For all who are wondering...here are the details.
Thursday, we stayed up late, getting ready for our garage sale. I talked to Andrea for awhile and she said something to the effect of "you're not overdoing it are you?" and I responded something like, "What's the worst that can happen? I can have the baby?" Little did I know.
Friday morning we were up around 6:30 or so and I was having some pretty serious low back pain, which I thought was probably due to the fact that I'd been on my feet the majority of Thursday and had been doing a little more than I should have been. By 7:15 I was noticing that the pain seemed to come in strange rhythmic waves, and that these waves were about 3 minutes apart or so. Hmm.
I called Kelly, our midwife, around 7:30 and left a message. She called back awhile later and said she was coming into town and she'd stop by our house around 11. At this point, I thought it would probably be a long day and wasn't sure if labor would continue or stop altogether, and I didn't want to get my hopes up.
I spent the morning alternating between hanging out at the sale and hanging out in the house, but by 11 I was definitely looking forward to seeing Kelly. She got there and sat with me through a couple contractions, then checked and I was dilated to about 3, which made me very happy - this was progress! It was nice to know that the pains were definitely contractions.
Kelly had been planning to take her kids to the county fair, but she said she'd be more than happy to stay if I needed her to. I said for her to go ahead and get her kids settled at the fair, and that we would call her and keep her updated. She left our house about 12:30 or so.
About a half an hour later, I was feeling pretty grumpy about the contractions and asked Michael if he could call Kelly back and just let her know that as soon as she had her kids settled, I would really like her to come back. I thought it would still be quite awhile until I needed her, but I did want her there for reassurance. Back labor feels quite a bit different than the Pitocin-led labor I had with Aaron.
By this time, I was really having to concentrate to relax through the contractions, and as I did that, I was feeling my body start to work towards pushing the baby out. I was a little freaked out about that feeling, not knowing if it was normal, especially since the last time I'd been checked I was only dilated to a 3, so Michael called Kelly again to ask. Kelly told us her friend who was supposed to meet her there to watch out for her kids was going to be late, and she would come as soon as possible.
She arrived around 2, and when she saw me, started sterilizing her tools and getting things out right away. I was dilated to 8 or 9 and was in transition. I had hoped so, because I had just been thinking that if this wasn't transition, I was going to have a really hard time with transition.
A short while later, my water broke, and 2 or 3 contractions later, Evan was out! It all happened so quickly - I was holding this baby in my arms and sitting on a birth stool in my very own bathroom. I cannot describe what I was feeling - and I've been trying for the last couple days to come up with a way to share all that was in my heart. I was completely overwhelmed. And I still am.
Kelly referred to the baby as "she" and Michael and I said almost simultaneously "Is it a girl?" (we had been convinced the entire pregnancy that we were having a girl) Kelly said, "I don't know why I said that, I didn't see!" We were all shocked and very happy to see that we had another boy! Michael mentioned that we would have to pick either Simon or Evan and all I could think about what the names meant. I told him I'd really like to go with Evan -"God is gracious" because I was consumed with that thought at that moment.
We had prayed so often during this pregnancy that God would give wisdom, and that He would make His will very clear to us. We both hoped for a VBAC, and prayed to that end, but we really did not know what God had in store for us and wanted to be at a point where no matter what happened, we did what God wanted us to do and embraced the outcome. The more I researched our options and the safety of those options, the more we felt drawn to home birth. But we did not want to be stupid about our decision and just do something because it was what we wanted.
Therefore, we hadn't really decided, decided to go with a home birth. In fact, if you told me several years ago that I'd be giving birth at home I probably would have laughed out loud. I used to think people who did home births were wackos. Or part of some odd sect. Or did it just to save money.
Well, wacko we can be, but we're not part of an odd sect who encourages home birth, and it definitely did NOT save us any money. A hospital birth would have been one hundred percent free. But our experience at home was worth every penny we'll be paying the midwife!
On Friday, there was no thought about calling the OB, no feeling that something might go wrong, no wondering what we should do. We just knew.
I really expected to feel triumphant, as if I had defeated the c-section monster in one fell blow. But I didn't. What I feel is far better. I am so blessed, so amazed, so humbled to see that GOD accomplished this birth. Throughout labor, He allowed my body to do what it was created to do in a normal, natural progression. He allowed things to go smoothly, He gave us this wonderful birth experience. I feel overwhelmed and unworthy of this blessing, and I praise the Lord for allowing us to see Him at work in this incredible, amazing way.
I also feel overwhelmed knowing that all of you were praying for us, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you, friends and family! I'm so glad you get to share in the joy of watching God working!! Oh, and if you'd like to see more photos, you can look here.