Posted at Christa's request, with her permission since it wasn't working on her computer!
Landon Farrell McGrew was born at 4:08 a.m. on Monday, November 21, 2005. He weighed 10 pounds 7 ounces and was 21 ¼ inches long.
I was getting very discouraged because everyone expected this baby to come before his due date. I began having periods of regular contractions at the end of October and my mom came to stay with us because we all thought it could be any day. I stayed pregnant through the midwife’s predicted date, a full moon, and the date I had chosen. Landon chose a date no one expected, his due date.
Nana, Kenna, and I went to bed kind of late Sunday night. It was almost 9:30 and Kenna still wasn’t asleep. I was snuggling with her when I felt something strange. Not a pop, but more of a tearing sensation. I wondered what it was and then suddenly felt a rush of warm wetness that was unmistakably my water breaking. I told my mom that my water broke and jumped out of bed to clean everything up. Kenna was confused and even asked if she had wet the bed. I told her no, that Mama did it. After I cleaned up, I called my midwife and she said that she and her assistant would be on their way. I went back in to get Kenna to sleep. She wanted to lay in her toddler bed, so I took her over and sat down on a chux next to her. I was having light contractions and every time I had one more water would leak. It wasn’t long before she wanted back in Mama’s bed, so I took her back and snuggled her in. It took her forever to fall asleep. Just before she closed her eyes, she looked up at me and said, “It be all right, Mama.” I smiles at her with tears in my eyes. As soon as she was out, I carried her to her brother’s room in the back of the house and tucked her into his bed.
DeAnna, the assistant, got here around 10:30. She checked the baby’s heart tones and my blood pressure and we sat watching television while we waited for something else to happen. Contractions weren’t terribly regular or strong and I felt so much better, and smaller, now that all the water was gone. I was really afraid that they had come too soon and they were just going to have to sit around all night waiting for me to do something. After my midwife Andrea arrived I said I thought I’d go lay down and rest for awhile. Matthew went back to sleep near Kenna for awhile and my mom and I lay down in my bedroom. I dozed off and on between contractions, but soon they were more than I could rest through. Andrea checked me. I was completely effaced and 4 to 5 cm. Although the contractions were rather short and irregular, they began to hurt and the pain wasn’t stopping between contractions. Andrea told me to relax when they were over and I whined that I couldn’t tell when they were over. So she put me on the birth ball and got her rebozo, looped it around my belly and pulled upwards. It felt so much better. She recommended a shower, but I wanted all the hot water to go to my pool.
It wasn’t long before the pool was ready and I got in. It was wonderful. I could move with the contractions and lean over the side of the pool. I got so much relief from the water and I was really surprised because it didn’t help that much during my labor with Kenna. At some point DeAnna asked if I needed to pee. I knew I should, but I was really reluctant to leave the water. Contractions while sitting on the toilet were nearly unbearable. So as soon as the next contraction ended, I practically leaped out of the pool and ran to the bathroom. I made it back to the water before the next contraction came. Someone kept something to drink nearby for me and when it got empty my husband asked what I wanted him to get. I asked for the lemon flavored Propel. He went and fixed a cup and brought it to me and it tasted so good. The funny thing is that he didn’t fix what I asked for, he poured juice instead, but when I drank it I tasted lemon. I realized a day or two later that the Propel had never even been opened and I was astounded that I didn’t realize what I was drinking was strawberry-kiwi flavored instead of lemon.
At some point I requested washcloths soaked in ice water. It became my ritual to reach for a fresh rag and rub it over my face and neck during each contraction. My mom had several rags and was rotating them for me. At some point she had to leave to do something and my sister took over manning the ice water. She didn’t realize she was supposed to wring out the rag before handing it to me like my mom had been doing and I got a little frustrated with the dripping rags. It was around this time that I started to have difficulty dealing with the contractions. I told my mom I didn’t think I could do it this time, that it was so hard and I wasn’t even in transition yet. Andrea asked me why I thought I wasn’t in transition and I told her because I wasn’t throwing up and shaking like I did with Kenna. She told me that I might not do that this time. I still didn’t believe I was in transition until I felt myself involuntarily pushing during contractions. I remember loudly saying, “I’m pushing,” and then adding in this meek little voice “Is that okay?” Andrea asked to check again and I was complete except for a lip of cervix. She asked me to move to my hands and knees and to resist pushing for a couple of contractions. I didn’t do very well at resisting the urge to push and suddenly I had this extremely long pushing contraction that I thought would never end. When it was finally over, Matthew said, “He has my ears!” I said, “His ears are out? Thank God! That feels so much better.” Andrea was having a hard time reaching me and the cord was around the baby’s neck, so she asked me to move from the pool to the bed. I didn’t think I could do it. I reached down and felt his head—he had so much hair! I said that I was afraid I’d squish his head if I moved. Andrea said it would be okay. So I held his head as they helped me out and over to the bed. She untangled him and he came out with the next contraction. His face was quite blue from bruising, but the rest of his body pinked up right away. I was holding him wrapped in a towel and didn’t want to uncover him so he wouldn’t get cold. So I reached under the towel to feel if he really was a boy. I found what I was looking for and declared that it was indeed a boy!
We knew he was a big baby. I thought he probably weighed 9 pounds. I was so surprised when the needle on the scale went past 10 pounds! The first few hours after the birth went by so quickly. Landon nursed for quite awhile and we got him weighed and dressed and me showered. We were just settling in to get some rest when Kenna woke up and came in to meet her new baby brother. She had slept through the entire labor, even though I hadn’t been quiet. She was absolutely thrilled with him and loves to hold and kiss him.