June 17th, 4:05 am
6 lbs. 13 oz.
19 ¾ in. long
I woke up at 1:44 am when Michael came into our bed. I got up to go to the bathroom. I did notice a contraction, but I always got them when I had to go pee, so no big deal. I go to the bathroom and come back to bed. A few minutes later I get really bad cramps and jump out of bed and back to the bathroom. This time, I’m figuring I got a hold of something my stomach didn’t like. I sat on the potty for quite a while. Then, I got up and went into the living room, still thinking I’m sick. My back was killing me, but the boys had been at a swimming party the evening before and I’d been in the kiddy pool chasing Gabriel (my 3 year old) around, and I just figured I’d done too much. I started getting chills and finally thought to wake Stephen up around 2:15. I told him I was either sick or in labor (still thinking I was sick, but I needed his help.) He came up front with me, and I went back to the bathroom, finished cleaning out my intestinal tract and promptly proceeded to throw up. I had Stephen clean that up because I felt so bad, and while he was doing that I got a couple of good contractions, so I told him to call Toni and tell her something “might” be going on. I’m still thinking I’m just sick, but she wanted me to call right away I thought anything might be going on, so I did. I felt bad for waking her up in the middle of the night for what I thought was probably a stomach bug.
Actually, Stephen called her because I was throwing up again. That was about 2:30 – 2:45, I think. I was praying silently that this be the real deal and for peace and the ability to get through it. I had the mantra “If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it” going through my head. Toni said later that she could hear me in the background and told Stephen that she was on her way. That’s when I finally let him call my mom and everyone else that was supposed to be here for the birth. I still wasn’t convinced it was the real thing.
Contractions started coming faster. My back hurt constantly and contractions just felt like that intensified along with intestinal cramps. I spent a lot of time on the toilet because it felt better to have my pelvic region open with no pressure down there. Even standing with my legs apart wasn’t good enough. At some point in time, I had Stephen get me an ice pack for my back and that helped a little.
Nancy, Toni’s assistant got there first. I was in the bathroom being sick again and she asked Stephen how close the contractions were. We hadn’t even thought to time them. She looked at me and said, “It’s ok, Toni (midwife) will be here in about 20 min.” I’m still thinking, “Great, big deal. We’ve got lots of time.” My shortest labor before this had been 8 hrs.
Somewhere during this time frame, Gabriel woke up and Stephen went to go comfort him. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure I was in transition at that point. I was having very intense contractions, but I would kind of space out between them. Just when I’d think I couldn’t handle it anymore, the contraction would be over and I’d be in that kind of zoned out place and it was ok.
Toni got here, looked at me and said we should go to the living room because we didn’t want to have the baby in the bathroom. I told her I had plenty of time, but she convinced me to go to the futon in the living room (we had that set up for the birth) so she could check me. I didn’t believe I was that close. I don’t think she ever really checked me. I laid down on the futon and she told me that I could push because my bag of waters was already bulging out and I was complete. I quickly told her that it was way too early for that. (hee hee) I had been getting myself through the contractions by telling myself that they couldn’t be that bad yet because I still had a long time to go.
With the next contraction, I pushed and my water popped everywhere like a water balloon. It was nice and clear. Next contraction, I pushed again and her head was out. I reached down and felt her perfect little ear. I pushed again and her shoulders came and Toni had me pick her up and put her on my belly. I got to deliver my daughter myself. That feeling is so awesome that words cannot describe it.
Somewhere in all this, Gabriel had woken up and Stephen was in our room with him, so he missed the actual birth, but he said he was so at peace with everything while she was being born. He said he knew the baby and I were fine, and rather than bring Gabriel up front screaming, he should just lay down in bed with him.
A few minutes later, my best friend and her husband came in and Stephen and Gabriel came up front. Abigail was still on my belly and Daddy did get to cut the cord while holding Gabriel. Gabriel wanted to go back to bed, so Stephen went with him. My placenta delivered, and shortly after that, my mom walked in. She couldn’t see everything right away so she asked “How’s the patient?” When my friend’s husband answered, “They’re both just fine” she was shocked. “You mean I missed it?” She was disappointed, but happy we were doing well.
We just laid there with the baby on my belly covered with a towel for a while until she decided she was ready to nurse. We still weren’t certain on a name for her, and it was then that I decided her Daddy was right all along and her name would be Abigail Marie.
We wiped her off and got her measured and weighed and dressed her. She did have a little trouble getting her temperature up, but nothing a little nursing and snuggling didn’t cure. I went and took a shower while Stephen got to hold her for the first time. Toni checked me and commented at how little blood loss there was. I didn’t tear a bit, either, just a little skid mark. ;o)
My friend made me some waffles and everyone but my mom went home after that. We just lay around and relaxed until about 7 when Stephen couldn’t stand it anymore and went to wake up the big boys They had managed to sleep through the whole thing.
First he woke up Trenton (6 ½) and told him Mama had the baby. I heard him say, “No way! I gotta see this!” and he came running into the living room. Then Stephen woke Michael (5) up and he came running up front too. Trenton said, “Mikie, Mikie! Look what happened!” It was so sweet. Gabriel was just grinning from ear to ear saying “Baby!” the whole time. The boys seemed to be in awe for the new baby.
The whole experience was so awesome! This was my first homebirth and I will never go to a hospital again unless there is a medical necessity. Recovery was so much easier at home, and I like not having to disrupt our lives and find someone else to take my older kids while we’re at the hospital.
As for Abigial, she’s doing great. She’s been a champion nurser from the start, and she’s just the sweetest little thing. The first night was kind of hard because she was hungry and I just didn’t have enough milk for her yet, but it soon got better. Unfortunately, I developed mastitis when she was 5 days old and my nipples were bleeding and very sore, but we got through it and now nursing is going great. I thought about giving up on nursing, but I know mama’s milk is best and it was definitely worth all the pain. All of her clothes and even my newborn diapers were too big on her to begin with. She’s so tiny and so precious! She is truly a gift from God.