She was definitely worth waiting for, our little Rose that is! After going fifteen days past our due date, Rose was born January 19.
Tommy and I went in to see Hannah, our sweet midwife on friday, the 18th for a check-up, and knowing that we were pushing the limits of waiting patiently on my body to start labor. We had been in much prayer that whole week for things to happen naturally. That morning I had noticed more contracting that I had only felt in the evenings over the past couple of weeks. I didn't take it too seriously because they weren't consistent at all and there was a part of me that just wondered if labor would ever start! The check-up went well, my blood pressure was good and the baby sounded good. I left knowing I was 4-5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. Hannah also gave me a bottle of castor oil to use over the weekend to kick start labor. I was very against that idea, but knew it may come to that very soon if nothing happened. I continued to pray that God would start things. I so wanted this to happen naturally.
Tommy and I went to have a nice, quiet lunch and made a quick stop in the vitamin store and the library. I was having a hard time being on my feet and was feeling a lot of pressure. I was thankful for the changes I felt my body making and was excited that I may soon meet our baby. We did not know if we were having a boy or girl. We brought home pizza for the kids since we had a late lunch.
Through the evening I continued to have contractions. They weren't very regular in timing, but I did try to track them by writing them down. They also were not uncomfortable, they were easy to ignore. I chatted on the phone with several people and spent time on the computer, I did not tell anyone that I suspected labor, knowing that we all needed sleep and that it could easily stop. I went to bed around midnight. I slept pretty well until around 2:30am, I woke quite suddenly having a contraction that frightened me. Knowing that I was already about 5 cm and that my contractions are not usually "painful" until closer to the end, I decided I needed to pay attention to my body and decide whether to wake Tommy and call Hannah.
I came downstairs to the couch and timed the contractions for about thirty minutes and sure enough they were 3-5 minutes apart, again not very regular and still quite tolerable, I again prayed that this was real and it would continue so I could meet my baby. I called Hannah and explained to her that I thought things were changing and I was feeling a little anxious and we decided that she should come on over. I waited another thirty minutes or so and woke Tommy about 4 am. He cleared the fuzzies from his eyes and jumped right into action making the bed and straightening our room. I tried to relax and waited and watched for Hannah, it was a cold night and knew she would need Tommy's help getting her things carried in. When she arrived, she checked me and I was seven centimeters and starting to feel a little more uncomfortable. Hannah and Tommy worked quickly an quietly to set up the room. Tommy brought up my favorite chair and some water for me to sip on. Hannah also called for Hope, her assistant nurse, to come on over. Hope came and I decided to shower thinking the warm water would be soothing on my back, because the contractions were radiating strongly now from my back around both sides of my stomach. Hope was very kind and soft spoken. She encouraged me to relax my shoulders and allow my body to do the work. The warm water of the shower felt great, but it was too hard to stand, my legs were just too shaky during the contractions. Hannah encouraged me when I came out that this part of labor was the hardest, but also the shortest. Tommy and Hope had set up our crock pot with hot water and towels to use as warm compresses on my back. Hannah said that I should try some different positions to bring the baby down and into a good position.
Contractions were very intense now and I got a lot of support physically from Tommy, he was right beside me and I held on to him tightly. Hope worked tirelessly wringing out scalding hot towels to put on my back and stomach and the relief this brought me was amazing. Tommy applied gentle pressure to my lower back. Again, Tommy was amazing, he had slipped out sometime before 8 and had Abby wake up the little ones to get them dressed and feed them. From 8 am until 8:17 am was the most incredibly difficult time and I could not have gotten through without the support of everyone there. I listened closely to Hope and Hannah. I knew at this point that my baby was big and I needed to be patient and controlled. I held on tight to Tommy and he spoke softly to me. Hope said, "Monica, you can do all things through Christ...". I listened closely to Hannah's instructions. I remember wondering if I would indeed be able to deliver this baby. I knew she was a big one! With much relief and rejoicing she was born at 8:17. I just kept thanking God and telling her how beautiful she was. I always cry when I first meet my babies. The joy is indescribable! The four of us talked about how beautiful and big she was and how she did not look like a newborn babe. Tommy cut the cord, Hope snapped a few pictures.
As soon as we were able, about fifteen minutes later, the children came in to meet their sister. I was so thankful to be at home surrounded by my family. The kids took pictures and watched Hannah give Rose her first bath, because she passed her first maconium shortly after she was born. I nursed Rose for the first time. I prayed quietly that she would be a good nurser. We all watched Hannah measure the baby and do her first check-up. It was wonderful to have the children present for all these special moments. We were all so happy that she was finally here. God blessed us with a wonderfully peaceful home birth. Praise God for another safe delivery and sweet baby!
weight 9 pounds 14 ounces
length 21 3/4 inches
head 14 3/4 inches
chest 14 1/4 inches