Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
Once again, we were blessed to have Grandma and Dad-o with us for a birth. Jeremiah was still too clingy on Mommy for us to be comfortable having him at the birth. He did well completely away from me, but had trouble when nearby and I was unavailable. That is exactly the situation a birth would be, so we decided that he should stay home with Dad-o when the rest of us headed to the birth center.
Once that was decided, we thought we should give the other sibliongs a choice. Do you want to watch the birth, or would you rather stay home? Faith chose to stay home. She said her favorite part is holding the babay, and she could hold him when we got home. She is a sensitive one and it was wise of her to want to avoid seeing her Mommy in pain. The rest of the kids wanted to come.
Friday night, February 13, I had some mildy crampy contractions. I drank some extra water and they stopped. In the morning, we went to church (switched to Saturday because of impending storm Saturday evening into Sunday morning.) In the bathroom, I discovered that those contractions in the night had done something. This evidence was present throughout the day.
Sunday, February 15, contractions at 1:45am, 2:45am, 3:00am. At that point, Jon went out to shovel the driveway which had 12" of snow already and it was continuing to fall fast. We got ready to head into Concord in the snowstorm. Normally, we wouldn't have gone so early, but Jon knew it would take much longer in the storm and we didn't want to take any chances. We left our house at 4am. The roads were "surprisingly driveable" - Jon's words. The snow was all powdery and not slippery. But it was hard to see the lanes.
I was quite aware for the trip, and had some mild contractions that started coming 5 minutes apart. We arrived at 4:47 to an unplowed parking lot, but Jon drove in Beth's tracks and it was fine.
Once we arrived at the birth center, my contractions slowed down. We were all able to get some sleep, except maybe Grandma and Joy because Joy was keyed up. When I woke up in the morning, we tried to get labor going again. I got into the birthing tub and Joy joined me. That was a fun little special time with her. Then we got out and dried off and tried walking up and down the stairs and around the center.
By 11:30am, it was apparent that my labor had paused. So we headed home on cleared roads on a bright sunny, very windy day.
I decided to act just like normal for as long as it took for labor to get going again, but really hoping that it would be less than a week.
So we did regular restful Sunday activities, like take a nap and read books to the kids, go to bed on time.
Monday early morning, there were strong contractions at 2:07, 2:14, 2:21. I woke Jon up and asked him to pray for me because I was feeling nervous and unsure about the whole thing. He got everyone ready to go for the second time and this time the contractions came fast and furious. I was beginning to wonder if they would ever be ready to leave!
In the car on the way, I told them to tell Beth not to bother filling the birth tub. I was expecting to push as soon as we arrived, as I had with Joy's birth. But when we did get there, my body wasn't quite ready. I could not get in a good position. I was not relaxing between contractions.
It was quite frustrating to me and I wondered if I could do it. But Jon kept reminding me that I was doing great and that I could do it. Eventually, Beth decided to fill the tub anyway, and as soon as I got in it, I was glad she did. I was able to relax between contractions and get into the groove.
However, I still felt like it was taking too long and I wanted to just get the baby out! My water broke in the tub, but I wasn't quite sure of it at first. I had felt a little pop, but did not feel any gushing. But after that, pieces of membrane started coming out. I kept feeling down there to see if the baby was close yet, but only getting membrane. At one point, I exclaimed, "I don't want membranes, I want a baby!"
I hadn't wanted to have another water birth, but that was the place that was the most comfortable, so that is where I stayed.
Finally, he moved down and was crowning. I asked Beth to push on my perenium but she hesitated so I yelled it again. She did reluctantly, because I think she was thinking I was doing fine on my own. And this time, crowning and pushing the head out was much less pain than the other times. That was nice, because in the past that has been the worst pain for me.
After his head was out, his body took another push to follow, and then I reached down and Beth and I caught him together and brought him to my chest. He had a very thick layer of vernix on him, and he breathed very soon and did not cry much.
It was Joy's turn to announce the sex. She had a bit of trouble, but when Jon pointed out the telling apparatus, Joy was able to excitedly say, "It's a boy!" She mentioned that she had wanted a sister, but it didn't take too long for her and Faith to be happy about a brother.
The water was still quite warm and so we were able to stay in the tub for a while without the worry of soaking towels through that we did with Jeremiah.
After about half an hour, we got out of the tub and into the bed. And then after that I delivered the placenta. It didn't sting at all, which was nice. Grandma cut the cord.
He latched on nicely and we just had a relaxing time looking at each other and introducing the family.
His official birth stats: 8 lb, 14 oz and 21 inches long.
We took even longer to name this guy than we did Noah, and even enlisted the opinions of family members, which was a first for us.
But we finally decided on Nathaniel Peter Daley.
A gift from God and a steady rock.