It's a Girl!

It seemed like an eternity, that long month of waiting. My due date wasn't until the 7th of May, but two weeks prior I started every day with eager anticipation, hoping for, longing for, delivery. My body felt huge and awkward, and at the close of the day I was left sore, aching. Carson was born 10 days early, giving us all a good surprise. I was a first time mom and had fully prepared myself to go over due with him, as every well-wisher had warned me I would.

But this time around I was ready. The tiny little newborn outfits were washed and folded, there were plenty of diapers and wipes and warm cotton blankets, and I had gathered all of the items -the rubbing alcohol, cotton pads, hot water bottle, etc- off of the list my midwife provided. Any day, baby. Any day.

Steadily the hand on our kitchen clock kept moving, marking the minutes and hours of waiting. The calendar showed that my due date was only two days away. Then that day, May 7th, arrived and still nothing.

Two days over due due.



I began to wonder if I was truly pregnant, or if, perhaps, my stomach had simply inflated. If I had grown a tumor, of sorts. My body, the same body that ached at the end of each day just two weeks ago, had found a new zest for life. When my midwife asked how I was feeling at my 41 week checkup, I admitted that in my life I had never felt disappointed to feel good... until now. Because if I were aching and tired and weary, wouldn't that be an indication that labor and delivery was just around the corner?

Eight. Nine. Ten.

And then it happened. On the 18th of May, eleven days after that silly thing we call a "due date", I awoke to a strange sensation. It felt like a Braxton Hick's contraction, only stronger. But not that strong. At 5:30 am, I fumbled out to the kitchen and told Herm he might want to consider driving a separate vehicle to work because I was pretty sure, but not certain, that he'd be called back home again, and really, there was no need for the whole crew to have an interrupted day.

Around 7:00 am I let my midwife know that today was most likely the day, and I sent a text to my mom saying that Carson was packing his bags for a day at Gwama's house.

The rest of the morning was spent preparing things for a home birth. (Which, silly me, thought would also include cleaning the house.) As I finished inflating the birthing pool and sealed the plug, I noticed a strange vehicle pulling in the drive. Inwardly I groaned. I don't have time for this! Those Jehovah's Witness missionaries surely could have picked another day. I began scheming ways to let them know today was not a good day for tracts, but goodness, I sure would like their prayers.

Turns out they weren't missionaries at all, but friends of mine, delivering a beautiful bouquet of flowers. When we pulled into your driveway I said, I hope she's not having contractions! One of them casually mentions. I laugh. Actually, I am!

Minutes later another vehicle pulls in. My mom walks in the door, here to pick up Carson, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in hand.

These details might seem trivial to you, but to me they are anything but trivial. I dreaded labor this time around. Not because I had a bad experience the first time, I didn't. But my cousin died in childbirth a year ago, and as my due date came closer and closer, there were moments of panic at the thought of my own labor and deliver. At the thought of an event I had no control over. At the thought of completely trusting. As I began to feel the twinges of something happening that morning I distinctly remember thinking how a bouquet of fresh flowers would liven up my house and bring me cheer. Hours later I had not one, but two beautiful bouquets in my house.

Around noon Herm called to check in on me. I told him he might want to come home soon. He was working over an hour away and I really didn't want to be without him when active labor began.

Herm wasn't in a rush, in fact he even stopped for an iced coffee at the Starbuck's drive-thru on his way home. By the time he arrived home, sometime around 1:30 pm the contractions were beginning to be intense; I could no longer work through them. We decided to go for a walk to see if that would help things along at all. When a contraction would hit I would lean into Herm as he rubbed my back or applied pressure. We did thing off and on until 3:30 when my midwife arrived. I was 7 cm dialated the time.

We kept on walking for a while, but before long I was ready to get in the birthing pool. I labored in there the rest of the time, Herm supporting me through contractions while our midwife coached when needed. In between contractions Herm pulled out his BB gun and shot at a few cowbirds and starlings that seem to think they own our feeder. (This is just one of the many benefits to a home birth. Haha!) My midwife and I still laugh at the thought of that...

Sometime around 5 pm my contractions were very intense, and I remember feeling so weak and light headed, like I couldn't keep on much longer. Herm kept whispering words of encouragement, my midwife coaching me to just breath. Eventually my midwife broke my water for me, and after that everything happened fast. I began pushing around 5:30 and at 5:46 when I felt like I had nothing left to give, my baby's head emerged. In that moment I knew I was there, nearing the finished line, and with renewed strength I gave it my all.

At 5:49 pm, on the 18th of May, my beautiful, precious little girl was laid against my chest, all 8 pounds and 4 ounces of her, and in that moment I knew it was worth it, the waiting, the labor, the deliver, the exhaustion and pain. I felt that if I could conquer this I could conquer anything.

Two hours later my parents brought Carson back home, and there we were, a family of four. My world, made whole.

It is with such gratefulness and pride that I introduce to you, our daughter, Brooklyn Avonlea.


  1. Love this! Congratulations on your sweet baby girl!

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