The arrival of Zalina Eve on July 24th, 2013 was a beautiful and blessed moment in our lives. She was my third little blessing, and my pregnancy ticked along without any complications or issues. On the morning of her arrival, I sent Natalie, my midwife, a text and asked her to “throw me a bone” and give me the name of the chiropractor with labor induction skills. She responded with the tried and true advice to walk and to make love to my husband. At around 10am, I decided to walk my 7-year old son to a nearby store to pick up some items. The distance round-trip equated to roughly 5 miles, in July… in Houston… with the high of the day in the upper 90s… Needless to say, this walk was probably not what Natalie envisioned when she said to go walking. Haha!
During the walk, I felt as normal as possible with a full term belly and the sweat running down my face, legs, arms, and all the other nether regions… Once I returned home, I decided to relax and stretch in the shower. After a small snack, I drove to another big store to continue the walking, for another mile and a half. My pedometer registered 6.5 miles of walking that day!
I had been experiencing a few contractions here and there, at random intervals throughout the day. When I finally returned home around 6pm, I started to feel them get a bit more regular. I was still playing legos with my older children, upstairs in their bedroom. At around 7pm, I thought it might be a good idea to call my husband and have him return home from his errands. I also texted Natalie (midwife) and told her today might be the day. Thankfully, she was at dinner and had things mostly squared away for the evening. My husband, Jason, arrived closer to 8pm, fed dinner to the kids, and prepared everyone for bed. When I had a 30 minute interval from one contraction to the next, I went downstairs and announced sadly, today isn’t the day guys… I must have looked really down because my kids gathered around me and gave me a family hug (I really, really love those!!)
After that, from roughly 830pm to roughly 10pm, I relaxed in a warm bath, listening to music and reflecting on certain hypnobabies phrases, like “down and out” and “limp and loose”… this time period was relaxing, and I drifted in and out of sleep. My husband came in and checked on me a few times, kissed me, and hurried back to tend to the family. At around 9pm, I told him that today might actually be the baby’s birthday, and he called in reinforcements (Renee and Jeremy – our best friends). With the candle light and Enya, I was able to relax and deep breathe through the gentle pressure that greeted me every ten minutes or so. Jason and I both anticipated a long road ahead into the night, and so he focused on bedding down our younger kids and initiating basic preparations. Each time he popped in, he was loving and encouraging, and we both believed I was in the initial stages of labor.
At around 10pm, I realized that I was having some heavier pressure, and that the pressure was easing down lower and lower. At this point, I called Natalie and asked her to come on over. Jason told me that call occurred at 1020pm. At around 1030pm, I got nauseated and began dry heaving quite a bit. This continued for quite some time, which was very different from my other labors. I kept wondering what was happening.
Natalie arrived at 1040pm, and she intuitively knew things were progressing quickly. Her prayer at that point was so calming, reassuring, and exactly what I needed at that moment. She checked me (6cm and 100% effaced – definitely “real” labor here, guys) and hurried the preparations along. Our sweet friend Renee had to leave early because she was in her first trimester and struggled with her own weak stomach. Natalie helped me slowly travel from my bathtub to the birth pool, which was located in our front foyer area.
From this point to the actual birth is somewhat a blur… I heard myself moan deeply with the pressure, and I spoke softly to my sweet baby in between the waves. I told her that it was time to come to me, and I called her a sweet baby because we didn’t find out the gender. Throughout the whole process, I felt that her and I were in tune with each other and on some sort of telepathic wavelength. I felt her travel deeper into my pelvis and enter my vaginal canal. I asked Natalie to check me again because it felt immense at that point. I had to confirm that things were, in fact, moving in the right direction. I guess I simply needed the encouragement at that point. She said I was 9 with a small lip, and she demonstrated a stretch that I could do one or two times to get that baby down… I literally did the stretch twice before I felt the tremendous filling feeling of my baby beginning to crown. I moaned deeply again, and reached my hands down to ease her out. I breathed her down in between those final contractions because I was anxious to see her. Natalie said Jason nearly missed the birth, on account of a last minute pee break!! Natalie looked up and told him to hurry down… Zalina Eve came out with her eyes open and stretched her arms out in the water. She turned over in the water and looked around. Natalie reached in and pulled her up and out of the water. Her arrival was beautiful, peaceful, and so calm…
I thank God for the calm voice He spoke to my sweet Zalina and to me to guide us during the birth. Jason, my incredible soulmate, my everything, cared for our family and kept the entire operation on course. Many thanks to Natalie for her beautiful prayers and to Connie for everything she did. Thanks to Chelsea, and we wish you the best at your budding midwifery career. I am so grateful to all our friends and family for their support, love, encouragement, and, most importantly, their prayers!!