Sent by Marley - A Rainbow Baby Birth Story | Tampa Bay Home Birth Midwife

"On January 21st 2015 I was given the news that a baby, whom I named Marley no longer had a heart beat. I was 15 weeks pregnant and just like that, I wasn't. I'll never know if Marley was a baby girl or a baby boy but none the less that was my baby.. One I'll hold in my heart and memory until my last breath. I never knew much about rainbow babies, like I assume most don't who haven't experienced loss but I knew right away I wanted another baby. I NEEDED another baby.

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Fast forward to March 23rd 2016 at 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant at about 8pm I noticed my Braxton hicks that I had been having since about 20 weeks were more intense, more "real" feeling. I didn't tell anyone though because I didn't want to alarm anyone for no reason. I went to sleep with some pretty lack luster contractions but didn't sleep very well. Mike normally leaves for work at 5am so let him know to not go because I didn't want him to miss her birth with working so far away just in case. That whole morning there were pretty consistent low pain contractions that were more annoying then anything really and at about noon everything came to a complete stop. No contractions.. No pain.. No baby. I felt so defeated and just plain angry. Mike took our son Phoenix out while I sulked and then eventually napped. At about 7 pm I was awoken by a very strong contraction. It was at that moment I knew I would be holding a baby soon. Very soon. I called Charlie just to let her know that I was pretty sure things were starting and to get a heads up that I might be calling her in the middle of the night.

Welllllll I didn't, I did contract ALL night and tried my best to sleep through contractions with Phoenix right by my side on the couch all while Mike slept peacefully in bed. Charlie texted me and asked how things were going and she expressed concern that maybe it might not be actual labor or that this could possibly stop and start and go on and on for a week maybe even 2. At that point I in my heart of hearts of hearts KNEW I WAS IN LABOR my contractions were real and they were getting worse. I was still discouraged none the less.

At 10am my water broke and it was the biggest sigh of relief I've ever felt because that made it real. THAT meant that this isn't false labor!! MY RAINBOW IS COMING!! When Charlie arrived I decided I wanted to be checked to get a good starting point so I knew where we stood at that point and to get a feel for where we were. I was 5 cm!! By 11:30ish Mike and I had walked the neighborhood which was extremely awkward once we got to the main road and there's cars passing and honking because I'm bent over in very intense mid contractions. Ha. My sweet Phoenix, that boy has my heart. I love him with every ounce of my being... but he had to go, he was getting very demanding and attention seeking and high strung so Mike took him to his dad's house who he had already arranged in case we needed to take him which I wish we didn't have to but it is what it is.

Contractions are at a 10 by this point and I'm so so done. I'm exhausted, I'm overwhelmed, I'm just done. From my experience once you reach that point.. It's almost over. I decide to get into the shower to try and calm down a bit under the water and there it was... "Charlie, I have to push" MIKE ISNT HERE!! MY PHOTOGRAPHER ISNT HERE!! MY MOM ISNT HERE! (She was in her room sleeping because she had a procedure that morning) I think at some point my mom called Mike and said "get here now or your gonna miss it, she's about to push" I get out of the shower and move to my bed where this calm just over comes me, I had been waiting for this moment since the day I found out I was pregnant with Marley, so much emotion but so numb all at once. I've had 2 natural, unmedicated births and both have been out of body experiences. Both times I have left and I find that I am just one with.. I don't know.. Maybe the universe, maybe God, maybe just nothingness but you come crashing back to reality when a brand new baby is placed on your chest. At some point Mike got there so did Lee Anne, my photographer. I can't tell you when but they both were there at 12:35pm on March 25th (HER DUE DATE) when Lumen Rae Vargas came earth side. My rainbow is here, all 8lbs 5 oz of her. Covered in baby cheese and with a head of gorgeous hair. She. Is. Perfect."

As always a fabulous THANK YOU to our birth sister Lee Anne from Petal & Vine Photography who captured these sweet moments for this family.