Shannon's Birth Story: Parker

I woke up early before anyone else on the morning of January 28th to take a pregnancy test. I remember feeling so anxious to see the results. I knew I would be heartbroken to see another negative test, after trying for 13 months to get pregnant. I sat there in the bathroom shaking while I prayed that God’s Will be done and that no matter what the results were, I would be content. (Philippians 4:4) I looked to find a POSITIVE TEST! Praise God!

I ran to wake David up and told him he was going to be a dad again. He was so excited! As I look back over those difficult months, I thank God for that time that he helped us grow closer to Him and grow stronger in our marriage. (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4) It was hard. There were a lot of tears and sadness. But those trying months made me a better person. I also realized how much God had already blessed me with and to be thankful for everything.

We decided this pregnancy not to find out what we were having until the baby was born. We were excited about finding out at the birth, but it was quite suspenseful for our families! I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I had some “morning” sickness until about 16 weeks, but nothing too terrible. From around 29 weeks till about 34 weeks, our baby was still flipping around pretty often, mostly lying transverse or head down. We had a pretty active little one! Dr. Jenna Hillman, our family chiropractor, was a huge help getting her to stay head down and relieving my aches and pains.

On the morning of Tuesday, October 6, two days before our “due date”, I noticed I had a little bloody show as I was getting ready for the day. I called our Midwife, Alex, and she said labor could start anytime or as long as 2 or 3 days from now. She told me to rest and take it easy that day. I had packed a full day of errands in town for the day, so I went as fast as I could to finish and rushed home. My daughter, Corley, and I took a late nap together and I remember wondering if this might be our last nap to take together just the two of us. I savored every moment of that time with my oldest child.

We went to bed that night with no signs of labor happening anytime soon. It was about 10:30 when I started thinking labor would never start and I would be pregnant for the rest of my life. (haha!) About 11:30 I was awakened by a mild contraction. I was able to sleep through several contractions. It was some time after midnight when the contractions got to be more difficult to sleep through and I had to get out of bed to manage them. I started timing them and they were about 5 minutes apart. I called Alex to update her on my progress and she told me to take a shower and eat some breakfast and she would call me in 30 minutes. I started getting things together and packing food and essential oils. I called my mom to update her too. Labor kept progressing quickly. David woke up about 2:45 and we decided to find a good show on Netflix to pass the time. (Labor with our first daughter was 37 hours and we figured we would have a long labor again.) Before he could even press play, I had a hard contraction and needed his help. Alex called again, but I could hardly talk. She told us to meet her at the birth center. I called my mom and she quickly came over to watch Corley while we headed to the birth center.

We left the house about 4:15am. I didn’t realize at the time that while in the car, I was in transition. David drove fast. I turned around and sat on my knees and held onto my seat while taking each contraction at a time. About 15 minutes down the road, my water broke. Contractions were very, very strong at this point. I told David that I had the urge to push and he told me “Hold it in!!” (haha!) I grabbed my phone and dialed Alex’s number and told David to talk to her. She helped us stay focused while we really rushed to the birth center. During each contraction, I had to resist the urge to push. I felt like throwing up. It was really hard to stay focused.

We arrived at the birth center at 4:41 where our midwives Alex and Elizabeth met us at the car and helped me walk in. Another contraction came on while we were in the waiting room. Alex told me the head was not crowning yet and asked if I wanted to get in the tub. I definitely wanted to! We got to our room and the tub wasn’t full yet so I got on the bed. Another contraction came. Our doula, Michal, stroked my forehead and that felt good. Alex said the head was crowning and brought my hand to touch our baby’s head. That was so awesome!! Another contraction came. I remember Alex saying “Here comes the head, and oh here comes the body!” Our baby was born! David announced “She’s a girl!” She was absolutely perfect!! Born just 7 minutes after arriving at the birth center, at 4:48am, it was a crazy, fast, thrilling morning!

We named our baby girl Parker Lane. I held her and nursed her for the next couple of hours. Parker weighed 8 lbs and was 21 inches long. There is nothing better than holding your brand new baby. My love grew more than I ever thought possible at that moment. I remember the atmosphere being so calm and peaceful and exciting all at the same time. David and I laughed thinking about how we thought we would be in labor a lot longer since Corley’s labor was so long. Parker’s birth was about 5 hours long. It was so healing for me in a way, because Corley’s birth ended in an intervention that we had hoped to avoid, and I wanted to be able to birth our next baby naturally.

To know that God gave me the ability and strength to birth my baby and I was able to do that meant a lot to me. Alex made us feel comfortable and we liked her and trusted her from the first time we met her. She is an amazing midwife and we are so grateful she helped us have such a wonderful birth.