Do you know those movies where the main character is pregnant, and she is dressed beautifully with her hair and makeup done when suddenly she looks down to see that her water has broken? Her husband grabs the hospital bag that is conveniently nearby and they rush to the hospital. A few minutes go by, she breathes a couple times, the doctor yells “push” which she does once and suddenly she is holding a crying baby, her hair and make-up still in tact.
That, my friends, is NOT how Sawyer James entered the world.
I have heard something crazy happens when you give birth. Somehow the hormones in your body create a sense of euphoria and you magically forget the level of pain that tiny human caused on his way out. I also have a tendency to find the bright side of things. So I want to share this story as honestly as possible, but just know that if you asked my grandmother, mother, or husband, their perspective might be slightly skewed.
I was about 30 weeks pregnant when I fully committed to the idea of delivering in my home with a midwife. I have always had a hard time at hospitals. When I get my blood taken, the sweet nurses set me up in a room of my own where I can lie down because I inevitably pass out. I am strong in many ways, but I just don’t do well with anything medical. When I had my wisdom teeth taken out, I distinctly remember the Zoe Girl CD that was playing in my portable CD player. I remember the tears streaming down my face as they turned up the laughing gas and I was 100% sure that they would give me too much and I would go into a coma. I am not saying these issues are rational, but that’s the truth.
So the idea of giving birth in a sterile hospital room with a tiny hard bed I was restricted to without my mom and my gram was pretty much impossible to wrap my head around.
Then I met Courtney who came into my home and did prenatal visits on my couch. This saved me from having to go into the doctor’s office alone with a mask on and from having to get a babysitter for Sonya. Sis got to hear Sawyer’s heartbeat each time, too!
She was understanding and kind and made me feel so much more comfortable, so as crazy as it sounds, honestly the idea of giving birth in my kitchen felt a lot more reasonable than the hospital options at the time.
The first time I felt contractions I immediately panicked. I was maybe 33 weeks at the time, and I knew I couldn’t deliver at home until I was at least 37. As much as I hated being pregnant, I wasn’t quite ready for him yet. The contractions continued for weeks.
Then one night around 38 weeks, the contractions continued more frequently. In fact, I could time them. A sense of panic and nervousness and exhilaration swept over me. I texted Courtney, who knew it wasn’t time even though I was convinced it was. Then after timing them for an hour or so, they just stopped. This continued for about two weeks. Each day they would start earlier in the evening, then continue throughout the night, usually stopping around when it was time to get up and get ready for the day. I read about prodromal labor but it didn’t get any easier as each night I would think it was time, only to be disappointed when they would stop the next morning. I was so eager to meet him. All of my friends who had due dates close to mine had their babies, as well as some whose due dates were after mine! I was convinced he would be 12 pounds by the time he came out!
Then on May 28th, they did not stop when I woke up. They continued, pretty slowly, but constantly all day. Of course I called Courtney and insisted she come over… she had already come over twice that week and I told her I knew I was the girl who cried wolf but this was it for sure. I dressed Sonya in her “Big Sis” shirt, we bought a giant puzzle, I invited my Gram and Mom over, and we just hung out the whole day. I was in pain all day, but it was such a good day and really lifted my spirits so I wasn’t just sitting around timing contractions that were still progressing at a snail’s pace.
After a lot of laughing and junk food, we went to bed with my sweet mom asleep on the couch just in case. I was able to sleep until around four in the morning when they suddenly got too painful to sleep through. I kept trying to sleep, convinced they would stop until around 8 that morning when my mom had to take Sonya to my brother and sister-in-law’s house because I didn’t want her to see me in that much pain.
I gave her a big sister gift basket and then she got to spend the day with her Aunt Leighia, Cousin Gordon, and Pawpaw.
After hours of labor, I was so anxious to get into the birthing pool to help the pain. Will was the absolute best MVP of all husband’s that day. He was there to help with pressure points to ease pain, he was supportive, and he was even in the pool with me trying to ease my pain and encourage as much as possible.
So many times I thought to myself, ” I can’t do this.” I had a whole playlist planned, but I just remember a Catherine Mullins album called “Intimate Encounters” playing on repeat.
“I quiet my soul to hear your voice, peace be still. I quiet my questions and silence my plans and wait on You. Your voice moves the mountains. Your voice calms my fears. Your voice quiets my soul, and Your voice leads me home.”
I whispered this prayer with tears streaming down my face. When you ask Will about it, he says he looked up and saw everyone in the room praying over us. I was scared, but I have never felt like I needed God more than in those moments waiting to meet my son.
Then I just knew he was coming and kept saying, “come on little buddy” as I was physically done. I thought there was no way he was ever going to make it.
But then suddenly he was ready, my husband behind me and my mom beside me and he was delivered safely! My sweet little buddy. Tears streaming down my face, I was filled with such relief that it was over, exhaustion, and joy. My mom even got to cut the cord! He was perfect.
I said “Man I need a cup of coffee” only to realize hours had passed when Courtney announced birth time at 5:58 pm on May 29, 2020.
The rest of the night was a blur, but Sonya did get to come by just a little bit after he was born and was just so smitten with him from the beginning. We got to snuggle and sleep in our own bed and put Sawyer in his bassinet that he has quickly outgrown.
What a blessing Sawyer James Workman is!!