On Friday 11 October 2013 you finally decided to come and join us in the outside world. And littlest girl of mine you made quite the entrance :)
The day started much like most of the days of the preceding week. I was very pregnant and very tired of being pregnant. Your due date had passed on Monday, but since your sister B had been 12 days after her due date I wasn't really too concerned. Your daddy had just finished his training for his new promotion at work the day before so he was now able to leave in the middle of the day if you decided to come then, so that was a big weight off of my shoulders.
My dear friend Allison called me in the morning and offered to take your big sisters, K and L away for the day to go on an apple picking adventure at another friend's orchard. They got dressed and were still eating their breakfast when Allison came to pick them up. It was really nice for them to have something to do as they were getting very tired of waiting for you.
I finished up sewing on their insignia for their Girl Scout uniforms, just as Holly our midwife stopped by to check on you and me with her two sons. They were very disappointed that your biggest sisters were gone, but B still did her best to play with them. However B abandoned them to the trucks and cars and trains when it came time to check on you, she was always very attentive to your prenatal exams, and this day was not different. She helped Holly measure my belly and listen to your heart rate, and she nursed while Holly was feeling your position. You were still head down but not really that low in my pelvis and you had your back curled up into my right side. Holly guessed you were about 9 to 9 1/2 pounds and that you could come anytime from that night to sometime in the next two weeks. I wasn't particularly happy about the fact that it could be another two weeks, nor was your Dad when I emailed him later, but I knew you would come when you were ready.
After Holly left, Nin and I decided to walk downtown to do a few errands without big girl help and to check out the start of the painting of the giant pumpkins that are part of the festival this weekend. I had a feeling that this might be my only chance to see the pumpkins. The errands went well, your sister B was especially happy to get a lollipop at the bank and at one point a woman I didn't know stopped me and asked if I was going to be able to make it down the hill before you were born. I said yes and we had a brief conversation about late babies, and she apologized for saying that because she had, had people say the same thing when she was pregnant with her first baby and she would go swimming and the other swimmers were say things like "You haven't had that baby yet?" It was a gorgeous sunny fall day.
Since we live in a small town I ran into my friend Liz who hadn't seen me in quite a while and she admired my huge belly. I also got to see my friends Mary and Erica who were working on painting two of the pumpkins. I know at least one friend saw me from her car while I was driving, she asked me later that afternoon if I was trying to walk you out. I told her you weren't interested in coming out. Little did I know.
I had a nap in the afternoon, just a short one since I needed to make an early dinner because L and K and Nin were going to Girl Scouts and the leader was nice enough to pick them up so they had to leave early. I made a double batch of butternut and ginger squash soup and a chickpea salad. It was very hot and I remember feeling rather hassled by the whole thing and worrying about if it would be ready in time for everyone to eat. It was, though your sisters did not eat much of it.
They all left on time and it was just me and inside and your sister B. I spent a few minutes chatting on facebook with another friend of mine whose baby was due a few days away. She had been having contractions 8 minutes apart all afternoon. I was slightly jealous but wished her luck and she wished me labor thoughts as well.
Your sister B decided to nurse herself to sleep on my lap before I got much of anything to eat. I started watching Grease on Netflix because I had never seen it. Your sister ended up sprawled across my lap and even though I was hungry I was afraid to get up because I had pins and needles running down half my side and I was afraid I would fall if I got up. I ended up being able to reach the salad and ate some of it. I started noticing that I was having some contractions, but this was the normal time of day you usually practiced your contractions so I pretty much ignored them.
Your dad texted me that there was an accident on the road and he was going to be late. I didn't know where on his commute home the accident was, and he was responsible for picking your sisters and Nin up at 7:30. He finally called me and told me that he was in Waldoboro and so we knew he would get home about 7 and have to turn around and leave at 7:15. Your sister kept sleeping.
Your dad came home and I was able to get another bowl of soup and I think I went to the bathroom. He was home for those fifteen minutes and then was off again. B had woken up but was still on my lap and I noticed that the contractions were coming more regularly. I was kind of watching the time but not super seriously. Just noticing more than anything else.
By the time your sisters got home with your Dad, I was glad not to be alone any more as the contractions were coming more regularly. I waited until your sisters had gone upstairs to get ready for bed before telling your dad that my contractions were getting interesting, but since I could still talk while they were happening your dad wasn't too concerned about them yet. I have a history of a lot of start and stop labor. I remember your Dad saying we weren't going to have a baby tonight, and I said why not, it would be good timing, right at the start of his 3 day weekend.
We moved upstairs around 8:30ish and threw your three sisters in the shower. I had several contractions on the bed and actually couldn't sit through them, I kind of had to get up on all fours or just lift my butt off the bed. I remember feeling like there was a lot of downward pressure. I couldn't wait for your sisters to get out of the shower and after using the toilet I announced I was taking a shower. Sometimes the hot water will make the contractions go away if it's not the real thing.
Well, it was definitely the real thing because they were not going away. I started having to open my mouth and just silently scream between the contractions which seemed to be coming closer together, though I had no access to a clock. Your dad kept checking on me and when I started being able to moan during the contractions he called Holly and let her listen. She decided it was time to come.
I kept remembering laboring with your sister B in that shower and how much it hurt, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do this. The contractions kept coming closer together and B and Daddy kept checking on me. I remember wondering if I would ever be able to get out of the shower. Then suddenly I felt very sick and wasn't sure if I need to puke or go the bathroom. So I got out of the shower and told your Dad I felt like puking and could he get me a bowl from the birth kit. I ended up puking in my towel before he could get the bowl and then puking some more in the bowl.
Sometime after that, while I was still sitting on the toilet I felt my water broke. Which I immediately announced and then your Dad called Holly who called the back up midwife Becky who lives about a half an hour from our house to come. Becky ended up catching your sister B last time. At this point I was starting to yell through contractions, I couldn't help it, I could only get through the contractions by becoming the sound. Your older sisters who had wanted to see you born got scared by all my noise so Nin got them ready to go downstairs. Your dad kept trying to leave the bathroom and I kept calling him back. During one contraction he was holding B because I think he had been trying to help Nin put her in the Ergo baby carrier. Anyway he was holding B and I was holding him and the yelling went up another notch as the contractions got worse and your poor sister started crying because she was so scared. I felt really bad but couldn't do anything else. I kept apologizing for upsetting everyone in the breaks between the contractions.
Your sisters moved downstairs and at some point I told your Dad to please call Cathy. She was suppose to come by and take photos of you in case you were born while your Daddy was at work, and I knew she would want to see you born. I remember yelling through a contraction while your Dad was on the phone with her. At one point your dad told me that I wasn't allowed to push until the a midwife got there. I told him I couldn't promise that, that I was not in control and that I could only do what I could do, but I would try.
The contractions kept coming, and the break between them kept getting shorter and shorter. Your Auntie Cathy showed up and sat on the stool and started holding my knees. Your dad was standing next to me and I was holding his hand and hiding my head in his belly when the contractions came. I remember Cathy asking about photos at one point and I not being able to really answer her. She held my knees and told me what a great job I was doing while I yelled that I couldn't do it as the contractions just kept coming. At one point she started to stroke my knee and I asked her to stop and she did. I kept focusing on the pressure of her hands through the contractions, trying to feel that rather than the contraction.
At this point I don't think there was a break between contractions. I would run out of breath from yelling and then gasp and inhale and start yelling again. I remember your Auntie Cathy telling me what a great job I was doing, and my head disagreed with her but I was unable to speak. At one point I knew you were coming as I started feeling the head. Your dad helped me start to stand up and I gripped onto the sink and he was on the phone to Holly, and somehow your Auntie Cathy got behind me, and somehow she got on the phone with Holly who talked her through catching you.
When your sister K was born her head felt like a ring of fire when her head finally crowned. But for L and B it didn't hurt. As your head crowned I felt each little stage and it burned like K's had, but not around the whole of your head. I remember your Auntie Cathy pushing on my perineum and telling Holly she saw a face, the first we knew you were coming out posterior or backwards. I honestly think I stopped breathing at this point because I knew you were coming out and Auntie Cathy was going to catch you.
I remember I needed to push you the rest of the way out and I wasn't sure if I could. I had not pushed once, you had just come on your own, so I tried to push and I guess I must of because after what felt like forever to me you slid out. I couldn't see you, I could only hear Auntie Cathy and Daddy trying to get you to breathe, and rubbing your back and trying to get you breathe. I wondered if you were going to breathe, I wanted desperately to see you, to help you breathe like I had helped your sister B. And then you cried. And everything was better, we knew you would be okay. Your Dad and Auntie Cathy were talking about how to get you to me because I couldn't sit down with cord between my legs and I was starting to shake and needed to sit down. I could see the blood and birth fluid on the floor. I think your dad crawled through my legs and then Auntie Cathy passed you through my legs to Daddy and I sat back down on the toilet and then they gave you to me. But check with them, they have a clearer memory of that than I do.
I was so happy to hold you and you had your eyes open and were looking around and I was trying to offer you a nipple but you were too busy looking around. I was afraid to move as the placenta was still inside and you were still attached to it. We were wrapped up in towels and your Dad says he took his fleece jacket off and wrapped you up in it, but honestly I don't remember.
Your Auntie Cathy took photos of me holding you and Daddy.
It felt like forever but probably wasn't that long and Becky was there. That was a relief because I didn't know how to deliver the placenta. I was kind of worried about that and just wanted to get to the bed. Becky got ready to cut the cord and Daddy cut it and then Auntie Cathy bundled you up and held you while sitting on the stool and Becky and Daddy helped me get to bed. Becky told me not to look down and let her know if I got light headed so I just stared into your Daddy's eyes because I knew if I looked anywhere else I would end up looking down. Apparently Auntie Cathy was taking photos of you while this was going on.
Becky helped me settle in bed and some one brought you to me, maybe Daddy? Auntie Cathy took more photos and I nursed you some more. I am not sure if I pushed the placenta out before or after your sisters came up to meet you, I was grateful to get it out and start to feel like my work was done. Again I remember not knowing if I was pushing or not but it came out. Becky said it was all there and your sisters came to see you.
L was so happy to see you, and K felt a bit shy. B got upset every time you came off the nipple and kept telling you that you needed more "mop". She was happily nursing on her side. Holly came and Becky left to go to another birth and we all settled in. I realized I had no idea what time you were born and Holly said you came at 9:53 cause she was on the phone when you were born after all. Your Auntie Cathy was over the moon and so happy to have caught you. You came in about an hour and half. We were all in shock. I am writing this three days later and I'm still trying to process it all. You are perfect.
When we got around to weighing you, everyone was taking guesses. Auntie Cathy thought you were going to be 9 pounds 3 ounces but I knew you were at least 10 pounds. Everyone was a bit shocked when you weighed in at 10 pounds 10 ounces. You were 22 inches long and like your sisters your chest was bigger than your head, by about 3 cms. We are so happy to have you.
Welcome to the world Clara Abigail Morrigan Young.