I have no idea what our ‘due date’ was since we don’t use OBs. I think the computer said our EDD was November 5th or 6th. Either way, the only one an EDD is of any use to apparently is my mother, who considers that day her cue to start calling and texting incessantly. If i had a quarter for every time an “anything yet?” or “is everything ok?” or “baby here yet?” popped up on my phone, then I’d have enough money to take all you lovely ladies to lunch, lol!
The weekend before he was born was veteran’s day and since hubby is AD army and teaches cadets at WP, they of course had that Monday, the 10th off. It was that Sunday the 9th that prodromal labor really kicked into high gear. We spent a wonderful weekend together, enjoying the beautiful fall weather around West Point with our 4 children. Lots of time outside and some beautiful hikes! All the while I would have these incredibly strong ctx, most of them transition stage in strength. I’m an emotional signposts kind of girl, not a contraction timer, and it shocked me when I found myself shaky, sweaty and a bit panicky during these contractions while they were still sometimes hours apart. I even found some came with a slight urge to push (which I did. I have certainly learned to trust my body in this process with this being our 5th birth)
I told my husband that baby would probably be here by Monday night or Tuesday. Monday afternoon we lost a goliath sized mucus plus. We are talking like a foot long dark red snake of a mucus plug. I know, gross, but awesome… Wish i had taken a picture. Drew didn’t teach on Tuesday so wasn’t planning to go in at all. Tuesday was much the same with contractions requiring every bit of my focus and concentration. But we went about life as normal, except the mailbox was about as far as my hubby wanted me to walk alone. We took walks together though and I have to admit that one of my favorite things to do is laboring in public. I LOVE freaking out the mainstream military people on post while swaying and moaning during contractions. 😉
Monday it was the people in the commissary (“honey are you ok? When are you due”… “Oh we were due last week and we are in labor right now…no we don’t need an ambulance called, I’m pregnant, not sick”) and Tuesday it was people around the neighborhood. 🙂 heehee, love it! Anyway, I spent a lot of time in and out of the bathtub just to relax during ctx and rested up in between contractions while hubby took the kids to the playground. I felt kind of guilty though because contractions were no where near consistent and yet were still transition strength and I was beginning to wonder when in the world this baby was going to come.
We put the kids to bed Tuesday night and I enjoyed a great glass of red wine. Hubby was supposed to teach on Wednesday and was saying things like, “well, maybe we will have to start paternity leave early if baby doesn’t come tonight.” I just started praying asking the Lord to either bring the baby on or hold the ‘active’ labor off for a bit so hubby could definitely make it home in time to not miss the birth. With how strong ctx had been we both kind of thought that once things really got going it wouldn’t be long at all. I definitely didn’t want him missing the birth, but didn’t want to start his paternity leave before baby came.
Went to bed that night around 11-11:30 praying and asking The Lord for His perfect peace to reign in my heart and for His perfect timing in the baby’s birth. I woke up at 12:51 am needing to go to the bathroom. Stood up and had a strong ctx. Nothing new there. Went to the bathroom and then noticed underwear were overly wet. Thought possibly waters might be leaky. Had a couple strong ctx. Went thru them standing and swaying. Decided to get in the bathtub for a little bit and then go back to bed. Hubby was still asleep. Grabbed iPad and phone to put in the bathroom with me just in case I decided i needed some relaxing music. Relaxed to the sound of the water pouring but started noticing the contractions were a lot closer together.
I took a glimpse over at the iPad and the clock said somewhere around 1:10-1:15 am. I knew it had only been 20 minutes since I woke up and I had had several ctx, so started getting hopeful, but not too much. Just prayed and focused during ctx. Figured I would labor a whole and then wake my husband up once I was certain it was labor. I knew if baby came soon, he would have all 4 other kids the next day since I’d be in bed with baby, so I didn’t want to wake him (you can officially consider me being in denial at this point;) but around 1:17 or so, I found myself kneeling in the bathtub, leaning over the side and moaning thru ctx. I started realizing this was happening fast.
I began this internal conversation of “can I birth this baby safely in the bathtub since its so small?” I started thinking I probably would not be able to keep baby underwater and definitely didn’t want baby taking a breath and then going into the water… So in the middle of these crazy strong ctx I had the lucidity to reach up and grab a towel for the towel rack and lay it on the floor. I was asking The Lord to please give me the time to get out of the water and to please bring this baby safely. Lots of hands lifted with palms heavenward, “praise Jesus” and “thank you Lord!” coming from my lips at this point.
After a couple more ctx I was able to get out of the bathtub, knew I needed to call hubby but couldn’t. Was praying for The Lord to wake him up. Didn’t hold back the moans at this point. Went through two or three ctx, hubby came in, ptl! I remember asking him to turn the light off as even the dim light was too bright at this point. I said, “can you catch?” As the the next ctx started, I pushed and head and shoulders were out. Once hubby told me this I gave the slightest push and the rest of baby was out. 1:28 am, 37 minutes after i had woken up!!
I went to the floor with a “praise Jesus! Thank you Jesus!You’re here, baby! I love you!” Drew put baby on my chest and was just kissing my face and rubbing the baby. Baby was already crying and breathing and pink. Drew said, ” ready to see if its a boy or girl?” Somehow I knew it was a boy. I said, “I think it’s a boy…” We checked and sure enough it was!
Placenta came on its own shortly after, right into our toilet. Baby was 6 lbs, 15 oz born at 40+6/41+0, depending on which edd we used. We were still on our birth high but crawled into bed trying to get some restKids were immediately enamored, though my daughter was a bit in shock. She is our lone earthside girl now with 4 little brothers. But she loved him from the moment she saw him and its been the same for the rest of the kids. 🙂 It took a while for the name to be solidified. Judah. Judah means “God be praised” and [his niddle name] is my maiden name. 🙂 Now he’s huge! Probably about 12.5 pounds. And loves to be held, which is a good thing with so many willing and eager arms around here!