I don’t know what it is lately but so many of my clients have had their patience tested as they’ve had to wait and wait and WAIT for their babies to be born! Amanda and Mike had hoped that Everly would make her debut in June. In fact, I worried that she might have me running straight from my last birth to her birth. None of us would have dared to predict that she’d make her parents wait until almost 42 weeks.
On Friday morning Amanda called to say that her attempts to help kick-start labor seemed not to be working at all. She was going to give it one more try, though. A few hours later I got a text that her contractions were 3 minutes apart and getting bad. Another Friday baby after all! We met at Nativiti an hour later at 1:30.
It was clear to me that things were serious as soon as I walked in the room. It was a railroad labor and Amanda was doing nothing short of an amazing job just hanging on for the ride and taking each contraction as it came. She was complete and ready to push by 3:30!
Usually this is the point in labor when things start getting a little easier. Or at least they feel more productive for the Mom. She has something she can do instead of just enduring painful contractions and the end is in sight! I think we all expected Everly to slide into the world in just a few minutes, like her big brother. But she had other plans.
Positioned awkwardly, Everly just would not budge. Her parents knew she’d be a big baby but that wasn’t the issue – there was plenty of room for her to be born. She just wouldn’t budge. Amanda tried every trick in the book. She tried and she tried and she tried. There was a feeling of exhaustion and frustration in the room. Honestly it had not been too long but it felt like hours and hours had passed without much progress. Usually the opposite is the case: hours pass in what feels like minutes. This was new for me and I am sure it was new for Amanda and Mike whose first baby was born within a few pushes.
Then something happened. I don’t know what it was but the feeling in the room shifted palpably, all at once. I found myself fighting back tears – something that rarely happens to me at a birth and certainly never before the baby’s even born! Frustration turned to motivation and determination. Amanda, as if she suddenly knew instinctively exactly what she needed to do, got in the one perfect position that Everly needed in order to be born. And she was born a few minutes later at 5:14pm – happy, healthy and fat!
Feet – you know I can’t help myself!
I like to talk about birth. But this birth has me speechless. I wish I could find the right words to convey the power and beauty I witnessed that day. All in all, Amanda and Mike were only at the birth center for less than 4 hours before Everly was born but it felt like a lifetime in the strangest way. Time slowed down, sometimes stood still. Amanda endured in a way that I would not believe a woman was capable of if I had not seen it with my own eyes. She pushed aside exhaustion and frustration and touched her instincts. And she was rewarded with the most precious gift. Mike championed his wife and believed in her and never wavered. He cheered her on and celebrated her with pride in his eyes when he met his baby daughter.
Congratulations on your miracle, Amanda and Mike, and welcome to the world sweet Everly!