Linden is 5 months old, life is sweet and the info to log in just came to me! So I'm back.
I better rewind just a few months ago. I was 40 weeks pregnant and home, expecting every minute to be the minute that it would happen and I would go into labor. Every day that week I woke up and thought for sure it would be the day. I never made plans later than lunch time because I 'knew' baby W would have to be on its way by dinner. My due date had come and gone. My mom was here from Oklahoma waiting with me (after all she was really here to see the baby) My dear friend Brandi was in the wings as anxious as I was to come be apart of our home birth. And then there was Jared, so peaceful, so calm, no worries, as always. We played card games in the middle of the night to keep my mind off of counting the hours when I was too uncomfortable to sleep. But we really wanted to finally meet our baby.
41 weeks and a day. It happens. 3AM my first contraction. I woke up Jared and told him that this was it. We were so excited. We jumped out of bed, made breakfast, straightened up the house, watched the sun rise. We were giddy! There is a reason God programed some first time mommies to carry past their due date, those last few days got me so pumped to be in labor, I was literally saying all morning "bring it on" every contraction that came I thought 'yesss, this is it' and after it was over I would look at Jared and smile because it was really happening, it was real labor, and we knew that in a matter of hours we would be meeting this baby.
5AM one of our midwives came over to check my dilation after 2 hrs of labor I was at a wopping 2 cm. This wasn't bad news. Its normal to dilate 1 cm an hr. So we were happy with our check up. She told us that I was way too calm and not showing signs of being in active labor so not to expect that my cervix would jump from 2 cm to 8 cm in the next couple of hours. Of corse our next question was how will we know when I'm active. She assured me I would know, my calm state would change and there would be no questions about if I was or not. She left and we were home the two of us resting, watching funny youtube clips, eating, walking... 5am turned to 12pm and I felt the same. Contractions every 3-4 min, but bearable. 2pm my family comes over, they just couldn't stand it. They imagined any second the baby would pop out and they didn't want to miss it. 5pm, contractions are a little more intense, but I'm still calm. 7pm, woah has it really been 14 hrs already? Our midwives came over to see what the heck is happening. After watching me go threw a few contractions they determine I'm still pretty controlled but lets see whats happening with my progress, I'm 4cm. seriously?! 3am to 7pm and only 2 more centimeters I've dilated?! Thats really slow. I tried so hard not to break down with discouragement. But come on baby will you please come today!
Our midwives gave me exactly what I needed they promised me that I was strong, and capable, that Jared was in it with me, I wasn't alone, that I WAS doing it and that they were now going to stay with us until baby came. Soon after that check up things really started moving. 8pm the sun set, labor got much more intense and thanks to the 4cm let down, I was totally welcoming these big hard contractions. The harder these contractions got the happier I was because this means my baby is coming. And heck yes they were painful but things were finally changing so hallelujah, bring it! We worked hard. I say we because the way Jared participated with me was indescribable. Every time I remember that day I fall in love with him all over again. He was so present. He kept his eyes locked on my face and was just as focused as I was. He was every where I needed him to be and we were one intimate team taking every moment of our birth together, I was never alone. He was so strong.
From 9pm to 5am I found out what labor was all about. It was a forceful pain like I had never experienced, it was sharp and dull, it was long and hard and I wanted it to end. But after every contraction I was still alive. Every time it got harder, when that was over, I was that much more courageous. After each contraction I was closer and then closer again so I welcomed it. I knew I was doing it. My body was made to do exactly what it was doing. I had to welcome each moment and not allow fear to be present not in my room or my mind. This type of focus was exhausting. Eventually I began to sleep in between contractions. One would come, I would wake up, moan the deepest guttural from the bottom of my belly moan, it would get more intense, I would breath and then it was over. I would open my eyes to smile at my team in my bed room then I would go back to sleep until the next one came.
I looked out the window of my bedroom and I saw the most beautiful dawn. I had said through out my pregnancy that I wanted to birth watching the sun rise, there I was finally 10 cm and the sun rose. This was the second sun rise I witnessed while in labor. Brandi was wiping my brow and pinning my hair back I remember looking at her love and compassion for me in that moment, it gave me motivation. I can still hear my moms camera beeping every 3 min as she recorded every single contraction, but mostly I hear her repeating the name of Jesus over and over. I will never forget the look on my dads face as he watched his own baby. I knew he was proud of me (thats the best feeling a girl can own.) He held on to the the babies hat waiting to put it on that tiny head, he really wanted the work to be over and his baby to be ok. Leslie was griping Brandi holding on to her with crazy amounts of love for that moment. That was the day her family grew and she had so much love for this baby about to come. Jared, oh Jared. He was my partner, I looked at him and knew I was seeing someone who had been in every second with me. I saw the story on his face telling me how far we had come. He wore confidence and peace, he knew I was doing it, and this was exactly what God had written for us. I took some time to take in everyone there with me. I was entirely sober, felt everything that was happing in the room with my loved ones and with my baby. This is what I had been praying for, what I had dreamed about, and it WAS everything I had wanted.
6am-9am pushing. This is a long time to push. My team was there with me, watching and praying every push I pushed. At one point around 2 hrs into pushing my midwives asked everyone to leave the room except Jared. They changed my position and looked me in the face, they told me I was strong, powerful and that the baby will come. I soaked that encouragement up. After I found the right place for me to push, the midwives held a mirror for me to see what was happening. Something is actually happening! Every push I started to see the smallest amount of this babies head. I invited my team back in and there we all were. This moment turned my parents and Brandi into a cheer squad. My exhaustion became excitement. I needed them there doing exactly what they were. Someone says "your baby has hair" someone says "almost its almost here" then "keep doing what your doing" I had to take another snap shot of this and as I was pushing this baby out I looked around at every person there. There is NOTHING like the emotion on a persons face as they watch a baby coming into the world. What I gift I had given to myself, I had no idea how much my team there would change me. Jared held his hands open as if he was receiving a gift wrapped in a package. His face, oh his face, he had joy like I had never witnessed in my life. Within a few minutes of seeing this babies hair we were looking at its entire head. One more push, Jareds hands were the first to touch its skin, one last push and he catches its whole body. Jared is the first to hold her and as he brings her to my chest for me to meet my baby my mom yells "its a girl!"
This moment is of corse, heavenly. I knew that all of heaven was smiling down on my bedroom. I knew I had witnessed a miracle. I knew that this life coming into the world changed my everything. It was instant, an awe and wonder for a girl that was my own. I saw a new Jared, a dad. I saw my heart wrapped up in a tiny little body that to me was the most beautiful person because she was Jared and I.
The room was exploding with tears, hugs, laughter and I think everyone will admit, relief. After a few minutes of exploring our baby GIRL Brandi asks "What's her name?" Jared was crying and shook as he finally said "Her name is Linden Rain." Again more tears and smiles my house was filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit washing us all in love. We couldn't remember a worry in the world or the past 32 hours of labor. I held Linden on my chest from the second she arrived and for her first hour of life on the outside. Every one sat next to me meeting her for the first time. Eventually Linden was measured and weighed at 19 inches, 7.12 pounds.
She was perfect and now made me a mommy.
Linden gave me a great pregnancy and a beautiful birth. I loved every second of it because its the process that brought her into my world. Having a daughter is everything I didn't know I needed. Loving her is effortless and uses every once of my heart. She makes me realize how I am loved as a daughter. Knowing that I can only love Linden at a fraction of what God does who IS love, I realize how extravagant he really is.