{{The Days of}} Liddi’s Birth Story

{{The Days of}} Liddi’s Birth Story

39 weeks
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Friday, February 13, I leave my MOMs group, assuring them I’ll be at the next meeting…WITH a baby.
• That evening, I have many contractions. None too hard, but enough that I start thinking Maybe it’s tonight! I go for an 8-block walk after the kids went to bed. And have no further contractions. Drat.
Proof that my coat zipped the whole pregnancy!
• That night, I wake up nearly every hour with a good-sized contraction. Start timing them as they get down to 15 minutes apart. And then. I wake up. Double drat.
Saturday, February 14, I vowed I wouldn’t have a baby. I just don’t like sharing holidays. You don’t have to pretend to understand. James certainly doesn’t. Maybe I don’t even get why myself!
• James and I live up a romantic Valentine’s morning (by the end of this pregnancy, “evenings” ended around 8pm, hence the morning date) with an Aaron chiropractic appointment, a luncheon at Three Crowns, and a quick stop at Owens in white-out conditions. Pick up our kids around 12:30 and head home, hopeful that baby will start moving on down again.
• Neighbor James and Anne come over for dinner and games. By the end of the night, I start timing my contractions again. They get down to 7 minutes apart, and we are both certain I will be calling her in the middle of the night for her doula services!
• 11:30pm I finally come downstairs to walk around, since the contractions are close enough together that I am getting no sleep whatsoever.
Sunday, February 15 (starting to regret my adamancy against the holiday baby)
• 4:00am James and I finally lay down on the couch, slightly discouraged as contractions (can I just call them Cs? it’s getting long to type out contractions every single time. thanks.) have moved from 7 minutes apart to 15 to 20 to not worth timing.
• 5:25 I wake up with a big giant C.
• 6:30 C
• 7:35 C This one’s at the breakfast table. Corban is trying to talk to me. James tells him to wait a minute, that I am working on getting the baby out. He gasps and starts beaming. And then. He asks if he could pray for me. For my work, the baby’s health, and a good day with the baby. I cry.
• 8:40 C
• 9:15 Anna arrives to watch the kids. She drives through the blizzard that cancels all our churches. That girl. I think she has an entire section of her heavenly crown with rubies and emeralds just from her service to us during this time!
• 9:45 C
• 10:50 C and nap
• 11:55 wake up from nap for big C
• Shannon suggests that maybe Baby is in a bad position, which isn’t allowing labor to progress. We call upon all our Spinning Babies knowledge (and visit every page on their website) and spend the next couple hours of contractions on my side, back, and upside down. We try everything to force Baby into the best possible position! (Side note: Spinning Babies is all about baby’s position. Once baby’s in the right position, labor should progress quite smoothly. Anne got me interested in their exercises. We rebozo-ed and more the last month of pregnancy! I believe very much worth it.) Then we decide to take a break for the afternoon. Put all expectations out of our minds. Watch some TV during nap time. Drink some tea. Take a shower. Relax. We release all the frustration we are feeling (are we in labor or not?!) and give this delivery over to the Lord’s timing. Wow, does that choice come with great peace!
• 4:00 Text Shannon to ask if she could come sometime this evening to check Baby’s position. IF Baby is in a good position, we are ready to kick start labor and make it just go. Then take another nap. James rushes to my side once an hour to coach me through these difficult Cs. He is my hero.
• 5:15 Wake up well-rested, refreshed, and ready to get this show on the road!
7:00 Receive a text from my parents that their church service ended with prayer for us.
• 7:15 Anna and I watch my belly take a huge, giant, flipping, turning, rotating movement. “What was that?!” we both wonder. Cs start coming every 20 minutes. Feeling encouraged.
• 8:00 Our life group prays from their corners of the county.
• 8:15 Shannon arrives. My spirit feels light. Mentally, something changes. This lady that I trust with my body and my baby is here, and I know she’ll help me figure out what’s going on. I have two Cs before she’s gotten her boots off. She checks Jumpy’s position and declares it the perfect L.O.T. position. Then she checks my progress and announces that we are already at…5cm! I almost kiss her. Here we are wondering if we were in labor, and we’re already halfway there!
• 8:45 Cs coming closer together. I send the final friends/family text out, letting them know the next one will be a baby announcement.
• 9:00 hardest C yet, begging to get in the pool. James starts filling it. Hands and knees is most comfortable for me as I wait the eternity (a whopping 15 minutes) for the pool to fill.
• 9:10 James calls Anne for backup. The Games have begun, and he realizes he needs some help in order to be fully present for me.
• 9:25 Anne, who has a nursing 2-month-old herself, arrives. Im.press.ive. She starts boiling water, as the pool is cooler than it should be. And encourages me that my Cs are working hard for me, that I am doing great. She offers me many water sips and different light foods to keep my stamina. I am so inwardly focused that I can barely speak and finally say that I can’t chew. I just can’t! So she finds some honey sticks that I can suck on (thanks to my blessingway gift basket!), and I muster up enough energy to suck. She also keeps me warm with towels around my shoulders and hot wet cloths on my lower back. It is those little things that shout her care, and I feel totally at ease.
• 10:00 I ask James why Shannon isn’t here yet. He replies that he hasn’t called her yet. I insist that I am ready for her to come, but he reminds me that she has clearly said to call at five minutes apart and mine are still at six.
• 10:07 James called Shannon.
• James. His role for birth really started days prior, but I’ll take this time slot to say how amazing he was. He is so.well.prepared. He knows the emotional sign posts of birth and watches me progress through every single one. (Excitement, seriousness, self-doubt, drawing inside myself, intensely focused.) I’m not a super big physical touch person (if I am one at all), so his guidance for me is through words. He reads the Scripture on our office walls over and over and over, while I “Yes, Lord” and echo them back. He stays right next to me and talks me back to center until I believe it myself (which may not have officially happened until after she was born). I can not do this without him. And I am so thankful for him, his partnership, his nourishing, his encouragement, his love.
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• 10:35 Shannon arrives, listens to me through a few Cs, and is ready to check me. Up to this point, I have been leaning over the side of the pool, James’ face right next to mine. Shannon recommends I flip over to make it easier on both of us for her to check me. I remember thinking (okay, this is about to be ridiculous, so bear with me), Once I flip over, I won’t go back…and Jess never got any pictures of me in the position I did most of my laboring! I hesitate about a second before I acquiesce. Shannon announces that I am an 8 almost 9. I reply, “I’ll take the 9!” and laugh. About as much as you can laugh when you’re experiencing the most pain of your life.
• After measuring the temperature of the water, Shannon states that unless we raise it by five degrees, the baby will not be born in the pool. I really think this will unnerve me greatly. But the incredible thing about birthing with only people you know and trust is that…you know and trust them. I know how hard-working Anne is. I know how much Shannon knows it means to me to birth in the water. I know James will not leave my side. So worry is the one thing I do not do. I just continue to focus on allowing these Cs to do their thang. And they totally raise that water temperature and allow me to stay right where I am.
• 10:45 Photographer Jess arrives. I hear the first two clicks of the camera and go back inside myself.
• The next couple of Cs, I start losing some control, getting scared by the intensity of the pressure. Shannon coaches me so well through those last few, reminding me not to “run away” from my Cs, that this is the only way to get this baby out. Then she tells me, I can start pushing with the next C. I am in disbelief. “Don’t tease me, Shannon!” I warn. But she is totally serious. I am so happy; it’s Baby Time!

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• 10:55 Shannon says, Push!
11:01pm Jumpy Steele is lifted up out of the water with my own two hands. It is incredible. And relieving. Boy, have I never felt such relief!

• 11:oh something (I have no concept of time throughout this entire labor but have pieced things together in talking with my birth team.) Shannon asks the million dollar question, “So, Sarah, what did you have???”
We have a little girl! And it was at that moment that we made it official. Lidia “Liddi” Felice Steele had just entered the world.A96W5258-1
I believe the Lord sustained me through His Word and His people during this home birth. There is an after story, which includes a hot shower, an in-home newborn evaluation, some sleepy kids, and a flooded basement, but this post is surely longer than anyone wants to read. We’ll do a much shorter follow-up post…another day. And I’ll give my opinion on the home water birth. And then I’ll take a break from pregnancy- and birth-related posts. We all want to talk about something else. Like the spring that is coming and we can all taste it!
Or am I just delusional?
  • The Birth of Crusoe Conrad: NOT a Short Story
    Posted at 12:15h, 22 September Reply

    […] each one, thanked them for their work, for helping me meet my baby boy sooner. In between my Cs with Liddi, I was exhausted (and slightly afraid of the next one that was coming); I still had to focus and […]

  • Alisha Miller
    Posted at 17:15h, 03 March Reply

    I may have gotten a little teary.
    Water birth – natural birth- it’s just incredible. Your story took me right back to mine. There’s just nothing like it in the world.
    Also, 300,000 people birthing at the same time?! CRAZY!
    You did AWESOME!

    • theredheads
      Posted at 07:51h, 04 March Reply

      I always get weepy about birth stories now. Weddings, babies, testimonies, and now births. Once you’ve experienced something and know how powerful, intimate, precious, life-changing it is, you relive your own experience with each new story and just praise God for the wonder of His authorship!

      And yeah, apparently 300,000 women give birth every.single.day!

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