A Melody That Sounds Like a Memory

Have you ever been given a gift that you didn’t even know you needed; however upon receiving it you realized it was exactly what you needed?  I was recently given such a gift.  It was a gift that my soul needed.  A gift that some piece deep inside of me needed, and yet I was completely unaware of that need until it was met.  I was given a song and with that song an amazing memory.  Eric Church in his song “Springsteen” says, “It’s funny how a melody sounds like a memory.” Well I was given one of those melodies and I will forever be grateful.
Let me start from the beginning and tell the story of this song and memory.  On August 28th 2016 I found out I was expecting Baby Ross #2.  It was a Sunday which is a busy day for a Pastor’s family and not the best time to process news like, “Surprise, life is about to get crazier!”  Over the next few days however the excitement and joy of adding another member to our family began to creep in.  We started dreaming, picking out names we liked and telling our 2 year old daughter Charlotte about the baby in mommy’s tummy.  The only thing Charlotte really grasped was that this “baby in mommy’s tummy made mommy sick.”  She started mimicking mom and announcing that the baby in her tummy was making her sick.  It was a great excuse to not eat her dinner or get the cuddles and sympathy she wanted. 

We set up an initial appointment at the hospital.  After one appointment I knew that wasn’t the route I wanted to go.  I’m not a rule follower.  I crave freedom and an ability to do things in my own way.  I have strong passions, beliefs, desires and convictions and I thrive when I am able to pursue those in my own God given way.  The hospital setting felt ordered, systematic, standardized and regulated.  I left feeling like my joy about this pregnancy had been stifled by the controlled system. 

Now if you read Charlotte’s birth story you know that my original plan and dream had been to have Charlotte at home.  Charlotte ended up being my stubborn breech baby and so that dream was not possible. I had to have her at the hospital.  I was still able to have the natural birth I wanted and I had no regrets over the fact that we had not had Charlotte at home.   However, I still longed to have the home birth I had never had.  I believe birth is a natural and normal experience.  It is not an illness.  It’s something a woman’s body was designed to do.  Just because it’s difficult and painful doesn’t mean it is risky or wrong.  In my mind the safest and most comfortable place to go through one of the most challenging and life changing moments of my life was in my own home. 

I knew that once I again I would do best with working with midwives and maybe just maybe my dream for a home birth would come true.  I found the Bend Birth Center and immediately fell in love with everyone there.  My joy about this pregnancy crept back in as I talked with them and shared my story of Charlotte’s birth and my dreams about this coming birth.  I felt empowered and ready to fully embrace my pregnancy and the upcoming birth.  I feel like so often as women we are taught to survive pregnancy and birth.  We bitterly watch our figure melt away into a balloon and sigh or moan at every bout of nausea or stretch mark.  Our culture tells us that we’ve been dealt a miserable deck of cards, having to lose our body and life for the sake of another. I don’t agree with this perspective though.  I consider it a privilege to be able to grow a human being and then give birth and sustain them using only my body.  I mean, how incredible is a woman’s body…stretch marks and all?

Being a mom had changed all my priorities and had taught me that it was ok not do everything and be everything.  It was ok to run slower or not run at all.  It was ok to lay on the couch and eat mashed potatoes while watching Curious George with my toddler.  It was ok to take all the time I needed to absorb the reality that there was life inside of me.  It was ok to be sick, have no energy or feel emotional.  These things were just the side effects of a miracle.

Early on in pregnancy I felt a deep desire to invite my Dad to attend the birth.  My mom is a Doula and so she is naturally a part of most of the births that happen in our large family.  I knew that my dad cared deeply about birth as well.  He was willing to hear about or talk about the messy parts of birth.  Never shying away from anything. I had a feeling that seeing a grandchild be born would be an incredible experience for him.  My dad has always had a special place in my life.  My dad makes me strong.  He cultivated strength in my life as I grew up.  He gave me big tasks to do and often made me his right hand helper for hard jobs.  He always believed in me, never doubted me and he understood the piece inside of me that craved doing difficult things.   I also had a soft place in my heart for my dad.  I could be vulnerable with him and feel safe.  I always felt like there was a part of me that saw my dad’s heart and understood his heart; and so I knew that I wanted my dad at my birth.  At 20 weeks we found out that Baby Ross was a boy and Jadon and I knew that my dad’s name was a name we wanted to use in our son’s name.  Our kids get to have a family name and a nature name because besides God, those are two very important things to us.  Charlotte Timber was named after Jadon’s mom and the Wyoming Pine and Aspen Trees.

When I asked my dad if we could use his name for our son and if he would be at the birth he started crying and told me it was something he had always desired.  I knew God truly had placed that on my heart for a reason.  I was excited about this upcoming home birth with both of my parents being there.

Fast forward to 36 weeks in my pregnancy.  I had everything ready for Baby Ross’s arrival and now I was just waiting.  At 37 weeks I was having a few early labor signs and I started worrying that my mom and dad weren’t going to get here in time.  I talked to my parents and they agreed to come early and arrived right before 38 weeks.  True to Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic” all my early labor signs disappeared upon their arrival (insert big eye roll here).  It really was ironic, I really did think.

I started doing everything I could to kick labor into gear.  It turns out a lot of the things that are said to start labor are things I already did.  I walked every day.  I ran around and played with Charlotte.  I took hot baths.  Dates were a part of my daily diet. Jadon gave me foot massages. I consistently saw a chiropractor. I ate curry and eggplant.  On and on…It seemed like all of these potential labor starters were too normal for my body.  I upped the ante.  I ran down Pilot Butte.  I ran a mile as fast as I could, something I hadn’t done in 9 months.  I walked almost 40 miles in my 39th week.  Nothing worked.  Baby Boy Ross was coming on his own time and that’s all there was to it. 

At one point I had a little talk with God about when I felt like I would best handle labor.  I told God that I really wanted to have the baby during the day.  I’m not a night person.  I hate staying up late.  I told him that I would also like to have had time to drink my coffee in peace and take a morning walk with my husband.  Morning is my favorite time of day.  I spend about an hour with headphones on, drinking coffee, eating breakfast and wrapping my head around the day.  This alone time gets me through life. It gives me time to talk to God and check in with myself.  After this “Audrey time” Jadon and I load Charlotte up in the stroller and take a walk. It gives us time to have an adult conversation and connect before the day runs away from us.  This time is often the backbone of our relationship…uniting us even during stressful and busy times in life. 
On May 2nd, my original due date, other people started giving birth, a friend and a cousin both had their babies even though they were due after me.   I was so tired of waiting and feeling like everyone was waiting on me.  My parents must have sensed this because they stopped hanging around waiting and started shopping for an RV.  Jadon and I decided to stop waiting too and got out of town.  We spent a day in Bend and then another day in Sisters.  I took Charlotte out on a date and started getting together with friends again.  There were a few other things that I had been putting off till after the birth and I decided to stop putting them off and get them done.

On Friday evening (May 5th) there was a random rain storm and Charlotte was adamant that we find her a rainbow.  We were sitting down for dinner and looked out our front window but there were no rainbows.  Charlotte was so disappointed and so like any good grandpa wanting to please his granddaughter, my dad got up and decided to check out the back door for a rainbow.  Sure enough, there was a beautiful rainbow.  Charlotte ran outside to check it out with grandpa. For some reason I decided to step outside and check out the rainbow as well.  I stood outside in the misting rain and looked at that rainbow.  I know it’s not theologically correct but I felt like God put that rainbow there for me; reminding me that He was going to keep his promise of a baby being born soon.  I went to bed that evening feeling a little glimmer of hope that I hadn’t felt in weeks.
Saturday morning started pretty normally with coffee and breakfast while I listened to some new music.  Today was my adjusted due date but that didn’t hold much meaning after watching my first due date come and go.  A few weeks back my midwives had checked to see if I was dilated and told me that the baby’s head was low enough to feel through my 4 cm dilated cervix.  I thought that was incredible so of course I had to feel the baby’s head for myself.  Sure enough I could feel Baby Boy Ross’s hard head through the bag of waters.  I was curious about how to tell if I was dilated and so I asked how to tell where my cervix was.  Sophia, the midwives’ assistant told me that at this point my cervix would feel like a cheerio in a bowl of oatmeal.  So on this Saturday morning I decided to see if baby’s head had moved down any or if my cervix felt any more dilated.  I remember thinking, “That cheerio is gone.”  I told myself it was nothing. Baby had probably just moved back up some.

My parents found an RV earlier in the week and had plans to finalize the sale and pick it up.  While they were gone, Jadon and I decided to take the morning slow and enjoy our lack of schedule.  Around 10:00 am we finally made it out of the house for a morning walk.  I had felt what I thought were gas pains and low back pain on and off all morning and so I skeptically mentioned that to Jadon in case it turned out to be something more.   Charlotte seemed especially tired and fell asleep about half way through the walk.  A sleeping toddler is always a pleasant thing.  It means being able to have an adult conversation without a splattering of questions interrupting things.  As Jadon and I finished up our walk we saw my parents new RV parked outside. My mom met us outside and asked us if we wanted to go for a ride.  We decided that since Charlotte was still asleep we would let her finish her nap while we showered and got ready for the day and then we would all go for a ride in the RV. 

Half way through my shower those low back pains and pressure started to kick in.  I decided once again to check my cervix just to see if things had changed.  I was shocked to feel what felt like a water balloon where my cervix used to be.  I decided to keep this little tidbit to myself in case it turned out to be nothing.  I got out of the shower and started to dry off.  All of sudden I felt an intense pain/pressure radiate around my back and go shooting down my legs, then it came around a hugged my large belly before subsiding.  I glanced at my watch, it was 12:38. I thought I should know what the time was since this may be an initial contraction. I was still skeptical though and decided to go about getting dressed without saying anything.  However 3 strong contractions later and I was calling Jadon into the bathroom to tell him what was happening.  I told him I wasn’t going to mention it to my parents yet because I couldn’t handle any anticlimactic moments.  I started getting dressed and in the back of my mind I thought, “This is it, I better dress comfortably.”  About 2 contractions later and I realized that I could no longer talk through the pain so I told Jadon to go get my mom.  I confided to her that I was having some contractions but down played it because once again, I didn’t want to be disappointed.  She started timing my contractions and after about 3 told me to text the midwives and give them a heads up.   I texted Janette, the midwife on call and she said they would head my way in about 30 minutes.  Then I texted my good friend Nichole who was going to watch Charlotte for me.  I told her that I was just giving her a heads up in case things progressed.  About the time I finished both texts I realized that things were kicking it up a gear as my contractions became stronger.  I immediately texted Janette back and said, “Come now.”  Then I texted Nichole and said, “This is it, come now.”  Just like that I was on the labor train and there was no getting off. 

Charlotte was awake and eating lunch with Grandpa.  I took one look at my precious daughter and could barely hold it together.  I wanted to grieve for her.  Little did she know that her world was about to be turned upside down.  I told her after lunch she was going to get to play with her buddy Dirk (Nichole’s son).  She was so excited and I tried to share her excitement but I felt like my heart was ripping in two.  All of a sudden I was so worried for her.  I wanted to protect her from this change that was going to rock her world.  I escaped to her bedroom to pack an overnight bag and cried as I put her little pjs and a change of clothes in a bag.  I made sure to include all of her favorite stuffed animals and her beloved doll, Baby Foo Foo.  I was so worried that she was going to have to go to bed without mom or dad to snuggle with her and my heart could hardly handle the pain at knowing she might be scared or confused or cry for mom or dad.  I think kids should always feel safe and secure.  From the moment they are born to the time when they are ready to strike out and do life on their own, they should never wonder if mom and dad are there.  They should never feel scared or abandoned or even confused about where mom or dad are.  I will never be the mom who sneaks out of the room so that the baby or toddler doesn’t see them go.  NO! I want my children to always know that I am leaving so that they aren’t surprised with the sudden lack of mom’s presence. I always kiss and hug Charlotte good bye and tell her I will be back soon to get her.  I would never leave unless I knew she felt secure.  So this whole unknown labor time table had my stomach in stitches.  I finished packing her overnight bag and went to give my first born a few final snuggles.  I hugged her and the tears streamed down my face.  In between contractions I told her that Famaball (Charlotte’s made up name for baby) might be here when she came home.  She didn’t seem too surprised, after all we talked about the baby multiple times every day.  She squirmed out of my arms when the doorbell rang, knowing that Nichole had arrived to pick her up.  And just like that I watched my first baby happily bounce out the front door and I had to change my focus to this 2nd baby still inside me.

I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and so I quickly warmed up a gluten free cinnamon roll that I had been saving in the freezer for just this time.  Finally I was getting to eat my labor food! I was standing in kitchen where I could take a bite of food and then hold on to the counter and sway through a contraction.  I was starting to feel panicky.  I was only an hour into labor and I was already feeling completely consumed by the pain of the contractions. It was like a vice grip wrapping around my low back and my hips and then radiating down my legs and around my stomach.  I thought to myself,
“I must have lost my touch.  Here I was thinking I was pretty tough…going through a 12 hour labor and pushing out a breech baby without even an ibuprophen.” I felt lost and confused. 
“How had I become so weak?  I should be laughing and talking through contractions at this point, right?  I mean I could have hours and hours left, I couldn’t be overwhelmed with pain yet!”
I took note of these thoughts tumbling around in my head and I knew I had to shut them down.  My brain was about to be my demise.  It was running wild; full of fear and confusion, jumping to the worst conclusions and already determining I was a failure.

If there’s one thing I’m skilled at, it’s knowing myself.  I have been through enough mental struggles in life to know when I need to reign things in (another day, another story). My years of running and racing have given me lots of practice in mental strength as well.  As a runner and a racer I know I’m only as strong as my brain is.  So much of running is mental strength.  I knew what I had to do.  I told Jadon to get my headphones.  I needed music blasting in my ears, overpowering these destructive thoughts.   Within moments I had my headphones on and I was pulling up my running mix on Spotify.  I immediately knew which song to listen to. I scrolled down to “Novocain” by HXV.  The song starts slow and is full of emotion.  Then it builds and the beat drops.  Several times the beat would drop right as a contraction would hit. There was so much pain and yet perfection in those moments.  A few of the lyrics are, “Don’t you run, don’t you run away…when your worlds about to blow kami kamikaze…let me numb you Novocain”. These words were what my mind needed.  They echoed my exact thoughts and feelings.  As the music poured in my ears, my mind started to relax and I felt a renewed confidence.  I would dance my way through this labor.  I was now in it for the long haul.
I needed freedom to move through the contractions though so I told my mom and dad to leave…I didn’t need an audience.  Part of me felt bad about kicking them out of the kitchen but I was still a self-conscious person when it came to my labor dance moves.  Jadon was still with me and we started to get into a flow.  I would dance and sway through a contraction and he would push as hard as he could on my low back.  The counter pressure kept the pain from consuming me.  It gave me the sensation that there was still something out there stronger than my pain.  Without the counter pressure, the pain felt devastating and devouring.  It felt like it was winning because there was nothing bigger than it.  Several times I saw Jadon shaking out his arms after pushing on my back.  I knew he had to be pushing for all he was worth and yet I still felt that it needed to be harder. I would yell push harder at him and he would do everything in his strength to oblige.
After several times through the song Novocain my contractions jumped to a new level and this milder song did nothing for me.  I started searching frantically through my playlist for the right song.  I only had moments to search before another contraction would hit and I would be drowning without music in my ears.  For some reason I quickly selected a song that I don’t listen to very much.  I just remembered that I always felt emotional when I listened to it and I knew I needed emotion in the song I chose as well as a stronger beat.  The song ended up being perfect. It was the Madsonik Remix of Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd.  Once again the lyrics echoed my heart. “Go time is near, there’s no retreating,” filled my ears and my head and I felt slightly ok again.  This was my song.  I told Jadon to put it on repeat and mustered up the courage and strength to continue the fight.

In my mind I pictured Baby Boy Ross working with me.  I know labor isn’t easy on babies either and so in both labors I’ve visualized the baby working with me.  It’s just the two of us in this fight.  Fighting to meet each other.  Fighting for the love that we are dying to feel when are face to face.  Fighting to actualize all the hopes and dreams we’ve had over the past 9 months.  As my pain would build I felt like Famaball was feeling it too.  Like he knew what I was going through for him and he was cheering me on. 

At some point my parents re-entered the scene.  My mom was there coaching me, telling me to keep my voice low and not shriek in pain.  I knew my dad was there which gave me courage.  What was going through his head as he watched the daughter he saw being born, give birth herself?  Jadon was still with me every step of the way.  I felt supported knowing he was behind me.  He was behind me in labor with Charlotte as well.  It gave me security to have him there.  I knew this was my battle.  No one could do it for me but I also knew that he was there to support me every step of the way.  He was still pushing on my back through every erratic contraction. The contractions in this labor where completely different than the contractions I had experienced when Charlotte was born.   The contractions I experienced with her were like waves.  They’d start small and then build to a peak where they crashed and ebbed off again.  They came at equal intervals too.  There was no flow and no build up to these contractions.  They would just appear, suddenly screaming through my body.  Sometimes they ebbed off before another one hit but other times one tormenting contraction would merge right into the next one.  There was no pattern and no mercy in these contractions.  My salvation in Charlotte’s labor was that I knew each contraction would fade before the next would start.  These baby boy contractions were not so benevolent.  These baby boy contractions were just haulin’ balls for the finish line…literally.

At about 2:40 p.m. Janette, one of my midwives arrived on the scene.  I didn’t see or hear her come in but all of sudden she was beside me.  Crouched down next to me with her Doppler out, ready to listen to baby’s heartbeat through my next contraction.  She gently held the Doppler against my stomach while I swayed and groaned through the next contraction.  She said that baby sounded good…what a relief!  Hearing that gave me a momentary boost of confidence.  It reminded me of what this fight was for and let me know that what I was doing was working.  Baby was ok and was coming to meet me. 

It’s amazing how quickly a burst of hope can turn into despair within labor.  I knew I couldn’t give in to that despair.  My head had to be stronger than my pain.  I’m not sure what happens if a person gives in to the pain and lets it envelope them but I never want to find out.  As hard as it is to stay mentally ahead of the pain, it’s got to be easier than feeling uncontrollably thrashed by a pain that you’re drowning in. 

All this time and I still had no idea where I was in this labor and birth process.  My water never broke, I was never checked to see if I was fully dialated.  Nothing had been measured or assessed.  I felt like I was lost in a labor ocean.  No idea how close the shore was or how far out in the middle I was.  I desperately wanted someone to give me some clarity but my contractions came too close together to voice my own lost-ness.  All I could do was focus on the song blaring in my ears and stay one step ahead of the pain. 

Shortly after Janette arrived a contraction literally threw me to the floor.  My legs just crumbled beneath me and I fell on all fours.  I think it was my mom who asked if I wanted to move to the bedroom.  All I could do was shake my head NO.  I was using every ounce of strength I had to stay up on all fours and I couldn’t imagine trying to move more.  My mom and Janette attempted to slide pillows and towels under my arms and knees.  I was half frustrated with this.  I liked the feel of cold linoleum under my body.  It felt solid and secure, something I needed in a world that felt far too unsure.

The pain stepped up at this point.  When a contraction hit I would moan and wail and sometimes scream.  My mom was there to tell me to keep my voice low and blow instead of holding my breath in.  Her voice gave me direction as much as it gave me frustration.  I so badly wanted to shriek in pain and hold my breath.  I knew her advice was solid though, so I angrily did my best to obey her words.  I growled and roared and blew all my air out. Somewhere in the middle of this chaos my other midwife Morgan and the assistant Sophia arrived. I never knew they were there but that’s what I’m told.

Because I had no markers for where I was on this journey my only parameter was the song that I was still listening to.  I could count on it to start and build and rock out then ebb to a finish…something my contractions were still NOT doing.  It gave me some point of clarity to hold on to.
I had pillows under my arms and head. When a contraction would hit, I would bury my head down in the pillow and roar as I bit the pillow.  I wished that I had huge fangs that I could rip into the pillow with. I felt animalistic and wild.  Like the pain inside me needed to be able to come tearing out of me in the form of a savage animal. I wished I was a werewolf and an angry wolf could come ripping through my skin.  I imagined that would feel freeing.  Right now this savage animal of torment was caught inside of me.  I felt like something needed to be freed.  
Out of the middle of these thoughts I heard Janette’s voice telling me that after the next contraction I needed to take my shorts off. My exact thoughts were, “You’re too late lady. You should have told me that a few contractions earlier. I have no control of my body now. Undressing is an impossible task.” Somehow though, with lots of help I managed to remove the clothing on my lower half in between contractions.

At this point the pain had reached an unbearable level.  I still had no idea where I was in this journey and my confidence and strength was fading.  I wanted to roll over on my side on the cold tile floor and scream, “Mercy!” I couldn’t do that though.  There’s a rule in dealing with pain and that is; you can never go back.  Once you crumble you’re down for the count.  Rebounding is so much more difficult than maintaining.  Besides, just because I wanted to quit didn’t mean I could quit.  This was still my battle.  The struggle God had given to me because He knew I was the right one to handle it.  I tried to remind myself that Jesus was with me despite how alone I was feeling in the moment.  I knew that if anyone understood my anguish it was Jesus.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says that God comforts us in all our trouble.  It goes on to say that then we can comfort others because of the comfort God gave us.  How beautiful is that? Jesus endured all pain and suffering so He can comfort us.  We, in turn get to pass on the comfort He gives us.  What a beautiful chain.  So here I was at the end of myself but knowing that God was with me and that He understood my pain. Soon I would have a baby in my arms and it would be my turn to pass that comfort on to him.

I took control of my labor again.  I made a decision because something had to give.  I decided to push.  I knew that if it was too soon everyone would say, “DON’T PUSH!”  After all, that’s what everyone told me through Charlotte’s entire labor.  At least by pushing I would get feedback from my midwives and my mom.  That would at least give me some clarity.  So I pushed and something popped.  As best I know, it was finally my water breaking. I had imagined that something popping would relieve the pain but it had just the opposite effect.  It was MORE painful! Ackkk! Now what? No one said, “Don’t push.”  I was still lost.  The contractions continued only with more intensity and no release. My headphones beeped.  Their battery was almost drained and my battery felt the same way. I moaned and wailed and tried to breathe but I was feeling eaten alive by the pain.  That’s when I heard my mom say, “Your baby is almost here.”

Oh JOY!!! Was there an end in sight for real? I didn’t fully know what she meant but I decided to act on it anyway.  I pushed for all I was worth and I felt something.  I could finally feel the pressure of Famaball’s head.  I ripped my headphones off at this point. I needed to be in touch with my surroundings.  It was finally happening.  I was almost to the finish line.  When I race I always take my headphone off as I cross the finish line too. I like to hear the crowd cheer.  I like to hear my own breathing.  I like to finally fully embrace the pain and the realization that I made it.  That’s one moment that doesn’t need to be muted by music.

I kept pushing.  One push merged right into the next one as I felt baby’s head come screaming out of my body.  I remember Janette giving me some direction about pushing baby’s body out but I don’t remember what she said.  All I know is that on my next breath I started pushing for all I was worth again and I felt Famaball’s shoulders burst through and then the rest of his body slide out. 

The pain immediately faded. I heard people cheering and yelling, “Your baby is here!” I looked down and Janette was handing a beautiful screaming baby boy up to me from between my legs.  My tired arms picked up my precious baby and I collapsed back into Jadon’s arms.  He was sitting behind me on the floor.  I clung to my baby and leaned back into his strong arms.  Jasper Richard Ross was here.  He was perfect.  Beautiful. Breathtaking.  His eyes were wide open and his cries diminished as he looked at me and I held his body against mine.  My legs were shaking uncontrollably but my arms felt steady and strong.  I had my baby boy in my arms and I would always find the strength to protect him. 
Jadon was crying.  I looked up and saw my dad crying as well.  I told him and my mom to join us on the floor so they could see Jasper.  And there we all were in my kitchen.  Jadon, me, Jasper, my mom and my dad. All of us leaning into each other looking at this miracle that had just entered the world.  Is there another moment as beautiful?  I don’t think so. 
My midwives were busy checking Jasper’s heartrate and my blood pressure and monitoring everything else.  They immediately felt like family because they had so intimately been a part of this incredible moment.  They praised my hard work.  Jadon and my parents showered down accolades as well.  All of their words were wonderful, but nothing outshined this perfect baby boy in my arms.  He had bleach blonde hair that almost glowed in the afternoon light.  Jasper was born at 3:08 p.m., exactly two and half hours after the first contraction I tracked. 

What I knew of a 12 hour labor with Charlotte had been squeezed into 2.5 hours.  It wasn’t an easier labor because it was shorter.  In fact, in many ways it was much more difficult.  There was no rhythm and no rest.  I never even had a moment to catch my breath or collect my thoughts.  It felt like a few races I’ve run where the gun goes off while I am in the porta potty.  I have to run from the toilet to the starting line with no time to retie my shoes or collect my thoughts.  If it’s a 5K I’ll have to run at top speed the entire time.  There’s never a moment to fall into a rhythm or catch my breath.  It’s just pedal to the metal until I hit the finish line.  Sometimes a 5K is more difficult than a longer race because it isn’t as forgiving.  This labor felt the same way.  It was fast and wild; unpredictable and powerful.
There is something magical about giving birth at home.  It feels so sacred. Here in my own home I had experienced a new soul entering the world.  I laid on my kitchen floor and looked around at my family and my newborn son and felt so content and so grateful to God for this miracle of life. 
By 4:00 I was laying in my bed and nursing my baby.  Jadon laid next to me as we absorbed this new creation and everything that had just happened.  My mom was making me pancakes and bacon and Charlotte was on her way back home to meet her new little brother.  Everything felt so relaxed and so right. 
So now back to that gift I received?  I was given a song…a song that has a miraculous memory attached to it.  I’ve often wished I could fully relive Charlotte’s labor.  It was magical as well.  Over the last 3 years though some of my memories of it have faded.  Music however is powerful at bringing us back and allowing us to relive a moment.  So with Jasper’s birth I had a song; and every time I put my headphones on and let Jasper’s song fill my ears all the memories come flooding back in extreme accuracy.  It’s such an incredible gift. 

God is so gracious.  He knows us and He knows what we need.  He knew that music was important and powerful to me.  He knew my desire to hold on to the wonder of birth and He wove the two together when all I thought I was doing was drowning out unwanted thoughts. 

So as the lyrics say, “It’s funny how a melody sounds like a memory,” and the Madsonik Remix of Black Beatles sounds like Jasper Richard Ross’s amazing birth! 


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