Sunday, September 2, 2012

The birth story of Eowyn Grace... part 1

So do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
~ Isaiah 41:10~
     This is the birth story of Eowyn "Wynnie" Grace Goble. Wynnie's birth was a planned homebirth. She was in a hurry to get here and was born unexpectedly unassisted with just her Momma in attendance and surprised us all being breech. 
     This story is not meant to be a tale of my strength but rather of the strength given to me by my Father in Heaven. Without my faith and trust in the Lord and His perfect design of birth and a woman's body this story could have been very different. I believe without my submission to the Lord in these moments and calling out to Him my baby's birth could have been very different. If anything the birth story of Eowyn Grace Goble is an enormous testimony of a perfect loving God who upholds His children in their hour of need. He's again proved to me that He provides perfectly in every moment of our lives and His blessings are beyond imagination.
     Isaiah 41:10 was the "verse of the day" on my cell phone July 19th 2012. It was God's first gift to me that morning. The day started out as normal. The alarm went off for Steve to go to work at about 6:20am. I hauled my big pregnant self out of bed to shut it off and went to put Steve's lunch together and do my other early morning "wifely" chores. I went back to bed grabbing my cell phone from the charger and I first read Isaiah 41:10. I couldn't go right back to sleep so I just kind of laid in bed half watching TV then decided to pray for awhile. It was really nice to just lay there and talk to the Lord. I don't remember any of my specific prayers that morning just spending time with the Lord and it soothed my soul.

     Around 7:30 still half praying half dosing off I felt my very first "real" contraction. Everything I'd felt up until that moment had just been a Braxton Hick. I wasn't even sure if this was real and I didn't want to get excited. I acknowledged it was real and waited to see if another would come. I felt another one after about 5 minutes. I decided to open up the contraction timer app on my phone for the first time. Sure enough I was having contractions lasting 60-90 seconds every 5 min. I decided to make sure they were consistent for 30 min before I called Sherry (my midwife). I stayed in bed resting and relaxing (foolishly) thinking maybe I could doze and get a little more sleep.
     Around 8:15 I'd been having consistent contractions for just over 30 min so I grabbed my phone, grabbed a waterproof pad(in case my water broke) and went out into the living room. I turned on the computer thinking I'd just sit around make some phone calls and wait to see what happened. I emailed Steve told him what was going on, called my mom, woke up my brother Kyle and I called Sherry. Sherry told me she would pack her car up and get on her way and to call her back in 30 min if things were still moving along. At 8:45 I was still going as consistent as could be. It was like someone had just flipped a switch and my labor had turned on. I was standing up thru my contractions and swaying my hips. During each contraction I was singing the song that reminded me of Isaiah 41:10. "I'll strengthen thee help thee and cause thee to stand upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand" It played over and over in my head while I calmly worked thru each contraction.

     These contractions were different from with Jeriah it was definitely back labor. My hips felt like they were being squeezed in a vice and all the pressure I felt was on my tailbone rather than my cervix. They were more difficult and painful for sure. I was already blowing thru them which should have indicated to me that things were moving quickly. I called Sherry told her things were still going. My contractions were now coming every 3 to 5 minutes. She said she was on her way. Sitting at the computer was becoming more difficult and painful so I told Steve I would text him any news and I moved to the couch. My thought being that if I was on my knees or all 4's the contractions would be easier to cope. I also hoped it would lessen the wrenching back labor. I knew back labor was a sign baby might not be in the best position so I wanted to be in a good position to help my baby move into the best one.
     Steve didn't head straight home. Not having any paid time off after his own medical nightmare in June we wanted to be sure things were happening before he left work. We'd agreed he would wait until Sherry arrived to tell me whether we had a few hours or if Steve should get home now. I did tell him things seemed to be moving fast and then a few minutes later told him he should come home sooner than later. A lot of what happened after I moved to the couch was a blur! My text message history is the best recollection I have. I know I talked to Kyle some and asked him to bring the laundry basket of birth supplies out so they would be accessible when needed.

     It was probably around 9:10 or 9:15 when things really got intense. I couldn't believe how strong my contractions were and how quickly they got that way. I felt my body starting to push and I truly could not believe it! It was too soon surely I didn't need to push yet. I was only pushing because I was in a hurry to get this over with! This "pushing" was all in my head. I couldn't be pushing because Sherry wasn't here, Steve wasn't here and I couldn't do this without Steve to keep me focused like he did with Jeriah! HOW COULD I BE PUSHING???
     My own disbelief that I was truly pushing aside I wanted to allow my body to do what it did I was trying to submit to the natural urges my body was experiencing. Pushing was almost a relief thru the whole birth. It was intense and seemed out of my control.  I think the emotional and mental weight of the circumstances overshadowed most of the physical pain my body was going thru. I think I just  didn't have time to feel I was so focused on the business at hand.  The urge to push was intense and I was afraid the only clear thought in my head was to call out to the Lord! And I DID! LOUDLY! I can't remember exactly what I said but I just cried out to the Lord for help for strength for guidance and everything He could heap upon me in that moment. I'd spent the whole of my pregnancy "preaching" about trusting my body and trusting God's design for pregnancy and birth God was calling me out on it and asking me to trust Him. I didn't really have an alternative choice under the circumstances.

     Poor Kyle I don't know what he was thinking watching me and listening to me. I certainly didn't expect or necessarily want him to bear witness to my birth not like this anyways. I'm sure he didn't expect to either though he has assured my since that its fine he isn't scarred for life. I'm relieved he was "spared" the most graphic bits. I had another pushing contraction and my water broke but I wasn't 100% certain at the time that it was my water. I don't remember wetness as much as just the acknowledgement something popped. I couldn't stop thinking...How could it be this soon it can't be this soon. I was in a state of disbelief.  With the next contraction I needed to know I was truly pushing. So I put my hand down in my pajama pants.  I needed to feel that I was actually PUSHING! Sure enough I felt that I was opening and stretched. I felt more trying to determine exactly what I was feeling. I couldn't see not only because of my pajama pants but I was standing up on my knees leaning forward on the couch cushions.

      I let my fingers wander over and felt something that had to be the umbilical cord. That sent me into a panic the first thought in my head was "Cord prolapse"... Umbilical Cord Prolapse can be deadly if my baby's cord was coming out first it was trouble my baby could be starved for oxygen and I had no idea how to deal with it. Kyle was standing there looking quite helpless and confused. I looked up and told him to call 911! Hoping someone could help guide me through this so my baby could arrive safely.
     This was when God intervened and continued to prove He was in control. Jeriah marched out of the bedroom to see what was going on. He was unaccustomed to hearing mommy's LOUD fervent prayers (more accustomed to the quiet soft ones whispered at bedtime). He'd come to investigate. I remember the rumpled sleepy look on his face the last time I saw him as an "only child." Kyle immediately swooped into uncle mode and got Jeriah settled with Umizoomi in the other room. Kyle never did call 911.

      I kept praying and feeling with my fingers trusting and asking God for help and what to do next. As I continued to feel I realized I wasn't feeling a round head but I felt like columns with the cord in between. I'm not sure if I was feeling legs with feet tucked inside or a squishy little butt. I had another urge to push  and then  there were sweet baby feet. I realized my baby was coming into the world foot first! It was around this point I relaxed just a little. Thankfully God had even prepared me for a breech baby by guiding me to read birth stories and articles about breech births. The one thing the ONLY thing I could remember in that instance was "HANDS OFF! I felt a foot move which reassured me that my baby was ok and alive. I had a break between contractions and Kyle came out of the bedroom from settling Jeriah. I sent him outside to look for Sherry hoping so so hard she was pulling into the driveway at that moment!

     In the next push baby was free except for shoulders and head I just relaxed and allowed my body and my baby to do what they needed to I had my hands there to support and caress but didn't grab, pull or do anything to help. In the next push my baby was free. I did feel a ring of fire at some point and I felt the baby moving down in my body like a hard slippery ball of pressure but I don't remember pain. I certainly don't remember excruciating "I'm going to die" unmanageable pain. My thoughts were too focused on delivering this baby and listening for the Lord's guidance!  
      I immediately brought baby to my chest so I could see everything was ok. I wanted to make sure  baby could breathe with me and feel safe and warm against me. I looked down at that beautiful little person in shock and awe.  I caught my breath and probably relaxed a little. My sweet baby let out a few good cries to reassure me it was ok. and I encouraged it caressing and touching it the whole time to stimulate it and reassure it Mommy was there. I looked at the clock and noted the time of 9:23am. Then I put baby down on the water proof pad I had THANKFULLY had the good sense to put under me when I moved to the couch. I briefly glanced down and discovered we had baby girl but didn't give it much more though than that as I noticed the cord was around her neck not dangerously so as she had screamed but I unwound it. I stripped off my shirt so I could hold my baby skin to skin.

      Kyle came back in without Sherry to my disappointment and he found me with a baby on my chest. I was pretty shell shocked at this point and trying to find my head. I couldn't believe it was over, I couldn't believe I'd done it alone with only the Lord and the brains in my head. I had trusted the Lord I had trusted my body and I had trusted in birth.
     I don't know when my brain truly came back to me or if it really did but I managed to call Sherry. I can't remember what I said word for word but it was something to the effect of... "I just delivered my breech baby by myself in my living room." I think she was pretty shocked and certainly surprised! I told her baby was ok I was ok and she told me she was close. I relaxed and waited for her to get here! I couldn't call Steve so I just sent him a text message telling him to call me. When he did I told him he was a daddy again. I asked if he wanted to know who our baby was and he said no. He wanted to wait until he got home. I told Kyle to call my mom and tell her baby was here but I told him I wasn't telling what the baby was until Steve knew. I knew that would irritate the snot out of my mom but felt Steve deserved to know first.

    I  figured at some point I should move and get more comfortable. I had Kyle hand me some chux pads and my robe so I could move from the floor to sit on the couch. I laid the chucks out on the couch but I never did move I was still in my head trusting that God or my instincts would tell me what to do next to move not to move. I was still kneeling on the floor when I heard Sherry come in the door.

I don't know that I remember much once Sherry arrived. I know I felt like I could finally relax and breathe.  Sherry helped me to deliver the placenta and to sit on the couch. I did and I remember allowing Wynnie to latch onto my breast to nurse. She latched herself and it was perfect from the start no pain just a sweet baby girl doing what she was supposed to do. I touched her all over there wasn't much vernix on her but what there was I rubbed into her skin. I smelled her. She smelled delicious and intoxicating. It was a month before She had  first bath because I didn't want to wash off that scent!
      Soon after Sherry arrived Steve came home and another wave of relief came over me. Things were ok now I could relax more. Steve stood behind the couch his head close to mine and I introduced him to our daughter. I told him we had our Wynnie. That Grandma Goble has given us her blessing and we had a sweet baby girl. (The story of Eowyn's name is another story to hopefully be told later) I think he teared up a little. We had a moment a sweet little married moment together to mark the birth of our daughter and the expansion of our family.

           Eowyn Grace on the day of her birth looking up at her Momma

1 comment:

dawn elwell said...

Nope. You don't remind me of Aunt Ruth. Nope. Not at all. (Said with much wry, affectionate sarcasm.) Of course, there's Grandmother Elwell in there, too, as in any given crisis situation, there was a calm head and total reliance on God's guidance. And no, I doubt Kyle would panic if you were not panicking. The boy is too steady for that. My first thought about the feet first thing was "Owie!" and then a solid knowledge that you were fine. I had a feeling it was a girl not long after you announced the pregnancy. I don't see her as pink and frufru, tho. More of a gentle green, lavender and Springy. Those eyes just seem to advertise an "old, wise soul". Ought to be interesting. :-)