Monday, May 17, 2010

M.M.S.


Matilda Mae Smylie
9 lbs, 15 oz., 22 inches
5-14-2010
 7:46 p.m.

She is beauty and peace and so much love for our family. 

This is her story.

The beautiful morning of her birth, I had no idea she was coming. I drove Grace to school in my pajamas and came home to get ready for an appointment with my midwife. I felt strong, heavy, overdue. My hips ached. I had spent the last few days eating caramel apples, going on walks, shopping at Costco. Waking up every morning still unbelievably pregnant. 


By the time I got to her office, I was having regular contractions 10 minutes apart. Nothing out of the ordinary for four days overdue. She checked the amount of fluid around the baby and monitored her heartbeat. Both looked great. She looked at me and asked if I had eaten a good breakfast, "Giving birth burns as many calories as running a marathon, ya know". I said yes with a smile, doubting today would be our day. She warned me, "You're at 4 cm, contracting regularly, do not wait until you're in pain. It may be too late by then to make it to the hospital."

I arrived home still with regular contractions. No aching, no wincing, everything was very mild. The phone conversation with Jake was tense, you see, there was quite a load of anxiety throughout this pregnancy concerning labor and delivery. As in: let's not have the baby in the car. Jake and I decided to go to the hospital. If my labor did not pick up, I would have my midwife break my water. I was nervous about this part, having an induction of any sort was not really in my plans.


Another fact, I hate having plans. They create more stress for me. I like to have a rough outline, sure, but I am not one that prepares. For her birth, I wanted a few things. I was planning on going as long as I could without intervention. I planned to find my inner strength. To face the feelings of fear and terror that accompanied Lillie's birth. Hers was a natural birth, two minutes after I arrived to the hospital, and was a complete shock and surprise. I hoped this time I could have a natural delivery that was under my own control. But I was not 100% committed, either. This was the part I left open and unplanned.


We arrived at the hospital and about an hour later at 2 p.m., my midwife broke my water. There was no turning back. Today was the day. We walked the halls, I sat on a large beach ball they call a "birthing ball". The girls would have had a lot of fun with that ball! For me it was strictly business, with ice chips as my friend. I walked the halls. I swayed. By 4p.m. I had progressed to 5 cm. I was feeling good, not in much pain, taking things slow. By 6 p.m. I took a shower and filled up the bath. My midwife had advised me that a bath might slow down my labor (currently my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart), but a woman in labor craves a bath, needs a bath, has got to have a bath. I got in and almost immediately knew that in my case, my midwife had been wrong. 


Contractions got to about 2 minutes apart, stretching a little bit longer and becoming something I had to get through by breathing and closing my eyes. The only comfortable position was sitting cross-legged and gripping my ice cup tightly. Jake watched me become more serious, take on more pain, slowly accepting active labor. His concern was mounting but he talked to me and shut up when I needed him to. 


I got out of the bath and was 7 cm. Here we go. Here we go. I spent a few minutes on the bed monitoring little girl's heartbeat, then back on the birth ball (love and hate that thing!). As Jake applied pressure to my back, he lovingly suggested that if I were to have an epidural, now would be the time. My midwife shot him a death glare which I didn't see and I just said, "shhhh". 


Because it was happening. And I was doing it. One contraction at a time. 


It was about 7:20 p.m. All together, I got through about six contractions sitting there. The first three mounting in pain, the fourth a twinge of something new, something burning, the fifth a weak form of the need to bear down, after which my midwife suggested I move to the bed to push. I said I needed to stay for one more. One more contraction to terrify me enough to move to that scary part, the very end. That last contraction was what I needed. There was no choice involved, I moved to the bed with a single purpose. 


Once I laid down, it was only minutes before we met her. Minutes before my world changed yet again. Minutes until I felt all the emotions I had ever felt in my life, gathered together, exploding in the space above me, where ultimate happiness lies. A perfect culmination of pain and joy. She was a big baby, and it caused me to expend a lot of effort, but she came, eventually. Jake delivered her torso and legs and he handed her body to me, laid her on my chest, kept his hands on her. I gripped her tightly, tears streaming down my cheeks, my hands a little shaky. He held my hand and rubbed her back with the other, encouraging her to cry, to breathe. She didn't cry for one minute and fifteen seconds. 


He was scared. I cried with the purest, simplest joy I have ever felt. I knew she was okay and it was confirmed when she finally let out the prettiest little fairy cry and our medical staff all sighed with relief. The cord had been around her neck and her shoulders needed quite a lot of effort to free. Her face was bruised all over with pinprick purple dots from the strain and pressure of birth. Her hair was thick, black and matted and she was squishy and red. I stared at her steadily, minute after minute, but it took so long to actually see her. She was such a new face, although I already knew her and had for quite some time.


The range of emotions that are felt after birth are unexplainable. You are a goddess, a queen, and at the same time, God's most humble servant. You would fall at the feet of your newborn child, climb the unconquerable mountain, place your flag on top, and spit in the face of all those that doubt you. You would do anything for anyone, yet all you want to do is go home, stay home, and never leave again. Keep those you love close to you, and protect the river of blessings recently allotted. 


This child, this baby, you are certain has been personally given to you by the hand of God in heaven. What else could have happened? And how could you possibly be more lucky and blessed than in this moment?


Since then, we've wallowed in disbelief, let shock and awe wash over us as we've had some of the most spiritual moments and conversations ever spoken in the course of our lives. Jake and I, we have this family. This family of four daughters, who we can't stop loving. And the newest one brings so much happiness and love into our lives that it's difficult to stand. It's difficult to fully feel it. So we push it away until the dark hours of late evening, when we can let it compress on our senses like it should. When we can listen to our girls gently breathing sleepily in their beds as we sit together and stare at our newest one. The one that makes us a family of six.


Tildy, we love you.



68 comments:

Erin said...

Oh Sarah - she is beautiful, those cheeks!!! I just want to eat them. Congratulations from the other side of the globe, Im sure her sisters are over the moon to have her here - love the name :)
Erin

Jenni of the Great Salt Lake said...

Beautiful. Takes my breath away.

You did it. . . totally, totally amazing.

Jenni of the Great Salt Lake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenni of the Great Salt Lake said...

Of course, you must own the movie, right? Matilda. My girls have a special bond with that little girl. I'm not kidding, they adore her. Audrey, especially. You have picked the perfect, most perfect name. And so effortlessly? Of course, Mae is in there also. Those two vowels together are worth, like seven consonants.

Kristy said...

Sarah--You are an amazing woman. Wow! I love the name too, Matilda has always been a favorite of mine but can't use it because of Madison's name. I love Mae also, this is one that we've considered. She is beautiful. Congratulations, what a touching account. No can say it like you do. I've always wanted to try natural birth, but am really scared. I can close with Elliot. Made it to 8.5 centimeters, then had a local to take the "edge" off. We'll have to talk more about it when I get back. Love ya girl you're awesome. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Sarah & Jake! Sarah you did such a great job. A beautiful little girl with a beautiful name. Hugs and kisses to everyone.
XOXO Amelia

Leanne said...

Congrats!! I am so proud of you! And of course she is beautiful- I didn't expect anything less. I love the name. And the picture of Ruby (with scribbles on her arm) holding Tildy's foot. Give all those girls a snuggle for me!

ingrid said...

congratulations!!! absolutely stunningly gorgeous. good job, i love a good birth story & this certainly is a good one :)

LeDoux said...

gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! and i love the birth story. there was so statement that was , "it huuuuuurt!" it sounds like it was so easy. so natural. and i'm so excited that you did it natural.

and i'm so excited about matilda. the fourth girl! the little (big) baby caboose.

love you. miss you. hopefully you can tell me this story in person very soon. can't wait.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Rebecca Smylie said...

I love her. THis made me cry too. You and Jake deserve all the best--and here she is.

Kristie said...

Congratulations guys, she's absolutely adorable. That hair, oh my that hair, completely to die for. xo

Ash said...

Love you! Love her! Love the story! Love the pictures!!!

Latisha said...

Congratulations! Beautiful pictures and beautiful family!

Rachel Brown said...

Welcome to the world little Tildy and congratulations Sarah and Jacob! We are happy for you.

Brande J. said...

Look at all the hair! She is absolutely beautiful! I love that name too. Good job Sarie. I'm so happy for your cute little family.

Melissa said...

You don't know me, and I don't remember how I got here? But I did and I have been back daily for about a month. Your writing is beautiful. The birth story was amazing! And your new addition is absolutely precious (love all the hair)! Congratulations to you,your husband and your girls!

Melissa
www.yesallfivearemine.blogspot.com

Tara said...

Beautiful and Miraculous Miss Tildy. I love it all. And girl, you have the best mom ever. She's a phenomenal woman. No one can tell a story like Sarah.

Jennifer said...

Congrats! I LOVE your birth story. SO beautiful. I think I'll just call you and tell you mine, so you can write it for me and make it sound beautiful like yours. :) You did awesome!

She is BEAUTIFUL. I wish our birthday babies could meet.

The Wright Crew said...

CONGRATS.... I want to see her :) !!! You are amazing that you went all natural! Way to Go.

P.S. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all her hair!

Laurel said...

love the story.
love the name.
love your courage.
love your spirit.
love this.
I LOVE THIS.

congratulations, my friend.

cc said...

Congratulations! She is so beautiful, and you wrote the power of the experience so beautifully. I wish I could describe it so well.

Kim said...

She is adorable. I love her hair!
Congratulations guys!

Clarke and Kamie said...

she's a beauty!!! glad you got through it. epidurals are my best friends:) I was 8 days over with my first and it was the longest 8 days of my life. love her name. congrats.

lindseyj said...

I cannot wait to meet her Sar! Those pictures make me so baby hungry it's not even funny :) See you soon!!

best mom ever said...

Thank you for the beautiful description, to Donna for the amazing photography, Jake for the hair she has (it certainly didn't come from the Medley side!), and Heavenly Father for giving you the power to do what you did on Friday. Matilda is the luckiest. I can't wait to cradle her in my arms in 11 days.

.s.a.r.a.h. said...

She....just like the others is so beautiful! Way to go guys!

ariana said...

Congratulations!!! She is beautiful and surrounded by love. Love the name. It fits perfectly.

Lindsey said...

we must be on the same wavelength because we were totally going to name our maggie grace-matilda and we could call her tildy. She is BEAUTIFUL!! I love all that hair. Congrats!!

Debbi said...

Congratulations Sarah! She looks perfect and I am so glad she is okay! What beautiful hair and pictures. She looks perfect with your family, and I love her name:) Hope you are getting some good rest.

Bart and Michelle said...

What a beautiful story and even more beautiful baby!!! I am truly so happy for you guys! Your family is just darling!

Joyful Noise said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. The baby, the experience, the writing! Congratulations! Big babies are the best, except they grow up too fast. Enjoy every second as it will pass far too quickly. (Which is the same message your grandmother Medley gave me 30 years ago.)

Debbie Nowland

cowgurs said...

yeah!!! it's over! i just LOVE her hair!

Haley Clarke said...

Congratulations! She is beautiful. I love all the pics. And of course I love her name!

Lauren said...

Congrats! She is so gorgeous. Glad your experience happened how you wanted it to. You have a beautiful family.

jakenapril said...

oh, sarah she is just scrumptious! i am loving all her dark hair. and what a story. you are amazing. what a lucky little gal miss tildy is to have you as her mom. congratulations!

{Erica} said...

Look at that hair...look at those cheeks! She is a beauty! Loved the story and the pictures.

Congratulations Mama!

Emily said...

She is BEAUTIFUL! Oh my word. Way to go on the delivery - I am so impressed. Can't wait to meet her. I love that hair! Hope you are feeling good!

k hansen said...
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Megan said...

Another beauty. I love her. I love you. Congratulations!

Laynie said...

Congratulations! She is so beautiful...love all the hair!

Lillie said...

I'm crying on the elliptical at the gym. Reading this on my phone.... So precious --she's beautiful!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness, congratulations! She is a beauty and thank you for sharing this sweet story with us!

LuCDay said...

I can't wait to squeeze her! You should read your "birth" blogs to your girls every year on their birthdays. You are a poet. Love you, love your girls and love the picture of Ruby holding Matilda's little foot with her art work proudly displayed on her arm.

Dana said...

She is beautiful Sarah!

Raelyn said...

Yay!!! Congratulations! She is beautiful! Love the picture of all you girls on the bed! So perfect! Wishing you peaceful, loving nights, and amazing, adoring days! Cherish the time, you know it goes so fast!

Em said...

Amazing. Welcome to the world little one.

Regi said...

Congratulations!

Alisa said...

She's perfect. And you're a rock star. Sending my love for a quick recovery.

Sharry said...

and there she is...
perfection personified.

Sharry said...

fyi...
her face now graces my computer desktop. it's a sight to behold.

kristen said...

Sarah....YOU are amazing, your BEAUTIFUL baby is amazing, your family is AMAZING!!!!! Gorgeous pictures.....so beautiful....love them all and really love the one of you and your girls all together lovin on sweet Tildy!!!! I am so happy for you, Jake and your beautiful family!!!! xoxoxoxo

Lynnie said...

Oh, oh, oh! I am woman hear me roar - that's how having a baby makes us feel, huh? Especially if it's a fatty like Tildy - such a fun, spunky, perfect name for another little perfect, spunky girlie. Ava is so jealous that Grace has 3 sisters - could she spare just one for Ava? Great pictures - I can't wait to see your artwork (Miss Babe) showed off on this blog! Good job girlie!

Brooke Bowen said...

She is beautiful! Your words are beautiful! Those life moments are beautiful! Love it and the feelings it brings! Congrats!!!!

Missy said...

Crying, yes. So. Unbelievably. Happy for you. I love, love Grace's grin of you five girls on the bed. You are beautiful and strong and I am dying at this last picture -- her little features are perfect.

And natural Sarah. Can we please just talk before my next one? I'm so set on it being natural on my own terms too. You are INCREDIBLE.

Love the name too (Coco and me share Mae as a middle name too, it's perfect with Matilda).

Matthew said...

Thank you for putting into words everything i have felt while delivering a beautiful baby into the world! This brought tears to my eyes. I am soo proud of you! What a woman. And so proud of Jake and so proud of Matilda. I cant wait to meet her and give you a huge hug!! xoxox

Matthew said...

Okay, just noticed she was almost 10 pounds. Oh. My. Goodness.

Matthew said...

Matthew = Lori

Sherine said...

You write wonderfully.. So much so that often I find myself thinking I want to show my husband your posts so he knows exactly what I'm thinking:). Congratulations... There is truly nothing more wonderful.

Team Bowers said...

She is perfect!

Kelly said...

Wow! What an amazing birth story. You are an amazing mother! She is beautiful. My first thought the minute I saw her was, Grace? Love the nickname Tildy. Perfect. Perfect family!

Dee said...

I've got nothing new.
she's beautiful and cute and sweet and yummy and heavenly.
your words were beautiful and sweet and heavenly.

Kristan Carter said...

Oh I am so happy for you guys. I think she looks just like YOU...Congrats.

Lillie said...

Every time I look at these I cry…

And I love the art all over Ruby's arm. :)

Heidi said...

9. 15!! Go Mom. Congrats to your entire family.

Carrie and Jeff said...

What an awesome experience for you guys. She's beautiful. congrats!

Celeste said...

She is so beautiful! I can't wait to see her sweetness. I am so happy things went well... you are such a strong mama! I love her cute name. Congratulations!

~Mel said...

Brought me to tears, it did. She is a beauty. A big, fat, cute, precious beauty! Love yer guts.

Kasey said...

Congratulations Sarah and family! She is so precious and I just loved reading your birth story. I am amazed that you did it all natural - and with her being such a big baby! You are a rockstar.