Baby Eden Jane - November 20th
"What a miracle journey. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness at another healthy child in our midst and another amazing home delivery surrounded by all the ladies I love most. We named her Eden Jane, which means “delight” and “God’s gracious gift.” She is indeed God’s gracious and delightful gift to us, and we adore her so much!"
Eden Jane Koop
Nov. 20th, 2015 at 2:37 a.m.
Our Birth Story
Eden was born in the early morning on November 20th, ten days before her due date. My birth with my first, Ezra, gradually got more and more intense and he came out slowly and gently, but Eden’s birth was like riding a freight train barreling down a track—there was no stopping until the destination was reached.
I woke up on Thursday afternoon from a nap feeling a little strange and a little crampy. It was ten days before my due date. I sat on the couch a while, and then got pretty nauseated and threw up. That was a telltale sign of labor with Ezra, but I wrote it off as I had heard so much about false labor with second babies. By the time Chase got home from work at 4:30 pm, I was still feeling strange and crampy and decided to get a few chores done. The house was a mess, so I vacuumed, mopped, and scrubbed the sinks, just in case!
At six p.m. we went to dinner with Malmal (our grandma) at her retirement community dining hall. It was a lovely meal and Malmal kept trying to get us to eat more and more. Ezra ate like a wolf, but I still wasn’t feeling that well. During dinner, I began to have somewhat regular (4 minutes apart) contractions that were causing me to stop, close my eyes, and grip the chair. Meanwhile, Malmal told us the story of how she named my mom, Cassie Jane (she picked her first name, Cassie, from a baby book and her second name, Jane, after my great Aunt Lee Jane).
I was definitely starting to feel labor-y, and we told Malmal we were going to have to wrap up dinner and get home. She was pretty excited that the baby might be on its way, but I was still denying it, thinking this could still be a sort of false start. But, I still told her after a big contraction in the hallway, “I have to get home and mop the floors!” Which I did. I definitely didn’t want a home birth with dirty floors.
We put Ezra to bed when we got home (with his white noise maker on an extra loud setting). We also called Mary, our midwife, and let her know what was happening, and she suggested I lie down for a bit to see what would happen with the contractions. Chase finished up some emails for work just in case, and my contractions spaced out to about six or seven minutes apart, but still intense enough to groan through. We went to sleep around ten thirty thinking they were probably going to peter out with no action and I felt disappointed.
I slept from ten thirty or eleven until one thirty with only a few contractions. At one thirty, I got up to go to the bathroom and that’s when labor kicked into high gear. I woke up Chase and asked him to fill up the bathtub, which had provided enormous relief during Ezra’s birth. I got in the tub and contractions started hitting every few minutes and were pretty intense. I asked Chase to call the midwives to come (or rather they decided to come after hearing my loud groaning in the background of the phone call) as well as the rest of the birth team: my mom, sister Isa, girlfriend Teri, and Chase’s mom. The contractions in the tub were relentless and intense with very few breaks. Things were ramping up so much more quickly than with my first and it really caught me off guard! I was clawing at the edge of the tub and losing my composure a little bit, all the while trying to do the loud and deep vocalizations that had helped me so much during my first birth. The midwives still weren’t there and I felt a little distressed about that because I knew this baby was coming fast. “Where is everybody?!” I kept asking Chase. “Call them and tell them to come!” Which of course he had already done.
I really wanted out of the bathtub, but Chase had his hands full trying to comfort me during ceaseless contractions and make up the bed for birth. Finally I dried off and made my way to bed. At that point one of the midwives, Ronda, arrived and checked me. I felt really relieved we had some professional help there! “You are complete and ready to push anytime,” she said. So that’s why I had been losing it a little in the bathtub—I was in transition. It was a encouraging to know, but the contractions were still a little out of control. The rest of the birth team showed up somewhere in there and I started pushing on my side. I was REALLY loud, gripping the bed, and Ezra slept through it all! The faster pace made everything feel way more intense as the baby made her way down the birth canal. At one point, Mary looked at me and said, “Your baby is going to be here in minutes.” I said, “Minutes? Not hours? Oh good.” I felt encouraged because I could definitely NOT have kept up with the intensity of this labor for hours. My water broke as her head started to appear, splashing the midwives. “It’s kinda like being at Sea World in the front row!” said Chase.
During pushing, I asked for lots of sips of water (I was so thirsty!) and chapstick, and when the baby’s head started crowning asked for hot washcloths, counter pressure, and oil. That felt so nice. I definitely lost it a little during crowning and started breathing really fast and Mary told me to “come back into my body.” That was helpful. Ronda helped ease the baby’s head and shoulders out (her little hand was up by her face, just as Ez’s had been), and then she was here! Warm, wet, and slippery, she let out one big cry before becoming calm and quiet as Ronda placed her on my chest. She was born at 2:37 am on Friday, November 20th, just as Ezra had predicted (“She’s coming THIS Friday”, he had told me). At long last, our little girl was here. What a miracle journey. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness at another healthy child in our midst and another amazing home delivery surrounded by all the ladies I love most. We named her Eden Jane, which means “delight” and “God’s gracious gift.” She is indeed God’s gracious and delightful gift to us, and we adore her so much!
Chase, Cassie, Ezra and Eden