For the last couple of weeks before Cannon was born– I was walking like a mad woman and bouncing on my yoga ball- trying to make sure Cannon was in a good position for birth, and possibly trying to encourage him to come a bit early.
I admit that I was not the most patient in those last weeks of pregnancy- it was so hard for me to not “know” when he was gonna decide to come and to have all the unknowns of labor and delivery before me.
God’s timing is good and perfect and we can always trust Him.
As I look back on Cannon’s birth– I would not change a single thing about it. It will always hold a precious place in my heart and be one of my most cherished days.
On April 10th at 38 weeks 6 days pregnant– Adam and I went to church and then in the afternoon I went to a meeting at church that lasted several hours. So I was sitting basically all day. I got in the car after the meeting at church and was going to meet Adam at his work to have supper together.
I had been having Braxton Hicks for weeks, but I started feeling some contractions that felt a little bit more serious. Adam and I both started getting excited- thinking this might be the real thing!
I went home from Adam’s work and started timing the contractions- they were maybe 6-8 min apart- and definitely pretty uncomfortable for me. So- I made chocolate chips cookies, naturally….took a bath, and tried to keep myself distracted. Adam ended up coming home from work a couple of hours early to be with me. We watched Fixer Upper and I bounced on my yoga ball….and then we decided we better try to get some sleep.
The contractions had picked up a bit and were pretty consistently 5 min apart lasting about a minute. I never really got to sleep and we called the midwife around 3 am when they were 4 min apart. She suggested that we really try to get some sleep and if we couldn’t- to try a few different labor positions. They increased in strength for a while and sleep was just not coming.
Early early in the morning they subsided a bit and I was able to sleep for an hour or two. In the morning we called the midwife and she wanted us to come in a get checked. We went in at about 10:30am and were so excited to hear that I was almost fully effaced and 5 cm dilated! When she told us that….we looked at each other and then back at her and were like “so, what exactly does that mean?”
“that means you’re going to have a baby- today!”
So many emotions! We were so excited and a bit scared and definitely not sure how the day would go exactly!
We went home and ate a good lunch (hamburgers!) and grabbed our bags before heading back to the birth center around 1:30pm.
When we got there- our midwife could tell that the contractions had definitely picked up- and suggested we do some walking. It was a beautiful day so Adam and I did several laps outside the birth center- he kindly tried to distract me in conversation….and didn’t care about the weird looks people would give us when I had a contraction and needed to lean over completely and put my arms around his neck.
We came back inside and for the rest of the afternoon we tried all kinds of positions- I took a couple of showers, did some squats, laid down to rest for a bit- and just tried to keep really active and to keep labor moving along.
Late in the afternoon or early evening- she checked me again and I was at 6 cm dilation. That was a bit discouraging after all the work that we had done all afternoon. Adam didn’t waiver in his encouragement though, and our midwife was awesome in suggesting that we go walk the stairs for a while. We did- and it was NOT fun, but highly effective!
By that point I was VERY vocal and in a lot of pain from the contractions. They were picking up and getting really strong. I would focus through them, moan and groan and breathe them out…and then afterwards say “that was hard, that was so hard!”
Around maybe 8pm she checked me again and I was 8 cm. She brought up the option of possibly breaking my water to help baby get lower onto my cervix. We wanted to let it happen on its own and we labored for a little while longer before deciding that it was the right choice for us as I was VERY tired from so little sleep the night before.
When she did go to break my water- they kept a VERY close eye on baby to make sure he handled it all well- and it took her a little bit to break it- she commented that it was probably the toughest bag of waters that she has ever broken!
Once that happened- things moved along a lot quicker! I decided to get into the tub and labor for a while. The contractions were so strong and so hard to get through.
Adam was helping me and supporting me through all of it– and our midwife began to be a bit more active in helping me through the contractions as well. She also quietly prepared what was needed for the birth and called in two birth assistants to help out. They quietly set things up, got me plenty to drink, and kept the water in the tub warm for me.
I don’t exactly remember what time it was when I was ready to push- but I remember thinking in my birth preparation that I would enjoy the pushing- that I would be thankful to get to that part. And while in hindsight- it was great- in the moment….I kinda freaked out. It was SO scary to be ready to push and to not really know how and to think that there was no backing out….I was the one who was going to have to push this baby out and I had to get it together and do it.
I remember saying “I can’t do this”….and “I need someone to help me!”
Adam held my hands the entire time and encouraged me so kindly and confidently. And my midwife locked eyes with me and told me that I COULD do it. She calmly helped me figure out a good pattern to push with, and encouraged me every step of the way.
When Cannon’s head was just starting to come out she looked at me and said “Amy, your baby has a lot of hair!” So much fun to reach down and feel his soft little head of hair, and to realize that we were SO close to meeting our baby who we had waited for!
I don’t know exactly for how long I pushed….looking back it seems like it was pretty fast, but in the moment probably seemed longer. Adam guessed that I pushed for about 45 min.
Finally I was able to push his sweet little head out and everyone was SO excited! Then my midwife told me….”Amy, push your baby out!” I didn’t even need to have a contraction to get the rest of his body out and before I knew it my precious son was up and out of the water and on my chest (not without peeing on me first though!).
I cannot even express the joy in that moment and the incredible feeling of having birthed my baby and seeing him for the very first time!
They wiped him down a bit and made sure he was staying warm and then Adam cut the umbilical cord and they gave Cannon to him for some skin-to-skin time while they helped me out of the tub and onto the bed.
He didn’t cry a whole lot after birth at all- and it was incredible to see him change color and turn a beautiful shade of pink. He was so awesome and wanted to nurse almost immediately! He knew just what to do and it made me feel amazing to realize how incredibly God made my body and my baby.
After I delivered the placenta, we were able to enjoy 30-45 min. immediately following his birth with just the three of us before the midwife and the birth assistants came back to do his newborn exam and to check on how I was doing. That time was precious and we just loved staring at our baby’s sweet face!
He was born at 39 weeks exactly on April 11th 2016 at 10:11pm. He weighed in at 6 lbs 10 oz and measured 19 1/2 inches long.
After checking on him and me- we were able to get showers and pack up our stuff and we were back at home and in bed within about 3 hours after his birth.
It was all a bit of a whirlwind and the day was pretty crazy- but it was so beautiful! We had a really positive experience and were so thankful for the midwife that we had and the encouragement and positivity that we felt about his birth and the entire process of pregnancy.
God is an incredible Creator and we praise him for the child that he knit in my womb.
Our Cannon is an incredible gift and we feel SO very grateful that the Lord has entrusted us with his life. This journey has just begun.