It’s still hard to believe how it flies

Time. Isn’t it the craziest thing? Sometimes it seems to move so slowly, when we’re waiting for a big event. But, most of the time, it flies by so quickly that it’s gone before we know it. It’s hard for me to believe that my little baby Bakri, will be six years old tomorrow. Six years!? That’s amazing. In six more years he’ll be 12! That’s seems so far away! But, I know, if history repeats itself, the next six years will fly by even faster than the last six. And, before I know it, my baby boy will be in high school. Happy birthday to our big six year old boy, Bakri. May we celebrate in ways that stay with you always and remind you constantly of how much you are enjoyed and loved.

Birth Story- Leeland Thaddeus

This is the birth story of our fourth child, Leeland Thaddeus, July 15, 2010.

At 1am this morning, I was awakened by contractions. They were coming regularly and mild to painful. I decided to take a shower to see if they would stop or continue. While standing in the shower, I found the contractions to be more painful and to gain in strength. I made my way back to the bed to lay down. It was impossible to rest and the contractions kept coming, so I woke up my husband. “I think I am in labor.” He knew after nearly 8 weeks of contractions of various strength, I would know if I was in labor. He immediately got up and got ready. We called his sister and she made her way to our house so we could leave our two older sons asleep in their beds. I called the midwife on call- Titi and spoke with her at 3:25 am. After I explained what I was feeling to her, we agreed to meet at the hospital.

My husband’s sister arrived at our house and we headed out. We arrived at the hospital just after 4am. My midwife checked my cervix at 4:20am and I was dilated 3.5 cm, 80% effaced and the baby was at a -1 station. I was thrilled. This was the first time out of the 4 pregnancies, I had ever arrived to the hospital in labor and been that far along. I knew I was not going to take an epidural. And, I was excited to be able to labor in a completely different way than my previous babies- without constant monitoring, with minimal checking of the cervix and with the freedom to be able to move around.

My midwife gave me an area to walk in the hallway and encouraged me to walk for 30 minutes stopping periodically during a contraction to hold on to the railing, squat a little, moan a lot, and try to relax my muscles and let the baby move down. I tried this for a while and the contractions seemed to get stronger and closer together. I made my way back to my room a few times and after about an hour of laboring this way, I decided I was ready for a change.

My midwife ran the bath water for me and I tried laboring in the tub. It was great. The contractions were still painful and labor was still progressing, but it was so nice to be able to completely relax between contractions. After only 4 contractions, I felt like things had progressed quite a bit and I was nearing the point of needing to push. I got out of the tub and headed toward the bed. I labored there next to the bed for a couple of contractions so they could monitor the baby.

Since I told my midwife I was feeling the desire to push and I sounded like I was feeling this way, she checked my cervix again. This was only the second time for her to check. At this point, I was dilated 8 cm, completely effaced and the baby was at a 0 station. I immediately knew I didn’t have much longer. With my last baby, when I was 8 cm dilated, I actually was 10 cm dilated during a contraction and that meant I could push. I was hoping it was the same with this baby.

My 3 previous babies weighed 8 lbs 5 ounces, 7 lbs 13 ounces, and 8 lbs 10 ounces. When it came time to push with the second 2 babies, it literally took 2 pushes and they were out. It was complete relief from labor. However, this time that didn’t happen. I didn’t know it at the time, but Leeland being 1 lb 10 ounces larger than my previously largest baby made a big difference. I had no idea he was that big. Thank God. Because, that would have been just a little bit intimidating. After considerable effort and a lot of hard prayer, Leeland was born at 6:37am.

He was blue at first because the cord was compressed. But, they put him right to my chest and gave him oxygen and soon he pinked right up and cried loudly. It was a blessed sound!

He weighed 10 lbs, 4 ounces and is 22 inches long. He’s happy and alert.

Today feels like a dream come true. Leeland is perfectly perfect and he arrived at the perfect time he was meant to. I am thankful to all of you for your prayers and for thinking of us during this time. We’ve felt your love and it has meant so much to us. I am also grateful for my loving husband. He was my support today. He trusted my instincts and was there with me every step and moan and grown along the way. Thank you, Love!

Much love from the EL 6.

I think July 15 is the DAY!!!

I’ve been up since 1am with more painful and regular contractions. I took a shower and they are still coming.
Perhaps it was one of the many labor inducing activities I tried today. Maybe all I needed was to fall asleep in my own bedroom. Or, maybe today was going to be the day regardless. Either way, I’m nervous and
excited that this could be the day.

I’m going to try and rest more now. And, I will update soon.

40 weeks and 2 days

So, I think I am finally ready for this baby to come. I know that most of you, if you’re checking this, are also ready for him to come. You’ve probably been ready for a while. And, your probably losing patience with the waiting. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to go into labor until I could go home from the hospital. Home to my house. Home to my new bedroom. Home to a clean, dust-free, paint smell-free environment. That day has come. The painters are finished. Furniture is ready to be put in my new room and I don’t have to lift a finger to make sure that gets done. I can just go to the hospital, deliver a new baby boy and come home to it all done a couple of days later. Voila!

Now, I don’t know if my body had that much power- to actually keep me from going into labor. It’s possible, I guess. After hurricane Ike, I didn’t want to go into labor until we could move back home and have electricity. I went into labor 3 days after my due date and the second night we were home with the electricity back on.

What I am saying is this: Dear body, I am relaxed and ready now. Let’s go to it. July 12, 2010 sounds like a great day to be born, little El4! So, come on! Momma is R-E-A-D-Y!

Have You Written a Birth Plan?

I went to visit the Midwives’ Office today and had my “birth plan” with me. Probably 5 or 6 weeks ago I met with one of the Midwives and she asked me if I had one and assured me that they would make every attempt to honor my birth plan if I provided it to them.

Well, I thought this was a wonderful idea. ┬áSo, shortly after, I sat down with several large index cards and began writing my birth plan. It was pretty simple. I decorated the top of the page for our fourth baby and wrote on the top that this was a plan with “lots of flexibility.”

The plan is simple:
I want a quiet space to labor with not a lot of chit chat.
I will bring my own music.
I want to try laboring in the tub.
I want to labor naturally with no epidural and no other medications.
I want to be able to move around as much as possible and be monitored intermittently.
I want to have the most support from my husband and depend on him.
I want to have it recorded from a non-invasive area in the room. (behind me somewhere where my husband doesn’t need to hold the camera.)

I think that completes the list. I’ve been carrying my “plan” around with me for weeks. Today, I remembered to give it to the Midwife I met with so she could make a copy and put in my chart. She was so touched and emotional about it. She said that she had never seen a handwritten birth plan. At first I thought she just meant that most people typed them up or had them on their iphones or blackberrys. But, she meant that people didn’t write them at all. She said most of the birth plans she saw were printed from a website and often times the mother hadn’t read the birth plan before bringing it to the midwife. This kind of surprised me. I didn’t really think that I had done anything particularly special.

But, she did. And, she was moved by it and asked if she could make a few copies of it to inspire others. I was happy to let her do that.

I feel really positive about my birth plan, because I know that it is just my plan and not God’s. And therefore, I don’t feel tied down to it. But, it does help me to have some kind of idea of how things may go. And, in the end, I’ll just go with the flow.

I hope you are all doing well. I know it won’t be long now until I am reporting labor and then the arrival of our precious baby boy! Good night, friends.

Early labor or not?

Well, this is my first attempt at a blogpost from my cell phone. I’m really just doing it to keep myself occupied.
I’ve been having consistent (every 10-15 minutes) contractions for the last 24 hours plus. I’m hoping, just because I am exhausted, that it either stops or we move on to the next stage of labor. I’m tired!
So, here’s to a good night’s rest and no contractions in the morning OR the real thing!

Good night, friends!