Sawyer Hayes – November 23rd, 2014

in Auburn Birthing Center, Birth Stories

Baby Boy, born at 12:10 PM, 7 lbs 1 oz


Sawyer “Superman” Hayes

What an absolute surprise to find out that we were expecting another child just 3 months after Levi was born.  Our fourth child, while always planned for, wasn’t quite planned for oh my goodness RIGHT NOW!  I have said over and over that this child, this very baby was meant exactly for us, in this moment whether we thought so or not.  God has a purpose and a plan and…well…His plan trumps ours every single time!  We know this sweet child is destined for great purpose in our lives and is so very cherished.

This pregnancy and delivery held a lot of firsts and unexpected things for me 🙂  Some of them pleasant, some not so much!

We fully expected our baby to arrive 2-3 weeks early, following the trend of the other children.  I planned our entire October, November and December around the baby arriving 2-3 weeks early.  I rearranged our schoolwork, planned birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas……..and we waited.  And waited.  36 weeks came, 37 weeks came, 38 weeks came and yes even 39 weeks came!  This baby outlasted all of the children except Liam (thankfully..haha!).   Because we always seem to have our babies around Thanksgiving, I had to plan a birthday party for Caroline and Levi.  I planned it for November 22nd with a baby “rain date” of December 7th.  But I KNEW this baby would be here weeks before and it wouldn’t be an issue.  Every appointment with my midwife in November we said “what are we doing here?!”  It was so surprising!  Then along comes the week of November 17th and still no baby!  I was shocked!  Several times prior,  I had thought I was in labor—walked, did some other “things” to encourage the baby along if it was time and…well…it definitely just wasn’t time.  Now I had to decide, do I keep planning the party or do I just plan on December 7th.  Friday comes and still no baby.  So I had to do it.  I had to run the “party errands”—Party City, Country Kitchen, Walmart–you know how it goes!  I remember standing in Country Kitchen having these ridiculous crampy contractions while I discussed with the workers how well their frosting would freeze if I went into labor after I decorated the cakes.  We had many good laughs!  My friend Alecia met us for 2 errands–Darlington and Joann Fabrics and probably thought I was totally crazy.  I remember several times wondering what was going on because I just felt so crampy.  Should I just go home?  Or keep planning?  I ended up giving up because I was just really tired and my lower back was hurting so bad.  I sent Ken a text and told him that he would need to finish up my errands as I couldn’t keep going.  We went home and a lot of what happened next is blurry to me.  I think I was just so tired.  I honestly don’t remember what I did because I ended up not making or frosting a cake.  Maybe I cleaned the house?  I don’t know!  LOL!

At some point, I decided I should call my midwife Kori, mainly because my body was confusing me and maybe I was in labor but maybe I wasn’t and I was feeling sort of panicky about not realizing this was labor and then delivering in my living room.  I really felt like if this wasn’t it, it would be within the next 24-48 hours.  But yet, it was so different.  With the other kids I had very strong, timeable start and stop contractions even in my very early labor.  This was just menstrual like cramping, more annoying than painful but definitely strong.  I talked about this with Kori–saying several times that I did not want to deliver in my living room because I was in labor and didn’t know it.  We had a good laugh over the fact that the birthday party was the next day.  My friend Michelle was supposed to be photographing our birth and she was coming to our birthday party as well so we had also talked several times throughout the evening about what was going on (I think?  Did we?  Again so much is a weird blur!  LOL!)  Several times on Facebook jokes were made about my water breaking during the party or right before.  It really was funny because EVERYONE thought this baby would be here by now!

As it turns out, I made it through the night and the next morning got up to get cakes made.  At some point, my mother-in-law arrived and I put her to work frosting cupcakes.  I’ve NEVER waited until the last minute to make cakes and so that already had me feeling pressured.  I was glad she was there to help with that!  She may have done some other things but honestly, so much is a blur.  I remember bits and pieces.  I feel like I was just running on auto-pilot at that point.  I was still feeling very crampy and extremely tired.

I totally didn’t expect to be standing there!  I’m actually sort of bummed I didn’t get a good belly pic at the party.  I had on the cutest sweater—-anyway……

The party was supposed to be 4-6.  I’ve never had a party that late before but Levi is a kid who needs a solid nap so I had to work around that.  Of course parties never end at a certain time so it drug out a big and finally everyone was gone except my MIL.  I think her and Ken puttered around the kitchen cleaning up a bit and I just laid on the living room floor in denial over the mess I was going to have to get up and clean.  I did NOT want to move.  I stayed there long enough for my MIL to need to leave to head home.

At 7:57pm, I posted the following on FB: Exhausted! Four stayed put through Caroline and Levi’s birthday party. Next mission? Putting up the Christmas trees and decorating the house tomorrow! Can we make it?

At 8:15pm, I posted the following on FB: Annnnndddd my water broke! Bwahahahahaha!!!

So yes.  We made it through the party.  Barely!  LOL!  I can’t remember if I called my Michelle first or Kori first.  Normally, birth photographers don’t join the party until later in the game but because I love Michelle, I wanted her there as my friend too so she was going to come up earlier than normal.  This was so comforting to me.  So I called her and I am pretty sure she thought I was joking!  LOL!  I called Kori and she asked if I wanted to come in now and I said yes.  I was still convinced I was having this baby in my living room. I was still just very crampy and not really having the normal start/stop contractions though.  I really think I thought the baby was just going to fall out at any minute.  After I hung up with her and told Ken we needed to hurry up and get the kids around, I went upstairs and cleaned myself up a bit and then sat on my bed and cried.  I was just so overcome by emotion.  I suddenly felt like I wasn’t prepared for the birthing of another baby.  I was suddenly fearful because we didnt have a doula and I was regretting that choice.  I just felt very, very unprepared.  I got myself together, finished throwing things in a bag and went downstairs.  And my husband was there worrying about a missing sock of Levi’s.  LOL!  I remember getting annoyed with him because he kept looking for this sock and I was ready to walk out the door.  I just felt like we needed to go.  I couldn’t be in our house.  It was such a strange urge.

We had a very unexpected change of plans and due to a water pressure issue at the hospital, our beautiful midwife and the other midwives on staff arranged for us to be able to birth at the birth center again.  We hadn’t planned on this for a variety of reasons but… was a God thing.  I was having serious fears about the hospital and really wasn’t comfortable with the choice we had made.  We are incredibly blessed by our midwife team who not only look out for our physical needs but our emotional well-being as well.  They all know my history and knew I might struggle without the option of using a birthing tub and they went above and beyond to make sure I had a safe birthing space.  Blessed.  So blessed by these women.

So much of the next 12-16 hours is a total blur for two reasons.  The first is is that after Levi’s birth, I decided I had been too focused on time and how long the birth was taking.  I felt it really kept me from being able to focus properly.  So I had told Kori that I didn’t want the clock in the room with this delivery.  Ironically enough, we realized the clock’s battery was dead.  This was funny because it died at some point during Levi’s birth too.  The downside to not having a clock in the room is that I’m relying a lot on what I “think” the time was and how I remember things happening.  The other reason so much is a blur is because the end happened SO strangely.  I’ve been confused about details and had things mixed up.  I’m sure Kori is going to read this and say nooo it didn’t happen quite like that 🙂  I’ll probably have some editing to do 🙂
We got to the birth center around 9:30pm and I still wasn’t having good contractions.  Much to my disappointment, when Kori checked my cervix I was only dilated to 4cm.  My heart sank.  I may have cried.  I spent some time walking around, lots of time bouncing on the birthing ball, lots of swaying and talking and laughing.

Daddy spent some time napping!  He definitely had the easier job!

This might be my absolute my favorite picture that Michelle took.   Its just….me and my amazing husband.  He is so patiently working with me and waiting while I birth his child.  I find this picture to be so powerful.  I absolutely cherish it, Michelle, thank you so much.

Here Kori is patiently waiting for a contraction to stop so she can listen to our sweet babe’s heartbeat

Shortly before 1am, Kori recommended that we all try to rest as things weren’t really progressing.  I may have dozed off and on, but I really just could not get comfortable.

Facebooking through a contraction!  Look at this cozy bed!  So much nicer than a hospital bed.  Ken could reach over and rub my back or hips as I needed and then we could just fall back asleep until the next contraction.  Such a lovely environment.

Around 5am, Kori checked my cervix again and I was only up to 5cm.  So frustrating!  I was upset with my body, feeling like this was Caroline’s birth all over again.  Water breaks and labor stalls.  These babies of mine seem to like that game!   I did feel like my contractions had strengthened some but they weren’t horrible.  We decided to hang out in the tub for a bit, hoping that change might help progress.  These are some of my favorite shots.

Things didn’t really progress much more and I think I was in and out of the tub a few more times before I felt like I needed to sleep more.  Michelle decided to go home at 7am so she could rest a bit more comfortably.  She didn’t want to disturb me when she left so when I woke up and she was gone I was disappointed but totally understood.  It had been a long day and night.   Ken was to call her to come back once I was in more active labor.
We began to feel a bit of a time crunch because my water had been broken so long.  I may get this part wrong but I think labor had to be imminent at 18 hours or else we had to transfer to the hospital.  Regardless, my time was going to be up at 2:30pm so we really needed to get things moving.   I was in and out of the tub a few times but I got frustrated by that because every time I got out, I become very chilled and was so uncomfortable.  I ended up just staying out.  Ken and I discussed walking around the parking lot but I didn’t really want to go out in the cold.  At some point, I told Kori we would re-evaluate at 930 and see how I had progressed and discuss where to go from there.  I remember she checked my cervix but I can’t remember if it was still 5 or if I had moved to 6.  Either way, it was incredibly frustrating.  We decided to start using some black cohosh.  I might get this part wrong too.  The dosing was a certain amount every 20 minutes for so long and then it the amount increased.   So we did that for quite some time with not much change.  Again, because I didn’t have a clock (was this good or bad?) I don’t really know when we increased the dose so this part of the story may be incorrect.  I did start to feel like things were definitely moving along though!

I really started feeling a lot of pressure and Kori checked my cervix again at noon (roughly, I’m only going off what I think happened, it may have been 1145ish) and she said I was a 6 but she could stretch me to an 8.  I wasn’t sure what that meant but I was MAD.  The pain had picked up and I was not having anything to do with it.  The contractions started coming right on top of each other.  Kori excused herself to go check-in with Stephanie (another midwife) and I was struggling through each contraction, begging Ken to take me to the hospital for an epidural.  Transition anyone?  I was so upset because she told me I was 6 and good grief when I was six with Levi I still had about 15 hours to go!!  There was no way I could manage this amount of pain for that long!!  I remember being on my hands and knees on the bed and I was so upset but Kori came beside me (maybe listening to the heartbeat) and I was saying how I couldn’t keep going and she was so gentle despite my loud yelling, reminding me that she was there.  I just remember feeling really safe then.  Mad, but safe.  Haha!  She suggested I get back in the tub and started running the water but I was SO HOT that I did not want anything to do with the tub.

I must say this was all happening really fast.  I remember getting off the bed and heading to the door.  Like I was leaving.  I was going to walk to the hospital for my epidural.  I remember leaning against the wall by the tub contracting and feeling like my body was on fire.  I was so hot.  Kori asked me where my geranium oil was and then told Ken to find it.  She came over and she had the coldest towel ever with geranium oil on it and she rubbed it on my back.  Out of all those moments,  this was such a tender one and I remember the smell and I can almost feel the cold rag again.  It was amazing.  Kori, that was just what I needed in that minute.

Kori stepped away and went back towards the tub–maybe she was turning the water off?  I don’t know.  I turned away and took two steps towards Ken and was immediately overcome by a contraction like no other.  I grabbed his shoulders and I remember giving a sort of deep yell?  Grunt?  And then this insane feeling of my body pushing.  I was NOT pushing.  Out of the three previous pregnancies I had NEVER experienced that feeling before.  It was AMAZING.  It was truly my body doing what it needed to do.  And with that amazing push came water, water and more water (I actually thought I peed because dude my water had broken and leaked over and over again throughout the night–how could there be anything left?  Kori said it was more fluid though) and then I just remember saying (or yelling?) RING OF FIRE, the head, the head!  The head wasn’t out, but I knew the baby was right there!  Wait a minute folks.  Back the train up.  I was just SIX CENTIMETERS!!!  And I was standing.  STANDING, people!  Kori was quickly by my side but I think she told me to come to the tub as she was walking to me.  I remember telling her I couldn’t move.  I seriously thought the baby was going to fall out.  BECAUSE I WAS STANDING!  I don’t remember if I pushed once or twice and the sweet head was out.  I told Kori (as I have with every single birth) to just pull the baby the rest of the way out for me.  Seriously.  I say this.  Every.time.  Like she could totally do it.  Ha!  I remember feeling something and asking if the body was out and she told me no, she was moving some cord and then with my next push the body was out.  Before I go on, let me say what I loved about this… husband.  My husband stood there, he must have been getting his strength from God.  He stood there supporting me as I bore down completely on him.  We were face to face, shoulder to shoulder.  Our bodies matching just as we were when we joined to conceive this sweet baby.  Such power in that moment.  I don’t remember him speaking to me at all but maybe he did.  It doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t though because he was my rock then.  Taking the weight while I birthed our child.

I was still so shocked (because I was STANDING THERE) that I don’t think I knew what to do next.  I remember Kori saying sort of insistently “take your baby, here take your baby” and handing me our sweet BOY!  I remember saying “Hey! You were supposed to be a girl!”  My gender prediction record just took a shot!

Kori then said she needed me to move to the bed and I remember thinking that I couldn’t move.  I remember as they were moving me that Kori said “I’m calling it 12:10, what do you think?” and Ken saying “yep” but I have no idea how they knew this since there was no clock and I’m certain neither of them looked at their watches or phones.  This makes me laugh!   I felt frozen to the ground but somehow she and Ken got me over to the edge of the bed where this happened:

I don’t remember Ken moving to get the camera but I am so glad he did and so glad he got these shots!  Yes, you noticed?  No beautiful pictures from Michelle’s talented captures.  Because everything happened so freakishly fast, no one could call her.  She wouldn’t have made it even if they had.  I’m sad over this, definitely, but I am so grateful for the most beautiful shots she got early and after he was born.  She rejoined us probably 30 minutes after he was born.

I kept asking what just happened.  I was so confused.  Really.  What just happened?  It was so fast and unexpected.  How did I go from a 6 to baby in my arms so fast?  It still does not make sense to me.  I’m still really working to process through that.  This birth wasn’t bad by any means but it was so…..I don’t even know what the word is.  Unlike anything I ever imagined could have happened.
I sat down on the bed and Kori did the normal post-birth stuff—I’ll spare the details and she told me that when she was talking to Stephanie, she decided to come over to help so she would be walking in at any minute.  I laugh about this now because Stephanie was also called over at the end of Levi’s birth too.  Maybe next time we should just have her join us for the whole party 🙂

Random tidbits: Despite his labor stalling and remaining stalled immediately, he was my shortest labor by 20 minutes at 15 hours 40 minutes.  Sawyer was born at 39w6d, my second longest pregnacy. Liam was my longest at 40w2d.  Even though I carried him longer, he is the second smallest baby I’ve had!

Sawyer came into this world fast and like Superman with his hand up by his head!  Amazingly enough, this was my first delivery where I had NO tearing and required no stitches!  I’ve had second and third degrees with the other kids.  Perhaps standing up IS the way to deliver 🙂

I owe many thanks for my sweet friend Michelle and her darling sister Danielle.  They gave me some extra special loving during my last trimester and made me feel so special.  Thank you girls, thank you for lifting me up and sharing this part of our lives.  All photo credits also go to Michelle and Danielle and the wonderful business they are building.  If you ever need a photographer, definitely consider Labor of Love!  You can view the amazing video Michelle made for us of our birth here.

I have so much gratitude for my amazing midwife.  She deals with my crazies better than anyone else I know.  She doesn’t judge me.  She had been strong for me, she has listened to me cry and obsess.  She has loved on my kiddos through many hectic moments during my prenatals.  At the end, she is still always there to help me bring my children into this world.  She shares the most important moments of my life with me.  I am forever indebted to her spirit and guidance.

Kennith, you continue to be my rock.  I love you more than I will ever be able to adequately express.  I love birthing children with you.  Shall we do it again?

In the end, all glory goes to God.  We are blessed in ways which we will never be able to count.  Each of our children are truly gifts from our Father.

Sawyer Hayes
November 23, 2014
7lbs1oz, 20 inches long
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
1 Samuel 1:27-28

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Naomi Hovey March 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Kori really is awesome!!


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