I was 39 weeks pregnant to the day and it was about 1:00am in the morning on Saturday, July 28, 2017 when I was woken up in the middle of the night by a contraction. Normally waking up to something like this would freak another very pregnant, very “ready-to-have-a-baby” woman out but for me it had become a regular part of life. For the last week I had been having contractions pretty regularly in the sense that they would start at the most inconvenient times (like when my toddler was finally taking a nap, and that meant I had the opportunity to do the same.. but therefore couldn’t) and would persist until eventually they would just go away without any real explanation. This was becoming extremely frustrating for me after a week straight of thinking “maybe today is the day”… and then it wasn’t. To say I was ready to have Emmaline on the outside with us would have been an understatement. I never really hit that point when I was pregnant with Annabelle, but this time around it definitely happened. I wanted to kiss her soft squishy cheeks, see what color her eyes and hair were and in general just begin life with our newest little addition that God was adding to our family. I wanted to see the person God had been creating for the past 9 months and get to know her and see all the plans He had for her life begin!… that and I was again very VERY over being pregnant lol. So that morning I rolled my very large, very pregnant belly over to the other side of the bed and tried to get comfortable so I could hopefully just sleep through these contractions.. I was convinced it was another false alarm because of the past weeks track record lol Boy was I wrong….
By 4 am those “false contractions” had become very real. After tossing and turning all night long I decided it was time to wake Matt and let him know what was going on. I thought that it might be nice for him to get a good night sleep so if it was in fact Emmaline’s birthday at least one of us would be fresh and ready for the big day ahead! But by the early morning I figured that if it was indeed the real thing that he should probably call into work since it was a Friday after all. After waking him up we decided to go downstairs and have a bowl of cheerios with almond milk and strawberries because up to that point I had done 3 of the 4 things they tell you to do before determining if labor is real or “fake” lol (sleep, move, take a shower and try to eat something). By the time we got down the stairs and poured the cheerios I didn’t really feel hungry anymore… instead just the sight of them started making me feel nauseous.
We decided after that it was probably a good idea to give our friend and doula, Jessica, as well as our doctor, Kim Vormbrock, a call so they knew what was going on. Lucky for us Jessica only lives about 2 minutes away from our home so she said she would come over and assess the situation and then decide from there if she needed to stay or maybe come back later… well needless to say once she got here she never left. lol
By the time Jessica got to our home I was about to get into the birth tub that we had set up in our room at the recommendation of our doctor since water was so relaxing and such a huge help in Annabelle’s birth for me. And again, it was super calming this time around with Emmaline as well… only it was almost too calming… I actually started to fall asleep between the contractions in the tub and did take a little cat nap at one point. When I woke up the morning had officially begun and with it came the most gentle summer rainstorm. We opened the windows so we could listen to the sound of it. The way the water hit the windowsill was so soothing. It was like the perfect background music that God had made Himself for the birth of our sweet little gentle natured Emmaline Larain.
Matt sent a quick text out to his mom telling her what was going on so she could get ready to come over and watch Annabelle for us so we wouldn’t have to worry about child care while we were working hard that morning on having a baby. He also sent out a little text to the rest of our close family letting them know what was happening and that we might just have a new little family member later that day. I was nervous about him sending a message out to anyone else though because even though things were still headed in that direction it was a much more relaxed birth than what I had experienced with Annabelle and I was afraid of telling everyone we were going to have a baby that day..only to then not have a baby…. I just didn’t want the extra pressure and this time around telling anyone more than immediate family felt like too much at the moment. At one point I was even apprehensive about telling family what was happening because it felt so unreal to me how easy everything was going in between the contractions but Matt was positive that this was Emmalines birthday.. so I took the advice of what he was seeing from the outside and we went with it.
The rest of the morning seemed to go by pretty easily. Contractions came and went gently and between each one Matt, Jessica and I would talk and hang out. I never hit the same serious phase that I did with Annabelle’s birth. Instead I stayed pretty light hearted through it all, so much so that we started to wonder if today was actually going to be Emmaline’s birthday after all. We tried a number of different things to try and get contractions to pick up in strength naturally, such as doing lunges up and down the stair and squats around the house… but nothing was making them stronger or making them form a consistent pattern.
Around 11 am Jessica suggested that maybe I should eat something to give my body more energy. That maybe my body needed more energy to actually do the hard work of labor. I told her I had some leftover pot roast in the fridge and about 10 minutes later I was eating a bowl in bed that Matt had made for me while smelling Clary Sage from my diffuser…. and 20 minutes after that we were on our way to the hospital! The power of food and essential oils still amaze me sometimes! lol
On our way to the hospital we hit some traffic on the interstate though… and I mean like dead stop, no car moving, traffic… like the kind of traffic that babies are born on the side of the road or in the back seat of a car in lol. Thankfully Matt had learned a few backroads to the hospital just in case we happened to get stuck in said traffic because we knew how bad it had been in that direction lately. We made it to the hospital just in time though. When we got into the family birthing center at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital I was 8cm dilated, fully effaced and beginning to transition to the pushing stage, and again like with Annabelle’s birth I was too far along to get the infamous IV that I was dreading. Sounds silly but both times I was more nervous about getting the heplock than I was pushing the baby out lol. So the fact that I didn’t have to get that standard hospital procedure was a huge relief and an answer to a specific prayer I had been praying as we came closer to the end of Emmaline’s pregnancy.
When our doctor came into the room we started cracking jokes about how we had just seen her the day before for a prenatal appointment and how Emmaline must have decided to listen to the little pep talk we had given her that day about being born in the next 24 hours. You see our doctor was getting ready to go on vacation (she literally left the very next day after Emmaline was born). Even though I knew Kim was leaving me in good hands with her back up doctor I still wanted her to deliver Emmaline. Not only had she also delivered Annabelle but she was also her pediatrician, our family practicioner and after the past 3 years she had become a friend as well. So the amount of trust we had in her and the relationship that had grown because of that trust was invaluable to us during such a vulnerable and intimate moment in our family.
The main thing Matt and I prayed for during our pregnancy concerning Emmaline’s birth was that it would be gentle in general and specifically during transition. I had some anxiety about that part of labor this time around because with Annabelle it was definitely the most challenging phase. Still I had heard that sometimes women transition and don’t even realize it until their ready to push because it’s so gentle.. that became my continual prayer. That God would grant me such grace and the most gentlest of births humanly possible this time around. It’s amazing the power of prayer has on a circumstance and your mindset going into and during a specific event. Not only did it calm my anxiety leading up to Emmaline’s birthday but I was so relaxed between and even during contractions that Matt actually asked Kim at one point when I was going to start to transition because when we got to the hospital they told us thats the stage we were at even though there were none of the traditional signals that come along with that phase like we had experienced with Annabelle. Her response… that I already was well into transitioning from 1st stage labor into pushing, and just to count our blessings that God had answered our prayers for such a gentle, easy natural birth this time around.
Soon after we discovered some shocking news, Emmaline’s water still hadn’t broke! It was a real possibility that she was going to be born “in the caul” as they say. I was also starting really feel the need to push but couldn’t because there was a small lip of my cervix that needed to dilate. Kim told me frankly that she could push it back with the next contraction and that it would not be pleasant… that it would down right hurt… but after it was done I would be able to finally start pushing and that would get us closer to meeting Emmaline!… so I agreed. And she was right. It was by far the worst part of laboring with Emmaline, but it only lasted 30 seconds and then I was ready to begin really pushing.
After that I pushed for maybe 15 minutes in the squatting position and then eventually in the classic position when my water did eventually break (which sounded like a big water balloon bursting lol) and we welcomed our beautiful Emmaline Larain Pomeroy into the world on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 1:34pm in the afternoon!
The first thing I remember seeing was her beautiful head full of thick dark brown hair which completely took her daddy and I by surprise because her big sister Annabelle had been so blonde at birth. Then I noticed her sweet little rose bud lips and the most perfectly full cheeks with the sweetest rosy complexion.
I will never forget the moment though my eyes first looked straight back into hers. Emmaline had let out a few intense cries right after she was born like healthy little babies do, and as she did I started talking to her telling her how beautiful she was, how much we loved her and how happy her daddy and I were that she was finally here. In that moment it’s as if she instantly knew me by the sound of my voice because she stopped crying and looked straight up into my eyes as if to say “hi mom, I’m happy to be here with you too.” It was the most beautifully raw, real moment, and from that second forward she completely and totally had my heart.
Matt was the most amazing, supportive, encouraging birth coach and partner I could have ever asked for during Emmaline’s birth too. Matt has this innate ability to somehow bring a calming presence to any situation and at the same time champion me on in my pursuit. All at once he makes me feel at peace but invigorated to keep striving for the goal ahead. He literally sheltered me and held me up during some of the most vulnerable moments of my life letting me lean on him and physically being my strength when I need him the most and then celebrating all that we had accomplished together as a couple in the birth of our daughter Emmaline.
Aside from meeting Emmaline myself watching Matt meet our baby daughter was by far my favorite part of her birthday, followed up closely by Annabelle meeting her little sister for the first time! The way he loves our girls is truly remarkable. I love watching such a strong man be so tender. I think its beautiful to see such strength harnessed to be so gentle, yet protective all in the same moment.
After a few hours of bonding with just her mom and dad Emmaline had her first round of visitors that were eager to welcome her to the world beginning with her big sister Annabelle Jane of course! Watching Annabelle meet her little sister for the first time was nothing short of precious. She kept wanting to give her hugs and kisses and hold her new “babyyyy”, that she also loved announcing to everyone who came to meet her new little sister! From the moment we found out that God was giving us another child we had been praying that our children would not just be close but they would be the best of friends, that they would not just have a genuine love for one another but also enjoy each other. This prayer only grew in our hearts when we found out that Emmaline was a girl and that meant our girls would be sisters! To see the love that our daughters had for each other from the very beginning of their relationship was the answer to this prayer in real time.
Emmaline spent the rest of the afternoon on her birthday being cuddled and adored by the other close family members who came to visit her and wish her a happy birthday on her actual first birthday including her Great Gram, Mimi, Aunt Kiki, Aunt D and Uncle William (who actually shares their 5 year wedding anniversary with her birthday) and her Grandma Linda Larain whom she was named after.
Emmalines birthday was one of the top 3 happiest days in our family. From start to finish it was filled with overwhelming love, joy and a deep running, unwavering sense of peace throughout all unpredictable circumstances that the day could possibly bring.
We hope you enjoyed hearing the story of Emmaline’s birth just as much as we enjoyed reliving and retelling it.
Much love & prayer,
Matt & Blair