Our sweet boy made his debut on his due date, March 28th, at 2:05 am. I can’t believe he’s already been with us for 3 weeks. In many ways, I can’t believe we ever lived without him all while still learning each other and getting into a rhythm as a family of four.
I’ve always loved reading birth stories, and read oodles of them while I was pregnant. I shared Piper’s birth story here, and love having the details in writing to look back on. I’m long winded when it comes to telling the story of my babies, so I’ll try to not make it too long ;). But if you’re interested, keep reading!
Piper was born 3 days early, so I thought with a second baby I’d for sure go early. I was mentally prepared to have a baby by 39 weeks, and when he still had not come I started getting discouraged. That week of waiting and not knowing when he would come was super challenging for me. I didn’t want to be induced, and spent many mornings in prayer and reminding myself of God’s perfect timing and trusting his plan. I spent a lot of time meditating on this song. It might sound silly, as the baby is always going to come one way or another, but I am so passionate about natural birth and had spent so much time reading, studying, and preparing my body and mind for it that it was something I was very hopeful to experience again.
On Monday night around 11 pm, two days before my due date, I started having contractions that felt different from the usual braxton hicks. I was pretty sure they were the real thing, but knew the best thing to do was to stay calm and try to get some sleep. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and in some ways thought being in labor was too good to be true, ha. They continued all through the night and stayed about 20 minutes apart. They never got closer together and never increased in intensity. I was in and out of sleep all night and by morning they had stopped altogether. I chalked it up to prodromal labor, which would mean a baby could still be a few days off. I had a few random contractions the next day (Tuesday, the day before my due date), but nothing consistent or even very painful. I remember feeling them and just feeling excited, knowing that my body was moving in that direction.
Tuesday night we went to our community group, and contractions started up again. They were probably every 15 minutes at this point, and a little more uncomfortable but I could talk and go on with life as normal through them. We got home around 10/10:30 pm and they were about 10 minutes apart. I remember looking at Scofield and saying this really sucks because I was so tired from not having slept the night before and just wanted to go to sleep… I thought I was going to be up having these pesky, prodromal contractions all night again. Of course, they weren’t prodromal contractions but they still felt relatively light and I think I was honestly in a bit of denial. Why I was in denial, I have no idea since I was 40 weeks pregnant, but I was.
Scofield and I turned on Property Brothers on HGTV and I ate some chili. We were just hanging out watching tv and every 10 minutes or so I’d stop to have a contraction. I thought either these contractions will stop or I’ll be laboring all night and this baby will be here sometime late tomorrow morning. I was hungry and had an appetite, and contractions were extremely manageable. In between contractions I would piddle around the house, watch tv, brush my teeth, do some last minute chores. Based on what I knew (or thought I knew), this kind of behavior would indicate early labor.
Scofield started packing his bag, cleaning the house, and folded probably 5 loads worth of laundry “just in case.” Time passed quickly, and before I knew it, it was about 12 am. At this point I knew the contractions weren’t going to stop. They would bounce between 5 minutes and 10 minutes apart and were starting to require more focus. I made Scofield mute the TV and we put on my labor playlist. We discussed going to the hospital, but they still weren’t consistently 5 minutes apart and I felt pretty good, so we felt like we still had a little bit of time before we’d need to leave. Plus, I had only been having consistent contractions for a couple of hours. I was very much comparing my labor to when I was in labor with Piper, and compared to that, a baby still felt a far way off. When we left for the hospital during Piper’s labor, I remember a huge amount of intensity and not being able to focus on anything except the pain, even between contractions. And when we got to the hospital I was only 5 cm. So of course, this time, being all chit chatty between contractions, it felt like we had ample time.
From 12 am – 1 am was actually a really sweet, intimate time at home, working with my body and Scofield as our baby was making his way into this world. Just the two of us. With Piper, I didn’t want to be touched, but this time I wanted him near me and touching me the whole time. I’d scream “contraction!” and reach out for him with each one.
When I was in labor with Piper, everything just felt like a big long contraction. It was so intense from the beginning, and I kept waiting for the intensity to get there this time around. This time, in between contractions I was almost totally pain free and able to communicate and talk. I think part of that is #1 – because my water broke before contractions even started with Piper, whereas it hadn’t broken with Fields, and #2 – I put all my focus on staying relaxed and calm during labor and contractions this time. With Piper, I tensed up on each contraction and fought against my body, which I know made it much more painful. I read “Childbirth Without Fear,” and one of the big messages in the book is the more fearful and tense we are, the more painful labor is. My goal this time was to stay calm and relax my body through contractions and it made a huge difference. Playing gentle worship music in the background was also huge in helping me with that. Through the contractions I would focus on the words to the music and really try to visualize Jesus being right there beside me. I would just think about Him and it got me through each and every one. It was such a spiritual, supernatural experience for me, it’s hard to even put into words.
Around 1 am, the intensity of contractions jumped from a 4 to an 8 in a matter of moments. I’d tell Scofield to apply pressure to my back then snap at him that he wasn’t doing it right, ha. I felt things were shifting in my body as I started to get nauseous, irritable, and angry almost. I started feeling a strong urge to change locations and looked at Scofield and said, “Take me to the hospital NOW.” We made some phone calls to make sure Piper was situated, and then woke her up to put her in the car. In between contractions as we’re walking to the car I’m listing off all of Piper’s blankets and animals to make sure she has everything she needs, ha. We were taking her to a friend’s house who lived about 10 minutes from the hospital, but a good 20/25 minutes from us.
Because I was nauseous, we grabbed a plastic bag on the way out the door. We got in the car, and as soon as we started driving contractions went from an 8 to a 10, intensity-wise. Thank goodness we had a plastic bag because I started vomiting, and I think threw up 4 or 5 times. It was obviously a lovely smell, so we rolled the windows down and are driving like 60 miles an hour at this point as we both realize we don’t have as much time as we thought we did! I couldn’t get in the back seat because we had two carseats, so I was leaning between the two front seats, probably gripping onto Piper’s carseat or Scofield’s neck screaming all sorts of labor noises. Poor Piper would say things like “mama sick?” and “I dont’ like that, Dada.” Haha.. she might have to go to therapy for all of that one day ;). Just kidding, she probably has already forgotten all about it, right!?
When we’re probably 5 minutes from dropping Piper off, I remember feeling deep fear that we weren’t going to make it to the hospital. I started sweating and contractions were one on top of another, 30-40 seconds apart. Between moaning and groaning, I’m repeating over and over “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Help me Jesus.” We make it to drop Piper off and are in and out in probably less than 30 seconds. I remember looking at the clock and it said 1:57. I started pep talking myself and thought, “Okay, I pushed for 45 minutes with Piper. If I’m in transition, we at least have until 2:30.”
As we pull out of the neighborhood, I feel the pressure from his head and have a strong urge to push. Of course I’m resisting as much as I can, but there’s a piece of labor where your body is pushing for you and you can’t stop it. I start to pep talk myself again and I remember thinking, “Okay, your water has to break before the baby comes out and my water still hasn’t broken. We have time!” Then, my water literally burst. I’m screaming to Scofield to ‘hurry’ and that ‘he’s coming!’ I’m also pretty sure my new chant was, “Jesus please! Jesus please don’t let me have this baby in the car!” I think I repeated that all the way to the hospital.
What was a 10 minute-ish drive to the hospital took all of four minutes and Scofield pulls up to the entrance. He puts the car in park and runs inside for help, and I try to stand up to get out of the car. He runs back out and says they’re coming with a wheel chair, and I just thought “well that’s not going to work”, and laid back down in the car. I could feel the baby crowning and I reached down and could feel his head. Scofield looks down and ripped my pants off (haha), with still no medical professional in sight. A few moments later one nurse showed up (This is a new hospital with only a few surgery floors and a labor and delivery floor. There’s no ER, so it was a quiet hospital in the middle of the night). They put blankets under me, and it’s all a bit of a blur but before I know it his head is out. One more push and his body was out and he was in Scofield’s arms, and then they put him on my chest. Our baby boy, born at 2:05 am in our car in the parking lot of the hospital.
In the moment I was very much in shock. I was confused that I had a baby in my arms when I was still suppose to have time before he was here. And I was suppose to labor in the tub. And a doctor was suppose to deliver. And I wasn’t suppose to be half naked and exposed to the hospital parking lot. It was probably the scariest moment of my life, but also the most empowering. It was one of the moments where you don’t have time to think and you just act. You think, “this could go very bad, but we have no choice so here we go.” Looking back now, it was me, Scofield, and Jesus who brought this baby into the world together (and nurse Anna too!). It’s crazy to me and never what I would have expected in a million years. While I felt so much fear, I also felt so much peace and knew that Jesus was with us the whole time. We were never alone. God was in control, and it was amazing to witness how my body knew what to do and just did it. This song was on my labor playlist and played throughout part of my labor, and it couldn’t be more true for me. Heaven was closer than I knew.
When I think about all that motherhood and childbirth has taught me, with both Fields and Piper, it’s that we were made to do hard things, and when you think you can’t keep going, you can and you do, and there is joy in the suffering.
Our angel, our boy, Thomas Scofield Foster, affectionately known as “Fields.” Welcome to the world, buddy.