Monday, February 15, 2010

Ephraim's birth story part 1

At 16 days past dates, we were more than ready to meet our sweet little son.
Throughout the final weeks and days of my pregnancy - my body showed no signs of impending labour. No practice braxton hicks contractions, no added discomfort...
i began to wonder if my tiny dolly would ever make an appearance.
On February 13th, i felt a few tightenings throughout the day - so mild that i had to stop what i was doing & concentrate & ask myself, "Was that a tiny contraction? Or am i imagining things?"
Neil had taken the kids swimming - and i stayed home with little Gagey & vacuumed, did laundry and tidied the house.
Gagey and i had a sword fight, a snuggle on his floor, a tubby together. He wanted to nurse a lot - & i sure didn't discourage him, he has been feeling so crummy lately & i hoped that him nursing would bring on labour. i didn't know it would be the last day before his little brother rocked his tiny world... i'm glad we spent it the way we did.
That evening, the 2 big girls were babysitting at a benefit for an orphanage in Haiti that was happening at our church. While they were gone, i got a couple of nice contractions. Nothing timeable- (i tried - 15 minutes+ - if i could feel them). That was sometime after 8:30pm. When Neil went to go pick up the girls at 9pm, i decided to get up & check my email & update my friends on my birthboard. i knew i was running out of time as far as an induction - & i was sure hoping that i could avoid the usual braxton hicks at the end of pregnancy & that these first tentative contractions would lead to the real thing.
i sat down at my computer - Neil & the girls walked through the door & were visiting in the kitchen. Suddenly, i felt a familiar "pop" & felt the warm water soak my dress and my chair.
i stayed where i was for just a second, in shock - not sure if i should sound the alarm to Neil right in front of the girls, or if i should just sit where i was till they went downstairs & Neil & i could form a plan. It was 9:20 & Gage was the only child who was already asleep. i called Neil over, & mumbled, "Um, my water just broke..." as it dribbled over the side of my chair.
Neil was like a 4 year old, hopping into the kitchen & immediately setting a tone of frenzied excitement.
i stood up - and created a tiny flood on the floor - something i'm sure my big girls will remember for the rest of their lives. Sloanie ran & got a towel & i went and changed into some fresh clothes (including my bikini top!) and we started to get ready to go. i didn't figure i would be in for a long labour, so i wanted to get to the birthing center (a 25 minute drive) as soon as possible. i phoned the midwife & we arranged to meet at the birthing center as soon as we could both get there.
In those moments, we made decisions as to who would come, who we would need to phone, & what we needed to bring. We decided that Sloanie would sleep upstairs with all the little ones & that Cai and Peyton would come with us to the birth center. i was sure glad i had packed a little bag already & as we jumped into the van - contractions started to hit hard - & that made panic start to rise up in my chest. Maybe it was just the speed with which labour had begun, but i vocalized with those first contractions more than i did later on - just getting myself under control. Nice low moans, keeping my mouth loose and my body relaxed. After a couple contractions like that, i realized that i needed to let go of my fear. i knew it was fear that was making me vocalize - & that things were going to get harder before the night was over. That drive turned out to be the best thing for me. i let go of all fear & gathered my wits about me. i laboured the rest of the way in a sort of hypnotized silence. Neil offered his hand for me to squeeze, but i just wanted to touch him, lightly - with my eyes closed - to know he was there... He was amazing - i just let the *feelings*, the *tightenings*, the *pain* - wash over me...
In between contractions, i could talk, smile, laugh with the girls... and it wasn't long till we arrived at the birthing center.
Part 2 tomorrow.

My tiny assistant coach, Peyton - she did an incredible job - getting whatever i needed & being supportive and excited. So proud of my bigs.

One last belly pic. 42 weeks 2 days.

My sweet little "coach".

In the van, just arrived at the birthing center... Gonna have a baby in 1 hour....


Jen said...

Oh, I love it!
Especially the part where you sat at the chair with your wet dress not knowing what to do. That would totally have been me - too embarassed to say anything! hehe
Can't wait for tomorrow to hear part 2! AND to see pics!!!

Anonymous said...

At least you KNEW what it was when your water broke... when that happened with Alisdair, I didn't have a clue what it was (I thought I'd had an accident!) ... and I was in my Mother's kitchen with her and Auntie Sharon looking on!! So things could have been worse...
Congrats... and looking forward to reading part 2.

Saskatchewan Cousin

Melissa said...

LOL! I'm laughing at how giddy Neil got... how awesome is that! :) My water *finally* broke about 20 minutes before Meaghan was born, after many hours of labour... I'm terrified of my water breaking before labour starts, in a public place, etc. I love that your big girls are old enough to understand and help... and I love how they are learning how completely normal/natural this whole process is!!

Looking forward to part two - I can't believe you got part one up already!

Lola said...

Yay, I love birth stories. It's sounding great so far. Can't wait to hear the end. It's such a weird feeling to have your water break. Mine felt like a milk jug had been tipped upside down. Glug, glug.

I'm going to have to email you to get your mailing address... or maybe I should just email Jen, she probably has it. I have fun things for Baby E.

Carol said...

Good for you to be writing your birth story so soon! I am looking forward to part 2! I hope that you and baby Ephraim are getting lots of rest together.

Prvbs31Mama said...

beautiful story!! Can't wait to visit! But am waiting until my household is healthy...the kids were pukey on the weekend and I'm feeling a touch off...can't wait for part 2!! I can't believe you're posting this already! you're wonderwoman!

Mindy said...

So exciting! It sounds like Gagey had a sweet last day as the youngest in the house. I'm looking forward to Part 2!


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