My third pregnancy, labor, and birth were all surprises to me. We chose to keep the gender of our third little babe a surprise until delivery. I thought I was going into labor before I actually was. I even went to the birth center, ready to deliver sometime in the near future only to find that I was not in labor yet. The pain and contractions felt so real though! After eating dinner at Jason’s Deli and walking around Target, we went home to rest.
Real labor started about 5 days later and there was no confusion this time. I woke up at 3:17am with a contraction I knew was leading to a baby that day.
I texted Donnellyn “This is it.” She simply told me to text her when I was leaving my house. I changed into my birthing top in between contractions while sitting by my front door because I knew things would move quickly. We got in the car and waited for my mom to arrive. As soon as she pulled up to watch the big kids- we were off.
We surprised Donnellyn with how quickly we got to the birth center.
I got into the tub upon arrival and labor was already so intense. So. Very. Intense.
I knew right then that this labor would be my hardest of all three. I was right.
This was my sweet husband’s best labor. He read my cues quickly and did just what I needed. Even when that need was to hold him in a death grip during the pushing stage. Angeline, our birth assistant, was so sweet and helpful and did things I didn’t even know I needed- a cool wash cloth on my brow…a gentle whisper that I was doing great. And Donnellyn, the midwife I’m convinced God swooped up and placed right by my side, was wonderful for the third time! Even as she was in her own pain from having a recent surgery- I couldn’t tell. Her words of affirmation and reminders that I knew what I was doing were pivotal.
After 3 hours of labor, 3 minutes of pushing, and lots and lots of breathing my baby was finally earth-side. As I picked him up out of the water I said, “What is it?” I looked myself and found my sweet son Rhemy Layton. Yet another surprise. I was convinced that this baby was Rosalie. When I looked at his face and held him to my skin there was no question-this was Rhemy.
It was 6:25am and the windows to the field were open. The sun was just waking from its slumber and a new day was beginning with a new life.
There were so many surprises surrounding this birth. One thing is certain- nothing was a surprise to God. Not even a single hair on that 10 pound 8 ounce baby born with an entire head of dark brown hair. God knew. God always knows. He always provides. He always guides. My third labor and birth were the hardest but this babe just may be the most gentle