Baby Sol has now been a part of our little family for ten whole days and we are settling in to our new normal and enjoying lots of baby snuggles. Ben and I both feel like we’ve known him forever. In the short periods when he is awake, he seems so content and really makes you feel the same. As if he’s saying, it’s all going to be ok, guys. We will see how long that lasts!
Despite his demeanor now, Sol came into this world in rather dramatic fashion. Here are the exciting details :)
On Friday, 12/29, in the evening, Ben and I were excitedly thinking about the toddler-free weekend that was ahead of us, as his parents were heading up that next day to bring Abel to their house to spend the weekend with them. We stayed up uncharacteristically late, watching a few shows and were really just laying down to go to sleep for the night when I felt a pop and my water broke at 1:30am (two weeks and a day before our due date). I immediately started having contractions and started timing them because they felt pretty frequent. They were five minutes apart, lasting a minute long right from the start. I got in touch with our midwife, Hillary, and we agreed that things sounded like they were progressing nicely and we would touch base again at 6:00. I sent Ben into the spare bedroom so he could try to get some sleep while I worked through contractions in our room. I remember being so annoyed with the fact that my water had broken. They broke my water for me during Abel’s birth, so this wasn’t something I had had to deal with before. I just felt like I was going to get whatever I sat on wet, so I was constrained to sitting on an exercise ball.
We called Ben’s parents around 2:00 to see if they could come right away so we could make sure Abel had a place to be during all of the chaos. We thought we had a lot of time still, but weren’t wanting to stress about him not having anywhere to go.
Around 4:00, Ben’s parents arrived and he sent them to the spare room to sleep. I asked Ben to start helping me work through contractions because things were getting more intense and I wasn’t able to time them on my own anymore. I got in the shower, remembering how much better that made things feel the last time, and hoping for the same with this labor. Ben came into the bathroom and started timing. First contraction: 90 seconds long, second contraction: started two minutes after the first, lasted 2 ½ minutes. I hear a slight panic in Ben’s voice as he says, “We need to go. Now.” I agree, maybe they were a little closer together than I was realizing. I get out of the shower and get dressed while Ben grabs our bags and fills some water bottles. We load into the car and tell Ben’s parents we’re leaving at about 4:20 (they had only been there for about 15 minutes). I am super uncomfortable in the car but also remember this being the case last time so I was unsure whether the intensity of the contractions was because of the limitations of the front seat of our car, or just labor progressing. I thought that things were probably moving pretty quickly, but ultimately thought we had some time since labor had only started three hours ago. We called Hillary on the way and told her we would meet her at the birth center. We live about 30 minutes away.
Ben was quite stressed the whole drive in and he was just trying to do everything he could to get us there as fast as possible. Not driving at unsafe speeds, but definitely faster than normal. I was having to work very hard to get through contractions and they were coming right on top of each other. I knew from my birth classes that this was likely transition, but I figured that it would last a while, like it did with Abel’s birth. As we were passing the Delta Highway exit off of Beltline, I started feeling a lot of pressure and the urge to push. There was apparently a shift in the sounds I was making because I felt the both the car and Ben’s breathing speed up. Ben describes this as the “last sounds you want to hear your wife making while still in the car”. When the speed limit drops to 45 mph as you come through Gateway, he put on the car’s flashers and sped up to about 85 mph. He asked in a very urgent way, “Are you having it??” (we didn’t know the gender ahead of time).
I was no longer in control of the urge to push. The baby was going to come out whether I pushed or not. Ben ran the last light, making the left hand turn off of Beltline, and was pulling into the parking lot of the birth center as I exclaimed “the head is out!” I didn’t have to push very hard, it just kind of made its way down. Maybe this was because I sitting mostly upright so gravity took over. Ben repeatedly honked the horn to alert the midwife that we were there. He haphazardly parked and ran in to get her. After I had shimmied my pants down (I wasn’t planning to wear pants for the delivery, but it was a funny logistical feature of the story), I could see his head and thought to myself that I should probably get this baby out, because I didn’t know what kind of condition he was in. So I gave one more, honestly pretty light, push and the rest of him was born and I pulled him up to my chest. When Ben and Hillary came running to the passenger door, I was holding our baby! He wasn’t crying, but when Hillary put warm blankets on us and started rubbing him all over, he let out a healthy, beautiful cry.
Ben and Hillary helped me into a wheelchair and then into one of the beds in the birth center so I could get cleaned up. Ben got to announce the gender again and we are so thrilled to have had another boy. (yes, the whole pregnancy, I was really wanting a girl, but it immediately felt like it is exactly how it’s supposed to be). We named him Solomon, but plan to call him Sol (pronounced like Saul), unless he’s in trouble and full names are warranted :)
Since everything happened in the middle of the night, we got to spend a few hours recovering just the three of us. It was so quiet and peaceful. At around 7:30, Ben’s parents brought Abel with them to the birth center to meet the newest member of our little family. Initial interactions have been pretty good and Abel seems to have a genuine interest in his little brother. Time will tell how long that lasts!
Throughout the whole pregnancy, and really since Abel’s birth, I asked God for a more hands-on experience with the next birth, because I felt like something was still missing, even though I had a natural birth. I felt like I was just along for the ride and then end result was a baby. I think God showed his sense of humor with this answered prayer, as it really could not have been more hands on. Even Ben jokes that all he had to do was drive. Although I know this is far from a normal birth experience, it really feels like it wasn’t that big of a deal. My body knew what to do, all I had to do was get out of its way. I know that no one wants to have a baby in the car, but in this case, it made for a great story!
To answer a few of the commonly asked questions we’ve had so far when recounting last Saturday’s events: