Kristi & Dan~Lyra's Birth Story, 8.22.2014

Lyra was unplanned and my entire pregnancy I fought negative feelings. I tried to be positive and prayed for us both but it was a battle. Early in my third trimester I was wishing to rush through the end my pregnancy. I believed if I could hold my baby all the negative feelings would vanish. The Holy Spirit told me to be present in every moment of my pregnancy and not wish any moment away. I was promised that when I held my baby all the negative feelings would be gone but I had to keep working through them now in order for them not to be present later.

August 21, 2014 – 13 days past my due date and on day 2 of my maternity leave from work. In general I was feeling miserable. I believed the baby would come this weekend but every day that passed felt like a week. I was looking forward to my weekly appointment with Karen that afternoon. I had been having strong braxton-hicks contractions for weeks but that day I had 2 or 3 questionably real contractions. We discussed how fast we thought labor would come. I suggested (best case scenario) the contractions could continue to pick up their pace, I would be in labor that night and have a baby by Friday morning!

As the day went on the contractions did gain momentum – nothing worth timing but they were real. I wanted to walk in the evening but the sky was looking questionable so Dan, the kids and I all walked the exterior of the mall (then if it started raining we could duck inside and continue walking.) The rain held off, we made it all the way around the mall and picked up a few things at Target. When we got home I made a huge salad for dinner then put the kids to bed. By that time the contractions felt consistent enough that I decided to time them. They were lasting 30 seconds and coming every 10 minutes. At 8:30 I sent Karen a text to update her then went to bed. I wanted to get some rest as I assumed labor would progress through the night. I laid in bed but never slept as the contractions continued to build. At 12:30 when my contractions reached 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute I told Karen I was ready for her to come. Before Karen got there I told Dan I felt like I was fighting against this labor instead of with it – I would feel a contraction coming, relax all of my muscles, head to toe and then realize I was still clenching, preventing progress. I prayed, I sang songs but I continued fighting. The battle was in my head, my body was ready and trying to labor effectively but I was preventing it.

As frustrating as it felt, time moved quickly. At 1:40 my body began pushing. I was lying on my left side with my right leg up, supported by Wendy (Karen’s assistant). I suddenly got a charlie horse in my right calf it was so painful I had to lie on my back to try and stretch it out. I asked Dan to try and rub it out in between contractions. During a contraction I would pull myself up on my side as far as I could and push; then in between contraction I would roll back on my back so Dan could rub my calf. The charlie horse was painful and distracting. I could feel my pushes weren’t as effective as they could be but I was too distracted to change positions. Again I was in a battle with myself, trying to block out the pain in my leg and focus on pushing. I was struggling. Karen recognized my struggle and offered a crucial re-focus when I needed it. She said “in just a few minutes, you will have your baby in your arms.” That rejuvenated me and instead of focusing on the labor or my leg, I began to focus on the baby. That was the change I needed. The last few minutes felt different. Although none of the distracting elements changed, the last few minutes I was simply bringing Lyra to me – those minutes were wonderful, full of magic and before I knew it Lyra was lying on my chest wrapped in my arms.

Lyra Primrose Meadows
Born: August 22, 2014 at 2:00 am
Labor was 5 hours and 40 minutes – 3 latent hours and 2.40 active Weight: 7.2lbs
Length: 20 inches

The day after Lyra was born I looked at her and thought of all the months of negativity I fought. I remembered the Lord’s promise that all that would be gone when I held her and for a moment I worried…. but the still small voice said – “Do you feel that way now? Live in this moment not the past”

Through my pregnancy, the lesson I learned during labor and the day after she was born – The Lord is using Lyra to teach me to be present and live in the moment He gave me. Not to dwell on the past or plan for the future but to live today.

Karen Webster

WomanWise Midwifery: homebirth & women's health, 257 East Main Street, Elkton, MD, 21921

daughter, sister, friend, mother, midwife, nana, teacher.