Friday, February 13, 2009

Birth Story

**This is reprinted from Facebook for a particular lurker who isn't on that program. You know who you are!**

We were ready. The birth team was prepped, the birth tub was inflated in the garage, we had the bag of birth supplies packed, the baby girl clothes were in the dresser. Now all that was left was the waiting for our third daughter to arrive.

Thursday night, 1/22, Kevin had a little chat with "Baby Andra" in my tummy letting her know that it was time for her to come. Of course, I was only 39 weeks but that was the longest I'd been pregnant (Cadence came at 37 and Elyse at 38 1/2). He explained that he wanted to meet her so she could come the next day, as far as he was concerned.

I slept well that night and got up at about 5:30 to use the bathroom. As I sat down, I felt what could only be my water breaking. This was the day! I grabbed a towel and went back to bed. I woke Kevin up and told him apparently his baby could take direction because we were go for labor. I wasn't having any contractions so I called my friend and apprentice midwife Joanna to let her know and texted the rest of my birth team then went back to bed.

About 7:30 I started having some mild contractions every 10-15 minutes. I got up with Elyse and snuggled her on the sofa. Cadence got up soon after and I got to tell them that we'd meet their sister that day. They were jazzed!

The contractions had picked up a little and I was cold so I got in the shower while Kevin putzed around with the kids. I used up all the hot water then crawled into bed (I love my flannel sheets!). By this time it was about 9 and Kevin was getting a little stressed out doing house stuff with the kids so hyper (they kept wanting to jump on the bed, among other things). We decided to call my mom and ask her to take them to the park for an hour. We had a doula planned to be with the girls but it seemed too early to call her since I was still having contractions 10 minutes apart and able to talk through them.

By this time the endorphins had kicked in and I was dozing between contractions (I love that space between contractions, it seems like my birthday every time the hurting stops). I talked with Joanna again and she laughed that I was yawning.

My mom came at around 10. I was having contractions about 7 minutes apart, breathing through them. We told her we'd call in about an hour to bring the girls home. Kevin came and hung out with me on the bed while I dozed/contracted.

I got my first "toe curler" sometime after that. When the next came 5-7 minutes I told Kevin it was time to call Joanna and Wendi (midwife) and fill the tub. Kevin reported that Joanna would be there in about 30 minutes, which was fine. It was probably 11:15.

The next contraction was a doozy and I started dry heaving (my lovely personal gift--I always barf in labor). I had a bowl but really wanted to get to the bathroom because I thought I was going to have diarrhea too. I hollered for Kevin and he helped me stand up--and everything changed.

The next few minutes are really blurry. I got to the toilet. I was still heaving but now I was pushing too. I reached down and realized my perineum was bulging--this was baby coming! I asked Kevin to look and he said he saw head. He grabbed a towel. I reached down and felt ears. He told me to stand up to make room and we both reached down and delivered our baby. He wrapped the baby in the towel and we rubbed until we got a good cry. Kevin went to call Joanna to tell her and to grab more towels and a bowl to catch the placenta (neither of us wanted to dig it out of the toilet or drop it on the floor). It was about 11:35.

As Kevin stepped out, I looked at the little wet bundle in my arms and decided to do the finger/toe count. So I opened the towel to get a look at her and got my second surprise in a very short time. Our little girl, Andra Faith, WAS A BOY! I once again bellowed for Kevin (poor guy). When he came around the corner, all I could do was open the towel. My dear husband, who had just help deliver his own baby unassisted while maintaining calm, nearly fainted. I wish I could have gotten his expression on video.

I moved to the bed, Joanna and Wendi arrived. My mom came back (she didn't believe Kevin at first when he called). Cadence and Elyse met their brother. Cadence's response was, "A brother? That's what I prayed for!" Eventually I nursed, ate, then slept.

It took us two days to name Alexander Eugene. It took a few days after that to stop calling him "Andra".

I am amazed that I delivered an 8 lb 14.5 oz baby with contractions never closer than 5 minutes apart. I am tickled with our son. I think next baby we'll skip the ultrasound gender check and I'm making the midwife come when my water breaks.

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