the birth of my first child. what an event!!
tuesday, may 27th. we had friends over for dinner. i felt good enough to cook and even managed to get all the dishes cleaned before bed. jeremiah decided to finish reading The Old Man and the Sea to the baby (we had been reading portions of it for a few weeks). i asked the baby a few times if he/she would please come out and meet us. and then we went to bed normally. i woke up at some point to use the bathroom and felt just as uncomfortable as i had been feeling for weeks. and that was it.
wednesday, may 28th. 39 weeks 2 days. i woke up to the feeling of the baby moving and little bit of fluid coming out. i assumed i had just peed a little (this is the reality of pregnancy) and got up to use the bathroom. i sat on the toilet for a bit and noticed that fluid was coming out when i wasn’t using the restroom. i knew then that my amniotic fluid was leaking and i woke jeremiah to let him know. i confirmed things were happening when i turned on the light and noticed bloody show. jeremiah said this all happened around 2am. i began to shake a lot – i’m not sure if this was due to the adrenaline or, as i look back, if this was my body entering transition. contractions started at some point but they were rather irregular and not lasting very long. poor jeremiah did his best to get me to calm down and get in bed so i could rest (we both assumed we had a long day ahead of us but little did we know!). i just couldn’t get comfortable in bed and preferred sitting on the toilet and getting in the shower. during my second time in the shower, i thought i felt my body bearing down. i turned off the water and got on my knees while leaning my hands and head against the wall. and then i had the urge to push again. i couldn’t believe it and quickly told jeremiah i felt like pushing (i was even more surprised because i really felt like my contractions hadn’t even reached a minute long yet). this was a game changer. we hadn’t even called the midwives or our moms yet to let them know we were in labor. at 3:46am jeremiah made his first call to one of our midwives letting her know i was in labor and having the urge to push. she of course said not to let me push and that she was preparing to head our way. our midwives live about an hour and a half from fredericksburg so i knew it was going to take them a while. as the urge to push grew, i informed jeremiah he needed to get the midwife-in-training to our house NOW! she was training with our midwives and lived very close to us. at 4:02am, jeremiah made a second call to the midwife asking for leah (the midwife-in-training) to come. she said leah was on her way! i was so relieved to know that she was coming. the intensity of the situation was very hard for both of us and i could feel my anxiety rising. during all of this, jeremiah was also trying to contact our moms to let them know we were in big time labor (but, strangely, neither of them answered their phones) and he also had to get our housemate up and out of the house. oh our poor housemate. i know i must have scared him death with all my laboring noises. i was not a quiet laborer!!
before long, i was getting more and more worried about nobody being with us and told jeremiah he needed to call 911. i did not want to deliver this baby with just us two. luckily leah arrived shortly after my pleas and was such a comforting sight to me (and i’m sure to jeremiah). she told me if i wanted to push to go ahead and push! i had been trying to hold back but that wasn’t working too well after awhile. at some point, we made our way from the bathtub to the bed. and this is where i spent the rest of the labor. we had planned on birthing downstairs in the birth tub but things advanced so quickly that we didn’t have time to set anything up. i needed jeremiah right by my side to help me through each contraction. i’m not sure how long pushing lasted but it probably went on for a good bit over a hour. i didn’t have leah check my dilation because honestly i was scared that i wasn’t fully dilated and didn’t want to face that reality. she kept checking the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler and thankfully everything sounded great! that was very encouraging for me. we tried a few different positions for pushing but i felt most comfortable on my hands and knees. the pressure below was out of this world to me. the pressure and pushing were by far the hardest part of labor for me. at some point, i noticed leah getting out supplies for the baby and this made me feel encouraged. i took it as a sign that he/she would be here soon and labor would be over. it took all i had to let my body take over and do its job of bearing down and getting this baby out. i wanted to hold everything in. after awhile, i felt things change down below and the baby was ready to come. we wanted jeremiah to catch the baby so leah informed him that is was time to get in position. she took his place at my head and was vital in helping me get through those last pushes. out came the head! and then another contraction later i felt the body come slithering out and went into jeremiah’s hands! i knew it was a boy when leah said something about “he” and then jeremiah told me we had a son. and so this is how our dear son, solomon atticus elihu austin, arrived in this world at 5:50am on may 28th after four hours of labor. he arrived while the sun was still fresh in the sky and the birds were welcoming the day with their songs.
as atticus made his way into this world and let out his first cries, our first midwife arrived. thank the Lord for leah!! we may have delivered our son on our own if it hadn’t been for her! our second midwife arrived shortly after the first and all three of them worked together to take care of the baby and me. it felt so good to lay back in bed with my son lying beside me. i delivered the placenta easily and they wrapped it up and laid it on the other side of me. we kept atticus attached to the cord and placenta until his newborn exam was over which was about a hour later. during this time, jeremiah had finally got in touch with our parents to let them know that their grandson had arrived! this was quite a shock to both grandparents. they thought jeremiah was calling about labor and instead he told them everything was over and he was here! after a little while, my midwives checked me for tearing and had to inform me that unfortunately my tearing was significant enough that they wanted me to go to the hospital. due to the severity and location of the tear, they felt it was best for me to be seen and stitched by a doctor. of course, this was not something we wanted to happen but if i had to go to the hospital i was happy it wasn’t an emergency for either the baby or me. so we went ahead with the newborn exam and then got me showered and dressed. i felt great and was riding on quite a high of emotions and hormones so that made things a lot easier! atticus did great during his newborn exam. he had been wide awake and attentive since birth. i loved looking down into his big, dark eyes as he lay there beside me. he came through his exam with flying colors – his apgar scores were 10 and 10, and he weighed 7 pounds + 15 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long.
everything went so smoothly at the hospital and atticus slept right through the entire visit. on the way home, we stopped by chipotle to pick up some lunch. it was so strange to sit there in the car with my baby who was only a few hours old. i couldn’t believe he was here and that i had done it! we couldn’t have been more blessed with a safe and happy delivery at home with the beautiful outcome of a healthy baby boy and a healthy mama. we praise GOD for blessing us so richly and abundantly with a new life and abounding health and safety. now it’s time for the real deal – parenthood!!
we named our son after three men whose best qualities we hope atticus will emulate in some form or fashion. he is named for Solomon, the son of David and king of Israel, found in the Old Testament. we hope he will learn and practice the wisdom handed down from Solomon, and that he too will be known as a man of wisdom. he is named for Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. we hope he will be a man of integrity and conviction who will fight injustice and stand up for what is right despite what culture and society says is acceptable. and he is named for Elihu, a young man found in the book of Job. we hope he will be a man who will be brave with his words and also wise in knowing when to speak. and we hope, like Elihu, he will be a defender of God. i also love the meaning of each of his names:
Solomon = Hebrew, peaceful and wise
Atticus = Latin, a man from Athens, ethical
Elihu = Hebrew, my God is He, true believer
here are a few shots of the happy day. we had planned on having a birth photographer present but that too was lost in the shuffle of a quick labor and delivery. oh well!