On with the rest of the story.......
We watched as the sun came up and it was such a beautiful morning! It was so neat to be on the farm in the middle of all the sounds of Creation and know I was having the privilege of bringing one of God's greatest creations into the world soon. I decided to go ahead and ask Linda to check me around 6:20 to see what was going on so we would know if my parents needed to start that way with the kids or if it would be a while longer. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was dialated to about 7.5 and the baby's head was, well, about as low as it can get without actually being born! The contractions were still somewhat irregular and strong but not terribly painful. (don't hate me, I totally make up for it at the end. ha!) She said it would probably happen within the next couple of hours though so I went ahead and called my parents to come and decided to wake up Blake so he would know.
I just kept walking around or sitting depending on how I felt at the moment. It felt so unreal that I would be pushing soon since I wasn't really feeling all that different yet. The rest of the family arrived around 8 I think and the contractions got a little stronger not too long after that although still only about 5 minutes apart. (they didn't stay that regular all morning though and had just gotten that close again) It was so nice to be able to see the other kids for a few minutes. I think it helped them and me both to be reassured that everyone was okay and excited about the new baby!
It was about 8:30 when I felt a little pushy with a couple contractions so I asked Linda to check me again to make sure my body was really ready. She said that it was so close that me just taking my time with some slow pushes would stretch things the rest of the way by the time the baby was actually ready to come out. It was a little strange for me doing it that way but also nice to just kind of ease into the hardest part at the end I think. My water had still not broken at this point so that's what was coming out first with the head right behind. I lost track of how many times I pushed but it seemed like it was taking forever since the contractions were slower at this stage than with my other births. It obviously wasn't, as Andrea laughingly pointed out when I said it, and when I looked at the clock I realized a lot of time really hadn't passed yet since I first started! It also wasn't terribly painful yet and I was able to still carry on a conversation pretty well while resting in between pushes which was so different than the other times as well.
I had chosen to try sitting on the birth stool they had which is sort of a squatting position and it definitely seemed more comfortable than anything else at the moment to me. I finally started feeling a lot more pressure when pushing and Linda told me the baby was getting close to coming out. She reminded me to just relax and also to try and listen to them on pushing slowly so hopefully I wouldn't tear. I was holding on and supporting myself on the sides of the chair and she also had to keep telling me to relax my arms after each push. No wonder I had such sore muscles afterwards! The bag of waters came out and burst on the push right after that at 8:57. All those painless contractions didn't mean a thing at this point cause I started thinking I was going. to. die. if I couldn't finish pushing him out. Now! I know everyone has either heard about or maybe even felt the "ring of fire" but I am pretty sure I had a whole furnace going on in there for a couple minutes. Seriously.
I'm not sure what you would call the sounds coming out of me either but I did try to work on making sure it was the low, (albeit very loud) moaning sounds that actually accomplish something rather than just screaming my head off and not really pushing. Pretty sure I almost have it perfected by this 4th time around, although after watching the video I did realize I let a couple screams slip out after all. But, hey, I figured it was perfectly understandable after finding out how much he weighed, right?? Ha! Enough of this though. Back to having that baby!
I waited (very impatiently) for the next contraction to hit and immediately started to push. I really tried to listen as Linda encouraged me to go slowly while she and Andrea helped stretch things but it was so hard to do. After what felt like forever (but in reality was probably less than a minute) I was just like, I have to push and get him out! To which she replied okay and after one more push there he was!! (the official time of birth was 8:59) So relieved to not feel all that burning pain and pressure any more. His cord was wrinkled up and seemed short at first so we could only put him on top of my legs. I can't even begin to describe the feelings that I had at that moment. I remember looking up at Blake and saying, I did it! It was just so amazing to finally be holding him after all that hard work of him getting here. I was totally exhausted but thrilled at the same time!
We moved onto the bed and his cord relaxed enough so that I could put him on my stomach. I was able to cover up while waiting for the cord to stop pulsing and the placenta to deliver so that everyone else could come in and look at him for the first time. I loved that all the other kids could be there so close by to experience it with us! (although they did go outside for the last couple minutes of pushing so they didn't have to hear momma holler! lol) Linda and Andrea were fabulous caregivers and stayed so calm during the entire process which was such a help to me. The whole experience was truly wonderful from start to finish and I am beyond thankful to have been blessed with such a great birth.
God answered so many prayers in that it was a much better time than some of my other births. Also, I had very little tearing and not too much bleeding so that was a blessing as well. We enjoyed just taking it easy for awhile and letting things just take their own time. He was able to nurse right away before getting weighed and measured. (there on the bed beside me!) After us all spending some time together my parents headed home with the kids while Blake and I got some lunch and rested a little more there. I took a shower after that and then we ended up coming home around 5 that evening. It was so nice to be at our own house in our own bed that same night!
I am so grateful not only for a safe, healthy labor and delivery for us both, but also that the experience was even better than I could have hoped for! And of course the best blessing of all is just the privilege of having another baby added to our family. We are so happy to have our little Daxton here at last and are already totally in love with our precious boy! Can't wait to enjoy watching him grow, but for now for some pictures of that day......
(sitting in the rocking chair since I couldn't sleep)
(walking around after finding out I was 7.5 cm)
(love at first sight. best feeling ever.)
(first snuggles with grandma)
(Linda is such an amazing midwife! We just love her.)
(ready to go home)
(so glad to be here!)
*just as an interesting little tidbit, he was born on the 26th which was actually my own original guess date figured by date of conception before seeing the doctor. kinda neat, huh?*