A few months ago I read my sweet little nephew's birth story and became all nostalgic wanting to re-read my little guy's….only to find out I wrote most of it but never actually published it. So here it is, in case you care to read it :) This is mostly for me anyway, but I love reading birth stories so here is his!
Thirty-seven weeks came- that most beloved day in an expectant mother's pregnancy- the day she knows it's almost over. She's held her little one within her long enough for this new phase to soon begin. It's also a day that comes and goes for many of us with not much more than the typical Braxton Hicks and maybe a few hiccups and kicks, although those aren't quite as often since that little one is pretty squished. I knew not to expect anything that day but was excited nonetheless. That day always means that within the next month I will be meeting this little one and I will start seeing signs that he or she is getting ready to come.
My pre-labor "getting ready" signs have been the same with all four and I pretty much knew what a certain day's emotions and energy level meant the week before I had him. I knew this baby would be a little early because up until now, all the signs and the timeline had been the same for the other three. I had a pretty energetic week halfway into week 37. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more. I wiped down every wall and corner of the house with a damp cloth. I got out all the little boy clothes we had been given and 3 little girl outfits.
I spent about 4 days nesting with a big boom of energy on that fourth day. I made my Labor Aid and put it in the fridge. I made a big pot of bone broth, knowing I would need that for the after-birth-shock I experience. The day that followed brought on a ton of emotions from anxiety about having another baby to excitement to pure exhaustion and weepiness that this baby would never, ever, ever come. Although I obviously knew this wasn't true, you just can't help but feel like that when you can't breathe and are so uncomfortable. But I was also extra excited by my emotional state. In the past it has meant that after that intense cleaning the emotional phase follows and then the baby follows within a few days. That evening (it was a Friday), I remember being miserable on the couch and almost crying. We put the older two to bed and our little Sophie stayed with us in the living room. I was sleeping on the couch towards the end because I felt so nauseous in bed and my husband would claim the recliner with Soph, since she had been having some rough nights sleeping. I remember complaining to him and then following that up with, "You know this baby's coming this soon!"
My best friends had arranged to have a girl come and clean for me that Saturday morning. Yes, I already cleaned……for her as much as for baby. I was excited since the last two days had brought on more messes from toddlers and our house would be fully set for the baby once she did a sweep through.
I lifted my head from the couch at about 8:05 am and felt "funny". I woke Dan up knowing something was happening, although I wasn't convinced yet. I sat up and instantly felt that pop and gush feeling I had with Sophie when my water broke. This time I knew to call our midwife right away. I was definitely in labor! (I also called and cancelled our house being cleaned. As a side note, it was a wonderful gift about 4 weeks later!) I had about 5 minutes to collect myself, wake up the girls and tell them the baby would be coming, and switch into some comfier clothes. I called my sister and parents and they came by soon after. By the time they arrived 15 minutes later, I was in full-blown labor with contractions coming so fast and hard they couldn't really be timed, yet in between each one my husband and I would be laughing and hugging, so I knew it wasn't quite time yet. My labor went on like this for an hour- which is "long" for me. I also experienced some pretty intense back labor and let me tell you, back labor is not a joke! My doula helped me ease the pain and my husband and I were able to turn the baby during a contraction so he was no longer posterior. (Thank you spinning babies!)
At one point I became so exhausted I just couldn't go on. I have this certain look I apparently make, a look that my husband describes as the "it's time to push" look- although I rarely believe it's time because it hasn't been that long ;). With a few sips of my Labor Aid that I've made for laboring with the last two, I was able to push through the pain and exhaustion and continue. Seriously, that is some amazing stuff! Homeopathy also helped and since we knew how quick and intense my labors had been in the past, we were continually giving remedies that helped with my after-shock.
I remember having my head on my husband's shoulder as I stood in our room, arms around him as I whispered that I was going to start pushing. He caught Sophie last time and was planning on catching this baby, but I needed him with me. The birth pool was all set but freezing cold because for some reason the hot water wouldn't turn on. I realized I would never get my water birth- again- and realized quickly that I had loved birthing Sophie standing up and that it felt good to stand this time too. I felt so connected to my husband, as we wrapped our arms around each other and he talked me through the pain. So there I stood, my doula behind me massaging my back, my sister and Lena looking on, gently encouraging me and my midwife ready to catch the baby. With three strong but slow pushes he was out. I scooped him up and pressed him to my chest. He was quiet and calm like all my babies have been until they realize they're out. Once he caught up with the intensity of what happened he started crying. Wasn't he just sleeping peacefully two hours ago?
I crawled in bed with my little Marc Robert and snuggled and let him nurse as he started to coo and make baby noises, realizing he was out. He cried a little but was quickly comforted by nursing and hearing Dan and Lena's voices. Before I let him nurse, I laid him on my chest to see if what others had said was true- that a baby would find it's mother's breast and begin nursing on their own. He did it too! It was pretty cool.
Soon after I delivered the placenta my horrible throwing up everywhere and "shockiness" began. By now my husband's amazing at helping me through this and is such a strong and calming person, as I really am not "grounded or connected". He already had bone broth on the stove for me- that along with more Labor Aid and some herbal tinctures seem to be what helps me the most. I had a pretty rough recovery, but was so blessed to have Dan or Lena right by my side the whole time so that every time I threw up I could unlatch and hand the baby to one of them, knowing he was cozy and safe with them as well.
Recovery was rough the first week, mostly because he came so quickly, but Dan took off two weeks so that I could heal and bond with Marc. That time was so precious to me and I'm so blessed to have such selfless and loving husband.
Lena was immediately drawn to her little brother, and he seemed to take a liking to her as well. Avila was a bit reserved but warmed up later that day. She and him are now best-buds. Sophie, oh Sophie- 18 months later and she is still smmmmoooooothering him with hugs and kisses until he panics. I like to describe her as gently intense ;)
Eighteen months later and we have loved every single minute having a little boy in our life. What a difference it has been raising a little boy already! He has 4 mommas and loves to walk around, chest sticking out, strutting his stuff and doing everything daddy does. He now sits down on our concrete steps to check his shoes before getting in the car because he saw daddy putting his shoes on on that step two months ago. It's so stinkin' cute it's ridiculous. He also has his own play tools now that look like daddy's. If he sees him or any other guy doing "guy things", he rushes to be a man. It's so programmed in him. Yet he's such a sweet daddy to the girls' dolls too and exclaimed, "Me daddy!" as his kissed one and rocked it last week. :::sigh::: I love him. We all love him. So thank you, Lord, for our sweet 18 month old Marc Robert!