My son was born back in July, but I am just now getting to posting it here.
After a long talk with my baby the night before, I awoke at 6 a.m. feeling mild contractions in my back. Doug decided to go to work and I would call him if I needed him. I put my birth team on alert but the contractions had fizzled out by 9 so I continued with my plans for the day. Dad took Bo (DS#1) to the barber shop, and Jonny (DS#2) and I went to meet my sister, Mom, and neice at a shop. Then we walked across the street for lunch, which mom bought us. I was feeling very mild crampiness all day. Of course, I had to eat a pizza with whole roasted garlic cloves for my lunch, which was very yummy, but made me wish I hadn’t when I was breathing hard and moaning loud about twelve hours later. When I got home I watched part of Oprah with my head and chest on a pillow on the floor in the living room and my butt in the air, hoping the baby would turn the right way and I could avoid back labor. I had several more talks with the baby and patted my left side, asking him to try to turn over that way. Then while getting ready for my prenatal water aerobics class, I noticed part of my mucous plug came out in the toilet. I headed off to class with my mom driving, and on the way had my first really good, wrap-around-to-the-front contraction. Yipee! I was so excited! We pulled into the gym parking lot, but my mom was nervous about going to class with me having contractions so we headed back home, stopping at Krogers to pick up a prescription on the way. While walking around Krogers, the contractions went back to being just in my back, and I told my mom I would really like to get in that warm water pool, so we made our purchases and headed back to the gym. The warm water felt so great. I pretty much just floated up and down the lanes. Contractions came every ten minutes or so and they were perfect. Wrapping around to the front and feeling good. Only problem was the very annoying woman who even after I told her I was in labor proceded to follow me up and down the lane and talk my ear off. She suggested I name my baby Colton. Thank goodness my mom rescued me and I got a few more minutes of quiet swimming in before we went home.
I arrived home to Doug sitting at the dining room table frantically trying to get the video camera to work. He knew how much I wanted to videotape the birth and the camera had chosen this exact moment to malfunction. He had little tiny screws and camera parts in front of him, but I wasn’t worried, I knew he’d get it figured out. I was too excited to worry about that anyway! We put Bo to bed. He was very excited, too. He kept saying “I can’t believe the baby is coming!” Jonathan was not interested in sleeping, however, so we took him downstairs and I took a nice, long, hot shower, singing “I am opening up in sweet surrender” and leaning forward with my hands on the shower wall during contractions. I put my robe on and went onto the front porch with Jonathan and Doug to wait for the midwife. I wanted to be outside under the moon and listening to the crickets. Doug and I continued to keep track of contractions on a pad of paper. They were now about three minutes apart. When my sister arrived, Doug said he was really tired and I told him to go in and take a nap. I was now having to bend over for contractions but still felt like they didn’t hurt.
My midwife and her apprentice arrived. After giving Jonny a hug she offered to check me and I reluctantly agreed. I was afraid I would show barely any progress since it didn’t even hurt yet. She checked and I was 5-6 cm dilated already! I was so excited to be about halfway done and still having such a great time. Then I let the apprentice check me. She said she needed the practice and I didn’t mind at all. They prepared my bed for the birth, and put fresh lavendar they had brought into a vase by my bed, and I lit my birth candles. This was so much fun! I felt a mix of excitement and coziness in the air. My sister asked my in-laws who had been hanging out in the living room to take Jonathan next door to my parents house and my doula arrived just as things were getting serious. I had to kneel on the floor, resting my chest and head on the bed to get through the contractions. I was very vocal, too. Deep, low moans came up from my womb, and it felt so good to let them flow out, feeling the vibrations in my throat. In between contractions, however it was back to normal conversation. My doula told me how beautiful the big moon looked as she was on her way over. The women also remarked on how beautiful my long curly hair looked all sprawled out across the bed as I lie there through a contraction. I felt very pampered by these wise women and so comfortable. My sister was there the whole time, video taping, taking pictures, and helping by telling where things were kept, etc. She also told the grandmothers when to come over. I wanted them to be there when the baby came out.
Now there is no rest or talking between contractions. They are coming fast and strong and I have to surrender all control and try to just keep up. That is, keep breathing and moaning and obeying my body’s commands. My hair is bothering me and I am very hot. My sister puts my hair up and the women help me out of my robe. My water pops, and must have splattered a little, as about a week later I noticed little red drips on my dresser, which I was kneeling next to. The waters are clear – good job baby, I think to myself. Then I am moving to the other side of the bed so that my midwife can see better. A few more contractions and she says the baby’s head keeps going back up and in. If I turn over and squat he will come right out. Hearing this, Doug leaves the room to change into a different pair of shorts that he doesn’t mind getting messy. The ladies are calling him and he rushes back in and sits on the edge of the bed, ready to support me in his strong arms. I turn over and lean my back against his chest, melting for a moment into his strength, leaning my head back on his shoulder. He holds me up and here comes the baby. The head is burning me. I try to breath and relax so I don’t tear like I did the other times, but it is no use. This baby is determined to come out and the force of my body won’t rest. His head is out and his body follows before I can even get my hands down there to catch him. My mom later told me that he shot out so fast it looked like my midwife barely caught him. He came out roaring to the world! Good baby! I know you are breathing! I sit my bottom down and pull him to my chest. Don’t pull!, the women yell and I lower him a little. I’d forgotten he was still attached. Doug and I cried with the baby and cradled him in my arms, wrapped in a big soft beach towel my grandmother had given as a bridal shower present. Someone asked what’s his name? Christopher Lawrence, I announced through the tears. Now the placenta had to come out. With a little pushing from me it slid right out into our big blue snack bowl and I felt so much relief. Our little lion cub roared for a good thirty minutes, had an enormous poop, then settled down to nurse. My midwife said she had never seen so much meconium come out of a baby in her life! She had to shower before leaving because it had gotten all over her. I did tear, and she stitched me up after searching for her sewing thread and finally finding it in the bottom of her purse. I laid in bed holding Christopher as the ladies ate food my mom had cooked in the kitchen and Doug had a beer while the midwife's assistant wiped down all the equipment, as meconium had gotten in there somehow too (did I mention it was a big poop?). The midwife fed me fresh fruit and Bo brought me water with a straw and held it so I could drink. After I got dressed the Grandpas came over for a peek at their new grandson. One by one everyone left except my mom, who stayed up all night doing dishes, and washing towels and helping me take my ibuprofen and Tylenols.
Christopher weighed eight pounds exactly, just as I had predicted. He continues to let us know with no uncertainty when he needs something, which I suppose is a good thing considering he has two very energetic brothers are also competing for his parents attention. He is my little buddy and a great nurser. His birth was nothing less than magical to me.