As we anticipate the arrival of our second baby boy, I’ve been taking many trips down memory lane. I didn’t fully realize what a life changing experience Silas’ birth would be for our family until I saw his precious face. We decided to have a natural childbirth, free of medication and at a birthing home. Some of my family was on the fence about our decision but I knew it was right for us. I prayed and leaned on the Lord like never before all throughout my pregnancy. Because of that I had all the peace in the world about how our baby boy would make his entrance into the world. This is the story of how Silas Xavier Walker entered into our lives…
On February 24th Samson and I were both sick with food poisoning. Yep, you heard that right. Food poisoning! We were both still recouping and feeling exhausted on February 25th. Around 9:00pm on the 25th I started to have contractions. We called our midwife, Jessica, and she said to labor as long as possible at home, stay hydrated, eat something, sleep as much as possible and check back in the morning. We went ahead and contacted our family to let them know that contractions had started but not get their hopes up, because they might go away. The entire night I kept telling Samson that “she must be crazy!” The contractions (obviously did not go away) were so intense that I maybe slept an hour. Drinking and eating was not on my agenda after being sick the previous day but I did my best. My yoga ball was my best friend the entire night. I’ve never been so thankful for the sun to come up in my entire life!
As soon as it was 7:00am on the 26th I asked Samson to call Jessica with the update of our evening. The contractions were close enough that she told us to start making our way to the birthing home and she would meet us there. We loaded up our car and left the house around 8:00am. It was the longest 20-30 minute car ride of my life. I knew Samson wasn’t hitting bumps intentionally but I felt every little stone. I found out later that the excruciating pain was caused by back labor.
We made it to the birthing home at 8:30am. I had lost all concept of time during this process of labor and it’s all still pretty fuzzy from this point on. Mentally and physically I was in a different place. I was focusing all of my energy on the work before me. Helping our baby so that we could finally hold him and see his beautiful face.
The midwives began putting warm water in the birthing tub and I started pacing around the birthing home. I went up and down the stairs so many times, until our families started to arrive. I really wish the only people that would have been there were Samson and my mother. I didn’t realize how vulnerable I would feel in that state. Once everyone arrived I stuck to my room mostly because I didn’t want them to see me. Their eyes were full of worry and helplessness. I didn’t want to make them feel this way so I avoided them and spent some time in the birthing tub. Samson rubbed my back for some time and the midwives made sure I drank some water here and there.
I remember the warm water felt amazing on my lower back and I tried to stay in the tub as long as possible. I don’t remember what I put on but I remember making the decision to take a walk around the birthing home again and that’s when my water broke. I knew what had happened but all I could do was cry and repeatedly say I’m sorry.
Then I remember my contractions taking a new course of intensity. I found myself yelling with each new one and needed Samson to put pressure on my lower back. To give you a little insight to this sight. Samson is 6′ 2″ and I’m 5′ 2″. It seemed that no matter how much pressure he placed it just wasn’t enough. He told me later that he was putting his full strength into it and was surprised he didn’t break my back.
I’m not exactly sure when the resting came in but I know for a brief period of time I was lying on my side and had a chance to sleep. Once I woke up I just felt exhausted, helpless and ready to see our baby.
I think at this point the midwives knew it was time to get baby out or we would need to be transferred to the hospital. I heard Harmony saying she could see the baby’s head but every time I stopped pushing he would go back inside. I exerted every ounce of physical energy I had left so that we could see our baby boy but it wasn’t enough. I felt a wave of peace from the Lord take over and knew it was time to head to the hospital.
This next part is a complete blur because my back labor was so intense. The ambulance arrived and we made the trip to Sarasota Memorial Hospital (which thankfully was only 5-10 minutes away). Unfortunately I had to stay lying down on the gurney the ENTIRE TIME. Somehow we made it to the Obstetric Emergency Care Center and the nurse hooked up all these monitors to see how baby was doing. Next the doctor came in and explained that baby and I were fine for now but if we didn’t move quickly that could change. I was taken to the OR without Samson and became very unsure of what was about to happen without his presence. The staff started to prep me for surgery (I don’t remember what all that entailed because I was so concerned that they were going to start without Samson) and FINALLY Samson came in. My peace returned and I felt safe once again now that Samson was by my side.
A few moments later we heard the most amazing sound. Silas’ first cry! Silas Xavier was born at 12:02am on February 27th, 2015. I couldn’t move my arms to hold him but meeting our baby boy was one of the most incredible moments of my life. Samson held our sweet boy close to my face and I kissed his tiny forehead for the first time. Shortly after that Samson was escorted out of the room with our precious baby boy in his arms as they finished the last few stitches and made sure I was stable.
Throughout our labor and delivery journey, Samson Walker was the most incredible man, husband and father and I could not have gone through all of that without him by my side. He never gave up on me. Even when he had been up for over 24 hours after having food poisoning the day before he never offered me anything but encouragement, a hand to squeeze and endless back massages. As I labored he was right there with me through every contraction. I have never been more proud to be married to this man than I was after we met our baby. My love for him has grown so deep. I love you so much, Samson Walker.
After surgery, I was reunited with my sweet family in our room. It was about 3:00am, and we were all ready to get some rest.