November 7th. 5:30am, I was awakened by strong contractions. Could this be it? Probably not. Up until that point, for the past few weeks, I had experienced prodromal labor. These few weeks had been riddled with all kinds of starts and stops of labor. It was torture. In addition, Jon and I were experiencing major anxiety, due to him being abroad for work. Although he was originally reluctant, we eventually both agreed that it would be a good idea for him to take the work opportunity, thus gifting our family something we hadn’t had before with any of our previous births... a little bit of a nest egg... an opportunity to pause. Although we both agreed that this would be best, we were aware of the possibility of Jon missing the birth. It was a bit of a gamble. For weeks, we pleaded with Jupiter to either come before Daddy left or to wait for him to return.
During the Summer leading up to Jupiter’s birth, our family had experienced a lot. In addition to Jon’s travel schedule, Jon’s mom became ill and passed away in September. He in turn had to handle her affairs while still working. I was still working and supporting families well into my third trimester. I was put on bed rest at 35 weeks due to preterm contractions and just overall stress. Our family’s goal was to keep baby Jupiter in as long as possible. Our goal was to have a home birth. I followed my Midwife’s (Racha Tahani Lawler) orders and remained on bed rest from 35 weeks until 37, (which by law, is when we could officially have our home birth.)
Around 5:00 pm, I picked up Jax up from school and opted to grab a pizza for dinner. On the way home, I began having contractions again. These seemed stronger. They were closer together. When I arrived home, my good friend, Aishat, called just to check in & encourage me to call my midwife. Truthfully, I didn’t think I was in labor. After speaking with my midwife, we had a game plan. I would call her when my contractions were at least five minutes apart.
My dear friend, Kelly called. From there everything sorta snowballed. My contractions began to come closer together. Like 3-5 minutes apart! Kelly began counting contractions while calling & rallying the birthing team. She was also in communication with Jon. She prayed and stayed with me on the phone until all birthing support arrived! She was absolutely everything.
Around 9pm Racha, our midwife, Nicole our doula, and Rebecca Coursey our birth photographer arrived. It was actually happening. This was it. (To be continued...)