Friday, October 18, 2013

son, Errol Mark

This is what blogging looks like with three kids.

Cricket.  Cricket.

I've been dying to write about Errol since his birth but have beyond busy.  Three kids.  Who knew :) Probably all mother's of three kids+

So, he came a full week early and completely threw us all off!  I love sharing the babes birth stories and while all three of my kiddos are asleep I'm going to attempt to write it!

There is always some background information, right? My church, Antioch Community Church, was going on a Fall retreat the weekend of September 13th-15th.  We had gone camping for Labor day and I quickly realized that no matter how good I felt, sleeping on a cot or bunk bed was just not going to fly.  So I told everyone I wasn't going to make the retreat.  Then my dear friend Shelby mentioned to my man that he could still go with the girls and give me the weekend at home.  Best. Idea. Ever.  And he did it!

So on Friday the 13th, after a busy day preparing, my man took off around 3 with the girls for a weekend away.  I ran some errands, met a friend for happy hour, and came home to a quiet house for dinner and movie by myself.  I had no idea how much I needed that time.

Saturday I met Shelby and her little man for more errands.  I had the crazy desire to get a bunch of stuff done that I had been putting off.  Returns.  Birthday gift shopping.  Whatnot.  But I also got a ton of stuff purchased for the upcoming weeks.  It's seriously as if my body knew something my brain didn't.

After spending 6 hours walking around and getting things done I again came home to a quiet house, caught up on some Project Runway, and promptly went to sleep.  At 9 pm.

39 weeks and in labor!
On Sunday morning around 1:30 am I woke up to some pretty strong contractions.  I had been having consistent contractions since around 24 weeks with this babe so I went back to sleep.  At 3 I woke up again and wasn't able to fall back asleep.  And then the nesting instinct kicked in.  I texted my man since he was still two hours away to let him know that as soon as the girls got up that morning they should head home.  No response.  Not worried.  So, I cleaned my bathroom.  Took a shower and a bath.  Cleaned my room.  Changed the sheets on my bed.  Did three loads of laundry.  Made breakfast.  Swept the main level and swiffered it.  Cleaned the kitchen.  Drank a mug of coffee.  And started watching episodes of The Business of Being Born (figured it couldn't hurt!).  At 4:30 I decided to call my man and tell him to hurry up.  I knew that things weren't progressing that quickly but I didn't want to be going through heavy labor without him.

We chatted on the phone for a minute (he hadn't gotten the text because he was sound asleep) and he started to get excited!  My man loaded up the girls and the whole van and managed to keep them asleep and then drive home.  They pulled into the driveway around 7 am and I was so glad to see them all.  He promptly went to sleep and the girls and I watched Cinderella.  I got to cuddle on the couch with Audrey Lou, my baby girl who was about to become my middle child.  It was a really sweet moment.  None of the contractions I had up until now didn't really hurt.  I could breath through them all just fine.  So I thought a family walk would be a sweet option.

We called the midwives around 9 am to let them know we were going to be heading out for a walk and if they wanted to come over around 10 that would be great.  I called my mom at this point too since she was going to come pick up the girls and take them back to her place for the delivery.  I woke Dan up and we all got bundled up for a walk.  Loaded up the stroller and headed out.  It was a beautiful, drizzly Fall morning.  Perfect weather for having a baby :)

When we started on the walk my contractions were coming about one to every block and a half.  About 20 minutes later, towards our way home, they were coming about three to a block.  Still nothing that painful.

We got home just before 10 and everyone started to arrive.

I love the energy around birth.  I love the excitement and anticipation.  Even in the midst of it all I could sense this great love for baby boy and what was about to happen.  I felt strong.  I decided to get into my bathtub while my team filled the birthing tub.  I was in there for about an hour and half before I even considered moving! Water is so good for me during labor.

My mom came during that time and took the girls.  It was hard to say good bye but I knew it was for the best that they weren't there for the birth of their baby brother.  It would have been very difficult for me not to help them if they needed it and I'm sure I would have felt self conscious.

I have some really fond memories of my time upstairs.
  • Julie, one of our midwives, showed up and came upstairs to check my temp and blood pressure and to listen to the baby.  She walked into the bathroom and it was so sweet to see her.  She immediately bent down next to the tub, kissed my cheek, and told me how beautiful I looked. It was the sweetest thing she could have said. 
  • Clare, another one of our midwives and one of the gals who was here when Audrey was born, came in to check on me and asked if I needed anything.  For some reason peanut butter toast with a glass of chocolate milk sounded really good.  She scooted out quickly to go make it for me.
  • Emme, another midwife came in to bring me the food and was so tender.  I took a bite of the toast but then had a pretty strong contraction immediately after it.  I couldn't swallow the peanut butter and it was so sticky in my mouth.  I just kept thinking, "peanut butter was a bad choice" and all I could envision was this scene from Anchorman. 
  • Dan came in then and the ladies were all downstairs.  We just chatted for a bit.  He put a cool washcloth on my face and told me what was happening downstairs.  Then we laughed a bit at how funny it was that this little baby was coming a week early when I was dead set on him coming late!
And then it was show time.  I still hadn't had a super painful contraction yet but I could feel the baby moving pretty low and wanted to get into the birthing tub.  They finished filling it up and I headed downstairs.  The second I got out of the bathtub I had three contractions back to back that were pretty strong!   Dan and I walked downstairs and the main level of my home had been transformed.  The blinds were closed with the curtains dropped.  The lights were off.  Gillian Welch was playing on the computer.  The candle that I bought for the birth was burning and the place was prepared.  I feel so blessed to be able to have my babies at home.  So peaceful.  So relaxing.

I climbed into the tub and then Dan started to take his shirt off.  Up until this point he was unsure about whether or not he'd want to get in with me and I didn't have a strong opinion either way.  Now here he was undressing and I was shocked!  He climbed right in behind me and held me up.  It was incredible.  I had a few contractions in the tub that felt different and I asked to be checked.  I hadn't had a cervical exam yet so I didn't really know how far along I was.

Emme, who is now a close friend of mine, told me to check myself.  Yup.  That's right. So I did!  I figured that unless I become a midwife myself some day this is probably the only time I'll get to feel that.  And I immediately felt what felt like a water balloon.  It was my baby's water bag!  It hadn't broken yet.  Then I was told to reach behind it and see what I could feel and there was little man's head!

I had another strong contraction that told me to push and I listened to my body.

One push and my water broke.

One push to get the feel of it all again.

One push to move baby down.

One push to crown.

One push and the head was out.

One push and he was fully born.

I caught my son and pulled him up to my chest.  It was the most amazing experience of my life!

At 12:44 pm Errol Mark was born (although we didn't name him until a full day later). 8 lbs. 8 ozs of pure yumminess.  21" of sweet little baby boy. 

All snuggled in with our new baby boy!
Errol Mark, day 1.

Day 3.  We spent a whole week upstairs together to get nursing established.

A taste of life with three!

New born photos taken by our friend Trisha.


  1. Oh Emily how I love to read your blog posts. I've been checking every day to see your baby birth story - because I was so hoping you would post one :o) Congratulations on your new little bundle of joy. He is adorable and looks just like his big sisters :o) Enjoy every second. There is something so special about an only boy (well only for now that is;o). Even through the trials and sassiness a boy always needs his momma :o) Except after they get their license. And a car. ;o) Congrats again!

    1. Thanks Sheree! I'm so glad you keep up with us!

  2. Loved reading this!!! Birthing at home is so near and dear to my heart and I just love it when others are able to have the same experiences!! Birth is such a miracle!

    1. I love it too! So glad we share this friend.

  3. Was just thinking about you wondering if you had your baby, logged on today a read this - congrats!

  4. love this! those pics are amazing, thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh Trisha- my pleasure! Hope you are well!

  5. Congratulations! I loved reading your birth story. I've thought about you a lot lately. Enjoy three! Never a dull moment! :) Tracy Compaan