So, after weeks of waiting on my baby to arrive I was finally at my breaking point. On May 11, I laid down and spoke with Peanut and God to please come soon. I just couldn’t see myself going another three weeks.
Sure enough, at 6:15am I got out of bed to go to the restroom and there goes my water…right down my legs. I was pretty surprised because only 12% of women actually have their water break before labor. It was a moment of complete relief and joy because I knew then that I was going to see my peanut sooner rather than later. I did not have to wait another 1-3 weeks! The look on Ramons face was priceless. You could tell he was excited. It was a refining moment for our family. We are now two on the verge of becoming three. I sent my midwife Laura Cochran and her assistant Amy Berrelli a text letting them know what was going on. Laura was calm cool and collective. I just continued to keep her updated.
I did not immediately go into labor. In fact I was feeling cramps but I didn’t recognize them as labor pains until 11:45am when they got more intense. At that point Ramon began timing them. They fluctuated between 4-22 minutes apart for 25hrs averaging at times between 4-10minutes apart. During this time Ramon and I labored on our own. In fact it was really amazing. I baked chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies and had the most amazing cheese steak w/cheese wiz for dinner and we went to bed. The contractions at this point were strong enough that I could not sleep throughout the night. I slept in between contractions and while a contraction was in effect I would moan or vocalize to get through them. I constantly kept Laura updated and she would continue to encourage me and tell me to be sure to sleep because I was going to need it later. She also wanted me to call her when I needed her presence. Well, I felt pretty darn good on my own. With Ramons help it was painful but manageable so I just kept on laboring. It wasn’t until 5ish am that things started getting a bit more intense and Laura suggest Ramon fill up the tub. I tell ya, when I got in the tub the pain decreased by 50%. It was amazing!!!!!!
Amy arrived first then Laura shortly after around 8ish that morning on May 13. Around 10:30am Laura checked me and then told me that she would like to give me on some herbal remedies to try to speed along the process, she asked me if I would like some benedryl too so that I can get a few hours of sleep. Of course I said yes to that. I ended up getting about 2 1/2 hrs of sleep and boy did I need it. About an hour later she checked me again and at this point she gave me two options. #1 to continue laboring like I was which I could do however it was unproductive or #2 enjoy a delicious peanut butter, chocolate and castor oil milk shake Oh joy…No seriously…That shake was DELICIOUS! Obviously, you know what option I chose. As I sipped on my castor oil shake Ramon and I went on a walk around the neighborhood. Did that shake work or what because soon enough I was having contractions every 10-15 steps! We only walked around the block and we went back into the house. At this point I was on fire and I felt like I needed to go poo really really bad…but I couldn’t. That’s when Laura told me that its my baby descending and that’s how it will make me feel. I hopped in the shower to cool off and deal with the pain.
(Did I mention that during the 25hrs of early labor I hadn’t dialated past a 2. In fact I was barely a two and boy am I glad Laura never told me.)
Ramon wanted me to rest seeing as that I was wiped out. The moment I had a contraction I hopped up and said “Get me in the pool now!” I literally could not stand another contraction outside of water.
I got into the pool around 2:30 and this is when my “active labor” began. I labored for 6 intense hours. I remember at some point asking Amy and Laura when it was going to be over. I remember Laura saying “Cessilye, now this is labor”. Those 25hrs prior to this moment was a breeze compared to the real deal. Ya wanna know my secret to getting my mind off that pain….lol. I just had a Major Pain flashback. Ok, seriously. I stopped vocalizing and began internalizing all of my pain directly to my uterus. I remember the first time I did this I was in the bathroom with Ramon and I envisioned my uterus pushing my baby out, Ramon catching Peanut and then handing me our baby. It brought such a huge smile to my face and I was able to cope with the contractions much better after that. I also, spoke to my uterus. I know it sounds weird but towards the end of labor you just simply want your baby!!!! So, I would mentally tell my uterus to give me my baby. I was yelling in my mind.
The wonderful thing about my labor is that I didn’t have any distractions. I did not have anyone directing me. I had my husband who continued to encourage me when he felt I needed to hear it and rub my back with olive oil. I can remember like it was yesterday my husband telling me “You’re a G”. I had Amy Berrelli who would look at me genuinely and tell me how wonderful I am doing and Laura Cochran who would offer guidance whenever I needed it. I had a birth mix cd my husband hooked up for me that had various artist on it such as Kari Jobe, Lauren Hill, Chrisette Michelle, Maxwell and Tre Nelson and many others. I had silence, peacefulness and most of all I had Jesus.
There were just a few times where my mind would wonder if I could compete this task but those moments were literally seconds. I knew that God created my body to do what it was designed to do and that was carry and bear a child. I could do this.
I knew something was up because when I would briefly open my eyes I would see Laura and Amy doing things. Putting gloves on, Amy would have a flashlight aimed and the GRAND EXIT and I remember hearing Laura whisper to Amy and Ramon to switch places so that Ramon could catch the baby.
There came a point where my back was killing me. Laura suggested I get on my hands and knees. I leaned over the pool and thus began the pushing phase. I did not have anyone tell me to push. My body just knew what to do. With each contraction I found myself pushing with it. It wasn’t intentional I just had to. After a while Laura said, “Cessilye reach down and feel your progress”. I reached down and felt the top of my baby’s head. It was amazing. Here I am doing the very thing that I have witnessed in a multitude of home birth videos. “Thats my baby, I said.” I knew then that the end was literally around the corner. Lets get this done is what was going on in my mind. The funny thing is prior to her telling me to feel by baby, I had no idea just how far along I was.
I kept at it and soon enough my babies head was out. Another contraction went by however it didn’t seem as strong. Laura asked me “Cessilye are you going to push your baby out during the next contraction?” I said, “Im gonna try”. It came the most important contraction of them all, the one to bring by baby’s entire body into this world. It was HARD!! Laura told me I had to push harder than I was and I did. I pushed well beyond the contraction and finally gave birth to Emmanuel Josiah Smith at 8:37pm May 13, 2011.
My husband Ramon and Laura caught Emmanuel and Ramon handed me our son. The first tears of this entire event were tears at the arrival of our son. As we held our son Ramon prayed over our family. It was the most special moment that our family of three will ever experience. One that I would experience all over again in a heart beat and not change a single thing.
Emmanuel =The Lord is with us
Josiah=The Lord Heals (Read blog entitled “Making a Baby”)
8:37 – the time Emmanuel was born
So as we begin this new journey, I now know that my family of three is now complete. All thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior.
P.S. HE HAD A KNOT IN HIS CORD AND WE NEVER KNEW.