Hey y’all! I know it’s been a while since my last blog, but I am back! I finally had the sweetest baby girl that grew in my belly for 41 weeks! It was the longest pregnancy I’ve ever had, and in the scorching heat of this South Carolina summer, it surely felt like it. We lived in Charleston with my sister at her house with her three kids, her dog, our two dogs, our kids and my mom for the last month of my pregnancy. While I appreciated the support and help during the last few weeks of pregnancy, being away from home for that long was really intense. We are homebodies, and we felt so lost being away from home for a month! I wanted to share Scarlet Reese’s birth story with y’all and ease back into blogging.
Her birth story is quite different than Nolan and Harper’s because of the fact that we decided to have her at the Charleston Birth Place rather than a hospital. This pregnancy, we traveled to Charleston for prenatal visits with licensed midwives and planned to have a water birth at their facility. I really loved the entire process this go around and felt supported with all of my decisions. When I went to my OBGYN appointments during my pregnancies with Nolan and Harper, I didn’t feel like I had a voice and was commanded to do things that the doctors thought necessary. I love how educated the midwives are at the CBP and how they acknowledged my choices for a natural birth and backed me up with the entire process.
I really felt like this pregnancy was never going to end. After walking every day, doing squats, drinking red raspberry tea, and getting all sources of prostaglandin in, I was at my wits end. Our sweet baby girl was very comfortable in my belly and made it clear she didn’t care to come out two weeks early like Nolan and Harper did. On Saturday night, Derrek and I got the kids to sleep and settled in to watch a few episodes of “Orange is the New Black” before we went to sleep… I told him I was feeling lots of pressure in my low back and started kidding around that maybe this would be it! I ended up falling asleep around midnight and woke up to an intense contraction around 2:30 am. I wanted to make sure that it was the real thing, so I waited until after I had three contractions that lasted 30 seconds a piece before I woke Derrek up. I called the birth center so the midwife on call could meet us there, and by 4 am I was at the birth center and in the birthing tub.
I wanted to have a water birth because laboring in water feels SO much better! The contractions were all so intense and started becoming longer and closer together; it didn’t take long for my water to break. After my water broke, it took three big pushes for our new little girl to leave my body and join us Earthside. I am so thankful for the amazing support team of my husband, midwife and nurse that helped make the process as pleasant as possible. I counted through my contractions, and focusing on the counting helped me block out the pain. In between contractions, I rested on Derrek and closed my eyes. I kept in mind that each contraction would bring me closer to meeting my baby and my midwife helped by spraying me down with lavender oil and cool water and applying cool washcloths to my forehead.
It was such an empowering experience to reach down and catch my baby and hold her for as long as I wanted after she was born. She never left my sight, and I was in control of everything that happened to her during and after birth. Within four hours of her birth, we were able to leave and head home to recover and let the kids meet their new sister! The entire experience, especially after waiting so long, couldn’t have gone more perfectly! I am so thankful we had the opportunity to have the birth that I envisioned and finally welcome our sweet Scarlet Reese into the world! For anyone that is thinking about having a water birth, I highly recommend it! After having one, I wouldn’t do it any other way. Birth shouldn’t be something that scares us as women. Think of it as an empowering experience that only makes you stronger and wiser after you do your research and decide the best way you want your baby to enter the world.
*maternity photos by Savvy Alli Photography