Daniel: On Thursday, January 26th, we decided to take Friday off work to hopefully meet our child or, at the very least, spend a pleasant day together. It turned out to be the latter with brunch, naps (2 for Kendra!), walking the Mall of America (4 laps) and watching some TV at home. Kendra at one point turned to me in frustration and asked, “Am I going to be pregnant forever?” I then reminded her that if this child is going to be anything like the two of us, he might struggle with being an overachiever so he was probably mopping or growing an extra eyelash or something. We shared a laugh. At the end of the night, we did some “budgeting” and went to sleep (you can ask Uncle Dan Toews if that sentence is confusing).
Kendra: I woke up at 12:30am with the thought “Oh. That’s a contraction.” I hung in there on my own until about 2:00am, when I woke up Daniel as I realized this was not a false alarm and I wasn’t going back to sleep, so time for him to wake up too! We then labored at home together for a number of hours. We maintained contact with the midwife at the Minnesota Birth Center, who I seem to recall saying things like “things seem to be going very well” and “call us back in a couple hours.” I remember thinking that they seemed to be on an awfully relaxed timeline for the intensity of what I was experiencing. Around 7:45am, my mom came over and helped relieve Daniel a bit with coaching me (and applying pressure to my back). We got the go ahead to meet the midwife at the Birth Center around 8:45 and showed up there at 9:20. The Birth Center is a 5 minute drive from our place, but if you’ve been with someone in labor, you know that I wasn’t going anywhere too fast.
After we arrived, the midwife checked my progress and asked if I wanted to know what she’d found. I was nervous, so I asked her to tell Daniel, not me. Her response was along the lines of “I think you’re going to want to know…you’re ready to push.” At the end of a pregnancy that seemed to go on and on in waiting, it was nice to find out the end was near.
And indeed it was! At 11:16am, with Daniel supporting me and surrounded by my mom, our birth doula, and the Birth Center medical staff, our baby entered the world. We quickly identified he was a boy, and I had the joy of announcing his name, Sebastián. He was 7 lbs, 6 oz and 20.5″ long, and perfect!
Some tips from Kendra:
- Good playlists are important. I’m not usually a music person, but hearing a new song come on would help me keep moving, even kind of dancing/shifting my hips through intense contractions.
- Good support is super important. Daniel was incredible at calmly, but firmly reminding me to breathe, to stay open and ride through the wave of each contraction. He, my mom, and our birth doula were all fantastic physical supports. Their counter pressure on my lower back kept me from just collapsing and calling it quits (I know, you can’t really quit labor, but I would have tried). But it was also a team effort. At one point, I said/yelled to Daniel “Tell me I’m not alone” and he was able to then tell me the encouragement I needed. He wasn’t just magically reading my mind, but was definitely a fast learner to what I needed to navigate this.
Final thoughts from Daniel:
- The Minnesota Birth Center, a nurse-midwife clinic, was the right choice for us. We had access to hospital care if complications were to have appeared but, otherwise, the birth center facilitated us laboring naturally and in a comfortable, almost cozy environment. Then, we went home the same day and were able to rest together with our newly expanded family.
- Kendra is a bad-ass woman.
- In the end, we know God is in control. We are so grateful for the smooth pregnancy, labor and delivery we experienced, knowing that it is not guaranteed. And whatever the future holds, we know He is faithful and will get us through it all.
~ Kendra and Daniel P.
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