His story started so long ago it’s hard to know where to start.
After Midna, we thought we were done having children. It’s hard to want more when you might end up with only more loss and not life. It took us a long time to realize that the fear of loss wasn’t reason enough to not try, and we needed to believe we could have another Midna, beating the odds and sticking around.
In June, after catching the very first postpartum egg in May, we found out we were pregnant. To say we were shocked was an understatement! I took a test simply to rule it out, and when it came up positive, Blake and I couldn’t speak. Glade was the first to say something, and she was simply so excited it broke us out of our trance!
His pregnancy wasn’t easy. My best friend’s baby due the same time left too soon leaving a hole in our hearts and lives, HG hit hard and early, I had spotting and bleeding yet again, needed progesterone supplementation again, and further into the pregnancy had heart issues that turned out to be nothing but were scary before we knew what was going on.
But on we went. Soon we were nearing the end of another journey and about to embark on something we couldn’t have planned for.
On February 11th, at exactly 39 weeks, I had contractions most the day, but that wasn’t abnormal for me. When Midna went to bed at about 8:30 that night, they picked up and started to hurt in my back, a sign I was in labor with Midna, but wasn’t sure it would be the same this time. Blake was at work until 2am the next day, so I went about cleaning a bit and setting up the pool and other things, just in case. It kept me occupied.
At 12:30am, I decided things weren’t going to happen, so I went to bed.
SURPRISE! At 1:22am I woke up thinking I had peed myself, and was able to get to the bathroom without leaking much, but when I sat down on the toilet, my water broke in a giant gush that wouldn’t quit. I’ve never had my water break when I could see it before, and it was the strangest thing watching my belly shrink before my eyes.
The light was off since I thought it was simply pee, so as soon as it went from a gush to a trickle, I turned the light on. I was shocked to see the water wasn’t clear, baby had definitely passed meconium, though it wasn’t thick. I panicked a little, not having planned for this, and as soon as I got up, I called Blake to tell him. He went about getting someone to come in so he could come home, and I called my best friend Brenda to tell her to head up, even if birth wasn’t soon, I knew I would need here there just for her calm and strength.
I listened to his heartbeat a few times, before, during, and after contractions, and he was doing so great, most of the meconium fear went away. The rest left when Blake came home and gave me a blessing. We weren’t worried at all about it anymore, it seemed like just another part of this birth now.
One thing I knew but never realized or internalized, when your water breaks, it just keeps leaking every single time you move or baby moves or it just feels like it. I soaked through so many pads I eventually just used towels and cloth diapers instead! It was wonderful when the pool was finally warm enough to get in, then I didn’t have to worry about leaking.
Blake got home at around 1:50am, our girls woke up around 2 (I’m betting they could feel the energy in the air), and Brenda got here at about 2:30am. The pool was full, but cold, so pots were set to boil.
Blake had been up since 7am, so he tried to get Glade back to bed around 3 and he fell asleep instead. Brenda worked on getting the pool warm, and let me just say, this woman is a goddess. While I had very irregular contractions that hurt worse than my entire labor with Midna, she was heating water, keeping the girls occupied, cleaning, giving me counter pressure and massage just when I needed it most, and just being amazing.
My contractions never became regular. They would range from double peaking to two or five or ten minutes apart, and there was no way to know what would be next. The pool took the edge off, but even then, every one felt like my back, hips, and abdomen were being ripped apart.
At 5:30am, after Brenda got Midna to sleep in the Boba, I transferred her to the bed and got her to sleep next to Blake. The two contractions I had getting her to sleep deeper were the worst pain of my entire labor. Women that lie in bed during labor are my heroes, there is no way I could have done it. In the back of my mind I kept thinking that the hospital was just down the road and I could get an epidural so fast and be out of pain. Thank goodness it was never more than a hormonal thought of a woman in labor.
Once Midna was asleep, I spent a few contractions leaning over the birth ball with Brenda being amazing with her counter pressure. Soon after I got back in the pool, and she dozed on the couch, while still making sure I was drinking water and the pool was staying warm.
At around 6 (I think, I’m really fuzzy on times), I couldn’t find a position that was comfortable at all during contractions. Kneeling hurt, hands and knees hurt, sitting hurt, floating in the pool while holding the handles on the side hurt the least, but was still painful. I ended up lifting myself off the bottom of the pool, stretching out, and wiggling like a fish during each contraction. I must have looked ridiculous.
I wanted this labor to end so badly. In the back of my head I remember thinking that low tones and mantras birth babies, so during every contraction I would try to keep my voice as low as possible, and say “open, open” over and over. When the peak would near, I would feel almost out of control, like nothing would help and this contraction would last forever, and I would almost beg my body to open and have this end. Then it would ease, and I would rest until the next one.
The double peaking contractions were the worst. Just when I thought it would be ending, it would start again, and I felt so incapable of handling it. Thankfully they didn’t last as long as the first half, but I was so tired by the end of them that I worried they would keep going that way and I wouldn’t be able to catch up.
I knew that I could still have hours of this left, and tried to push the thought out of my head. Thoughts like this don’t help, and I needed to stay positive, even if just in my head.
At one point I remember looking up, and I could see outside getting brighter as the sun came up. This made me so mad. It had been less than six hours since my water broke, in my head I knew it could last until the sun went down, but seeing that light was so unnerving.
Right after, I had a contraction that felt completely different. It hurt so much worse, and then in a burst, my body started pushing. I had no transition, no regular contractions, no sign that I was this close, and my first thought was that it was too soon, but then I felt that hard head move down, and I flipped over to lean over the side of the tub.
Everyone was sleeping, Brenda was dozing, and I remember (and I’m so sorry about this!) getting mad at her and yelling for her to get Blake, as if that wasn’t what she was doing! He ran out, and calmed me down, and I made sure Glade was out there.
I pushed two more times and his head came out, while giving myself counter pressure on my clitoris and labia, and I was expecting it to be just like Midna, but his body didn’t follow. The contraction ended, and I felt his head and body rotate. I reached around to feel what was going on because my brain didn’t understand why he wasn’t out. His shoulders rotated, another contraction hit, and I pushed out one shoulder and arm and the rest of him followed right behind! 7:22am, exactly six hours after my water broke, he was born!