It was a few months after our daughter, Fiddle turned 1 year that my husband Jeremiah and I became pregnant with our second. For Fiddle's birth we had such a wonderful experience at home that any uncertainty we might have had before became non-existent now. So when both pregnancy tests confirmed that I was having a baby and not some "stomach virus" we gratefully started our baby journey once again. This time I felt even more prepared since I had already experienced birth at home. I read and re-read birthing books, kept a healthy diet in which I added a few nutritional supplements and stayed physically active. I also revisited my memory of labor with Fiddle to make notes of how I might improve the situation for next time.
My pregnancy seemed to go by much faster and the estimated due date had come and gone with no baby yet. We were not at all worried but my anticipation was growing. Jeremiah and I both knew that the estimation of the “due date” was a bit more of a “due period”. Two large factors of that estimation are normally based on an early sonogram and last menstrual cycle, but we had neither. After consideration, we decided having a sonogram would be unnecessary. Also, I was experiencing lactational amenorrhea (meaning I didn’t have monthly menstrual cycles because I was breastfeeding) when conception occurred. Beth finally told us that if labor hadn’t started by June 14th she was going to tell us to have a sonogram after all. The full moon was drawing near and we were suspecting some baby action.
Then the morning of June 13, my labor gears finally kicked in and boy were we excited! My contractions had been a daily occurrence for several months, but this time they were rhythmatic and growing stronger throughout the day. It was still an easy time at this point. My mom, Fiddle and I went about our daily routine. Jeremiah came home after work and I told him the good news. At 9 o’clock I put Fiddle to bed, then my attitude started to change from light and easy to, “okay let’s get serious”. So I decided to take a shower and clean up before I called Beth.
Next thing I knew I was leaking water. I wasn’t sure if my water broke because it was just a little fluid tinged in pink blood. With Fiddle, Beth manually ruptured the amniotic sack, so Jeremiah and I hadn’t seen what it was supposed to look like. I called Beth to let her know what was going on. Then we unpacked and prepared for the labor. Beth arrived around 10:30 p.m., shortly followed by her apprentices, Jennifer and Lisa. During this time Jeremiah and I worked alone in the dark through each contraction when periodically someone would check my blood pressure and pulse, then take notes of the labor.
There was a considerable difference in the progression compared to my first time in labor. God really gave me the ability to surrender. When I felt a contraction let on, I’d softly tell Jeremiah or signal and he would softly count, reminding me to relax my body. Then I’d loosen my mouth, shoulders, and limbs down to my fingertips and toes and sink into my seat. At one point things seemed to suddenly change from everything feeling great, to all my energy becoming depleted. I was cold and shaky and I became very emotional. Beth suggested that I might want to eat something but I was feeling a little nauseated as well and didn’t take her suggestion. Although now I think that food was exactly what I needed.
Later Jeremiah and I moved into the bedroom to lie down. Then something new happened, I actually felt like pushing which was something I didn’t experience during my first labor. I could physically feel the muscles of my uterus push down slowly and I wanted to push with it. It was so cool. When I told Jeremiah I thought I was ready to push he was a little disbelieving, surprised it was so soon. With Fiddle’s birth I had labored actively for 22 hours and now it had only been a little over four. When he told Beth, everyone moved into the bedroom. I wanted a dim light setting so we only kept the closet light on. They got the birthing-stool, all of their medical supplies, and Beth checked me. She found that my cervix was slightly present but suggested I push for the next contraction to see if that would help initiate further dilation.
At first Beth helped by moving my cervix to the side when I pushed, and Rain began to move further down. During this time it a very nice atmosphere. Although there were several people in the room, they still allowed me enough space and were quiet and attentive. I knew the hard work was nearly over, and I was feeling good. I wasn’t shaky anymore just a tired. Beth noticed that I was tightening my muscles in one area. I knew it was because of the position on the birth-stool since I still had to make an effort to balance and hold myself upright. Beth made another suggestion which was to move to the bed into a new position. I was willing to give it a try.
So with the next contraction, I gave a good push and felt the ring of fire which may sound terrible but really is exciting when you remember the actual birth of the baby is moments away. Rain was crowning and this time I didn’t hesitate because of it. I knew everything was going well. Before the last push I reached down to feel the top of Rain’s peaking head. Then I pushed once more, and Rain was born! It was June 14, 2011 at 3:33 in the morning. Beth immediately gave her to me and I soon birthed the placenta. It was mesmerizing to hold her wiggly little body in my arms. It took me a moment to remember to look down to see the sex. With surprise, I said those fabulous words, “It’s a girl!” She was healthy, beautiful, and 7 lbs. 6 oz. with a perfect shaped head. Plus, (a big plus) I broke my old record with having roughly 5 hours of active labor.
I didn’t experience any hemorrhaging and actually lost little blood. Though there was a lot of swelling, and I re-tore in the same area as the time before, it wasn’t anything too serious. Beth stitched me up, and I was given post-natal instructions along with a warm herb bath with little Rain. After the bath, Rain latched on very quickly and I spent the next several hours just admiring her delicate frame. The next morning Jeremiah walked in the room with Fiddle to introduce her new sister. At first Fiddle seemed unsure what was going on. Then when she saw Rain she gave us a big smile and gasp in joy, "Oh a baby!" She has wonderfully kept that same attitude since then and has been a loving and accepting big sister. Children truly are one of the sweetest gifts from the Lord.