The following was provided to us by our Mom of the Month.
My name is Aimee Shelley and I grew up on a dairy farm here in the valley. I am married to the most hard working man I know, who loves me more than I deserve! His name is Andrew and we have been married for 5 1/2 years. Andrew and I met on August 29 of 2010 and married on February 5 of 2011. Needless to say, we were head over heels for one another. We both knew we had found the one by our first date after initially meeting at a friend’s house warming party. Kind of like a blind date! On the way to dinner on that first date, we openly discussed how many children we wanted and our number matched! I was thrilled! We dated for 3 months then he proposed on my birthday and then we were wed 3 months later! We had said at the beginning that we didn’t want to have a baby right away so we agreed on 2 years before trying! Well, one day right before our first anniversary, Andrew came home from work and asked me to stop taking my birth control because he wanted us to have a baby in Gods timing! Again, I was thrilled! Being a wife and mom had been my life long dream. One year went by and no luck at getting pregnant, then 2…then 3. I had chosen not to go the medical route and just trust that it would eventually happen for us. I knew I needed to make some changes in my life. So, around the 2nd year of not becoming pregnant, I went on a journey to get healthy and get my hormones in order so that my body would want to have a baby growing inside it. I started Trim Healthy Mama, an eating plan that taught me how to eat so that my body wouldn’t store extra fat but also burn the fat I already had stored. After about a year and a few months, I lost 75 pounds! I felt like a brand new woman. After losing the weight, I guess I thought it would happen right away, but that wasn’t the case.
On October 5, 2015, I was on my way to Life Group with some ladies from church, debating on whether or not I should stop and get a pregnancy test. I kind of thought maybe I was pregnant but wasn’t sure because I had been late on my cycle before. Part of me didn’t want to be let down again by a negative test result. I came to the conclusion that if I took a test and it was negative, I wouldn’t keep wondering if I was or not. I stopped in at a local Rite Aid and picked out a test. I had to pee while I was there so I figured what the heck! Why prolong it any longer! I told myself that I was not going to look at it until the full 3 minutes were up. I squinched my eyes super tight for all of……10 seconds!!!! I just had to look! What I saw in that moment of only a few seconds of waiting was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen up to that point in my life!!! A bright blue cross on the test!!! Wanting to scream with joy was my first thought of how to celebrate but then quickly remembered I’m in a public restroom! So I calmly exit the store red faced and tears burning my eyes! Walking to my car I let the tears go and just had the thank the Lord for this precious gift we were given!!!! I bawld like a baby in the car in shock of my new reality, all the while wondering how do I tell Andrew. I decided to call him right away and tell him he was going to be a daddy! I’ll never forget his sweet gentle response of joy mixed with disbelief that it had finally happened!
I made an appointment with an OB office to get started and learn more about what was to come. The moment they let me see my tiny little baby it felt all the more real! Hearing that fast heart beat made mine skip a few beats! Pure joy is what I felt in that very moment! After my 12 week appointment, Andrew asked me if they offered home births were I was going. He is not a fan of hospitals and always dreamt of his children being born at home. Since they didn’t, I knew I needed to search out what my options were! That’s when I found Brookhaven! I called and spoke with Bree and she answered all my questions and we set up a consultation to come tour the center and meet one of the midwives. I had gone online and had read their entire website and familiarized myself with all they had to offer. Feeling so excited for our consult, I knew the moment I step through the doors that this is what God had planned for us. Once Andrew and I stepped out the door to leave I asked him what he thought and he knew it was the best choice for the birth we envisioned having. I almost went right back in and told them but I decided I’d run to the grocery store first then just call them on my 25 minute drive home. Well, I should have went back in because when I called they regretfully me that another mom had just called in and filled the last spot for the month we were due. I could feel my throat getting tight as they were breaking the news to me. I could feel my eyes welling up with tears but I decided to keep it together and trust whatever God had planned for us. If Brookhaven wasn’t in His plans then He had something else in mind.
When I got home we sat down to eat supper and Andrew blessed our meal with the sweetest prayer thanking God for our food and bringing Brookhaven to us, I almost lost it again because at this point Andrew didn’t know the news I was about to break to him. Once I told him, he wasn’t the same the rest of the evening. You could tell he was completely upset about it like I was. Before bed I thanked God for even the opportunity to meet with Brookhaven and being thankful that birthing centers existed for those who didn’t want to go the hospital route. I had to be at work the next morning at 5:30 and right away my co-workers were asking me about the consultation because I had been so excited the day before! It’s all I could talk about. They were as bummed as I was. I remember telling one of the girls that “it would be so awesome if they would call me today and miraculously have an opening”. But I told myself that I needed to move on and search other options. On my lunch break my phone rings with a number that is unfamiliar. I answer and it was Heather from Brookhaven! She begins to tell me that she and Misty reviewed the schedule and found that they had room for one more mama! She said “that is if your still interested” I couldn’t say yes fast enough! I wanted to cry with thankfulness but needed to keep my composure, at least till I was off the phone! My heart was so full in that moment! My dream of a home birth was now going to be a reality.
Fast forward to May 23rd, a Monday. It was my day off from work, I was out running errands and getting a manicure to pamper myself before the baby came! My due date at this point was in 5 days. That morning when I woke up and went to the restroom it appeared that I was starting to loose my mucus plug but I went on as usual because I had been told that that could happen several days before ever going into labor. As the day went on I could tell I was moving a little slower than I had been. We had a birthday meal that evening for my nephew who’s birthday was the next day. At the meal I found my self feeling restless and not being able to sit for very long without getting uncomfortable. My father in law had noticed and mentioned that he didn’t think I’d be going to work the next morning at 5:30. That was an exciting thought but again with this being my first baby I didn’t want to get my hopes up that it really could be happening this soon!
As the evening went on, I began to notice some cramp like twinges in my belly but they were not consistent. My sister in laws were getting excited about what I was describing and so they suggested we go for a walk! On the way home, I could tell things were getting more intense, moving more into what contractions had been described to me as feeling. Once home I made a nice hot cup of raspberry tea and decided it best to get in bed and rest! I figured if this was about to happen then I needed my strength. Best advice from some really awesome midwives! I got in bed around 9:30 with things still happening. By 10:58 I woke feeling like it was time to start timing these contractions. They were right on cue with what was needed to call the midwife on call and let her know things were progressing! I’m thanks for some vlogs I watched on natural child birth before this point which said to let the pain wash over you and not try and fight it! So I put that advice to the test and I’m so glad I did! I got into a good groove and managed to figure out how to get through each contraction peacefully! At 12am I called Maya and let her know how I was doing. She suggested I get up with Andrew and help set up the birth pool and see if the movement would either slow things down or speed things up. Well, it sped things up big time. In between helping with the pool I would swirl on my birth ball or just stand and sway back and forth. At around 2, I had Andrew call Maya back and let her know my contractions were now only 2 minutes apart and very intense! To the point I couldn’t talk during one. While waiting for her I called my friend Debbie, to let her know I was in labor and to see if she was still willing to capture this special event about to take place! She was! She rolled out of bed and was here about the same time Maya arrived! I had the living room very dimly lit so photo taking at this point wasn’t an option but I was so glad for her presence. Maya checked the baby’s heartbeat and everything sounded great. At this point, we still didn’t know the gender of our soon to be newborn. What great motivation that was for me during labor. I labored mostly standing up behind our love seat with my forearms resting on the back, swaying side to side and breathing with my head down! Again, the groove I had found hours earlier laying in bed, I continued. Contractions were still very intense and close together. I remember hearing Maya in the phone and stepping outside. Later, she said she was on the phone with Misty who was attending another birth! I stared to get this weird sensation to bare down and my body wanted to naturally make a grunting noise. I asked Maya if she thought I could already be ready to push. She seemed surprised but encouraged me to wait a few more contractions to see if the sensation returned. It did, along with my bottom starting to feel funny. I told her that I thought it was time to get in the pool so she helped me in. This whole time my sweet hubby is sitting on the couch watching and taking in all that’s happening! During my contractions I didn’t want to be touched so he was silently supporting me with his strong presence. I’m so thankful for him and his willingness to just go with the flow and allowing me to labor how ever I needed.
The pool felt amazing. I was on my knees with my arms resting on the edge with my head down. The feeling to push was getting stronger. I was working up a sweat so I asked for a cold wash cloth for the back of my neck. Wow did that feel amazing! Before I knew it, I was beginning to push. Maya and Andrew were behind me on the outside of the pool with and mirror and a flashlight watching as our baby’s head began to crown! During a push I felt a pop, and inwardly freaked out. I asked what that could have been and Maya said it was my water breaking! I had totally forgotten that my water hadn’t broken yet. Feeling relieved, I pushed several more times and the head was out! At this point I was so ready to meet my baby that I pushed again before the next contraction and the baby was in the water being caught by Maya! She handed the baby up to me from behind and all I could say was “hi baby” over and over! Best moment of my life! Lights began to turn on around me and my friend could start to capture our sweet tender moments with our precious gift. Once Andrew came around and could see with me, I brought the baby away from my body so we could see the gender! We had a boy, Noah Teston Shelley! Weighing in at 7lbs 8oz and 19 1/2 inches long. He was born at 4:07am. 5 hours from the time I started counting my contractions laying in bed. Noah was born on his cousins birthday! His cousin, Alex had been praying that I would have a boy on his birthday! Best birthday gift ever! Aunt Aimee for the win!!!!
They helped me out of the pool and we got comfortable on the couch and I was able to just snuggle my sweet boy! After a while, Maya and Savannah helped me to the restroom then to my bed. Savannah arrived only 20-30 minutes before Noah’s arrival! So glad she made it in time!
I felt so blessed by those ladies and the way they cared for me and Noah during and after the birth. I loved how I didn’t have to worry about a thing other than bonding with my baby. I enjoyed watching as they took all the measurements and checked Noah over. I watched in amazement at my baby, whom I had prayed for so long, he was finally here! God is so good and so faithful! He gave me the desires of my heart! The desire to be a mother!