Our little Naomi Rahab Popp joined our family on Monday, April 18th at 12:22 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds 10 ounces and was 18 inches long. I can’t get over her, I can’t stop staring. She was in my belly just two days ago. She formed inside of me. She is perfect. Thank you Lord for your incredible, unfathomable blessings.
My midwife kept telling me that this was going to be a birth of redemption. My experience delivering Sylvia did not go smoothly, but here we were, giving it another try. Redemptive, she said. It will be different, your body can do this, we are going to listen to your body, and you are going to have a beautiful birth and have a beautiful child. Amen.
I had random contractions all night Sunday night. Around 2:30 a.m. they became very consistent and very strong. I breathed through them and tried not to wake Brian until around 4:00, when I let him know that this was it. At that point there’s really no going back to sleep – I mean – we’re having a baby! We labored quietly, Brian coaching me through each contraction, until around 8:00 when Sylvia woke up. At that point I became pretty distracted between Sylvia and calls to the grandparents, and my contractions began to slow down. I was feeling frustrated because now, 5 1/2 hours in, I just wanted to get this show on the road. We decided to go ahead and go to the birth center so that we would be somewhere quiet and peaceful to really focus on the labor.
We left the house at around 10:00, my parents got there just as we were leaving, and they followed us to the birth center. We made a stop at Panera to get some bagels for the midwife and nurses, and while in the car my contractions really started to pick up. We got to the birth center at 10:30 and went to our birthing room, at which point I was relatively sure I was entering transition. My midwife checked me and I was dilated to a 6+, so I figured we had quite a bit more laboring to do.
They filled the birthing tub and I got in – immediately better able to relax between contractions. My midwife left to let us labor alone, but told us to get her should anything happen. She let us know that I would have to get out of the tub for a little while in around an hour and a half, but that she thought we’d have a baby by then. My thought was – there’s no way she’ll be here that soon! However, it was only several contractions later that my water broke and we got my midwife. Almost immediately I was having very, very, very strong transition contractions – which of course is when I start thinking, “I can’t do this!” But I had my wonderful, strong husband there telling me I could, and coaching me through each breath, my mom reassuring me, and my midwife praying over me, reminding me that God would provide my strength. It was beautiful.
It wasn’t long before I was pushing. I was so nervous to push. With Sylvia, I pushed and nothing happened and I was afraid it would happen again. My midwife helped me with encouragement and by allowing me to push when my body said to. Half way through pushing my midwife said, “Look how long that hair is!” which was all the motivation I needed to get my baby girl in my arms.
Not 20 minutes later, she was born. Caught under the water by her Daddy and put directly on my chest, the first words out of my mouth were to my midwife, “It worked!” I held her and talked to her until her cord stopped pulsing. There was no rushing and no one taking away my baby. I held her and loved on her until my heart’s content.
My dad came in to see his new grandbaby – all of us in awe over that head of hair! She was beautiful and perfect. After getting out of the tub and getting to the bed, Brian and I were left alone with our baby girl to treasure the first hours of her life with no one worrying about her weight or length or whether she was perfectly clean.
After a while Sylvia arrived and came in to meet her baby sister. She was excited and kept saying, “Mimi, mimi!” That is what she calls Naomi. Brian’s mom visited with her grand daughter. Not five hours after she was born, we were getting into the car to go home, to rest and bond where we are most comfortable.
It was beautiful. It was redemptive. I can’t believe she is here.
We are so in love.
The birth center makes each family a birthday cake during their labor to celebrate!
All ready to go home – just 5 hours after birth!