Call the midwife? Nah, this for sure isn’t the real thing. I’m a day away from being 39 weeks pregnant and almost all first time mamas deliver after their due date. Well yes, there’s some type of intense pain happening every five minutes but there’s no way this is the real thing. Let’s just wait until I clean this room to call. (Cleans room) Okay, let’s just wait until I shower to call. (Takes a shower) Okay, let me get the crockpot out and a few other things before I call. (Finally calls and downplays the pain) Don’t ask me why, I’ve never liked inconveniencing others and to have my midwife come to me for false labor late at night was not what I wanted. And I really couldn’t believe it was actually happening- me, a Mama. Soon to hold a fragile, beautiful little boy-my little boy-in my arms. A baby entrusted to selfish me to care for selflessly and to love sacrificially. It cannot actually be the real thing..
It was. And this is the birth story of our first beautiful son, Zion Christopher Maiers.
It was 8:30 PM on a Tuesday night in September. We had just finished meeting with our small group. I stepped out of the bathroom for what must have been the 5th time that night and told the ladies how I just experienced a different type of pain after emptying my bladder. We mostly shrugged it off as Braxton hicks and went our separate ways. Your papa and I made it home five minutes later and it happened again, that odd and somewhat painful crampy feeling. Papa started timing these “things” on an iPhone app and we came to the conclusion that we were doing something wrong because the pattern of these “things”screamed “you’re in active labor” and there was just no way. We put off calling the midwife for another three hours. It was 11:30PM when I decided I’d better update her. I should add here that we planned to have a home birth and our midwife, LeAnn, was in Winona, an hour away from Rochester. I can’t recall the whole conversation I had with LeAnn but we went away with the plan that I would try to get some sleep and if the pain was so intense that it kept me from sleeping, call again. Well, I couldn’t sleep but I thought maybe the pain would ease up if I waited a bit longer. I couldn’t get comfortable and paced back and forth from our bedroom to the bathroom. “What in the world was happening?!” It was 12:30am and I made another phone call to LeAnn, “yeah, I think I want you to come…I’m still not totally sure this is it but can you come anyway?” After that phone call there was this intense change in my body. I threw up in the bathroom, sat myself on the floor and started crying to Chris. “You need to bring me to the hospital and get me all the pain meds NOW.” Lol. (To clarify for zion that means laugh out loud. LOL at the fact of clarifying) We took the classes and read the books and we knew that those words were so often spoken by mamas during the transition stage just before the pushing stage of labor happened. But there could be NO WAY I was that far along. Well that intense pain sensation passed and I all of a sudden started to experience something different happening in my body, it was as if I had to fight my body to not push anything out. I was still going back and forth from our bed to the bathroom. While on our bed I shouted to Chris, “I swear this baby is trying to come out now.” Chris called LeAnn again and updated her and we were pretty sure this was the real thing by this time, but we still didn’t know how far along I was. (We were NEWBIES STOP JUDGING US HAHA) LeAnn told Chris she was 30 minutes away, was speeding up and that I should do whatever I could to not push. We thought this would be a good time to start filling up the birth tub as we planned for a water birth. LOL again. Papa was working hard at trying to connect the hose to where the shower head was and I was trying to hold it together in the bedroom. I was reciting psalm 73:26 over and over again – “my flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” I made my way back to the bathroom to find water spraying everywhere and I firmly told papa (okay… I shouted), “forget the water birth! I need you now!” I couldn’t find physical comfort anywhere as I continued to pace back and forth from the bathroom to the bedroom. Then the most intense feeling/contraction came as I dropped to my knees right in the middle of our bedroom doorway. I told papa, “he’s coming now!” I think your papa surprised himself as he knew just what to do as he held your little head in his strong hands while making sure their was no cord wrapped around your neck. I knew with the next push that you would be out and I frantically said, “you need to call Leann and I will catch him!” (LOL forever) (note to everyone don’t tell your husband to do anything except stay right by your side when there’s a baby halfway out of you.)
All of a sudden you were in my arms. I held you out away from my body and I was shocked. Everything happened so fast and so unexpected up until that moment. With you in my arms, it all slowed down and everything within me knew something holy had just happened. God formed you and sustained you within me and now you were here. I pulled you close and breathed you in and looked up at your tearful papa and we both breathed deep reliefs – you were here. You were okay and completely beautiful. We were okay. And we were a family of three. That moment of just the three of us together lasted only a couple of minutes but it will be treasured by me forever. At 1:14 am we experienced God as our helper, our strength, our deliverer and our protector in a whole new way.
Our midwife and her assistant and my sister all arrived within five minutes of you being born. I’m not sure of all the words exchanged because I was in a different place in my mind, mesmerized by little you. Your fresh, sweet body at home curled up on my chest, your tiny fingers that I couldn’t keep from kissing, your soft and steady breathing that told me of the peace you knew. The love we shared in those first hours cannot be put into words but I believe it was love straight from God- the love that has the power to change. And oh how I’ve been changed.