This is the birth story from my perspective. Stay tuned for Milo’s birth from the perspective of my husband, midwife, and best friend!
Even though he made me wait an extra week, Milo’s birth was amazing and thrilling!
When I found out I was pregnant, I asked God to give us a name for our child. Three nights in a row, I had a dream that we were having a boy, and his name was Milo. This was odd to me because Milo wasn’t a name I had heard much or ever considered. However, I now understand why God gave me this specific name. Milo means “merciful” and everything about my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with our sweet boy has been full of peace and mercy.
Our beautiful Milo was born October 8 at 1:42 am. He was due September 30, and I really thought he would come even earlier. The whole pregnancy was very healthy, and other than a little bit of early morning sickness, I felt great—until he was due. As the due date got closer, I was very tired of being pregnant and very ready to meet my sweet boy. I’ll admit, I struggled a lot emotionally that last week before giving birth. I became very impatient. Each day seemed to linger a bit longer, and each night I got very sad to not have my new baby in my arms. Luckily, I have a great support system around me who kept me encouraged until he was here.
If you want to go into labor, go to a birth fair!
It seems it just took a birth fair to get labor started. I was a week past due, feeling a bit like a whale out of water, and needing as much distraction as I could get in order to keep my spirits up. Houston was having a birth fair on October 7th, and all of my midwives from Nativiti were going to be there. My husband and I decided that would be a safe place to be if labor started. To top it all off, our son, Preston, had spent the night at his Nana’s so we wouldn’t have to chase a toddler around. We had a great time walking around and chatting with so many people passionate about natural birth and babies. On our way home I began having contractions that, this time, weren’t going away.
My contractions continued through the evening so we met up with Jaelin at Nativiti to check my progress. I was dilated, but Milo’s head was stuck in my hip which prevented him from lowering completely into the birth canal. We did some exercises with Jaelin at the birth center, and we were able to get his head to shift into a better position. The contractions continued, but labor wasn’t progressing. We made a plan to go to the home of Cliff and Jeneva, friends who lived closer to Nativiti than we did. We wanted to be nearby in case I transitioned into heavier contractions. While I went to their house to be with Jeneva, Josh went to get Preston. Even though I was very discouraged that we left the birth center, I missed Preston and was ready to see his sweet face. During the ride, I had to remind myself that Milo would come in God’s perfect timing and that He was already preparing everything for us.
Thank God for friends
I am so grateful for our friends, Cliff and Jeneva. We actually first met them at Nativiti, and our boys, Preston and Titus, are only three days apart. Jeneva has become one of my closest friends and encouragers—so much so that I asked her to come be with me during labor for extra encouragement. After we left Nativiti bummed to not have our baby yet, we went to their house and hung out until it was late in the night. Preston played with their kids while Jeneva calmed and uplifted my spirit. Once night fell, I was ready to go home, sleep in my bed, and wait a little longer for Milo. We left feeling comforted and excited for when labor would pick up.
My contractions were still going once we got home. They didn’t feel very strong so I thought we had plenty of time before Milo would come. I couldn’t have been more wrong! The moment my head hit the pillow, contractions picked up. There wasn’t a slow transition from the contractions I had in the car to the ones I had in the bed. It was as if my body suddenly flipped a switch. Labor was so strong I could barely make out the words, “Call Jaelin.” She told us to come immediately. We got to the car as quickly as we could, called Jeneva to head to the birth center, and had my mother-in-law meet us at Nativiti to take Preston. Poor Preston was so confused; however, we could hear him say “Milo’s coming” from the back of the van. I was afraid Milo would come in the van!
I was so relieved to be at Nativiti again that night. The water was already in the tub waiting for me, my best friend was there cheering Josh and me on, and our wonderful midwife, Jaelin, was all set up for us. I got into the water, and my body relaxed into a groove of contracting and shifting our baby down. It is amazing how God made our bodies to do such miraculous things as growing and birthing humans. As I listened to my body in the tub, it would tell me to shift positions. For a while I would squat on the side of the tub, holding on to Josh and smelling his hair when I needed comfort. Something about smelling his hair always helps me remember that I am safe, and during the labors with both of our boys, he stayed close so I could smell his hair. After a while, things shifted, and I knew it was time to change positions again. I sat back into the water, and then my body began doing the rest.
I could feel much more pressure once I sat back. My body couldn’t help but push, even if I tried to stop pushing. Soon after, my water broke, and it was go time. Strangely, this was when fear crept in. It took me by surprise. With my first birth experience, I wasn’t even the least bit afraid. I had total focus and total peace. This time, though, I had a hard time grounding my thoughts. I wasn’t afraid that something bad would happen; I knew we were totally safe. But, I was afraid of the pain. I was afraid I wasn’t strong enough to push. Fear just kept trying to creep in more and more. I remembered the verse in the Bible that says fear isn’t from God, so I asked Jesus to come help me. I kept asking in my head, but I reached a point where I knew in my heart that I needed to speak his name out loud. Once I did, the fear subsided, and within minutes, Milo’s head was out. With another big push, his body was out, and he was in my arms. There was no tearing, and I felt exhilarated.
The moment Milo was in my arms, a rush of emotions came out, and all I could say was, “My baby!” It was as if there were no other words in my head; I was in total shock and awe meeting him for the first time. He was beautiful and perfect, fully alert and so strong. I had spent 9 months wondering what he would look like and if he would look just like his brother. He was completely different! His head was full of hair, dark hair! He had the pinkest skin and such full cheeks. He was almost a pound heavier, coming in at 7 lbs 9 1/2 oz. I am still in awe of him.
A perfect experience
As I mentioned before, Milo’s name means “mercy,” and this has been our experience. It has taken me longer to write this post than it took for me to actually push him out of my body. I listened to my body during labor, too, and had no tearing at all. And while there were some rough afterbirth pains the next day, the swelling had gone down within two days after Milo was born. I had to remind myself to slow down and let myself heal because my body felt invigorated. I am still having to remind myself to slow down and let my body continue to heal.
I am so blessed to have had such a wonderful experience yet again with giving birth. I love birth! Every moment of it reminds me of the amazing things God has made my body to be able to do. He set in motion every detail during my pregnancy. From the beautiful midwives at our birth center to a healthy body to grow a healthy baby to my friend being able to be there during birth, God has been in complete control. I always feel His presence so strongly during labor and birth. I imagine the love I felt holding my babies for the first time is a small glimpse of how He sees us. He has blessed us tremendously in this experience.