Micah was born on Saturday morning (2/19)! We was 36 weeks and 2 days along. It was a pretty amazing birth: I woke up at 8am and thought "I think the baby has dropped." Then the contractions started. When I started timing them they were 7-8 minutes apart, then quickly they were 6, then 5, then 4. The nurse midwives said to call when they were 4 minutes apart for an hour, but it had been less than 30 minutes when they started coming 3 minutes apart, so we called then. I was lying on the bed--the contractions were too intense for anything else. I had taken a shower and was trying to get dressed to go to the hospital but I could only get one leg or arm in a garment between contractions. I could literally feel my cervix opening with each contraction. My husband David was there, timing the contractions and calling the midwife, and my mom was there because we had called her to come get my daughter. The midwife said to come on in, but then I said that I felt like pushing. Apparently she put me on the phone and said, "Danielle, do you feel like you're going to have this baby right now?" and I said yes very emphatically. She said, "call 911 and get some towels." A few minutes later I gave 2 pushes and David and my mom caught the head, and then the firemen arrived and caught the rest of the body. It fe3lt absolutely amazing to push him out. Then the 911 paramedics arrived and clamped the cord (there was no way I was going to say, excuse me, we want to wait until the cord stops pulsating...) and David cut it. They attended to Micah, who was a little blue--he had asperated some of the gunk after he came out since my mom and David didn't know to clean out his nostrils. They gave Micah some oxygen and got him and me into the ambulance to take us to the hospital. I birthed the placenta in the ambulance.
We spent two days in the mom and baby floor and he's now in the NICU unit because he's got some typical 36 week immaturies around feeding. My milk has come in and I'm pumping around the clock and he's getting that into him in a variety of ways. We're holding him as much as we can and he's just the sweetest little baby. (Actually, not so little, he weighed 7 lbs 7 oz at birth.) Right now he's sleeping pretty much all of the time, but he's becoming a little more alert and roots to nurse, even though he doesn't stay latched on. He did nurse well a couple of times the first and second day, so we feel confident he'll be able to.
We also found out on Monday that he's been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome. It has been quite a shock. I don't have the time to describe all of the emotions I'm feeling right now but I know we'll get through it and be OK. We've had so much support from our families and the staff at the hospital. We've told a few friends but haven't said anything more broadly, since announcing on Facebook the first day that he was born and was healthy. It's really hard to handle people's reactions so we're holding off with that while we process a little bit. We've been hooked up with support organizations though we haven't met anyone yet. When I hold Micah I know everything will be alright but it's a bit of a shock to realize that we're about to enter a whole new world and that our life is completely changed in ways we never expected. Our 8 year old daughter was pretty upset when we told her but yesterday she spent time bonding with Micah and that was really beautiful. I know this is going to be a powerful and life-changing experience for her, as it will be for David and me.