I started having contractions Saturday evening that continued through the night. They were sporadic, but real, and so I was convinced that we would have a baby on Sunday. Imagine my disappointment when the contractions stopped at 5 am. I was emotionally distraught and physically exhausted. Sunday evening I had a few contractions, real but wimpy, and they lasted through the night.
Monday came. We took Theo to his 2 year well-child checkup, went to the library, and picked up dad from work, all while I was having sporadic contractions. Theo fell asleep before dinner so he and I missed Karl's last t-ball game. While they were at the game my contractions became regular, every 7 minutes lasting 30-45 seconds. I texted Rebecca (my midwife) telling her that I was pretty sure I'd have a baby soon. This may sound crazy, but after Theo woke up from his nap and the big boys returned from the t-ball game, the whole family went to Winco. Yes, I went grocery shopping while in labor. I enjoyed the trip as it helped keep my mind off contractions and all the walking was really nice.
Karl went to sleep soon after getting home. Theo, because of his nap, took longer. He and I finally fell asleep around 11 pm.
Rebecca arrived at about 4 am and she and Alan set to work setting up the tub. I went through two terribly intense contractions and then got into the 1/3-of-the-way-full tub. After getting into the tub I felt like pushing. I was worried. I hadn't had time to get all the way dilated, had I? Labor had only really been going since 1 am, this was too fast! But my mind succumbed to the incredible pressure and I started to push.
The sack was coming and very soon I felt the head. A few pushes after the initial crowning and he was coming out! Plop! He slip out of me, popping his bag. Rebecca gently nudged him under my legs (I was on my knees with my arms on the edge of the tub) and I scooped him up. Alan asked excitedly, "what is it?" I hadn't thought to check. Earlier in the day I had had a moment of clarity, inspiration really, where I just knew that it was going to be a boy.
Then I heard crying; it was Karl. Perfect timing! Birthing at home meant that the boys could sleep in their own beds and not have to wake up and go anywhere. Alan went to get him and brought him to the kitchen where I was still in the tub cradling Patrick. Karl was instantly in love with Patrick and intrigued with the fact that I was no longer pregnant. It was such a perfect moment when my oldest and my youngest met for the first time.
This was by far my fastest, easiest, and best labor yet. I fully attribute that to the fact that I was at home, surrounded by my regular life, and my regular surroundings. There was no car ride to a hospital filled with people that I don't know, and sicknesses that aren't found at my home. I watched movies, read books, and ate while in labor. I did what I wanted and what felt right to me. Birthing at home is the best decision I have made. Being in a familiar environment had a lot to do with my fast labor. I also feel that Patrick knew I wanted him born before the boys woke up, and so he came quickly.
Now for his stats. Weight: 6 lbs 15 oz. Length: 20 inches. Head: 13 inches. He was born at 4:33 am, just 30 minutes after our wonderful midwife Rebecca arrived, and only 3.5 hours after hard labor began.
Rebecca Williams, my midwife, was wonderful! She has always been informative, open, and friendly. She was amazing at the birth! She knew exactly what to do. She stayed in the background most of the time and just let Alan and I do it. She never did an internal exam, only checked the baby's heart rate twice, and did not interfere until she gently pushed him under my legs after he was born. She sat with us and explained about the placenta, about all the reflex checking she was doing, and what she checked on his body to make sure he was healthy. Rebecca is the best midwife ever! I feel so privileged to have birthed with her.