The Birth of Evelyn
Where to begin? First of all, I am 100% convinced that God led us to Jenee. We had started with an Obgyn who was nice, but I wasn’t receiving the support for a natural childbirth that I hoped for. I felt like a number. I knew if I was going to handle a natural childbirth, I would need a more personal experience with someone compassionate, who would be as invested in my birth experience as I was. I started researching midwives and birth centers, and found Jenee’s bio on the Gentle Beginnings website. As soon as I read her philosophy on birth I knew I wanted her as part of my birth team. We met with Jenee, she patiently answered our million questions, and gave us a tour of the birth center. As we left I felt excited and at peace for my pregnancy and a natural childbirth.
Not long after we chose Jenee, we received the devastating news that my husband would be deployed overseas. It meant that he would miss the last half of my pregnancy, and the birth of our first baby. I was completely heartbroken. We hadn’t even found out if we were having a boy or girl! I called Jenee to tell her the new situation, and fell apart over the phone. What happened next was incredible. She asked if she could pray with me. I stood in the stairwell at work crying as Jenee asked God to give me strength and to keep my husband safe. I knew then that God was putting everything in order for us, that He had total control, and that Jenee was DEFINITELY the person He intended to deliver my baby. I was still sad, but again felt peace that everything was happening as it should.
Fast forward several months! On Tuesday, April 15, I started having little surges around 8:30pm. I called my mom and told her “I’m pretty sure something is happening!” And she came over to stay. Throughout the night, my surges fluctuated between 3-4 minutes apart, and became stronger. I tried to get some sleep, and take a couple of warm baths, but they stayed consistent. Enter Melissa Prouty- my incredible Doula!
Jenee introduced me to Melissa shortly after we found about the deployment. She is part of what I refer to as a ministry called “Operation Special Delivery.” She offers her doula support free of charge to women whose partners are overseas at the time of the birth. She gave us a tremendous gift we would not have otherwise been able to afford. Melissa showed up to my house around 5:30am and helped me use my hypnobirthing techniques she had taught me. I started to feel nauseous and got sick, and we decided it was time to head to the birth center.
We got there and Jenee and Lauren were waiting with smiles on their faces! When Jenee checked me, I wasn’t as far along as we thought given how close and strong the surges were. From that point on, things became a blur. I remember certain things clearly, and others are hazy. I felt my surges in my back, and they were pretty intense. I found out later that was because Evelyn was partially posterior (facing my back).
My labor was much more active than I expected! I had planned a water birth, but because the baby was posterior, Jenee had me walk around, squat and lunge through contractions. There was a point when I was so exhausted I just wanted to rest, but it had been hours and the baby still wasn’t turning. Jenee told me I could either lie on my back and have a 30-hour labor, or keep moving to get my baby in the right position and have a 12 hour labor. 30 hours?! No thank you! So I kept going with the encouragement of my incredible team, and my husband, who miraculously was able to Skype with us the ENTIRE time. Finally it was time to push.
I pushed a little in the tub, still hopeful for my water birth, but things weren’t progressing so I had to get out and try other positions. I tried in a couple of different positions, and ended up in a sort of lunge on the bed. I pushed and pushed- it felt like she would NEVER come out! My birth team cheered me on, telling me a few more pushes and I’d see my baby’s face.
After what seemed like forever (but actually was only a few hours) I gave one big push and out came my sweet girl at 8:40pm, April 16. She had come out with her hand by her face, and Jenee told me that added diameter made it the equivalent of pushing out a 11-pound baby, even though she was only 7lbs 15oz! Knowing that made me feel even more accomplished and proud, like I could do anything! But I could not have done it without such an incredible birth team.
Jenee was instrumental in giving me the beautiful birth experience I wanted for myself and for Evelyn. She, and the rest of my birth team, made me feel so safe and loved. I consider her a dear friend and hope to have her at my future births.