I woke up at 5:30 am on a Saturday with pressure waves. They were uncomfortable and wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. I told Seth, and had a little conversation with Baby asking her to please stay in there a little longer so grandma (my mom) could be here for her birth. (It was 2 1/2 weeks before our guess date!) Or, if she couldn’t wait that long, to please stay in just for that day so we could go to our birth class and baby shower. That morning, I had the Rascal Flatts song “All that I want is to be . . . where you are” going through my mind. I called my mom and let her know that baby girl might be trying to come. I called our midwife, Crystal, and she said to go about our day as normal and call if the waves got closer together.
So we went to a friend’s apartment to help them move (Seth helped, I sat), then to our 2nd-to-last birth class with Nicole DiBella, and from there to a baby shower our good friend Kelly was kind enough to throw us. It was all so fun and great, but when I got home I was exhausted. Seth grilled up some bratts for dinner (we’d later regret), and then I took a nice warm bath while Seth ran to the store to get newborn diapers and a few other things for the possible birth. He got home and we tracked the pressure waves: every 6-7 minutes now. Called Crystal; she said to call back if they got to be 4-5 minutes apart or if my water released. So I rode the pressure waves out in bed, using the hypnosis tools I had learned in our class to stay calm and relaxed. It was amazing; I could hardly feel the waves. Until a really BIG one came that caused me to reach out desperately for Seth, who tried to calm me, followed by another huge one during which I heard and felt a -POP- and fluids gushed out the bottom of me. I puked almost simultaneously (nasty bratts). Seth didn’t puke (miracle), and somehow managed to get the trash can, rip off our sheets and put them in the laundry, and help me to the toilet while calling Crystal at the same time. I sat on the toilet and he sat on the tub edge in front of me, wiping me off with a towel and explaining that Crystal would be there in 20 minutes. This was at 12:30 in the morning, btw. He moved to go do something (unlock the door so she could get in when she got there, I think), but I pulled him back down and held on to him as more waves came over me. He let me lean on him when I needed, looked me in the eye and told me to ‘breathe’, ‘relax’, have ‘peace’ and was just a rock for me. I finally let him get up to unlock our front door in between waves. By about this point I’m feeling the urge to push, so I do that. Seth reminds me to make low sounds and breathe. He didn’t realize I was already pushing, but everything he did was just perfect.
One hour later, at about 1:40 am, Crystal arrived. It took her longer to get here because of protests going on near our neighborhood. She encouraged me to move from the bathroom to the bedroom so that I could change positions and she could check on the baby. Together they helped me over, and Crystal had Seth sit on the bed behind me. She checked Baby’s heart-rate; all good, then said she wanted to see how dilated I was. She looked between my legs and said, “There’s the head!” She immediately got on the phone, saying “We’re crowning and about to have a baby over here!”
Anjli, another midwife, and Sandi, the head nurse at Atlanta Birth Center, arrived while I was pushing in bed. I tried pushing from a side-lying position, but was most comfortable on my back with my knees bent. I held onto Seth, who was rubbing my back and still encouraging me, and Anjli and Sandi held my legs for me as I pushed for all I was worth with every muscle in my body. “One more push and I think her head will be out!” “Rrrrah!” Excitement fills the room. “The head is out! Next push and she’ll be all the way out!” Push push push push push . . . . . .
and they are putting a little baby on my tummy! That baby that lived IN my tummy for 9 months . . . I can see her and I’m holding her and I am amazed. Seth is amazed. Beautiful piano hymns are playing on Spotify and candles are lit on the dresser. One of the ladies takes pictures on my phone and the baby girl is still and quiet and taking her time to open her eyes. And oh my word, she is perfect. I could care less what’s going on down there as I birth the placenta, until the numbing needle comes so they can stitch up the small tear I had gotten in my perineum. Ouch.
But this baby . . . !
The ABC ladies are amazing. They cleaned everything up for us and did most of the baby care while she was in my arms. They left at 6 am, with baby Eve in the bassinet by our bed sleeping and us climbing into bed. We fell asleep so in love and awe and listening to our baby’s cooing noises. Those noises were with me through all my dreams.
When we woke up a few hours later, Seth made us puffed pancakes. It was Sunday morning, after all. We ate. We embraced. Seth offered a teary prayer of deep, deep gratitude. And we were parents.
Eve Michelle Burdette, born July 10, 2016 at 2:51 am in our condo in Atlanta. 7 lbs, 12 oz and 20 inches long. Perfectly healthy and pink.