The presence of Michael Dean Hobble 🙂 He arrived March 20 (the first day of spring, incidentally) at 3:24 p.m. after an intense, brief and super convenient labor (details to follow, for those interested). At 7 lb. 7 oz, and 20 1/2 inches long he is my biggest baby so far, but he is still so little and cute that he doesn’t seem big at all. He is super sweet-natured, and we are very in love with him (obviously…how do you not love that newborn sweetness??? Especially when you can finally breathe again, thanks to the deflated belly!)!
His birth was really perfect, although not without it’s challenges. We had an appointment that morning at 12:30, 5 days past his due date. I was having contractions exactly like I had been experiencing for weeks – some of them uncomfortable, some not – and we hung out in the midwife’s office joking about how we “hoped” he would come that weekend, but agreed that wasn’t likely because I felt so good. When I left, I said something like, “Hope we can give you a phone call soon!”
On our way home, Jordan and I discussed the possibility of dropping the boys off at their Nana’s house and going on a random “date” to a mattress store. While in the middle of a sentence (and going over an extremely bumpy section of road), I had one of those uncomfortable contractions, and interrupted myself to say, “Oh, hang on a minute, wait till this is over.” “Is it a contraction???” “Yeah,” I said, “It’s not a big deal, tho.” “Have you had more than one?” “Yeah, I’ve had them all morning.” When the contraction was over, we resumed our conversation, only this time Jordan wasn’t listening to me. He was scrolling through the contacts on his phone, and the next thing I knew, he was talking to someone who sounded suspiciously like the midwife, Ms Michaels. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I whisper-yelled, “THIS ISN’T LABOR!!!” He kindly ignored me until he was off the phone, and then said, “Well, it might be. At least she can come and tell us if this the real deal or not.” I’ll be honest. I was a little upset. “I’ve felt this way before,” I argued. “And you are five days late,” he replied, “Odds are, this is it.” “I’m going to be that woman who cries wolf too,” I complained, but decided that I might as well accept it, since he had already made The Phone Call. I sat and stewed over this as he called my mother and his boss and all the necessary people who needed to know that he was going to be busy that afternoon. “Please,” I begged, “Don’t tell your mom that this might be it. I don’t want her to get her hopes up for nothing.” So he agreed that we would stick to our plan of having Nana babysit so that we could “go on a date”.
Since we were both starving, we picked up some Godfather’s Pizza on our way home, then Jordan dropped me off at the house and took the kids. I was still having contractions, but only about every other one was even uncomfortable. The rest were easy-peasy. “Well,” I thought, “If I’m going to have all these people in my house, it will at least be clean.” And so I began cleaning. Sweeping the floor. Putting away dishes. I texted my mom not to get her hopes up since these contractions weren’t really regular at all. “Yours never are,” she texted back. True.
Keely, and assistant, showed up. I was so embarrassed. I stood awkwardly in our living room making small talk through the contractions and feeling like an idiot because she rushed to our house only to find me non-laboring. Ms. Michaels and her other assistant, Tamhra also showed up very quickly, as my previous labors had been fairly quick. I could feel them all watching me, and so I went back to the kitchen to finish putting away dishes. “I want to do something,” I told Jordan, when we were alone for a few minutes, “I feel so silly. I want to bake a cake, just to pass the time.” He thought I was crazy. “You’re going to have a baby in a couple hours!” he argued, but when we consulted the midwife, she agreed that I could bake a cake if I felt up to it. So Jordan and I got out the ingredients and began baking a cake. Somewhere between the beginning of the recipe and the end those contractions picked up to the point that I had to stop and breathe through them, and by the time I put the cake in the oven, I was ready to go upstairs and focus on this “labor”, such as it was.
After a couple of contractions maybe two minutes apart, with me kneeling in front of my bed and having Jordan push on my back, he got nervous and went to get the midwife. Of course, once she got up there I didn’t have another one for almost ten minutes, and then had three back to back. For some reason, my whole labor was like that. She seemed surprised at the progress and she and the assistants disappeared to set things up. Jordan talked me into going downstairs where the tub was, so that when things “got bad” I wouldn’t have far to walk to reach it.
This was a good idea, because things “got bad” fairly quickly. I was told I could get into the tub whenever I wanted, and mentally I thought I would wait for some bloody show or water breaking but suddenly the contractions were so intense (when they came…they were still pretty sporadic) that I decided I might as well try the water. Just as before, it helped, but not really as much as I had wanted. I could feel the baby moving with each contraction, and knew that although he had been posterier just 2 hours before, he was definitely facing the right way now. Although the contractions were demanding all I had, between them I was weirdly aware and perky.
And then, suddenly, they were awful. I clutched Jordan tight and rubbed my head back and forth against him, while moving around in the water, desperate to find the ‘right’ position. I could literally feel the baby moving down. “It’s just so much pressure,” I complained. Jordan said, “Yeah,” and I looked at him like he was crazy. “You say that like you know,” I said. “Well…what else am I supposed to say?” he joked. And suddenly, with the next contraction, my body was pushing so hard I could barely breathe. I yelled and tried to pant/blow like they tell you to in the books, but nothing stopped it. Ms. Michaels tried very hard to help me breathe it out, but I couldn’t get on top of it. “Just breathe,” she said, “Your baby is right there.” A moment’s break. Then another contraction and I knew baby would be born with it. Let me just say that pushing a baby out in only two contractions does NOT feel good. I have had several people ask if it hurt and I don’t really know how to reply to that question without a little bit of sarcasm. Yes. It hurt. I think that’s why 80% of American women get epidurals! It was mind-blowingly painful for a moment, and then his head was out, and I was pushing his body out, and the Midwife was saying, “Wait, there’s a cord”. She stopped him while halfway out, tore his bag – which had not broken on it’s own – and flipped him through the cord. I just looked around and said, “Did I just have a baby? Really???”
It is amazing how quickly the pain fades. When I held little Michael and saw his face for the first time and knew that he was here, it was over, he was mine….none of the pain mattered. He is so worth it all!