For some reason, the birth of this baby has been a coming attraction to my family and friends. Maybe it's because we have 2 boys and we were pregnant with a girl?! Whatever the reason, I believe the anticipation has paid off. Not only did she finally arrive, but she arrived with a birth story that seems to only happen in the movies. Here is her story...
After having 2 successful home births with my sons, it was a no-brainer to have a home birth with baby #3. We moved to a new state a couple years ago, and knew we'd have to find a midwife. Little did I know, midwifery has only been legal for a few years in our state. So... finding information and support was very difficult at first. Luckily by the time I got pregnant, I was apart of an awesome moms group that was full of moms from all walks of life; including home birth!
Pregnancy was a bit rocky this time around. We had a scare of a possible miscarriage right away, and decided to keep the pregnancy to ourselves until we got through the first trimester. Taking herbal supplements to help sustain the pregnancy gave me horrible morning sickness. However, once I received great results on my bloodwork at 9 weeks, we were ready to tell our family! But the rest of the world would have to wait :)
We were excited to have another baby, boy or girl. Already having 2 boys, another boy would be easy. We knew how to handle boys, we already had everything boy. But the thought of adding a little girl was exciting! Not just for us, but for our boys as well. Even out the playing field a bit! But we knew that God would give us whatever we needed. At 20 weeks, an ultrasound confirmed it... GIRL!
As excited as we were to have another baby, especially a little girl, I was already over being pregnant. And I had a feeling I would be going all the way, and then some. Both boys were late. Euan, our second son, was 9 days late! So I knew that I would be in for a full pregnancy. As her due date was approaching, everyone was wondering when I would deliver. And of course, everyone had their opinions on how to "make" me go into labor. I've done this before, twice. Nothing works! At least not for me and my babies. I knew she would come when she was ready. You hope it will be sooner rather than later. But I wasn't surprised to watch her due date come and go. I was actually pleased to make it past her due date, since it was on Euan's 3rd birthday! But once that came and went, I was ready for her to come at any time.
I had an appointment 3 days after her due date. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a couple months, but they were now lasting longer. Nothing alarming. Just a very hard belly! In the last day or two, my belly was hard ALL THE TIME! Not painful, just "discomfortable". When the midwife did measurements and checked my belly, she said that it looked like I was getting ready to have a baby. She didn't specificy when (smart woman), but soon. We scheduled an appointment for the following week, but both hoped that I wouldn't make it that long.
I figured it would be at least a few days before baby would come. I never had a feeling of "today being the day" with the other 2. So I really had no idea when this baby would decide to come. I just knew that she was doing her job. She was making me increasing discomfortable. Thus, preparing for her arrival.
I went to bed on the night of my appointment with a pretty consistantly hard belly. It's always difficult to get comfortable at night in the last weeks of pregnancy, so this was really no different. I would wake up about every hour, still tight and discomfortable. Finally around 2 am, I was getting moments of relief... but then I was tightening up again, and this time in my back. For some reason, I kept checking the time. My midwive had just told me about a woman being in false labor in the middle of the night. So maybe that's why I thought I needed to start keeping track of my possible contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart, and not lasting very long. I was able to breathe through them and get a little bit of sleep in between. I tried to breathe quitely so my husband wouldn't be on edge. He had a dental appointment at 8:10, I had to take Euan to his well-child at 8:30 am and his birthday pictures following that. I knew we all needed to get some sleep for our busy day. But with the contractions tightening in my back and belly, I had to get up every few contractions to go to the bathroom. Matthan finally caught on that I was having some issues. I told him what was happening, and we were both anxious to see if this was real labor. But we tried to get some sleep.
By 4:00 am, I wasn't able to quietly breathe through the contractions. It became a little more painful. I thought the time was getting close to call Joann, our midwife. Not because I thought I was going into serious labor any time soon, but just to get her opinion on what we should do next. I was planning on having a water birth, but didn't know when I should get it. Or if I should eat or drink. I was starting to feel weak since I had spent the whole night in and out of bed and making trips to the bathroom. My body was running on empty. I waited until just after 5:00 am to call. She asked if I felt like she needed to come over. I didn't think so.... I asked when the right time was for her to come. She said my contractions needed to be 5 minutes apart and lasting for 1 minute. Then Matthan said my last contraction was 6 minutes apart, then 4 minutes. But they felt like they were only lasting for 30 seconds. So she told me to get something to eat and drink, and call her when I thought she needed to come.
Time - 5:13 am.
I grabbed my stability ball in case I wanted to use it to labor on and headed upstairs. My contractions suddenly seemed to be getting more frequent, but it didn't feel like they were lasting for a whole minute. I grabbed my phone to take with me into the bathroom to see if I could find a stop watch so I could keep better track on my labor.
In this time, Matthan had already went up to get things ready. My niece, Nicole, came a few weeks earlier to stay with us for the summer. Being 17 years old and great with kids, I knew she would be a huge help and blessing to us! She got all my birth supplies out and we tried to get ready. Matthan headed outside to blow up the birthing pool and Nicole asked me if I needed anything. In between trips to the bathroom to labor through contractions, I asked her to make me some oatmeal.
My contractions started coming strongly and I scrolled through my phone to find Joann's number. I was waiting for a chance to call her but I was getting ready to have another contraction. I had an intense feeling of pressure in my back. I thought I needed to go to the bathroom and tried to sit down, but I physically couldn't do it. My legs tensed up and I felt a need to push. With this being my third delivery, I knew the difference between an intense contraction and the urge to push for delivery. But I didn't really think it was time to deliver a baby yet. When I pushed, I saw brownish fluid come out and panicked! I thought, something must be wrong. I didn't feel like it was already time for her to come out. We had just came upstairs 15 minutes ago. There's was no way (in my mind) that I went from managable labor to pushing a baby out in 15 minutes!
People must think I'm crazy for not knowing that I was getting ready to deliver. But I've had 2 babies, and the progression has never been this fast. The first one, my water broke at 11:00 pm and I had painful contractions that were 10 minutes apart all night long. I went into my midwife's house in the morning, had long labor and 2 hours of pushing. He didn't come until after 4:00 pm. The second one, I had contractions in the afternoon. I went in for my check up and was told I was having a baby that night! I went home to labor, got in the tub, went back to my midwife's house in the evening, labored and had him after 9 pm. I felt like I knew the general progressive of labor. And it just couldn't be possible that I escalated so quickly this time.
Flash forward, I yelled for my husband in a panic to get in the bathroom now because I felt like she was coming. Looking back, it's a good thing Nicole was in the house because Matthan was outside running the air compressor to fill up the pool. There's no way he would hear me calling for him. Matthan didn't believe Nicole when she told him I thought the baby was coming. Thankfully, he came in the bathroom and asked me if I was ok. I told him that I thought she was coming out and I was feeling like I needed to push. And the next thing I knew, I pushed her head out. And I was still standing over the toilet! I reached down and felt her head. It was incredible, but frightening. I couldn't believe this was happening like this.
Time - 5:29 am
Matthan must have grabbed my phone off the sink and called Joann right away. Her contact information was the last thing I was looking at, so he was able to call her quickly. I heard him telling her that I was having the baby and her head was already out, and asked her what we were supposed to do. There was no way I was going to walk over to the couch or bed to deliver her. I really thought I was just going to deliver her standing up over the toilet and somehow have to catch her. I heard Matthan say that I needed to get on my hands and knees. I thought, how the heck am I going to get down on the floor with her head already out?! Somehow I managed and I yelled over and over for Matthan to catch her, because she was coming! I pushed out her shoulders, then the rest of her body and immediately praised Jesus! He gave me such strength and control to be able to deliever a baby that way. I was so happy that she was finally here. June 12, 2013. Ms. Elina Jae.
Matthan said she was out, but she was purple, her hand came out with her head and the cord was around her neck. He didn't know if she was breathing. A few seconds later, I heard the most amazing sound... she cried! And because of my rush of hormones at birth, I kept saying she would be fine! Joann told him to flip her over and rub her back to get her to breathe and wrap her in a towel until she got there. She was already on the freeway. We told Nicole to go get the towels downstairs. We hadn't even gotten that far while we were trying to set things up!
I don't remember how we did it, but somehow we were able to manuver Elina around my legs (since she was still attached to me) so that I could flip over on my back and finally hold her. I laid on the bathroom floor, on top of the garden hose that we were going to use to fill up the pool, and we waited for Joann to arrive. It was quite the scene! It seriously felt like we were in a movie. These things just don't happen! You read crazy stories, watch shows or movies about this, but never actually experience it. Or even know someone that experienced it. It was surreal. I just looked at Matthan and cried tears of joy and disbelief. I said, I can't believe we just did that! I was riding on a high. He was an emotional mess. I guess that's the difference between men and women, fathers and mothers. We tend to get caught up in the joy and excitemeny. They tend to worry about all the things that may go wrong. He was so overwhelmed by everything that happened and just wanted her to be healthy.
Joann walked in about 20 minutes later. We were all huddled on the floor in the bathroom, surrounding this beautiful bundle of joy! Elina was still attached to me. Joann held her, Matthan held me under my arms, and we all waddled slowly to the couch. Nicole laid a table cloth over it so that I could finish my delivery. I held Elina, Matthan cut the cord, and we were now both in Heaven! Nicole and Joann acted as our photographers and captured first pictures with Elina and candid moments. I can't even begin to express how thankful I am that Nicole was here. She was SUCH an asset in the delivery.
Joann worked on her paperwork for Elina and tried documenting the birth. We had to piece it together, it happened so quickly. We guessed at her birth time, since no one thought to look at the clock! Our estimation - 5:35 am. 3 1/2 hours of labor.
We all stared in amazement at our new addition. Matthan was just about to head downstairs and wake the boys when they so-happened to walk upstairs. Matthan told them their sister was here, and they both ran over to meet her. They could barely contain their excitement! It was perfect. I almost didn't believe that they slept through her delivery, but those kids could sleep through anything! We all had breakfast, including Elina, and looked forward to spending the day at home... getting to know our newest family member. It was so great to have a baby and never have to leave the house. It was pure bliss!
This story shocks everyone. Not only did it happen so fast that she was delivered on the bathroom floor, but daddy got the pleasure of delivering her. I always said I wanted him to deliver our next baby. I said, all you have to do is catch! I never thought that he would actually do it. But when you're in that moment and minus a midwife, you do what you have to do! I feel so blessed that Elina made it here safely. I'm recovering very well, and she's just a joy! I couldn't ask for anything more.