Friday, October 2, 2009

BIRTH STORY: Exceptional Emergence

(by Kate Adams, about the 15 minute birth of Luke Irwin, born 10.01.07)

After several weeks of deliberation you finally decided it really was time to be born! I spent the day having contractions, much like those that I had been having for weeks, waiting all day for them to become more intense. Every few minutes they came, but always the same. After a very anxious day we called our midwife, Harmony, to come visit and help us to understand what was happening. We learned I was making progress, but we thought that because it was so manageable that it might be some time, perhaps days, before true active labor would begin. We agreed that if things changed we'd call, and set our plans for the evening as lots of resting and early to bed. The contractions continued to come throughout the night, but I could sleep in between and it seemed that they were losing strength and coming farther apart. Then at 1:4something I jumped up out of bed from being very asleep. It was as though the volume had been turned WAY UP and labor had definitely changed. My water broke, and I woke up Kenny to tell him. I went to the bathroom, relieved that finally we knew our baby would be here soon.

Kenny went to call Harmony (1:47), and while he was on the phone and running around grabbing things another contraction came and my legs began to tremble. I only made it half way back to our bed, and felt pushed to all fours by the next wave. Kenny was changing the sink over so he could fill the pool when I told him that there wasn't going to be time for the tub, and began asking him what was happening to me. He looked at me with worried eyes and told me that I was doing a great job, and then continued to run around the house trying to get things ready. I told him that I needed the ottoman to lean on (while he was rushing about). With the next wave I felt the baby's head pushing against me and told Kenny to come and look, that he was coming! He did, and suddenly realized why I was making such a commotion (truly I am not dramatic without necessity). He called Harmony back, who rushed out her door also now knowing that this was not going to be a typical birthing.

Kelsea woke up and wobbled to our bedroom door clutching her blanket and dolly. Her eyes were so wide; trying to figure out what Mommy was doing making all that noise in the middle of the night. Kenny called her to him and she came and sat on his lap, the two of them behind me when his head started to crown, slowly going in and out and then emerging completely. Kelsea started to shudder, so Kenny explained that it was just the baby coming and that Mommy was okay. Then she reached out to touch his head and said “BABY!” as loud and proud as could be. She then got very excited for the rest of him to arrive. I felt his warm wet head too, and kept asking Kenny if he looked okay, so worried that being born was hurting him. With the next contraction he was fully born into his father’s hands. It was exactly 2 o’clock in the morning.

And it was how the scriptures say, “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. John 16:21”. We laughed and kissed and cried all at once at this little miracle that was now in our arms. We did it together, on our bedroom floor of all places, and it seemed like the most natural and wonderful thing in the whole wide world. I guess we were all in a bit of shock trying to decide what to do next when Kenny’s phone started to ring. Harmony was on the other end and heard Luke’s first noises before Kenny could say what had happened.
Kenny helped me to the bed and laid Kelsea down beside me and hormones fuzz the rest of the story out. I know it wasn’t long before Harmony arrived and instilled a calm where there had been chaos, setting about checking on us all. There was still work to be done, a placenta to deliver, cord to cut, water to boil (really!). Dad and Minna arrived, greeted our new family member, prepared food and did a number of other noisy but beneficial things in the kitchen. There were stitches for me; they hurt, despite best efforts to make that part of the experience pain free. Little man was measured and weighed, found to be not little, and admired from all around. It was decided that he did not look like a Keegan at all, and would be called Luke instead. There was also Jodi, who fairy godmother like made things clean and said nice things about our naughty cat (he climbed in Harmony’s bag!). Before the sun was up a great many things had been accomplished and everyone hugged and said goodbyes and left us to live happily ever after.

Luke Irwin Adams measured 20 ½ inches long, had a head 13 inches around, and weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces.

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