"We are to receive our children in the name of the Lord, for to do so is to receive the Lord. Pregnancy, childbearing, and child-rearing should be viewed by us with great honor, for in these things the Lord is visiting us with blessing." -Douglas Wilson
I used this quote to start off Annie's birth story as well. Its just such a good place to start when telling the story of a birth.
I woke up that Saturday morning (August 9th) feeling quite crampy. I was hopeful he would come soon, but didn't want to get my hopes up too much, or anyone else's.
We went about the day as usual. Mike was working a 12-hour day shift at the hospital and my mom was in town. We took Annie swimming that afternoon, went to the market for some things, just usual stuff. On the walk home from the wading pool I felt a bit more crampy and very very tired. SO tired. I picked up Mike from work at 7:30 (my mom at home with sleeping Annie) and let him know I was pretty crampy. By 9:30, I was timing contractions. After an hour of consistent contractions, we called our midwife.
We had a feeling that my labor might not be too long, considering Annie's was only 6-7 hours. Paula (our midwife) arrived close to 11:00. Before this, I was breathing through contractions on our front porch. In between contractions I felt very "with-it"...I was able to chat to Mike and my mom and even laugh a bit. I was a little worried that labor wasn't more intense and might drag on some. But it didn't take too long. I had one fairly painful contraction that was enough to take me inside (I didn't want to make a scene on our front porch) and had me pacing in our bedroom. Michael was such a help through these contractions. He held me up while I rocked on the birth ball or faithfully squeezed my hips when I asked (which is incredibly helpful!!!).
So anyway, Paula arrived around 11:00 and wanted to check my dilation. A couple weeks before I had tested positive for group B step (GBS), so she wanted to keep those internal exams to a minimum so that there would be less risk of infection (woohoo, no complaining here!!). I was at 5cm and so hopeful. From here, contractions were much more intense, but I was so excited that we were getting somewhere. Every contraction, as awful as they were, were getting me closer to being done... so I was really glad they were strong and consistent. Also, because I tested positive for GBS (an infection that doesn't make me sick at all, but can make a baby sick) they gave me a quick dose of penicillin--this will protect a baby from GBS, only as long as you are in active labor for at least four hours (long enough to get a second dose). We didn't think I would be in labor that long, but even if it was in my system for an hour, it might protect him a little, so we thought it was worth the try. I had a saline lock in my hand, so I was able to get the meds, and not be hooked up to anything. I needed to move! :)
I continued to get through contractions with Michael doing hip-squeeze and me moaning and pacing like a crazy person. Paula noticed that my moaning sounded a bit like I was pushing and encouraged me to push if I felt the urge to. She didn't want to check my dilation again, so she just told me to go with it. This is also when she called the back-up midwife and the student, who come to help with the actual birth. I started to feel small urges, so leaning over my bed, I started pushing a bit. Just a little. At this point my water still had not broken, but because of the GBS, they weren't going to break it...they were going to wait and let it break on its own. Urges to push got more intense and they decided to check my dilation one more time. This was probably around 12:30am. I was at 10cm and ready to go, water still not broken. I pushed for a few minutes and the midwives were amazed to see a baby coming still in his sack of water! Pushing a baby out (in my opinion) is terrifying. Everything in your head says "This cannot happen. It's completely impossible," and your body says, "This has GOT TO HAPPEN!" And this time was so different than with Annie. I actually felt such an urge to push. It was if my body just took over and did the work for me. After 3-4 hours of labor, Calvin was born at 12:44am, and born in the sack of waters (called being born "in the caul"). Apparently this is suuuuper rare (Wikipedia says 1 in every 80,000 births), and we felt like it was such a blessing...because of the caul, he was completely protected from the GBS (since I hadn't had the antibiotics long enough to protect him). Praise God! He weighed 8lbs 12oz and had the sweetest and chubbiest cheeks ever! They put him right on me and it was all so sweet and good. I had 2nd degree tears this time, which has been a breeze compared to 3rd degree!! Paula was able to stitch me up right then and there. I think everyone was gone and the house was quiet again by about 2am. Annie never made a peep through the whole ordeal. I nursed Calvin off and on that night, and I think I might have slept a little.
That was how it all happened. How God visited us with blessing for a 2nd time.
August 10, 2014
Calvin Michael Chhangur, just a few hours old.
(we got zero pics of the actual labor/birth. it all happened too fast.)