…a pinhole look into the life of one not-so-ordinary girl.
I have debated writing out Noble’s birth for a few months now. The few friends I have told it to I felt like could handle it and others I’ve told I felt like needed the encouragement.
Have you ever thought “this is too good to be true” but it’s real life and it’s what’s actually happening right then? The good thing you thought never happens to anyone?
That feeling: “Wake up! You’re NOT dreaming!” is Noble’s birth story.
The Monday before he was born was December 8. For weeks before that, I had the number 8 in my brain. I just knew he would be born and the number 8 would be involved somehow. So I woke up December 8 and when the contractions I had all night didn’t lead to something, I really really really wanted to be frustrated but I decided to get over myself.
On Tuesday, I was 38wks + 3days and had an appointment. They checked me and told me I was 5cm dilated, 65% effaced. I couldn’t believe it. I had never been to 5cm without being in labor already.
I felt like he was going to fall out any second. But, he didn’t. I went through the rest of that day and all of Wednesday without a single, strong contraction. I felt so disappointed. I knew he was just getting fatter and fatter and I’d rather my babies get fat after I birth them. I don’t have anything to prove.
I woke up Thursday with the biggest, baddest attitude any pregnant woman has ever had in the history of pregnancies. My parents were already in town and I told them I was on a mission to forget I was pregnant. I just knew if I could forget that I was pregnant, relax and have a day that had nothing to do with trying to birth this baby he would surely make his appearance.
We played with Hesper, took a walk, ate and ate and ate, and finally Derrick got home from work. My parents and I left to go shopping. We were gone until 9 or 10pm and had the best time. My mom found some clothes, my dad got some groceries we needed, and I just sat around helping my mom decide what to buy. On the way home I had Chik-fil-a to my pregnant belly’s content. I took a shower and put on what I wanted to wear for labor. I had a “come to Jesus” talk with Noble: “it’s time for you to come out, OK? I love having you close, and I have really loved this last pregnancy as much as I could muster. It’s time for us to see you” and I patted my belly where I knew his little butt was.
Just like his big sister Hesper, Noble decided (to listen to his Mama) he wanted to be born during the day while the oldest siblings were at school and be home to meet them by dinner time. Friday, December 12, I woke up in labor. I told Derrick I was having contractions about every 10 minutes and I didn’t want to move in case it would make them stop (it’s so funny that even with my fourth, I was under the delusion that I could make real labor stop just by getting out of the bed). He asked my mom if she could get up with Hesper so that I could focus. He went ahead to work on high alert.
I stayed there for 30mins and had three contractions exactly 10mins apart that lasted for 30secs. I love patterns. I texted my mom and told her when I would have another contraction. I got up from the bed and though they paused for a bit, continued after I focused again. I told my mom to get Hesper dressed to go to a friend’s house because we should leave soon. I got make-up on for the very first time out of all my labors and remembered deodorant. I felt so awesome and so, so ready.
Derrick got home and we all headed out. On the way to the birth center, I remember my mom saying, “Isn’t it a different thing going to have a baby during the day?” to which my dad replied, “Yes, this is all so very…..civilized.” We all laughed.
We arrived at Charleston Birth Place and my friend was there to take Hesper to play at her house. We knew it wouldn’t be very long. We walked inside after kissing Hesper goodbye and I headed back to get checked. I was 6+cm and 80% effaced.
We headed over to the other side (the part of the birth center for laboring mothers) and ended up getting the same room as I had with Hesper. The entire time, up until 2hrs before Noble was born, it was almost the exact same labor as I had with Hesper. I couldn’t believe it.
The only significant difference between my labor with Hesper and this one was the fact that once I arrived at the birth center, I had a contraction every 15 minutes that lasted for 30 seconds. That’s it. Every fifteen minutes.
I kept telling my midwife that I was a labor poser. I was basically just stretching him out. I paced back and forth texting my sister and my best friend and giggling and talking with my mom and Derrick. Every once in a while, my dad would peek at the door and blow me a kiss. It was a dream.
My midwife, Erin, walked in around 11:30am to check me again. She told me I was 8cm and she could easily stretch me to 10cm because this was my fourth baby. She explained that she could break my water and he would be born soon after, or I could continue to walk around and stretch to 10cm. I told her I was definitely not in the right headspace for my baby being born “soon”. I was still giggling and texting and feeling pretty. I was in no shape to birth a human.
I told Derrick and Mom to quit talking to me because I had some serious focusing to do. I still had contractions only 15mins apart, and only for 30secs, but they were getting more serious as I continued to focus on them. I made sure that as they peaked, I was breathing and relaxing all of my muscles from my head down to my toes; letting the good work take over. In no time, Erin was back in and ready to check me and baby again. It had already been an hour.
At 12:30pm, I was almost 9cm (still easily stretching to 10cm) and Erin told me again that she could break my water on a contraction and he would be born soon after. I loved the idea of him being born in his water just like both of his big sisters. I decided to get in the tub and see if I could push him out while still in his little water bubble home.
Once I was in the water, I started having contractions every 7mins apart for 30secs each. I would have a contraction and push through it to try to get him past the last lip of my cervix. Then I would wait 7 minutes, talking with Derrick or Erin or Mom and then push through a contraction again. I wasn’t getting anywhere. After about 7-10 pushes, I was getting a bit tired. I looked at Derrick and said, “I think it’s too much with his water around him. Do you think I should let her break the water?”
In true Derrick form, he said, “It’s whatever you want to do, honey. Your choice.”
I said, “Ok. Just do it. I’m just wearing myself out.”
I took a few deep breaths to prepare myself for the next contraction and the inevitability that I was about to push for the life of me. I knew when Erin said “he will be born soon after”, she meant, “right then”.
“Ok, here’s another contraction”, I said and she swiped her finger across his water sac. Immediately after she did that, a few things happened simultaneously.
After about 30 seconds of that extremely intense push, I felt like I needed to let him ease out and began to “he he he he” until his head was fully out. Derrick was behind me (outside of the tub) and said Noble was facing him, looking around under the water. I was still holding on for dear life. After two minutes, I could feel my muscles were going to contract again. I took the slowest, deepest breath in that I could do as the contraction peaked and when it hit the top, I started pushing again.
I felt the widest part of his shoulders come out and again began to “he he he he” the rest of him out. Erin caught him behind me. She put him through my legs and we both brought him up out of the water.
I was delighted. I couldn’t believe his face. I couldn’t believe all of his hair. I couldn’t believe I’d done it again. I couldn’t believe I was alive. I couldn’t believe he was mine to keep. “Wake up! You’re NOT dreaming!”
Noble Joram Smith was born on December 12, 2014 at 2pm weighing 8lbs 10oz and measuring 21.5in long.
We’re three months in right now with four children and I’ve loved it so much. A couple different times we were out with all of them within the first month, Derrick and I would look at each other and agree our little family felt complete. It’s crazy how you know in your heart different things are true that you’ve no reason to know for sure. Like the number 8 – Noble ended up being born 8 days before his due date. I was born 8 days before mine, and I was also the fourth child. Remember, I love patterns. I look for them all the time.
Almost two years ago, I met an elderly lady who works in the children’s section at our library. She asked me if all three kids were mine. I told her they are. She asked if I’m done having kids and I told her I didn’t think we were. She said she has four children and I asked her how she liked that number.
Can you guess what she said?
“Oh, it wasn’t enough! I just wanted more and more and more. But, my husband said it was enough for him so I said, ‘Okay.'”
She had the sweetest smile on her face and I had tears on mine.
1. 38 week belly.
2. In the water, in between pushes, trying to decide whether to let Erin break my water.
3. Pushing one last time.
4. “We’re about to meet our baby”.
5. When Erin and I pulled him up.
6. Skin to skin.
7. Midwife Erin and her baby.
8. Nurse Shannon after washing Noble’s hair.
9. 24 hours old.
10. Our four.