A Christmas Unassisted Birth
What a birth story! I love that this mom shared her every thought. Sometimes we don't talk about the things our brain does and says to us when we are in labor, but she describes them and it is wonderful. And a Christmas morning baby born by the Christmas tree with only her family in attendance. Wow.
Welcoming Tucker Evangelique...
Oh, sweet Tucker, our happy girl! I don't even know how to start her story but I know without a doubt it needs to be told. I cannot quit thinking about it, can't even wash dishes without my mind transporting back to that day screaming,
"Write this down, it needs to be shared! You don't know who you will inspire. Remember how much reading others stories has helped you? Remember how reading about how normal and everyday birth is helped you? How it helped you sort through your questions..go and be that for someone else. I wrote this story, share it!"
So here it is. Let me preface, as always, birth is birth..it's TMI..it just is...you could cut that out but then you wouldn't have a story. Oh how far I have come from being hugely pregnant with Kalel and hiding my copy of The Woman Art of Breastfeeding, Sprittual Midwifery, and the 5 Safe Standards for Childbearing behind other boring books as I hand the librarian my quarters to pay for them at the Library book sale in nowhere Kansas. AHHH WHAT IF SHE SEES WHAT I'M READING?!? Makes me chuckle.
Tuckers pregnancy started off like any other, the excitement, the appointments but it was just different. Between living in a new city, have less than encouraging ultrasounds, and our car accident something just seemed different this time around. I couldn't put my finger on it. Spent lots of time seeking the Lord and being encouraged by Him. Contrary to popular belief every birth IS different. They individually deserve care and consideration as to making plans as to where and with whom (or without) you should give birth. Really like everything else, it just takes time to think it through, to wait for answers, and to listen, listen and wait.
It wasn't until a week before she was born when I finally felt the green light, this will be another family only homebirth. It was such a quiet, exciting time. Fast forward to Christmas Eve. It was a slow lazy day. It would be the first Christmas Season we would NOT spend with my husband's family and only the 2nd Christmas he could ever remember not being at his grandma's house. Tucker had bigger plans for us! We were kind of in a mopey "we should be there not here" mood. Excited at the possibility of a new baby joining us but not convinced she was coming really. We decided to go out do some last minute shopping and eat our favorite pizza place.
We had a conversation on the way there about how we really could just leave now and make it in time for the festivities at his grandma's house. We could surprise everyone. And we knew our kids would be so happy. We talked about how we obviously wouldn't have a baby today anyway so it really wouldn't matter. But something kept us home anyhow which is far from normal for us.
We decided to eat first then head to the store. (I really needed to get to the store and purchase some newborn diapers, pads, and wanted to pick up some stocking stuffers with a little extra money we happened to have. We have never filled their stockings so we thought that would make it a little more special. When we got to the restaurant and filled our plates (after giving our boys our usual pep-talk about eating their money's worth. ie eat lots!) I noticed some minor tightenings. Stronger than usual but no pain really. I got a little bit excited.
When I finished eating I decided to use the restroom and do a little bit of checking just to see. (I swear I planned to not eat any more or touch ANYTHING I swear) So Frankie and I went to the ladies room (Am I the only one to ever check herself at the local pizza joint?! LOL I warned you TMI) I said to her, do you realize this could be the last time we ever eat here before the baby is born? This could be our last time as a family of 6 going anywhere! Of course we smiled like goons and giggled. She went in one stall and I in the other and whoa baby was I surprised, we are talking major dilation and something I had never felt before, the bag bulging like crazy.)
I was almost in shock. Happily of course! We washed up. (Super extra well) We returned to our table, I'm sure I was the freak who couldn't wipe the smile off her face for anything. I leaned over to my husband and said, "Two words, Bulging. Bag." of course he looks at me frightened and says, "Gross." Then he says, "I don't really know what that means but do we need to go?" I had to inform him it did not mean the baby was hanging out of me.
But we probably should hurry and maybe try and get home unless we want clean up by the buffet. That's when he decided we really couldn't leave until he had a few more cinnamon rolls. I made the mistake of eating one off his plate and I quickly learned that was unacceptable, even in my having a baby state! We finally loaded up, and when I say finally you must realize it takes us FOREVER to do anything!
We still have to head to Walmart but I am in powershop mode, we have things to do and I still have to wrap presents! We do our shopping chuckling that we are the only people to wait til baby's due date to go buy the necessities. (I did that on purpose so I would have something to do in labor. Bonus points for me!) I finally say as we are shopping, "Um we really REALLY need to go." So we get home and things settle down a little. We watch a family movie and get the kids asleep making sure to tell them before they are out that we will probably have a new baby brother or sister in the morning and ask if they would like to be woken up.
"YES!" they screech.
Finally, it's just Austin and I. We decide to watch "Music and Lyrics". (I think we have watched every funny movie we own in the last 3 days) After it's over I'm a bit discouraged. Nothing is really happening. I mean I'm still tightening but they aren't painful and they seem to have spaced out. I say, maybe we should just go to bed and if they pick up we will know it's the real deal but I am out of hope. This was another false alarm.
Austins says, "I think we should just stay up. Let's watch another movie and see what happens." I say "Okay, then, well I guess you better fill the pool because I'm sure when it finally is time we won't have much time to fill it and I want it piping hot so I can use it when I need it." I head off, discouraged, knowing nothing is happening anymore, sad that I thought this was it and just really really disappointed. I'm not prepared for this. When I got to wipe there is blood. BLOODY SHOW!!! (Only a pregnant woman could understand my new found enthusiasm) and almost like that here come the contractions again.
And boy are they intense! I go to Austin and proclaim, "This is it! It really is!" and spill way to many details. As always the response is, "Gross! did you have to tell me that?" Happily I nod. He continues filling the pool . I remember going back to the bathroom and alternating between toilet and hands on knees with my head on the cold tile floor. (Thank goodness I've supercleaned! And oh thank the Good LORD I'm not at the hospital because I would not stick my face on that floor. Ick) I'm telling you it felt so good!
When I return to the living room the tub is filled. Warm bath- I love thee. The living room is beautiful with only the light of the Christmas tree right by the pool. Just how I'd imagined. Kids are sleeping. Just Austin and I and the quiet of the night. It seems right after I get in I'm in great pain. I'm thinking. "Oh what was I thinking?!" I alternated in the tub and in the bathroom hands and knees enjoying the cool floor. Cold. HOT. Cold. HOT. Back in the tub I'm leaning over the side feeling the urge to push and thinking "This is way to early! But then...I don't know what else to do!"
So I would gruntily push and then sit back and sleep push sit back and sleep. That's when I'm thinking, while pushing, "OH this is why women get the epidural. How long will it take us to load up...get to a hospital and get hooked up?! No, no that would be torture, the ride there, in the car, no tub..noooo!" Then I'm thinking, "Oh next time I am having my baby at the hospital and I'm getting drugs, that's just the way it is". And then, "Oh, no next time i'm having surgery. I'm just setting it up. Right from the beginning. I'll set up the date and explain it later. Oh oh no this is it! I'm not having more kids. I'm not. I'm just not. I cannot do this again. I won't!" And then I chuckle thinking, "Yeah after this baby is out you'll be begging for another. You will," and I smile.
Well, I decide, I just have to get through this, and whining isn't helping, so get over yourself and quit being a baby. I begin pushing every other contraction. I lean over and ask Austin, "Do you think it's too soon to push?" and he says, "If your body is telling you to then I'd say it knows what's going on better than I." Perfect words. I love my husband! He then leaves to get something and comes back and I hear music starting. He had picked out a CD from our old collection when we were first married and put it into the player. The words start "It'd be much easier if only I could see you. If only I had a face to put with the name I love..." (I have never even thought of having this music in my playlist which I now can't use because our computer is being stupid but it's perfect. And with those words, these songs, suddenly I can do it. I'm having a baby!)
Immediately, suddenly, right then... yes, I am being redundant but it went from not there to there! Bam!
The clouds open, the heavens part and whoa baby, there is a baby right there. I KNOW the next push is it! I KNOW it. I say,"Austin, Austin, Baby, the baby is coming!" and sit back on my ankles and push with all my might. nothing happens. I can feel he or she is stuck (not scary, the sky is falling, dangerous stuck) just plain you need to move stuck. her head is out but the rest of her isn't moving yet and my brain says you are going to have to change positions a few times so babe can spiral out. So I do. Hands and knees, squatting, leaning forward and pop out flies body. I catch her an bring her up, saying "Oh we have a baby! We have a baby! Look at all that hair! How does OUR BABY have ALL THAT HAIR?!"
I say wake up the kids, wake up the kids. While Austin is trying to rouse the sleeping bears I think "I should wait to check who he/she is, no I can't. Oh well." " It's a girl! It's a girl! Tucker Evangelique! It's Tucker!" Kalel flies off the couch where he was sleeping by the pool. He is awake, the boy who you can't rouse unless you can muster up an earthquake is off the couch leaning over the pool say "Oh she's so cute! Can i hold her???? Can I hold her???" (It was ADORABLE!) He was smitten. I tell him let's wait just a minute. Let me get her unconnected first.
That was apparently an okay answer but he stared at her like she was the only person in the universe and he was wearing one of those smiles you can't hide even if you want to. We cut the cord, and Austin helped him hold her on the couch while I moved to the recliner to get the placenta out. (it was covered in chucks and blankets, don't worry) Boy those after pains were a doozy. It was taking a bit longer and I was loosing a bit more blood than I was comfortable with so I did end up putting a bit of the membranes from by the cord in my cheek. Just pulled off and whopped it in when Austin wasn't looking, lest he gag. Somethings are better off not seen or known about but you aren't my husband so I am telling you! (You're welcome.) Pretty quickly the blood slowed and out plopped the placenta. Ahhh much better.
After that I cuddled my baby, bathed with her, moved to the bed, and wrapped stocking stuffers. It was 4 in the morning and I had nothing to do but gaze at my little baby and take her all in. Oh and wrap presents! It was a good day, an amazing Christmas morning, a joyous day to add a new member to our family! Tucker Evangelique, our little Christmas baby was here bright and early and by the tree :) It was the best Christmas Ever! I couldn't get on the phone fast enough to call and tell people the good news!!!