It dawned on me that Nate is six months old today, and I have not yet shared his birth story.
So here goes.
If you have no desire to hear about homebirth (or see some amazing pics of one) please leave now. Thank you.
Anyone still with me? Here we go…
As with my four pregnancies prior to this one, nine months went by pretty smoothly. My entire pregnancy was pretty unremarkable. That is a very good thing when one hopes for a homebirth. At my 36 week home visit (yes when your having a homebirth your midwife(MW) comes to see you!) I was not ready, as in I had yet to order my birth kit, had not yet cleared off my dresser (upon which the contents of the birth kit would sit), hadn’t scrubbed my bathroom clean (yes that is absolutely a necessity for MY homebirths) and hadn’t gotten out any baby clothes. I needed a little more time.
Two weeks later I was ready! It was the day before Thanksgiving (or as Evan would say Thanksgiving Eve) when I had my regular check up. My friend Heidi was due the same day as me (we couldn’t have planned it that well), so in the last month when we were seen each week or two we rode together to our appointments (yes, two friends, due the same day, planning homebirths, were being seen by the same MW) and enjoyed a little we-time at Panera.
So we’re at our day-before-Thanksgiving appointment and we both felt ready. Me carrying baby #5 and her baby #6 we figured surely these children would cut us a little slack and make an early appearance. So we joked that we’d have to time it just right, one go into labor in the morning and the other in the evening (so the MW and her assistant could attend both) during that weekend.
Thanksgiving (and it’s weekend) came and went with no babies.
By the next week I was sure it would happen.
To take my mind off labor I got crafty. I made the baby (at this point we were still unaware of whether baby was a he or she) some diapers and wipes, like any good cloth-diapering momma would!
It was really good to get my mind on something other than the impending labor day. At my following appointment (December 8th) I let my MW know that I was at peace, the baby would come exactly when he/she was ready and I would be fine with that.
And if not, next week she could strip my membranes.
Sorry, just keeping it real!
Well, wouldn’t you know it. The morning of the 9th I was woken up by what I knew to be ealry labor contractions. Yahoo!
Yes, I was that happy!
At around 4AM (I think, someone verify that for me) I called my mom to let her know. She had not made it in time to witness my other two homebirths so I knew I needed to give her plenty of time. I’m pretty sure they (my mom, brother and 2 of my sisters) were on there way here by 5AM. Then I woke Vince up and told him he wasn’t going to be attending the team meeting in Philly that day. He got out of bed and realized there was no coffee in the house, so he ran out to get some coffee as soon as the stores were open (I think I made him buy toilet paper or paper towels too, I don’t know but it was something weird). I also left a message for the MW, just to let her know that things were starting but it was still pretty early in the game (she was a little late, *read: baby came before she did*,to my first homebirth so she wanted me to be sure to give her notice to arrive in time). No worries.
Then I sat and knit.
Yes, I said I sat an knit.
You see, I hadn’t made any hats for the baby yet…
Yes, I made it the morning I went into labor. The NewBean was going to need something to keep the bean warm, no?
My mom and her carload arrived around 8AM. Things were still the same, contractions every 10 minutes, but completely under control. So we just chilled out.
The MW continued to check in with us and I kept reporting the “no change i intensity”.
By the afternoon I was getting impatient. So Vince took me for a walk around the mall. We had pretzel sandwiches from Auntie Anne’s. It was the yummiest thing I had ever tasted. Or maybe I was just really hungry. Either way, it was good.
Got home and everything was still the same. Maybe the intensity had even weakened. Augh. By this time another one of my sisters had come down (there were only 2 that didn’t make it down) and I was beginning to wonder if they all had made a wasted trip. Then we had dinner. I think it was KFC and my mom made a salad.
Around 7-ish the MW called to check in again. When I explained that things had still not changed she told me to go to sleep. She said my body was tired, I had been up since the middle of the night and needed some actual sleep. The kids were watching “Horton” my family was handling baths and clean-up, so I headed to bed.
And I slept.
Around 9:30 or so the contraction were waking me up, not painful, just “different” enough to know things were moving along. Vince came in the room a few times to check on me, by 10:30 he knew things were happening because he could see that I was actually uncomfortable through contractons. By 11 I told him to call the MW and let her know we were going to have a birth today after all. After he called her I told him to give Kim
a call (I am blessed to be friends with an awesome photographer and fellow MOPS
mom). By that time I was getting in the shower. I love laboring in the shower, the warm water just makes things better. Seriously it does. She asked how much time she had. I felt like the baby was still a ways up so although it was close she didn’t have to rush over in pjs or anything like that.
And I prayed.
I thanked Him for the life getting ready to leave my womb and enter this world. I thanked Him for enabling my body to take part in His amazing creation of life. I thanked him for giving me strength to do the job that was before me. I thanked Him for entrusting a life to Vince and I again.
Kim arrived a little after midnight and started to capture the rest of the story.
We had crossed into my actual due date. Who would have guessed?
The kids were asleep.
Except Mikaela, she parties until she drops, really.
Kim asked if it was okay to come in the room (up until then it was just Vince and I). I said yes. We were still waiting for the MW to arrive. Things were pretty serious now, each contraction took lots of concentration and I needed Vince.
Things moved FAST. The contractions were intense, I was crying (I always cry in labor, it’s my coping measure), I told my mom to leave the room because I thought she was a little anxious about the MW not being there. In the next contraction my water broke. Right after that the baby was crowning.
Just minutes after Kim came in the room, the baby did (there were a couple other pics in between)…
12:49AM – It’s a BOY!
The MW missed it (again). We kind of liked it that way (just sayin’).
Kim was a pro, if she was nervous that it was just the three of us in there she didn’t show it at all.
No we didn’t make her “scrub in”.
He let out his first cries…
Mikaela was the first to meet her new brother.
The MW arrived about 10 minutes after the baby.
She congratulated Vince on another great delivery. This time he handled it like a pro (he had a little cheat sheet too).
Seven years ago when we had our first I never would have thought I would one day see this…
Have I mentioned that my husband is The Man? He is!
Nice to meet you baby boy (yeah, we didn’t have a name yet).
Our oldest was pretty excited to meet the new kid.
Andrew asked if some one could just bring the baby in to see him.
So very Andrew.
But he managed to get himself out of bed to meet the little guy.
I went to MHONP to see if Heidi was awake (or in labor so I could send the MW to her) and to post an announcement over at HC.
Gotta love technology.
Then he got all his checks…
He is perfect in every way.
We did it (again)!
The only thing left to do was to name him.
That proved to be harder than his birth! Seriously it was.
Vince told me he liked the nickname Nate. I did too. But I didn’t love Nathan as a name but I loved it’s meaning, it was perfect. Gift of God. I like Jonathan(also Gift of God) David(Beloved) and since “nathan” was a part of that we figured we could swing that.
You see, finding out we were pregnant for #5 was met with a little bit less than the joy one would hope, we thought our hands were pretty full with the 4 we were already raising, but you see the creation of this little life happened at a time that we were really growing as husband and wife, it was the closest we’ve been through our marriage and God had blessed us in *His* time by rewarding us with a child (please see Psalm 127, especially verse 3, if you don’t understand that). Our little baby was nothing less than a Gift of God for treating each other as our Beloved.
So Jonathan David it *was*.
Yes, I said was.
Two days later my sister Laurie came down with her husband Dave and their son Matthew. They asked how we chose Jonathan… during the pregnancy I had said I liked Daniel Joseph, why hadn’t we considered Nathaniel? Hmm… hadn’t though of that at all. Since I wasn’t liking Nathan I didn’t even look at the variations. Oops! I hadn’t called him Jonathan once, we were only calling him Nate. But was had already sent out emails with the other name. I hadn’t yet filled out his birth record application yet. So we changed it. He is Nathaniel David, our Gift of God!
and he is growing fast…
Before you know it I’ll be posting about his first birthday. *Shudder to think!*
So there it is, Nate’s birth story. Glad I finally shared it with you!
A huge thanks to Kim (Kimberly Brooke Photography) for all the great “Birth Day” pictures, it made it very easy to tell the story!
p.s. Heidi gave birth the next day to Joshua (and the midwife and her assistant were there for the whole thing).