2 weeks ago this past Tuesday...(imagine a dream-like fade as we reminisce). July 31st--a day overdue. I was prepared this time to be in that spot and was feeling as good as one can feel 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant. My day started very normal...kids up and eating breakfast at the table and I was taking my morning stroll through Facebook posts and pictures and I posted about being a day overdue and that the little womb-hogger had limited time to make himself a July baby. There was a flurry of replies and remedies to rush a pregnancy along, but it was the glorious midwife, Deidre, with the best suggestion of getting in for an appointment to offer the little man "some encouragement". I called her late morning and we discussed and agreed that we were both comfortable with checking to see where I was at and hopefully moving things along. I scheduled an appointment with her at 3 pm to see if we could get things going and went about my day, notifying the troops (my mom, aunt and sister) that they needed to be "on-call" and ready for action.
I arrived for my appointment on time and was checked to find that I was already 3-4 cm, which was great to hear. After nearly a week of contractions that got me no closer to the end (seemingly), it was nice to find that they had indeed been doing something, even if it wasn't to push a baby out. Deidre roughed things up a bit, found that his little noggin was turned kinda funny, which was probably the reason he hadn't arrived yet, was able to adjust his little noggin some to make things more favorable for exit and by the time all was said and done, I was then dilated to 5 cm. Halfway there and not even in labor yet...I like it! :) She lectured me about not waiting too terribly long once labor ensued (as she was very confident would happen...much like the scenario a mere year prior at the end of my pregnancy with Jilly-bean) as most likely things would happen fast given my history.
I headed to my mom's to pick up the kiddos, experienced a few contractions with a little more oomph than I had felt to that point and headed back across town to nestle in at home and wait. Initially contractions were averaging about 8 minutes apart, though some would be as close as 3 minutes and then the next would be 10 mins...not consistent. J got home, we threw together a quick, easy meal and I decided to take Stella-dog for a (very hot) quick walk. As soon as I started down the road (phone in hand, as ordered by my worried husband), my contractions squeezed together coming less than 2 minutes apart. They were still very tolerable, but having them that close together so quickly made me nervous. I cut my walk short, put a call in to Deidre and jumped in the shower while awaiting her reply. Upon climbing out of the shower, contractions were averaging about 3 1/2 minutes apart, but I was still walking and talking through them, so upon conversing with Deidre, we decided that I would notify her when I noticed the tell tale change in intensity. J began to worry that he would be delivering a baby on the kitchen floor, so he called my mom (Gigi) who would notify my Aunt Nancy (Nana) and sister (Aunt Adie) to come over and wrangle kids in case that scenario came to fruition. We were able to get the kids to bed fairly uneventfully and a short time later, Gigi and Nana arrived. I rocked comfortably on my exercise ball in the living room, chatting with them while feeling contractions build. It was now about 8 p.m. and I knew I was inevitably going to be holding a baby at the end of this bout of contractions. They were growing in intensity and still averaging about 3 1/2 minutes apart. J and I decided to take an evening walk just down to the end of the block to see what happened. They quickly closed the gap, coming about every 2 mins again, but more importantly, they became much more serious...I found myself stopping mid-stride to lean into J breathing through and willing the pain away as he reminded me to continue breathing. We decided not to push our luck and headed back to the house to once again call Deidre.
Deidre arrived about 30 mins after calling her. I am guessing it was around 9:30 when she arrived and her assistants, Sam and Cynthia arrived shortly thereafter. I continued to labor, pacing through the living room, using J to lean on during every stifling contraction while they began setting up everything needed for the birth in our bedroom. After they were done, they moved out to the living room and mingled with Gigi, Nana and Adie while J and I continued to work through the pain in our bedroom. I was no longer timing contractions, but they continued in relentless waves and I did my best to hold it together. I think it was my moaning that drew Deidre back into the room and she suggested I sit down in the birth chair they had set up so she could check and see what kind of progress had been made. In the midst of my misery, I just knew I was still in for the long haul and had hours to go. Turned out I was 7-8 cm, but dilating to nearly complete with contractions. I remember saying the only thing I had been able to squeeze out for the last hour or so being something along the lines of, "I JUST WANT HIM OUT OF ME!" After a couple more contractions and Deidre assisting my cervix a bit, she told me to go ahead and gently bear down a bit if I felt like it...and I did. I pushed a little during that contraction and then Cynthia suggested that J push the back of the chair forward during my next contraction to help me sit upright more. As I whimpered with the start of the next contraction, J pushed me forward, his other arm across my chest...I pushed...and then heard Deidre and Cynthia pleading for me to, "slow down, gentle, gentle," as I was vaguely aware of Adie, Nana and Gigi gasping and cheering me on. J reminded me to breathe, instead I couldn't help but hold my breath and push...I REALLY tried to make it gentle, but despite the orders, his head was out almost immediately and with the next push the rest of him slid out into Deidre's hands and he was immediately placed on my chest.
Declan Lennox slipped into this bright world at 11:22 p.m. on July 31st...7 lbs 9 oz making him my smallest by 2 ounces and 20 1/4 inches making him my longest by 1/4 inch. And every bit of him perfect! He immediately started rooting, wanting to nurse and he cried...and CRIED! The kid screamed for the better part of an hour following his birth. He finally calmed down at my 2nd attempt to nurse where he finally decided that's what he needed. After that, he had his first bath, which he loved and then settled in with his new family. Deidre and crew flew the coop a couple of hours later, my sister followed and Gigi and Nana settled in on a couch and guest bed to field any middle of the night wake-ups by the older siblings. Of course, all 3 of them began battling a cold in the day or two leading up to the big event, so sleep was unsettled to say the least. Gokey made it into bed with Gigi very early on and X-man came hacking and coughing up the stairs in the wee hours of the morning during one of my very first nursing sessions with his new little brother. He sidled up next to the chair I was nursing in, peering through the dark at the bundle in my arms. I introduced the brothers but X-man didn't seem to be affected by the gravity of the new little being and Nana and Daddy swooped in to offer the poor kid some water and a spoonful of honey to quell the cough. I overheard him ask J, "is Mom gonna push Declan out now?" He responded, "she already did...she's holding him right there!" X-man responded with a disappointed, "I missed it???" Nevertheless, the following morning, Declan and I emerged from our familiar nest to a very exuberant welcome! :) Even Jilly Bean seemed to be thrilled at the miniature little person we had dropped into her life. Among the three of them, though, Gokey has been the most enamored with the little guy and it is far from uncommon to hear his pleas to snuggle him numerous times a day.