After the birth of our son, Patrick and I decided to wait two or three years before trying to conceive a second child. So, when Waylon was six months old, we felt confident enough to sell our house and move in with Patrick’s parents while we waited for God to show us our new home.
After four months of living in their attic (and not finding a house), some wonderful friends of ours, Havan and Alicia Tucker, gave us their good news. They were pregnant and due at the end of June in 2014. We were elated for them. A mere two weeks later, after missing my period, we found God had decided we would not be waiting any time before our next child. I was pregnant with our second baby, due in mid July.
Our prayers increased, as we wanted to deliver this baby in our forever home, not a rental or my in-law’s attic. I experienced another easy, complication free pregnancy (barring morning sickness the first three months and a stomach bug that sent me to the ER with dehydration). Our baby was healthy and growing fine… and in April, we found our house, just a little ways down the road from the Tuckers! We closed May 1st and began moving in on May 8th. The house was a foreclosure, so we needed to clean, paint, and repair many, many things. It is still a work in progress!
On June 21st, my 36th week, we received a text from Havan that he and Alicia would not be available to hang out for the day as we had planned. Cora, their beautiful daughter, had decided to make her debut a week earlier! Meeting and holding her was wonderful, as was seeing my best friend become a mother, but her birth made me eager to meet my own precious bundle.
As it was my second baby, and Waylon had only been five days late, everyone kept telling me I would most likely go early. I ignored all this, until 39 weeks. I think every mother reaches that point when you just want to hold your child, and you don’t want to yearn any more. I was in great shape, and not uncomfortable, just so ready to meet my new baby. And find out if we were having a boy or girl! Hypnobabies helped so much with clearing my mind in those moments I gave in to the anxiety of “I’m not in labor yet!” and helped me just to feel excited that it would be soon. On my due date, I was all smiles, knowing my child knew when the best time to come would be, and God would keep us both safe. Alicia and Cora took Waylon and myself for breakfast that day, as a celebration.
That night, as we tucked into bed around 8pm, I began to have pressure waves. Every 6-8 minutes, lasting about a minute, I could feel my uterus bearing down on the baby. We called Mary Anne, our midwife, because Waylon had come so quickly, but she said to keep monitoring them, as she expected I would go to sleep and they would taper off and stop.
They finally did around midnight, stretching out to 30 minutes apart. The next day, Patrick decided to take the day off work, just in case, to help me with Waylon and ready the house. It was so nice to just enjoy being with my little family of three (the last day as a family of three!). A pressure wave, nothing intense, would happen every 30 minutes to an hour. I just kept myself calm, knowing tensing up would slow everything down. Even if it didn’t happen today, I would not be pregnant forever, and our baby would arrive soon. We decided to go to Walmart in the afternoon, to get some of the necessities on our list for the house. We also made arrangements for Tony and Sue (Patrick’s dad and stepmom) to come get our dogs for the weekend, in case the baby did decide to come.
At 5:30pm, I got in the shower with Waylon to give him a bath. After I passed him to Patrick, I let the hot water run over me, relaxing all my muscles. An intense pressure wave hit, so I flipped my switch and breathed through it. As it passed, I turned off the water, grabbed my towel, and began to dry off. Barely two minutes later, another wave hit, just as intense.
I got on my knees, breathing and smiling through it. I knew, somehow, my body and baby were ready to birth. I yelled for Patrick as the waved subsided, and told him we needed to pack Waylon’s bag to go with his grandparents, as well. His smile was amazing as he texted his dad, and I started packing a bag.
When Tony and Sue arrived at 6:30pm, my waves were 8 minutes apart. I was talking and laughing after every one, then flipping my switch and breathing through each wave, going to my special place. I imagined my cervix opening each time, hearing my thoughts and body and baby only. As we packed up Waylon and the dogs with Patrick’s parents, my waves began to drop down to four minutes apart, one minute each. We called to let Mary Anne know, and she told us everything sounded great, and to let her know when it had been going on for an hour.
Patrick and I went back to our bedroom after that, and I laid down on the bed to rest. Soon, we called Mary Anne back. My pressure waves were not so intense, although they were still 3-4 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I told her to come, but not to call her assistants, Becca and Tanya, yet. As Mary Anne walked out the door, she called us back, to remind me how fast I went last time, and that her assistants were also an hour away. Laughing with Patrick, we decided for her to “call the cavalry” and get everyone to our house soon!
While on their way, the intensity of my waves increased, but I felt so calm and confident. Patrick gave me counter pressure whenever I asked, and we started getting our bed prepared, our after birth meal ready, and the tub blown up.
Mary Anne arrived around 9pm, with Tanya and Becca about 30 minutes later. I was at 7-8 cm and the baby sounded great – heart rate dipping during waves but rebounding back as they subsided.
The next few hours I alternated from the bed to my birth ball to all fours – just whatever felt right to me in the moment and the most comfortable. My waves actually started to space out a bit as well. They suspected the baby was facing out, and not towards my spine, as they should. Mary Anne came into the bedroom while I was resting to suggest a certain position to lay in and turn little one, but I had naturally put myself into it!
I snacked on bananas and sipped labor-aide and water to keep my strength up and my nausea at bay. But I only felt “in labor” when my pressure waves started. Otherwise I was joking and laughing with everyone. There was talk of Patrick becoming a doula with how knowledgeable he had become about birth and how attentive he was to me, discussions on other birth experiences, and laughing about anything and everything. I felt so strong and empowered… just wonderful. I knew my body could do this, would do this. Hypnobabies is such a wonderful program for that!
Around 11pm to midnight, I decided to get in the tub. Luckily, our hot water heater held out, and we were able to fill it straight away from the tap and not boiling pots on the stove!
Just like with my first birth, easing into the water felt amazing. I felt I could just fall asleep with the relaxation I experienced. Every hour, I had to get up to urinate, and Becca commented on how easily I popped in and out of the tub or around the room. Like I wasn’t almost at 10 cm and ready to push out a baby. This made me feel even better!
Not long after being in the tub, I asked Mary Anne when I could push. She said when I felt ready to, as long as it didn’t hurt. I began to push with my next wave, and it felt good to ride along with my body. I did feel some resistance, so Becca checked my cervix. She couldn’t feel a lip, so I would push a little with each wave. Around 1am, Mary Anne asked that I have a wave on the toilet. Boy, did I! Being out of the water and sitting up, this wave was so intense, and the nausea hit me hard. I had another within a couple of minutes. I started to crawl back to the tub, but the nausea was so strong, I did not want to get back in the warm water.
They began putting pads and towels underneath me as I crouched by the tub on all fours. Patrick had been amazing this entire time, never leaving my side and doing anything for me I needed. He is one reason I was able to be so strong through each of my births.
Tanya gave me some peppermint oil to smell on a washcloth and a peppermint oil pill to melt in my mouth. This helped the nausea almost disappear. But at this point, I knew the baby was moments away, and I did not want to move far.
Mary Anne had me get on my back so she could check my cervix. She found a tiny lip, and said you would have to have great finger strength to find it and push it out of the way. She did just that, then said I was free to get in any position I wanted.
I went back to all fours, as this was the most natural and comfortable for me. As each pressure wave receded, I pushed at my own pace. I felt incredible fullness, but no pain, as the baby hit the birth canal. I pushed at the end of another wave and the baby began to crown, hearing Mary Anne and Becca saying, “We see the head!”
I remember grunting and groaning at this point, but not in pain, just in extreme exertion. I also had been speaking to the baby the entire time… “Come down, baby” “Mama is ready for you, baby”
I felt a lot of stretching and even more fullness as I pushed out the baby’s head and shoulders. Becca and Patrick began unwrapping the (very long!) cord from around the baby’s neck and shoulders. I could the little one starting to cry! With the next push, the baby was out and Patrick was able to help catch! They put the baby between my legs, and I saw my little boy, Clarence Hank(or Clank, as we nicknamed him), for the first time. I held him to my chest as they took pictures and got us ready to transfer to the bed.
On the bed, they cleaned us up, and I began to nurse Clarence, named after my papa. He had a little trouble latching at first, as he was crying so hard! Soon he caught on and happily contented himself at my breast.
I birthed the placenta easily as well, finding quite a bit of calcium and a marginalized attachment. My perineum was completely intact. One of the best perineums they had seen in awhile, they commented laughingly. Patrick and I both had to laugh over this. We had been stretching and massaging it since 35 weeks. Preparation is so important, vital, to a birth. I exercised daily, and was religiously careful about what I ate and drank. In fact, I only gained 22 pounds during this pregnancy. I also took herbs and drank certain teas to prepare my uterus and cervix for birthing.
Clarence Hank was born at 1:37AM on July 19th, 2014. Weighing 7lb 8oz, 19.25 inches long. He had a head full of black hair and deep blue/grey eyes. He was beautiful.
I found my second birth to be so much better and easier than my first, which is saying a lot! I loved my first birth as well. My confidence level was definitely higher this time. Without Mary Anne, Hypnobabies, and God, neither would have been so wonderful.