I’ve known Charese for a long time. When I saw she was pregnant I sent her a message to see if she needed a doula, and lucky me- she did J
I met with She and David when they were about 18 weeks into the pregnancy to go over what they wanted, to talk about their other kiddos births, and address any worries or concerns.
Charese let me know that they had scheduled an induction for a few days before her due date. With her last two labors she hadn’t started on her own, and her doctor seemed fairly doubtful that she would this time.
On the morning of June 22nd they went in and got her hooked up to pitocin. Around 8:30 they broke her water and by 9am I got the text that maybe I should head in.
When I got there she seemed to be handling the contractions pretty well. Still joking through most of them, being silly, trying to do everything she could to be helpful and polite to the nurses. J
I sat on the little couch and mostly chit-chatted with them for an hour or so. Definitely the most hands off of all my births so far. We were switching positions often, and it seemed like what she liked the most was standing up- either leaning against David, or leaning over the bed.
It seemed like every time the nurses would come in they would up the pitocin. I was a little surprise because she seemed to be progressing, and having very regular contractions. I kept looking at Charese, checking in with her to make sure she was handling the increases ok. She was so strong!
Her doctor came in to check her at one point, and she was at a 6. She made a point of telling the nurse that if Charese was still going natural by the end- when it was time to tell her to run!
This labor was amazing. Incredible. There was worship music playing, and Charese and David would sing along together. I almost felt like I was intruding. It was so intimate, beautiful & perfect.
I stepped out to make a phone call at one point and when I came back in could see that it was getting serious. She began making some sounds through the contractions, and during one I couldn’t tell if she was making ‘The Noise’ (I heard described once as, “somewhere between a roar, a scream, and a freight train”) I asked her if she felt like she was pushing and she gave me this look like, “are you kidding me?” I didn’t walk, but ran out to the nurses station. But, ran into our nurse halfway there- she’d seen the contraction on the monitor and came running. It was a blur. Charese wanted to push more than anything in the world. Her big brown eyes looked up at me in panic, trying to blow out the push. This is the only time I saw this look on her face. Holding that feeling, that instinct in, is one of the hardest things a woman will ever have to do.
Finally doctor came running in, and David said, “I may cry this time!” As she pushed the first time, we saw the head. The second push, I heard the song change. (DON’T ask me why in the world I was listening to the music!) “How Great Is Our God” came on. I didn’t really see baby come out because my eyes were filled with tears. Because He is just so very great. One more push, and Charese scooped her up and pulled her to her chest. After a few minutes she looked up and said, “I just did it. I cant believe I did it!” “You not only did it,” I told her “You ROCKED it!”
And that was it Mikaela Brooke Pettis was born. An amazing way to honor her incredibly quirky, lovable & very missed Uncle Mitch.
Charese, David & Mikaela, it was such an honor to be at this birth- to stand so close to this particular miracle. I was so unnecessary, and I loved it. Mikaela, you’re a lucky girl. You have a mama that will teach you how to be strong, and brave, and flexible. Not only that but she’ll tell you many stories about the man you’re named for- who’s life definitely made a huge impact on my faith.