Well I have the finishing touch here to the Woodland Nursery series: baby Asher joined our family on February 4. So far he has been just beautiful and fairly easy/quiet. He is 2.5 weeks old, so some of those days are naturally easier as he sleeps a lot. We don’t sleep so much though!
For those interested in birth stories, read on (for others, skip this paragraph!) This birth was not the easiest of my three, though all were natural/unmedicated, essentially. I think I was expecting this to be less painful; perhaps I forgot how much it hurts or it has just faded over the 5.5 years since I last had a baby. My 2nd was a smaller baby (7 lb 2 oz), so I actually think it was easier. I had about 3 days of early labour, during which I tried to get lots of rest, but timing contractions and expecting labour to happen still tired me out. On February 3rd, I had contractions from about 3 am on. My husband decided he better not go to work. Contractions continued all day but not intense enough to be “the real thing.” At 6 pm the midwives came by to check on me and did a sweep. I had mentally prepared myself to not go into labour that day. But shortly after eating dinner, I had some seriously painful contractions. I tried to read my kids their bedtime story and couldn’t keep going through the pain. By 9 pm I was in labour. By 10:30 or 11, contractions were about 4 minutes apart. We met the midwives at the hospital at 12, and I was 6 cm and in crazy pain. I laboured this way for a couple of hours, not progressing much until my waters were broken. I was rather grumpy and didn’t want to go through labour. I thought later, if I could have only held the baby before going through that, I would have been more motivated! I was trying to avoid finishing the job naturally but did not have anyone giving in and giving me drugs or c-sections.
I had two midwives, a nurse, a nursing student and my husband present. During the transition stage I used the gas, which is the first labour I’ve used anything for the pain. It did help me get through that part. Once my waters were gone, I quickly transitioned to pushing and within about 15 minutes I sent little Asher into the world, weighing in at 39 weeks as my heaviest baby at 9 lb. I liked the end the best – I felt like I could do something about speeding up the birth, and knew I would soon have the baby in my arms and the whole thing would be over with. Every day that has passed has made that pain more worth it, and in perspective it’s only one day of pain really, compared to a lifetime with a precious child.
Our kids love their baby brother, especially my daughter who loves to help, particularly to dress him. I’m finding baby care easier this time around, since both the older kids are in school. It was so much harder last time when I had a 20 month old daughter under foot! We feel very blessed and happy to have such a healthy baby.