This little love of ours is just passed seven months old, and time is flying by. Sometimes it seems like yesterday that he was born, and his sweet birth has been on my mind lately. For my first two births, I spent a lot of time reading peaceful, natural birth stories and watching families welcome little ones in videos - you never know how you'll handle birth, but taking in the experiences of others was so comforting and empowering for me. For that reason, and in thanksgiving for this little man, I want to share his birth story!
With baby number three, Violet, I was in prodromal labor for ten days. It was physically and emotionally exhausting on both me and my husband, and it influenced how I dealt with the end of my pregnancy with Pax. When I started to have significant pre-labor contractions right at 39 weeks that reminded me of prodromal labor, I used every gentle preparation method I could - if he was ready to come, I was not going to be in pre-labor for ten days! I had three days of prodromal labor contractions - usually from midnight to four or five in the morning, making it impossible to sleep and discouraged by the morning when the contractions subsided. On Pax's birthday, I had mild contractions from midnight on, and I was pretty sure that I was in prodromal, non-labor till about 6:00am. As everyone in the house woke up, I told my husband that this was it; contractions less than ten minutes apart, increasing in intensity (when I have prodromal labor, the mind game of contractions is so hard - they are intense and "productive", but they don't increase in intensity or frequency). By 8:00am, it seemed like they were lessening in intensity and decreasing in frequency, and I started to get discouraged, thinking I had been wrong about labor beginning. Daniel insisted that even if we ended up not in labor, we should go ahead and send the kids with our friends - the girls went off with one and Charlie went off with another - by the end of Pax's birthday four precious mamas shared in the care of our three big kids!
Around 10:00am we were alone without children, and my contractions began to pick up rapidly and ready to start calling in our birth team. Our amazing doula, our wonderful birth photographer, and our rockstar nurse midwife all arrived soon after. My water broke as the midwife was parking in front of our house. I was shocked, because my contractions were strong but manageable, and I was energetic and alert between them. I've also never had my water break before transition or pushing stages. I rocked on the ball, I got in and out of the shower, and our birth team set up the birth pool. Daniel has been truly phenomenal with each of our first three births, and this one was no exception - lots of counter pressure and gentle strength. I got in the tub as soon as I could and worked to relax through contractions. They were coming fast and furious, and I remember telling Dana, our doula, that I couldn't seem to get on top of them. I pray that I don't have labors without her - with Vi and with Pax, she has brought such strength and peace to the very hardest parts of transition and pushing!
Soon after 12:00pm, Pax was ready to come, and as a birth team we were aiming for me to be in a better position for birthing, as my pushing stages are so short that I usually have repairs needed. As I began pushing, Daniel and our midwife applied counter pressure. Daniel caught him and he and the midwife handed him to me! He was the tiniest of all four of my babies and came so quickly and easily; I was both overwhelmed with joy and surprise! The photos show my shock - at 10:00am, even at 11:45am, my contractions were so manageable that I thought I'd be having a baby at 4:00pm - I had no clue we were so close!
Daniel, of course, got to give Pax his first adjustment, and our birth team set up an herbal bath for Pax's first bath! He loved it on his birthday and has loved baths with mama as he gets bigger (the first of our children to not hate baths as infants!).
It was truly a peaceful, gentle birth - I was so supported by my husband and our amazing providers! We got to enjoy a few hours together before the big three came home, and by dinnertime, we were reunited as a family of six!
I've intentionally only included a few photos; birth photographs may not be your thing, and for modesty purposes you might want to avoid more "birthy" photos. If you do want to see a few more images, you can click through the gallery below!