Friday was a tough day for me. I was having a lot of contractions and this feeling of constant pressure down there that just wouldn’t go away. I was in town with all five children running errands and very eager to be done and just get home. Our baby was not due for another 10 days so I figured this was just another “warm up.” You know, those days when it feels like your body is going through a trial run, but then things eventually settle down?
Well, turns out it was the real thing.
We made it back home at 5:30 and I was confronted with quite a challenge: it was dinnertime and I was facing five hungry children, a kitchen full of unpacked grocery bags and contractions that were now regular and painful. So I called my husband and then got busy tying up loose ends! Between contractions (and trips to the bathroom), I made up a quick batch of macaroni and cheese (thank you, Kraft!) for the children and while they ate I got the groceries put away. I’m sure that being on my feet helped me to dilate that much quicker.
At 7 o’clock I put my two youngest to bed and turned on The Three Stooges for Joseph, Catherine and Benjamin. Kind of comical in hindsight that I was laboring with head knocks, eye pokes and Curly’s “nyuk nyuk” sound in the background. I was really feeling like the ringleader of a circus at this point!
At 8 o’clock it was definitely time to go. My mother came to sleep over and away we rushed to see the midwife. At arrival I was 7 centimeters. One hour later, our baby was born. Those last contractions that actually get the baby out are just beyond description. Even though this was my 7th baby, it still hurts like heck and I almost always tell the midwife something like “I’m going to split in two!” The pressure and pain seems almost unbearable in those last contractions, but thankfully, it only takes 1 or 2 pushes now, so it’s a brief interlude and then I’m rewarded with the sound of a crying infant!
My last baby (Susanna) was delivered while I was standing up. It was pretty quick! This time I was on my knees. My husband was right in front of me and so I remember grabbing on to him for counterpressure and support. He told me later that the birth brought back memories of his old football days because I had him in such a strong grip that he felt like I was either going to tackle him or strangle him!
He actually ended up catching our baby at the moment of birth, so I guess it was kind of an “all star” moment for him as well.
And here is our newest little one: Erik! He weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and has lots of soft, fuzzy light-brown hair. As some of you may already know, this is my 6th VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) delivery. Our first was delivered surgically, but the following 6 babies have come naturally so it’s definitely something attainable and I encourage every mother that I can to give it a go (if you have any questions about VBAC or natural birth, contact me anytime and we can chat, mother to mother).
Remember that face, because you’ll be seeing lots of little Erik in the coming weeks as he gets to try out all the different newborn diapers and covers we’ve been saving up for him! I’ll share with you some photos and feedback for over 30 different newborn diapers and covers, plus there will be 4 cloth diaper prizes packages to be given away to celebrate!
We are so happy to welcome another of God’s gifts to the world and another little person into our family! Deo gratias!
P.S. I will be picking the winner for my “Guess Baby’s Gender” giveaway tomorrow!