I am only a little behind on posting Annie's birth story. To say that I have had more important things than blogging to do is quite the understatement. We are getting into a pretty good groove, though I doubt I'll be blogging that often still. ;)
I promised a birth story, so I figured I should honor that promise by actually posting it. I can hardly believe that it has been almost three months since our sweet baby was born.
Since all of my other children have been born after their "due date", I was well prepared for that to happen again with my fourth pregnancy. So, it was no surprise that my due date of May 30th came and went with no fanfare or labor.
Thursday, June 9th started out like any other day - disappointed that labor hadn't started during the night, and hopeful it would be the day to welcome Annie into the world. For weeks I had been having lots of contractions and pressure from the baby. I had been warned by more than one person that it would likely go fast since so much was going on ahead of time, but I had it stuck in my mind that it would be similar to the other three - between 7 and 8 hours from start to finish.
I am not much of a nap person, but this particular day I was very tired and actually took the time to lay down and nap while all the kids were down. Providential, for sure! I woke up from my nap at 3:30 that afternoon with decent contractions about every 5 to 8 minutes apart.
After getting up from my nap I decided to change over laundry...just in case. I got on the computer to check to see if my friend Annie happened to be on to chat. Thankfully, she was! We spent a good 30 minutes on Skype chatting, IM style. It was such a blessing to get to "talk" with her before the birth of of the baby named after her.
While I was still chatting with Annie I realized this was actually labor, and that I should give Nathan a call. He was working on a project in Denton, and would hit rush hour traffic on I-35 Southbound if I didn't hurry. I tried his cell a few times, but it wasn't working in the building. Thankfully, he had given me some other numbers on the job site to call. I was able to have one of the contractors get him off the site to call me. He left almost immediately after talking to me. I think that was somewhere around 4pm.
At this point I called my midwife to give her the heads up that I was in labor, and I would call her when things got a bit more serious. Nathan called his mom while driving home since she was planning on coming to help with Lucy, who was going to stay at the house for the birth.
When Nathan and I got off the phone I continued to work on the laundry and work through early labor contractions. The contractions seemed very manageable, and nothing too exciting, though I knew I was definitely in labor.
Once Nathan got home, about an hour after I woke up from my nap, Lucy was already finished with her quiet time and hanging out in our room. The contractions were a bit closer together by now, and a bit stronger. I am always very unsure of when to tell my midwife to come. You'd think that with this being our third home birth I'd have a clue, but I tend to really doubt how far into labor I am. Since that is the case, Nathan urged me to go ahead and ask Christy to make her way to our house. I called her, and said she should go ahead and start making her way to our house (she was coming to Fort Worth from Bedford), but no rush. I also called my friend Keri, who was going to come and pick the boys up once they were up from their naps and things really got going, and our birth photographer, Rebecca.
At this point I did my norm for labor. Take a shower. I always, always, always take a shower once I know that it is the real deal. Let's face it...it is going to be a few days before this happens again. Such is life with a newborn. ;) At this point, it is approaching 6:00pm (I had only been up for two and a half hours at this point).
While in the shower things began to progress quickly. It wasn't long before I realized I was already feeling a ton of pressure from Annie on my cervix. My first thought was, "oh no!" I had just told my midwife to take her time getting here...and now I was in transition. At this point I earnestly began to pray that the Lord would allow her to get there in time for the birth.
After getting out of the shower I spent what felt like quit a bit of time working through contractions while sitting on the toilet. I tried to get up many times to let Nathan know what was going on, and to get to the phone, but the contractions were coming on pretty fast and strong at this point. During this time I could hear Nathan getting things ready for the boys, and rushing around to finish up a few last minute things around the house.
I finally managed to get back to where Nathan was and told him I thought I was already in transition. I am not sure what he was thinking, but the look on his face sure said a lot. I immediately called Christy to tell her I was feeling a lot of pressure and thought I was in transition. I believe my first words were (in a very concerned voice), "are you on your way?" She was in fact on her way, but stuck in rush hour traffic (not shocking since it was around 6:30pm). Christy thought that her assistant, Kelli, would be there first. She then went on to tell me that if we thought the baby was coming before she got there, she'd walk Nathan through what to do. Ack! This is not what we were planning, or wanting. At the same time, Nathan called him mom to see if she was on her way since we needed her to take care of the boys (things were progressing so fast we knew it was pointless to try to have Keri come and get them). Thankfully, she was on her way already, but stuck in traffic as well. We also called Rebecca to let her know she should head on over (she lived down the street from us when both Samuel and Annie were born...thankfully!).
I relayed this to Nathan in between contractions. I made it back to our room where Nathan had gotten down the birth kit, put the birth sheets and liner on the bed and started putting down the bed pads "just in case". All three kids were quietly (and happily) watching The Backyardigans on our computer via Netflix while all this was going on. It was a bit surreal that things were happening so quickly, and that the Lord was so gracious to give the kids such sweet dispositions during this time. What to do with the kids during birth is always my biggest stresser before labor.
I was in quite a bit of pain by this point, and really had to focus on relaxing through the contractions. I was leaning up against the bed while Nathan was still working hard to get things put away, or ready for kids. I was continually praying that the Lord would just let Christy get here in time. I was not interested in delivering without her, and neither was Nathan.
About ten minutes after getting off the phone with Christy, Kelli got there. She immediately checked the baby's heart rate, and started getting stuff ready for the birth. She assured me that Christy was going to be there any minute. Thankfully, any minute was about five minutes after this. During this time Nathan took all the kids to Lucy's room to wait for Nana. A few minutes after this both Nana and Rebecca walked in the door. I am thinking it was round 6:45 at this point.
Rebecca came straight back to our room to start taking photos. I was ready to push at this point. Really. Looking back, I know I felt the urge to push earlier, but fought it out of fear of doing it without the birth team there. I already got on the bed to start pushing and Nathan was still in Lucy's room. He realized he needed to come back to check on me, and Lucy asked to come with him. From the beginning we had told Lucy she could stay to see Annie born if she wanted. She had said no up until this moment. They both came in to me pushing, and were able to see our sweet Annie born about three minutes later at 6:50pm.
I immediately held Annie up to my chest, and then was able to lean back on the bed and nurse her while we waited for the cord to quit pulsing. Eventually, Annie's cord was cut (how awful is this, I can't remember who cut her cord!), and we made our way to the herbal bath.
After the bath, our birth team had changed out the sheet on the bed, and got things ready for the infant exam. Nana had taken the kids to Chick-fil-A for dinner, and Target for gifts, while we were doing this. They had a blast, and came back super excited to check out their new, baby sister again (at least Lucy was). We are were and are so grateful for everyone that was there for Annie's birth. We rejoice that He heard the cry of my heart to have Christy there, and made that happen. We rejoice that Nana was there just in time to watch the boys, and ministered to our family in many different ways that day and the days, weeks and months since Annie's birth. I rejoice that Nathan worked so hard to get things in order before the birth, and spent two whole weeks taking care of everything around the house while I took time to rest and enjoy our newborn daughter. God's gracious gifts to me our family. :)
Annie weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz, and was 20 inches long. She was just between Lucy and Ben in size, and has stayed there for the last 7 month. She is a big girl, but that is normal for my babies. ;) She has been the most laid back baby we've had yet, which is such a blessing since she is on the tail end of lots of little ones.
We are so grateful for this sweet girl. When we found out we were pregnant with Annie, it was such a shock. And like any other parent, I wouldn't change the timing at all. The Lord's plans are always better than ours, and His plan to bring this sweet child into our family was much better than what we thought the plan would be. Hopefully I can post some updates soon (no promises!!), but here's a link to the birth photos. They are sweet reminders of blessings to our family. Enjoy!
By the way, if any of you are thinking of birth outside of the hospital setting, and live in the Metroplex, I would really encourage you to contact Christy Martin, our midwife. I can't say enough good things about her. Both she and Kelli were such huge blessings throughout my pregnancy with Annie, and I truly miss seeing them on a regular basis. Love you two Ladies!
I'll end this post with a current picture of our little munchkin. Man, we love that girl!