I know… it’s been quite some time since I posted the former about the “leading up to” birth. The anticipation, the “false starts” that were really getting us all that much closer to meeting our wee one. It was a crazy 12 days late. I called SBJ home from work more than I care to admit, with only to have labor seize. I am certain his boss was getting pretty annoyed with us during this whole process. I heard him say once, “we are doing this alone…. There is no birth attendant here.” I don’t think his boss really got the idea of what that truly meant, and even if… don’t truly feel there was too much care in the matter anyhow.
Any rate…. Came a point where I truly felt like “giving up” on nudging baby along. I knew I had done everything I could naturally do to encourage things along, and so I was done trying. But…. Even though I said I was done trying, I did not truly stop the stuff I still had energy for. I did lots and lots of walking, marching, stairs, etc. I slept really really well during that time, I ate well and stayed hydrated. So, it was not as if I wasn’t still nudging, I think I was more nudging with the idea that I could not truly be frustrated any longer. Wee one was going to come along when ready. And that…. SHE surely did!
It was the afternoon, evening of 9/11. I could tell this time around, things were a wee more intense than otherwise were before. The ‘work’ leading up to this point were surges in which life could easily move on. These surges, on the 11th were getting more intense. Life was still moving along, but I certainly was noticing the difference. I let SBJ know that this was the case. He went off to work with phone on the ready. Surges were sporadic and nothing to regular yet. I was (a) not all that excited about having a 9/11 birthday. I…. now after all this time of awaiting, was more than willing to wait even longer. And (b) had this gut/intuition feeling that once things kicked into gear, they were really going to go quickly. And so, I actually rested up that day, took it as easy as possible. Did not deter the forward movement, but did not attempt to nudge it along just yet either. By about 8-8:30pm I went to bed with the kids. I figured if I could get some sleep, I certainly should. But by 10:30-11pm I was up again. Things were truly picking up, becoming more intense, and far more regular. I immediately called SBJ and he assured me he was just 15 minutes away from home, so I truly started working these surges. This was it. I was ready. By about midnight I had this sense of relief that we were not sharing a 9/11 birthday, and contractions seemed to follow suit to that sense…. Things picked up even more. I found myself in the tub, out of the tub, walking, rocking, swaying, needing no clothes, needing clothes. It was all over the place in just the 4-5 hours of active labor. About 1:30am (give or take-ish) I asked SBJ to fill the birth tub. We decided super-duper hot was great because our home was so stinkin’ cold that week. We had unusually cold weather that week, and our building manager had yet to turn on the heat. So the place was truly chilly. Not too long after it had been filled, I climbed in. OH THE HEAT! It was an instant relief. It felt so miraculous I can’t even describe. I am certain this moment speed things up even more so. I was relaxed, the heat helped SO much, and K was up by this point and he turned on some music. When I ponder back to the moment I entered the tub to the time I welcomed her in my arms, it felt like a blink of an eye.
So…. Music is going, the hot feels SO good, and progress is moving quickly. I begin to sweat and need to drink cool water and be fanned to cool off. We open the window to bring in a breeze, and at this point, SBJ, K, D and S are all there. They are bundled in sweatshirts while I’m can’t get enough of a breeze 🙂 They so supportively tolerate the chill and fan me like an Egyptian queen. They offer me cool water to drink and put cool clothes on the back of my neck. By this point, I can tell…. She’s coming soon. I instruct SBJ it’s time to cool off this tub! Baby’s coming soon! We bring the water temp back down a bit by adding cool (fortunately we had not filled it too much to begin with so there was space to add the cool). All of a sudden I feel a major/prominent descent. I instruct “Time to get M!!! Baby is coming now!” D runs into the bedroom to arose M from sleep. Just as they come back to the tub, baby’s head begins to crown… in her caul!!! Quite a magical experience that I also had intuition would happen. Every birth prior my bag was broken by an attendant. This time… no interference what so ever.
At this point in time I am totally within myself, with baby. I hear what’s going on around me, but don’t seem to have the ability to answer. But I hear the conversation as baby’s head is emerging. K says, “is that baby’s head?! Or no…. what is that?” SBJ says, “yes, that’s baby!” And someone else says, “uhmmmm….. I don’t think so.” They were confused because of the coloring of the caul. They could not see her hair quite yet, but a flowy portion of caul above her head. I reached down and could feel her, her head, and the caul. I felt the urge to release the sac myself and allow for a speedy emergence. I slipped it between my fingers and with a little tug was able to rip it gently. She was born in the very next push!
I reached down to get her and pull her up, but realize her cord is around her neck. Fortunately, not at all tight or anything. It was more like a criss-cross with tension downward. So I simply slid her back into the water for 2 seconds, untangled them, and pulled her up to chest. Oh MAN! We were ALL so instantly in love. She was just SO amazing. She immediately coughed, cried only a wee-bit, and then just gazed at us all. The birth photos K took are just priceless. Within seconds, hands are all over her, loving on her, kissing her. So I then say…. “ok you ready to know?! Boy or girl?” All of the final votes come in and I count, “One….. two….. three!!!!” I turn her around (she had been face down on my chest till now), lift her leg…. And ALL shout “A GIRL!!!!” Yippee!!! Baby C is here!
What an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G experience.
Enjoying baby C for quite a bit of time, I awaited the birth of the placenta. A nice healthy one at that! By the time the placenta was birthed her cord was done pulsating and we cut the cord. I found the sac completely intact floating in the tub (well, other than the small tear I made in it). That was super cool. I had never seen that in full like that either. The entire familial experience was one like no other.
She arrived at 4:42am that Friday morning (9/12/2014). I got a quick shower before SBJ actually left for work that AM! (Crazy! But he had already taken off so much time and no one was willing to come in for him that day…. Even more crazy!) But at the very least he had some time off after that. The kids and I climbed back into bed to try to capture a few more winks of sleep. After a few hours we woke for the day, all completely famished. K and D made us an enormous (and very delicious) breakfast. We had a midwife friend come by and check on us. C got a little baby check –up and we received a mighty two thumbs up. She weighed in at just about 10 lbs and was 21.5 inches long! Big girl! This friend took my placenta and encapsulated it for me. (A process I had never done before with the other births, so I was interested in the affects it might play in my recoop time.) G’ma came for a visit in the afternoon, the older kids had a party that night!
I know. Crazy as I am, I hosted a tween-teen party at our house the day she was born. My kids had spent two weeks in a very limbo state. Some things were prolonged and pushed, canceled or rescheduled awaiting this wee-one, so I did not want to have to push this too. It really only took me picking up a phone to order pizza, and disappearing into the other room. So it really was not that a big of a deal (though others might think otherwise of me). The kids were elated to be able to have friends over and enjoy a great time with them. The next day was our soccer league’s season opener!!! Yea….. I know. Crazy. I went simply to get the ball rolling, but then returned to the car and enjoyed the view from the warmth of the car. THEN…. I finally got a few days of restfulness at home. It was nice to finally take it easy, and simply enjoy this new person in our family.
Life since then has been slightly insane (all in a good way though). I’m still (re)figuring out life with a newborn. I forget how much time going places takes. The extra effort I’m still trying to account for most days. SBJ pulled a muscle in his back a few weeks back, so life has been even more stressful. Feels much like being a single mom to six. Five is enough to handle, but the extra person being injured has been putting me over the edge (ever-so-slightly). Thankfully, the community of which we are ever-so-blessed to be a part of has had a meal train going for us. It has been insanely helpful to have people feeding us for nearly 5 weeks now! I can’t even express the gratitude I feel for all of the assistance. People have been SO amazing. Without the food help, I surely may have lost my marbles somewhere along the way. This week I have taken a deep breath and really relished in just how awesome my peeps around me have come to the rescue. With it coming to an end and needing to now figure out how to feed this family of seven with a nursing newbie, I simply cannot express the profound gratitude I have for those folks who have done so much for us. I will send affirmations of gratitude each and every day I attempt to return to our kitchen once more 🙂
C will be 5 weeks old in just a couple of days. Time has been flying by so quickly. Each of the kiddos has a very special bond with their baby C. She recognizes each of them, and is profoundly happy to see them, connect with them. She has these excited hand movements in her awake moments, with these funny panting sounds…. As if to acknowledge all of the life going on around her and wanting to jump right in and participate. She seems to have a little bit of everyone in her features, and yet she is just all her own as well. She is already smiling and even laughing at times. She has pretty decent head control, and is a true nursing champ. I brought her in at about 2.5 weeks for a newborn check –up and she had already gained 2 lbs. No loosing or missing out on anything there! She already fitting into 6 month clothing and I needed to purge some newborn stuff and pick up some more clothes for her.
I think that’s it for now. Life’s a never-ending adventure with this crew. Seeing them all together makes my heart sing and melt all at the same time. Only thing needed (for this mama) is a few winks of sleep 🙂