Let’s see where to begin…ultimately, we need to thank God for this amazing experience! Thankfully, right after we got pregnant, a friend told us about a book called Supernatural Childbirth. Originally, Josiah had just kind of shaken off the idea that I wanted an unmedicated, natural childbirth. Like most people, his response was, ‘we’ll wait and see that day how you feel.’ After reading this book, God totally changed his heart and he was on board 110% to support me in this.
We also attended Birth Boot Camp, a ten-week course teaching people about unmedicated births. We had such a great time with the other couples there and we were even in class with the lady who designed the curriculum. Lots of laughter, education, awkward conversations and good times! And we definitely came out feeling very prepared. Josiah was so sweet and got a whole bunch of stuff together to help me through labor (scripture, songs, stuff to read, etc.) and it turns out I didn’t even have much of an active labor – so we’ll have to use all that information for another time :0)
On Monday, January 28th I had my weekly appointment with my midwife. Because my mother-in-law was hoping to come, I went ahead and had her tell me where I was (now I see why Birth Boot Camp suggested against this – you just get so excited and thinking anything could happen any minute – or maybe something is wrong because nothing is happening, etc. etc.). Well, I was at 4cm and 90% effaced and the midwife let me know she ‘would be shocked if I were pregnant over the weekend’. Lynn got a flight out the next day. But nothing was happening. I went to work, drove the bus to 6am practices, etc. etc. On Thursday, they determined I was a ‘liability’ and wouldn’t let me drive out to our basketball game – but I still went and coached and we won (so sloppy, but glad to be there).
Friday morning at work, I started having contractions about every 5-7 minutes. During my conference, I went and walked around campus (and I’m sure my assistant principals thought I was crazy as they found me walking around the back). I called the midwife and text Josiah a list of final things that needed to be packed around the house just in case. At 1:30, Josiah and I headed up to the midwife get checked out again. I was now at a 6 and fully effaced. And not in active labor. So, back home I went. That evening, I started having contractions again – but they weren’t getting closer or more intense. I began thinking maybe we shouldn’t have been praying for a painless labor because what if I didn’t know I was in labor! My family all thought I was crazy for not going to the hospital, but I could tell that it wasn’t quite time. I went to sleep and the contractions stopped.
Saturday morning, I got up and got Kalyb to his basketball game. Go Kings! After coming back, I took a shower and thought about how my water might break and I wouldn’t even know it! Well, right after I got dressed and headed down the hall at about 2:15pm, my water broke (I was also really nervous through my pregnancy about where this would happen: in the classroom, at a game, driving the bus, etc. Very thankful for the comfort of our own home!) We got a hold of Josh and Rachel to come get Kalyb (who, conveniently enough already had their day planned to go fly kites and buy fish –perfect activities for a 6 year old to crash!). My midwife would be meeting us at the hospital. Caryn (a Birth Boot Camp instructor who came to support me and attend a natural birth) had just finished up at the park with her kids and would meet us there. And Jessica (my awesome friend/photographer) was already downtown with her family so just jumped on the bus over to Baylor. Perfect timing, Kadence!
We headed up to the hospital and checked in a little after 3pm. When the nurse came in our room she wondered where the patient was – ‘Oh, that’s me!’. She was shocked to see me up and moving around. The midwife checked me and I was at 7cm and Kadence was at a +1. I still wasn’t feeling anything but the tightening. We just sat and talked and I asked the midwife for reassurance that I’d actually be having this baby today because it didn’t seem like anything was happening! She also assured me I would indeed know when to push. :0)
At some point, it did feel like I was getting cramps, so I just laid down on the bed while Josiah and my mother-in-law comforted me. I heard an internal pop and just yelled, ‘ok! Something popped! I need my pants off now!’ I think I was convinced she might have been falling out. Not the case – but I did need to push. The beauty of a midwife (even at the hospital in this case) is that I could move or do whatever I felt my body needed to do. Feel free to watch the documentary The Business of Being Born for more information on this! I tried all fours but my legs kept falling asleep so that wasn’t going to be effective. I ended up on my side and don’t really remember every detail but just the feeling that maybe I wasn’t going to be strong enough to push her out. They said they could see her and she had a full head of hair – which was surprising! Old wives’ tales had us convinced that because I’d had NO heartburn that I would be having a bald child. Not true. We think it was probably close to 30 minutes that I pushed and out she came!! Josiah had them confirm she was a girl and it was absolutely incredible. We were all shocked at how TINY she was!
After holding her for awhile, having her latch on, Josiah cutting the cord and everything else being delivered, we finally let the nurse take her to let us know just how small she was. Kadence Emercyn Dicken was born at 5:51pm (the clock in our room said 5:53) at 6 lbs. 7 oz and 19 ¾ inches long on February 2, 2013. I did not think that we would have a small baby!! Thankful for the newborn clothes another friend passed along and that my sister has now shipped to me!
Caryn was able to leave to get home and didn’t even miss a feeding with her baby! Jessica took some incredible pictures that I’ll post soon. Josiah called Kalyb and he was a little disappointed to find out that the doctors were right and he did, in fact, have a sister. And we were all good to go! The nurses switched shifts and the next lady who came in told me to let her know when I needed to get up to go to the bathroom. ‘I already went to the bathroom’, I told her and she could not believe that I would’ve gotten up and taken care of this within an hour of giving birth. I was just mad she wouldn’t let me take a shower right then. She was mad that I wasn’t giving her a job to do ;0) Nick brought the boys to pick up Jessica and Malachi got to hold Kadence. My in-laws drove over from Arlington. And once we got upstairs, Josh and Rachel brought Kalyb to meet his sister :0) He said her squeezing his finger was like her taking his blood pressure. He also decided he kind of liked her because she kind of looked like a boy (aka looks VERY similar to him as a baby – Josiah has some strong genes!). Then, while holding her the next day, he proclaimed, ‘it’s like my mind doesn’t like her but my heart loves her.’ Melt. My. Heart.
Sunday, we had more visitors: Mallary and Carter, Jerri, Monica and Chanel. Josiah stayed to watch the Super Bowl with me then I kicked him out so that he could actually get a good night’s sleep since there’s not much a dad can do at this point in the middle of the night :0) My midwife came in and checked on me and was really impressed with our labor and delivery and said our next one could be even easier! Since I’m a first time mom wanting to breastfeed, they had us stay another night. The lactation consultants were extremely helpful because she was having a difficult time latching and sucking. I think I can confidently say we’re good to go now – but it has taken patience and a few tears that I wasn’t doing something right. Monday, Tay and her sister came by and the Midwife gave us the ‘good to go’. We headed out a little before noon :0) Many pictures to come….
We are SO thankful for this experience and the magnitude in which the Lord answered our prayers. I’m still kind of in a state of shock as I look over and see Josiah holding our DAUGHTER! Thank you, Jesus!!