I hope I can do this beautiful story justice! I am going to be completely honest with how I felt throughout the weeks, days, hours and even minutes leading up to this birth. What thoughts were going through my head. Things I learned. Things I loved. Things I hated. Things I could have done differently.
Before we start you need to read this. It will give you a little background on Michael and Jessica’s story.
Ok. Here we go. If you tend to cry, go ahead and grab some tissue.
I invited Michael and Jessica to the Bradley Open House that Jessica DeYoung has at the end of each session. I couldn’t really gage their feelings with the whole situation. I think my main concern was that I didn’t feel like I had great credentials. I mean here I am “Go Bradley Birth!” and I wasn’t able to have one myself. But I had to put my feelings aside and know that I truly believed in the process.
At the open house there was one other couple to tell their story (via Skype because their baby was only days old). They went first and told their amazing all natural Bradley Birth story. It was beautiful! Then came my gut wrenching, tear filled home birth failure story. Even though Michael and Jessica already knew our story, telling them in that capacity brought about different feelings. However, despite my story and how I felt, they decided to sign up for the 12 week husband coached child birth course!
A few weeks later, after church on a Sunday night, Jessica came over and said she needed to talk to me. She said, “Michael and I would like to know if you would be our assistant coach at our birth.” Just thinking about that conversation makes me giddy! I was so excited that even with my ‘broken story’ that they had faith in me to assist with their all natural birth.
*I know I am talking bad about my birth and all that really matters is that Thayer is here and healthy, but these were my thoughts as wrong and sad as they may be.*
I attended a class with them where they were doing labor rehearsals. I wanted to know what Jessica liked and didn’t like. Does she like her hair touched, her legs rubbed, a lot of pressure, etc… Even though we have these labor rehearsals to figure all of those things out, sometimes in labor the mom feels completely different, but at least I had a starting point.
The weeks and days leading up to her due date started bringing on different emotions! Everything we planned had to come with a disclaimer that if Jessica went into labor we would have to abort the mission. EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND in September we were out of town. I made sure Gary understood that we might drive 3 hours one way just to turn around if Jessica called. I told my boss, my softball team, and anyone that might be expecting me the 2-3 weeks around her due date. I made the terrible mistake of telling Jessica my schedule (one of those things I would have done differently) and she said, “Oh well if we go into labor during the weekend or in the middle of the night we won’t call.” WHAT?! Wait a minute! Yes you most certainly will! The only reason I even told her I would be out of town was because I wanted her to give me enough time to get back.
Her due date, Wednesday September 23rd, came and went. Then the weekend. It was our last weekend out of town and Gary knew the drill. If she went into labor before we left he was still going to take the kids to my parent’s house and Homecoming at the congregation where I grew up. If she went into labor while we were already down there we would all leave and come home.
Saturday before we left I texted Jessica, “Full moon Sunday night! Might bring baby Oliver out!”
Sunday afternoon after we were done with our church festivities I texted Jessica to make sure she was doing ok. She replied, “I’ve had more contractions today and a little stronger, but still not consistent or anything.” We got home, unloaded the car, took the kids on a walk to try to see the solar eclipse/blood/super moon, but it was too cloudy, played with the kids, and put them to bed. The whole time I’m thinking, I really need to get some rest because I know she is going to call soon. Well…The Walking Dead Season 5 just got put on Netflix so I guess you know what we did after the kids were in bed.
We were in the middle of an episode when my phone rang at 11:32. I scrambled to get to it and saw Jessica Woessner flashing on the screen. I took a deep breath and said, “Hello.”