I spent the morning ripping out and replanting our strawberry garden and the next morning I had a new baby in my arms. In some ways Tripp’s delivery went like clockwork, and in other ways it was entirely its own.
So, here is the story of how I went from raking and shoveling in our backyard to that sweet, sweet moment when Tripp landed in my arms.
Leading up to his due date, I was convinced he would come early. With Jaxlee and Braedy I didn’t make it to my due dates, so I assumed this baby would follow his big sisters. (If you are an expecting mother—for the first time or 5th time— do yourself a favor and just anticipate your baby to come later than earlier.)
So, that Saturday, March 13th, was a pretty regular day around the Barton house. Jonny got home from a shift at the firehouse (read: he didn’t get any sleep), and we spent the day working in the yard and playing with the girls and had dinner with my parents. I started to feel contractions, but nothing regular.
By the time I got in bed at 9:30, Jonny had been OUT for two hours. I felt my contractions more regularly, so I thought it was about time for me to download an app and start tracking them.
Around 10PM I got up and decided to go to the living room and do some YouTube yoga (thank you Boho Beautiful). I wanted to relax and stretch out my body in preparation for labor and delivery.
With each contraction I intentionally practiced my breathing. Since it had been two years since my last birth and I wasn’t feeling as prepared for this one, I tried to really get my head in the zone. I wanted a natural birth again, and knew it had to start with my mindset.
At 11 PM, I headed to our bath where I made a concoction of Epsom Salt and Essential Oils. (My favorite place to labor!) Jonny heard me and came to see what stage I was in. I assured him we were having a baby! He joked and said you love having babies in the middle of the night, don’t you so we never get any sleep. (3 for 3)
Jonny got his stuff ready and took a shower. I had a list of everything that needed to go in the car for the hospital. The most important things? The Yeti so we could put my placenta on ice (I encapsulated it), alkaline water jugs, and my cute new robe to wear in the hospital. Third time around you realize you’re not packing for a luxury vacation.
At 12:15am, my water broke. I felt a snap and saw the gush in the tub and I knew that was it. I started to get a little nervous because I knew things would progress quickly. Once my water broke I was really working through my contractions and needing Jonny to help me. We got to the hospital at 12:45 am. Jonny did all the talking for me because I couldn’t talk or concentrate on anything but my contractions.
Once we got to the L & D room, my midwife showed up. She knew my birthing wishes and supported me 100%. I didn’t have an IV and requested intermittent monitoring so I could labor without being hooked up to machines. I had been laboring on an exercise ball next to the bed and up until this point, I had not had a cervical exam to determine how far I was dilated.
I got on the bed and my midwife checked me, she said I was a 6. This was SO hard and disappointing to hear. It felt like a huge setback mentally and physically, and I contemplated an epidural. I didn’t think I had that in me to last another two hours of this pain.
My very next contraction I rolled over on to all 4s and started throwing up. This was my body’s way of telling me I was in transition. It happened with both my girls so I knew exactly what it meant.
The very next contraction I got into the sideline position and started pushing. 15 minutes later Tripp Steele was born at 3:14am on 3/14.
Holding his warm jelly body on my tummy is a memory I will never forget. Holding him up to my breast to nurse for the first time was a sigh of relief. Running my hands through his dark head of hair was the feeling of pure bliss.
My friend sent me the verse Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” That verse, sent to us for our boy who was born on 3/14 at 3:14 am, felt like the unity and completion my heart needed.
Each pregnancy, each birth, each child is so unique. I love that their birth stories get to be a part of our family’s book. Sure, maybe I’m the only one in our family who remembers it all, but as a mom, that’s my job and my privilege.
And hey—we’ll have that strawberry garden to remind us of Tripp and his perfect timing.