Pearl Elizabeth's birth story
Born to Caleb & Sarah
Friday was the perfect day, aside from my kids waking up too early. We had a nice relaxing day full of crafts, book reading, homemade meals and lots of snacks. In the late afternoon, everyone took naps which meant momma had a chance to take one as well, which is rare with 4 kids 6 and under.
My 22m old was the first to wake up from her nap. She was being clingy and wanting me to hold her, but I had been having pretty intense period like cramps for most the day. So instead, I pulled up a stool to the kitchen counter and suggested we make cookies.
Of course, she jumped at that with excitement.
Eventually her brothers woke up and filled the kitchen with noise and energy.
Hubby got home early, which was a nice surprise. By then my cramps had become concerning to me, spiking my unending anxiety with this pregnancy.
I got my home kit and tested for a uti, nothing.
I called my sister but no answer.
After reading the verse I wrote on my bathroom mirror for the week (Proverbs 3: 5-6) I decided stop worrying and just continue enjoying the day, “the Lord has us, baby.”
After dinner, the boys headed upstairs to watch a movie with dad. I took the opportunity to clean up the house and listen to my favorite podcast uninterrupted (what a treat!)
I remember thinking I must be going into labor tonight because I found myself washing dishes by hand instead of loading them into the dishwasher.
After tucking the kids in for the night, hubby and I watched an episode of our show together then called it a night.
I was able to sleep well despite the cramping still annoying me.
3:33am rolls around and I woke up from a dead sleep with a contraction.
I took a few sips of water after noting the time and went back to sleep.
17 mins later I woke up again.
This went on for about 1.5 hours. I would rollover every 2 contractions and then drift off to sleep, storing up every last bit of energy I could get for the journey of birthing my precious peanut.
Finally around 5:30am my body became restless and contractions were 8-10 mins apart.
I decided to text Dot and let her know what was going on.
I got up, lit a few candles and turned on the fireplace, creating the peaceful birth environment I’ve envisioned for this birth.
I quietly worked on staying relaxed and enjoying the quiet morning to myself.
I enjoyed watching the lights off my Christmas tree dance, the flames from fireplace warmed the room. At one point, I opened my eyes after practicing my breathing pattern (in the nose for 4 seconds, out the mouth for 6) and saw my husband standing in direct way of the Christmas tree with his hands on his hips.
“What are you doing?”
Just then my lower back signaled the start of another contraction.
I shut my eyes hoping that would signal him to back away..
Still he stood.
“Can you move away from the tree please, I’ll tell you what’s going on in a minute.”
A few minutes later I found him back in bed snuggled up.
“So what’s going on?” He asks.
“I’m in labor, and before you ask I already texted Dot, I’m just waiting to see what she responds.”
“No you’re not..”
“Yes I am”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, it’s early labor babe. Normally I let you sleep through this stage and wake you up when it’s active, this could be awhile still.”
After convincing hubby I wasn’t changing my mind and that I absolutely was in labor, he asked if I wanted him to get up with me or go back to bed.
I asked if he could stay up and make me a cappuccino and rub my back for me, which was getting pretty sore at this point.
He gladly joined in and after reminding me that Dot said not to text but to call (oops), I asked him to call her and read my txt update.
Between contractions, he handed me the phone and after a brief chat and me pausing our conversation for a contraction, she decided she would head over since I had a history of labor jumping into active quickly.
Kids slowly started waking up and after giving momma some good morning kisses they disappeared upstairs to play.
It still felt like the early stages of labor when Dot showed up around 7am. She quietly slipped in with her assistants and waited patiently on the couch. Hubby made everyone coffee and set to the tasks on his list I left him, setting up snacks, keeping kids busy, etc.
By now my contractions hadn’t changed, still 8-10 mins apart, some strong, some subtle.
My lower back was beginning to swell in pain and I felt like I couldn’t get relief so I got in the shower with a yoga ball and leaned on that while the hot water soothed my back.
After some time, I decided to get out because I was feeling a bit dizzy and remembered I hadn’t eaten anything but a cheese stick.
Soon after my shower Dot came in to check the baby and ask some questions between contractions. I continued to labor in the peacefulness of my home, with my family nearby, sneaking in cuddles and kisses from kids and making sure to turn up the volume of the calming music in my headphones when they got loud or asked for me. I would enter into a deep sense of peacefulness and reminded myself that the kids were taken care of, and that my job right now was to listen to my body and baby as we continued this journey together.
Things slowly progressed with waves of strong contractions coming and going. I continued to change positions and walk when I had the energy. Hubby and the birth team took turns rubbing my lower back during contractions.
Around 10:30am I started to feel like I was losing my state of relaxation and losing track of my breathing pattern. After being reminded by hubby to breathe, I started to hear myself make noises during contractions and relaxing between them was becoming impossible. I found my sister, and asked her to get the bath filled as I intended to ease the aches in my back a bit so I could catch my breath.
After a few moments of her filling the bath, I attempted to put on my bra and underwear of choice for the bath, but doing so was impossible so my sister stepped in to help.
Soon, the thought of waiting to get in the bath was becoming unbearable so I decided to get in while it was still filling despite the fact that the sound of the faucet was irritating to me and interrupted the calm music playing in my ear buds.
Finally I stepped into the bath, the warm water wrapped my back in a hug and relief washed over me, I stretched and rubbed and tended to my aching body trying to find my state of relaxation again.
Soon the tub was filled and all noise left the room. Hubby set up his phone with music so I could take my earbuds out.
Somehow I found my breathing pattern again and followed my body’s requests to change positions when needed.
My moaning changed back into calm smooth breathing again. I found my way back into my state of peace and imagined each contraction washing over me like a wave on the beach. For moments during the strong contractions, I found myself back on the beach in Jamaica with the sun warm on my skin and the strong waves of the ocean washing over my whole body.
I’d come back and see the dim lit bathroom and change my position in the warm water, sometimes asking my hubby to warm up the water, or feeling someone check the baby’s heartbeat.
Then back to work.
Soon I felt the need to push but when I tried it didn’t feel quite ready; so I changed positions and waited through a few more, imagining that each painful contraction was doing its job and helping bring baby down.
Sitting up on my knees I felt a small urge to push, taking a deep breath I tried a small push and felt what I thought was the water sack pushing down.
A few minutes passed it felt like, and I prepared myself for the next urge.
With a strong push, I felt baby’s head enter the ring of fire.
My husband was sitting next to me rubbing my back. When he saw my hand go down and not come back, he asked if I could feel anything and I said “yes, her head”.
He went to turn towards the door, knowing I needed to stay focused and not be interrupted. I said “no”.
He knew what I meant and stayed calmly seated and let me do my work.
The next urge to push came and I pushed deeply. While holding my hand on the head, I guided baby’s head slowly through the ring of fire.
“Head’s out” I quietly announced to hubby.
He slid his hand under baby’s head and waited with me for my next push.
I felt like baby’s head was out for a couple minutes while we waited. Feeling the soft hair and brushing a feel at a nose, the urge came and the rest of baby slipped out calmly and I gently lifted her up out of the water and unto my chest at 12:03pm. Hands of support were all around as I slowly shifted off my knees and back into the support of the tub.
Baby on my chest.
We did it. We were finally face to face.
Time stood still has I looked into the most beautiful wide-eyed child.
“We did it” I whispered
“You’re finally here!”
“Good job” hubby said and leaned over for a kiss.
Soon the kids flooded into the bathroom after hearing the newborn cries of their sister. We were asked many questions & spent many beautiful moments in the hot steamy bathroom as a new family of 7.
The rest of the day was spent soaking in our little miracle
Pearl Elizabeth Visscher
7lbs 12oz 21in
“Without a wound, there would be no Pearl.”