Where do I start….
Each of my childrens births have been special in their own right. However this one was special because we finally have roots. We have been a family on the move ever since Ramon and I said “I do”. Constantly moving nearly every year. Well, with the help and prayers of many friends and relatives, we purchased our first home in Oct. Because of this I was determined to have our baby at home.
If you read our previous blog entries you will see the history of how the Lord has been in every aspect of our fertility. Every single child we have has been a “surprise” and every child has been knit and woven in my womb by the Lord above, even when the doctors said it would never happen. There is no denying what the Lord has done in my family and I will always give credit where credit is due.
Now, on to the birth of Ezra.
On Sunday February 7th, Ramon and I went on our traditional celebratory final date before our family becomes bigger. We almost didn’t go because my pubic bone hurt so bad. I was very uncomfortable and I just knew Ezra’s head was just sitting on it. But, I was very much determined to have this date so I “grinned and beared” it. The next day I remember telling Ramon that I felt like “Toot-toot” was coming soon. The entire day was fine. It wasn’t until around 6pm that I began having contractions that I thought initially where Braxton Hicks. They were consistent and very short. Coming every 10min lasting about 15sec. They were uncomfortable, but BH have been uncomfortable this entire pregnancy so it didn’t really alarm me. Ramon rolled in at 7:15pm and at this point I handed over parenting responsibilites because I felt like I needed to take a bath to see if these contractions would stop. Well….they didn’t. I tried everything. Drinking more water, I had been moving around cooking and dancing with the kids earier and even sitting. Contractions kept coming. every 10-15min lasting 15-23 sec.
At this point I really thought I was dealing with prodromal labor(which is something that had been a total pain in my previous pregnancies) but I wasn’t sure. Around 10:30 I called and then sent a text to my midwife, Molly, letting her know that I was going to eat and go to sleep and that Ramon was turning up the heat on the water heater just in case something progressed. Contractions were about 5-7min apart but had not really increased in intensity.
I slept for a while but I did notice every single contraction. Around 3:30 Molly gave me a call to get an update. I let her know that my back ached and that contractions where not lasting more than 30-40 sec. Molly talked me through some relaxation techniques to get through the contractions and she also added that I should lift my belly and tuck during contractions. Alright, I took her advice and that is what I did all while trying to get some more rest. Molly offered to come but I didn’t think it was quite time yet.
At 6am I called Molly and let her know she could go ahead and come now. Contractions really had not gotten longer but they had increased in intensity a bit. I was still confused by that because they had remained around 40 sec forever. Shortly after I got off the phone she sent me a text reminding me to eat something if I had not already within the hour.
Molly and Linh(her apprentice, who has a heart of gold by the way) arrived at our home around 8:15am Tues February 9th.
Vivica a young lady that is part of my street team through Mercy Street arrived about an hour before them.
Side Note: Vivica is 16 yrs old and she aspires to be an OBGYN some day. I invited her to my birth so that she could experience a different side to birth. Actually she asked in excitement if she could come. Of course I could not say no.
So anyways, back to the story. I had my play list going which included artist such as India Arie, Gateway Worship, Maxwell, Musiq, Chrisette Michelle, Jesus Culture, Kari Jobe and more. The play list was one of the best parts of my labor experience. I pretty much sang the entire time and sweet Linh even asked if she could sing with me. So there were moments when both of us where immersed in worship of our Savior. Oh I just get goosebumps just thinking about it. All this time I am just singing and sitting on the birth ball.
Now, are ya’ll ready to cry? Here goes….At some point I was sitting on the ball and I had an intense contraction (btw, Molly taught me when I was pregnant with Sarai how to relax every part of my body during a contraction and I swear that is a contributing factor in why I was so relaxed and “in control”) and my son comes up to me and says “Mommy are you not feeling very well?”. I respond with “I’m fine honey, its just painful but I’m OK” (He looks me straight in the eyes in all seriousness and says….)”Mommy, you can do it.”(Then he proceeds to kiss and hug my belly)
Our sweet Emmanuel has a very compassionate heart. He always has. He senses when something isn’t quite right. In this moment, he saw my need and met me there. I thank God for my #1.
So all this time they are setting up the birth pool and just getting everything ready. I have a contraction as I come out of the bathroom and Molly bends over so that I can use her back to “go limp” on. As the contraction ends and I stand upright, my water breaks. This was at 10:07am. There is a little meconium in my waters but nothing to bring alarm. The pool is ready but I’m not ready to get in. One, I was waiting on Desiree (my friend and photographer) to get there before I got in the pool and two, I didn’t feel it was time. I wanted to get to the point where I new some serious end of labor work was about to be done before I got in. Jeanne showed up around 11am and she was an incredible asset to this birth. I am very thankful she was able to make it. Every work Molly said about her was true.
I proceeded to get in the pool around noon. At this point I was certain it was time. My focus changed, I was not singing anymore and I had a “all about the business” look and demeanor. I started off on my knees facing the pool and leaning over the side. This is how I have started both of my previous births. It gave me something to hang on to and rest my head and even drift off if I needed to. Did I mention all along Lihn in lightly rubbing my arms through each and every contraction? That was a long time. She started when I was on the birth ball and it felt soooooo good. It truly brought some form of relief. At some point Molly suggests that I turn around and sit down or get in a squat of some sort. She knew that I wanted to catch my baby so she knew that I needed to be in a better position to do it. Also, remember when I told you about the “lift and tuck” technique Molly had me do? Well, this technique helped relieve the pain in my back and allowed Toot-toot to get in the proper position. You see, because of my abdominal seperation and position Toot-toot was likely aimed toward my tailbone. With the “lift and tuck” technique it help aim him downward through those contractions. So, her telling me to turn around while I was in the tub was also a way to keep Too-toot in proper postion. She is a GENIUS!
At this point I am beginning to feel the urge to push. With each contraction I just worked with it. These contractions again where still very short compared to what I was use to. Short and they weren’t right on top of each other. So all in all, the labor was relatively easy in comparison. I had time to relax and keep my mind right. There where moments when I would look up at the birth bord and reflect on some of the passages that people shared with me and some of the birth affirmations that kept me going where “I can do this”, “Trust my body, Trust birth”, “Not pain, progress”, I would repeat these over and over again as things got more intense.
Molly asked me to reach inside with a finger and see if I could feel the top of my babies head. I did! It was awesome and the first time I have ever done that. My baby was close, one finger length from the grand exit. I had one, maybe two contractions and I felt again and had pushed him down to just a finger tip from the exit. WHOA! When I think about it, I had some very productive pushes. In the next couple of pushes he was at full crown(entire head out) and one more push and I caught my baby. Did you read that? I, ME, CESSILYE caught my baby.
Toot-toot came out and needed a little assistance breathing. Just a little. Molly gave him mouth to mouth just to help him take that deep breath. Now dont freak! I didn’t. I knew he was totally fine. Not a bone in me worried about his health and well being. He was just taking those shallow breaths and needed a little to take the larger breath that he needed to bring his oxygen levels up. To ease your minds. He scored a 7 on the apgar test at 2min. By 5min he was a 9. The highest score is 10.
Look it up😉
So, This is the birth of Ezra Jeremiah Smith. My entire family is thrilled. Ramon has been a rock for our family and sweet Emmanuel and Sarai are just in love with their little brother. Ezra is sweet, chill, and loves to be in the comfort and protection of his mama’s arms….Oh and he is an incredible nurser. The latch is on point.😉
Ezra – Help or Helper
Jeremiah – YAHWEH has uplifted, Raised up or appointed by God
Born – February 9, 2016
Time – 1:11pm
Weight – 8lb 14 oz
Length – 21.25in
Home birth midwife – Molly Germash with Hearts Desire Midwifery http://heartsdesiremidwifery.com/
Photography by Desiree Chapman