May 14, 2008
I have just had the best week of my life! My sweet little Parker was born May 8, 2008. He came at 12:57 pm, here in my bedroom in Mesa, Arizona. I think we have an amazing birth story and an even more amazing little boy.
My due date was yesterday but Parker decided to come early. I was actually supposed to attend my graduation ceremony on the 8th but Parker would have only been 4 hours old for the ceremony. It worked out in a way though because Mark’s parents and brother and my Dad (who just took a job in Texas) had just gotten into town for the graduation.
Labor started at 4:00 am with me and Mark laughing that we were having a baby on the one day we probably would have chosen not to. But now that he’s here that day was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything.
At 4:00 we weren’t positive we were in labor, so at about 4:30 we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Mark walked the dog, and I walked the curbs. And by the end of our half hour walk we were walking really slow and the contractions were coming steadily apart and getting more intense. So we got back here and started getting things ready… the pool, the bed, and charting contractions. I was still very mobile and not too uncomfortable. The contractions would just cause me to pause from what I was doing.
At 6:00 we called the midwife and told her the contractions were averaging 2 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds. She suggested taking a bath to relax and actually wanted the contractions farther apart- thinking my body still needed to establish a steady labor pattern.
The bath wasn’t relaxing so I took a shower and got back on my bed. It felt really good to sway side to side and rock back and forth on my hands and knees. Mark was an all star. He continued to chart contractions and all the while with each one he would put pressure on my lower back, which felt so good!
At 7:00 my water broke and those contractions never separated out. They stayed about a minute and half apart. And after the water broke, got more intense.
We called the midwife again because my water was green, not clear like it should be. She decided to come check it out.
Mark and I continued doing the contractions on the bed, and she along with both sets of our parents showed up at about 8:30. They came over to give me a Priesthood blessing and Mark gave the most beautiful blessing I could have possibly received. Mark got a little choked up during the blessing and he said it was because he could feel Heavenly Father’s love and excitement for us. And he said he had feelings that everything was going to be okay and that we were doing everything right. He said he also felt a sacred power surrounding what was about to happen… meaning becoming a family, fulfilling our sacred callings and becoming parents.
So, at this time I was 3 centimeters and 100% effaced. Mary, the midwife, let me get in the labor tub (a kiddie pool) and left me and Mark alone and man we were “in the zone”. After the blessing, I tuned into my body and Mark tuned into me. We were a team. Mark rubbed my back the way I needed, poured warm water over me, and moved my hair out of the way when I needed it. Mary came back about 10:30 am and I was 6 centimeters. One of my favorite parts of labor came after that. She put me in the shower on a yoga ball and I aimed the water on my lower back. The contractions had intensified at this point. But in the shower it felt like it was just me and Parker. I was in there for about an hour just working with my body. I was alone, it was dark, and I could feel every sensation in my body! I felt womanly, maternal, and even beautiful.
Mary checked me after the hour and told me it wouldn’t be long. She wouldn’t specify except to say: “I’ll check ya in half an hour and it may be time.” I got back in the labor pool and Mark poured water over me constantly because the contractions were coming hard and fast. There was no chance for relaxation between contractions like there had been all morning. Mark told me I was beautiful and amazing when I needed to hear it and was quiet when I needed silence.
When the urge to push came along I started to panic. Because all day I was in a relaxation zone, and suddenly these uncontrollable urges to bear down were coming and I didn’t understand them. Right as I was beginning to wonder what was going on with me, Mary checked me and said it was time.
They moved me to the bed where the student midwife, Nedra, delivered Paker. The contractions were overwhelming and I did get scared. The midwives were telling me how to push, but it took me a few pushes to figure it out. I suddenly felt so disconnected from my body, which is the opposite of how it had been. After a few attempts, I finally figured out how to push and felt “in control” again. Mark said you could visibly see when I got “it” because I took control of when to push and pushed with more intensity. Right after this I started to feel the burn of Parker’s head crowning. That was an intense sensation I never could’ve imagined or could explain. But with each push it felt as if I was working through the burning- I wanted to get this baby out.
He came after my 9 hours of labor and 35 minutes of pushing. They placed Parker on my chest, Mark immediately came down to us and I just kept saying, “This is our son. Look at our son.” The feelings are indescribable. An intense amount of love, reverence, and awe was over me. I had the most beautiful, amazing spirit laying on my stomach and chest. I rubbed his back, kissed his head, and told him I loved him over and over again.
Occasionally, I would look over at Mark and he looked mystified. He had gotten teary eyed and cried a little bit. But I’ll never forget the look of love he had on his face. As he sat over us, like a good father would, I was just awe struck by the feeling of unity and team work. All three of us worked together beautifully to become a family.
We’re a team and were in this together. Our goal: the celestial kingdom. To become an eternal family.
Nedra and Mary- the midwives who delivered him.