Let me start this off by saying this has been a very different pregnancy than I've ever experienced. I'm going to make this story as brief as I can, but here it goes. In October my husband and I and our 3 boys moved in with my sister in law and her husband and their 4 kids. They had just bought a house out in the country with some acreage. Our crazy dream was to build a craigslist/reclaimed material house, cheap and quick. My husband is pretty much a real life McGyver and has a lot of experience in construction, so we were really excited about this opportunity. I mean seriously, not many people get to build their very own house! And I really liked the idea of our boys helping and learning along with DH.
Everything changed drastically about 2 weeks later when we found out we were expecting our 4th baby! We were thrilled, but it changed everything- finances, time, my ability to help......and factor in the emotional rollercoaster I became...YIKES....it wasn't a fun-happy-time-at-the-fair, that's for sure. But my in laws were beyond gracious, and looking back at it, I am soooo very grateful it was what it was.
But I felt crazy because every week that passed I wasn't counting up how many weeks pregnant I was, I was counting down how many weeks we had left to build the house and move in before this baby was born. I tried really hard to keep my sanity and trust God that He knew my heart but also that He knew what was best. And at times thats all I could cling to. It was my dream and desire to be in my own space to birth and spend the first part of this baby's life. Month after month nothing was happening. It seemed like every penny went to groceries or paying the midwife. At times my DH was working 4 different jobs just to make ends meet....so obviously he didn't have the time or energy to build a house.
So skip ahead 7 months.....imagine me being the psycho pregnant lady who likes to be alone, in a house with 7 kids and 4 adults....nauseous, emotional, broke, sad, surrounded by people-but feeling the absolute loneliest EVER, trying to stay positive, concerned for this baby....ok, you get it, it was a bit of a downer time. :)
But I really felt like I was crazy on the outside, but inside I had an overwhelming peace that things would be ok, and they would all work out for the best.
So in April (I was due June 30th) DH started clearing the land for the house. Nothing is sexier that my shirtless man, all sweaty, wielding a chainsaw, getting ready to build our dream. He is beyond great.
On May 1st he had completed the foundation and raised the first wall of the house!!!!1111 YES!!!! This might actually happen!!! (Oh Crap, I'm due next month! God, can you, will you?)
By early June the house was built and he was working on interior walls, electrical, insulation....yada yada...so much goes into it.
I was pretty much useless at this point, all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. But I was still clinging to hope that we could move in. Less than a month to go. I didn't care what wasn't done, I just needed a place to call home!
So, 2 weeks before I was due I felt like giving up. I felt like we were in this race and it was useless. How could we move in when I am 38 weeks pregnant?
I stopped by the church to drop my boys off at an activity when my friend asked me if I was ok......and I lost it. I just started crying, I said we have $42.00 in the bank, and we need this and this and this and this before the house can even be move-in able. (and that wasn't including water, electricity, or plumbing!) Well, lo and behold, she prayed for us. And made one phone call. With in a week we had several guys out here throwing on sheet rock, digging trenches to run water, moving things around, sealing up windows, etc. etc.
We got $1000 in the mail from a friend who had no idea we were in a dire situation, and another $500 from family. It was cool. My hope was restored. --except my due date was coming up quick, like 1 week quick. Hang in there baby girl, we're almost ready!!
So my due date came and went with nothing exciting. I had been having prodromal labor, which was new for me. So for days I thought...Oh, this might be it, only to wake up pregnant. Normally, that isn't favored, but I was so grateful for every day I had.
6 days after my due date, DH and I talked and we decided to bite the bullet and just move into the main room of the house. It is the Kitchen/Living 400 square feet. It wasn't finished, we didn't have water/electricity/plumbing or a bathroom, but we said we would make it into the house before this baby was born so LETS DO IT!!! And we did. PRAISE GOD! We had some friends come over to lift the beds and couch and we moved in!! It was one of the best feelings of my life! I went to bed exhausted but smiling!! Thank you GOD!
I was HOME!
(Ok baby you can come now.) All night I had contractions. I woke up and told DH that this could be the day. He went to work, but came home a few hours early because the contractions were still coming. By the time he got home they had completely stopped.
I called my midwife and she was ready to come at any time. My last birth went from my contractions being really tolerable, 15 minutes to 8 minutes apart, to BAM, a few tough ones, my water broke and baby was born in about 5 minutes. (needless to say, she missed it) So she was packed and ready this time.
We went to bed again (smiling, we were HOME!) and about 2 am I called our MW and she came over. They were still very manageable but I just knew that they were opening me up. I was 100% effaced and 6 cm dilated!! Whoo Hoo!!! If this was like last time this baby could be born any minute. Uh, no, not this time. :)
We all slept pretty good. I would contract anywhere from once and hour, to every 15 minutes. All over the place. We got up around 7ish I think. Ate some breakfast, sent the 2 older boys over to the cousins while I labored. Youngest boy is 21 months, so he hung out with dad. MW and I just visited while DH hung shelves and piddled around in our little house. My MW is Awesome, she had had her daughter in a tree house that they had built, so she was so great about all the inconveniences that we had. To get the contractions coming I pumped for like 5 minutes. Ouch. It worked.
About 9:00 I had my first transition contraction. From then on I was having to moan through them. I keep saying 'come on baby'. I know this is short compared to most, but I don't like when labor is drawn out, I was ready!! I think it was about 10:40 ish when I said I think I need to push. I was trying to birth on my left side laying down in bed, because I have torn really badly with all 3 boys. Last baby was born standing up, it was the most comfortable, but it happened too quickly.
So the midwife checked me, I had a little bit of a cervix lip, she slid out of the way. I was complete. She gave me the go a head to push and see if that would break my waters. I remember feeling so weak, and saying so. I didn't like it, I'm not used to it and it scared me. I felt like I couldn't even lift my leg. DH came over and propped it up for me. And then came my strength. I grabbed on to him, and bit down on the pillow (I don't think Ina May would recommend that, but I couldn't help it.) I remember starting to scream and stopping myself, and saying 'no, in control', with the next contractions I tried to be in control because I wanted to blow through the ring of fire so I would stretch and not tear. And I did it!!! I held her head in during the contraction, and when it ended I was laughing and saying something like, we're gonna have a baby!' Next contraction she came out in one fluid motion. No tears. Ahh, our baby girl was home. It was so surreal. She is perfectly healthy. 8lbs 5oz. Smallest of the bunch.
By far the hardest longest shortest 9 months.....but one of the best experiences of my life! I'm so thankful for lessons learned, grace given, hope restored, opportunities taken, and above all, Faith that my God is a God of love.