“It is said that a women in labor leave their bodies to travel to the stars to collect the souls of their babies and return to this world together.”
I woke up on my due date January 10th and told Keegan something felt different about these contractions then the ones I’ve been having and that this might be it! I went to the bathroom and discovered my bloody show and mucus plug we thought this was definitely it! We packed the last final things in the birthing center bag, put the car seat in the car, cleaned up the house and called the midwife to let her know things were getting started. As soon as I hung up the phone with her, the contractions completely stopped. All day.. not one other contraction. So we took a nap, went for a walk In the woods, swang on the swings in the park, went home and had dinner then went to bed. As soon as we laid down, contractions started again and this time they were painful and about 10-15 minutes apart. I didn’t sleep that night. Just coped with the pain, took a shower, tried ice and a heating pad, they grew stronger and stronger and by 8 am I was in a lot of pain. The midwife came over and checked me, said I was dilated two centimeters (two?! Only two?! Oh crap this is gonna suck) and We were told to call when contractions are 5 minutes apart so I waited through 9 minutes.. 8 minutes.. 7 minutes.. and then they stayed at 6 minutes apart for hours. I bounced on the birthing ball and buried my head in pillows when they got strong. I took a bath while Keegan sat On the side and held my hand. I called my mom on the verge of tears saying to come over because I needed her help. I was so tired already. And for awhile I thought “I’m too tired to do this, I just want to go to the hospital and get drugs already.” But my mom got to my house and was able to bring me a second wind and bring Keegan a break. I labored at home for a few more hours and was finally at 5 minutes apart around 330 so we headed to the birthing center. Its out in the middle of the woods, it was a beautiful, clear, and cold night and a full moon. We got there I went through a few more contractions got checked and was told I was at a 6 and then got into the tub. My slight heavy breathing and occasional few groans quickly turned into more painful moans. When I felt a contraction coming I would get on my knees, hold either Keegan’s or my moms hands, work through it with my eyes closed and then settle back down in the tub. I tried to rest in between as much as I could. A few times I even fell asleep. But there wasn’t much of a break and it was ALOT of work. I was very inside myself throughout the whole process. I was envisioning me and my baby, in a cave with a waterfall. I would imagine me telling the baby that we were gonna leave it soon and to trust me that it was all gonna be ok. And I would think about the opening of the cave getting bigger and bigger with each painful contraction. I was only 8 centimeters at this point but started feeling the need to push. Keegan got in the tub and at this point and sat behind me. Id been peeing and bleeding in there, one of the midwifes was scooping out my poop, and sometimes after a contraction I would throw up from the pain straight into the tub. He was a champ and all my bodily fluids didn’t seem to bother him one bit. The love I felt in this room was overwhelming. There was two midwifes and an intern in there with me as well as Dyanne (Keegan’s mom) and my mom. When I would get to the point of doubt and say “I can’t do this.” I had a whole chorus of people saying “yes you can! You are already doing it!” I was pushing and screaming and at some point I felt like I left my body and was watching myself give birth. I would push so hard that I would start to blackout and when I opened my eyes and saw all these people around me I’d be like “oh man I’m still here? This is still happening?!” After what felt like forever and a blur at the same time, she was telling keegan to get ready to catch the baby. 10:37 pm, 24 hours into labor and One last push and before I knew it my son had been set in my arms on my chest. He was beautiful, alert, perfect and content just looking at us as if saying “hi mom and dad, out of all the people in the world, I chose you guys.” After 6 hours in that tub, Me and baby were helped out and put in a wheel chair and wheeled to the bedroom. The cord pulsed for about half an hour then Keegan cut it and I delivered my placenta. We kept it to plant with a tree on our new property. The baby had a low temp so we did Skin to skin with me, then Keegan, then my mom. Tests, weight and such and finally at 4 am we got to take him home. The next day we decided to name him Jazper Silus Harshman. Half of me, half of my love and best friend. He made us a family and we couldn’t be happier. Giving birth was the most intense, empowering, painful, and spiritual experience I’ve ever had and I will treasure it forever.