A Hurricane Harvey Home Birth
It was a dark and stormy night and it was the McGarvey’s 5th day of facing the horrible terror of Hurricane Harvey. This historic hurricane made landfall on Friday August 25, 2017. Daddy couldn’t go to work all week because of the flooded roads and endless torrential down pour.
Despite the tragedy occurring outside, we made the best of it by playing games and watching movies. We originally planned to have you be born in the hospital because the midwives were so expensive here in Texas. Your Auntie Jen was going to come with us for support and her awesome picture taking abilities. Melissa (aka MoMo) was also going to help by watching your big sister, Emmy.
Tuesday night we lost electricity but it came back on Wednesday mid-morning. Wednesday afternoon, we got an unexpected call and found out your Auntie Jen was not so fortunate. Their water stopped working in the toilets and without electricity they couldn’t cook the food they did have. The main point was really, they were trapped by rising waters. There was no safe way out! They were surrounded completely by impassable water for 3 days. Your cousins, Uncle Mark, and Auntie Jenn decided to evacuate to our place on Wednesday by boat. Your Mommy and Daddy went into Rescue-Mode. We had to see how we could someone with a boat to pick them up and bring them to a spot where Daddy could get them. Auntie Jen and your cousins had to take two boats from their house to the Methodist Church. Daddy sent a boat to get your Uncle Mark and Wade Billingsly (their friend whom lost their house in the flood). The boat did not get to them in time and they found another way by getting a ride with a friendly stranger.
Once everyone arrived back at our place, there was great relief and reassurance knowing we were all back together as a family. Your Auntie Jen was so worried she would miss your birth. While we played 7 Wonders into the wee hours of the morning, your soon-to-be birthday, Daddy, Auntie Jen, and MoMo began to suspect that Mommy was showing early signs of labor. Her Braxton-Hicks were becoming more rhythmic. We went to bed around 1:30 a.m. Around 3 a.m. Mommy still hadn’t fallen asleep because she kept getting Braxton-Hicks. We realized she was going into labor with you. We discussed our options of staying at home or calling 911 for emergency services. We were surrounded by water and there was no way out except by boat or helicopter. After much prayer and discussion, we were leaning towards staying together as a family and having you at home. We knew emergency services would only allowed for Mommy to be evacuated and we would have been separated for who knows how long. Around 4-5 a.m., Mommy started active labor.
At approximately 7:30, Daddy asked Auntie Jen how she felt about helping Mommy deliver you. Daddy talked about with Auntie Jen and Uncle Mark about trusting God and no one blaming themselves if something were to go terribly wrong. Daddy said no matter what that you and Mommy belong to God and y’all were in His hands. The three of us all prayed together for a healthy birth for you and Mommy. We created a plan and sent Uncle Mark with Mr. Billingsly to Walmart for food and medical-like supplies.
Daddy and Auntie Jen took turns timing the contraction throughout the morning. At 10:26, Auntie Jen texted friends and family to pray because the contractions were less than five minutes apart and Mommy was calm and relaxed as possible. Uncle Mark and Mr. Billingsley arrived back from Walmart less than 30 minutes before you were born. Mommy told Auntie Jen that she wanted to try laboring in the bathtub because the contractions were getting more intense. Auntie Jen started getting the water ready, but the water was brown. She told Daddy who checked it out, decided to drain the water, and try again. This time the water was clear, so Daddy went back to be with Mommy and Auntie Jen went back to the tub. At this point the lights went out, the electricity was out! Daddy and Auntie Jen looked at each other and without a word, knew we would have to deal with the power being out later. But we knew God was in control!
Mommy told Auntie Jen that she felt the need to push. At around 11:16, Mommy’s water broke while her clothes were still on and the contractions started to get much more intense. Daddy and Auntie Jen slide absorbent pads under Mommy and got most of her clothes off. Auntie Jen went into the bathroom to wash her hands. Daddy noticed your hair starting to appear and called for Auntie Jen, who was still washing her hands. Auntie Jen ran in and within three pushes, you were born into Auntie Jen’s hands at 11:20. She lifted you up to Mommy and we helped Mommy take off her bra so you could do the Boob-crawl.
We couldn’t believe you were here! We were so excited!