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McKenzie’s Birth Testimony

These past two weeks have been an absolute blur, and I cannot believe that time has flown by so quickly. It makes me cherish every burp, diaper, hour of sleep lost, and every silly face she makes. Being two weeks “over-due”, I wouldn’t think I would miss her little kicks and squirms from my belly, but I really do. G has even made multiple comments about how he misses my pregnant belly (he’s a keeper!).

Labor began late Sunday evening on the 12th, a contraction coming here and there, nothing consistent. I had signs of labor throughout the week prior, in spurts. When we visited our midwife, the week before, I was only dilated to a two, which I had been for a week, already. I tried every trick in the book to bring labor on and simply put: it’s a pile of bull corn. God placed that life in me and will bring her into the world when He sees fit.

In preparation for our birth, I took an at home course called Hypno-babies. I was incredibly skeptical of it to begin with as a Christian, first flag being the name. Having researched it, and having several good conversations with solid Christians who had taken the course, I felt that the Lord would use it in our birth to glorify Him. In all reality, it teaches a mother to relax during contractions (pressure waves in their lingo), by basically retraining your mind in its response to pain. They offered a course with a teacher at our birth center, but our schedule with G’s work, and company being in town, was just not a possibility for us. We also don’t have internet at the house, so any online courses were out the window, as well (Baby Bootcamp was what I really wanted to do!). While I appreciated the way it taught me to relax through contractions, I think I may have been better prepared, had I been able to take the class. I’m not the “positive thinker” type, as I am simply too realistically black and white, sometimes too much for my own good. They had several tracks of “Positive Affirmations” and I took the freedom to switch up what they said. Ex: “I deserve an easy, comfortable birth”, and I would change it to “By God’s grace I can have an easy, comfortable birth, as He sees fit.”.  Like I said, it had its place in our birth, but once the pain hit, I said to heck with it.

All that said, Sunday night I just ignored the contractions and slept great. Monday morning when I woke up, I was contracting for almost a minute at a time and they were spaced out 8-9 minutes apiece. They were very mild, so I tried not to over think them, and decided to get up and walk and drink cold water (which stops false labor). G came home from working a 48 hour shift, and we had just gotten a new boat. We decided to eat breakfast, call our midwife, and take the boat out for our first ride. When we called, our midwife said to let them know when they were a minute long and five minutes apart. We went out on the lake, where labored waned somewhat. I was able to relax through each wave of them and breathe through them slowly. Contractions later stayed at 50 seconds-1 minute long, and about 6-7 minutes apart, sometimes longer. So, G bought me some tasty castor oil to get things moving. They did.

The day before, Sunday, I had asked several people for prayer. There were many different things up in the air with my mom coming, as well as me being worried about making it to the 43 week, mark. God quieted my spirit and reminded me that HE placed this life within me, that HE knew all of the logistics of things, and that HE would bring her into this world, when HE saw fit. Not me. Seeing Him work so quickly, was incredible and humbling.

My mom was traveling that day, and after a 4+ hour drive, made it to our house around three pm on Monday. I took a quick shower, then I tossed my cookies from the effects of the castor oil, right as she walked in the door (quick tip, if you ever use the stuff, put it in a slushy of sorts, so that the flavor over powers the oil. It will end up tasting like you’re eating chapstick, but it’s bearable.). We sat in our living room, chatting, getting the final things in the car and getting ready for when my contractions got to where the midwife said to notify them. Finally, around seven pm, they did! We decided to meet at the birthing center around nine pm, as I would have to be dilated to at least 4cm for them to admit me.

Our drive to the center was almost an hour-long. I listened to my Hypnobabies tracks and labored progressed from five minutes apart, to three minutes apart and a minute and a half long. I soon became incredibly irritated with the voice on the track and could not stand any talking through my contractions. I decided it had done its job, and I was finished with it. I really am not a nice person when in pain. I’m the type to tell you to “get away from me!” if I’m hurt in some way. So, this monotone woman and I had enough of each other!

Once at the birth center, one of my midwives welcomed us inside the lobby. She took one look at me and said, “Oh yeah, this is the real thing!”. She took us up stairs where we settled in one of the birthing rooms. These rooms are set up just like one in a home, warm and inviting, familiar and comforting. She checked to see how far along I was, and to my delighted surprise, I was already dilated to 7cm! I changed into a beautiful Wal-Mart nightgown (please take note of my extreme sarcasm. That thing was ugly and comfy!), put on my birthing playlist of hymns, ate a few snacks, and continued to labor. G held me with each contraction, praying over me and W, and keeping me relaxed. I simply cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful husband of mine. Going through this birth without him, is a thought that is inconceivable to me. He was my rock. As a FF/Paramedic by profession, I was somewhat concerned throughout my pregnancy that he would go into “work mode” when it came time to birth. However, I had no reason to worry. He shelved that and was 100% husband, encourager, and support.

Once my contractions were consistent and stronger, I was then able to labor in the birthing tub. This was so relaxing, the water helped incredibly with relieving my pain during contractions. I’m a tall person, every bit of 5’ 10”, and this tub was sooooo big and comfy, it was fantastic. After being in the tub for about an hour, I then entered full on transition labor. I began to feel nauseous, pushy, and also made a point to eat, as pushing was the next step.

I decided I’d had enough of the tub, and wanted to be on the bed, something solid. The pushy feeling I was experiencing was bizarre, as everyone talks about this feeling, and it was exactly what it sounds like. My bag of waters still had not broken, and my midwife suggested that she check my cervix and possibly break them, to speed things along. G could tell I was getting worn out by the intensity of the contractions and suggested we go ahead and do that, so that I could push while I still had the energy. I was able to rock, walk, and move around during my contractions in this whole process. However, as my midwife needed to check my and break my waters, I had my first contraction lying down. I’m not knocking ANYONE for their birthing choices, but dadgum, I have no idea why anyone would choose to lie on their back to labor. Cruel and unusual punishment!

As my waters broke, a huge amount of pressure was removed and that was a small, welcomed relief. I had G on one side of me, and my mama on the other. At 12:40am, this is where the work really began. Getting into a rhythm of working with my contractions and pushing, took me a few tries. The coaching I received from my midwives, G, and my mom, were as important to me as breathing itself. Hearing how I was doing, what to do, and how to work through each push, is the only way I made it. I kept my eyes closed and just got in this zone of getting little W out. G kept cool rags on my head and chest, as I felt like it was a hundred degrees in that room, while everyone else was cold. He made sure I had a drink of water between each push, and held my hand through each one. He even turned down catching W, as he knew that staying by me, encouraging me, and watching her come into the world with me, was going to be just what I needed to get through the last part of labor. My mom rubbed my hips between contractions, let me squeeze the life out of her hand, and encouraged me with each push. Between the two of them, and my amazing midwives’ coaching, 20 minutes later I welcome W into my arms, 1am on the dot.

7lbs 3oz of sweet, precious girl, was laid on my chest. I was over the moon with relief and happiness. G was wrapped as soon as she took her first breath. Tears of happiness flowed. We had done it, finally. The months of preparations, the reality of our new life, and most of all, the gift of life that God chose to give us, laid there looking at us with the biggest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. We laid there for several minutes just looking at her and each other, amazed at what had just happened to us.

I'm here!

G held her while the midwives tended to me, and W was looking around the room, talking, and found her hands to suck on, within minutes of being born. The placenta had come immediately after W was born, and already quit pulsing, so W had her cord clamped and cut, with her full supply of blood intact from her placenta.

My favorite hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, came on while the midwives were making sure I had all the post-birthing treatment I needed before I could go home. This hymn was one my daddy taught to me when I was little and has been one I sang to W throughout my pregnancy. It is what comes to my mind while I wake in the middle of the night to feed W, and lie between her and G, overwhelmed by God’s blessings. The importance to me of having sound doctrine, and good theological songs during our birth, was very great to me. This may be a subject for a future post, but I honestly cannot stand about 80% of all Christian music played on the radio, today. It is so commonly self-centered, happy-go-lucky, and sounds like the worst attempt of pop, that I did not want that to be what W came into the world to.

W and I then made our first attempt at nursing. She latched on with a vengeance! She had nursing all figured out, and was just waiting on me to catch up. My mom went to go get us some food. Like good Texans, our first meal was What-A-Burger…jalapeno cheddar biscuits and orange juice (for the Floridian influence of G, in W!). W scored a perfect 10 on her AGPAR score, and after a few hours, I passed each check point that the midwives had for me.

I was overwhelmed with gratefulness to our midwives, and am sad that this part of our life is passing, now. Going through our birth, I feel like they are more than “just my midwives”. They gave me the best birthing experience I could have wanted, and allowed my body to dictate how everything was to go. Throughout my pregnancy, I held no expectations, as I did not want to have something go wrong and be disappointed. Thankfully, we have a God that knows the desires of our hearts. I was blessed enough to get the birth that I wanted, with midwives the two midwives I wanted, who also serve and love our great Father.

Now, we are home and loving every second of being parents. We heard so many negative things about bringing a newborn home, and so far we’ve been given grace by God and have had such a smooth transition into this part of our lives. W is so laid back; she is eating and sleeping wonderfully. Most nights, she’s out for at least 4-5 hours at a time. G is head over heels in love with her, and would be happiest if he could somehow figure out how to make money being a stay at home dad. I love him more and more each day, as I see him with her. Funny how seeing a new side of your spouse, has such an effect on a person. I could not be happier with life, right now. I think being a mother is the greatest thing a woman can do, whether that’s being in a mother role, or having children. While I am tired, don’t want to leave the house much, and much to my frustration-consistently leak milk everywhere and anywhere, this new chapter is a gift from our great God.

Did someone say milk?!
Did someone say milk?!

We’ve been so blessed to have moved back to where we’ve wanted to, before W’s birth, and to be surrounded by family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who care about us. Each visit, phone call, meal, and baby gift means so very much. Overwhelmed with gratefulness, is about the only way to describe how we feel. To those who have walked with us through this new chapter, thank you, so very much. God is faithful.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.’” Lamentations 3:22-24, ESV


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