Or in other words, Jonah's birth story. This story is for those who, like me, like the nitty gritty details. If you are of the male gender you may prefer the below post, which gives you the baseball card basics :-)
So Friday morning through afternoon my braxton hicks were coming every 5 minutes. I decided to call Jeremiah to let him know, but not to come home as these were definite braxton hicks. The girls were really excited. After their afternoon outside time they needed to get washed up. Well Isabella and Moira were getting all dressed up, asking me to do their hair in braids. I asked them why they were getting all decked up and they said it was because this was going to be the last night of eating dinner together as a family of seven, and they wanted to be all pretty for when Daddy came home for dinner. I explained to them that these contractions may mean nothing, like all the other ones I had been having all week long. None the less they got dressed up. By late afternoon the contractions stopped, much to everyone's dismay. So on we go with our evening. We got started late with our family worship time and so it was late when we were wrapping things up. The last 10 minutes of family worship I had three contractions that were painful and not like the braxton hicks. But I figured it could just be the way I was sitting or some other odd known reason, certainly I was not thinking I would ever go into labor at this point :-) We get kids off to bed and its 10 pm. I have another painful contraction. Hmmmm, maybe I should head off to bed to catch some zzzz's in case this is the real thing. I have a couple more by the time I hit the pillow. They were totally irregular. The funny thing is that was the one clue that this may be it!!! All my braxton hicks were totally regularly spaced out. Not these ones, and by golly they hurt! Trying to sleep didn't work. I got up and decided to make up the birth bed and then clean out the pool. I told Jeremiah that I thought this was it. He got up and cleaned the pool for me as I tried to time some of the contractions. They were still totally irregular. By 1 am I am wondering what to do about calling the midwife....wait, call now to let her know, tell her I'll call her later, not call.....so on and so forth. I decided for my peace of mind to call her. She showed up about 1:45am. By about 2 I asked her to check me as I wanted to know where I was in this labor. If I was in the early stages then I wanted to get in the pool to see if I could slow things down and maybe catch some sleep. I was highly disappointed to find I was only 3-4 cm and 50-75% effaced. That's it!?! After some 4 hours of painful contractions I'm not even fully effaced? I had a bad feeling about that news! So I decided to get in the pool. After all EVERY one of my other labors I found great relief in the tub/pool. NOPE not this one! I got in and the contractions got worse! After 10 minutes or so I got out. No more of that! So on I go laboring. At some point the assistant midwife shows up. I'm feeling all bummed out that this labor is so painful. The only way for me to handle things was to be standing up. Around 3 am or so things were getting harder. Then about 4;30 am I hit transition. Now certainly with this being my 6th child transition should only last at MOST 20 minutes, right? I mean there should be laws about these types of things! No such law yet, as transition was an hour and a half, and it may have been longer except that I had my midwife check me and I was fully dilated, and my body was just waiting for the bag of water to break. I'll tell you what I was not feeling like I could take one more contraction!! I told her to break my water.....NOW! I am very thankful she did. I had been in the living room almost the whole labor propping myself up by the piano. I had tried some contractions hanging on to Jeremiah, but I was most able to tolerate the contractions by leaning on the piano. As soon as I knew she was going to break my water I made it lickety split to the bedroom and the midwife was shocked to see me on the bed so quick! ha, ha! I was serious I was not willing to go through one more contraction. So she broke my water and it had meconium in it. She said it was more than they like to see, BUT that the baby's heart rate the whole time had been great so she wasn't worried. She was taking the baby's heart tones at least every 10-15 minutes those last three hours of labor, when the contractions were harder. So I start pushing, and pushing, and pushing and, well you get the picture. Again there should be another law that says anyone that has more than a certain number of children should only have to push three times before their baby is born. I pushed for almost an hour. I started pushing at 6 am. I had Jeremiah call someone to come and watch the children not knowing how long this was going to be. Jedidiah decided to wake up early ( I am sure it has something to do with him sleeping in the same room I am trying to push a baby out into this world). I had Jeremiah wake up Isabella to watch him until our wonderful helper would get here. All the girls came running into the room to watch. About 10 minutes before the baby is born our helper comes. She watches Jedidiah as all the girls are glued to their spots waiting for the baby to pop out. I was really getting worn out! They don't call this labor for nothing!!!!! Finally, finally I feel the baby start to move past the inner pelvic bone, a sure sign that he/she will pop out in a minute. On the next contraction I had determined that I was DONE with this labor thing and this baby was coming out! Sure enough I push and push and just about after the contraction ended I almost had the head out, so I just pushed even though I didn't have a contraction because I was not waiting for another contraction. Out comes his head. I am of course screaming my head off (I've done so with all my births) Thankfully I had prepared the girls that I would do that, but I think it still freaked out Saoirse. On the next contraction I knew the shoulder would be born and I was certain like all my other births the baby would slide out like jello. Yeah, I am sure you are guessing the trend here....no, it took more than just a push to get his shoulder out. He wasn't stuck, it just didn't come loose in one push like all my others. And then once the shoulder was out I STILL had to push to get the rest of him out! He didn't just slide out! Silly boy, certainly he didn't read the memo about how a birth should go :-) I have him on my tummy and I have just never been so happy to be DONE!!!!!! I was soooo tired and I really wanted a rest. The pushing contractions kept getting closer and closer at the end so I had less rest each time. I held him a minute before I was ready to turn him over to see if he was a boy or girl. I told Jeremiah that I wanted us to all find out at once. But I guess he and Isabella both saw that it was a boy as he came out. I am very thankful that they kept that to themselves. I know it sounds silly, but I think I would have been devastated had they announced it. I really wanted to see for myself. And so I rolled him over to see that he was all boy :-) We covered him with a towel to keep him warm. He was completely covered in vernix and meconium. The odd thing was that it was old meconium. The midwife said it was so old that it had time to actually stain his cord! It was hard to assess his color since he was so yellow from the vernix and meconium. But his apgares were 8 and 10! He didn't want to nurse for quite a while. And this boy has some lungs!! He was crying about everything. He finally stared to root. I latched him on and I was brought to tears, happy tears, that he was a nursing champion!!! I had already went over my feelings of bringing Jedidiah's nursing time to an early end towards the end of this pregnancy. I had really cried about it all over again during that time. Jedidiah never could latch on right, and although he ate because he had to I knew it wasn't something he really wanted to do. It is kind of hard to describe. So here is this new baby, with the new hope that he would be better able to nurse. And I was just crying tears of joy to see how well he did! And he didn't stop there, he stayed latched on for like an hour and a half!!! The midwives were totally shocked. And to round off this birth story we had to wait for the placenta! It decided to make it's arrival an hour after delivery. My midwife gave me some Angelica Root to bring on some contractions to get the placenta out. Right after that is when Jonah decided to latch on so I had some really strong contractions! The placenta was a normal size (praise God) and in one piece. Then it was time for me to take a big deep breath, knowing it was all over. I was done, I had my precious baby, and I made it through the labor. The labor was only 9 hours long. I had 5 hours of early labor, 1 1/2 hours of working labor, 1 1/2 hours of transition and 1 hour of pushing. Really all in all, that is not bad. The bad thing was not knowing how much longer this was all going to take whilw I was in the middle of it! The really weird/odd/ neat thing about this labor was that I knew if the next contraction was going to be a hard one. I am not sure how I knew that, as it was well before the contraction started that I would know to prepare myself for the next one to come. Very odd. We have a new baby to figure out, and thankfully we are figuring him out much sooner than later :-) This baby was born hungry, and thankfully for him, my milk came in this morning, 48 hours after his birth. He is so much more content now. And the other thing is that he sleeps wonderfully if he is touching us. He has to be up against us and he sleeps like a dream child. Hey, I can work with that for now!
The girls are totally loving on him. I really highly recommend all people have a lot of children. It just gets better with each one. Isabella came into the room this morning and had been helping out with getting breakfast, getting Jedidiah started on his feeding, starting laundry, etc and she says to me, "I just LOVE having a new baby!" I have been so very blessed that everyone here is helping out so much! We have also been blessed to have a hot meal every night since the very first day on Saturday! And will continue to have one for two weeks! I am thankful I had frozen all those breakfast meals as it has made things much easier for everyone else to be helpful. After all even Saoirse can get a muffin out and defrost it. Jeremiah has been directing and taking care of the children. He has done an amazing job!! At one point Jeremiah needed to sleep and I came out to sit on the couch for a bit. I saw a few things needed doing and found a wonderful little way to help get them done. The girls are much happier if they know what specifically they need to pick up. So I got out my post-it-notes and wrote each child's name on one. I wrote down what they each needed to do. They stuck the note to their shirts and went off without complaining to do their work! It really has been an amazing time to see everyone working together.
Well I am sure there were lots of little things to add, but this is novel length already! We are all doing well. I hope to get up more pictures soon. Right now I am on a lap top so the pictures will have to wait.