First, I have to start off by saying it took me so long to start writing this because every time I’d start, tears would just well in my eyes. So much so that I could hardly see the screen to type this out. But I have finally mustered the strength to go through the tears and share our beautiful birth story of Amari Isaac…
January 28th, 2022
I woke up in the middle of the night/early morning feeling cramping that felt like a combination of Braxton Hicks & back labor…I just knew I was about to be in early labor. I had started my maternity leave earlier that week and just felt like my body was ready. I text my midwife, doula, and birth photographer, but nothing ever progressed. This went on for days…I’d start having slight cramping, what I thought would progress to contractions, but didn’t. I started to become discouraged as I approached 40 weeks (2/3/22) but then something shifted…
February 3th, 2022
After almost a week of prodromal labor, doing literally ALL THE THINGS to try and get this baby going, I finally just stopped. I stopped thinking about labor and going into labor, and just enjoyed the final moments of my pregnancy. I started resuming “work” tasks, resumed organizing and household tasks, playing with Major (our first born), and truly just allowed myself to step away from the pressure and do things I enjoyed and things within my daily routine.
February 4th, 2022
I woke up feeling a little discouraged once again, even after a good day before…but then I reminded myself the baby would come when he was ready. I think a lot of my discouragement came from pressure from outside circumstances, that then made me feel like I was on a timeline. But on this day, I reminded myself that God had a plan and was knitting Amari in my womb for his timely arrival, and I could not rush that.
Later that afternoon, I began doing a Q&A on IG after putting Major down for a nap. It was then that I thought, “hmm lets go and do something and get out the house when he wakes up.” So, my husband and I decided to take Major over to a relatives nearby and hangout for a bit. I instantly just got so excited that we were doing something different & as I was getting myself and Major ready to go, I started having some back labor-like pains & cramping again. I paused for a moment but then just proceeded, as I was in denial about what I was actually feeling (prodromal labor for a week can do that to you lol)
The entire car ride & while visiting our relatives, the sensation of those cramps & labor-like back pain started to gradually increase but not bad. It was veryyyyyyy very mild, like I could fully talk and function through them all, plus they were like 20-30 min apart.
On the ride home I mentioned something to my husband and told him I definitely felt like baby was making moves…when we got home & I got into the shower, I had my first real contraction and paused for a moment and said to myself “okay, that was definitely a contraction…time for bed” lol I knew I needed rest if this baby was about to come the next day!
Around 9:40pm I told my husband, text my doula, did a face mask, did the Miles Circuit, said lots of prayers, spent some time connecting with my baby in the womb one last time, and went to bed…
February 5th, 2022
THE BIG DAY
I started losing my mucus plug around 1am (which continued gradually throughout the day). This is when I decided it was time to notify my birth team and let them know we officially were making progress and we would be having a baby that day…AHHHH!!!! I went back to sleep and was able to rest very well, with wakes every 2-3 hours to use the bathroom. Contractions were still far apart (about 10-12 min) and very mild…
I officially woke up and contractions had increased slightly in intensity and were now around 7-10 minutes apart. Still very much in early labor but being my second baby, I had no idea if my body would progress quicker this time around so I rounded the troops and let the birth team know. As I labored in early labor at home with my family, I picked up Major and held him during a contraction for the last time as a my baby…so many emotions fled through me, but I was ready.
It was around this time when I was sitting on the toilet that I knew the toilet + standing combination was what my body desired during this labor…every time I would sit on the toilet or go from sitting to standing, contractions would increase in intensity and as uncomfortable as it felt, I actually felt more control in those positions as my early labor started to progress…
My doula, Chanel Hogue, arrived at our home. I was still in very early labor at this point, but had done sooo much resting overnight that I knew my body needed a bit more. So, we did steps, lunge walks up the steps, toilet w/ squatty potty, and marches…it was the marches that realllyyy started getting things moving for me during this early labor phase.
After an hour and a half of gentle movement and productive activity, on and off the toilet, and standing, my doula recommended we do a side-lying release. So I put the Christian Hypnobirthing playlist on my headphones while she performed the side-lying release on both sides. I ended up falling asleep and napping here for nearly 1.5 hrs. I woke up feeling a significant increase in the intensity of the contractions, which only continued to increase after I got up and went to the bathroom again. It was then that the transition from early labor to early active labor occurred.
During this transitional period, we labored a little longer at home, mostly standing while doing marches with my husband throughout contractions & seated on the toilet with the squatty potty. It was around 1pm that my doula made the call that we should start heading to the birth center, as my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and intensifying.
Around 2pm we arrived at the birth center where our midwife, assistant, and birth photographer met us. I felt very at ease, my entire birth team (midwife, doula, husband, birth photographer) were all present, I had the birth suite that I wanted, & no one else was in the birth center but us. There was this ease that came over me entering the birth space and seeing my team. They set the environment and it was just perfect. I wasn’t having intense back labor (yet) and was able to do the steps, lunges up the steps, and walking through contractions…initially.
After moving through those contractions, we transitioned to the tub, where I’d hoped to birth again (where I birthed my first baby) but God had other plans! Once I got into the tub I felt so relaxed, but too relaxed that I started to feel like it was slowing me down…as did my team. So it wasn’t long before we transitioned back to that place of standing and the toilet (aka the dilation station). I’m tell you, the toilet just kept progressing me!! But, I felt like although the contractions were getting more intense, I was not feeling that urge to push yet…
We transitioned to the bed bc the back labor was just so intense I needed to lay down. When laying down I began trying to push on my side, but quickly realized my body still was just not ready…
Finally, I let my midwife check me (which in hindsight I wished I’d had her check me sooner because she was able to confirm exactly what I had been feeling). I was at an 8 dilated but baby boy was still in a posterior position, therefore making it challenging for him to get in the most optimal position in my pelvis to come on out!
We tried so many different techniques to get him to rotate. It was then that my midwife & doula recommended doing a forward leaning inversion…I did not want to do it because I knew how much more intense it would make the next contraction so I said, “Lord please give me the strength” and went for it! Things took a very very quick turn from here on out lol…
Following the inversion, I felt super nauseous for the first time this labor and almost threw up, but didn’t! Right after, my midwife was like “why don’t we go back on the toilet” so we went & my doula encouraged me to do a few marches while seated on the toilet with one leg on the squats potty…YALL!! I lifted my leg barely an inch off the ground and suddenly I felt this feeling like I was about to poop!
This feeling was new for me during labor. I felt the urge to poop & then suddenly my water burst in the toilet, I stood up and said “Something just happened, something happened….oh gosh I’m pooping, I’m pooping” (while standing above the toilet) next thing you know, my midwife says “She’s pushing, she’s pushing! Let me get some gloves” and all I could say was “I’m pooping, I’m pooping” LOL really, I involuntarily started feeling this urge to PUSH!
My doula and husband walked me a few steps out the bathroom to the hallway onto the birth bench. Where I then pushed and breathed through each push, in a semi-squat position while my doula held me up for support from behind. I remember on those last two breaths just saying in my head “God created you for this, now it’s time to meet your baby” and within 4 minutes he was in my arms…
Amari Isaac Medley
Born at 6:00pm on the dot…
I can still smell and feel that moment. Just when you think you cannot love any harder, labor any longer, or surrender to your body…GOD SHOWS YOU OTHERWISE!
It was in the moment that I did the very things I didn’t want to do (forward leaning inversion & toilet marches) that I just surrendered to them, allowing me to then surrender to my body, and let it do what God created it to do.
This birth experience was very different from my first. I did not experience the ejection reflex during my first birth and nearly pushed for an hour my first birth…I also didn’t make it to the birth tub this time lol instead I made it as far as the hallway and ejected my baby right out, HA!
It’s amazing what our bodies will do and I love that my boys each have a different birth story 🤍