Around 1:00 o’clock AM August 5th I woke up with a cramp that made me say “Ow”. It felt like a really bad gas pain. I turned over and went back to sleep. Ten minutes later another cramp woke me up with the “Ow” factor. I decided I needed to make my way to the bathroom to pee, so up I went. Passing through the living room I glanced at the clock and it said 1:24AM. While sitting on the toilet I had another cramp. I realized these little pains were coming about ten minutes apart and lasting about 30 or so seconds. I made my way back to bed and decided to try to sleep it off. I lie there about an hour and a half trying to doze off between these “gas pains” but can’t get comfortable, so I decided to wake John and ask him to rub my back. I told him I think I might be having contractions, and asked if he’d try rubbing my lower back to relax me enough to sleep. As he was rubbing my back they started to get a little bit worse and the only way to relieve it was to get on all fours and rock my hips. This is where I think we both decided labor had started and we could be meeting our baby today. I felt another urge to use the restroom so John and I made our way down the hall trying not to wake anyone. I had a couple more contractions on the toilet so John started his contraction timer. It was now after 3AM and they were seven minutes apart lasting about 45 seconds. We went to the kitchen to get me some water and the pains get to the point where I have to grab the sink and sway my hips. After timing a few contractions and chatting, John wakes up my Mom to let her know I’m contracting and it’s most likely labor time. I started craving chocolate milk and a chocolate cookie with reese's pieces. I glanced at the clock and it was 4:08AM. I finished my snack and had a few more contractions, then I decided to lie on the couch and chat with Mom and John while they watched Whammy and I napped between waves. Around 6:30AM I wanted to try to sleep in bed so John and I ventured into our room. He was still timing the contractions and at this point they were irregular, ranging four to eight minutes apart. We slept until about 8AM between contractions. Every contraction I’d wake John up to time them. They had slowed to about seven to ten minutes apart lasting a minute or so. I think that was the break I needed for the rest of the day I was about to endure! I was waiting for Nicholas to wake up because I promised him the day before that we’d go feed the ducks, and I didn’t care if I was in labor, I was NOT breaking my promise to my little man! When he finally woke up we all got ready and loaded up the truck to feed the ducks. I was walking around the pond feeding the ducks and contracting every four to six minutes grabbing a tree whenever I could. There were other people there, and they noticed I was in labor. Haha, probably thought I was crazy! After about 20 minutes I felt like we needed to get home, so we left. On the way home I guess I had breathed through a contraction and said “dammit” so Nicholas started clutching his stomach and saying, “Oh, dammit, dammit. Oh dammit!” like he was having pain too. Once we were back home my friend Stephanie came over and her, John, and Mom started moving everything around and setting up the birthing pool. I watched them and with every contraction buried my face in the couch, or grasped the counter top. The contractions were now coming about three to four minutes apart and lasting a minute and a half. I was breathing through them and making low moaning sounds. All of the pain was in my back so if John applied counter pressure on my hips it felt a million times better. I labored in the kitchen and living room chatting with Mom, John, Julia (a close family friend I invited into our birth), and Stephanie. Nicholas was trying to help everyone out and was being his adorable and crazy little self. I really needed lots of quiet and darkness (I covered my eyes to achieve that!) to cope, and of course I had to be leaning over. At one point I said, “These don’t hurt as bad as I think they should” and almost as if on cue the next contraction hurt twice as bad as they had been, and I said, “I asked for it, didn’t I?” which made everyone chuckle. John had finally finished filling the pool with water so Nicholas and I hopped in. I labored there about half an hour and then it just didn’t feel warm enough for me and it slowed my contractions so I got out and went to lie down on my bed. Lying in bed seemed to speed them back up again and they started getting more and more intense. I labored in bed for a couple hours, but needed a change of scenery and some warm water on my back so went back to the pool. This is where I entered “laborland”. I was in my own world, nothing anybody said to me mattered anymore. I was having contractions about 19 seconds apart, and all I wanted was a nap. I said at one point, “please give me a break, I just want to sleep for a little bit” and Stephanie told me, “The contractions being so close are a good thing sweetheart” and I promptly told her to “SHUT UP!” Oops, sorry Steph! I got to where I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement, so I asked John to help me out of the pool and into the bathroom so I could go. Once in the bathroom I did have a bowel movement, and then I couldn’t leave the toilet. I felt like I was constipated and needed to go more, and with each contraction my body started to bare down. After about fifteen minutes John told me he was sure I was close to giving birth and I needed to get up and make my way back out to the birthing pool. I shouted at him, “I can’t, DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” I couldn’t, for the life of me, get off the toilet, because when I tried to stand it hurt and my entire body would push down. I couldn’t take sitting on the toilet anymore, but couldn’t stand enough to walk to the living room so I told John to put a towel down on the floor so I could lie down and rest a bit. While I was lying there my body started pushing again, so I reached down to feel if anything was happening and I felt the slick top of Madelyn’s head, I told John, “I think I feel her head” so he looked and shouted to my mom, Stephanie, and Julia, “SHE’S CROWNING!” I immediately got up on all fours and growled as my body pushed. I dropped my head down and could feel her moving out, but she kept popping back in. Julia suggested I raise my upper body and work with gravity, so I straightened up, and got into a half kneeling, half squatting stance. Finally her head came down and out and I let out a small scream and a roar which scared Nicholas who had, up until this point, been watching the entire thing. He ran to Mom’s room to hide, and with another push from my fundus her shoulders slipped out and John caught her. She was still in caul (born in the amniotic sac) so instinctively John used his pinky to rip the sac away from her face, then exclaimed, “You need to flip over and take her, I don’t know what to do!” and so I flipped over and grabbed my baby! Mom had run to see what time it was and she came back and yelled, “5:27PM!” She started making beautiful little grunting sounds, but was a bit stuffy sounding in her nose, so using my mouth I suctioned her and she started to give the most beautiful cry and pinked right up. I noticed her right ear was folded down a bit and I said, “Your ear is folded down like Uncle Danny’s!” Danny is John’s best friend, and Stephanie’s husband. Then I noticed she had brown hair. I realized we hadn’t checked to see if she was a girl yet, so I checked and announced, “She is indeed a girl!” I then put her to my breast and she gave it a go, suckling like a champ. After “oohing and awing” over the beauty of Madelyn we decided I should go to the living room to deliver the placenta, as I was now uncomfortable on the bathroom floor. So we moved to the living room where I had chucks pads on the couch and we all waited for the placenta to come out while I nursed and Nicholas, my brother Richie, Grandma Connie, John’s Mom Rochelle, John’s Grandma Verdienne, John’s sister Amanda, and Julia’s son Howie all came in to meet her. About forty-five minutes later John’s Dad Doug came to check on us. and meet his first grand daughter as well. It took nearly two hours to deliver the placenta, but finally, while squatting over a bowl I had a good contraction and out it plopped! Sweet relief! We were finally able to cut her cord and get her weighed. Stephanie, Daddy, and myself measured her and Daddy weighed her with a sling and fish scale. 8lbs 6oz and 20in long! Such a big healthy girl! The Grandmas, Aunties, Big Brother Nicholas and Uncle took turns holding her. Then Daddy, Big Brother and I dressed her and got ready to settle into our bed as a family of four. After fourteen and half hours of labor our family was complete and I was relieved to have had the birth the way I had planned with the end resulting in a happy and healthy baby girl! I wouldn’t change a thing and look forward to my new life with the newest addition to our family. Let the babymoon begin!
Feeding the ducks with my little man
Getting love and comfort from my boys
The pass from Daddy
Meeting Big Brother Nicholas
First Family Picture