In February 2016, my husband and I made the decision to discontinue my birth control and take a shot at NFP. I ordered this big fancy book that was going to show me the ropes on this new pill-free journey. But you see, wrangling a room full of vivacious kindergarteners during the day and a rambunctious almost 1 year old at night time leaves little time for leisure reading. Fast forward to November 5, 2016. At 4:15 a.m. we welcomed our sweet little surprise, Amos Matthew Hollingsworth, into the world. This is his birth story.
Amos’ estimated due date was set for November 5. I believe that babies “come when they do, not when they are due.” The week of Amos’ due date, I had a strong feeling he was coming soon. My entire pregnancy I had been determined that I would work till time to depart for the hospital, but knowing deep down he was coming soon I decided to start my maternity leave a little early for two reasons- nesting and resting. Nesting day was full of all that you would expect- not a crevice or drawer went untouched. Even the tool bucket was reorganized. Resting day consisted of a pedicure, Netflix, and a trip to Target (ALONE!). I had a few mild and inconsistent contractions that day, but knew the time was drawing near, so of course I did some Bradley reading before bed that night to prepare myself.
At 11:00 pm, my first real contraction woke me up. After that one came more, but I kept trying to get a little rest in between. At 11:30, I decided to start timing them just to get an idea of how consistent they were. They were 8 minutes apart, so I was still able to get a tiny bit of rest for 8 minutes at a time. Knowing we had an hour drive ahead of us I decided to go ahead and text my amazing doula and give her a heads up. She agreed that I needed to continue to rest and keep her updated. Which is exactly what I did (or at least tried to) for a little while longer. I finally decided to wake my husband up around 12:30. I told him I was pretty sure we would have a baby by morning!
With my contractions still averaging 8 minutes apart, we decided it was best for him to go ahead and get Jack situated with his babysitter before things got going. We loaded our sweet boy up and off they went! He was probably gone a total of 30 minutes and before he could even make it back, things were really picking up. After telling my doula that my contractions were now averaging 5 minutes apart, we decided it would be a good time to make our way to the coast. From the start of this pregnancy I had been seeing a midwife on the coast who made every minute of the drive worth it, and I couldn't wait to deliver with her. When Dustin made it back, we loaded up and were one the road in no time. Before we could even make it out of the driveway my sweet husband was starting this labor with me the same way we started Jack’s- in prayer. He prayed over both me, baby, and everyone involved. He prayed that God would be glorified in the hours that lay ahead. The next thing he did was start our “worship” playlist that I had been reminding him about for weeks. This is something that is playing constantly in our house, so I knew it would be comforting to hear. What was also comforting, was that my usually law-abiding citizen husband was willing to break the speed limit and run a few red lights all in an effort to not deliver our baby roadside in Wiggins.
My contractions with Amos were so different than with Jack. I was so paranoid of how labor was going to be sitting in a car all that time, but they were so short! They were intense, but not long enough to really be that bad. This made laboring while strapped into a seat belt very doable. It was an answered prayer! When we arrived at the hospital we were met by our doula, midwife, and photographer- all ready to get this show on the road (and FINALLY find out the gender of this sweet baby!) And let me just take a second to brag on what an astounding team they made. Wow. They were the most calming and comforting presence. The relationships that I had developed with each of them literally made it feel as if I were with a group of friends about to take on a marathon. By the time we made it to our room I was having the urge to push. We started out on the birthing stool, but I was having a lot of back pain, so they suggested hands and knees. This seemed a little awkward to me at first because it defied the traditional TV depiction of birth, but I trusted them and gave it a shot. It was so much better for my back and made me feel like I had so much more control over my pushing. Whew! Pushing was intense. It felt much different than my first birth, some moments felt very discouraging as I was convinced this baby was never coming out. With my first birth, crowning seemed like such a small part that I hardly remember it. With this birth, it was such a big part.
Our little Amos gets a “super crown”, because that's what I think of looking back- crowning. FOREVER. God clearly designed all women differently and there are some women out there who push for 10 minutes and have a baby. I'm not that woman. I labor quickly, but push longer. But after 45 minutes, there was light at the end of the tunnel- we finally had a head out! A sweet little body followed right behind it revealing the answer to what we all wanted to know- it was a BOY!!!! In that moment all of the painful and ugly parts of a natural childbirth were completely forgotten. I was once again enamored with God’s amazing design for pregnancy and childbirth. It's ironic to me that the meaning of the name Amos is “carried by God”. This sweet boy was carried by God through me. For 9 whole months, I had carried him in my womb. For 9 months he was growing and I was doing nothing special to make that happen. Sure, I tried to eat well, take vitamins, exercise, etc, but he was being sustained and nourished by God through me. Everyday that I got up and went to work and lived my normal life, he was steadily growing into this tiny little human that would change our lives. Even still at just one week old he is still being sustained by my body alone. God designed me in such a way that I can provide everything Amos needs to survive. That my friends, is amazing. I can't even wrap my brain around it. I'm so overwhelmed by this beautiful miracle of life. Just as God handpicked Amos as a prophet, we believe that our sweet Amos was “handpicked” for our family. I so look forward to the role he will play in our lives. I have so much more to be thankful for this year. More babies to love and watch grow. Watching Jack love “his baby” and longing for the day when they will play together brings our hearts such joy. We are forever grateful for our beautiful boys and the things God teaches us through them. I so look forward to writing more birth stories in the future, but for now we are enjoying watching the life stories of Jack and Amos be written right before our eyes.