Tobias Arthur

By Jennifer Holshoe
April 7, 2020

Tobias Arthur
6 pounds 9 ounces
21 inches
November 18th 11:59AM

November 18th, I woke up around 5:00 am and just couldn’t fall back to sleep. Eventually, I decided to get up and shower, in hopes that labor would begin. Sure enough, contractions started while I was in the shower, but were very mild and pretty far apart yet. I knew this would be my last opportunity for a while to shower in peace, so I made it an extra long one while also praying for a quick and smooth labor and birth. After showering, my water began to slowly trickle, which ended up lasting my entire labor.

I’m guessing that labor started around 6:00 while in the shower. After tracking a few contractions at 8-10 minutes apart and lasting 30-50 seconds, I texted my midwives and doula at 6:27 am letting them know things had started. When Micah woke up, we got him ready for school and I snuggled and savored my last minutes with him as our only child for as long as I could. Khanh took Micah to school around 8:00 and the time he was gone felt like an eternity.

I labored on our main floor for a few hours while eating oatmeal, making hard boiled eggs (why I felt the need to make such a smelly food, I have no idea), and leaning over the kitchen counters at each contraction. Around 9:30, I texted our midwives and doula again letting them know my contractions were getting closer together and our doula headed towards our house. At the same time, Khanh and I made our way upstairs to our bedroom and began filling the birthing pool. I was already enjoying the relief from pelvic pressure the pool provided when our doula, Brooke, arrived around 10:45. Just before her arrival, Khanh texted the midwives telling them to head over and they arrived around 11:00.

By the time Jennifer arrived, contractions were really intense and I don’t have a clue what they did besides check the baby’s heart rate and wait in the hallway (which is a good thing in a peaceful birthing room!). being on my knees bending over the pool provided the most relief, but I did climb out to use the restroom. I had one contraction while sitting on the toilet and absolutely hated that feeling, so I quickly made my way back to the pool. While Khanh went downstairs to grab something, I had another contraction and though Brooke was there to support me, it wasn’t my husband. When he returned, I quickly told him he wasn’t allowed to leave the room again 🤪. He knelt by my side the entire time and put up with me squeezing his arm as hard as I could.

I felt the urge to start pushing, so the midwives came in the room to prepare to catch the baby. In the midst of pushing, they said I could reach down and touch or catch the baby, but I felt like I couldn’t move a single muscle. Only a couple pushes and less than 15 minutes later, our baby boy was born in the water at 11:59 am.

After 5 minutes, someone asked if we’ve looked to see what gender the baby was. I was trying to recover from the pain of pushing a baby out and holding that new baby, that it didn’t even cross my mind to look. 😂

It was a boy!

Come to find out, he had turned into the posterior position (sunny side up) before coming out, which made the pain more intense, but thankfully didn’t stall labor. My tearing was very, very superficial, which I was thankful for since I had torn pretty badly with Micah. We did delayed cord clamping, both Khanh and I did skin-to-skin, and initiated breastfeeding within the first hour of life. By hour 2, Tobias was weighed, measured, and passed all his tests. We snuggled in bed and locked into our memories as much as we could about Tobias. Micah came home from school that evening and met his brother for the first time. He was so gentle, loving, proud, and was made for his new role.

Giving birth to our healthy rainbow baby in the same room I delivered the baby we lost was healing and an amazing experience. That space now has happy thoughts associated with it.

Brooke was a constant support helping me in and out of the pool and telling me I can do it when I kept saying I couldn’t do it. P.S. that’s when you know you’re about to meet your baby! She put my hair up in a ponytail, squeezed my hips (and didn’t get offended when I asked her to stop), started diffusing lavender, made a meal for me, and managed to get the perfect pictures to capture everything just how I envisioned.

The midwives came in and did each of their jobs so smoothly and let me do what I was made to do. My body knew which positions to get into and when it was time to push. I didn’t even notice that one of them arrived. I asked her later if she made it before he was born, and everyone told me she was the one who handed him to me! They were monitoring everything along the way, but sat in the hallway until it was time to push. Ya know, a watched pot won’t boil. They made sure Tobias and I were healthy. They cleaned everything up and you couldn’t even tell a baby was born in our bedroom. I felt so comfortable with them at my birth.

Though I loved our hospital midwife that delivered Micah, I would choose a homebirth 100 times over. Being in the comfort of our own home with a trained team of birth workers, not having to figure out when to head to the hospital, not having to ride in a car while in labor, and given the space to listen to my body are just a few reasons.

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