The girls love him... they constantly want to hold him and are always talking to him in high pitch voices. This kid will hopefully develop lost of patience and have a tender side, with two big sisters!
Labor was super fast - and I'm thankful! I had been having contractions at night for about two weeks... prodromal labor I guess... or practice labor, whatever you want to call it. According to my midwife, this becomes more common once you start having 3+ kids, though not everyone gets it. The prodromal labor, while miserable, does help your body to progress, which often makes labor really fast. And that's pretty much what happened!
Other than terrible morning sickness I felt great most of my pregnancy... I gained less weight and had more energy. At 38.5 weeks though, I reached "done" - I started becoming uncomfortable when I walked; fake labor became normal; and my joints hurt. By my due date, I was so over being pregnant. Thursday (day before) I got an awesome foot rub, with all the reflex points. Friday I got acupuncture and a massage. Just to cover all the bases. And that night (his due date) I went into labor!
The timeline basically went like this...
9:15 I had gotten out of the shower and was blow drying my hair. My doula had texted me, checking in. I told her I felt crampy, but not to think anything of it yet since that had been the norm for weeks.
9:45ish I got in bed to try to get some sleep, and suddenly the cramps intensified to definite contractions.
10 I got up to see if the contractions would go away if I had a snack, drank water, and walked around the house. Basically to test if it was the real deal.
10:15 I was on all fours on my living room rug, timing contractions at 7 minutes apart. They were intensifying, and I was needing to focus. My doula said just to give her an hour heads up, so I told her given how fast that all happened, I'd need her in an hour surely!
In the next hour, between contractions, I called my midwife and a neighbor to come stay with the girls.
11:15 We were leaving for the birth center! On the way, I was breathing - not talking - through contractions, timing them at 4 minutes.
11:45 We were at the birth center, and when checked, I was 4 cm dilated. Part of me was discouraged at this point, to only be 4 cm, but the natural birth side of my brain (which has probably read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth one too many times..) kicked in and told myself to keep pressing on, that I had progressed so much really fast and would surely continue to!
I had back labor again, and given that this time baby was positioned perfectly, I know that's just how my body labors. So I spent most of my time on all fours. I used the birthing tub some, but really being on all fours felt best.
12:40/45 I said I felt like I needed to push, and when checked, sure enough my body was ready!
12:56 James Abel was born!
When Brendon said the baby was a boy, I could hardly believe it - I had to double check! ;) Since then, it's been so fun to think about having a son. I feel so privileged that God is allowing us to raise a boy, as well as two girls! Raising these kids is not a job we take lightly, and we are so thankful to get to do it!
We chose the name James because Brendon's first name is James. And Abel comes from Genesis 4, where Cain kills his brother Abel... at the end of the chapter Eve gives birth to Seth, whom God had appointed to Eve in place of Abel. What struck me when reading this chapter is that God didn't forget Abel, and He hasn't forgotten the babies we've lost either.
I truly think James is going to be a pretty "easy" baby. Right now he's really testing me with how often he's getting up at night. (A 1.5 hour chunk of sleep for me is good at the moment!) But I'm confident he's going to start eating less at night and sleeping more SOON! (Pray for me!) (James, please don't make me eat my words here!) During the day, he's been a great napper, and even sometimes will let me put him down in his crib awake and then fall asleep! He's also a great nurser, no issues so far.
Well that's it for now! Momma is smitten and super tired!
This is our birth team. My midwife, Monica, is on the left, and the birthing assistant, Debbie, is on the right.
This is my doula, Meredith, another valuable part of our birth team.
We left for the birthing center at 11:15 PM, after the girls were in bed. James was born just before 1 AM, and we returned home at 4:30 AM. The girls never even knew we were gone! So the next morning Lilleigh walked in asking what was for breakfast, and I pointed to the baby and said "Look what happened over night!" She ran and got Adeline, and the two piled into our bed to get a closer look. It was such a sweet moment!
Christmas morning with their new baby brother
Two big sisters excited to help me give James his first bath
My sweet chunk of a baby boy! He was 8 lb 7 oz at birth. I unofficially weighed him today on our scale, weighing myself first and then holding him, and with pajamas and diaper on, he was 11 lbs!