Warning: if you’re not a mom you probably won’t get a lot of this birth story. Carry on at your own risk.
Until yesterday, Saydi had a world of worries. We were praying this baby “in” until we got here on Saturday night but then….we snapped our fingers and….no baby!
Yes, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you this baby didn’t come for another week, but then her wonderful doula (birthing coach) who had been at the birth of each of her children probably couldn’t be there. We could have figured out a way to take pictures if her darling friend Heidi who was also the back-up doula couldn’t come in the middle of the night because her husband is in China.
She could have survived if we hadn’t made it in time from Canada or if the baby still hadn’t come by the time her Dad had to leave. But Heavenly Father was so kind. The stars lined up and everybody was there! Even including a cute midwife who thought she was going to have to send us home when Saydi stepped in the door of the Cambridge Birthing Center at 8:30 p.m. dilated to “a two”.
We smiled to see the plaster of paris “tummy molds” of pregnant women were still hung on the wall in the comfortable “living room” at the birthing center.
But despite the midwife’s doubts, the pains were coming regularly every two to four minutes and lasting 30-40 seconds. We knew she was on her way and in true Eyre women genetic pool fashion, figured the baby would probably be born before midnight.
Lorenza (the dearly beloved doula) who taught Saydi how to open up and let that baby out with each of the children’s births arrived at about nine. An hour later Saydi was at 3 and feeling ready to get in the tub. The staff still weren’t sure they were going to admit her but Lorenza, who had worked there for nine years filled up the tub with warm water, turned down the lights and Saydi climbed in. So they decided to admit her!
Heidi arrived armed with her camera and her “labor bag” at about 10:00 thanks to a neighbor who came to sleep over with the kids. So Saydi’s whole team was there and grandfather was home prepping the kids for what was about to happen (if that’s possible). Perfect!
Jeff dutifully poured warm water over Saydi’s tummy with every contraction and Lorenza poured water over her knees which were poking out of the water. Heidi was snapping pictures and in low light we were all speaking in hushed, happy voices until Saydi’s face signaled a contraction and we all feel silent so she could do the excruciating work she was engaged with. Sometimes during contractions she went to a happy peaceful place like Bear Lake on August 12. Through others she did her mental work of controlling physical force. Her mind was helping her to open up, let go of the pain, feel like soft butter. And we marveled.
At 11:00 she was dilated to a 4 and I had a feeling that the end was near. It just the way it goes with this good genetic pool of fast laborers! I texted dad then and felt that it would soon be over but none of us expected what came next.
Saydi hadn’t decided whether or not to stay in the tub for the delivery. After Charlie’s “splash down” 5 years ago (he literally fell out into the water as she stood up to get out of the tub and snapped the umbilical cord in half. Lorenza scooped him up and he came up without a scratch or a complaint). Hazel, her oldest (6 1/2) had muconium in her water at birth and Saydi had to be rushed across the street to the hospital.
Still after a few more very hard contractions she started feeling pressure and the urge to push. The midwife simply could not believe that the head was emerging and told her to push on the next contraction. then said, “Catch your baby”. Suddenly, like a diver in the Olympics coming up from a spectacular dive we watched a little face immerging from the water in Saydi’s hands. Stunned expressions of wonder and joy exploded from “the team” and we knew we had just witnessed a miracle…at 11:31 p.m. on March 15th, 2011.
After oogling over what had just happened and playing with the baby in the tub for what seemed a good long time, Saydi got out and retired to the bed where she delivered the placenta. Because of the buoyancy and softening effect of water as well as Saydi’s determination to make it so, no stitches were required.
There was even a “lucky” knot in the umbilical cord probably created from an early somersault in the womb!
Jeff was truly the rock solid hero through the whole event…well next to Saydi who was a true champion!
What would we have done without the two dear friends who also happened to be Doulas? Lorenza on left and Heidi on the right.
And of course the real star complete with magnificent hands and feet and who may have worked the hardest of all…..
“Mr. Perfect” Shumway (name pending).
It was an experience full of wonder and magic and most of all gratitude to a loving Heavenly Father for sending this lucky little soul to such excellent and courageous parents! It’s one of those nights branded as forever unforgettable!
For the next exciting adventure regarding bringing the three Shumway children to meet their new brother and bring him home twelve hours later (maximum time allowed at the birthing center) stay tuned for the next post.