I had really hoped to have this finished much sooner so that everything would be fresh in my mind, but life got in the way. So here I am, 6 months and 1 day later, finally finding the time (sort of) to sit and write out the story of Eden’s birth.
I was 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant. My 4th child, but my 2nd longest pregnancy. I felt at that point like I would be pregnant forever (and I know all you mamas out there are saying “mmhmm I know that feeling”). It was a Thursday morning and I had an appointment scheduled to see my midwife and to also have an ultrasound done. Making a late term ultrasound appointment seems to bring me luck with labor, because that’s the third time I have had one scheduled and the third time I have gone in to labor that same day.
I was so tired and so over being pregnant. It was starting to warm up and I was not looking forward to the heat and a big heavy belly.
That Thursday morning I woke up at 1:30 to use the bathroom. And during that time I had a big cramp and lost a big chunk of mucus. I don’t recall any blood, but it was 100% my plug. I am pretty sure I started laughing and crying because I knew that meant I was FINALLY going to be having this baby. I know losing your plug can happen at any time, and it also doesn’t always mean you are in labor! But for me, it does. I had another cramp and it just sealed the deal that today was the day! I went and woke up my husband and told him it was go time. He slowly took his time getting out of bed (how nice it must have been to have no sense of urgency huh?) From there I got in the shower because I had every hope that it would really get my labor started, as it did for me in the past.
While I got in the shower, Aaron went out and started to lay down the tarps and the pads in the living room. He was waiting to fill the tub until I got out of the shower.
The weird thing was, I didn’t feel anything. No more cramps. Zero real contractions. Nothing. The shower really did nothing but wake me up. That was not normal for me. With my past pregnancies, whenever I would feel any sign of labor, it always meant GO TIME. But when I got out, I felt fine. If I hadn’t lost any plug, I wouldn’t have even expected to have a baby that day.
By this time it was about 2 in the morning. We decided to just sit in the living room and wait a while. Looking back now, I am so thankful for that time. We had worship music playing quietly in the background, and we were able to just think and TALK. We didn’t know it then, but the next few months would not consist of much quiet and hardly any alone time, just as husband and wife. It will always be a sweet memory and a perfect part of this labor and birth.
Another hour or so went by, and still nothing was happening. At about 3:15 I said “well I guess I just got my first ever false alarm. Maybe we should just go back to bed?” But at that point we both felt pretty awake. I got up and decided to just walk around the house a little bit. Aaron got up and starting working on something, I have no idea what, and I had no idea then either. That’s just so my husband tho. He starts some random project at the worst time haha. After a few minutes, I starting feeling a very faint cramp. I kept walking up and down the hallway, circling around the living room, and starting over again.
Things were finally starting. That faint cramp wasn’t going away, and I started feeling contractions come on. They were not strong but they were there. This baby girl was coming!
I called for Aaron and he came out from the back of the house. I said that its time to fill the tub, it’s starting. Because my last births had gone fast, we decided to call my midwife and just let her know that things were starting. She decided she would head over just to be safe.
I also had Aaron put in a call to our photographer/bff.
I remember Megan my midwife arriving shortly after and feeling so disappointed. I felt like I had no progress whatsoever. It had been a half hour since I started having contractions, and they had hardly picked up at all. I told myself that this time would just be different. I was in for a long day. I tried hard to just stop thinking about it. But I can tell you, I was so discouraged. I was tired, and I didn’t think I had the energy to carry on for hours and hours. I felt guilt like I was wasting their time when they could be sleeping.
Aaron filled up the tub for me, and I got in for a while to see if I felt any progression. It felt amazing, but it didn’t help a ton with the progress. I got out and decided to start walking around again. Slowly but surely, the contractions picked up.
I started a sort of routine. Walk around, rest, get in the tub, get out and walk, rest, get back in. I started to really progress at that point. I would guess it was somewhere around 5:15. I was waiting to feel my water break, but I never did. Up to this day I have no idea when my water broke. I am guessing it was when I was in the tub, or when I was transitioning in and out of it. But I weirdly did not feel the signature “pop” I had always felt associated with it breaking.
When the contractions started to get unbearable, I got in the tub fully planning on delivering in there. I delivered my last baby in the water and I absolutely loved it! It brought me so much relief, and it felt so so good. But I was SO uncomfortable I couldn’t sit in the tub. Kind of funny since an hour before I was complaining that labor would never start. It’s all in His time isn’t it?
At this point I was pretty irritable. Not at anyone in particular, but I was in pain. I was mad at the pain. I was mad that it felt like I would never deliver this little girl. I was mad because it felt like I had been in labor for hours and hours already, and that there was no end in sight. I was mad because I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. Just a tip mamas- when you reach the point where you truly feel you can not do it anymore, keep going. It almost always means you are just about there!! My sweet midwife was just that, very sweet. She suggested I get back out and walk a little just to see how it makes me feel, and she could do a cervival check if I really wanted her to. I thought that was a good idea, so I climbed back out of the tub.
I got out and swayed a bit. I tried just consistently moving. If I stopped I started to feel too much. Shortly after that, I started to feel like I needed to start pushing. I didn’t have as strong of an urge as I’d had in the past, but I definitely felt I was ready. I felt like it was time. I felt like she was ready, and I was very much more than ready. My body started pushing. I remember in the past my body did all the hard work for me. This time however, I had to push. I felt like she was stuck. I thought I would be pushing forever. (Can you tell that I have a small flare for drama?). Truthfully I don’t know how long it took. It was definitely the longest pushing time. I would guess it was somewhere around 10 minutes, but I could be wrong. And I felt so much. She came out in slow motion, I am sure of it. I felt every little part of her move down. I was thinking to myself in my head, I don’t understand. I don’t understand why this is so much harder. I don’t understand why her head is coming out so slowly. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. I was so confused and trying to process what I was feeling, while also trying to be in the moment and enjoy the birth of my newest sweetheart.
(I wanted to add a few pictures here, but I am going to leave them out because truthfully I have no idea who will look at this. If you want to see a few intimate photos, message me!)
After what felt like hours (my labor ended up being about 2 1/2 hours), she was HERE! At 5:43am she arrived. And when we saw her, it made a lot of sense to me why she was more difficult for me to deliver. Compared to my others, she was BIG! She was swollen and just looked so massive. I can promise you that I never ever would have guessed I had that much baby inside me ha!
She was absolutely beautiful and she was almost completely covered in vernix. Her face had so much! My husband and I both cried. We did it. We made another breathtaking little life. It is such a gift to have children and we always feel such huge gratitude that we are able to do it.
We just sort of looked at her and were pretty much in awe of her. I remember my first words being “is she okay? Is she breathing?” And then the next ones being “that was really hard. And she looks really big.”
I still needed to deliver the placenta. My midwife asked me if I was comfortable on the floor or if I wanted to move, and I said I wanted to go in the tub. Ohhh my goodness did that feel good.
After the placenta was out, I sat in the water and just breathed. I felt like I could just melt in to the water. I did it. I just birthed a precious baby on the floor of my living room. We were both healthy and well. I was so thankful. I just allowed myself to release all the tension and admired what a morning we had. I felt so lucky.
I had such a great team supporting me. My husband is truly such a great mate. He cheers me on and keeps me sane because as we know, I am a drama queen. My midwife allows us to be in control. She helps us have the birth we want. I really am just so appreciative of them.
Did she not have the best lips you’ve ever seen?! I can’t even they were so plump and cute.
I don’t remember exactly how long I sat in that pool, but I just know it felt like bliss and I could have stayed in there all day. I looked at the little babe in my arms and thought I finallyyyy got a rolly baby. As we know now, the rolls wouldn’t last, but man were they cute. It’s actually painful to look at these photos and see how big she was, and to look at her skinny little arms and legs now. She’s perfect to us, but it’s kind of a painful reminder of all the struggles she’s gone through.
(I also have more photos of the placenta and a few that are close up, feel free to ask if you want to see how amazing it is. Our body grows and sheds an ORGAN! So stinking amazing.)
Eventually I got out of the water and made my way to the couch. Megan (midwife) checked my vitals, baby girls vitals, and my amazing husband went and got us a mimosa. I can not even express how much I LOVE birthing at home. I never thought I would. I have really bad anxiety. I am an enneagram 6 (if you don’t know- I’m basically a worst-case scenario, afraid of everything type of person), but I feel so safe and secure at home. Home is my favorite place, especially with my family. And it just feels so intimate and real to bring new life in at the place where we spend all of our time. I also got to have a delicious breakfast, coffee, and yes that mimosa right away. It is epic.
She latched on to my breast almost immediately. She had what I thought was a great latch. She fell asleep after nursing and she just seemed so so content.
Our sweet Solly boy was the first of the big kids to wake up. He was a bit caught off guard at first, but once he realized what was going on he was really excited. He asked to hold her and he just kind of smiled down at her. I told him he could give her head a kiss if he wanted, but he said no because it looked gross (from the vernix :)). It was super cute.
Our biggest girl woke up next, and the excitement and joy from her just lit up the room. I can cry just thinking about it. She loves being a big sister so much.
My midwife then performed the newborn exam with all of us watching very closely. Baby girl came in at 9 pounds and 6 ounces, and measured 20 inches. We could not believe it! A 9 pounder?! It’s funny because everyone commented on how small I looked throughout my pregnancy. But apparently I just hid her well? She was a noisy breather, but at that time it didn’t feel abnormally loud. She was a bit squeaky but at that time, it seemed normal. She had an above average head, like all the Eriksson babies. They get it from their Daddy.
A lot of people asked me what I would do with the kids if I went in to labor during the day. And honestly I had no idea. I definitely felt I would have another early morning baby (I’m 4/4 with early morning babies), but I felt that even if the kids were home and awake, that everything would be okay. I don’t want labor and birth to be something we don’t talk about. To me, it isn’t scary and it isn’t a topic we can’t talk about. Granted, yes my kids are little and they really wouldn’t understand a lot. But I had fully accepted the idea of them waking up or being around while the baby was born. A homebirth is 100% a family affair. It is one of my favorite things about it. Could something go wrong? Yes. But to put that thought in my head was something I absolutely tried my best not to do. This was my 4th birth, 3rd homebirth. I was very confident in myself. And I was confident that I had a midwife who would help keep the baby and I safe. I mentioned earlier that I always think of the worst-case scenario. But I knew if I allowed my mind to go there I would dwell on it, and I thought that would actually put me in a place where something could happen. So I prayed, and I pushed all the thoughts of others and any negativity or fear I had out. I refused to let it dwell in my mind.
Once our little man woke up, he learned he was now a big brother! Although he had no idea what that meant or where the little baby came from hahaha. But it was so cute to see him just look at her and smile.
Shortly after our midwife and her awesome assistant left, and then we really started our journey as a family of 6. Oh, and to officially decide on a name. We only waited 4 days, so not bad! We sort of knew what we were going to name her, but we wanted to wait a few days to get to know her. We had a top 3 list for first names. We had already decided on Drew as her middle name. She is named after her Uncle who passed away suddenly and tragically just before she was born. His name was David Andrew. We know they would just absolutely love each other <3. We chose Eden because it was the one that just seemed to fit her. We still love the other names, but no matter what we tried to call her, Eden Drew just really felt like HER.
Not a single day of sweet EDie’s life has been easy, but it has been oh SO worth it. I would do it over and over and over again if it meant we got to bring another little miracle in to our life.
I feel like these past six months have turned my brain to mush. I forget everything. And I feel like I have left out a lot of details, but I just can’t remember. I know that in hind sight, her labor was a breeze in the grand scheme of things. But it was one of the harder things I have physically had to do. I don’t know why, aside from the fact that she was a bigger baby than my others. Maybe it was a sign that things wouldn’t be perfect with her. It wasn’t going to be smooth sailing from here on out. Looking at these pictures really does bring up such a flood of different emotions. It makes me feel a surge of guilt. It makes me feel like I failed her. But I am trying my best to move past these emotions. Either way, I am so grateful to have photos from one of the best days ever that I can always look back on.
Photographer is Kacie Jones Photography.
Midwife is Megan Bochum of Pacific Midwifery.
Sorry I do not know how to link their websites. Yes, I am embarrassed by that fact.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little more about the birth of our sweet Eden Drew. Her birth is a huge part of our families story, and we are truly forever thankful we get to be her parents. Thank you Jesus!
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
By grace through faith,