As promised, here is his story. I never wrote one until today, and am going off memory and some notes taken by Chris during the event. Warning, it is very long, and probably boring unless you are a birth junkie.
Rowan was due March 1, 2007, but that day came and went uneventfully. By March 12, I was getting anxious. I remember waking up late that morning, a Monday, and thinking that today had to be the day because all of my friends birthed by 11 days past their due dates. It was a warm morning and Athena realized that all of her summer clothes were too small from last year so we made a plan to go buy her some shorts. We were headed out the door at 10 am when the phone rang. It was the chiropractor's office reminding me that we had missed our 9:30 appt. I told them we could come by later, but not right away because I'd promised Athena our shopping trip and I figured it would be our last before the baby came. We went to Mervyns and Athena picked out 2 outfits. Then we went to her chiro appt. After that appt., we stopped for burritos and were home around 1:30. When we got home, I felt some very very mild contractions, and I thought, this has to be it, it just has to be. My inner urge was to go curl up and rest some more, but my brain was telling me "you have to keep moving and get this baby out today". So I mustered up all the energy I could and brought in the trash cans from the curb, and watered the garden for about 30 minutes. I carried buckets and buckets of water up the hill in our yard, trying to get things going. I was still feeling these tiny contractions, but I didn't want to over do it so Athena and I went in for a nap at 2:30. I couldn't sleep, but I rested with her for a couple hours. My stepmom/dad came by around 5 to pick up Athena and have her play over there and eat dinner. I didn't let on at all that I was feeling anything because I didn't want it to be a false alarm. I was having regular contractions at this point, but could still talk, I knew it was it, but I still didn't want to believe it because he was so late, and I thought what if this isn't it? Chris got home at 5:30 and I mentioned to him that I should probably be walking but that I just felt like resting. Chris made dinner and I went to bed, but I was pretty uncomfortable so I got the yoga ball out and was just resting on it. Chris called me for dinner and I remember eating really fast because I didn't want to get another contraction. I finished my plate of food while sitting on my yoga ball and then went back to resting on the ball. The contractions were coming every 5 or 7 minutes, but weren't too intense. At 7:30 I told Chris I'd need the pool soon. At 7:40, I said, "Go get athena before it is too late!" I wanted her in bed asleep so I could focus on laboring. Chris got home at 8:20 and gave Athena a bath and read her 2 books. She came in to nurse and I was trying hard to keep it together but the contractions were getting more intense. She latched on for a couple of seconds and I got a super strong contraction and was like, "OK, all done!" and gave chris this look like get her out of here! Chris got Athena in bed and started to get the pool ready but he was taking too long. As soon as Athena was in bed, everything started getting crazy in my body, I felt like things were really moving, I finally knew that this was it, no turning back! Chris realized the pool had a hole and was trying to patch it up and I was kinda panicking and I told him just to fill the bathtub and that I NEEDED to get in the water NOW. He drew a bath, but just as I was getting in to the bath he had the pool all patched up. It was 10:30 now. My contractions were still 5-7 minutes apart lasting over a minute now, but it was hard for chris to measure because I'd get a long one, and then right away a short one. We called my mom at 11 to come over and be ready in case Athena woke up. I rested in between contractions, and laid on my back in the pool, squeezing Chris's hands during each contraction. It was the only thing that got me through them.
From 11:30 when my mom arrived, until 12:30, i made frequent trips to the bathroom and just kept laying in the tub. I tried to go on my hands and knees because my back hurt, but the pain was too intense. I really hated going to the bathroom because I'd get these major contractions, like crazy crazy and they wouldn't go away until I was sitting down so it was super hard to stand up and walk.
12:35, Chris called my midwife Vickii and gave her the update.
1:00 I was throwing up, I remember being super happy it was into a bowl this time and not all over the bed like with Athena.
1:30 or 2, Vickii and her assistant arrived. I remember feeling relieved to see them. I also remember wanting Vickii to check me but she said I need to get out of the water in order to do that, and so I said I'd wait until later. I also remember Vickii asking me to try and breathe through a contraction rather than making the moaning sound that I was making. I think they were trying to help me conserve energy. I was all pissy about it but did and it was OK, but I really preferred the moaning. Around 3, I did get out and got checked, I was almost fully dialated 9 and 3/4 or something like that. It was reassuring because I wasn't sure I could continue much longer (like I had a choice!). At some point, I don't remember, Vickii had me laboring in my bed on my side because Rowan was posterior, I remember that it was awful on the bed but I really wanted him to turn so I did labor there for a little while.
I got back in the water but it just didn't feel right. I think I was cold and was needing a new position. At some point I wound up on the toilet and I stayed there for quite awhile. I was trying to push but nothing was really happening. I was pushing just enough to get me through the contractions. They brought me food, but the contractions were coming so fast I could hardly chew, it was the last thing I wanted at that point but I was fading, I'd been laboring all night and had thrown up everything, I needed energy. I managed to eat a few sharkies and bites of raw bar, but I was NOT happy about it. Still I trusted everyone around me and just did it, hoping it would help me because I was starting to feel weak. Around 4:30, Vickii asked me if I needed help with the pushing, since I felt like it wasn't working out for me. I was so happy when she said this because I really felt like I didn't know what to do. Once she guided me through a few pushes, I felt like I was back on track and was getting ready to get this baby out. An hour went by, and I was still on the toilet, squeezing chris's waist during each contraction and pushing down as hard as I could. I can't remember why, but Vickii encouraged me to get into a hands and knees position at this point, oh yeah, it was because I was swelling and they needed to ice my bottom area. I was so out of it, I was like, "where can i go on my hands and knees?" and vickii gave me a few suggestions, on the floor of my room or how about the bed, it would be most comfy. I was scared to move to my bed, but it was time, the bathroom felt crowded with 4 grown adults in it. They helped me to the bed, I thought I was going to lose it but they did. As soon as I got to the bed I got seriously determined to get this BABY OUT. I pushed and pushed and at 5:50 AM, Tuesday March 13, Chris caught our baby. He quickly announced that it was a boy, and they passed him through my legs to me. He was so beautiful and I thought he looked big, but probably about the same size as Athena at 8 lbs 12 oz. I immediately asked for my mom and chris to go get athena who had amazingly slept all night through my labor noises! She came in all rosy cheeked and happy to greet her baby brother. She had said it would be a boy all along but I was not convinced either way. I held Rowan in my arms awhile and then decided I wanted to get the placenta out and to "get it over with". Vickii said the chord had stopped pulsing and gave me the choice of delivering the placenta right where I was still holding the baby, or we could cut it and have me get back up and push it out while Chris held him. I was like, let's cut it, because I knew if I got up I'd be super quick pushing that thing out, and I was. We all snuggled together on the bed after that and my sister came shortly after that.
It was time to weigh and measure Rowan and we were all curious. Vickii kept saying, "Look at those feet!" They were huge. It turned out I had just delivered my 10 lbs 9 oz, 22 1/2 inch boy at home in our bed. I was so elated. It was very hard those last few days before he was born. I was very anxious and uncomfortable, but now I hardly remember it at all as it was definitely worth it. Rowan Elliott has been such a wonderful addition to our family. He makes us all laugh and smile. I am in awe sometimes that Chris and I created these kids, it is just too crazy for me to understand sometimes. So, happy birthday Rowan, you will be 1 in just over 24 hours.
My mom and my sister took Athena out to breakfast while I got cleaned and a couple stitches. And that about sums up our story.
Me in early labor: