A year into our marriage, my husband Alex was offered a job in Mexico, and we thought, "Why not?! We're young and don't have any kids!" Fast forward … on November 5, 2014, we welcomed our son Maverick into the world. We decided to travel to Louisiana for the birth.
On November 3rd, I celebrated my 26th birthday (very pregnant and 40 weeks and 4 days) with my husband and our families. He and I enjoyed a nice dinner and finished the night watching home videos of my parents bringing me home from the hospital.
Later that night I woke up at 4 a.m. when my water broke. I was startled and very surprised when I realized that I wasn’t experiencing any contractions. I called my doula Hailey, and she prayed with me and helped me to calm down. She suggested Alex and I go back to sleep and rest and try to get labor going during the day. But I was way too nervous and excited to fall back asleep.
That day I walked 4 miles with my husband and my mom trying to get contractions going. That night around 6 p.m. contractions started. I labored comfortably with my husband’s help, just the two of us, upstairs at my parents’ house. Around 1 a.m., things had really picked up in intensity, and I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. When Katy and Elizabeth arrived on the scene as my backup doulas, I was in full-blown active labor. They jumped in and made suggestions for labor positions to try and provided counter pressure on my hips, which eased my back labor and gave me a sense of where to direct the strong energy I felt flowing though my body. It wasn’t long before they made the call that we should pack up the car and head to the hospital.
We chose a hospital an hour’s distance from home because of the quality of care I would receive from the team of certified nurse midwives. The one part of my birth that I had envisioned would be the most difficult – the long car ride – turned out to be the most comfortable. My husband hopped into the drivers’ seat, and I slid into the back where a pile of pillows and blankets was setup for my comfort. Katy got in the back, as well, to support me during the drive. Every two minutes, Katy would help me hop up onto my hands and knees, and she would push hard on my hips offering me great relief from contractions. Then I would flip over, lay back down and she would lull me into a two-minute nap in between every contraction! It later proved to be the rest I needed to push my baby out.
At one point during the drive, I was convinced my son was going to be born in the car. Because of her own birth experience, Katy was able to reassure me that I was going to make it to the hospital and that my body would let me know when it was time to push. Sure enough, we made it to the hospital.
In triage it was assessed that I was a good 8 cm and needed to get to a birthing room right away. Rachael my birth photographer (also an amazing doula) arrived on the scene. Things moved quickly and the next thing I knew, I was in the birthing tub. All of our bags (which we had strategically packed a month in advance) were left in the car. So my husband put on a pair of scrubs and got in the tub with me. Katy helped to make me as comfortable as possible. Katy put cool towels on the back of my neck, applied essential oils on me, and at one point she even put my hair up for me.
Around this time, Jan the midwife entered the room. We had not met during my prenatal appointments, but we quickly connected and she made me feel confident. With her British accent she greeted me … “Hello, darling. I know this is a little awkward when we haven’t met before. I am Jan the midwife. I am going to give you a minute (I was in the middle of a big contraction!).” She instructed someone to dim the lights and put worship music on. I began to push. She coached me through it. And when the baby was crowning she quoted scripture to me … “God knows every hair on his head.”
With my husband right by my side, supporting one of my legs, and Katy leaning over the tub supporting the other, I pushed our 8lb 15oz precious baby boy into this world – only an hour after arriving at the hospital and exactly 24 hours after my water broke.
Maverick got his passport when he was 6 days old. We returned to Mexico after 6 weeks. Those sleepless nights were messy and challenging but life-changing and beautiful. Natural labor, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding challenges and postpartum anxiety stretched me. Throughout the journey, I have learned a lot about myself and have drawn closer to my amazing husband. When Maverick was 8 months old, we returned to Louisiana for Alex’s job. We bought our first family home together, and we love watching Mav reach new milestones.
On Tuesday I celebrated my 27th birthday. And today our son celebrates his 1st. Pregnancy, birth and motherhood transformed me in ways I didn’t know were possible. It is one of life’s greatest blessings to be Maverick’s mama.