I have spent the last few days pondering where to start. What to write and what to keep in my heart. You would think that after a woman has been pregnant 7 times and delivered 6 children, that this would just be “another” birth story. But it’s not. Each one has been so special and so different in so many ways. And each birth and child has me in awe all over again.
My due date was June 29. Eric’s birthday. I had a midwife appointment the week before and she said everything looked great, but probly no baby for awhile. I agreed. I was having a few contractions here and there, but nothing worth writing about. I was feeling exhausted. We bought a house about 2 weeks ago (that story is coming next, man am I behind these days!) and so the last two weeks have involved packing, going through everything here, and painting at the other house. Eric has assured me that he will do all the moving and I can just sit and relax, but the organizer in me can not do that. I want to help…pick out paint colors…have some order in the moving process…have say in where things go in the new house. So even though I have been slow and not nearly as efficient as I want to be, I have been able to slowly make progress. So that was what consumed me last week. And I also had this urgent feeling that I needed to get as much done as I could so that when little one came, I could sit still for a little while this time around.
Eric had Friday off. We spent all of Friday and Saturday over at the other house. I would paint for awhile and then sit for awhile. My back has hurt more and more each of these last few weeks. I have sciatica nerve damage and the last bit of pregnancy is enough pain to make me want to curl up and die somedays. I have learned to ignore it for the most part. But then sometimes it is so bad that I can’t. It consumes me and I have to just stop everything and sit or lie down until the pains lessen. And each pregnancy it has gotten worse. But then somehow my pain tolerance gets that much higher to get through most days. And I am sure it didn’t help that I was balancing on a ladder with a tray of paint, desperately trying to finish the boys room before this baby decided to come.
By Saturday evening my contractions were getting much stronger. Eric asked if I thought this might be it. You would think that by now I could just answer that question with a simple yes or no. But I can’t. My pain tolerance is so high, that it is hard for me to say, “Yeah, this is pretty bad, I am going to have a baby!” But instead I just grit my teeth and say,” I don’t think so. Not really sure. Probley not.” And then breath through the next contraction. After awhile Eric suggested I lay down and rest. I fell asleep wondering if this would be the night that we would get to meet our new little baby girl.
But morning came, and there was no baby. Sunday was a much more relaxing day. Our church had their annual picnic and we enjoyed the afternoon at the park. The sun was warm and bright, and there was plenty of water for the children to play with. I just sat the whole afternoon. My legs were swollen and my contractions would come and go, each one almost taking my breath away. There were a few conversations that I had that I could not for the life of me remember what we talked about because all I could do was focus on the intense pains that ran through my back and legs. Eric needed to go back to the other house (the one we just bought) and fix a broken pipe, and offered to leave me at the park so the children could still play, but I had this fear grip me that I needed to not leave his side. So we loaded everyone up and went to Home Depot looking for the parts to fix the broken pipe. They didn’t have the right items, so we went to 3 more stores. Finally Eric found what he needed, all the while me slowly following him through each store, stopping for contractions. He then offered to drop me off at our house we live in now, but again I felt the need to have him very close by. So we went over to the other house and I sat on the front porch while he fixed the broken pipe. Then he played a game of basketball with the children. By then my whole body ached, my back and legs felt like they were on fire and I was exhausted. And I hadn’t even done anything that day.
We headed home and put the children to bed. I had this random idea to go for a walk. Thinking that maybe we could get things going and have a baby. I was now very concerned with the fact that Eric would be heading off to work in the morning and that he would be 40 minutes away from me. I just had this feeling that this was going to be another fast labor with no time to spare. We walked about a mile, talking about our new house and the one that we are moving out of. I had a few more contractions, but nothing that made me think “tonight!” So I went to bed. Only to be awaken an hour later with a horrible contraction. I went in the bathroom and turned the lights on. Another horrible contraction. Horrible enough that I was trying not to cry and trying to remember that I am suppose to breath through these awful things. Eric woke up and came in and asked if I was ok. I said “yeah, just some bad contractions” He is much wiser after all these births that we have been through. He knows how high my pain tolerance is and that when I am to the point of crying, then we are getting really close. He suggested I go sit in the hot tub for awhile and see if I felt any better. At that point he was springing into action for another home delivery. Our last 2 babies we had at home and I loved it. So there was no question this time that I wanted another home birth, but instead of doing it on our own, I had seen a midwife during the pregnancy who might or might not make it to the delivery. She lived over an hour away. So it all came down to how fast my labor would be.
I wasn’t in the hot tub 10 minutes and I felt my water break. What an odd feeling. Only once before have I actually “felt” my water break. But being in the hot tub made me question if that was really what had happened. I guess I was still in total denial that I was actually in labor. I told Eric who was already getting everything ready. A few more contractions and we had a beautiful little girl. Our midwife showed up about 2 hours later and said that little one looked healthy and beautiful. By the time she left it was about 4:00 am. Eric fell right asleep, but I was not the least bit tired. I just laid and stared at our little girl. It was so quiet. Just me and her. I loved those few hours we had together before the children all began to wake up. They had slept through the entire labor and delivery. For about a week before she was born, they would ask me everyday when I thought I would have the baby. “Any day now” was always my reply. And since 5 of my 6 deliveries have been at night, we were guessing this one would be too. Or I was really hoping it would be, because it makes things so much more simple since my labors are so fast.
So around 7:00 the children started trickling into our room. Each one’s face would go from tired sleepy eyes to a huge excited expression as they saw me sitting there in bed with our new baby. Soon all 6 children were up on our bed kissing her and talking about how happy they were that we FINALLY had a baby. It was a beautiful morning. Eric took the day off and took the children for a few hours in the afternoon to run errands while I rested. I was suppose to sleep, that was Eric’s instructions, but really I just wanted to hold and kiss and smell my new little baby girl!
~~~~5 Days Old~~~~
(Ben was riding the tractor with Eric, so they weren’t around for the impromptu photo shoot)