✨I was 41 weeks & 3 days along when contractions woke me up at 1:30am, I knew it was the real deal and I needed to get ready to leave the house & head to the birth center. I texted my midwife and my mother in law letting them know how frequent and long the contractions were. They started at about 5 minutes apart and 44 seconds long, then after the first 4 or so they started getting closer together. They were mild enough I was able to get last minute things ready even during contractions. I woke Kyle up when his mom was on her way, told him “babe I’m having contractions, we need to go to the birth center baby is coming soon”.
We headed to the birth center as soon as Cyndi got to our house to stay with our other boys, around 3am. On the way there i sang along to the radio, & we arrived at the center at 3:30am.
I was calm and excited getting the back of the car loaded with our bags. We took the creek turnpike to get there & the highway was empty most of our ride there. The temp outside wasn’t bad, and it wasn’t stormy. It was a peaceful night.
Regina (my midwife) asked if I wanted to get in the water & said we needed to get it ready now if so, I said yes please. I got my diffuser running with northern lights black spruce & Frankincense & changed into a bikini top while she filled the tub up. The contractions were strong enough at this point that instead of talking I was humming/moaning low tones through each contraction, they were somewhere around 3 minutes apart. Regina checked to see how dilated I was, 7cm! I got into the tub & OMG—instant relief, the contractions were SO much more bearable while submerged in water! The difference in and out of the water amazed me. I was able to talk to Kyle & Giselle and hum along to music during the contractions while in the water! I was so thankful & excited to be so comfortable so far along in labor, riding the wave of each contraction & embracing each wave knowing each one was bringing baby down & closer to me being able to hold him. We had music playing on a JBL speaker, a playlist I made specifically for labor/Ezekiel’s birth. Really peaceful songs, a lot of Lauren Daigle & some of my favorite John Legend songs. I remember zoning out humming along to Symphony by Switch during a contraction while in the birth tub. Being in the water made me feel so peaceful.
I labored in the birthing tub from 3:40 until 4:25, then got out of the water & onto the bed knowing it was almost time to push! I remember looking at the clock that said 4:21am, & saying “if I’m not going to have the baby in the tub I probably need to get out like now”. Kyle and Regina helped me out and changed into a comfy bra & I got onto the bed on “all fours”—a great position for back labor (that I was having).
I leaned on a birthing peanut for support while Kyle massaged my back, applying pressure from the top of my back all the way down, over and over again. I asked for valor on my back & Kyle rubbed it in, it felt so good. Kyle was on my left side, Giselle on my right & they both rubbed my back & encouraged me. I labored in that position for what only felt like 5 or 10 minutes, but that was actually around 33 minutes (Kyle set the phone up across the room to record when I got out of the tub & onto the bed). Contractions were most definitely more intense when out of the water. I was so thankful to have music playing and Kyle by my side, him massaging my back & moaning/humming low with music helped me a ton. Hearing Regina, Giselle & Kyle all encourage me and tell me I was doing great felt great & really helped ❤️
When I would start to feel discouraged Giselle would remind me “Tori just follow your body urges, you got it”, her sweet words were so reassuring and such a blessing.
About 20 minutes after getting on the bed (& about 13 minutes before baby was born) I pushed my water bag out & it broke as it was coming out, surprising Regina & Giselle—Regina laughed & hearing both of them be surprised made me almost laugh. The break up song by Francesca Battistelli was playing when that happened— which was perfect timing because my fluid wasn’t clear, Zeek had passed meconium at some point (pooped in the womb). If you’re unfamiliar with that song, it goes
“Sick and tired of being sick and tired
Had as much of you as I can take
I’m so done, so over being afraid
I’ve gone through the motions
I’ve been back and forth
I know that you’re thinking you’ve heard this before
I don’t know how to say it
So I’m just gonna say it, yeah
Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here”
—Regina said “well miss tori your fluids not clear babe, but no worries, okay, we’ll just take a little extra precaution with the airway”
I listened to my body and didn’t force pushing, just bared down when I felt the natural urge to. My midwife applied warm compresses & did perineal massage as I was breathing baby down to help me not tear (& I didn’t tear thankfully, which made for a really easy recovery!).
About 5 minutes after pushing my water bag out/it busting on its way out, baby’s head was beginning to crown. Kyle stayed at my left side. continuing to rub my back & Giselle at my right with Regina right in front of Kyle also at my side (I was on my knees leaning over a birth peanut facing the headboard of the bead). With each contraction I continued to breathe (lightly moan in pain?) baby down further, & during each (extremely strong & ohmyfreakingowwwgoodness I could feel my body stretching to accommodate & fit baby’s head out) contraction I remember just praying prayers of thankfulness, thanking god for my baby and my health and my family and the birth center and my birth team, for my marriage, for all that god has done in my marriage and for the times that he has saved me, thanking god for saving my marriage, thanking him for this blessing of a beautiful baby that we did not plan on our own timing but that god planned and has given us. I focused on all the good. It helped. I remembered that with each contraction I was bringing baby down, that my body knows what it’s doing. I focused on the joy that I knew was very soon to come, I would hold my baby soon ❤️
I went back to the video and listened to how Regina and Giselle encouraged me through the last 10osh minutes right before baby Zeek was born. Here’s some of what I heard ❤️
“Trust your body, your so close, you got this babe, tori you’re a rockstar girl, you’re almost there, good job, listen to your body, good job, so strong”
“Made to thrive” was playing, then “god of all my days”
I want to point out that from the time baby’s head was first beginning to crown, to when he was out was about 6 minutes. I personally think this contributed to me not tearing, because my body had time to stretch and push baby out safely without harm to me ❤️
About 5 minutes before baby was born Regina asked Giselle to “get the oxygen” & I didn’t know why, it didn’t make sense immediately upon hearing it and I didn’t have the mental capacity at the moment to think about it so I didn’t think about it. I trusted my midwife fully and knew she had the best interest for myself and my baby in mind & trusted my God fully! I remember thinking “does she think I need that?! Am I presenting as if labor is that difficult?! I don’t need that I’m fine” 😂😂😂😂 lol. Now looking back and understanding more about the risks/dangers with meconium in the water sac, I know the oxygen was for the baby just Incase we needed it. (We didn’t need it but I’m so thankful for a loving smart midwife who was thinking ahead anyway)
There was no coached pushing, only love and encouragement and back rubs. I just let my body do it’s thing. When a contraction came, I surrendered and “oooooh ohhh ohhh ohhhh”’d through it. As baby was actually coming out I said “oh lord oh lord” 😂—I think some would call this “pushing” but it didn’t feel like my body was “pushing” as much as it just felt like baby was moving down with each surge of a contraction.
Baby exited the birth canal and was born into the world at 4:57am, he made one small sweet little baby coo sound as Regina caught him and suctioned his airway immediately, then she rubbed his back and he started crying. I straightened my back out and stretched, Regina told me good job again, Kyle continued to rub my back then I slowly rolled over from on my knees to laying on my back & Regina laid sweet Baby Zeek into my arms as she said to him “you’re so perfect Mr! Just like your family” 😭 the first thing I said to Zeek was “oh baby, oh my baby, oh my goodness baby! Oh my baby awwww” he laid on my chest as I held him (cord still attached placenta yet to be pushed out) & Giselle listened to his heartbeat, I told him “oh baby Zeek it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, you’re all good, oh let’s listen to you your so strong, you’re okay, oh you’re okay, I love you my baby”
After getting his temperature and hearing his heartbeat & cutting his cord after it stopped pulsating, he latched! Already nursing like a champ and not even 10 minutes old 😍 We were left alone to just enjoy our sweet newborn baby and soak in all the pure joy and love that is the golden hour following birth. I remember after he finished his first feeding I had a moment where I suddenly remembered that you have to burp newborn babies 😂 so I put his sweet little baby body on my shoulder and burped him, then held him in front of me and talked to him. He burped 3 times, big boy burps!
Then I just cuddled him on my chest and went to sleep, with my husband in bed (a giant beautiful bed with a glittery canopy & nice comfy big pillows) next to me. We got a few hours of sleep, and woke up around 8:30 or 9am (about 4 hours after baby was born). When we woke up I washed my face, changed and put some make up on while Kyle held the baby. Giselle came in the room and taught me how to count baby’s breaths & we talked about recording baby’s temperature every hour or so the first 24 hours, & what to watch out for/alert them of. Regina came back in the room and asked if we needed anything, reminding us of our home visit the following day & assuring me I can text or call her at any time. We got Zeek changed and fed again, loaded the car up & headed home!
We were pretty hungry (I was STARVING) & planned to stop at Chick-fil-A drive-thru on the way home, but neither of us had our wallets/bank cards on us 😂 so we had to drive all the way home to get one. There’s no Chick-fil-A in our small town, so we went to the “Cafe USA” & I ordered a HUGE breakfast that I demolished and that was absolutely delicious.
Baby Ezekiel born July 2nd 2019 💓
Written August 2019