Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This Time Last Year

One year ago today, Pumpkin was born. What a blessing he is!
I had decided pretty quickly during the year I was teaching Kindergarten that I no longer wanted to be a full-time classroom teacher. It was my eighth year in education and I was tired. I worked day and night and every weekend, break, and summer vacation. If I was grading, I was planning, if I wasn't planning I was crying, trying to figure out how to get it all done and get it done well. That was the tough part. It would have been a lot easier if I hadn't cared so much. I had taught in China, at a private Christian elementary school and in public school. I knew I needed to be done, but didn't know what I'd do!
I have often wanted to be a Mommy. We talked about it and decided we should see what would happen. I became pregnant the second month. Wow. After hearing about how so many are not as blessed, I was surprised when it happened so quickly!
As I visited the nearby hospitals and read more and more about pregnancy and birth my decisions changed quickly. I had figured that I would just go to the hospital when the time came, get an epidural, and have a baby. Within a month, I had a midwife instead, and was planning a homebirth. Who knew? I figured you pretty much only gave birth at home if you didn't leave in time for the hospital! I had a lot to learn.
I read everything I could find, probably too much! If knowledge would make me a Mommy, I should get an award for Mommy of the Year! I am an information junkie I have discovered. I was blessed with an uneventful pregnancy with the only surprise being an inability to think and an odd craving for Mexican food~I hate Mexican food.
The time passed quickly, until the eighth month or so, when time seemed to slow down, way down. I grew quite large. It always amazed (and annoyed) me that on the same day one person would comment on how small I looked, and another would comment that I looked ready to burst!
Pumpkin was due the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Thinking for some reason that he might be early, I tried to do everything I could to prepare everything. Of course, Tuesday came and went, as did Wednesday through Saturday.
On Saturday Sweetheart and I went to see "Pride & Prejudice". It was the only movie we went to that year. I had been looking forward to it from the day I found out it was being made! We went to the movie and enjoyed it immensely. Really. I love Jane Austen, and I loved this movie. Yes, it had it's flaws, but I liked it.
After the movie I asked if we could go get a Christmas tree. We hunted around and found a lovely tree. We took it home and invited family to help decorate. Whilst decorating I noticed a feeling that was different from the Braxton-Hicks contractions I'd had since the seventh month. I didn't say anything to anyone, but casually watched the clock. After a few hours with no noticeable pattern I quietly mentioned to my husband that I was having contractions. We continued on decorating.
That night I laid down to sleep, but couldn't. I ended up getting up and cleaning up all the stuff from decorating. I knew I wouldn't want to clean after the baby was born! I was up most of the night, finally falling asleep quite late.
On Sunday, the contractions continued. We then told my Mom and my sister in law who was living with us. We made plans for her to go to my Mom's as we wanted to just have us and the midwives here during the birth. We called the midwife to give her a heads up. She gave us some ideas for when to call again.
We decided to go to the mall to walk as it was much too cold to walk outside. Normally, we avoid the mall like the plague, especially the weekend after Thanksgiving, but because of the weather we decided it would be the best place to go. I do not recall looking at much of anything and stopping quite a lot for contractions. I slept well that night. Good thing.
Along came Monday. I mostly sat in the recliner by the fireplace. Not much energy, but lots of contractions. That evening we went out for Chinese as it sounded good and I had no desire to cook. We went to the grocery store after that to pick up a few things. I was in line trying to not have anyone notice my contractions when a gal from Bible study ended up in the line with us. I remember her talking to me, but I couldn't really recall what either of us said. I figured she'd think I was crazy being at the store in labor, but we were out of milk.
We finally went to bed about midnight. Almost the instant I lain down, the contractions changed. I got back up. Sweetheart slept. Lucky guy. I tried to track the contractions for awhile, but found it hard to focus and just labored for a few hours alone. The Chinese food was suddenly a bad idea about three in the morning. At four I woke Sweetheart up to time contractions. At six we called the midwife.
Just as I heard her drive up, my water broke. Good timing. She checked stuff out and decided that she'd call the other midwife and the doula (labor coach) so they could head our way. At noon she really checked things out (!) and said I was dilated to 5. Still a ways to go. The midwife and doula arrived early afternoon. Meanwhile, I continued to labor upstairs in our bedroom and bathroom. My Sweetheart was right beside me every step of the way.
They got all their stuff set up and the midwife told me to tell her when I felt like I should push. I told her I had been feeling like that, but I thought it was too soon so I hadn't said anything.
Well, I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. Three and a half hours later, Pumpkin arrived.
He was perfect! He was so beautiful. He had actually lain on my tummy for a few minutes when I had to ask if anyone had noticed if we had a boy or a girl! Boy oh boy!
Yes, he was born with the red hair. They did all their checks on him and on me. Everything was pretty great. We called family even before his cord was cut to tell everyone the good news. We then got in the tub for a while to clean us both up while they heated up the casserole for dinner.
We ate, they cleaned everything up. My Mom and sister-in-law came over to see him.
The midwife had said he would probably sleep for several hours, but no luck there. He stayed awake talking. I finally had to sleep so Sweetheart held him. A few hours later I awoke to find my husband asleep, but Pumpkin still awake and still talking, lying between us. It was the funniest sight. He's still talking almost all the time.
We are so glad you are here. We love you little boy!


Kelli said...

Oh Kimberly, I think we are long lost sisters! I also had 3 wonderful homebirths with a midwife! Your birth story is precious, it brought tears to my eyes!

Happy Birthday to your sweet little pumpkin!!!!


Anonymous said...

What a lovely birth story. Happy (belated) Birthday to your precious son!
I have 5 children but only 4 homebirths. My first baby would not come out. We tried everything our midwife had us do but to no avail. After 3 days of labor (and 4 sleepless nights!) we reluctantly went to the hospital ER. The doctor on duty was great-it was a fine experience.
Still prefer homebirths though. :)
Joanna in Ca.

Mrs. Bonnie said...

Hee hee! We had Chinese the night before our daughter was born- I didn't think it was a great idea around midnight!

Davene said...

I love reading birth stories, and it was really special to read this one. Although, wow, sounds like quite a long labor!

I've had two hospital births--one in California, one in Israel--and when I got pregnant last November, we planned a homebirth here in Virginia where we now live. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Now I'm pregnant again and, for a variety of reasons, am seeing a group of wonderful midwives who unfortunately don't do homebirths so I'll deliver in our hospital's birthing rooms. But next time--if there is a next time--I'd really like to plan a homebirth. :)

Thanks for sharing your story!


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