Six years ago today it was hot. I was hugely pregnant, and felt even bigger than I looked.
I was halfway through my 37th week, but knew this second baby of mine wouldn't hold out until 40 weeks.
The baby had been breech until a week before, and I'd been doing all kinds of head standing, downward dog, cat and cow, and accupressure in order to encourage turning. It finally worked, and I remember the moment my midwife palpated my belly and agreed yes, this baby is finally head down. "Good Girl", I instinctively thought to myself. It was in that moment I knew that baby was a she.
I realized during breakfast on July 28th that the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been having every evening had already begun-- maybe this would be the day. Wylie (a week away from his 2nd birthday) and I met some friends and cousins at a playground in town and played for the morning. My contractions became stronger and more frequent throughout our time there--to the point that I was feeling distracted and they required some focus. Around 12:30 I took Wylie home for lunch and a nap. When I lay down beside him the contractions, instead of settling out, became stronger and more frequent. I decided to get up and call our midwives.
"Tell Rob to come home and fill the tub". I loved that response. Rob came home right away (fortunately he only works 10 min. away). We also called my sister, Heide who had agreed to be with Wylie and present during the birth. We called my mother (who lives 3 hours away) who was also planning to be at the birth. Heide arrived before the midwives and we all agreed it would be best if she could take him out for a while. They headed to the grocery store for some lemon Popsicles for labor snacks.
The midwives arrived soon after, and I was able to get into the tub. My contractions were still strong and close together. During this time period we were living in our cabin, a 12x20ft. one room w/loft, while our larger house was being built out back. Rob, took one of our midwives out for a tour of the new house. While they were outside by labor quickly picked up and I suddenly found myself in transition. I was in a very different head space than my first labor and I found that true to the many birthing books I'd read, transition this time around felt like a complete loss of control.
Rob and our second midwife came back inside and were surprised to hear how close the baby was. After a few minutes of rest I remember saying, "I know its too soon, but I feel like I need to push". Our midwife replied, "I don't think its too soon". I really loved that response.
On the first push I felt the water sack burst, and with a second strong contraction the baby was born. She was tiny, and absolutely covered in sticky white vernix. She screamed for what felt like 10 minutes and pinked right up. I couldn't believe she was there.
While we were still in the tub Heide came home with Wylie, and our labor snacks! She had missed the whole thing. My mother also missed the birth, by hours, as did my younger sister. Wylie was so little, and suddenly seemed so big. He called Juniper "Noisy" for the next two days.
Juniper Karen, six years ago today you burst into this world, bright and noisy,
and you haven't changed much! I hope it stays that way.
Happy Birthday Junebug!