Two years ago, I had a gorgeous belly protruding, waiting for a darling daughter to emerge. I had stopped working my daycare and we had people coming to visit the house to see if they wanted to rent it out. I remember sitting on our cozy chair by the window, just peering out and I knew I would have my little girl that day. A few contractions and potential renters later, we decided to make the trek toward Castle Rock, by the hospital to be on the safe side.
Halen’s birth was pretty fast, and I knew Henley’s would be too. We had our hospital bag packed, my birth plan, and essential oil regimen ready. Halen was with us, we stopped to grab a late breakfast snack before finally parking at the hospital. I had called my mid-wife (very common in Colorado) a few times to tell her I was pretty certain baby was coming today, but they wanted me to be farther along before they saw me.
Finally, we made an appointment with our midwife, which luckily, they had an office right next to our hospital in Colorado. I remember the midwife on call being frustrated with me because I was 4 centimeters dilated, she said to have lunch walk around the hospital and to try and check in once I was feeling contractions every 3-4 minutes lasting a minute each.
This hospital in Colorado was brand new and awesome. It had a restaurant with a renowned chef that people often came to just because. We grabbed some sandwiches and after lunch I just started walking laps around the hospital. Halen fell asleep on Evan and we called my cousin to come pick her up, telling her that today was the day.
After Halen was picked up, Evan was able to join me on my walks. I should have worn better shoes, I was in strappy sandals. I applied my Contraction blend (ylang ylang and clary sage) in the bathroom wanting to encourage my contractions and progression in labor. I ended up walking 6 miles around the hospital and finally at 4:30 p.m. they admitted me. We got checked into my room, with a view of the mountains, and I got examined, I was 4.5 centimeters, so she decided to check if any amniotic fluid was leaking. Sure enough the test came back positive, I had a small tear in my amniotic sack. They starting administering my first dose of antibiotics (so annoyed at this) because my Strep B test was positive…. Grr. I was supposed to get a few doses in, but I knew that wouldn’t happen because my labor would move fast. I was able to get up and move with my intermittent monitoring and then the doctor came in to check me again and my water broke. It was the craziest feeling, gushing everywhere…all over my robe I wanted to deliver in. Oops! She said I might have the baby before midnight… I looked at that clock at 6 p.m. and decided I would have her in the next hour or two.
That is when things got real. Evan applied my Calming Blend (Young Living’s lavender, peace & calming, Stress Away and Gentle Baby) on my wrists and ankles, and my pain blend (panaway and copaiba) on my lower abdomen and lower back. I was adamant to not have any pain medication with Henley’s birth. After Halen’s birth, I knew I could handle this, I just needed to stay focused. I sat on a birth ball for most of my contractions, breathing into Evan’s chest. The contractions felt like I could not go on, but sure enough it would end and I could breathe. Evan told me how strong I was and we locked eyes as I would move through following contractions. His strength helped me persevere.
Eventually the mid-wife on call came in and asked how I was feeling. I said I had the urge to push and she said then I should push (what a difference in direction versus a regular doctor!). I loved how my mid-wife made me feel in control. She brought in a birthing stool for me to try since I was sitting on a birthing ball. I loved sitting and the feeling of gravity and progress with each push. Finally, she said Henley was there and I pulled her out at 7:21 p.m. and put her up to my chest. It was the most amazing, exhilarating experience of my life. I absolutely loved the feeling of empowerment and how raw it was. I wanted to feel my child being born and physically bring her to my chest myself and I was able to do just that. Henley Charlevoix had entered our world.
I immediately wanted back in the bed to start getting cozy. Since Henley was born 10 days early she was covered in an amazing layer of vernix. I just rubbed that stuff right into her precious skin. I was so in awe of her birth and that my healthy baby girl was finally here to join our family.
Henley weighed 8 lbs 9 oz, the tiniest of all the grandkids (yes, she was the smallest!) I became enthralled with her. We got comfortable, she started nursing, and we looked over at the amazing view of the mountains out our window. Halen came to meet her baby sister the next day and soon after we started the adventure of a family of four.
I am honored to be Henley’s mama, and I thank God, every day for choosing us to be together. She’s my arrow that helps point me in the right direction… that direction is always love.