So Labor Day morning, I woke up around 6 with some different feeling contractions, but followed the advice of my midwife and said, "ha, whatever!" and decided to get up and dressed and see if they stopped. I remembered that we were out of the boys' favorite cereal and a few other things so I told Michael I was going to run to Kroger and try to make it back before they woke up.
I got to Kroger with my short list and during the time I was in the store I had seven more contractions. Yep, time to get home. I added some greek yogurt to my cart for some protein loading for me and headed home. On the way home I called mom & dad (again) and told them with slightly more certainty that this was the day, and I just wanted to make sure they were up and awake. (it was 7:30) I told them I'd call when they needed to come.
Got home, told Michael I was going to eat some breakfast and take a shower to see if my contractions would let up and then would call Kelly (my midwife) to tell her (again) that I thought it might be for real this time.
I didn't make it out of the shower before I was calling for Michael to call Kelly! The contractions were speeding up fast and I didn't know how long it would take for this birth! He also tried to reach mom & dad but they were already on their way! We prayed with the boys and let them know that we thought God might let our baby be born that day. Kelly arrived at our house around 9 with her assistant, and my dad took the boys to play for awhile while we waited.
The labor itself was pretty good - I felt more aware of my surroundings and the people that were there this time - with Evan I felt like I dove into the "zone" and barely noticed anyone. This time I had a nice break between contractions and was able to talk a little more. I did have several times when I felt like I was going to pass out and had to lie down - NOT a fun thing to do in labor - I don't know how anyone does it, honestly. The midwife checked my blood pressure and baby's heartrate (both were great) and made me eat. We still don't know exactly why all that was going on but she thinks maybe due to the lie of the baby? We do agree that the whole sit up, lie down, sit up process really slowed things down.
I finally felt well enough to get back to the birthing stool and about 15 minutes later, Cadence was born! We could not believe - and still cannot believe - that we have a daughter. Aaron is thrilled - "Oh, I was HOPING for a sister!" and Evan thinks his new sister is fantastic. They both are overjoyed with the bits of pink, purple, and flowery clothing coming into our house. And also the hair bows. They love that there are hair bows. Michael is still pinching himself. He knows he is in big trouble.
About her name - I've loved it pretty much always. The word cadence has a great set of meanings that appeals to me in my poetic sense. My favorite definition is #5. When we were expecting Aaron, we picked out this name, thinking that if we had a girl her name would signify the momentary end of our section/phrase of married couple to married couple with kiddo, and now it is a sweet meaning to signify the momentary end of our run with boy children.
Anywhoo, that's probably TMI for those of you reading this. Or you're rolling your eyes, at any rate. The definitions are:
1. rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words: the cadence of language.
2. (in free verse) a rhythmic pattern that is nonmetrically structured.
3. the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement: The chorus line danced in rapid cadence.
4. the flow or rhythm of events, especially the pattern in which something is experienced: the frenetic cadence of modern life.
5. Music . a sequence of notes or chords that indicates the momentary or complete end of a composition, section, phrase, etc.
And Abigail means "my father's joy" and it is a great name. If I didn't have that rule about most popular names being out, Abigail would probably have been her first name. But I love it as a middle name too.
So that's the story! Home birth is awesome! My all time favorite part is being able to sleep in my OWN bed that first night and not hear beeping all.night.long. Well, that, and all the germs in the house are mine and my family's and not some random stranger's. I like that part too.
The whole transition is pretty rough from having a 3 & 5 year old to adding in a newborn. After 3 nights with less sleep than I ever thought possible, I am not going to lie, I felt overwhelmed, emotional, and weak. I am sure those feelings will continue, but as God's grace prevails, we are making it. And getting a little more sleep, too. God is good, and His mercies are new, every morning.
And the support of friends & family is amazing too! Today, for example, my neighbor volunteered to keep the older boys for a couple hours so I could take a nap. BLESSED NEIGHBOR! They have 2 boys too and I guess the kids all had a blast together. We talked afterward about swapping shopping days. Yes, please. Another friend took them for a couple hours on Friday so Michael and I could sleep some more. Mom & dad have been helping whenever they can. I've had a couple of yummy meals delivered, and there are bags of baby girl clothes starting to accumulate in my living room. God knows, He provides!