our last picture as a family of three
i went into labor about 9 in the morning on saturday, august 23rd. i woke up and began to feel contractions that were very different from the braxton hicks contractions that i have been feeling the last couple of months. preston had gone into work that morning to tie up a few loose ends anticipating that he was going to be going on paternity leave. i called him after i timed a couple of the contractions and told him i was in labor, but to to stay at work. i figured that i had a little bit of time. about 30 minutes later i called him and told him i wanted him home. the contractions weren't too strong, but i just wanted my husband to me with me. when i went into labor with ely, things progressed very quickly. my labor was only 10 hours; 3 of which were spent pushing. i expected this labor to be at least as long if not shorter. i was wrong! josiah has proven to be a very different baby than ely, and his labor followed suit.
once preston got home, we decided that we should have ely leave and play with some friends. some members of our home church have kids ely's age, so ely went to play with her friend micah and preston's mom, kathy, was to pick her up and give her a nap at her place. in the meantime we set up the birth tub, the bed and the supplies so that everything was ready for labor. while working, preston smashed his thumb and complained. it was a sitcom moment as i was not particularly sensitive in the midst of labor!
we thought for sure that we would be introducing ely to her new brother or sister by the time she woke up from her nap around 3pm, but josiah had different plans. my contractions were intense from early on, but never consistent. i would have a few that were 12 minutes apart and then a few that were 20 minutes apart. i was beginning to get frustrated because my labor was not going according to MY plan! i went to the bedroom to rest, and preston came in and asked if it was ok if he played video games while i slept. it was either that or the olympics so i said sure, after giving him a hard time about playing video games while i was laboring to bring his child into this world. i took a 20 minute nap and woke up thinking to myself " i'm in labor, i shouldn't be able to sleep!". we had been in contact with the midwife, Kris, since that morning and she thought that the baby was coming, but that my body was just revving up for active labor.
after nothing progressed, we went and picked up ely from preston's parent's house around 4:30 and went to dinner. it was interesting to be in a restaurant while in labor. i had to stop every few minutes and relax through a contraction, and then would continue to eat and talk. on the way home we called another one of ely's friends, malachi, and she played with him for a couple of hours so we could labor some more on our own. my contractions stayed inconsistent, but began to get stronger. preston and i sat in front of our garage in a couple of camp chairs and talked for about an hour. it was nice to be able to just talk and labor together. we figured we wouldn't have this kind of alone time for awhile.
ely came home about 8 and while getting her ready for bed i had a pretty strong contraction. i dropped to all fours to focus and relax. ely was so sweet. she came up to be and asked "what wrong, mommy?" preston explained to her that mommy was working hard to make the baby come and maybe she could meet the baby when she woke up in the morning. my sister andrea had attended ely's birth and we wanted her there for the second one as well. we called her and asked her to come over to help me while preston put ely to bed. my sister and i sat in the living room talking and hanging out. it would have been alot of fun if i wouldn't have had to stop every 15 minutes to relax through a contraction!
preston and i decided that if labor was going to continue the way it had been, that we both needed to rest as much as we could, so we laid down about 10. in true preston fashion, he fell asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow. i, however, didn't sleep this time; at 10:16 my contractions began getting very intense. preston wants it noted that even though he slept, it was difficult for him with me moaning and groaning through the contractions. i had to really focus on relaxing to get through them. then i woke preston up and he filled the bath tub for me so i could labor while he filled up the portable birth tub that zac and ellen donated to us. he also called the midwife to tell her labor was progressing pretty quickly now. Kris asked to talk to me and asked if i wanted her to come then. i told her no, let me labor a little more. i then had a contraction so intense i almost dropped preston's phone in the tub. she told preston to call her in an hour, unless we needed her sooner. in retrospect, we should have had her come then. preston said later that he thought she should come, but he wasn't going to veto a midwife, who's done this ALOT or his wife who's done this before. what does he know about labor? apparently more than we did!
laboring in the tub. preston was an amazing coach!
after the phone call, i moved to the birth tub and labored for the next hour. the contractions continued to get more intense but i was able to relax through them. preston's mom got to our house about 12:15am and my mom came in just behind her. they stayed in the living room helping with some last minutes things that needed to be done. my sister called the midwife just before midnight to check in and let her know how we were progressing. while she was on the phone i told preston i had to push.
my sister said, " i don't think she is, but i heard the word push."
the midwife responded with "WHAT?! she needs to push?! i'm on my way!"
by the way, she lives in newport beach (about 30-40 minutes away) so she was still a long way out. for a split second, preston thought he was going to have to deliver his own baby. the midwife asked him to check me and he hesitated for a bit before trying to ask me to check myself! after realizing that i wasn't really listening to him (what else is new, he says!) he checked me and reported to the midwife that he didn't feel any baby coming.
this is where it gets a little blurry for me. my contractions were so intense and on top of each other that i couldn't relax through them any longer. my sister stayed on the phone with the midwife once she knew i wanted to push. she began channeling the midwife's energy and words to me. she was telling me to "let that one go...rest in between contractions...you're doing a great job!" it was so wierd to hear my sister talking to me like this, although at that point i was beyond caring. turns out Kris had asked her to repeat exactly what she said and how she said it to me. one time she paused to tell andrea she was doing well and said, "you're doing a great job." andrea then turned to me and said, "you're doing a great job" without even realizing the comment was directed to her!
so after flying down the freeway at 90 miles an hour, Kris got to our house at 12:30am on August 24th. she checked me first to make sure there was no baby coming out and then checked the baby's heart-beat. a few minutes later preston looked into the tub and said "what's that?" my water had never broken so the baby's head was pushing the membrane out ahead of him--it looked like a water balloon. she then asked for one of the supplies that we had prepared and while preston was explaining to my sister where to find it, her eyes got huge as she looked past him in shock. preston looked down and the midwife was already holding the baby down in the tub. he came out so suddenly, preston actually missed him being born. i had pushed once and the baby was out. it happened so fast the midwife almost missed him too! i was really worried about having to push for a long time like i did with ely, but i guess i had nothing to worry about! preston is still a little bitter that he missed it. sorry, p!
Just after he was born.
Cutting the cord. He was not happy!
He weighed in at 7lbs 2oz.
it was a beautiful home birth and if i had to do it all over again, i wouldn't change a thing. well, maybe having the midwife come a little earlier. :) 7 minutes was cutting it a little close. preston was such a wonderful and supportive coach. i could not have done it without his love and support. god has truly blessed me with a wonderful husband (with whon i make the cutest babies with) and two beautiful kids. praise god!
giving birth is such an overwhelming and incredible experience. you can't describe it accurately to anyone. it's amazing to me that god has made my body so that i can conceive, carry and birth a baby. i can't believe that god, the creator of the world, trusts me, a sinner, to take part in this miracle.