Here It Is

March 26, 2008

The Birth Story.  And let me just say that if reading these things is not really “your thing”, skip it for today, and maybe tomorrow I’ll write a post about 5 or 6 projectile-vomiting-episodes that may suit your fancy.  Weirdo.

I was hoping and praying for a night birth, and even though my parents were here, I really did not want to foist all my 8 kids upon my poor, unsuspecting father who considers his job as a grandpa one in which it is always recess.  Or snacktime.  But that is just the way it happened.

Let me just say here that I will not hold back any of the gory-ish parts of labor and birth.  Those of you who have done it know how icky it can, indeed, be.  That’s part of the charm, right?  Also, it makes good joke-fodder for husbands who entertain themselves in such creepy ways.  Anyway……..

I went potty last Tuesday, the 18th, at 5:45 a.m. and discovered bloody show.  (See?  I told you I wasn’t holding anything back.)  With my last baby, this also marked the beginning of labor, but it commenced immediately with labor contractions, and ended 3 hours later with a humongous baby.

Not so this time.  At least the beginning-of-labor-at-the-same-time-as-the-bloody-show-part.

As soon as I discovered the show, I called my midwife.  She told me to call back in an hour.  I then called my friend and asked her to come, even though nothing was happening.  An hour later, I called the midwife back and told her that nothing was really happening, but she decided to come anyway.  Did I say that nothing was happening?  It wasn’t.  And really didn’t for the next 9 hours.  NINE!  Which meant that my midwife, my friend, the assistant, my mom, and my dad with the 8 kids who had all been banned to the basement and outside, basically sat, blinking at me, awaiting labor.  And labor is not something you can conjure up if you concentrate really hard while being embarrassed and irritated because all these lovely people are sitting around in your living room, waiting for contractions, and they are NOT happening.  Add to that the fact that I could hear my kids outside playing and fighting over who gets the swing next, and downstairs watching Roy Rogers with the volume up really loud in case Mommy started screaming, and crying because Grandpa walked too close to the 1-year-old’s personal space, and exclaiming over the utter grossness of the dirty diaper the 13-year-old just changed, and the frequent inquiries to the status of Mommy and that baby she is SUPPOSED to be birthing up there.  I was a tad apprehensive, to say the least.

Sometime in the early afternoon, we all started talking about whether everyone should just go home already.  My midwife wanted to check my cervix, and proclaimed me to be 8 cm!  Okay.  Here is where I need to interject a little cliche that I’ve been dying to use………”Don’t Hate Me Because I Have Short Labors”.  I had been 6 cm dilated for the last week or so, doing the Walmart and Goodwill trips, shocking people with the advancement of my cervix.  But no labor.  Thankfully, everyone decided to stick around.

At 3:30, it finally kicked in.  I was sitting in the recliner timing the contractions that I could no longer talk through, getting up every few minutes to go potty, and realizing that this was it.  Soon I was leaning over the kitchen counter, breathing through the contractions, and when it started getting really rough, I called in my friend who possesses the knowledge of The Magic Back Trick that cuts contraction pain in half.  I then moved to the birthing ball in the living room that I was determined to try out this time.  I liked it for the time I used it, but, after a few contractions that required me to go potty directly afterwards, I decided to stay on the potty.  I know that this sounds weird to the hospital-birthers out there, but actually, many women say that labor is so much easier on the potty.  I found this to be true.  My Magical Back Trick friend came with me, wedged herself in between the potty and the sink, and did her thing.  Basically?  I wanted to kiss her all over, it felt so good!  She has an amazing servant’s spirit that, if she could bottle it and sell it, she’d be a gazillionaire.  Anyway, transition hit soon thereafter with 3 or 4 REALLY rough contractions.  My yummy husband came and sat on the floor in front of me at this time, basically being my anchor and, as I found out later, bravely enduring my loud moaning in his ear which he only brings up 372 times a day since.  I started pushing after that, was commanded to stand up so the baby wouldn’t go into the potty, and 4 pushes later, our sweet little BOY somersaulted out of me, into the hands of my friend and my midwife.  He was COVERED in vernix so thick, it was like lard!  He was basically a 10 pound wet bar of soap.  He immediately started crying, and was healthy as a horse.  Plus incredibly cute, with more hair than I have possessed my entire life.  Seriously.  My husband called him Juan for the first 4 days of his life.  If I had been in the hospital, I would’ve just known that he was switched in the nursery, and where was our light-skinned, light-haired baby boy? 

We were expecting a girl.  Which is another way of saying that we had no boy names picked out.  None.  And it usually takes my husband MONTHS before I can actually come up with a name that he cannot say sounds like nasal spray or truck parts or some insidious disease with fungus at its root.  Finally, on Easter Sunday, we came up with a name that suits us all………even my husband.  Amazing!

By the way, I am physically unable to have a normal-sized baby.  He weighed 10 lbs., 6 oz., was 23 inches long, and had a 15-inch head.  So those last 2 pushes when I remember myself yelling for SOMEone to just “GET HER OUT OF ME!” weren’t as eye-rolling-ly dramatic as it sounded.

Also?  Did you know that a uterus can hold the equivalent of an olympic-sized pool full of water in it?  Neither did I!  Maybe THAT’S why I looked like I had a small guesthouse on the front of me for the last month!

So there you have it.  Whew!  And thank you to all the congratulations and concern and just plain ‘ole LOVE!  Y’all are an amazing group of friends…….and most of you I’ve never even met!



14 Responses to “Here It Is”

  1. joanna said

    oh yeah! thanks for sharing. i hope i’m as brave as you when i’m having my ninth…or maybe i should say my fifth since that comes before the ninth.

  2. Amy said

    “By the way, I am physically unable to have a normal-sized baby. He weighed 10 lbs., 6 oz., was 23 inches long, and had a 15-inch head.”

    Just hearing that makes me cringe.
    I’m just suffering from menstrual cramps and I need 2 Midol capsules every 4-6 hours.

    You are the Woman!:)
    I think I can hear Helen Reddy singing:

    “I am woman, hear me roar
    In numbers too big to ignore……….
    I am woman,
    I am invincible,
    I am strong,
    I am woman”

    Congratulations on your new baby boy!
    And for agreeing on his name so quickly.:)
    God Bless!

  3. Heather said

    Thank you for being so candid? 😉 I am so happy for you and your family and thrilled that this birth went well for you.

    Ummmm…..what did you name him? I am guessing it’s not ‘Juan’?

    Love and blessings!!!!

  4. Nina said

    Wow – I still can’t imagine completely natural homebirth, let alone birthing a 10-pounder, and here you go and do both at the same time.
    I’m glad you weren’t in agony all day, although I can imagine the feeling of not giving all these people what they came for.
    A boy! Wow again!

  5. Kristen said

    I’m glad to hear the official version!!!!

  6. MamaBugs said

    *bowing* You are the man!…woman! I thought I was amazing having three 9 pounders give or take a couple ounces. Please take this next comment with all the love I intend…you totally suck….1 hour and 48 mins? I’m talking like DAYS for mine. I can still feel it and that was 24 years ago!

    Anyway…go cuddle Juan for us and get some rest!
    Oh! Wanna hear something weird? I met your cousin online at Christian Military Wives boards! She recognized my name from your blog comments! *L*

    PS…anxiously awaiting the projectile vomiting stories! Yup! I am THAT weirdo! *ROFL*

  7. happy geek said

    Oh wow.
    Ten six eh?
    Oh wow.
    Congratulations again.

  8. Tanya said

    I totally understand the not being able to have a small baby. Both my children where above 8 pounds. It sounded like you had a good labor, except for the time. Again Congratulations and I would also be interested to know that the name was not Juan.

  9. mindy said

    Thanks for typing this for us all! I’m so glad that everything went so well! You’re the woman–again! Kiss Juan for me. :o)

  10. Ashley said

    That’s awesome! You sound like my MIL. She had her 11th after I had my first! He was 11 pounds with a 15 in head as well! She delivered at home like you! I’m so glad it was a good birth! You go mom!

  11. Lori said

    Welcome to the world newest little ‘H’. Oh, and congrats to you to Wonder Woman! But I’m sure you are back up already pushing the stroller through the thick gravel, uphill on the road right?!?!? I’m glad to hear that all went well and HE is finally here!

  12. Johanna said

    Thanks for sharing with us! I thought I had big babies. After hearing your story, it turns out they were only 9 pounds each! Sounds like you did great!

  13. M said

    Sounds like a great birth! ‘Juan’ might be a back-flipping swimmer… don’t you think??

  14. Patti said

    Hey There Super Mom,
    I’m a new reader in England! Yeah, I know you already have one in London, but I’m closer to the Sherwood Forest area–way cooler. Anyway, just wanted to congratulate you on the birth of your, what, 12th child, right? I’ve only had 4 and I’m 46 years old, so I’m throwing in the towel, you win.

    But really, I just wanted to tell you how much your blogs help all of us get a glimps of what a real family ought to be like. Thank you for your grace under fire.

    much love from Robin Hood and the gang here.

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