It’s been a month since Aspen Leigh Chou made her appearance, and I’m just now getting around to writing out her birth story. I can almost guarantee that the poor girl won’t have a baby book!
We thought that baby girl was coming earlier than her due date (March 23.) About two weeks before then, on a Sunday morning, I started having regular contractions about 15 minutes apart. They were mild (although sitting in church was a bit uncomfortable) and never got closer together than 10 minutes. By the end of the day, I was tired — physically and mentally — but I had hope that Aspen would arrive within a day or two.
I was wrong! Over the next week and a half, I continued having somewhat consistent contractions. One day, Eric even came home from work early after I sent him an urgent text. But by the end of that day, the contractions fizzled out once again.
The day before my due date, I had another morning of regular contractions that failed to progress, and I was at the end of my rope. I asked my midwife, Christie, for a chiropractor recommendation and made an appointment for late that morning. Christie had mentioned the week before that a chiropractic adjustment might help with the prodromal labor I had been experiencing — either helping things along so that real labor would start, or stopping the false labor so my body could rest.
The adjustment helped! By the next morning and for the next five days, the contractions were gone, and my body and mind were able to rest. That was my first time to see a chiropractor, and I’m a believer in their practice now!
The following Wednesday night (three days after my due date) I had a contraction out of the blue, and it was noticeable enough to stop me in my tracks. I had a few more in the next hour, but Eric and I went ahead to bed…I was determined not to get my hopes up at that point!
Around 4:30 AM, the contractions woke me from deep sleep. I paced around the kitchen for a while, ate a banana and drank a glass of kefir, and at around 5:30 AM Eric woke up and came to check on me. I told him I was pretty sure this was the real thing and suggested we do some last minute tidying and get our bedroom set up for the birth. I texted Christie at 6 AM to let her know I was probably in real labor.
I continued to pace around the house, stopping to breathe deeply through the contractions that were getting more intense. At that point, they were about 4 minutes apart. Around 6:30 AM, Eric set up our mini video camera in the corner of our bedroom (without telling me.)
I was starting to warm up from the intensity of labor and changed from my hoodie sweatshirt into a tank top. I realized things were progressing quickly and told Eric to text Christie that she needed to come. (She lives just 10 minutes from our house.)
As I continued walking around our bedroom, I had the most intense contraction yet and wrapped my arms around Eric’s neck. Without realizing what I was doing, I relaxed the rest of my body and hung from his neck with all my weight. The poor guy wasn’t expecting it and laughed in surprise! In the next couple of minutes, I started feeling the urge to push. (Christie hadn’t arrived yet!)
At 6:48 AM, as the next contraction came on, I hung on Eric’s neck again and realized Aspen was pushing herself out! I calmly said “There’s her head” and reached down to catch her with my skirt. Aspen Leigh Chou was out in one contraction. It was my first time to give birth standing up, and obviously gravity was quite helpful in getting her out quickly!
About five minutes later, Christie showed up and found us sitting on the floor by the bed, Aspen wrapped up in a receiving blanket in my arms, and Eric taking pictures with his phone.
Christie took care of the details from there, and I was able to relax in bed with our sweet girl. Her older siblings woke up around 8 AM and were so excited to see that their little sis had arrived! She weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces, and she was 20 3/4 inches long.
Aspen’s birth was the quickest I’ve had from start to finish, and it was also the most calm and peaceful. We are so grateful to the Lord for granting us a safe and healthy delivery of our beautiful baby girl.
(I apologize for the fuzzy photo quality…we still haven’t replaced our broken Canon so all of the pictures were taken with our phones.)
If you’re interested, here are the stories of the boys’ home births…