Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Birth of the Sixth Baby, Part Two

{Part One is here}

So around 9:30 on the morning of April 2nd, Phil and I set out for our walk.  As soon as we left my parent's driveway and headed towards the beach, my contractions started picking up.  It was a chilly morning, and the contractions were coming every 4 to 5 minutes but were not strong or painful enough to make me stop walking.  


By the time we had reached the water, I started getting a little nervous that we still had a 25 minute walk back home.  But we eventually made it back, and I hopped in the shower while Phil called the midwife to let her know we were going to head to the hospital.  She said she would meet us there in half an hour.  While in the shower, I realized I wasn't having contractions nearly as often, but decided to go to the hospital anyway because if I was due to be induced in two more days, maybe she would just do it today instead.

We got to the hospital and checked in while shocking everyone along the way with our response to "Is this your first baby?"  My midwife showed us to the room, and helped change me into the gorgeous hospital attire while asking me how labor was going.  I sheepishly told her that the contractions weren't regular anymore and I wasn't sure if this was the real deal or not.  She said she would check and see if I had made any progress since the last time she had checked me, the week prior, when I was merely one centimeter.  So she did, and I was a pathetic 2 cm. with a "thick cervix" whatever that means.  She told me that if it was my first baby, she would send me home, but because I had been down this road a time or two, I got to stay.  Phil snapped this picture of me at 11:40 am and as you can see, I was way too happy to be in real labor (I had told Phil in the car that I needed to act a little more serious so she would keep me):


The nurse monitored me for 20 minutes and I watched as my contractions were barely visible on the screen.  There were two sweet nursing students doing their internship who had never seen a real birth, and were so excited that I had come in on their last day.  They were only going to be there until 1:00 and I informed them that today was not going to be the day for them to see a baby born, since I was sure I wouldn't give birth until that night.  I had actually started thinking that they were going to send me home, and as soon as I could get up from the bed, I began pacing all around the room to pick up the contractions again.  It worked, and as long as I was walking around, I was getting them stronger and more regularly.   The cafeteria called up to the room asking what I wanted for lunch, and I told Phil to order what he would eat since food was not a high priority for me at the moment.  Then the sweet nurse suggested a bagel and cream cheese, and that suddenly sounded delicious!  She went and toasted it for me and I ate it in disbelief that I was eating during labor, something I had never done before.

After I had stuffed my face, the contractions started to slow me down where I had to lean over on the bed and sway to get through them.  My midwife came in as I was having a hard one, and suggested I get in the jacuzzi.  I love the jacuzzi in labor, but had wanted to wait until things were really bad to go in.  However, when she suggested it, it sounded like a better plan than this swaying and leaning over dance I had been doing.  I got in the tub and it was sooooooooo nice.  Oh my goodness, I love that thing.  Phil put some lavender oil on some gauze and had it beside my head.  It was so relaxing that I was practically sleeping in there.  

And then I realized that my contractions had stopped altogether.  I teared up while telling the midwife that I wasn't having contractions anymore, and she said "that's ok, honey, it's nice for you to have a little break!"  As soon as she said that, I felt a contraction.  Ahhh, I was in good hands.  I was in labor!  Things were going great!  I was relaxed and peaceful!  And then she asked if she could check me.  Sure!  So she did, and said "You are nice and thinned out, labor has really started now." I asked her how dilated I was, and she replied "Three".  THREE!?!?!?!?!  What the what?  She could see I was depressed at the news, and assured me that there was a chance I could be having the baby in an hour, things move fast once I get to three centimeters and active labor.  It was 1:00 pm.

I did not believe her at all.  I was convinced I would be meeting this baby at night, and thought I had a long way to go.  With each passing (and painful) contraction I began saying that I couldn't do it, I didn't want to do it, and I wanted some pain medicine.  She had agreed in the birth plan to give me Stadol if I needed it, and I was trying to convince her I needed it.  Phil would remind me of all of your prayer intentions before each contraction, and I tried my best to offer up the pain.  She checked me again, and I was at 5 cm after having only 3 contractions.  She again assure me I would be meeting my baby within an hour, and I again thought she was lying.  Phil tried to give me an ice chip, which I vehemently denied.  He tried a cool washcloth, which again made me agitated.  The poor guy couldn't do anything right except to let me squeeze the life out of his hand.

A few more (even more painful) contractions and now I was desperately trying to convince Phil and the midwife that I needed the drugs, that I did not want to have this baby without drugs and I might die.  Finally, she called to the nurse to get the medicine, and told me I had to get out of the tub and onto the bed in order for her to give me the medicine, because it was going to make me sleepy.  I told her I didn't want to get out, and that I didn't feel good.  She said I probably didn't feel good because I was overheating in the water, and I needed to get out.  Again she tried to steer me away from taking the medicine because she insisted I wouldn't want to be groggy when meeting my baby for the first time.  I told her I wanted to be sleepy.  Sleepy was better than crazy with pain, right?.

She helped me out of the tub, and I told her I needed to go to he bathroom.  She had me sit on the toilet as she crouched down to dry off my legs and feet.  If that's not a Jesus image for you, I don't know what is.  She's so good.  On the throne, I had another contraction and yelled for Phil who came over and held my head up with a nice cool washcloth.  Oh, that washcloth did feel good after all.  As soon as that one passed, I made it to the bed where she told me to lay on my left side, and another contraction started.  I began yelling out "Oh my back!  My back!  Phil, my back!" and he ran around to put some counter pressure on my lower back which felt like it was breaking.  Then another contraction came right on it's heels, and I yelled out to my midwife to "Help me, please!" because oh mylanta, that one was a doozy!  I told her I needed to lay on my back and she checked me and said "I know you don't want me to tell you when to push, but the baby is ready whenever you are."  I told her I never wanted to push, and she ignored me and put one of my feet on her shoulder while the nurse tried to get Phil to hold back my other leg.  But the midwife told the nurse to let Phil be near my head, that I needed him up by me, and so the nurse grabbed my other leg.  With the next contraction, I pushed...took a breath...pushed...took a breath while getting (lovingly) yelled at to stop pushing and wait for the next contraction...and I pushed again because there's no way to get me to stop pushing when a baby is coming out of my body!!!  And just like that, he was born!  

It was 1:41 pm and I had only been at the hospital for 2 hours!  He was born 41 minutes after I was at 3 cm.!  Whew!  Just like my last two labors before, it was fast and intense and painful and amazingly awesome.  I never ended up getting that pain medicine after all :)  They wiped him off and threw him on my chest for an hour of skin to skin contact.  He was gorgeous:

Rooting already, and hasn't stopped since.

After an hour of nursing and snuggling, they took Declan Kolbe to get weighed and measured.
8 lbs. 4 oz. and 20.25 in. long (tied for second place as my biggest baby).

Proud Dad of FIVE sons!
My parents picked up the kids from school and got them happy meals on the way to the hospital, without ever telling them that the baby was born!  The kids thought they were just coming to visit me there.  Talk about excitement!!










Grandchild # 21


Big brother!


Bookend boys.


We named him Declan Kolbe after two saints.  Declan means "man of prayer" and Kolbe is for St. Maximillian Kolbe, whom I have had a special devotion to since having the man who's life he saved stay at our house when I was a teenager.

Declan was so thoughtful and left presents for the siblings:






We went home from the hospital on Friday, April 4th...the day I was supposed to be induced.  Declan's bili levels were high enough that we had to keep bringing him back to the hospital to get them checked a couple times a day, but he never got to where he needed photo-therapy like 3 of our other kids had.  What a (yellow) trooper.


We are so in love with this little one, and feel abundantly blessed.  All of the kids are so happy to have him join this crazy family (yes, even Maggie is thrilled with another brother!) and we thank God everything turned out so well in the end.  


I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes you have offered me over this whole pregnancy, but especially at the end.  At a time when I should have been growing more and more anxious, your prayers allowed me to feel a peace I didn't think I could ever experience at that stage.  I am so grateful.

43 comments:

  1. They let you eat during labor?! The day I gave birth, I had thrown up my breakfast -- because I threw up every breakfast and most lunches and dinners for all nine months -- and by the time my daughter was born at 9:27pm, I hadn't eaten anything else except for two tiny sugar-free popsicles that the nurses grudgingly gave me when I insisted I was about to start throwing up bile. My husband and father went out to get me food, so the first food I got to keep down all day was stone cold McDonald's at midnight. Next time I have a baby, I'm sneaking in snacks.

    Congratulations, he's beautiful! And I love his name!

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  2. So... I need to tell you, I've read all the natural birthing stories and never wanted any part of it. I never understood when c-section mamas talked about the emotional pain of not experiencing child birth, until tonight! What a beautiful birth story :) your Declan is so blessed I could hardly stand the faces of your other kids meeting him...because they were so lovely.

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  3. He's such a beautiful baby! Love all the pictures of him with his siblings. You have a great family--God bless you all!

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  4. Beautiful story. God has certainly blessed you! I love your family of 8! Xander looks SO happy to be a big brother, it's bringing tears to my eyes.

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  5. Come on with that baby milk-face picture, Martin!!! I am not really ready for another baby, but that face . . . my word, what a darling.

    It sounds like you got just the kind of birth you had hoped for (just a lot later than you expected!) and I'm so, so glad for you. Really happy that you felt peaceful, with no anxiety.

    I love all these pictures, such a beautiful family. :)

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  6. What a beautiful birth story! Welcome to the world, Declan!

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  7. What an amazing birth story! I am so proud of you for having that baby without any drugs, woo hoo! He is really, really cute. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us!

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  8. Oh, I loved reading this so much!! Congratulations to you all- he is adorable!!

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  9. So happy for you all! Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful son!

    ~ Jennifer

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  10. Oh Colleen, this was so beautiful it nearly made me cry. The photos of your children and their excitement, how tiny Declan is (my fourth is only 9 months old and I have already forgotten the smallness), and the birth story in general! So beautiful and such a true witness to choosing life. Love it!

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  11. Congratulations to all of you!

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  12. That is so awesome! So happy for you!

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  13. Ah, the milk face!! Love it :) Colleen, this is so beautiful. I'm so glad the birth went well. You had so many people praying for you and thinking about you. He is perfect. I'm so shocked they offered you food during labor! That is so great. And 3 to pushing in 41 minutes...wowza. You're amazing. Thank you for sharing the story!

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  14. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!

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  15. So happy it was such a quick labor and I appreciate the prayers you prayed for Rebecca!

    Your kids look so happy in these pictures that it just makes my heart sing!

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  16. Congratulations!

    -Shelley

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  17. Love. Just love. : )
    Kiss his little newborn head for me, please.

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  18. Your kids look so happy and loved and what an amazing mother they have!

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  19. Awe! Sweet story and pictures. Welcome baby Declan!

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  20. FYI, I think I may have commented just now under my hubs' account...David Hughes :) I'm on his laptop.

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  21. Ahh! I'm so late to the party. Congratulations!!!! He is so beautiful!

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  22. I Love the pictures of all the siblings. Such genuine, happy, big smiles. Adorable. You have a beautiful family. I greatly admire you. :)

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  23. You make birthing sounds so easy.
    oh just look at that precious precious boy...and he has a "milky-chin"...I miss having a baby! Congrats and those siblings are so blessed.

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  24. I LOVE birth stories and yours did not disappoint! Congratulations again, Colleen and Phil! He is just gorgeous and I LOVE his name. What a blessing!

    Also - grandchild #21! Awesome!

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  25. Oh my anxiety level! Seriously, I was holding my breath during the whole thing. What a great birth story and a precious little guy to behold in the end. What progress and quick labor/delivery in a short time. Phew. Even I'm glad that's over. Way to go mama Martin! You did great!

    Keep on enjoying those wonderful kiddos (love, love all the great photos) and your time with Declan.

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  26. What an awesome birth story! And, I love his name! Congratulations!

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  27. Our labors were so similar! I wonder what that means for my next ones lol. Declan is SUCH a cutie, and the pictures of your kids meeting him makes me cry!!!! So sweet.

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  28. What a fantastic birth story. From 3 CM to "out" in an hour?! Awesome. Welcome, Declan!

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  29. Look how excited his siblings are. I love it!

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  30. Oh this is all so beautiful! I'm so happy things went well for you - finally! He's a beautiful looking newborn and his siblings are precious too. Good job Colleen!

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  31. He is beautiful!!!! As is the entire family!!! Blessings to you all!

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  32. Wonderful, wonderful! Rest up and enjoy sweet Declan!

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  33. He IS gorgeous-and so glad you waited and didn't have to drink that nasty concoction!

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  34. Congratulations!! What a beautiful baby. He's a week younger than my daughter's newest. Love the birth story! I was in suspense as to whether or not you would get any drugs, heh.

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  35. I'm all teary reading your story and seeing the pictures of the siblings holding their new brother!! The one of Xander holding him with the largest grin a toddler could make?? Classic! I love his name and he is absolutely gorgeous. I'm glad you went to the hospital so early as well because DANG! That was fast!! Congratulations :)

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  36. Wow, your midwife sounds awesome! Makes me wish that we had midwives here. How great that you made it through labor medication-free (really hope I can).

    I love the picture of your kids running in to see the baby! Brings back memories of my siblings births (I'm the oldest of 8). Congratulations on a beautiful, beautiful baby!

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  37. Oh, congratulations!! That brought happy tears to my eyes, all of it. And girl, you were made to give birth. It took 12 hours to get me from 2 to 5 (the ONE time I labored). You're a champ!! I'm so excited for you!! What a beautiful, beautiful boy!

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  38. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story! So special to read! God bless you and your family!!!

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  39. Finally got to finish this! That is so crazy how fast you go once things get going! Good job, mama! And a very sincere thank you for offering up your labor for our intentions. I'm so glad cute little Declan is finally here and you're all enjoying him!

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  40. What a great birth story Colleen! Your family is just beautiful, congratulations to you and Phil and all of adorable Declan's amazing siblings! You guys are truly blessed! I know you are awfully busy these days, but I hope to hear from you soon! xoxo Annie

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  41. I saw Grace had the baby yesterday and then I thought, "Oh my gosh, I have to see if Colleen had the baby yet!" Congrats! Your delivery sounds like it went so well. You are a trooper. I have fast, natural labors too. They are definelty more intense.

    The kids look so happy! Hope you are enjoying and recovering well.

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  42. The joy on your children's faces! Siblings are definitely the best gifts for our children.
    Declan Kolbe -- one powerful name, for sure. Congratulations, Colleen!
    xoxo

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