Adorable you had two Due Dates. As Handsome was born right between his two due dates, and Gorgeous was born 2 days after her due date (I only had one for her) I expected you to arrive right between your two due dates, and really didn't expect you to be early. In fact I was happy to be pregnant I finally didn’t feel sick in the morning and knew that you were perfectly taken care of within me. But as your due date arrived I was getting excited to see you and get to know you.
Then Gorgeous and Daddy got sick with the flu, and I got sick with a cold. I decided that I wanted to wait until I was healthy before you came. I needed all my strength to bring you into the world. My midwife reassured me that a mother’s body will wait until they are healthy before they go into labor, something I took comfort in. But I was starting to worry about how big you were getting and knew the longer you stayed in, the bigger you got.
So Grandpa Rowley and Daddy gave me a priesthood blessing. Promising me to be able to be healed from my sickness and to be able to get a good night sleep before you were born. The next day I felt better and that night I did get a good night sleep, better than I had in weeks! The next day labor began and you started your decent into the world.
I had contractions for a while that day, but thought nothing of it as I had many Braxton Hicks over the last month. Nothing painful, just that I knew when I was up and moving and doing lots that I would have to slow down and take breaks. (One trip to Wal-Mart, two weeks earlier, I had to spend the entire day shopping with Handsome and Gorgeous because of all the Braxton Hicks I had to walk very slowly, making it take a long time to get all we needed.) As I was sitting down to eat dinner, Tuesday night, around 6pm I started to really pay attention to the contractions. They were coming every so often and I would have to pause in what I was doing, still not painful, just a disturbance.
We got through our nighttime routine and Gorgeous was in bed, and Handsome playing the Wii with Daddy. I turned on Bill O’Riley in hopes of lying down and having the contractions stop. But they didn’t. I still didn’t know if it was the real thing. So I tried walking around the house, to see if they would stop, they didn’t. I started watching the clock, and noticed that they were coming regularly every 7 minutes. I called our midwife just to give her a heads up. I was not sure if it was anything, but I wanted her ready if it was.
We sent Handsome to bed, and Daddy decided that if it was the real thing he had better get his haircut, because I wouldn’t be up to it after giving birth. I had planned on many projects as my “labor project” but the “labor project” turned out to be giving Daddy a haircut. This has actually been my “labor project” for the other two births as well. J As I would cut Daddy’s hair I would have to stop when a contraction came, and I would tell Daddy to write down the time. By the end of cutting his hair, the contractions were coming every 5 minutes. So I decided that I wanted the kids to leave and stay the night at Aunt Beth’s house, just in case this was the real thing. Daddy called Aunt Beth, and we got Handsome and Gorgeous up, put shoes on them and coats, packed last minute things and Daddy drove them over to Aunt Beth’s house to stay the night. Although Daddy promised to vacuum when he got back, I didn’t see the point of me just sitting around, so I vacuumed up the cut hair as well as the rest of the main parts of the house. I also called Aunt Nancy to put her on alert that the birth may be that night.
With the house clean and the kids out of the house and taken care of, I wanted a little break. So I turned on the TV and saw a show that I had never seen before, but a few people had recommended, called “Parenthood”. So I kneeled/leaned on the birthing ball and watched the show. It was a nice distraction to the contractions. By the end of the show, 11pm, I was pretty sure I was in labor, the contractions were coming regularly and strong enough that I didn’t want to talk through them, but just be still and quiet. So Dad called our midwife, as well as Aunt Nancy.
Dad started to set up the pool and got out the plastic to lay down under it and the liner to go inside it. I started getting all the birthing supplies out and ready. I put the CD I chose in the CD player (Relaxing Classical music I had playing during each birth). I pulled out the rose scented candle and lit it (the same candle I have had burning during each birth, and oh, the sweet memories and feelings that overwhelm me each time I smell that candle, I LOVE IT!) I started making the bed (as in putting a plastic liner down over clean nice sheets, then sheets over the plastic that I didn’t mind getting stained.) As well as getting the extra supplies out that the midwife wanted, such as olive oil, paper towels, etc.
Our midwife arrived with her assistant. The pool was set up in the piano room and was filling with warm water. I remember walking around the house a little and kneeling down on the floor or leaning on furniture each time a contraction hit as I waited for the pool to fill. Aunt Nancy arrived and was chatting with the midwife. Finally the pool seemed full enough that I got into it. It was not as full as I wanted, but the hot water had run out. In our little house we have a little water heater, and even though Dad had turned the temperature up 15 degrees, it just didn’t hold enough water to fill the pool. So Aunt Nancy and Daddy put some pots with water on the stove. When they were boiling, they were added to the pool. It was just enough, then they added some cold water, and I was comfortable in the nice deep pool that was sitting in our piano room.
My goal during contractions was to stay as relaxed as possible. Daddy was sitting in a chair next to the pool holding my hand. As a contraction would come I would squeeze his hand, signaling a contraction (I really didn’t feel like talking at all, I just wanted to be quiet and still). With the signal he would let Aunt Nancy know and she would rub my lower back hard in circles. Daddy would stroke my hand or my hair and I would focus on relaxing all my muscles one at a time and visualize letting go and relaxing completely. I would also imagine holding you in my arms and tell myself I was so close to meeting you. As the contraction ended I would squeeze Daddy’s hand to let him know it was over. In between contractions I would completely relax surrounded by the warm water. I remember asking for the music to be replayed often, which with the other births I didn’t much care about the music; but this time I really enjoyed listening to it. I also drank water frequently, and would get out and go to the bathroom regularly, not that I really needed to use the restroom, but I knew moving around was good. I would have a good contraction on the way to the restroom, there, and on the way back. Daddy would go with me each time and we would talk, and he would help me through those contractions. When I would get back in the water I would have this feeling of warmth, and love overcome me. I loved being in the water.
Daddy was wonderful, reading my mind as I really didn’t talk much. He offered me water, told others what I wanted being very in tune with what I needed. Aunt Nancy rubbed my back during contractions and poured warm water over my back in between the contractions. She also told funny stories, I don’t remember the actual stories but I remember laughing, and it felt good to laugh. Our midwife was the constant watchful angel. She would make suggestions to change my positions to help things move faster. And I could tell I was getting closer as she would listen to your heartbeat and I would feel the monitor lower each time, giving me encouragement that things were moving right along.
As transition hit I went from being completely quiet to moaning. It felt good to moan and let others know that “this hurts!” At this point Aunt Nancy told me to make it hurt more. To which I thought “Are they crazy?! Who on earth would want this to hurt more?” but I knew she was right. She told stories of herself in labor and purposely letting each contraction hurt more, so that it would be over faster. Our midwife suggested more position changes which I did. Instead of on my hands and knees, I did a half kneel- half squat, which really hurt, but worked. I remember replying to our midwife and Aunt Nancy that they were evil to encourage pain. But because they were encouraging it I knew the pain was normal and good, and that it was helping you come faster.
At this time during contractions my hips started to hurt more than my back. I really felt like I needed pressure/pushing on my hips. I asked our midwife if pushing on my hips would make it harder for you to come. She then proceeded to tell Daddy and Aunt Nancy exactly where to push on my hips to actually make my pelvis open up bigger, and the pressure felt so much better during contractions.
Our midwife then suggested I stand and lean on Daddy. So I did and during that contraction the moan turned to a push. I remember our midwife asking “are you pushing?” to which I replied that I had no idea. I was not thinking about what I was doing, my body was just doing it. But then I realized I was pushing, so I decided to stand/squat leaning on Daddy again and push. After that I continued to push on my hands and knees in the water and remember making comments like “C-sections don’t sound so bad right now!” and “next time we are adopting!” Shortly after, my water broke and I knew you would be here soon.
You started to appear as our midwife helped ensure I didn’t tear. I would push and then take a break. I felt as if something was going to come out of every opening in my body. But I knew slow was good. I did not want to tear and I would take the pain now instead of later. Soon your head was out and one last push and your shoulders came out and you were here! You came into the world at 3:03am in the morning.
I rolled over to get a look at you. Our midwife had you on the side of the pool and was rubbing you as your eyes were closed and you were not making a sound. She quickly listened to your heart beat, which was perfect, as her assistant was pulling blood through your cord to give you more of your blood. Our midwife gave you some puffs of air, and you decided to open your eyes. Turns out you were totally asleep! Really, I can’t believe you slept through all that! But you did.
I then got to hold you in the water and cuddle with you wrapped in a warm wet towel, with Daddy looking on behind me. I delivered your placenta, which our midwife commented was very strong as well as the cord, which was also very long. Our midwife was surprised it wasn’t wrapped around you more, just once loosely around your stomach. After cuddling with you for around 15 minutes, your cord was clamped and Daddy cut the cord. It was the first time Daddy has cut the cord; I was surprised he actually did it.
You were handed to Daddy as I took a shower and then went to rest on my bed. The after pains, I remember, hurt more than previous births, and I was given Aleve to help take the pain away. We cuddled more, and then you were weighed at 9 lbs. 7.5 ounces, and measured at 22 in. long! Then Daddy put a diaper on you (with, of course, olive oil to help with those first messy diapers) and then dressed you. I didn’t tear at all, but I was still a little sore, you were a BIG baby, bigger than Handsome and Gorgeous. As I rested I was given lots of apple juice to drink. We tried nursing, but you were too tired and decided to just go to sleep. You actually slept for 5 hours before you felt like eating at all. Around 3 hours after your birth our midwife went home, but Aunt Nancy stayed as you, Daddy, and I went to sleep.
I still can’t believe how blessed I am to have you in our family. I am amazed at how small you seem and yet how big you seem all at the same time! I am completely in love with you and so happy and amazed that Heavenly Father has blessed us with you! I love you Adorable, so very very much!