Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Everyone always wonders what day will be their child's birthday. We sit staring at the belly thinking of all the possibilities of the future. And occasionally there is a day nearby that we hope won't be the day our little one arrives. But those babes, they have a mind of their own and they come when they want to. This is the birth story of Rafe.
Erin's guess date was February 14, Valentines Day. With only 4.3% of babies actually arriving on their due date, no one actually thought he would come that day. And Erin was hoping he wouldn't. It wouldn't be the end of the world or anything but she hoped he could have his own day to celebrate. So on February 13th when she calls to tell me she is in labor I wondered if she would make it in time.
I arrived to her sweetly decorated home with heart banners draping the living room. Her midwives were quietly preparing their gear to bring upstairs to Erin's bedroom. I peeped in to see how things were going then I got my own gear ready and set up.
Erin looked so happy, I even wondered how she could look so beautiful and be in labor! During a contraction she would concentrate, close her eyes and rock her body from side to side. She welcomed labor graciously.
As time went on, her waves became stronger. She moved from different positions working with her body to bring baby down into the right position. When her kiddos came home from their grandparents house she seemed so relived to have them near her. Her two older daughters were so excited to watch their new baby's birth and were thankful they didn't miss it. She snuggled her son before he went to bed and then labored on.
Leaning on the ball, standing and swaying, leaning over the bed, laying in the bed, Erin moved all around finding what worked for her in that moment. I loved to watch her snuggle her daughters while she labored on the bed. And they loved to be near to mama. Eventually she was ready for the birth tub and she happily hopped in and soaked in the warmth and relief.
In the water Erin seemed the most familiar and relaxed. It seemed baby was working his way down. Erin's husband was right beside her holding her hand and helping her relax. It seemed as though baby would be coming soon but as time went on Erin felt like she might need some help from her midwives. In her other births she has always had a cervical lip in the end that the midwives have helped her to push past. And it seemed to be the same this time. By this time midnight had come and gone and we knew this little one just wanted to be born on Valentine's Day.
Before manually helping with the lip, they had her sway her hips while in the water to possibly get baby to push that lip back on its own. This movement seemed to be increasing contractions but it unfortunately didn't do the trick this time. We all left the room to give Erin some space to relax away from waiting eyes. And a little while later the midwives went back in to see if they could help with the cervical lip.
I waited in the stairwell with the girls to come back in when it was time. The girls were giddy with excitement. Being up way past their bedtime, they felt so special! They could tell it would be soon and just couldn't wait. Finally with a rush they opened the door and told us to hurry and come back. I quickly ran to the tub as Erin was settling in and baby was emerging. Finally with a push and a splash Erin reached down and pulled up her baby! Everyone was just delighted that he was here although at this point we didn't yet know he was a boy.
Erin and Ben sat admiring his sweet little face. 9 minutes after he was born they finally checked to see that they had another boy! Ben was amazed it had already been 9 minutes. Nine minutes of just falling in love and not even caring about girl or boy. So much joy in this family!
After cleaning up Erin, Rafe and Ben settled into bed after kissing the girls goodnight. A new little one just joined their beautiful family and his birthday will always be a memorable one, little Valentine's man!
Midwives: One Heart Midwifery
El Dorado Hills Home Birth Photography with Midwives. Justine is a birth Photographer and Film maker serving in the Greater Sacramento Area including El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Placerville and many more.