My due date arrived on September 6th. This is also the day that Starbucks released my favorite drink – the Pumpkin Spice Latte. For those of you who know me well, you’ll understand how significant that is for me. ;) Brandon and I packed up the kids, drove to Starbucks to get our first drinks of the season, and then headed off to Nebraska Furniture Mart to look for dressers for Grace and Josh. As the hours slip by, all the while experiencing my daily dose of contractions, I could feel my cheerfulness start to slip away. Resigning myself to the fact that I will most likely be “over-due,” I lay down for a nap around 4:00 to rest up for a meeting that we had scheduled that night. Josh and Grace were napping as well, so Brandon headed off the gym and a quick stop at Costco. Around 5:30, I was in a semi-conscious state and felt like “something” had popped but since nothing was happening, I figured I must’ve dreamed it and continued to lay there for another 15 minutes. I rolled myself out of bed to get ready for our meeting and as my feet hit the floor, I realized that “pop” had been a small break in my water bag! I called Brandon (who didn’t answer), called my sister (who was downstairs) and my sister-in-law, and sent a quick text to everyone I was supposed to notify at the beginning of my labor. I finally get a hold of Brandon and then call my midwife to let her know. It’s around 6:00 at this point, and I notice that my contractions seem to be kinda close together. I wasn’t able to time them because I was rushing around the house to get Josh and Grace ready to head over their cousins for the evening. Around 6:15-ish, Nicole arrived, my midwife’s birth assistant and doula, and began setting up all the supplies. She worked incredibly fast and in no time at all, my labor room was ready. I waddled back up the stairs and felt another small pop in my water bag. Contractions were really close, no more than 3-5 minutes apart, and I was definitely feeling some mild pain. Brandon arrived back home from dropping the kids off at his brother’s, and my sister-in-law, Kortni (the one with 5 kids and in training to be a doula/childbirth educator), walked into the room. Nicole needed Brandon’s help to fill up my birthing tub, so he went to assist her and Kortni also walked out to get a couple other things ready. My sister, Elizabeth, and I were in the room and I knelt by the edge of the bed to work through my contractions a little better and I felt a huge pop that must have completely broke my water bag. And thus began the most intense 45 minutes of my life!
Kortni came back into the room and knew I needed some help. She sat down by me and grabbed my hands, encouraging me through a couple contractions and reminding me to relax – amazing how helpful that is! I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t know if I can get through 6 hours of this!” and silently praying for the Lord to sustain me. Brandon and Nicole were back in the room and Brandon knelt down next to me, half rubbing my back and half hugging me, and kissing my forehead a lot. At this point, I was making some noise with the contractions and I recall Kortni asking me, “Are you having another one already?” After a few more contractions, which were probably 2-3 minutes apart at best, the next thing I knew I was kneeling on the floor and Nicole was asking Brandon if he was planning on catching the baby.
I started thinking, “We can’t be talking about this already! I have 4 more hours of labor to go. Suzanne (my midwife) isn’t here yet!” Another contraction came and I didn’t get to ask any of my questions and Kortni leaned over to my ear and said, “That’s it – you’re done. This is the end.” I was shocked, a little confused, and greatly relieved! I kept looking at my birthing tub, which was still in the process of being filled, and wondered if I’d even be able to deliver in the water like I’d hoped. A few more contractions went by and Suzanne arrived, said hello, took a look at me and said, “Let’s get her into the tub.” Into the tub I went! I loved being in the water! It didn’t do anything for the pain, but it was so soothing and much easier to relax. A few more contractions went by and the head had crowned. I figured that the hard part was over and I would hold my baby with the next contraction. A few more contractions went by with no baby. The next thing I knew, Suzanne had me switch positions and told me to push, and there baby was! It was a boy!!!! And he had that same darn swirl in his hair that Brandon and Josh have… such a pain to cut! :) She rested him on my legs and the first thing I thought was, “Wow, those are some big shoulders. That explains a lot!”
Our favorite rump roast, as we like to call him!
Those first few moments were so amazing; I held him and Brandon and I just stared at him and kept remarking at how cute he was, how he looked just like a Gideon, and that he was definitely bigger than the other two. No one was rushing around in a frantic scramble – we were just able to enjoy him. It was calm and peaceful and we soaked up every detail we could about our new little love. After about 15 minutes, the cord was cut, placenta delivered (my apologies to any males reading this), and Gideon and I were tucked snuggly into bed. We got to enjoy another 45 minutes of uninterrupted time with our boy while Suzanne and Nicole cleaned up (amazing fast, I might add) and left us alone until we were ready for them to get all his measurements and such.
We called Suzanna and Nicole back into the room and they went to work weighing and measuring. One of the funnest parts about this home birth was that Brandon got to weigh him with this sling-like contraption. You put the baby into the sling and then the sling hooks onto a weight (much like the hanging weights in the produce department at a grocery store). You then lift up the baby in the sling and find out how much the little bugger weighs. I was watching all this from the cocoon and couldn’t wait to find out how much he was. I knew he was bigger than my other babies, but I had figured he was high 8’s or low 9’s. *Remember from my previous post that I was adamant about not having a ten-pound baby.* Brandon hoisted the little guy up, studied the scale, and said, “He’s ten-pounds, one ounce…”
I was waiting for him to say just kidding…
“Nope! Make that ten-pounds and two ounces!” Then he looked over at me and grinned. I was still waiting for him to tell me what the actual weight was. When he didn’t say anything else, I said something really eloquent like, “You’re serious?? Goooooooooood lord!!!!!”
After everything was said and done, Gideon and I were tucked into bed, my sister ran to Wendy’s on behalf of Brandon, and Suzanne and Nicole gave us parting instructions along with hugs and kisses. Ryan and Kortni brought Josh and Grace back home where they met their baby brother with shining eyes. Josh kept saying, “Oh, he’s so cute. That’s my baby brudder,” as Grace was trying to lay on top of him and give him kisses while remarking, “Aw…bebe. Aw…bebe.” That first introduction of your children to their new sibling is special wherever you are, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love it taking place in our home. I will always treasure those first precious moments together as a family of five, along with the entire experience of this birth. It’s one of the milestones in my life that I will long reflect and rejoice over the goodness, kindness, and faithfulness of the Father to our family…and especially to me.
Our little loves :)