The Birth of Luca Andrew

Monday, April 16th

Nothing really happened that day besides the feeling that I’d be giving birth soon - no contractions, water breaking, bloody show or anything, just a feeling.  Ava was sick that day, she had been complaining about her ear so I set up an appointment to take her to the doctor.  On our way there we called my mom to see if she wanted to hang out after her appointment.  Of course she said yes, so we told her we would call her when we left so she could start getting ready.  I wanted Ava’s time to be special and spend it with her two favorite people in the world since I felt like this would be one of the last days that she would spend with just one little "sibling."  After her doctor appointment we dropped off her prescription, picked up my mom and headed to Joy Cafe, Ava’s favorite!  We ate, played with LOL dolls and just hung out.  I got up to go to the bathroom and felt a gush down my leg and immediately knew it would be soon.  I called Galyn and Kenzie answered.  She asked a few questions, but I think we determined it wasn't my water breaking but I would keep an eye on it as the day progressed.  I initially thought it could be a slow leak, I peed myself or lots of discharge - who knows.  We went about our day and stopped at Go Baby Go where I had very light contractions and my mom was freaking out because she though labor would be happening ASAP.  It didn’t.  We walked around target after that because I wanted labor to happen and walking would help bring baby down.  When we left target, we picked up Ava's prescription, dropped my mom back off at home and headed home ourselves.  When we got home, we just relaxed and hung out with Matty and Ezra.  I remember off and on texting with Galyn, waiting for my contractions to pick up and her asking if there were any more gushes but that was a big fat NOPE.  

Tuesday, April 17th

Tuesday morning around 7:30am I woke up, went to the bathroom and noticed my bloody show.  Thinking back and comparing this to Ezra’s labor, I told myself I’d have my baby in roughly 12 hours...yeah right. (Ezra was born about 12 hours after my bloody show). I texted my midwife that I had my bloody show and was having contractions with slight intensity but they weren’t impacting me and had no pattern.  I laid down in hopes that I would get some sleep, but that didn’t happen, I was too anxious and excited thinking that the baby would be here in a matter of time.  I continued to text my midwife that I felt unaware of how to labor and how to be patient, but she told me to just distract myself.  Knowing I’d have a baby soon she told me to meet her at the birth center around 11 to pick up the birth tub and have some lunch.  I agreed and woke up Matty.  I told him things would be happening and the baby would be here probably that day (again, comparing Ezra’s labor/birth). He moved his appointments for the day and we laid down with the kids (Ava stayed home) for the last time as a family of four.  We got up around 10/1015 to get ready to go to the birth center and get some brunch before the party started.  We left to the birth center around 10:45 and I texted our families that the baby would be coming soon, so to be on high alert.  Matty's mom wanted to leave work because she didn't want to miss this last birth but I told her to hold off for now and she did.  We got to the birth center, Matty loaded the car with the tub and I talked to Galyn through some contractions.  We decided to head to buttermilk cafe in New Braunfels and my contractions stopped while we were there - or I didn't feel them or notice them, but we had a great brunch.  A waitress kept telling me the next time she saw me I better not be pregnant, but little did she know I was in early labor, haha!

After we left Buttermilk Cafe my contractions started up again, slowly, so we went home to rest and relax.  Matty wanted to go to the gym, Matty's mom checked in to let us know she would be leaving work soon, but I told her things still havent gotten closer or more intense, so she decided to stay at work.  We laid down but I was restless.  I knew the baby would be coming soon and I was counting down to the 12-hour mark, but things were so up in the air and I was getting impatient.  Matty inflated the pool and I decided I needed to look fierce, so i straightened my hair after watching The Greatest Showman. Around 3pm Matty's mom texted that she would be on her way soon.  When she got home (4pm-ish?) she inspired/urged me to walk so we took the kids to the park while Matty went to the gym.  I continued to time the contractions and they began to space apart to about 10-15 minutes between each of them, but they were 90 seconds long and increasing in intensity.  I would have to stop during some of them, but the others were a breeze.  Colin and Erika showed up to the park and played with the kids while Liz (Matty's mom) and I talked, laughed and enjoyed the breeze.  We left the park and decided to head home.  I was hoping the walk would speed thing sup, but by this time we were getting close to that 12 hour mark I was waiting for and nothing was really happening (besides more bloody show of course).  I don't really remember much from the time we got home until Ezra and I woke up from a nap.  I know that we went upstairs to lay down and Ezra came in with his iPad to cuddle with me around 6:30pm.  I was frustrated and tired with my body, I wanted things to move along so i could finally hold my baby and I really wanted the babies birthday to be on the 17th for some weird reason!  I was so mad that my body wasn't doing the same thing it did with Ezra's labor and birth and I was getting overwhelmed with emotion.  Ezra fell asleep around 7pm and I texted a picture of him and I to Matty and drifted off for a nap. 

About 2-3 hours later I woke up and asked Matty to bring me some water.  At this point my contractions has returned to being 10 minutes apart, 90 seconds long and they were increasing in intensity.  I texted Galyn to keep her updated, letting her know that things were getting more intense but they weren't getting closer together.  She asked if the baby was moving and I told her "I quit" and "it's moving" frustrated again with what was happening.  I asked her when I should call her to come and she said whenever I felt like I wanted her.  Ezra woke up shortly after that and him and I went downstairs.  Ezra fell back asleep in my arms, but I was getting much more restless at this point, unable to be in one position for too long because of the contractions.  I laid a blanket down on the ground so i could labor on my hands and knees like I did with Ezra and Matty and I agreed to watch a movie.  We eventually decided on renting "The Shape of Water" and my contractions continued to get slightly more intense.  I was texting Krista by this time, letting her know that I was tired and over it, but she continued to encourage me.  I was squatting and swaying, squatting and swaying, trying to move the baby down, but my knees began to hurt and all I wanted to do was be able to relax.  I couldn't even enjoy the movie, so I got about halfway through it when I decided to go ahead and take a shower so I could get some hot water on my back.  I really wanted to take a bath but I didn't want to mess up my hair and I didn't want it to relax me enough to where things would slow or stop.  (last picture pregnant, besides birth photos)

I hopped in the shower and leaned my head on the back wall of the shower while the hot water hit my lower back and I felt some sleep relief.  After about 30 minutes I began to get anxious and realized I should probably get out because I would use up all of the hot water and I might need it soon.  I got out of the shower, sulked a bit, brushed my hair, lotioned my body, put on my bra, underwear and my robe.  I lit my labor candle, took it all in and laid down to labor with the heating pad on my back.  I texted Krista and update and she was sure it would be soon. 

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Wednesday, April 18th

I texted Matty at 12:12 (since the house was sleeping of course) and asked him to bring me some water and blue gatorade.  I knew hydration was important and the blue gatorade would give me electrolytes since I hardly got any sleep and I was pretty tired at this point.  I told him he could bring it when he came up after the movie and I continued to labor with the heating pad on my back.  At this point, the damn contractions were STILL 10 minutes apart, 90 seconds long, but the intensity was continuing to increase.  I checked back in with Krista and told her she should get some sleep, I would call her when I called Brittany (videographer) to come over.  Matty came upstairs with my water (I totally forgot about the gatorade and so did he) and he laid down next to me.  (I don't quite know when Ezra woke up, if he stayed down stairs, or if Matty brought him up).  He propped the heating pad on my back and I told him to get some rest if he could.  I don't think he was able to get much rest because I pretty much immediately asked him to apply counter pressure to my lower back, which he lovingly did without complaint.  

I got up a few times to try to use the bathroom, I wanted to make sure I was "cleaned out" but nothing.  I was scared of pooping in the water and not wanting to give birth in it.  Around 2 I just couldn't be laying down anymore, so I got up.  I paced around, labored on my hands and knees and thats when things got serious.  I began not being able to walk, talk or move during contractions.  I remember trying to go to the bathroom one more time and noticing Colin's door was open, and I knew I was getting loud through each contraction and felt bad for waking him up.  Matty got up and knew it would be soon, so he began on attaching the hose to the shower so we could fill the tub up.  He wanted to get the tub filled then, but I told him not until Galyn was there and checked me, because if I got in too soon it could stop things.  Here I was thinking I was like 4cm dilated and not progressed for some reason.  I went to the room to try and hold the hose but I couldn't, so Ezra did, sweetly.  (I am not going to talk about how frustrated Matty was getting that the connector didn't fit even when he said he checked it, bahahah!  He rigged it up pretty well)

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I was frozen.  I was frozen at the end of my bed, timing the contractions as they went from 10 minutes apart to 2-4 minutes apart, still 90 seconds long, with intensity.  I was shivering through them, I was sulking that it was taking so long, but my strength rigged up the water hose and came back to help me.  Matty applied counter pressure when and where I needed it, and he didn't leave my side unless he had to.  

At 3am I sat on my bed, looked at Matty and told him I needed to call Galyn.  I let a few more contraction happen to really be sure because I didn't want to waste her time.  She picked up almost immediately and I somehow muttered, "Galyn."  She said she would be on her way and we hung up.  I began crying.  I was crying in Matty's arms because it was so hard and I was so discouraged, but he kept me strong.  I composed myself and called my birth photographer, Kayla, knowing it could potentially take her 2 hours to get to me since she is in Austin.  We decided we would call my family, Brittany and Krista after Galyn checked me because I didn't want to be wasting anyones time.  I am not sure what time Galyn arrived, I think around 3:30 ish.  She brought her stuff upstairs, began setting up and told Matty to fill up the tub.  I moved to the other side of the bed and labored leaning over the bed on my knees so I wasn't bothered by the hose.  Galyn told Matty to come to me and he continued to apply counter pressure as she filled up the tub.  

Matty asked Galyn when I could get in, and she said I could go ahead and get in the water.  At 4:01am I got into the tub.  I remember my thoughts so clearly, but I couldn't speak to anyone.  I remember thinking that Galyn hadn't checked me yet, I didn't know what was happening with my body and I was surely 4 cm progressed and nowhere near having this baby (discouragement talking,) As I got in the tub there was no huge sigh of relief like there was with Ezra,  I didn't feel amazing, I didn't feel the urge to push yet.  Instead, I felt like those booies (sp?) - those red balls that bounce in the lake to mark boundaries.  I mean the tub was deeper than I thought it would be, so I laughed at myself in my head and took each contraction.  I tried to labor with my back towards Matty so he could apply counter pressure.  I know I was moving all over the place and remember glancing up and seeing Matty's mom.  I was relieved she was awake and able to watch.  I somehow was able to mutter the words "call my mom" and Matty grabbed his phone and gave her a call.  I heard her ask, "how long do I have?" and he told her he had no idea but she should hurry.  I laughed (in my head) at her silly question, especially after the experience we had with Ezra and the unpredictability of birth.  After Matty hung up he continued to apply counter pressure and I continued to move all over the place, not really getting comfortable in one position (DUH!).  I I labored on my knees facing him, away from him, squatting, in his arms, whatever I could do to feel better and more comfortable.  I touched the water coming from the hose and exclaimed it was cold and they shut the water off, but I was so hot.  I would take out my arm and put in in front of the fan for sweet relief, but I was sweating.  Galyn asked if she could listen to the heart beat and I told her yes, but then exclaimed "contraction" and moved away from her.  I would splash my face, knowing damn well my beautiful hair was a hot mess and put my face in front of the fan.  She asked if I wanted a cold rag but I think I ignored the question because I couldn't talk.  The time passed quickly and my family began pouring in.  First my mom, who wanted to hug and kiss me but I told her no, then my sister and then my dad (he was still on his way as my mom and sister got there),  I remember Rizz talking to Dad on the phone and I was annoyed she was in the room trying to give him directions but then I drowned her out.  (I am not sure what time they got there)  I know Kayla arrived around 4:40, not sure if she was there before or after my family but time sped up and things got intense.  Galyn asked me once if I wanted her to wake Ava up, still thinking I was nowhere near close I told her no.  

Transition began shortly after that.

I couldn't do it.  I needed an epidural.  Take me to the hospital.  Make it stop.  

I was already doing it, Matty told me.  Galyn told me I was so close (a phrased I often heard her telling moms to give them confidence.)  I rolled my eyes in my head.  She asked again if I wanted Ava and I don't know if I answered before she got her and Ezra anyways. She knew how important it was to me to have the kids involved, Ava wanted to be in the tub and catch the baby but I know she was groggy and she didn't get in immediately after that (which was fine).  

I began pushing.  I don't know if I was pushing to speed things up, or pushing because I needed to, or pushing because it felt better.  I reached down, but didn't feel anything and Galyn asked if I felt the head - I didn't.  I thought to myself this was useless and I was never going to have this baby.  Ava and Ezra inched closer and seeing their faces full of wonder and their intense focus on me gave me strength.  Especially seeing Ava there - hoping one day when she was about to become a mom, she would remember my strength and channel that to bring her baby Earth Side.  My breathing and sounds changed.  I saw Ezra inch closer to Kayla and heard him ask her if she knew where the baby was coming from?  He whispered to her, "out of the pajama" and in my head I was cracking up.  I heard chuckles around the room, and glanced around quickly to see my mom, my sister, my dad, my mother in law, my father in law, my brother in law and my little family and I felt loved.  I couldn't help but push, it was my body, not my mind at this point.  I felt a small pop, (Matty said he was looking for the vernix in the water) and exclaimed that my water broke, but it turns out it was my forewater.  I knew it would be soon, but I didn't know 14 seconds later I would be holding my baby.  I reached down and felt his head right there and looked at Galyn shocked and exclaimed again, "his head is right there!!"  She nodded, Matty was smiling and Ava and Ezra inched closer.  I said, "I cant do this" as he crowned and I screamed twice.  

I guided the baby out into Matty's hands and felt sweet relief.  At 5:24 AM Luca Andrew was born (at the time with the name Enso Maverick).  As Matty grabbed him and turned him around, I saw his little baby balls and I knew it was a boy.  I immediately held him so nobody could see and him and I cuddled as I kept the secret to myself and the room was rejoicing. Everyone began to ask what it was and I did another check just to be sure and I exclaimed it was a BOY!  It was so exciting and fun to not know the gender and to be able to reveal it with your whole family by your side. 

As Matty placed the baby into my arms he gave me a kiss and Ava and Ezra came to meet Luca. I told both kids to go get their swimsuits so they could come in the water and they ran off.  I think everyone glanced at the baby and slowly came in to meet him, but I am not sure.  The kids got in and loved it.  Ezra thought he was in to actually swim, so he only lasted a few minutes before he was taken out of the water, but Ava stayed in.  Then a separation gush happened and she kind of freaked out, but continued to stay in the water.  This was something her and I discussed in detail.  The separation and birth of the placenta.  She felt the cord pulsing and I reminded her that the birth of placenta was like peeling off a scab and thats why there was blood, but it was a good thing, nothing bad.  She loved on the baby and I and eventually got out so the placenta could be born.  It did not feel good, but it happened as I coughed and pushed the placenta out. 

The family came in and began to meet Luca.  The tears and love in my moms eyes as she came to hug and kiss me meant the world to me and she stayed by my side.  My thoughts immediately shifted to Brittany and Krista.  I asked for my phone and I called Krista, knowing it was too late for Brittany and didn't want to wake her for no reason.  Krista was excited and said she would just come over after Otis woke up, which was fine with us.  My mom stayed by my side while I called Krista as her gaze was focused on Luca.  My placenta was placed into a bowl and I touched it, inspected it and looked at it.  The kids got gloves on and touched it too, loving their involvement in the whole process.  

I was brought apples and gently exited the tub, changed and laid in bed.  Luca nursed, then he had his exam as the family gathered around and Ava cut his cord.  Ava left to school and the chaos died down.  Luca and I began nursing and Kayla paused to nurse Foxe with us.  Matty made his delicious eggs for all of us and we ate and hung out.  The rest is history <3 

(More images to come!)