as planned.
As we were driving to Walmart, the contractions kept coming. I was getting a little scared since, according to our estimations, I wouldn’t be 36 weeks until the coming Saturday. Beth had said she couldn’t legally deliver a baby not yet 36 weeks. I pushed the fears from my mind and assumed I was being wimpy about the contractions and I comforted myself with the knowledge that God was taking care of me and He wouldn’t let anything go wrong.
We got to Walmart and found a great parking space. I found both kids asleep. I hated the thought of waking them since this would be their only nap that day and I felt pretty lousy anyway. We left. I decided I could put that errand off for another day. The contractions kept coming. Finally, I decided to call Beth and ask her about them. She said that I would know when I was having the real thing and since I’d slacked off on my water consumption that week it could be that my uterus was just sensitive because of that. I decided that’s what was wrong and told her that I was coming over to drop off the map. In the back of my mind I wondered if it might be a good idea to ask her to examine me once I arrived, but after our conversation I thought better of it.
When I got to Daddy’s office we were 30 minutes early, so we all got off and kept Grandpa and Daddy company. The contractions kept coming, but I just tried to ignore them. We had a lot to do that afternoon! We ate dinner in the parking lot at Braslau’s. Then we found some bunk beds we liked for you and Franky. (We didn’t know for sure you were a boy, but I was pretty sure about it) More contractions. They made me tired and I had to take several breaks.
Next we went to Baby Depot for the car seats. More contractions. More breaks. There was a very rude cashier there. If I had known I was in labor I think I would’ve been rude back. Daddy bought us some cookies and then felt very guilty about it. We decided to get some fruit cups later on the way home.
I wanted to head to the other mall and get those Christmas gifts, but Daddy said, “I think you need to go home and rest.” We stopped at Sun Harvest for cranberry juice in case the contractions were just brought on by a UTI. Then we headed to La Paletera. In the car we started timing the contractions. They averaged 7-8 minutes apart. I could tell Daddy was growing concerned, but still looking for evidence to disprove their validity. I wasn’t really taking them seriously, either. I really thought if I went home and went to bed they’d go away.
At home we put the kids to sleep and stayed up talking. The contractions were getting stronger and closer-5 minutes apart. We finally decided to call Beth at 15 till midnight. She asked if we had any wine. We said no. She said wine could buy us a few more days and it wouldn’t hurt you for me to drink some.
Daddy got dressed. We were trying to figure out where we were going to get some wine at that hour. We considered that we might be wrong about my due date. I don’t know why I hadn’t just looked up my last period before, but we looked it up then and told Beth. She reviewed my chart and we both agreed that I’d always measured a little big for date. When I told her the date of my last period she said that would move my due date up to Dec 16, which would make me 38 weeks presently. She told us to forget the wine and that she was on her way. (I don’t know how she would’ve found us if I hadn’t dropped that map off that afternoon!) I started to walk circles around the couch and stove. At some point the contractions got closer-2-3 minutes.
I needed to go to the bathroom. I found blood . I called Beth and her daughter Jessica answered. I told her about the contractions and the blood. They were already on their way. The funny thing is that Beth’s car was in the shop that day. Since I’d called her that afternoon she notified her daughter to sleep with the phone by her bed just in case I called her that night asking her to come over. Sure enough, I called and Jessica picked Beth up. Thank God!! It got harder to walk, but I felt I should keep going. My hips really started to hurt. Daddy started cleaning the house. (I hadn’t felt up to cleaning for quite a while, but at least I’d kept up with the dishes and the laundry) He gathered our supplies and put them in the room.
Our room, what a mess! It was pretty crowded in there, but we were in a transition period. Daddy hadn’t had a chance to move things around yet. He didn’t know he needed to. And we still hadn’t come up with a name for you. Boy, were we behind. That reminds me that I need to go to Walmart and take out the layaway before the 13 or 14. Maybe tonight will be our first outing after all? I must pause here and feed you.
I was relieved when Beth and Jessica got there. They didn’t bring all their stuff in just in case it was a false alarm. I really wanted to start crawling, but I didn’t. I think they didn’t realize how much progress I’d made until I told them that I was getting small urges to push. Then Beth said, “Let’s go examine you.” We came to the bedroom and lo and behold, I was at 9 cm. I think we were all surprised. The contractions came faster and stronger and Beth said I should push and not waste them. I wasn’t very comfortable lying on the bed, so I asked to sit up. I moved to the birth chair right in front of Daddy’s closet. By now Franky and Ava had woken up and were wondering what was going on. Daddy was taking care of them. He’d called my parents and I think his also and told them I was having you.
I guess my body took over then. I couldn’t control what was happening to me. It was so scary and amazing at the same time. I think I wasn’t prepared mentally for it all, but there was no time to wait and prepare. We didn’t even have diapers for you! It was just a matter of pushes and suddenly my water broke. The pain was terrible but at that moment I already felt such accomplishment. A couple more pushes and Daddy in the kitchen with the kids heard your first cry. I only pushed for 18 minutes. I guess that’s pretty good because Beth was very impressed as she told me.
I held you immediately after you were born and when I looked at you I couldn’t remember the pain of your birth. It was all so fast and incredible. I did it. I really did it. I think it’s just dawning on me even now that I did it. My body did it. God honored our faith, our obedience. He’s so real. You were born at the foot of our bed. No hospital. No IV. No drugs. No strangers. No medical degrees. No ruptured uterus. No knives. Beth fixed an herbal bath for us and once we were clean I got in bed and they began to check you over. My parents and Joey arrived and Carrie Ann, the apprentice, had come during our bath. They got to see Beth and Carrie Ann weigh you with a net and a fish scale (7 pounds, 18.5 inches). They brought you some diapers and some onesies. You were born at 2:50 am. We didn’t get to sleep until around 6am. My mom stayed over and helped us a lot the next day. What a great birth!