From the beginning Phoebe inspired faith in me.
My third pregnancy with Deacon culminated in an unplanned and unnecessary c-section which left me with some post traumatic stress issues. That is a story for another day, but when I found out I was pregnant with Phoebe, I was determined not to have to go through that again.
I still remember the night I told Nathan the news. We were living in Chapala, Mexico about 45 minutes outside of Guadalajara. The boys were all tucked in to bed and we had decided to play a game of Scrabble. Nathan was getting our drinks and snacks while I was setting up the game. I spelled out “WE’RE PREGNANT” with the little white Scrabble squares on the board and waited for him to notice. He sat down, organized his letters for the game, and went to play his first word. He read my message on the board and looked at me with disbelief, and then a huge smile broke out on his face. Deacon was only 10 months old. We were thrilled.
So began my journey to find a natural minded health provider in Mexico that would allow me to have a VBAC (natural) birth with Phoebe even though I had a previous c-section. Joni and Jose Luis, a doula/Dr. team in Guadalajara were the answer to my prayers. Phoebe and I had a fabulous “no big deal, birth is normal” kind of prenatal experience, without being poked and prodded and examined week after week. As we approached her due date my Mom flew in from Texas to wait for Phoebe. Of course we had no idea she was “Phoebe”, we didn’t find out who was in there, whether boy or girl, until she was born, and really we wouldn’t have been the least surprised if she was a boy because we kind of have a track record.
Mom waited there with us for THREE weeks. Phoebe made us wait. She was going to come in her own good time when she was ready. Had I been in the states, I would have been made to have a repeat c-section if I was three weeks “overdue”. Phoebe was monitored by ultrasound every other day or so to make sure she was still looking good, and we were told that we could just wait on baby. So we did. We took walks on the malecon (the waterfront boardwalk by Lake Chapala), we hiked up the mountain trail by our house and Mom took us out to eat a lot. It was a precious time.
On August 16th 2009 Phoebe made her debut after 26 hours of labor. At one point in my labor she was stuck. It was an excruciating half hour or so of back labor. I was made to get out of the water tub I was in, and stand up. I could hear Nathan praying with all of his heart and asking the Lord to release her. My husband does not cry and he was crying. Suddenly she was released and I hobbled back to the water where our beautiful baby girl was born into the arms of her Daddy.
We were awestruck, in love, totally bowled over with joy for the incredible, intimate, non-medical, loving experience we had just shared that ended with the most beautiful prize, Phoebe Lucille Fair. She was three weeks past her “due-date” and amazingly was a very normal 7.12 oz. at birth. She was right on time.
In the past weeks I have replayed Phoebe’s entrance into our lives over and over again and it has brougth me comfort. Nathan was built up by the part he got to play in Phoebe’s birth, it was as if he called her forth and she came. I remember there were several moments during labor where I thought, “I just want to cry and let go of this intensity”, but I knew that if I surrendered to the pain that I would lose the ground I had worked so hard for. I knew the prize was at the end of that pain and if I could just set my face like a flint toward that goal, we would get there.
That is precisely how I feel in the battle for Phoebe’s life. If we will not surrender to the pain, but remember that the prize is at the end of all of it, if we will set our faces like a flint toward the end of chemothrapy, we will get to go home with our baby girl in our arms just like we did on that beautiful day in 2009. God let it be so…