This little guy gave us a little scare when we were about halfway through our pregnancy. The ultrasound tech found two cysts on his brain at our twenty week ultrasound. We went home, asked everyone we knew to please pray for our sweet baby and at our followup appointment, they were nowhere to be found. Praise God! I felt kicks and wriggles early on with him and was very surprised to find out at our gender reveal party that he was in fact a HE. Everything was different this time around. From the way I was carrying, to the speed of the little heartbeat we would hear at our midwife appointments, to having zero morning sickness through the first and second trimester. I was convinced we were having a little girl and that we would finally get to use the name my husband has had picked out since we were expecting the first time. Obviously though, God knew what he was doing when he gave us this sweet, sweet soul. I have such a feeling of peace about our family now that he is a part of it. I can't say that we're done having babies, it is way too early in the game to make that kind of decision. But, if that is God's will for our family, I will gladly baby my sweet Tyler the rest of his life. Haha.
When I was about 35 weeks along with him, I began having pretty strong, consistent contractions that really made me panic. I kept thinking, Lord, I'm not ready. I haven't gotten the baby clothes washed. Our birth kit is not ordered. I haven't even looked at the check list for the birth and have zero meals in the freezer. On top of all of that, I wasn't 36 weeks yet and so, would not have been able to have a home birth if he did come that soon. Needless to say, I was not at all prepared to have him and for the way I would have him if he didn't hold off a little longer. Thankfully, after only a few hours, they subsided and I was thoroughly relieved. I took it easy a couple of days and then promptly jumped into nesting mode to get each and every last detail ready for when he did finally arrive.
Braxton hicks contractions kept me pretty well on alert the final month of my pregnancy and I was just sure he wouldn't make it to his due date, October 20th. Also our eight year wedding anniversary. It would have been so special to share that day with him but, in the back of my mind, I hoped he would have his own day to celebrate. God knew what he was doing, again, and I actually went two days over. I never ever thought he would come late. Lucas and Blake were both early so I was just sure he would be too. You know that saying, " If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans "? Yea.
Back to the big day, October 22nd. Two days past my due date. The boys slept in a little that morning like they had been for a couple of weeks. I remember waking up at about ten minutes till eight with a contraction. I had been having them so often that I just thought, yea okay, here we go again. I had a few more before finally getting out of bed at about 8:30. But, nothing consistent, nothing really different than the ones I was used to having the past few weeks. We got around and got through breakfast, all the while I was still contracting, and I remember thinking that these felt different than the ones I'd had earlier. I could feel them in my lower back and radiating down my thighs and, at that point I knew. It was the day. I called Glen at about 9:30 and told him I was pretty sure it was baby day and that I would call Brenda, our midwife, and let him know what she said. He was excited but we agreed not to tell anyone until we knew she was on her way and we would have a baby soon. I called her and she let me know she had received another call that morning from one of her amish clients and that she too was contracting. She was in a kind of awkward position because the other lady was going for a VBAC at home while her previous two births had been emergency transfers to the hospital for cesareans. So, we decided that, since I knew it was most likely the day but there had been no consistency and they were still very bearable, she would wait to hear back from one of us then decide what to do. Either she would come to us and her assistant would go to the other lady, or vice versa.
At that point I called Glen and relayed all that Brenda and I had decided. He asked if I needed him home right away and I told him he could finish what he was doing then head home if it would work out. He agreed and said he'd be there in an hour or so. Meanwhile, the boys played on the swing set, in their outside tubes (old McDonald's playplace tunnels) and ran some energy off while I kept track of contractions on my phone and helped Blake up and down the slide or on and off of the swings. They were still coming but not at a consistent rate at all. And, since they weren't increasing in intensity, I was just kind of like, hmm. I guess he'll come later this evening? Yea, boy did I have that wrong.
Glen called at about 10:30 or so and asked how I was and if it was alright if he was home around noon. I told him that was fine and that I would let him know if I needed him sooner. A few minutes later, we went back inside so I could do a little housework and the contractions started to get just a tad stronger so I called my midwife and talked to her for a few mins. She said she was on her way to the other lady's house and that she would send Eva, her assistant, to us. So, I did a load of laundry, gave a once over to our birth kit and picked up the house a bit before preparing lunch. As I was getting the food ready, I started having a few stronger contractions and at about noon, Glen walked through the door.
It was the craziest thing. I was making pancakes, casually snacking on a couple while flipping some for the boys and, all of a sudden the contractions really started picking up. I finished their plates and Glen got the boys eating as I was nearly in tears from a really strong one. We decided it was time to see where Eva was so Glen gave her a call and she informed us that she was getting ready to leave Springfield and head our way. We were so excited! She was on her way, we knew it was THE day and we were going to meet our newest little boy very soon. There is nothing quite like the excitement and emotions brought on in those circumstances. After speaking with Eva, things picked up very quickly and the contractions started coming every three minutes on the dot. No kidding. It was insane because they literally went from just uncomfortable and not at all consistent to fast, strong and hardly any time in between.
I remember walking through a contraction back to our bedroom and then, as Glen came following me down the hall, telling him I thought it would be soon. Keep in mind, our midwife was still on her way, we had no idea where she was and were both home alone with our three other boys. Glen called his mom and told her she should probably head our way to keep the boys distracted and she was just sitting down to lunch so she said she'd eat and be right there. Before he could call my mom, Eva called and said the interstate was at a stand still because crews were cleaning up a wreck and she needed directions to our house from the exit she just took. At that point, the contractions started coming so quickly that there was hardly any break at all between them and I told Glen that I wasn't sure the baby was going to wait for the midwife. He got the boys playing downstairs then texted his mom to hurry (I learned later that he mispelled "hurry" in all the craziness lol). That lasted less than five minutes and they were upstairs again asking for their tablets. He told them they could get them and then Blake couldn't get his off of adult mode to play a game and Lucas' battery was dead so it wouldn't work. So, they're both in the hall crying and finally Glen told them to stand watch on the front porch for the midwife and Memaw to arrive. Less than five minutes later, daddy caught our sweet baby boy as he was born. Before the midwife arrived, berore Memaw had gotten there and before we had a chance to call my mom. Only about an hour and a half after Glen got home.
The midwife pulled into our driveway less than two minutes later and Memaw a couple of minutes after. There were no complications and we were both healthy as ever, if not a little in shock from everything happening so quickly. It is still so surreal as I type this. It's also kind of funny because not a week earlier, Glen and our midwife were joking about how he would have to deliver the baby because she wouldn't make it in time (my labors have all been pretty fast but none as fast as this one). Goodness. Never in a million years did I imagine that it would actually happen. Or that he would remain so calm and collected throughout the entire thing. He had the midwife on speaker phone and would answer her questions as to what was happening and how we were and it was as if he'd done it a hundred times. He was amazing. Baby boy was just this perfect little thing that we had done all on our own, with the help of one awesome God. It was truly an incredible experience and one that I won't soon forget.
Looking back through these pictures and putting all of the details of the day in order have got me feeling all the emotions again as I did that day. And there are so many. Nervousness. Excitement. Fear. Thankfulness. Overwhelming love. God is so so good and I could not be more grateful for all that he has blessed me with. These five incredible boys that surround me every day and make up the happiest part of my life. I am just so so blessed. Immeasurably so.
I know this was a long post but, aren't all birth stories long? I don't know about you but I love reading them and getting swept up in all the breathtaking beauty of the miracle that just happened. The gift of life is one of the most incredible things ever. Whether photographing it or being right in the thrall of it. It is something that effects us all in more ways than we can imagine. As I sit here, listening to my boys play and talk with their daddy and this sweet baby coo, I just can't help but tear up. I love this life of mine, that's for sure. Happy sixteen weeks sweet, sweet boy. Your momma, daddy and brothers love you so much.