As my due date approached and then passed by, I distracted myself with Christmas preparations. I decorated the room where I would give birth, surrounding myself with “pretties” to bring peace and joy. I also created a playlist of tranquil Christmas songs to listen to during labor.
This small blue rosary (on the right) was made by me and will be Ro’s baptism present. Imagining baby's baptism while resting between contractions helps me through hard labor.
We received an unusual white Christmas…
…and more freezing rain and hazardous road conditions were forecasted.
After my midwife appointment on Thursday, NaDean decided that she would come spend that night at my house rather than risk a possible middle-of-the-night hour-long drive over ice.
While we were waiting, I challenged NaDean to a game of Hanging With Friends. She kicked my butt. I said it's because my mind was so distracted. ;-)
Nothing significant happened Thursday night, the roads were clearing up by mid-morning Friday, and NaDean prepared to go back home. As she was getting ready to leave, I had a strong contraction and my water broke. It was right around 11:00 am.
We took a final belly shot…41 weeks.
To get contractions to pick up, Greg and I went for our traditional “rosary walk”, praying for a smooth labor and delivery and a healthy baby.
And I walked off and on, rocked on the birthing ball, took the homeopathic herbs that NaDean gave me, and tried to keep my mind calm…all day. This labor progressed more slowly than my other labors. I fought anxiety. As the evening progressed and “real” labor had not started, I began to feel tense and pressured.
Eventually, I withdrew to be alone. I did not want to answer any more questions about how I was feeling or if contractions were progressing or if I needed anything, and I did not want to hear any suggestions about what to try next. I just needed to completely clear my mind and relax.
I turned down the lights, laid down in my bed, and turned on my “Tranquil Christmas” playlist. Contractions picked up to about every 6-8 minutes.
When it became too uncomfortable to lay still, I decided to go for a walk around 9pm. Both Greg and NaDean offered to walk with me, but I declined, preferring to stay alone and quiet. Contractions picked up to every 3 minutes while I was walking, and I walked for about 45 minutes around the neighborhood church parking lots before coming home. By this point, I felt relaxed and confident that our baby would be here around midnight.
That last hour of hard labor in the tub, I still wanted to be alone. Greg and NaDean were both in the room, but stayed out of sight. It helps me to stay completely relaxed if I don't have to talk to anyone or have anyone touching me. And staying completely relaxed with my mind clear helps me to stay on top the contractions. I informed NaDean when I felt like it was time to push and asked her "What time is it?"
"Eleven-fifty[something]," she replied. "Why?"
"I'm just curious." I said. I was hoping he would be born before midnight.
Ro arrived on December 29th at 12:06 am.
Daddy and big sister couldn’t wait to hold him.
And then he was more than ready to eat.
He weighed 8lbs 10oz…
And was 21.25 inches long. His head and chest circumference were both 14 inches.
Of course I updated Facebook as soon as we had all the stats.
I think he looks a lot like Mojo’s newborn pictures. He has his Daddy’s dimples!
By this time, it was around 3am, and we were all quite ready for a nap. The rest of the children spent the night with their Grandma Lil, and they met their little brother later after we’d all gotten some rest. More pictures to come.