I woke up yesterday, Wednesday April 24, at 2:30am. I came downstairs, putzed around for about an hour and forced myself back up to bed, weary of starting another long pregnant day exhausted to boot. Ian got up with the girls and I rolled out of bed at 6:30, sat with my family, drank my cup of coffee, and began to feel very off.
I was having irregular contractions (nothing new or to note of late), but they were accompanied by radiating pain down my back and thighs and nausea. I knew almost immediately that this was it.
I asked Ian to take Ainsley to school, knowing I simply couldn't make it in and out for drop off. Louise and I tidied the baby's room and I let her play while I paced the upstairs hall, deciding what to do next.
Ian came home and helped me time contractions. After realizing they were 2-3 minutes apart I called my midwife, Hilary. She was downtown and instructed me to get in the bath to try and relax a bit, worried that things may progress quickly before she could get there.
While I was in the tub Ian made plans for the girls. Sonya had a couple of work meetings that day so our wonderful friends Ruthie and Taylor took the girls after school and for the early afternoon until Sonya could pick them up. I was so thankful for the peace of mind that they were well taken care of and they were SO excited for all the special fun they got to have that day.
Ian came back and the midwives started showing up. Hilary, Rachel and Annie all settled in and I went about the work of keeping busy and my body moving. Ian and I went on 5 small walks that day. The clouds were lifting and the birds were chirping. It was the most wonderful way to spend the second stage of labor.
In between our walks the midwives listened to the baby's heartrate and checked my blood pressure. Hilary checked and swiped me once to help keep things moving. I was 6-7cm around 1:30pm and we decided that after one more walk I'd get in the tub, Hilary would break my water, and we'd have this baby!
I was still in denial that this was all happening until just about his point. I really don't think it hit me until I climbed into the tub around 3pm that our baby was coming SOON! NOW!
The tub felt amazing. I was actually worried at first because I could hardly feel the contractions. Hilary assured me this was normal, wonderful in fact because it gave my body it's last bit of rest before the big show. So I took it. I leaned back, closed my eyes and waited for it all to start.
And start it did. Oh that first transition contraction. Memories flood back, a bit of panic too I'll admit. The difference this time was I felt so in control. I was able to talk myself down from my ledge and focus on my baby. With each contraction I breathed as low as I could. Tried to be so aware to concentrate all my energy and breathe on lowering the baby and opening my body.
I relied on Ian a lot. I kept my eyes closed and just raised my hand with the start of each and he gripped me hard to support my floating body while I relaxed every ounce of me that I could, save for of course the internal work of pushing a baby out. I rested my head on his forearm and floated to and fro. While still very painful and overwhelming it was the easiest third stage I've had.
And then the baby was ready and I was ready. One big long contraction (I was told 3 minutes) and our boy was born. As exhausted as I was and as much as it hurt I just pushed with everything I had and our boy emerged, kind of just like that.
Ian was behind me outside the tub so Hilary brought the baby up to me. It's a boy! Ian proclaimed almost immediately. I could not believe it. Could not believe that he was here after a mere 10 hard contractions in the tub. Could NOT believe that we had a son. That I was holding my perfect pink crying little boy. I cried a bit, Ian too. I just sat there holding my son, tearing up, unable to believe it all. That wasn't so bad! was the next thing I proclaimed in my state of new mother euphoria. And really it wasn't bad at all, it was so miraculous and wonderful.
After a while in the tub holding my boy and delivering the placenta I got out and headed into bed. Ian handed Felix back to me and he latched right away to nurse. The next hour and a half was kind of a beautiful blur. Phone calls to family, nursing, newborn exam, nursing, Grammy arrives! nursing, big sisters arrive! nursing. It was glorious and the time simply flew.
After determining that the baby and I were healthy and well the midwives all gave us hugs and headed out. The rest of the family descended for dinner while I snuggled my new, very wide awake boy. We all finally crashed around 9. Little Felix slept nearly 6 hours. I finally woke him to eat. So far he is the calmest sweetest little newborn. The only time we've heard him REALLY cry was right after he was born and during the newborn exam. He is such a sweet little peanut of a boy.
We are all doing well so far adjusting as a family of 5. The girls are absolutely smitten with their new baby, wanting to hold him and kiss him and help with him all the time. Especially Louise. Ainsley is a bit preoccupied with her favorite person EVER right now (Grammy!) but Louise? Oh boy, she just wants to smother him with love (actually no, she's VERY protective of her new brother, even telling Ian to be extra gentle!). Such a sweet big sister she is. Ian of course is relishing in the role of new dad all over again. I love that look he gets looking at his son. Makes me fall in love all over again with them both. As for me, I'm recovering well. SO thankful to have been able to be up and about this whole pregnancy. I'm trying my best to take it extra easy these first few days so that I feel as good as I can as soon as possible. I tend to overdo it in the beginning and pay for it big time later. I'm learning!
I am giddy, so very thankful and still on cloud 9. So excited for these next days with my mom and Ian home to take care of everything around the house so I can just rest with my little boy. I love him so much. We all do!
Welcome Felix. You make our family absolutely complete.