Wow! What a wild six days it has been.

Sunday is when it all started... early Sunday morning. I woke up at about 4:30 a.m. for good, although I had been having contractions all night long. I was hungry, really hungry so I wandered out to the kitchen for some toast and juice. I distracted myself with little tasks and some blogging until it was time to get ready for church. Nothing spectacular was happening so we went to church and I tried to ignore my body for the rest of the afternoon. It kind of worked but by evening I was really uncomfortable. We called my midwife and she arrived about 10 p.m. We had set the birthing pool up and things were ready to go, all except me. My body basically called it quits. Kristen, my midwife, decided to go back home so she could get some sleep. She lives nearly two hours away so it was a tough decision but it was the right one. And I needed to go about my nightly routine and get some sleep as well. I was exhausted.

At about 1:30 I woke up with a killer contraction and knew this was it. "Go big or go home" is my motto and I was already home, so I had to go big. I labored and tried to sleep for a couple of hours but then it just became too much. We called Kristen and her midwife in training, Kristi, to come over. I wandered around the house; I tried to eat, tried to drink, I had my mom braid my hair but finally gave up trying to work through the pain and got in the birthing pool.

I was in a ton of pain by this point but amazingly enough I was able to manage it much better than I had thought I would. The water felt so good and I was able to relax in between contractions. Daniel held my hands through every one and I felt secure in him. Tarrah came over and it was nice to "chat" and have a good friend beside me. She made sure my eyebrows never got askew - a serious pet peeve of mine. Really, I'm quite vain.

Kristi arrived around 5 a.m. and checked me - I was nearly ready to push. I was having a hard time believing that this was really happening for some reason. I remember asking Daniel a ton of times if I was really going to have the baby that day. He probably thought "You are crazy, woman!" Kristin arrived about an forty-five minutes later and checked me again - I still had a tiny bit to go but my body was already pushing.

Finally, finally it was really time to push. I had prayed and prayed over this part. Pushing is truly hard for me. I have had long pushing sessions with both Eve and Judah and I desperately wanted this time to be different. But, it was not to be. Apparently, I have a narrow pelvis and my babies require a lot of work to be born. A lot. I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to do it. I was completely and totally exhausted. I had nothing left to draw from.
Close to the end, my contractions spaced out a bit and I was able to sleep for a minute or two in between each pushing. My mom also made up a honey and water drink- which was totally disgusting- but between the little cat naps, the drink, and a lot of prayers I made it through.

Two and a half hours of hard pushing did me in, but when I saw Eliza's face I couldn't remember any of it. Now, when Kristen had me stand up to get out of the birthing tub all the exhaustion came rushing back. But for those couple of minutes when I first laid my eyes on beautiful Eliza all I felt was joy. Pure joy. I remember Daniel looking in my eyes, his eyes reflecting the wonder I felt, and then giving me a kiss. Two people who love each other so deeply and with that love bringing a child in this world... it is an amazing moment. Nothing compares to it. Absolutely nothing.

Just as Eve and Judah are, Eliza is my joy. There is something about a newly born baby - so fresh from Heaven - that thrills my heart in an indescribable way. I look at her and sometimes can't believe that she is here, in my arms. I watch her move and my body knows all of it - I remember feeling those movements in my womb. I love to stare in her eyes and remember all the places and things we did together while I was pregnant, but now with the knowledge of who I was doing them with. I love to see how God made her - all the little things that make up Eliza. I spent so long wondering and imagining what she was going to look like, longing to know what she was going to feel like in my arms.
I am so thrilled she is here. I am so grateful for her life. Now, I pray for the wisdom I need to mother her.

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