Three more years, (as you can see, my babies seem to come every three years) my fourth baby came very differently. For some reason, I kept thinking that the previous labor had gone so ideally, the way I had hoped and dreamed, that there was no way I could repeat that. And just a couple of days before I went into labor, we had a visiting pastor who came and preached on the fall – focusing a lot on the pain of childbirth being a punishment from God. I couldn’t shake the dread it gave me. So when I woke up that morning at dawn a week before my due date with a light contraction, I felt both excited and anxious. I had another one five minutes later. I called Donna, my midwife, after the third one. She told me I could take a bath but not a shower because she was at another birth. I hung up, and thought, ah, a shower isn’t going to make the baby come faster, and climbed in. Ha. I didn’t end up finishing the shower. I had to get out and make the bed quick and get my husband to call people. I couldn’t talk on the phone. I crawled on the bed but never layed down. I was on my hands and knees for the next 40 minutes, blowing with all my might to keep from pushing the baby out. I was scared and felt totally out of control and thought that God had deserted me. An hour and five minutes after that first contraction, he was born. A dear, sweet midwife I had never met (Margie Spence) walked in after the head was out and delivered the rest of him. One of my oldest and dearest friends (Vivian) who was a childbirth instructor walked in right after her and helped Margie with the delivery. He was born blue and not breathing. The midwife gave him some rubbing, then mouth to mouth just a couple of times. He came to life strongly, wanted to nurse immediately, and was perfect on his second APGAR. My own midwife (Donna) got there about 15 minutes later and delivered the placenta. I remember shuddering, crying later, and thinking I would NEVER have another baby. NEVER. He was the best nurser though and cuddling him slowly washed away the memories and the fear. He was named Benjamin, son of the right hand.
Three and a half years later, enter baby number five. My longest pregnancy. I made it to four days before due date. My longest labor AND first labor to start with my water breaking. It had always exploded on its own or had been broken during pushing in every labor before. Light contractions followed. And didn’t seem to go anywhere. But somewhere along the way after a couple of hours, my body got serious. After I made it through transition and got to push, I worked really hard and the baby just didn’t seem to be moving. When it had seemed like such a long time and I thought the baby should be out by now, my midwife checked me and discovered a lip of the cervix I had been pushing against, so all that effort had done nothing. She helped me by pushing the lip out of the way on the next contraction, and I got my baby out PRONTO. I got up on my hands and knees and roared and heaved and was so exhausted and so relieved to be done with it. It was a girl, with big feet and swollen, stretched out lips from her trip. I remember the midwives saying that with those feet and that mouth she was going to dance and sing for the Lord. Her name is Susanna, which means lilly. She did grow up to be gifted in those areas as the midwives suggested!
Baby number six came (can you guess?) three years later. It was fast, it was fairly easy, but it was a little too early. I had spent 12 hours at Six Flags a couple of days earlier, and just never really recovered. Only a few days into 36th week, I kicked into labor late one evening. I called my friends, folded some laundry, walked around a bit, then labored on the toilet (my favorite place to make it happen faster, even though it is more intense), finally on my side on the bed, listening to classical music. Just a few hours after starting, a very little boy named Joel made his appearance, which means Jehovah is God. He didn't breath right away after being born. Donna told me to speak his name, and when I did, he took his first breath. Being early meant he was a really sleepy baby, one that I had to work hard to get him to nurse enough at the beginning, and another unpleasant result; if he cried he would not be able to breathe, so he turned blue and almost lost consciousness. This lasted for the first whole month of his life. I had to do whatever I could to keep him quiet and happy, but thankfully, he was fairly content to be nursed and held. He did outgrow that!
If you have held on this long, CONGRATULATIONS, you are almost through and THANK YOU, for caring enough to read!