Lydia Renée

The day before she was born!
I had an appointment Friday, August 3rd with my midwife, Bernice. Baby looked and sounded great and the appointment was wonderful, as they had all been. I had asked if she would mind checking me as I had been having quite a few contractions and just wanted to know if anything was happening (though I generally recommend NO cervical checks for moms, because they do generally lead to misguided hopes and disappointment) She found me to be at 4 cm, but I didn't get too excited. I had walked around dilated to 4 cm with Abigail for 2 weeks! So we trucked it home to wait.
This wait was different though. I was patient and at peace with God's timing. I knew I wouldn't be pregnant forever. It was my husband that was impatient! So we went on about our Friday, which was unusually hectic. I could not wait to get into bed and did so at my earliest opportunity.
I vaguely remember having contractions all night, but being able to sleep right through them. At 4AM, this was no longer the case. I could at least lay in bed through them. I didn't wake Jared up yet, because I didn't want to get his hopes up. I continued to rest until 5:30AM, when his alarm clock went off (he had to work that day). Unfortunately for him, it went off while I was having a contraction and I smacked his bare arm to make him shut it off. Oops. I went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet through a few contractions, which was helpful. I eventually called Jared in to tell him I didn't think he should go to work. He was still groggy (and probably angry about the nature of his wake up call). He muttered something about hoping I was right and he went off to take care of the hens and dog and make some coffee. I made my way downstairs and hung out for a bit, still unsure if this was it. Probably in more denial than anything. My contractions were picking up in intensity and frequency. I had to get onto my hands and knees with each contraction. I decided to call Bernice at 6:30AM. The minute she answered the phone, I had a contraction.
"This is Sarah, it's time."
Without question, she said, "I'm on my way." This is why we hired her.
I called my mama and had the same conversation.
I sent a text to my to best friends - Sarah and Adrienne - who would be joining us.
I decided to hold off on calling my photographer, who had been having some issues in her own pregnancy. I didn't want her to be up running around if she didn't have to.
Still in denial.
My mom arrived first and helped me get comfortable through contractions. I felt like I was just flopping around like a fish trying to get into a good position with each contraction, forgetting what had been comfortable with the previous one. Still I felt good. I didn't feel like I was in a ton of pain. I utilized my hypnobirthing techniques and calmly breathed through each contraction.
The girls woke up and Jared made them breakfast. I had him call Adrienne (who was to care for them during labor) to be sure she was awake and on her way soon. She arrived shortly afterwards.
He got concerned that maybe my contractions had spaced out. I was enjoying the break. He was insistent that we go on a walk. So he got me some clothes (I hadn't made it out of my pajamas yet) I made it to the entry way and had a contraction which landed me on hands and knees. I remember my phone ringing at some point. It was Bernice, letting us know where she was and checking in (she lives an hour and half away). Jared explained his necessity for a walk and that I could no longer function whatsoever through contracts. She later admits to laughing a little at the thought of a walk. Did I mention Jared's impatience? Obviously, the walk didn't happen.
Anneliese, Bernice's assistant arrived to me laying in the entryway, where I had apparently decided to make camp. On the hard wood floor. Bernice arrived shortly after. They got heart tones on the baby and things looked good. I think the decision was made at that point to set up the birth pool. Jared went about doing that. Adrienne took the girls upstairs to get dressed and play for a bit. Bernice and Anneliese set up their stuff. (at some point, someone realized Sarah needed to be called and that was done, too.) The minute the tub was set up, I was in it. It was about 9:00AM. It felt so nice on the bottom part of my belly, where I was feeling most of my contractions. But then I had a contraction. And it was SOOO HOT and irritating! But I refused to get out because my belly felt better. Enter ice cold wash cloths.
I remember a few things at this point. I feel it would be better told in bullet point:
My amazing  husband
Contractions were definitely more intense.
Jared asked for a cervical check, to which I obliged.
Bernice found me at 10cm and baby was super low. (9:20AM)
"Are you feeling pushy?"
"Uh, maybe?"
I realized I had been breathing our baby down for a little bit, now.
I continued to breathe through my contractions and felt my baby get lower and lower.
I checked for myself a few times and did feel the dropping.
"Get the girls, get the girls, get the girls."
I knew we didn't have long!
Sarah arrived at some point.
My bag of waters was still intact.
I felt our baby's head bulge and decided to step it up.
I pushed through 2 contractions and our baby's head was born.
Bernice checked for a cord and found a little hand!
She gently guided the hand out.
I pushed through two more contractions and our baby was born!
I pulled our sweet little baby up out of the water all by myself - I could hardly believe it!
Saturday, August 4th, 2012 at 9:42AM.
I remember kissing Jared, Esther and Abigail lots and making sure the girls were ok with what just happened.
I said "Hi!" to Sarah, who I just realized was here.
I love how hands off Bernice was - I did this!
My mom gave me a warm towel to put around the baby.
Minutes after birth
My husband dug at the towel to find out if we had a boy or a girl.
I suppose I knew it was a girl and didn't quite care to check yet!
He announced: "We have a girl!!"
My placenta came shortly after and I got out of the pool.
I felt great. I felt somehow more alive. I felt...amazing.
Jared started to call his parents, but I stopped him - this girl needed a name first!
We already had it picked out: Lydia Renée.
Lydia to go along with our Bible name theme. She's thought to be the first Christian. She was a faithful sister who's known for her hospitality to Paul and the apostles. Renée after my wonderful mother.
About 2 hours old
She nursed right away. We eventually got to her vitals and checks. She tolerated all of it well, although she peed on the sling for the scale! Daddy proudly held her up in the scale for Bernice to assess and then she let him read the numbers off: 8 pounds, 8 ounces! She turned out to be 21 inches long. My biggest and longest baby! 

Lydia is 12 days old at this writing. She has dark brown hair, beautiful gray-blue eyes, sweet 'Angel Kisses' across her eye lids and a little on her forehead and nose. She's got the sweetest chubby cheeks, tiny little ears and the biggest feet I've ever seen on a newborn with long toes to compliment them. She's absolutely perfect, a true gift from God. We are so absolutely blessed to have her finally be a part of our family. The girls are in love with her and run to her side to console her. She's our lovely little Lydia and we couldn't be more happy with her arrival!! 


  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful birth story!

  2. So sweet....loved reading your story! Many blessings on Lydia and your whole family.

  3. Gorgeous story, Mama. Beautiful pictures as well! My favorite line "where I had apparently decided to make camp" So true. That's why Cadrian ended up being born in the bathroom :-D

    I read all the birth stories and my heart is now sufficiently full :-)

  4. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of your birth! <3