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You know that feeling when you’re SO done being pregnant and can’t sleep because you’re excited to finally hold them? That was me the night before I finally went into labor with our second baby. I woke up around 3:30 in the morning with pretty consistent contractions and was honestly in shock I was finally going into labor at over 38 weeks after having our first baby as a 35-weeker.
After a few solid contractions I rolled as best I could to shake Travis’ shoulder and whispered,” I’m having REAL contractions!”. I filled our bathtub with warm water and added a few drops of Valor so I could soak and lessen the pressure wrapping around my belly. Once I got settled in the water I started timing my contractions on my phone. They were already three minutes apart and Travis thought I had lost my mind for just casually sitting in the tub when we should probably be packing up the car. To this day I have no idea how I slept through those contractions until that point or if they just started out close together.
I heard Trav from the bedroom on the phone with his mom, an undertone of excitement mixed with concern in his voice as he told her I was going into labor. His mom said she’d put her things in the car and start the four hour drive from Texas to Oklahoma to come watch Wyatt while we were in the hospital. Meanwhile I was strategizing how I could just stay in that warm, perfect bathtub forever.
Trav started going over our checklist of what needed to be packed in the car and it started getting closer and closer to 4 am. I knew we needed to leave or I would probably refuse to leave the tub, which we just hadn’t planned for. Our neighbor who was supposed to stay with Wyatt until Trav’s mom got there wasn’t answering so we called our other friends down the road who lovingly agreed to keep our sleepy toddler so we could go have a baby.
My heart breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing we had a place for Wyatt but the contractions were getting stronger and more powerful. All of my focus went to breathing and listening to my hypnobirthing recordings on a loop. I felt like I was still in such a calm head space for a woman in serious labor as I finally agreed to dry off and climb out of the tub.
Trav went to wake Wyatt as I slipped on a loose black t-shirt dress and my slip-on Jesus sandals while I started hobbling in between contractions towards the garage. I saw Wyatt’s Lightning McQueen car in the living room and reached down to grab it to be sure he didn’t have to leave it. The thought of not being with him that day suddenly put a lump in my throat and I felt like making sure he had that one little car was the least I could do. Mamahood is so funny that way.
Trav carried our sleepy-eyed boy from his room and buckled him into the his car seat, blanket in tow. We pulled out of the garage into the pitch black while I glamorously sat on a stack of puppy pads *just in case* my water broke.
The early morning sky was so clear and crisp as we pulled into our friend’s driveway. They came out immediately to grab Wyatt and I hugged him in between contractions and then dove back into the car so we could go have this baby! I prayed in that moment that Wyatt knew how much I loved him.
As we turned into the hospital entrance I distinctly asking Trav what blanket he packed, (because apparently that was a top priority). He answered, “the white down comforter. I was gonna pack that fuzzy one with the deer on it but thought ‘I don’t think any woman would want to be seen giving birth with that’. So I packed the white one. You might as well just have a NASCAR blanket if you had that deer one.” Dead serious. I laughed SO hard and the pressure from a contraction took over as we turned into the parking lot. I was so thankful for his sense of humor in those moments.
After waddling back to the Women’s Center, my angel husband answered ALL the check-in questions while I stood listening to my hypnobirthing tracks. There I stood, frozen, while the nurse tried to lead us to the exam room. I sat in the room as my world just swelled with the intense pressure from my belly. Clearly I was in active labor, and PRAISE the Lord our delivery room was just across the hall!
Trav ran to get all our bags from the car as our nurse got us checked in. My OB wasn’t on call and no OB was there, but the nurses assured me one was on his way. Fun fact: the on call doctor was coincidentally my OB’s brother-in-law!
I had such an overwhelming sense of calm even though my favorite doctor wouldn’t be delivering. Before I knew it Trav was back and I was just kneeling on the hospital bed, leaning into the side rail since it was in a chair position.
I KNEW I had to push- like, this was the big show. He was coming out! You know it’s game on when all the nurses start blurring in and out of the room, turning on all these lights, and everything moves so fast but slow at the same time. It was only 4:30 when I checked in.
I started pushing steadily while Trav stayed on my left side leaning into me with those lower back pressure points. Sometime during all of this, our delivering doctor came in and asked if I was in the most comfortable position. I moved to lay on my left side and then angled myself to bear down.
I remember our doctor mentioned how calm I was and then saying “one more push”. And just like that- Jepthah Wade was born at 5:58 am at 8 lbs 3 oz, 10.5 inches long.
He was sticky, gooey, wet, and pure magic.
There’s absolutely no feeling in the world like the feeling of your baby being laid on your chest as they take one of their first breaths earthside.
Birth stories are tricky in that way. They’re so personal and unique with a bit of magical, weepy mess sprinkled on top.
Jep was born in under three hours from the start of my contractions. I never once wanted an epidural and I think the biggest factors that made that happen were prayer, hypnobirthing, chiropractic care, staying really active during my pregnancy, and focusing on getting nutritious foods in as much as I could. My birth plan included no IV’s and free movement monitoring, but really we waited so long to go to the hospital that I signed our consent to treat waiver AFTER I delivered.
If you’ve experience birth trauma and it’s holding you back from having another baby, I hope Jep’s story encourages you that a redeeming birth is possible. God’s hand is in everything, darling mama and He is always listening to your prayers. His birth proved to me that a natural hospital birth was possible.
Want to read more on how you can prepare for your own natural hospital birth? This post has a ton of info and a checklist of things to talk with your care provider about.
Jep’s name in Hebrew means, “whom God sets free”, and to me his birth story is so freeing from the weight of the trauma we experienced with Wyatt’s delivery. Who the Son sets free is free indeed!