Friday, April 15, 2011

Robert's Birth, part one: An ordinary Saturday

On Friday, April 8th, I didn't feel like going anywhere and decided the girls and I would just spend the day together at home. They were running around the living room playing when Ivey randomly sang happy birthday to no one in particular and then said "Ahhh want keck!" We needed an activity anyway, so I looked up a recipe for chocolate cake and we baked one together to save for Robert's birthday. Suzi and Ivey both sat on the counter and played with the ingredients and had a great time helping and making a little mess.

Photo by Suzi

After baking our cake I put one of the Toy Story movies on for the girls and Suzi fell asleep on the love seat. Weird. By the time Jordan came home I realized she had a fever. Since it felt like we'd been riddled with one illness after another for the last few weeks of the pregnancy, this was extremely frustrating! I was at 40 weeks 6 days and we had no idea what this moderately high fever meant.

We kept my appointment with the chiropractor that afternoon, and it's a good thing we did because I needed an adjustment. We went home and had dinner, careful not to have anything that might make Ivey throw up again, and put Suzi to bed. She had trouble falling asleep, so we put a fan in her room (it was pretty warm in there) and wiped her face with a damp cloth to keep her comfortable. After a couple of stories she finally managed to go to sleep.

The morning of Saturday the 9th, it was a miracle! Her fever was gone and she felt fine, so we decided to ride to a few yard sales and run some errands. If we had known how soon we were going to be having a baby, we might have stayed home.

We found an apple peeler/slicer/corer (yay!) and a couple other things including an oil burner I could use for the birth. Then we dropped by Bloom for a few groceries and picked out some spring clothes for the girls at our local consignment shop. Around 1:00, we headed to the Vitamin Shop for tea tree and lavender oil. I ran in while everyone else waited in the car. I called Carey, our midwife, while in the shop to get her opinion on vitamin D supplements, and we discussed when our next prenatal appointment would be since I was still pregnant. I told her nothing serious was happening yet and we decided she'd come over the next day. A few minutes after we hung up I had my strongest pressure wave yet. When I got back in the van I told Jordan I wanted to go home. NOW.

It occurred to me I'd hardly had anything to drink all day, so I drank what was left in the water bottle we'd brought. I wondered if this wasn't just a little dehydration. I was having pressure waves of varying intensity at irregular intervals, so I wasn't sure this was it yet. Just in case, I started telling Jordan all the things I wanted to do when we got home. Cleaning, for one. I also wanted to take a shower.

I asked Jordan to feed the girls lunch and headed for the shower almost immediately after walking in the door. By the time I got out of the shower I was pretty sure my pressure waves were the real thing because they weren't going away! I yelled for Jordan to call Carey while I dried off. He left a message and she called back a few minutes later around 2:45. I couldn't tell how fast things were moving, so I asked her to come over sort of soonish. I then called Jenn, our friend we'd asked to attend and photograph for us, and asked her to come over in an hour or two. Jordan called my mom and she picked up Ivey.

I put on a comfortable dress and spent a little time with Jordan straightening up, eating a snack, and putting out the birth food for everyone to eat while we waited. Suzi watched Cinderella as Jordan and I talked and worked. We were so excited to meet our son, and so happy that Jordan was around to share in the early birthing time. For Ivey's birth, he'd arrived home from work just an hour or so before I started pushing.

Photo by Jenn--my last belly shot

It was around 4:00 when Carey, Jenn and Crystal, a midwife apprentice who is also our Creighton Model instructor, arrived all at once. Carey and Crystal began setting up their supplies, and in the sudden flurry of activity my pressure waves came to a halt. I began to worry that I'd made my calls too soon. These poor ladies might be stuck at my house all night. And this was my third baby, so you'd think I'd have a better idea of the timing! No one seemed worried about it, and once the setup was complete they sat in the living room and talked while I tried to start the rotisserie upstairs in the bedroom with Jordan and Suzi. (The rotisserie is a technique to get the baby into a favorable position for birth.) But when I lay down, nothing happened, so I decided we should go back downstairs and stay busy for a little while.

My go-to technique for getting through a pressure wave (photo by Jenn)

We started by baking some brownies and working on a little laundry. It worked! My pressure waves came back and started to get stronger and longer. While we were running around in the kitchen we timed a few of them and they were about a minute long and 4-5 minutes apart. When I felt one coming, I'd lean on the counter and sway until it started to go away. Things were still so casual I decided we should make some buttercream frosting and ice Robert's birthday cake we'd made the day before. When I started working on it, Jordan said "we are NOT making frosting for a cake right now!" He thought it sounded ridiculous. But I told him we didn't have anything better to do.

My midwife Carey helps with the frosting (also by Jenn)

At this point everyone was in the kitchen helping with the cake. Suzi wanted to ice the cake herself. She thought blue would be a good color for decorating, and I only put the words on before letting her finish up. She then added blue sprinkles. We finished the cake at about 5:50 pm. By that time the pressure waves were feeling intense and getting more regular. I was finally starting to feel a sense of urgency. We wrapped things up in the kitchen and headed upstairs to our peaceful birthing space.

Stay tuned for the (somewhat more exciting) conclusion!


Anonymous said...

Sounds just beautiful so far! Look forward to Part 2!
Crystal G

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am LOVING the birth photos. You're so lucky to have them!

Kristin said...

Can't wait to read the rest!

CJ said...

You make labor look good!!