The newest and littlest addition to our family arrived on December 30, 2012 at 10:39 a.m. She is my baby Vida (sounds like Hi-duh). Vida Elizabeth Popp. She weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long, easily making her our biggest baby yet! But she is so very tiny.
I can’t get over that she was knitted together inside of me. That we have a bond already so intense that I cannot imagine life without her. That she already knows me, and I know her, and we already love each other so deeply.
I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to my water breaking, which is a first in my labor experiences. I immediately woke up Brian to let him know that we had a baby on the way. We got up and showered, slowly taking in that this would be the day that we would meet our little baby, and that our daughters would meet their littlest sister.
My contractions picked up very quickly, and we called my midwife by 5:30 because things seemed to be moving right along. Brian started getting the birthing tub ready and we called our friends to come and get our girls so that I could labor without fear of scaring them. My midwife’s apprentice, Cheryl got there first, and upon seeing my contractions said it wouldn’t be long before we had a baby. (!) I wasn’t so sure I was ready for her to be there just yet! But it didn’t matter anyway, because we ran into a couple of snags.
My midwife, Debbie, got there and I almost immediately got into the birthing tub. My contractions were very, very strong and I was sure I was in transition. And I was. But as I continued to have strong transition contractions without any sign of needing to push, I started to wonder what exactly my body thought it was doing.
Like I said, little Vida ran into a couple of snags. One of which was her position – she was sunny side up – and the other we will suffice to say that she just kind of got stuck. (I don’t want to overshare – although I think that labor and delivery are beautiful and normal, and I am very open about it.) I spent a good amount of time changing positions, to no avail.
In the meantime, I spent my almost my entire labor having transition-like contractions that were trying to push her down, with no progress, and I got little to no relief in between contractions. There are several times during my labor (probably the better part of the second half of it) that I was ready to give up. Even having had two previous natural births, this felt like too much.
My midwife continually reminded me that she was watching, very keenly, for any sign that things were not safe or that she thought we could not get through this. Over and over again she gently reminded me to fall into the strength of Jesus, to pray for his help – and she prayed for me through the entire labor. Without that, without being constantly reminded of where my strength really comes from and knowing the encouragement of my midwife and my husband, I would have given up. What a blessing. What. a. blessing.
It ended up that my midwife actually had to maneuver Vida during several contractions to allow her to descend. Honestly, it was incredibly painful. Incredibly. Debbie at one point promised me that she knew this would all be worth it, and I actually remember thinking that I didn’t believe her!
But, eventually, I did feel the need to push. And when Debbie told me that my little baby had a head full of hair, I was so motivated and encouraged.
When she was born she was immediately put on my chest and all I could say was ‘Thank you, Jesus.’ Thank you for my baby girl. Thank you for being with me every contraction. Thank you for my wonderful husband. Thank you for my wonderful midwife.
She was here. And it was all so worth it.
She stayed on my chest while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. Brian cut the cord. And I just laid there in my bed in awe and wonder at this beautiful baby on my chest. We stayed there and soaked each other up for a couple of hours before they weighed and measured her. After which we bundled back up in bed and snuggled for the next 24 hours. It was so peaceful being at home, no one poking and prodding, no one waking us up, just our family reveling in the blessing we had just been given.
“The Lord has filled my heart with joy,
I feel very strong in the Lord.
I can laugh at my enemies,
I’m glad because you helped me.”
1 samuel 2