Every year that passes I am more and more amazed at how quickly my kiddos are growing. My second oldest son is 7 today. It is undeniable that becoming Westley's mom took me on a journey that forever changed me. His birth changed me from the inside out. He is my rainbow baby, born after 2 miscarriages. His was my first home birth. He was the first newborn that had to share time with a demanding toddler. For me the transition from one baby to two was the hardest, and through that trial I learned so much about myself as a mom. I learned that I could divide my time for the needs of more than one kiddo. I learned that baby wearing was a lifesaver and became an expert at wrapping Wes on my back. His big brother was a tornado and needed both of my hands to keep him safe. I also learned that although parenting is challenging, the rewards are amazing. I am so thankful that God hand picked Westley to be part of our family and blessed us with him!
I went into labor late in the evening on May 7th, I was 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Despite being almost a week past due I was comfortable and relaxed about baby choosing his own birthdate. Although if he was going to be past due, I was hoping for May 4th, because Star Wars Day would be a pretty spectacular birthdate! The days came and went and the only stress was keeping the house clean. There is a different type of feeling when you are having your baby at home. You always feel like you need to be ready for an impromptu party. Clean toilets, pantries stocked, clutter free floors. Being very pregnant it's difficult to keep that level of cleanliness, but I tried all the same.
Mark, my husband, works long hours so when he came home exhausted I encouraged him to sleep, but I had a feeling that it could be the night! I walked, swayed, rocked and waited for my contractions to pick up. I didn't exactly know what to expect though. My first delivery I was having regular contractions for two hours, but they weren't really increasing my dilation which led to me being admitted and induced. I was worried about calling in the midwives too early, but I was still feeling like contractions were getting stronger and closer together. I called and informed them and they decided to come just to check.
The commotion of inviting people into our home slowed my contractions, but I didn't really want my dilation checked. I decided to lay down and listen to my hypnobirthing to really focus on the contractions and visualize labor progressing. Amazingly it worked, my weeks of practicing relaxation really worked to get me focused on delivery and relax my body enough so it could do what it was made to do. The contractions picked up so I requested that we fill the birth tub, this meant waking up Mark.
Mark was surprised to wake up to a house full of women! Everything was a bit of a blur, so I'm not exactly sure what time I got in the tub, but I couldn't have been in there for very long because the water was still warm when he was born. It was so hard, but so amazing at the same time. During transition I kept feeling like there was no way I could keep going! But I had learned while I was pregnant that that feeling of defeat comes at the most intense part of delivery right before baby is crowning. So I replaced those negative and defeating thoughts with visualizations of pulling baby to my chest. I knew from the moment we decided to hire a midwife that I didn't want anyone to touch me. I didn't want my dilation checked, I didn't want baby pulled out of me, I wanted to be left alone and supervised. I was looking forward to delivering my own baby and pulling him to my chest, so this is the moment that I held onto while I was in labor. Delivering my own baby and holding him in my arms. That feeling was amazing. When he was finally born I was so ecstatic, it was an amazing endorphin high!
We were immediately taken care of, but my baby hardly left my arms. The midwives measured him, took his vitals, and cared for him right where he was. I was so comfortable in my own space. I loved that I could immediately cuddle into my bed and rest. Our family came to visit and took Jed for a few outings, but he was able to meet his new brother immediately after he was born. He even cut the umbilical cord! The tip of the iceberg to this amazing birth experience was that Westley was born on Mother's Day morning. <3
I never dreamed that I would choose to have my babies at home. Ever. Maybe at a birth center, but not at home! The journey that brought us to this decision was long and full of a lot of emotions, but after a lot of prayer and research, we decided to hire a home birth midwife. I interviewed several and we found one that felt like the best fit for our family. We had the perfect, most healing birth. Jed's birth was "normal", but what I learned between his delivery and becoming pregnant with Westley was that giving birth doesn't always require a lot of interventions, and my first delivery was full of interventions. In hindsight most of those interventions probably weren't necessary, but we went along with them because we felt that our medical staff had our very best interests in mind. God made our bodies to deliver babies, he also made doctors who invented life saving interventions. These interventions are amazing and absolutely necessary in some situations to save lives, but they aren't one size fits all, and they are sometimes used when they aren't necessary. My experiences led me to feel safer giving birth at home with heavily supervised care. The recovery was so much better after my second birth because I didn't need stitches or pain meds and I could get up and move right away. Midwifery care isn't for every woman or even every pregnancy (my third delivery was again at the hospital), but when it's available I think that it is life changing. It was for me.
Westley is now a sensitive, confident, friendly and intelligent first grader. He memorizes scripture like it's his job and can read several grade levels above his current grade. He is a Tiger cub and loves going to cub scout camp. He is a wonderful brother and throughly enjoys playing pretend with everyone. He has recently earned his master builder life rank by building Poe's X-Wing with no help! We love him and are so glad that God handpicked him to be part of our family.
Happy Birthday, Wesley Charles! We love and adore you!