My mother’s day started out well. I woke up with my sweet girl curled between Pete and I and thoughts of my 9am race floated through my mind. I must admit I didn’t give D’s pending labour much thought. Who really has a baby on Mother’s Day??
I returned home from my race at 10am and after filling in Pete with the details, he casually mentioned that D had left a message saying she had some light contractions but not to worry. I decided to hop in the shower so that I would be ready to go. About 5 minutes later I heard my cell phone ring and Pete talked to Kregg. It seems that the contractions were more intense and I should get a move on it. I packed my bag and kissed Kaiva goodbye. I did feel guilty leaving Pete with Kaiva on Mother’s Day, especially with my parents due to arrive any minute, but there was no way I was going to miss this birth experience.
I arrived at 11:15am and was very surprised to see D swaying about, chatting to Stephanie as if it was a normal day. Actually, most of the afternoon seemed to go this way, D seemed to make labour so easy. Roen was hanging out watching TV and snacking on strawberries and blueberries. He seemed to not realize that his world was about to change. We watched Scooby Doo and basically hung out for a couple hours.
It wasn’t until the midwife arrived that there seemed to be any change in D. She became a bit weepy and said that it started to feel more “real”. A quick check by the midwife and she was already at 6cm. I was shocked. D had been wandering around the loft swaying back and forth, not talking during contractions but still not looking all that uncomfortable and here she was already at 6cm!
She got into the pool and Roen decided he needed to swim as well. It was a great sight, D labouring over the side of the pool and Roen playing with a space ship. It was even funnier when Roen asked for his life jacket so he could float around. Again, D surprised me with her patience as she managed to go through many contractions with Roen pleading “Mama watch this”. Infact, the only time she seemed to be uncomfortable was when she had to get out of the water. Linda hung out on the couch reading LouLou and meeting Treefrog.
I believe it was around 2:30 when things definitely became more intense. Linda suggested Roen get out of the pool and this was the only time he seemed to become a bit withdrawn. Ro went upstairs to get changed but he wanted to stay up there and look down. He said “Mama is loud” but he didn’t want to leave. A few slices of watermelon (with seeds removed) seemed to relax him a bit. D was having some intense contractions at this point and seemed to start to internalize and focus. Kregg was behind her- supporting her both physically and emotionally. Stephanie was keeping her face and head cool with some clothes. Linda kept D focused on staying open and relaxed.
Janice and Steve arrived soon after. Roen was extremely pleased to see Steve and tried to engage him in a game of catch, asked him to go see his new helmet, and basically tried anything to get his attention.
It was getting difficult to see my friend in such pain. Even harder when she said that she was afraid. I was trying to video – I was so afraid of missing the birth. Every time she started a new contraction, I turned the camera back on, hoping the baby would come with the next push. My camera duty was halted many times as Roen needed a bagel with cream cheese and I kept starting to get it ready but would go back to the camera when I heard the cries getting louder.
It was really amazing watching how a woman goes through the many stages of labour. Amazing to think that her body was going to go through this process regardless of what D did. The last 10 minutes were incredible. D would cry out and push through the contraction and then would moan quietly, almost looking peaceful. I tried to keep Roen on the chair by the pool so he wouldn’t miss the moment that the baby came. It was incredible when the head came out. Roen actually jumped off his chair to get a better look. Within seconds the body came out and was swooped onto D’s chest. He looked so tiny and was covered in vernix. I am not sure of my exact feelings- a combination of happiness, pride, relief….
D snuggled for a bit and then took a peek and exclaimed it was a boy. Roen was doing a bit of a dance- I am sure he didn’t quite know how to react. The mood of the room was instantly joyous. Steve was still snapping pictures- he must have had hundreds at this point. Roen went to touch his new brother and said he felt a bit squishy after feeling his shoulder. I felt like I was intruding on this special moment as the new family was being greeted.
Kregg helped Roen cut the cord and Dee was helped out of the tub. As Dee birthed the placenta and got settled on the bed I got the opportunity to hold the little guy. He was so warm and was squirming about. He even sneezed once- so sweet. Once Dee was settled, he snuggled in and went straight for her breast. He is obviously smart as he knew what he was doing. D said Roen was exactly the same way. Roen exclaimed “Papa, the baby is drinking Mama’s milk!”
Janice and Steve left and Stephanie and I prepared to go. I took one more glimpse of the boy and saw him try to open his eyes. As Stephanie and I left the loft, Kregg called to us. Roen wanted us to go see his new helmet before we left. It seemed so funny to me that after all that had just happened, Roen was still focused on showing off his helmet!
I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting Mother’s Day.