Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Julia's Birth Story, Part I

I need to start out with an apology to my sweet daughter.  You mother did not do a good job documenting the hours leading up to your birth.  I want you to know that I had excellent intentions and the process perfectly planned out in my head.  But Baby Girl, since the start, you have had a way of foiling all our plans.  So I promise to do my very best with words, to cover what we didn't capture with a camera...

We had a lovely weekend.  It is October now.  The mornings are dark.  The air is chilly.  And the leaves are just starting to litter the lawn.  There's no doubt that autumn has arrived.  And the only thing better than a quiet fall evening, cozy at home with my little family is a quiet fall evening, cozy at home with my little family and pregnant.  Because being pregnant brings out all the homey-sentimental feelings in my soul.  And we lived autumn this weekend.

Jon had requested that the baby hold off a bit so he could relax and get some house projects done.  We made it through his training last week and although he still had some travel scheduled this Thursday, it wasn't a big deal.  I had a hunch that we might be meeting our daughter sooner rather than later.  But I also figured she wasn't done growing since I was still so tiny.  And it always seems to me that people who hope to have their babies early end up having them late.  So I tried not to think about it other than a few subtle hints just to keep Jon on his toes.

I had an agenda for this free weekend.  I had a to-do list on my desk to work through - switch out the boys' wardrobes, buy diapers, clean out the freezer, do all the ironing, etc. - but I also wanted to get out and have some fun as a family.  And by fun I mean eating barbacoa tacos at a kid-friendly restaurant where the music is loud enough to drown out my kids' shrieks.  Ah, yes, Chipotle.  How my pregnant-self loves thee.  Dinner was fabulous, the spices in my taco just perfect and my boys' a bucket of fun.  The best part was when the lady sitting next to us commented on how happy and content they were.  I couldn't respond at first, I was slightly stunned and I also had a just taken a big bite of taco, but my mama heart swelled with pride for a moment over my happy, content little guys... and how much I love being their mama.

On Saturday the boys were up early with cold fingers and toes.  So Jon threw them in our bed and we all did our best to warm up before breakfast.  Having the whole family in bed has nothing to do with sleep and everything to do with hiding under covers, tickling toes, wrestling Daddy and attempting to keep tumblers off Mama's belly.  We spent the day at home - Jon doing outside work and me cleaning the house and baking in the kitchen.  Jon said this should have been his first sign.

Jack at breakfast: "Look, I got a sister-belly!"

Along with Chipotle I've been craving soft pretzels all week.  What I really wanted to do with go to the mall and walk around with a giant soft pretzel and big fizzy drink.  But having two youngsters in tow kinda makes that plan unappealing.  So instead I made my own soft pretzels at home and browsed a few onlines shops, looking for some non-maternity must-have to treat myself with. 

There was one other treat I couldn't get off my mind this week - ham and cream cheese wrapped pickles.  I don't even like pickles.  But I couldn't stop eating these.  In fact, Jon made up a huge plate for lunch the next day and the whole family partook in their sweet, salty goodness.  Between the cooking, cleaning and satisfaction of my every craving, I was really feeling pregnant this weekend.

The only thing I didn't accomplish was some maternity pictures.  I really wanted some nice pictures this time around, since I never had any with the boys either.  I just kept putting it off until I could get bigger.  I even told myself when we got home from church that I should take one while I was all dressed-up.  But I decided I just wanted to get out of my dress and heels and would wait until I was really 39 weeks.  And then we ran out of time.  That's what happens when you always assume you have at least "one more day."

We had a pleasant Sunday afternoon.  The boys took a great, long nap and I decided to inventory my freezer and pantries to get a good idea of what kind of food we had in the house.  I was feeling very organized and so ready to have this baby.  Well, prepared I should say.  I'm not sure if I ever felt ready.  I was in the kitchen making dinner (along with my big helper, always-by-my-side second-born) when the first contractions started.

Now I've been having contractions for months now.  But these were immediately different.  They were low and sharp.  And reminded me of what the start of labor felt like with Jude.  But I just pushed it out of my mind and tried to focus on creating a meal ... a quite horrible, overcooked meal of boneless ribs I had dug out of the bottom of my freezer.  :)

My last belly shot, contractions while making dinner.

My family choked down my labor of love while I took a few time-outs for contractions.  I started watching the clock and they were coming in pretty regular about every 8 minutes.  And far more intense than I had imagined so early.  I finally told Jon I needed to take a break and focus on what was happening.  Then I headed up to the bedroom with a contraction timer and left him in the kitchen with two messy boys and a pile of dishes.  My dad called around this point to ask a question and before we hung up I reminded him, yet again, to make sure his bag was packed and have the phone ready because this might be the night (I can't tell you how many times I've tried calling my parents recently and neither of them answered their phones)!  My mom was busy making treats in the kitchen and promised to be ready when we were!

Our plan was to have Marmie and Poppa come down once labor started (a 3 hour drive) and hopefully have them arrive before it was time to head to the Birthing Center.  If that didn't happen soon enough we were going to have Uncle Jared, who was on his way home from New York City Sunday night, come stay at the house until they got there.  And if that couldn't happen we were just going to have to drag the kids along with us, which was fine with the midwives but not so appealing to me.  Timing was essential this time around.  My biggest prayer this pregnancy was for a smooth, perfectly-timed delivery.  We had no idea it would literally come down to the very last second!


Kristy Henry said...

I am ready for Part 2!! LOL

dirimagh said...
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