Sawyer Hawk Lloyd’s birth

Born in the water at 7:37 am
7 lbs, 8 oz
19.5 inches

Well, I was going to bed on Sunday night at 40 weeks and one day overdue, and Shane and I joked about the full moon that was high in the sky that night! I woke up at 3:15 am thinking that i had just had a contraction. I laid there for a few minutes, and sure enough, another came, so I got out of bed without waking Shane and went downstairs to start timing them. They were really mild but coming really close together…like every 3 minutes or less, and so I checked email and facebook and waited 45 minutes or so until I felt like they were really starting to be something. I went upstairs around 4 am and woke Shane up and called my parents and our doula.

Shane hopped up like he was on a mission. He made coffee and took a shower and started packing. Meanwhile, I started into full blown labor. We had planned a natural, drug-free waterbirth, and our plan was to stay home as long as possible before going to the hospital. I did great handling the contractions, as long as I was standing and leaning over something. I spend a lot of time leaning on the bathroom counter and the bed. I also took a HOT shower and leaned on the walls. The contractions were intense, but I was waiting and waiting for it to be unbearable, so that way I would know to go to the hospital. Well, everything I was doing got me through the contractions just fine, but around 6:15am, Shane started to get nervous that they were really close together, so he timed them, and they were a steady 2 minutes apart. He took it upon himself to call our Doula again and tell her. She talked me through a couple contractions and told me that it sounded like I was close and maybe we should go ahead and go and that she would meet us there. I agreed and we started hustling.

We pulled out of the neighborhood and the sun was coming up but the full moon was still high in the sky. That’s a picture I will have in my head forever. It was wild! The ride to the hospital was the worst thing ever. I couldn’t move to try to control the pain at all. I NEEDED to be standing. We got to the hospital and parked outside of the ER and went in. I walked the longest walk of my life to my delivery room–including 4 contractions. The Doula met us halfway and instantly started doing her thing. She squeezed my hips during contractions and helped me sway to get through them. I can’t imagine birth without a doula.

They had to monitor fetal heart tones for 30 minutes before I was allowed to get into the water, so they tried to put me in a bed and I was out of it in 2 seconds. I told them they were going to have to do it with me standing or not do it at all. The midwife came in to check me in the middle of all of this and my biggest fear of only being a few cm. dilated was put to rest when she told me I was 9 cm! Not 2 minutes after telling me that, I yelled that it was time to push! They never got all of the fetal heart monitoring done because I was begging the midwife to let me get in the tub. They took my blood pressure and it was high because they were taking it in the middle of a contraction. Apparently hospital rules say that BP has to be at a certain level or no tub. So they took it again, and it came down a bit, but not enough, so my wonderful doula told me to lie down on the bed on my left side and shut my eyes. She told me to focus on her alone and do what she said. Whatever she said worked. She basically had me meditate my blood pressure down by following her words and relaxing by envisioning my BP falling. They took it again and BAM–perfect! I can’t imagine birth without a doula.

I got into the wonderful warm water–they keep it at 101 degrees and it REALLY helped to ease the pain. I started pushing right away–whenever I felt like I needed to–no counting or anyone touching me, no IVs, no blood pressure monitor…just my doula encouraging me and my husband standing beside me so excited, and the midwife there to watch over the birth. Within 15 minutes, we had a baby–only 37 minutes after arriving at the hospital! I got to pull the baby up to my chest and we just sat there, warmed by the water, hugging each other. Shane was standing next to the tub and I looked up at him and he just looked amazed. I just kept saying, “I can’t believe I did it!” It felt like I was on top of the world. It is by far my greatest accomplishment. I can’t imagine birth without a doula. At least a minute or two went by before someone asked–what is it? I was so elated, I had forgotten to think about it–10 months of waiting…what’s a few more minutes??? We I picked him up and turned him over and…we have a baby boy! What a moment!

The doula stayed with us for a good two hours after the birth to help me get situated and help me start breastfeeding. Shane went out to make the big announcement to everyone who was waiting. They moved me into my regular room. We were instantly surrounded by family to celebrate little Sawyer. We got to introduce him by name for the first time–little Sawyer Hawk. For everyone who is asking about the name, Shane and I really liked the name Sawyer when we had Wyatt, so we had been planning on using that one for a while now. A hawk is a really cool bird–and there’s a lot of them around where we live. Wyatt’s middle name is River, and Shane and I are tree-huggin’ hippies at heart, so that should explain it.

So we’re home and getting settled. Wyatt is doing great so far. Really, really well actually. He doesn’t mind the little intruder at all. Of course Shane has done a really good job keeping him entertained so far, but he is so excited to see Sawyer every morning. It’s so cute.

And for all of you guys that think people want to be left alone after having a baby–stop it! Come on over! We’d love to show him off! For anyone interested in truly experiencing the wonderful journey that is birth, I highly recommend  A Labor of Love Childbirth and Doula Services. Words cannot describe how invaluable her service was. “Every woman deserves a doula!”

Tinika Hawk