Gideon Thomas's birth story
Born to Brandon & Rachel
Gideon’s Birth Story
Thursday, May 25th, I woke up to a quiet house, disappointed once again that I made it through another night of no contractions. I was 11 days overdue, officially the longest I’d ever been pregnant. I had dubbed myself The Boy Who Called Wolf; we had sent the boys to spend the night at my parents once again “in case these steady contractions got any harder overnight." Once again, contractions stopped as soon as I went to bed.
I got up and slowly made myself breakfast and tried not to get excited when contractions started once again, fairly close together but not very hard. A few hours later when they still were coming steady, I called Brandon and asked him to come home just in case they got more intense. Since he was working over an hour away I didn’t want to take any chances.
We enjoyed the day together, it was a gorgeous 78 degrees and sunny outside. We took a lot of walks and I sat in a chair and watched Brandon clean up the woods. Contractions stayed the same. To pass the day I took a nap, baked bread and cinnamon rolls, took more walks, did some of the Miles Circuit, and we watched the Survivor Finale while timing contractions. At around 9:45pm we let Dorothy know that my contractions were getting close to 5 mins apart, 1 min long, and increasing intensity. I knew they were not where they needed to be but Dorothy living 40ish mins away made us a little more conservative. Our birth team arrived about 10:30 and of course my contractions slowed way down, to 10-15 mins apart. They helped me do some hip release stretches and hung out for an hour. I decided to lay down and try to rest, in that next hour I only had 4 contractions. Frustrated with my body, I told Dorothy that she should go home. They all left a little before 12:30am.
I tried to sleep and dozed a bit between contractions. Around 1:00am I got up to use the bathroom and noticed things started to intensify and contractions went back to being 4-5 minutes apart, and longer and stronger. I started feeling regret that we had sent the midwives away and I woke Brandon and asked him to call Dorothy and ask her to come back.
Jessica got here at 1:30am and she helped do some hip squeezes while I labored kneeling against my birthing ball. I felt some wet and I think my water started leaking. I moved around a lot, laboring in the bathroom and back and forth to the living room. Dorothy and Dennise got here at 1:48pm and Brandon was busy filling up the birthing pool. I was leery of the pool, unsure if I wanted to use it or not, but we decided we might as well have it just in case! Contractions kept coming steady, getting more intense, I was able to relax and work through them really well. I tried to concentrate on embracing them instead of fighting them.
I flirted with the pool for a while, laboring while squatting outside of it and leaning on the edges for support. At 2:30am Brandon convinced me to give the inside of the pool a try, and if I didn’t like it I could just get out. I felt super weird taking off my bottoms in a room full of people, so I decided to turn the bright lights off first. Like that would somehow help... Not sure why but that step of birth always feels so awkward to me even if those people are all about to see way more in just a little bit. The warm water was really comforting and I decided to stay put. Brandon rubbed my back and stayed right by me giving me sips of water. Kneeling in the pool while resting my top half over the edge was where I was the most comfortable through those harder contractions. Things really started to get intense around 2:50, I remember not feeling scared or worried but excited that I recognized this next stage. A fleeting “I don’t think I can do this” went through my mind during a wave and I immediately squashed it, knowing that this must be transition because that’s when I had that thought in previous births. It meant I was so close to the finish line! Dorothy was right there on my other side quietly encouraging me and checking baby’s heartbeat once in a while. According to my chart I started involuntary pushes at 2:59. I was able to be present and calm, aware of my body’s positioning and able to adjust to give baby more room. Having my hand down to feel baby’s head was encouraging to me, almost a reality check that this was all really happening. I immediately felt how much hair he had, still in awe that this wasn’t a dream, and after a few pushes he was out and finally in my arms! Born at 3:01am, May 26th, 2023, Gideon Thomas was 8lbs 7oz of vernix covered perfection! He took a bit to cry and had to be stimulated a little to keep his heart rate up. I didn’t feel nervous it took so long because I felt my midwives peaceful demeanor and they spoke calmly the entire time. They rubbed his back some and wiggled his arms and legs while I held him. He finally gave a good cry almost a minute after but was quiet right after again. Gideon was strong, calm, and looked around with his puffy eyes. I felt so strong, a rush of those post birth hormones, and beyond excited to have him out! I had to check to make sure he was a boy because even though the ultrasound was pretty clear I had a dream that he was actually a girl, so I needed to be sure. Sure enough, Our 4th boy! We were shocked how an “overdue” baby had that much vernix on him still, and Brandon and I marveled how much he looked like his brother Nathan. He had big hands and a head full of dark hair. I nursed him soon after, still in the pool, and waited for my placenta to be ready.
This was the birth that I longed to have, especially after 3 hospital births. I felt so comfortable and in control. I was able to move wherever I wanted and not be hooked up to monitors and holding still to get IVs. Using my own bathroom was another huge perk! I felt like a queen with everyone giving me drinks of water and juice and fresh homemade bread. Everyone was calm and hands off, trusting me and my body to progress at my own rate. I got to shower in my own bathroom right after and climb into my soft bed and cuddle my sweet newborn next to my husband. We watched as my trusted midwife did Gideon’s newborn check right on my bed and weighed and measure him. We had no strangers coming in and out of our room every few minutes. Just me, Brandon, our baby, and our awesome birthing team.