Monday, October 26, 2009

born free

"The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create."
L. I. Sweet

Holden Brady Schafer
Born October 26, 2009 at 9:20 AM
9 lbs 2 oz, 21" long
14" head circumference
Apgars 9 and 9
Labor of 2 hours, 35 minutes

A certain little someone at last decided to join in the chaos of our household!

Just when I was starting to feel certain this would be the first and only time I got to experience being "overdue" (which I know is quite silly because medically speaking a woman isn't post-term until she is 42 weeks and 1 day, but still - we do give some sort of magic to that little due date, don't we?), and after several false starts including one that had us almost fill up the birth pool a week ago, this morning I woke up far too early with Emerson at 5:45 AM and promptly lost my mucous plug in a gush. After doing a litmus test to make sure it wasn't my membranes rupturing (it wasn't), I woke Matt up to tell him the gross - but nonetheless exciting - news.

I felt a bit crampy and my lower back was aching and about 6:45 the cramping fell into contractions. They were uncomfortable enough to have me wandering around the house whining to myself while Matt tried to get the birth pool filled as quickly as possible. Whenever he had the audacity to ask, "Are you sure THIS is it?" my uterus responded by turning up the discomfort. About 7:45 the pool was ready and I threw myself in LOL, still sort of expecting the fast hour that greeted that action with Dawson. I ended up with 1 hour and 35 minutes instead and just like the additional 1/2" of Holden's head circumference, the extra did not go unnoticed.

Dawson's birth was not what I would call "painful," though I think the fog of forgetfullness makes it easier to say so now, but his contractions were short and sweet and quite predictable. He was in a rush to get out and it made the whole experience much easier on me. Holden, however, seemed perfectly content to stay put as long as possible and the contractions were random and often very long, sometimes piggy-backing on one another and leaving me in a constant state of suspense. This time they HURT and from about 8:30 onward I was one long string of whines and chants of I-can't-do-this-I-need-an-epidural. I think it must have been around 8:50 when I stood up and shamelessly proclaimed that I was going to the hospital and would get that epidural - only to realize I was incapable of walking at that moment and dropping back into the water with the next contraction. Somehow through all this I did manage to monitor his heartrate twice, noting good variability and no concerning decels.

Pushing with Dawson was a breeze - it was 7 minutes of calm relief. Pushing with Holden was rough - still just 15 minutes, but there was no relief, just awful pressure and at last that mythical Ring of Fire I've always been able to avoid. He was nearly a full pound heavier than Dawson so I'm sure that had something to do with it - he also decided to keep his membranes intact until his head was out and I felt like I had to hook a finger around his shoulder and help him rotate his body. And then it was over and he was in my arms and pink and screaming with the slightly shocked faces of three of his siblings peering down at him from our bed beside the pool. (While I labored most of the time alone, we decided to let Cade, Parker and Macy witness the final few minutes with Matt while we listened to Dawson and Emerson playing happily in the baby room on the monitor. They thought it was the coolest thing in the world for about 2 minutes, until they heard the theme song for Dora the Explorer on the living room TV heh!)

He scored great on his Apgars and this time the placenta came easily 20 minutes later. And despite his bigger size, this time I had not even the slightest skidmark! Pretty quickly afterward we were all cleaned up and resting on the couch while Matt took care of the rest of the little ones. Holden nursed great and then promptly went to sleep LOL.

Overall a great birth, though one that left me extra-positive that IT WAS THE LAST!! ^_^

Tomorrow's agenda includes Holden's first pediatrician visit (which is another story for another day involving our malpractice-paranoid pediatrician), a visit from my parents and sister, labwork for Dawson, a field trip for Parker and back to normal for everyone else! :)

Oh and he looks EXACTLY like Macy did as a newborn!