The Birth Story of Elias
The Birth Story of Elias
It was just a regular day in the life of a housewife and stay at home mom. Tend to the toddler, waddle around, deep clean the floor, since it had become my daily ritual since about the 37th week. Waddle around some more. I had settled in for the long haul - our first child came 9 days late at the beginning of a hot, hot September. It was February and I wasn't swollen or terribly uncomfortable. I was ready to house this kid as long as he pleased.
It was around noon when the contractions began. I shrugged them off at first. The last 6 weeks had brought several hours-long bouts with contractions that ended as quickly as they began and without bringing forth the baby. At 1, I put Violet, our 2 1/2 year old, down for a nap and decided to try and nap myself. I had already done all the other things one should do to 'test' the validity of contractions - eat, pee, walk, sit down, stand up, fight, fight, fight! I called my husband, Addison, to let him know I was experiencing contractions but not to get excited since they were probably going to disappear any second.
Two hours later, I am having probably 10 contractions in an hour and am starting to have to focus on them. Violet is up from her nap and I am having trouble focusing on both her and my body. I called Addison home from work and then texted my mother in law, Wanda to let her know I needed help with Violet.
My third call is to Cindi, our midwife. She says what I figured she'd say to me - to hang in there and let her know when things pick up.
Addison comes home right after my in laws arrive. We decide to take a walk. Oh, did I mention I'm having back labor? Not the most fun I've ever had in my life. On a street paralleling ours, I squat through a contraction, leaning on Addison. A sweet old lady comes out of her house and asks me if I need any help. Addison tells her I am just stretching. Funny.
We make our way back to the house and I decide to take a shower. I had back labor with Violet and I remembered how amazing the shower running on my lower back felt. I give it a go and it is not the relief I am looking for. After about a half an hour, I plug the tub and try a soak in the bath. That wasn't working for me either. Addison gives Cindi a call for some other coping suggestions. She listens to me having a contraction. I overhear her telling Addison not to tell me that it is probably going to be a long night.
I am not terribly surprised. Everything about this baby has been a clue that his personality is much more laid back than his sister's. He wasn't in constant motion like his sister was and though they were both breech towards the end, this baby turned over fairly easily with Cindi's gentle encouragement. Violet turned, too, but not until a pretty intense hour-long external cephalic version in the hospital. This baby would be laid-back in labor, too, I was sure.
At this point, it's been about 6 hours and I am still doing the same thing I was doing at the start - focusing through contractions but keeping casual conversation with others in between. A warm rice pack on my back, counter pressure, and the birth ball are helping me keep focused and cope.
Around 8:30, I decide to take Cindi's advice to try and rest up for the long night ahead. I take my position curled up on my side on the bed. Not two contractions into this new position and things have changed dramatically. I cannot sit still and I feel out of control all of a sudden. I immediately tell Addison that I have got to get on the toilet and pee. My contractions are coming on top of each other out of nowhere and I still cannot sit still. I can't put my feet on the floor and can barely stay seated on the toilet. Addison is on the phone with Cindi again and I know she is telling him to get me off of the toilet. He gently encourages me to sit on the ball, to which I refuse (respectfully and in the sweetest manner possible, I'm sure). Wanda, my mother in law, has quietly let herself into our room. She heard the change in my tone and as a mother of 4, knew what was about to happen.
We soon realize that this laid-back baby was coming and he wasn't waiting for the night to pass and he wasn't waiting for Cindi and her team to arrive. He was coming NOW! With Cindi on speaker, Addison and Wanda leap into a flurry of activity. Towels in the dryer, plastic tablecloth and chux pads on the floor. I crawl from the bathroom to the floor in front of our bed. I felt totally out of control, a mess of curse words, grunting, sweat, and animal instinct. I yield to my body and push once. My water breaks, all over my husband's lap. I'm told that Wanda handed him a chux pad to put over his lap at the exact moment before my water broke. Smart lady.
Pushing again and there's his head. One more and this slippery, precious thing slides straight into his daddy's arms (Nana with the assist). HE'S HERE! WE DID IT! Addison passed him to me through my legs and I collapsed onto my bottom clutching the pinkest baby you've ever seen. Everything about him was so perfect - he was tiny, his cry was tiny, his head perfectly round. Ten perfect fingers, ten little toes.
Cindi and her team arrive shortly thereafter and we moved into the bed. Our bed. The birth team did their thing in a perfectly efficient and caring manner. Our baby weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 20 inches in length. Violet, who by the grace of God did not wake up to my howling and his birth, woke up to meet her new baby brother and we had this deliriously beautiful couple of moments as a new family of four.
We decided on a name two days later - Elias, a derivative of Elijah, meaning 'my God is YHWH (LORD).' And just like that, we wondered how we ever did without.