We entered this last weekend (42 weeks) heartened by our son’s stellar ultrasound results Friday afternoon. Like the pregnancy, our birth was long & full of emotional highs & lows. I woke up Sunday morning (3:30) with very strong & consistent contractions that fizzled out by the evening. Monday morning produced the same – up at 2 AM with contractions just 5 minutes apart that stayed consistent & strong all night & morning. These stalled out by noon. These were 2 defeating & exhausting false alarms where our birth team came & left our home. I was dilated enough & Toby was low enough that they promised I would have a fast & efficient end to the labor. I certainly did not believe them!
I went into active labor Monday afternoon & birthed Toby just before 6. This part of labor was by far the very best. What had seemed like endless suffering had transformed & I could tell I would birth our son soon after it started. My contractions felt strong & efficient. Our rented tub offered comfort & helped speed up the end of labor. Jeremy was at my side the entire time, massaging & offering verbal support. I birthed him with our incredible & patient midwife Penny leaning over me in the water. When he joined us, he came out very fast & I will always remember Penny telling me to reach down & pick up our son.
Our birth team checked our vitals as needed, but we spent much of the first hour solo in the bedroom. I remember asking Jeremy if he’d like to hold Toby & he said, completely genuine, that he wanted Toby & I to have the first hour “to bond & fall in love.” Our son was so alert, & we couldn’t peel our eyes from each other – Toby, Jeremy & I.
It was an experience like none other & one I could not have stuck out without the support of a partner as committed to it as I was. Jeremy encouraged & loved on me the entire labor. I was carried along from the incredibly patient & loving care we received from Gretchn, our birth attendant, & Penny. They were so good to me & so encouraging. They believed in me & this process when I felt like giving up. I needed their emotional support several times throughout, & I will always be grateful to them for this.
Later Monday evening, my sister & brother-n-law returned to our home with food & fireworks to help us celebrate our 4th of July baby. The last few days have been a celebration with my family. Jeremy’s family makes the drive from Iowa today & we will continue to celebrate. We feel extraordinarily blessed to bring a child into the world with the love of our families & a community of friends too, to support us.