BIRTH STORY WRITTEN BY JASON SMITH
“J., I think this is it.”
I opened my eyes to see Angie leaning over the bed. Over the past two weeks, there had been a couple of other times when she thought it was time. But, to her credit, her body has strong contractions off and on as early as four weeks out that get as close as three to four minutes apart. However, this time I could sense something different in her voice.
“What time is it?” I asked. “1:32.”
“How far apart?”
I pulled back the covers and jumped out of bed. I instantly thought of how we had already cancelled our Thanksgiving Day plans just in case our newest addition decided to make their entrance into the world on the national holiday. Barely an hour and a half into the day and our precautions were proving valid.
“How long have they been going on?” She was silent as she worked through the next contraction. Finally she responded, “The first one I know of was at 1:23. They woke me up right before that one.”
“Do you want me to inflate the tub?” I asked. We had not only decided to have a home birth with this one (Jeremiah’s home birth was not planned – we’ll write that one out later), but we also had planned for a water birth. We had borrowed an inflatable birthing tub from our midwives; however, I felt there wasn’t really enough time to get it inflated and filled with water at this point.
She asked me to first fill our garden tub, which I did, and then work on the inflatable tub. After the inflatable was full of air and ready for water, she told me: “J., forget it. The noise is distracting and I just need you with me.” I abandoned the tub and attended to my wife.
Angie had already called her mom (who lives an hour and fifteen minutes away), and then I called my parents (who live about an hour and a half away). It was about 1:44 when I decided to call the apprentice midwife. But, Angie asked me to wait just a couple more minutes just in case to make sure the contractions were going to keep at it.
(Quick note about our midwives: We met Christy Martin a few months earlier before we moved to Fort Worth. She is with a midwifery and birthing center called All About Babies. After our first conversation with her, we knew that she was the one. We then discovered that she had an apprentice, Kelli Bankes, who, by our permission, would take the role of primary midwife while Christy would be by her side. We agreed and soon had two godly women working to help us with this pregnancy and the birth.)
Finally, about ten til two, I decided to go ahead and call the midwives. The plan was to call Kelli first, who would in turn call Christy. We were to call Christy, however, if we started to get into an emergency situation. So, per protocol, I called Kelli and let her know it was time.
As we waited for the midwives to arrive, I attended to Angie as she labored — mainly a silent support as I stayed right by her listening to her whisper scriptures to help her through the pain of labor. Then she looked at me and said, “J., I feel like I need to push.”
It was 2:15 on the midwives had not yet arrived. I picked up the phone and called Christy. “Y’all may not make it,” I told her. “She said she’s ready to push.” Christy told me that they were almost to our home and reassured me that I knew what to do if the baby came before they made it.
At 2:20, Kelli walked into our house, followed quickly by Christy. Less than sixty seconds later, at 2:21am, our Thanksgiving baby arrived. And the cool thing: although the midwives were there, as according to our plan, I got to catch the baby! I quickly handed the baby to Angie who let it just lay against her. It was probably a full thirty-seconds before we remembered to check the gender (we had decided we wanted this one to be surprised).
“It’s a boy!” Angie exclaimed. I immediately thought of how all our children, who wanted a baby sister, predicted it would be a boy. They were right.
So, in the early morning of Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011, after 58 minutes of hard laboring, Caleb Neil Smith entered into the world — all from the comfort of our own home. What an experience! And we thank God for wonderful, godly midwives such as Christy and Kelli.
We called Angie’s mom and my parents — both who were nowhere close because they hadn’t had enough time, after all, the midwives barely made it — and let them know their grandson was here.
Finally our parents arrived and I woke up the kids as the midwives continued to perform their normal afterbirth routine. It was around 5:30 when all had left and we – Angie, me and the kids – sat around and tried to take it all in. Here was our newest blessing! A few hours before we were a family of six ... now we were seven.
P.S. – By the way, as of yesterday, Joah (5) is already praying for twin girls if God blesses us with more kids!