With six-year-old, four-year-old, eighteen-month-old, and a newborn keeping me busy, it has taken me a lot longer than expected to write this but here it finally is – Oliver Matthew Taylor’s birth story.
At 2:00 am on June 22nd I first started to suspect that labor was beginning. I woke Zack and I told him it was baby time, but with it being our fourth go around I knew how exhausting the coming hours (weeks, if we are being honest) would be so we went back to sleep and rest as much as we could.
At 7:30 am a contraction was finally strong enough to wake me. They were stronger than before but not too painful yet. I called our midwife, Debbie, and told her I was sure this was labor but it was still early labor and I’d call her when it started progressing. Instead of grabbing our bags, jumping in the car and racing to the hospital like we had for our other three children, we started getting ready in our bedroom because this time we would be welcoming our child in our home with our little family. Zack was prepping our room and blowing up the birthing pool while I was trying to relax and getting more and more excited that we would be meeting our baby soon. About fifteen minutes later, I started to get a little anxious, though, because I felt like I was progressing faster than I had in the past and we weren’t quite ready yet. I text Debbie that I would feel better if she came on over. She was amazing and got there around 8:30 am. I felt like I was progressing fast. Debbie, her apprentice, and Zack all went to work getting everything ready.
Labor was still progressing very fast. A little part of me, deep inside, was getting anxious and wanting to panic but I pushed that part of me deeper inside and tried to ignore it. I text my dear friend and photographer Kala and told her I didn’t think we had much longer, it was going faster than I imagined and she came as fast as she could.
Elli, our oldest daughter who is usually the last to wake, was finally getting up to a wonderful surprise – her new baby brother was on his way. My grandma had made Elli and Aubi some dresses and told them she wanted them to wear them when they met their new brother. These dresses are extra dear to me because they were dresses that my mom was working on for Elli and Aubrey (her only grand babies at that point) right before she passed away three years ago in August. Her sewing machine and all the dresses and materials were literally all over her kitchen table where she had been working on them. They were a small reminder of her on a special day.
Elli could not wait to get in her dress. I heard her yell, “The baby’s coming! I’m so excited! I need to put on my dress!” Her and Aubrey helped each other dress and then joined me in my bedroom. They and Isaac stayed with me most of the time I was in labor. They would hold my hands during contractions and comfort me. Elli has watched dozens of birthing videos with me so she knew exactly what to do – “Mommy, just breathe. In and out. There you go.” And Aubi was her usual sweet self, hugging me and kissing me and saying, “I love you so, so much, Mommy.” Isaac didn’t have a clue what was going on but he wanted to be right there with me the whole time.
Around 9:45 am (to be honest, I’m guessing on this time, because I definitely wasn’t watching the clock) the birthing pool was finally ready and so was I. My contractions were pretty strong by then and I was ready to labor in the water, which I had heard was a great pain reliever. It was. I’m so glad I got to spend my last little bit of labor in that pool. No one realized just how close I was to having our sweet baby. I had two very painful contractions in the water and I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t do it anymore (like I had a choice haha!). The kids left at this point. They were never frightened of what they saw me going through but we thought it best that they leave then. Debbie told me she could tell by my pain level that I was entering transition or the last part of labor. It was suggested I get up and walk around and go potty so my bladder would make room for baby’s head to come out.
I held onto Zack for dear life in those last moments. I don’t know how I could have done it without him.
I had another contraction on the way to the bathroom and then sat on the toilet. Before I knew it, I was having another contraction and this time my water broke and a second later the baby’s head emerged. I’m pretty sure I was yelling at this point. Yep, definitely screaming. It was pretty shocking and painful to have a baby head pop out of you when you aren’t expecting it. We all thought we had more time. Debbie rushed in there. Zack had one hand on my back supporting me as I leaned back and one hand catching our precious baby as another contraction helped me finally push him out.
So, Zack delivered our fourth child, Ollie, and then he placed him on my chest and, at last, I held him for the first time. He was slimy, green and swollen and I loved him so much. I remember just staring at him and drinking in everything about him. We didn’t get the water birth we had been hoping for but we did get a healthy baby boy and hearts filled to the brim.
This was our first home birth experience and going into it we were nervous. This was all new for us. My favorite part was how relaxing it was and that my kids were right there with us the whole time. They only left us right at the end and were back to meet their brother shortly after he was born. I was surrounded by those I love most and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Zack said he liked helping so much and that he could take care of me and Oliver. Zack and I were close before but this experience and baby Oliver have brought us even closer together. Ollie is literally named for both of us. Oliver after me and Matthew is Zack’s middle name
After Ollie was born we were able to relax and enjoy him at our own pace in the comfort of our home. Elli, Aubrey, and Isaac were able to meet their brother in their home moments after he was born. Ollie was so calm and content. He seemed to be relaxing and enjoying himself as much as we were.
I’m still in awe that I was able to have him completely naturally. I second guessed myself over and over but I’m so proud that I actually did it. It was scary, hard, and painful and all worth getting to the precious baby at the end. Baby Oliver is a perfect addition to our family.
Oliver Matthew Taylor
Born on June 22, 2015 at 10:16 AM
8lbs 4oz, 20 in long