And a long finish!
Daddy continued the trek to the center with me having contractions and laboring with my eyes closed. I did grab the phone and made a call to find out where Coral and Debby were since things were not slowing down as expected, but rather getting closer and stronger all the time. Based on our short conversations we would all be arriving at the center at approximately the same time. By this point I just wanted to be out of the van and be at the center. I was really working hard to try and relax, but was struggling to do so in the position I was sitting in. I had one moment of nausea that I was grateful to have pass quickly. There was also a moment where I got really emotional and choked up. I told Daddy that I’d told you it was time and really tried to stay focused on that phrase as I worked through each contraction. At one point we stopped at a red light and I told Daddy that he should feel free to push the boundaries of yellow lights. He promptly informed me that he had done that already!
One of the funniest things that was not funny as it happened was that as we got ready to turn left into the parking area an older man with a walker took one step into the driveway. We had to sit and wait for him to cross (oh, so slowly) and while we were waiting and I was having contractions a long line of cars was coming. Gratefully a very wonderful person let us through the line as soon as the gentleman was clear of the drive. We parked next to Debby who was unpacking her things and I immediately got out of the van and had another contraction against the side (right before 4:30). As soon as it was over I got into the birthing room and headed to the bathroom while Daddy and Debby got things unpacked. In the bathroom I was feeling overwhelmed, but told myself that by the time I felt this way with your brother I was only about 2 hours away from having him. I knew I could get through 2 hours for you too! By the time I got out of the bathroom Coral had arrived. I was having contractions very close together and felt like I was working hard, but trying to stay relaxed. I swayed and blew horse lips and danced with you. Daddy was behind me rubbing my hips and lower back though each and every contraction. Coral told us that after she saw me have two contractions back to back she immediately turned to the birth pool and realized it was too hot for me to get into. She turned the cold water on full blast and was also bustling around. Once Debby had everything ready she told me that I needed to climb on the bed so she could check me and take a heart beat reading from you and a blood pressure reading from me. I was not excited about having to lay down since there was no real break between contractions and I really preferred standing and swaying to manage the discomfort. I also told her I just didn’t want to hear I was a ‘3.’ Immediately Coral and Debby said “you won’t be a 3.” They knew I was a lot further along than that!
I got on the bed and Debby listened to you. As always you sounded great! Then she checked me and her exact words were “Honey, you aren’t going to believe it” and I thought the only thing I won’t believe is if she says I can push! Turns out I was at a 9 and when the next contraction hit your water broke and my body just started pushing. I tried to turn onto my right side and hold up my leg because I was pushing like crazy. Coral grabbed my leg on the next contraction and helped hold it and I just kept pushing and pushing. The only thought I had was that I wanted to be in the water and I started begging for it. Literally I kept saying “Please, please, please just let me get in the pool!” and after Debby was done they helped me get there. It was a wonderful relief to be in the water. Immediately the pain went down a notch and I was able to relax between contractions. It felt like things were very intense during each contraction, but that in between I would have a bit of a break and time to regroup.
In the water I was floating in and out of lots of different positions, but mostly I was on my knees and pushing straight down. Debby was very concerned since she couldn’t catch you if I didn’t lean back against Daddy or get onto my hands and knees. There just wasn’t room for her hands underneath me in the water, besides which she couldn’t see. She was also very concerned because she was having a hard time getting a read on you. Normally she listens to heart tones every 5 minutes, but she only got about 3 readings on you the entire time I was pushing (about 30 minutes). I was never worried about you, but it was obvious that she was concerned since she didn’t know how you were doing. Coral said I was in and out of many different positions and I know I often had my right foot down on the pool (one sided squat) while the left knee was down. I did get both feet under me at one point and I know I kept trying to go forward into hands and knees for Debby’s sake. Daddy just kept rubbing my hips and back wherever I told him/showed him to do so. He never got in the pool because there was never time for him to change!
It felt like pushing went so fast and compared to your brother’s birth, it did. In the end you were born all in one push! Your head and body all came out of me in one swoop at 5:27 pm on Thursday, June 17th. I felt like I went from a 100 (working so hard) to a 2. It just all seemed unreal how quickly it all just stopped and there you were! Debby commented that you torpedoed out of me in one rotation. I was leaning back so Debby had room to catch you and immediately you came up into my arms. My first comment as I saw you coming up out of the water was “It IS a girl!” since so many people had thought that you were. I was so excited to be able to meet my little girl!
You never cried as you came out of the water. In my arms you made a little noise, kind of like you were saying hi to us. Daddy was behind us and we were leaning against the pool. I said that someone needed to get the camera (again had not been out yet because of how fast things happened) and Coral was able to get some quick shots of the three of us. We didn’t think about it at first, but it is kind of neat that we are still connected in a few of them. Daddy got pretty emotional, which I didn’t realize since he was behind me. His first comment was that he’d get to walk you down the aisle someday. I quickly realized that he was awfully touched to be the Daddy of a little girl! Daddy cut your cord and Debby took you over to the bed to check you out and collect some blood for your blood test. You were 9 pounds, 6 ounces, 21 inches long and had a head 37 cm around. All in all you were a big, healthy baby girl! I also got out and headed to the bed to be close to you and to finish up delivering your placenta and get fixed up myself.
That night was wonderful. After we were both taken care of you nursed for over an hour straight. You were so peaceful. It is the word that all of us used for you over and over again. Coral told us that most water babies are quieter since they’ve had a gentler birth. You were wide awake for about 3 hours and we so loved the sweet time with you! After you fell asleep we had dinner that I had made and Coral baked for us. The chicken enchiladas were yummy and were followed up by some of the Birth Day cake I had made. Coral and Debby joined us for that and we all sang Happy Birthday to you! After Debby left Coral went into the other room and we finished calling Grandparents and Aunt Sarah. They were all thrilled that things had gone so well and tickled pink that a girl had entered our lives! We had a good night of sleep since you seemed to like sleep right away and headed for home about 9:45am the next day.
We went to pick up your brother at Grandma and Grandpa S’s house and told them your name. We wanted your brother to hear it from us as he met you so we kept them in suspense overnight! At their house he held you for the first time and he was so good with you. Gentle kisses on your head and kept saying “Baby” over and over again. After Grandma held you and everyone got pictures we headed home to settle in as a family. You have been a wonderful eater and sleeper and continue to be a peaceful baby. We are so thrilled to have you in our family and cannot wait to enjoy watching you grow. You are our sweet girl and we are grateful to be your parents.
Hope you enjoyed a peak into her arrival. I promise pictures soon. Her baptism is on Sunday so we are busy preparing for that...and more guests!