2018 - the year of the GIRL! Wren Barnett baby #5
The fact that it’s taken me until Spring of the following year to finally commit this to memory via the blog is testament to the fact that having FIVE babies is NO JOKE! I was somehow still keeping up with the necessities of life with 4 children, but 5 has me running around consistently as the Hot Mess Express! But, I wouldn’t change a THING!
It was one of those rare snowy days in Georgia when I just felt like something was off. After 11 years of infertility, it is hard to shake the anxiety of pregnancy tests. It wasn’t like my hands weren’t full, but I knew that while baby #5 was a bit of a surprise, I wanted that test to be positive! I was still taken aback when it was, because the miracle of it all is NOT lost on me!
Fast forward through the most rough 1st trimester to date, at age 39. We had planned a birthday party for Parker on his actual birthday and decided to do the gender reveal at the party. We were surrounded by friends and family. One of our dearest friends, Heidi, had planned quite the extravagant reveal. There were 4 fake reveals... my heart was in my throat! She pretended to lose a gender reveal balloon into the air, pulled out a 2nd one that when popped was full of rainbow confetti, 3rd was a cake that when we cut into was ALSO rainbow marble, and then there was the silly string… you guessed it… ALL the colors! finally, her hubby John (my husband’s best friend from High school) brought out the tannerite. He marched it way out into the depths of our woods (we live on 3.5 acres). Parker, unable to site in his rifle, missed the 1st shot… but on the 2nd shot…. PINK SMOKE! We were in happy, nervous giggling SHOCK!
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I continued to work my full time weekend shifts until August when a long night at work had me contracting non-stop. It earned us a trip home on bed rest until her arrival. Bed rest had us heavily relying on the kindness of our family and friends for help with our 4 busy boys and home. They were amazing and I am still humbled by all the ways we were loved and supported. On Saturday September 1st, I had made it to 36 weeks and my sister-in-laws threw the most gorgeous shower for us! Surrounded by some of my favorite women, we were showered with all the pink, lace, ruffles, and unicorns a girl could desire. Contractions picked back up the following week and by Friday we were on our way to the hospital in full blown labor!
We called our doula, Karla, and rallied the team. While my Mom cared for the boys back at home, dear friends Ginny (doula in training) and Megan (photographer extraordinaire), as well as my sister in law April joined us at the hospital. I was blessed with the most amazing nurse, Allie, who kept us all laughing. I had been in prodromal labor for literally months, now in active labor for over 24 hours and come the afternoon of Saturday September 8th, I was exhausted and so was my Uterus… as could only be explained perfectly in this video from Gin…
With Pitocin on board, it was more important than ever to remain focused, to breathe, and to pray no further interventions would be necessary. I had squatted, lunged, walked, done jumping jacks, and now it was time to just breathe and have faith that this was her birth story, just as God intended it to be. I moved to the tub as things got more intense. As soon as I was submerged in the warm water, everything relaxed and I was able to close my eyes, inhale the sweet aroma of Valor in my diffuser, pray and rest. I remember looking up at Parker and Karla and questioning if I should just enjoy the rest or get out since the water had seemed to stall my labor. They advised rest. However, within minutes a STRONG wave hit. I called for Parker who had attempted to go eat the Jimmy Johns that had been delivered. He raced in and put his strong hands on my forehead in the pressure point hold of all pressure point holds. His hands have been the vital grounding force that sustain me as each of our babies’ passed through me and into the world. Those moments are unforgettable. It is not like in the movies. No screaming at him, no panic, no anger… just FOCUS, LOVE, all the primal noises, and feeling SO safe despite the INTENSITY of the my lightning quick transitions.
Once the first strong wave hit me in the tub, it was followed by what felt like the world’s longest single contraction. Play the video at your own risk, but you will hear the primal sounds that only escape when you are keeping things LOW to keep the tension gone… when everything says tighten up and scream… but, you know better… this is what escapes. Somewhere between moaning cow and growling mama bear goddess? Maybe the next Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream flavor? But, in that contraction that didn’t want to end, there was the part where I had no air left to push, but I pushed anyway and there she was. Nothing more glorious than to go from the Valley of the shadow of death to complete and utter breathless BLISS. Heck yeah, its breathless… its the hardest work of your life to pull from the depths of utter exhaustion and bring heaven earth side!
I had been waiting for her. Many years ago, before Parker and I were even married, I had a distinct dream of a little dark haired girl. When 4 precious boys preceded her, I began to think it WAS just a dream… but, yet, it felt more real. Here she was! She looked like her brother Jude, she was the chunkiest baby we had birthed at 8lbs 2oz, especially given that she was only 37 weeks gestational age. She was (and is) perfection. Her birth had been an adventure. There was lots of laughter, peace, love, harmony, and heaven in that room. She was born in LD13… the same room her brothers Grey and Jude were born in. Including LD8 and 9, those rooms are sacred spaces to our family. We were loved, supported, and respected. Wren made a 3rd water birth for our family, thanks to those lightening fast transitions in the tub. I still am overcome with emotion when I think of the feelings in that room. The air was full of my favorite music and oils. I was served by the most amazing women. April, Ginny, Megan, and Karla kept loving, supporting, massaging and healing hands on me throughout my labor. Parker was my rock, holding me, swaying with me, and keeping me this side of heaven while Wren made her arrival. I am truly in AWE that this is our life and our family. We had empty arms for ELEVEN years, y’all … so forgive me for constantly being amazed that we have experienced not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE pregnancies and births of healthy, perfect babies! My cup runneth over.