Our Newest Arrival: Baby Boy!

C'est un garçon! It's a boy--and he arrived this last Sunday! He was four days past his due date, so we were all feeling ready. Here's his birth story:

At 3:30am, I woke and felt a familiar tightness in my low back. I knew something was starting! I fell back asleep and woke at 4:25am with the first contraction, which lasted about a minute. The next contractions were about ten minutes apart, so I lay in bed until 5:30am, knowing this labor was not nearly as intense as my previous one (That one was a precipitous labor--under three hours!). I got up about 5:30am, let my husband know I was having contractions, took a shower, and repacked some items to take to the hospital.

  Embroidered heart by  Jane

Embroidered heart by Jane

My husband woke our two children about 6:30am. They were so excited to hear the baby was coming! They sat in the car with huge grins, waiting patiently as my husband tied my shoes. We dropped them off at their aunt's home and drove twenty minutes to the hospital through light fog (just as we did when I was in labor with my son three years ago). My husband and I both agreed that we thought this baby would be a girl!

When we arrived, the 7am nurses were just arriving for their shift. When the front desk nurse saw me on hands and knees for a contraction, she said we could skip the exam room. I smiled. Once in the delivery room, they asked us a round of routine questions while I draped my upper body over a balance ball on the bed during contractions. At my request, they filled a labor tub. I appreciated the warm water as I weathered the contractions. They were about three minutes apart, lasting a minute or two. They seemed long and slow and moderately painful, and I found myself wondering how to speed the labor up, wanting to push my baby out as soon as possible! But these same "slow" contractions started ending with a need to push.

When the nurse saw and heard me beginning to push, she paged a midwife. The fourth one she paged was available. I guess they weren't expecting me to need a midwife so soon! Pushing in the tub allowed me to squat, feel a pop as my water broke, and touch the bulge of my baby's head as I pushed. But the midwife arrived and ordered me out of the tub and onto the bed, and I complied. (Birthing in the tub is not this hospital's policy, but nurses occasionally allow it.) On my hands and knees on the bed now, I gave one long push and baby's head was out. With the next push, baby slid through me, and as they handed him to me my husband said, "It's a boy!" I was full of wonder and amazement, laughter and delight. A boy!

  Our  petit garçon  at birth

Our petit garçon at birth

  With his proud papa

With his proud papa

  With his big sister two days after birth

With his big sister two days after birth

Merci for reading his birth story!

You can also find my daughter's birth story here and my firstborn son's birth story here. I've also written about my friend Julie's experience as a midwife in Zambia.