I’ve always been a tub-soaker; I love the how relaxed your mind feels, how warm water makes every pore supple, and the flicker of candlelight creates an ambiance that can’t be compared. It also amazes me how the fluidity of water can dance with your movements – effortlessly, romantically…in a flattering glisten.
Back story, I was in one of Jeanne Ohm’s classes and she described how her bedroom was her family’s “safe” place. She told a few stories of how their bed was a place her children revered as a sanctuary where the biggest storm could be calmed, even as adults. I remember this magical vision I had (pre-parenthood). I moved a bajillion times from the time I was 5 years old, so the idea seemed even more as-seen-on-tv. My grandma, Elizabeth or “Liz,” was my “safe” place. She only moved as life and age demanded change. I can still see the map of her home and all the memories we made there. Even though she wasn’t a place, I thought of how cool it would be to have a tangible piece of safety for our children, hopefully life-long. The concept of the nest began 🙂
Merik was our second pregnancy, second child, first son, and since this story, has become our youngest/last child. He was conceived after my husband’s intentional cup of coffee (he read that the pH change makes the boy swimmers more successful – insert his smirk). I was hoping for a surprise gender, but baby-daddy had to know!! When we found out it was a boy, we were so thrilled! Obviously, we would have been thrilled no matter the gender, but somehow our feeling of ~complete was already developing.
We knew that this birth would be something special! Not only did we project being in our new home in time to have a home birth, but we had wanted to have Mattie at home and the mechanics didn’t allow it. So, Merik’s birth would be different. The romantic, intimate, relaxed experience that he deserved, and we desired.
We moved into our forever home on April 11th 2015. I was 39 weeks and 1 day. Let’s just say the builder felt daily pressure from us – LOL!! We had so much support and love….along with an abundance of excitement! We easily moved everything in one day! After the big move, I quickly went into full nesting mode, on my NEST!!
So, 6 days after we moved in, Merik was due to arrive! I, of course, wanted him to be welcomed in comfort and ease. The nest came together quickly with the help of some loved ones. The emotion of the space began to take shape. There was an unspoken joy that was maturing. The one thing that seemed to take center stage in my vision for his birth was our bathtub. I began to get excited about meeting our little monkey in the warm, relaxing water. I felt insatiable; I wanted to give LIFE to this space that would welcome our baby!
At 1:30am on Monday, April 27th 2015, I woke from sleep to go to the bathroom. It was not common to go #2 at night, but if I’m perfectly honest, this #2 was uncommon. I took notice and then felt a small contraction. I went to get some water and within 7 minutes felt another. I was beginning to think I might be in labor. I had some doubt because it was unfamiliar. In Mattie’s labor, the contractions were intense from the onset, but only 15-20 minutes apart. These were consistent and frequent, but just not intense. I decided to text our midwife, Terry.
I picked up my phone to find a text message from midnight that announced she was in Whitney, TX. I decided if she had only been asleep for an hour or two, she might not wake for a text, so I decided to call her. Thankfully she answered!! She inquired of my symptoms, and said she would get up, dress, and check the weather (WHAT!?!!). She said she would let me know when she began to travel north.
I had a small panic set in. I had mentally planned and prepared for a quick birth. I had told Terry during prenatal care that my intuition said 17 minutes. She didn’t like that idea because it didn’t give her time to travel from Cleburne (where she was expected to travel from) to our home. We jokingly agreed on 1 hour 17 minutes 😉 Knowing Whitney is 90 minutes away, I knew I had to have a talk with Merik!
I had always thought if I delivered unassisted, I would be fine. I even gave Terry a hard time as I approached 42 weeks that I wouldn’t be showing up for an induction, and that I would send her a picture of Merik when he arrived at home. She didn’t like that humor neither!
Unexpectedly, I was NOT ok laboring, and especially not delivering unassisted. I prayed about surrender, God’s divinity, and asked Merik to work together to allow Terry to get to our home before he did ♥
I began calling family and telling those planning to attend, that it was time. Apparently I was very calm and confused everyone – nobody came!
I got a call from Terry at 3:00am. She said she was on her way & GPS said it was a 1 1/2 hour trip. I was interrupted a time or two by a contraction on the call. I decided to wake Joey up and have him take over organizing and attending calls.
He got up and started the coffee. I asked him to call my dad and stepmom, and ensure they were on their way in case Mattie woke up they could care for her. I turned on some relaxation music, and got on the body ball for the upcoming contractions.
An hour passed of quiet. Mattie was sleeping, Joey was prepping for the midwives, and I was breathing and surging.
Dad and Pam arrived. Dad checked in on how everything was going, and then sat near me in the living room quietly. Pam was busy getting the bed prepared with plastic.
At 4:30am Terry and her assistant arrived. Only moments later the supporting midwife, Judith, joined us. After a review of symptoms was done, I asked for a position recommendation because I felt like I was crawling up, away from the pressure. She suggested kneeling in front of the couch. Joey put some pillows down. I had one miserable contraction there.
I thought it might be a good time to sit on the potty to make sure I didn’t need to pee. I thought I might be able to let the tightness go without fear of making a mess. I had an intense contraction on the potty, and my water exploded. I felt a huge release and instantly wanted to push!
Terry took one look and suggested we get in the tub. I had another contraction standing at the side of the tub….wondering if Merik would shoot out on the floor behind me if I bent over at the wrong time!! I told Joey later, if he could have read my mind, it would have clearly said pick me up and put me in the tub!!!
I finally made it into the tub! With the next contraction we had my son’s head out 🙂 Terry asked me to “just breathe, don’t push.” I was able to do exactly what she asked. She freed the cord from around his neck, and then invited me to push at the next contraction. I again, was able to do as she asked. At 5:08am Joey caught our son as he transitioned into the bath’s water. Joey savored his touch, and then passed him onto my chest.
He was crying so loudly I could feel my thoughts toggle from, “oh my goodness; here is my son” to “why is he in pain; what do I need to do?” As my eyes focused on his face, I had an interruption of thought. “Why does it seem like I’m looking at Mattie?” They were so identical in appearance to me. I was in a weird state of confusion….Deja vu!!! I had invested so much in giving him his own identity and space, I felt like I was robbing him of his moment with mom, because all I could see was Mattie.
I was feeling the concern the midwifery team had for the type of cry he had. It was distinctly a pain cry in my ears. I couldn’t help but get swept away from his needs by my own enamor with his being. I began to feel a love, even newer and more unfamiliar than before. I knew something was different! I knew this love had its own frequency. I expected it to feel like my love for Mattie, but it was new. Not unequal, just new.
As we moved Merik and I to the bed to deliver the placenta, the crying continued. I began to hear the crying more in focus. About that time, Terry said, “why don’t you adjust him?” I heard her words like a drum – so distinct and familiar. My chiropractor brain flipped on, and my hands went to work.
I had a moment, one of those times as a professional where it is personal. It is a moment in time that is surrounded by emotion vs fact. Perception vs reality – are they the same? What I perceived was a sudden silence. I was surprised by the amount of restriction in his atlas. I had visions in my head that I didn’t have visual reference for. I saw the cord around Merik’s neck from his vantage point. I felt the intensity of it tightening with the force of the contraction from mommy. I felt the fear he must have felt. I heard the silence again, and realized he was finally calm, latched, nursing, and happy. I have the pleasure of that moment living in my memories forever. The impact that moment had undoubtedly changed my life. I hope it will serve to change others as well.
While enjoying our sweet baby, we excitedly shared our joy with our oldest sweet baby, Mattie! She had just woken up. She came and joined us in bed. She was so happy to meet her brother, “her baby,” WOW!!! The amount of love you can feel on one Monday morning is way more than I’ve ever known before!
In the comfort of our home, the midwives made an herbal bath while Grammy prepared breakfast and Joey held Merik. I was able to soak for a while….in that romantic, serene ambiance!! My little 8lb 8oz, 21 inch package from heaven joined me, and then our precious Mattie. The 4 of us sharing our nest! Mattie was weirded out that the water was brown, so she would only stand in the tub. Joey beamed proudly! It was so great to share part of Merik’s arrival with the 2 other people that mean the most.
After Merik’s exam of all his perfection, we spent some time finalizing paperwork. I then find out why Terry had to check the weather – there was a huge tornado, and softball size hail!!! They drove through the storm damage in the dark to get to us!! So grateful for God’s grace and provision!!
Once everyone was fed, cleaned, packed – the birth team gathered with the family around Merik and prayed blessings over him! I felt God’s presence – so warm, so gentle 🙂
To say the least, our birth was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I recognize that we were blessed in so many ways! Our birth was REALIZED!! Everything fell into place, and the bliss was abound!!! I am grateful for those blessings, and pray God continues to grace us with His glory and abundance!
In closing, I would like to be sure to express our gratitude for our birth team, the support of our family and friends, Grammy’s cooking & willingness to help, Papaw’s loving care for Mattie during the recovery, and the welcoming arms of all that visited, prepared meals, and prayed!!!
Merik Boone is about to turn 3!!!! He is a huge gift to each of us! I expect his life will exceed our expectations and fulfill God’s plan! I pray abundance, connection, joy, patience, safety, God’s love & portion over him!
To my favorite little Ee-Ee – Mommy LOVES you! You are a smile on my face, a light in my heart, and my reason for staying on my toes! I will always be a piece of you, and you of me!