I met Caty a few years ago through mutual friends and the local baby wearing group. She has always been a joy to converse with and get to know over the years. When she messaged me telling me she was pregnant, I was so excited for her… but it wasn’t long after sharing her beautiful news with me that she was messaging me again to let me know her baby passed away. Having one miscarriage myself, my heart was absolutely broken for her. I knew there was nothing I could say or do to ease her pain, and the only way I could help was to hold her space and let her know if she ever needed anything I was only a phone call away.
When I read the news of a positive pregnancy test, I couldn’t help but start to cry. I couldn’t have been more excited for Caty & Derek that they were expecting their rainbow after their storm.
“Getting to this pregnancy was a bit of a struggle. I never really knew what the term “rainbow baby” meant until we started to have a hard time getting pregnant with our third child. We had our first loss in January 2016 and then a second loss in June 2016. I will never be able to describe the pain we went through. It’s just not something that you expect after having two flawless pregnancies/births before this all happened. But then we got to August 2016, the pregnancy test said POSITIVE and panic rushed over me. Will this be our third loss? Will we finally get our Rainbow Baby? To our relief, this baby decided to stick around, and here I am getting to tell her story!
This kid though, this kid gave us a run for our money with all the times she caused me to have prodromal labor! I never really experienced prodromal labor with my other two pregnancies that came to term to a point where I thought it was actual labor but little Miss Cora decided she would make things interesting and make us believe I was in labor about 3-4 times before the actual day came. Even the day of her birth she kept us on our toes!
We decided long ago after our 2nd kiddo’s birth that when we had another child we would go to The Birth House to give birth again because we loved our experience so much last time. We actually toyed with the idea of having a home birth with Cora but the fact that our neighborhood is SO SO SO quiet at night and I’m…..well….not the quietest person to begin with, but when I go into labor, I turn into a grizzly bear. We didn’t exactly want to subject our awesome neighbors to that potential wildlife experience so we decided The Birth House was just fine for us again HAHA!
On Tuesday, May 23rd earlier in the day, I started having some contractions off and on but I wasn’t getting TOO excited since Cora was known, at that point, for messing around with us. Then, around 5:20pm I got a really good contraction that got my attention! My husband, Derek, arrived home around 5:45pm with dinner so I sat down for a while, had a bite to eat, and made sure to hydrate and rest just in case this ended up being the real deal. Seeing as how I was 6 days past my due date, I figured there was a good shot this was happening! (FINALLY! haha!) I checked in with my doula, Raina, to let her know what was up since she had the longest commute out of everyone to get to us. For the record, doula’s are just simply amazing and everyone should have one! My contractions were anywhere from 5-10 minutes apart, lasting about a minute to a minute and a half. Around 10pm that night, they started to stay consistent at 5 mins apart and started to get more intense. Since we had already been in touch with Raina, she encouraged us to call our midwife, Katherine, to see what Katherine thought about us coming in. I wouldn’t have worried so much about making it to The Birth House (I was totally okay with the idea of having a freeway baby if that ended up being the case) but what I hated THE MOST during our second child’s birth was —- the car ride. UGH! It was MISERABLE so I didn’t want to feel that way again while I was in labor with this baby.
It was decided that we would go ahead and head in. This was a bittersweet moment for me. I was so beyond excited that things were finally rolling but this is our last baby. This is the last time we would be heading out the door to have a baby. It was pretty emotional for me to get in the car to head out. We arrived at The Birth House just before 12:30am. When I checked in, I was already 7 centimeters dilated! I WAS SO SO SO SHOCKED! HUGE smiles all around from me, Derek, Erin, and our midwife! WOO! This baby was COMING!! I couldn’t believe it and I was SO ready to meet my Rainbow Baby girl! I just needed her in my arms! I needed to know that after two losses that she was going to be okay and that she was healthy.
Raina arrived shortly after we did, we got all set up, met the birth assistant named Lucy that was helping Katherine, as well as Saleah, who was a student midwife from Alabama. Seleah was the sweetest person ever and her energy was so perfect! Anyways, contractions stayed steady! I was laughing and having a good time with everyone there, we seriously had some FUN people there supporting us. Around 3am I was asked to see if I felt like it was a good time to get into the tub since my contractions were getting a little more intense. I thought that it was a good idea….until I got in….my contractions ended up completely stopping – I was crushed. I figured in that moment that maybe I would be sent home if they didn’t pick back up again after some time. We talked to Katherine and Raina and they suggested that Derek and I get in bed to get some rest. It was also a great opportunity for Raina and Erin to get some rest too. I felt so bad that they were sleeping on the floor and it made me wish our room had a king size bed so we could all be on there and be comfy! Hahaha! I slept for a few hours and during that time my super amazing hubby ran to the store when daylight hit and bought everyone breakfast. He’s seriously that sweetest!
Totally forgot to mention, I thought this was super hilarious, after we had arrived to the birth center, Katherine informed us that TWO other laboring mom’s were coming in! HA! Great time to have babies, I guess! 😉 I remember lying in bed resting and hearing the dad that was next door. It was seriously the CUTEST and most perfect thing to hear him screaming with joy “IT’S A GIRL! WE GOT A BABY GIRL!” He was so proud and what was even cuter was hearing proud Big Brother in the lobby dying to meet his new baby sister! While it was so amazing to hear all the stuff going on around me…I found it hilarious that I was the first one in and the last one out! LOL!
After some much needed rest, around 8am I woke up, contractions kind of came back but they were far and few between. Katherine came in to check me and discussed with us that if labor didn’t pick back up within 2 hours, we were going to need to break my water. I was a bit relieved because that meant I was still getting to stay when I thought I was going to have to go home hahaha! When she did her exam I was at 8 to 9 centimeters dilated! I thought she was joking around with me because I was still sitting, laughing, talking and walking around like I was only dilated to 4cm or something! It was truly INSANE! (Ladies, please don’t hate me for that, I promise that’s not something I ever expected and for the record, all the professionals in the room were just as shocked as I was to be that dilated and act like I wasn’t even in labor to begin with! HAHA!!) I think Baby Cora just needed that pep talk though, because within minutes, my contractions started to pick back up again. I labored in the room for a while on the birthing ball (I loved bouncing up and down) while Raina did some Rebozo techniques, which felt amazing, and around 11am or so we decided to take a walk to see if we could get them to get more intense again. It totally did the trick!!! My labor came back FULL FORCE and then some! WOO! We got back to the room and when I went to the restroom, laboring on the toilet ended up being my best friend for some time lol! It was also at the moment when I went to the restroom that my labor had hit a serious point. The reason I knew it happened?? The grizzly bear came out! Muahahaha!
As I labored in the bathroom for a bit, I asked to have the tub filled so I could get in (again!). After Derek and I got into the tub, I just remember sinking into him and feeling his body support mine. His breathing helped remind me that I needed to breathe. He was my rock. Through each rush I could feel him cradle me as much as he could, and it helped tremendously. From the moment I got in the tub, things got intense really fast, which made me SUPER excited! There was something that happened that I will cherish the rest of my life – while Derek was holding me, I would hear the music playing in the room off and on. We had a John Mayer playlist that we brought going in the background and all of a sudden everyone (our midwife, birth assistant, birth photographer, doula, student midwife) in the room was singing “Waiting on the World to Change” and our world was changing in that very moment! It was seriously that most beautiful thing ever. The energy and peace that surrounded this birth, was something pretty incredible and unforgettable!
It didn’t take long to work Cora down into my pelvis. What I remember vividly was that by the time Cora hit tight point in my pelvis, it did NOT take long for her to come out after that because I was determined to get her out fast. The pressure was way more intense than I remembered with our previous water birth. At one point Katherine asked me to grab my legs to pull them up and the second I did, I had HORRIBLE cramping in my legs and I couldn’t hold onto them anymore. I had to ask Derek to get out of the tub to stretch my legs out from cramping. Once they were okay I had him get back in. Cora started to crown, I remember Katherine saying she had a full head of hair and I remember everyone telling me I was doing great, to keep going through the pain (“ow ow ow ow” was coming out of my mouth from the stupid cramps in my legs and because of Cora crowning haha). Katherine had to help wiggle Cora out a little bit and before we knew it, that perfect little rainbow baby girl was on my chest. TEARS EVERYWHERE! “We got our Rainbow Baby! We got her! She’s here! I can’t believe she’s here!” is all I remember saying. The relief flooded over me. It felt like it took so long to get to that moment. Between the two miscarriages and waiting in between each miscarriage before we could start trying again, it felt like a damn LIFETIME. But there she was, perfect as could be, and she was so worth all the struggles to get to that moment.
Derek and I just stared at her and soaked up that moment while we were sitting in the tub waiting for my placenta to come and while things were getting cleaned up. Cora looked just like her dad. Her face was so perfect. She also looked so much like her sisters at the same time, which is crazy to think. Derek and I both thought that she was THE perfect little person to be the last one for our family. We couldn’t be happier that she’s was the one chosen to be our last.
The experience was better than I could have ever dreamed up, even with labor stalling from getting in the tub the first time. I just couldn’t have had a better birth team. I truly believe that surrounding myself with those people made it awesome. It’s really hard to explain but it felt like we had known all these people our whole lives. They made this birth SO FUN, like we were at a party hanging with friends! The loads of laughing we all did during my entire time there truly made this birth, THE BEST! <3 EVERYONE deserves a birth experience like ours. All the laughter, the energy, my husband’s strength, holding that baby girl in our arms, it was all so incredibly perfect.”