My due date was March 19, 2013. I was expecting to go past my due date this time because I suspected that I ovulated late which caused me to not get a positive pregnancy test until over a week after I should have. I had also not felt nearly as many of the normal nighttime Braxton Hicks contractions as I was used to. So, when I woke up on Wednesday, March 6 at about 8:30 AM with a contraction that felt just slightly achy in my back, I thought it was strange. I had also been up to the bathroom that night more times than usual, with some extra pressure on my bladder.
I got up and went to the bathroom, and noticed just a little bit of bloody show on the toilet paper. That meant something was happening. So I e-mailed my midwife to let her know, and woke my husband up a few minutes later. I wouldn’t have woken him up, but I was feeling anxious about getting our bedroom ready for the birth. My goal date for having the bedroom ready was still 4 days away, and I still had several things to do, including getting the previous baby’s clothes out of my room and getting baby clothes out, cleaning the bedroom and bathroom, and putting away some clutter that had been collecting.
My midwife called me back very soon after receiving my e-mail, and encouraged me to eat well that day just in case, but to be prepared that the small contractions I was feeling might go away and I might still be pregnant for several more days or longer. I stayed busy throughout the morning with the tasks in my bedroom, and I also enlisted 2 daughters help with some of the cleaning. I listened to the Positive Pregnancy Affirmations on my headphones, trying to calm down my nerves and be ready for the birth if it really was coming that day. I had been preparing with my Hypnobabies CD’s again this time, but I was not nearly as diligent as I was before my 8th birth, and the surprise of things starting 13 days early took me by surprise. I did not tell any of the children that something might be going on, because I didn’t want them to get too excited and I was pretty confident that I would NOT have the baby that day. I had a little bit more discharge, but it stopped about mid morning and that also made me think that things were going to stop.
I had the bedroom cleaned and close to being ready by about lunchtime, and I had also washed the sheets on the bed and had my daughter help me put them back on. I fixed lunch for my family as usual, and continued with my day. I was having what felt like Braxton Hicks contractions all throughout the morning, but I was deliberately not paying much attention to them, so I don’t know how close they were. We prepared the house for my son’s piano students to arrive at 12:30 as scheduled, and I sat down to eat 2 eggs and a glass of milk about the time they came. The mother of two of the students came and sat with me at the table for a few minutes and talked about her home remodeling project other things. I don’t know her well, and it was a good distraction to have someone to talk to. She asked me how I was feeling and I told her that I was doing pretty good – I did not tell her that I had a few contractions while we were talking.
After that I went upstairs with the intention of listening to a nice long Hypnobabies CD, to relax me and try and help determine if my labor was going to get going that day or not. I got started, but my husband’s work phone rang in my bedroom, and then the house phone rang, and I couldn’t seem to get relaxed. Throughout the morning I had also been talking by phone to a puppy customer, trying to find a direct flight for them on Friday. This was our last puppy of 2 litters and we were very glad to have a home for her. The phone call I got was her again, so I went back downstairs to help her some more. I had told her the day before that I was due to have a baby in 2 weeks, but I said nothing to her on the phone that day about possibly being in labor. I was hoping that we could get everything decided and the plane flight reserved, and I had already asked Nelson and he agreed that IF I had the baby that he would take care of things for me. I finally ended up e-mailing her later on and telling her that I was in labor and wouldn’t be able to help her anymore until the next day.
Since I wasn’t able to relax with Hypnobabies, I decided that maybe taking a walk would be a good idea, maybe it would help to either stop the contractions or make them stronger. Before that, I talked with a friend of mine for a few minutes, who was there with her boys for piano lessons. I did tell her that I was feeling some things that day, and didn’t know if I might have the baby soon or not. She left at a little after 3:30, and I asked Mom if she would walk down the road with me. She agreed, although she was on call for Red Cross and had to be available any minute for an emergency call. We walked only down the road a little ways (with my son riding his bike alongside) until Mom’s phone rang and sure enough, she was needed in San Antonio at a fire scene. She asked me if it was okay if she left, and I told her yes. I had decided by then that I was definitely in early labor, but I didn’t feel like things were progressing quickly at all, so I didn’t want to keep her from doing her job. She left at just before 4 PM.
After I went back inside, I went upstairs and asked my husband to check my cervix. I was getting more curious about what was going on. He did, and estimated that I was 4-5 cm dilated but not very much effaced. This was a wake-up call for both of us, knowing that my body was definitely making progress, and we would be having a baby sometime soon! My husband finished up work and started doing things around the bedroom, such as cleaning the bathroom,etc. I went back downstairs and e-mailed my mother-in-law at 4:20 PM to let her know that the baby was coming that night. I didn’t want her to hurry though, and told her that I would call her later to let her know when to come, since she was hoping to be there when the baby was born. After that I decided that it was time to tell the other children, after hiding it from them all day. I told my first daughter first, and I wish I could have recorded the look on her face! She was shocked, and asked me if I was sure a few times. She almost seemed disappointed, but when I asked her she just said that she was very surprised. She then asked if she could go and tell the others, and when I said yes she ran out of the room and I heard sounds of surprise and excitement coming from everyone else as well. My 11 year old daughter ran in to find out if it was true, and got very excited! I also called my midwife to let her know that my cervix was dilating, but I told her that I didn’t think it was time for her to come yet. She said that she would put everything in her car and get dressed, so that she could leave immediately when I called again.
I decided to go back upstairs after this, to get the bedroom ready. My two big girls came with me, and I got them going on making up the bed, picking up things, etc. My oldest son was downstairs watching the other children. I asked my husband to get the birth pool ready, and he started doing that. I sat down in the recliner with my Hypnobabies CD on the headphones again, and this time I was able to really relax and get into deep hypnosis. I heard activity going on around me, but my body was starting to move into active labor and I focused inward. I had asked my daughter to write down the time of some contractions for me, but I ended up only telling her about 1 contraction, because they intensified very quickly and I didn’t feel like talking anymore. After a few of these intense contractions, I told my husband, while still in hypnosis and with my eyes closed, to call my midwife and tell her to come. He said “are you sure it’s time?” and I said yes. I also asked him to call the rest of our family to ask them to come. He left a message for my mother-in-law (who wasn’t home yet from doctor’s appointments that day). Mom said she would come as soon as she could, but it would take a few minutes to rearrange things since she needed to get someone from Red Cross to relieve her. All of these phone calls happened at about 5:15 PM, with the first one to my midwife being made at 5:10 PM
I got up and went to the bathroom after awhile, and then laid down on the bed on my left side, still listening to Hypnobabies. I was wearing my skirt with nothing underneath, and my black camisole that I have worn for the last several births in the water. My husband got the water running into the pool, and then laid down behind me and started using the vibrating massager on my back. It felt so good! I had told him previously how much I liked him lying with me like that during my last baby’s labor, so I knew in my mind that he was wanting to do that for me again. I wanted to tell him to turn off the massager between contractions, but I didn’t feel like making the effort to say the words, and it felt so good! He asked me once if I was having one long contraction, I guess it seemed that way to him. I remember thinking as the contractions continued to intensify that “this Hypnobabies stuff isn’t working very well this time!” and being disappointed that I wasn’t having as good of a birth as I did last time. Little did I know how close I was to the end at that moment! I was a little bit frustrated during this time with the 2 phones that kept ringing, our house phone with people calling back, and my husband’s work phone which he turned off after a time or two. I also remember thinking that I didn’t want the midwives to ask me any questions like they usually do about the last time I ate, etc. I just wanted to be left alone.
Eventually I started having contractions that made me feel like I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew this might mean I was close to the end, but I didn’t believe it. I still thought that the Hypnobabies just wasn’t working this time. And then, with the next contraction, I felt the baby move down and much more pressure on my bottom. After it was over I said “I just want to push the baby out now” and my husband sat up quickly and asked “Do you think it’s time?” I really took him by surprise with that question, but my answer was “No, I just want it to be over.” I was still in denial! With the next contraction I felt a slight urge to push at the peak, and grunted. My husband heard me, and went into action – he knew what that sound meant and I knew it too. I couldn’t deny anymore that this baby was coming NOW! He said “Do you want me to take your skirt off?” I said “I don’t know” and the next thing I felt was him forcefully yanking it off of me. Then he saw that the birth pool was full (but he forgot to check to see if it was warm enough) and he said “Do you want to get in the pool?” I said “I don’t know” again, but somehow I found the strength to get up and into the pool. My husband’s unspoken thought was that if I got in the water, my labor might slow down and delay the birth a few more minutes – but it was too late for that.
I knew as soon as I got into the water that it wasn’t warm enough, and said so. But it was too late, the next contraction was coming, so I put both of my hands down and felt the amniotic sac with my baby’s head right behind it, only an inch or two inside my body. I had thought about wanting to catch my baby myself this time, and my husband saw what I was doing and asked me if I was going to catch. But then my body took over and I arched my back without thinking about it, so I couldn’t reach down there anymore. I groaned loudly, and with 2 big pushes our baby was born into Daddy’s hands! I immediately took the baby into my hands, and saw right away that we had a boy. I couldn’t bring him up to my chest because the umbilical cord was too short, and I started directing everyone to bring towels to cover him with, and a hat. I’ve never been so coherent in the seconds after a birth before, but I knew that there were no midwives there, and that we had to take care of things ourselves. It was a very strange feeling. I also remembered to look at the clock to check the time of his birth, and my daughter had already thought of that – he was born at 5:51 PM. We covered him with a towel, kept him immersed in the water as best we could, and rubbed his back because he wasn’t crying. We both felt anxious about this, we wanted to make sure he was okay and I really wanted to hear him cry. We got him to grunt a little bit and he finally cried just a tiny little sound that sounded like a kitten’s meow. But he was so very quiet, and not moving much either. He was just flopped over my hand. We watched to see if he was breathing, and although we couldn’t tell for sure, we knew he must be breathing because he had turned pink. We weren’t extremely worried about him, just a bit anxious since the midwives weren’t there to help yet. My husband called our midwife who was on the way, and she coached him a little bit before hanging up. He wanted me to push the placenta out, but I was waiting for another urge to push and I hadn’t felt it yet. I didn’t know it at the time, but his idea was that if I would deliver the placenta, he wanted to get the baby out of the water and warmed up. He said later that if he had known where the cord clamp was, he would have cut the cord! But I’m glad he didn’t, because I wanted to let the cord stop pulsing first. I did feel a little cramp after a few minutes, but by that time he had decided that maybe I should wait until my midwife got there to deliver the placenta, in case there was too much bleeding. So I waited a little bit longer, and I was just about ready to push it out anyway when walked walked in the door, right at that exact moment. She arrived 20 minutes after the birth.
During this 20 minutes we had also decided to invite the rest of our children upstairs to see the baby. I covered up with a towel, and it was so neat to have all of our family together, admiring our new son, without anyone else in the house! It was a very unique and special moment, and one I will always treasure in my heart. We told everyone his name, Taylor Justice Minica. They were all so happy to see him, and still very shocked that it had happened so fast! I had only told them less than 90 minutes beforehand that I was in labor!
After our midwife and her assistant arrived, they immediately went into action. She rubbed Taylor’s back vigorously and got him crying better, although he still only cried a little bit. I delivered my placenta, and then they helped me get out onto the bed after my 2 oldest sons cut his cord together. Taylor had been chilled a little bit from the pool water, so they rubbed him, put him on my bare chest, and covered him with a towel and then with a heating pad. They also kept taking his temperature frequently until he had warmed up. Mom arrived back home after awhile, and I wish again that I could have recorded the look on her face when she saw me in bed with the baby! She had called after he was born, and my husband had told her that we had a baby boy, but she thought he was joking! And when she came into the house, our 3 year old daughter told her that we had a new baby, but she didn’t know that she was really serious that the baby had already arrived. She was totally shocked when she walked into my bedroom and saw us there together. It was very cute. Nelson’s parents arrived later, after they got home and got my e-mail and called and heard the good news.
Our son Taylor is a blessing from the Lord! God has taken us on a new journey in life, as Taylor was born with Down syndrome. More details and the continuing story of Taylor’s birth, diagnosis, and life will be posted soon on our new personal website. Check back soon for the link!
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