Boy did baby George decide to make an entrance.
My due date was January 2nd, but I was a week early with Yianna, and two weeks early with Kiki, and since I had been contracting almost daily since 20 weeks (one of the perks of chasing around a two year old and a crawling baby), I figured that George would also come early.
I would have been 38 weeks on December 19th, and I was hoping that he would be born on December 20. This would be far enough from Christmas, and then all three of our kids would be born on the 20th of their particular months. It had to be. But then the 20th rolled around, and nothing. As the days got closer to Christmas, I kept getting more frustrated; I have never met a Christmas baby (or one close to it) who was happy about their birth date. Oh well. I think I finally resigned to the fact that despite my best attempts to will little Georgie to come on the 20th, I had zero control in the matter.
So, here we are at Christmas … still no baby. Yianna was so excited that Santa was coming and since Kiki had just turned one, her little personality had really started to shine – I just wanted to enjoy the time with my girls and my husband. It was wonderful. Then both of our families came over to celebrate the day. Around 2:00, things started feeling a little different. My water broke. But I really don’t have a ton of fluid to begin with, and as with Kiki, it was just a pinhole leak. So, I did what anyone would do… I put on a pad and didn’t tell anyone. There were 25 people over at the house; I didn’t want to freak anyone out.
I finally told Nick around 4:30/5:00 that I think I had been contracting, but that they were really mild and felt like braxton-hicks, but that I think my water was broken. He checked me and I was dilated about 4 cm. He asked if I wanted to send everyone home, but I figured that hosting dinner for our family was as good of a distraction in labor as any. So, we had a wonderful dinner and then spent the rest of the afternoon playing soccer with all of the kids in the backyard and Greek dancing in the kitchen.
Around 6:00, Nick was sitting on the couch with all of his siblings and their spouses and apparently they were talking about when the baby would come. He had asked his sister who lives in Coronado if she would come up when I went into labor to help us with the girls. She was hesitant because did not know if she could leave work, and also has three girls of her own, and didn’t know if she would be able to get away. She kept worrying about “what if’s” when Nick told everyone that I was probably already 6 cm and that the baby was coming tonight.
All of a sudden, they got really quiet, and all looked up, staring at me. (I was Greek dancing with all of the kids in the kitchen). I figured the cat was out of the bag.
Everyone started packing up after our big announcement and left the house around 6:30pm. I told them that they didn’t have to go. I felt bad. But, I asked both of Nick’s sisters and his mom to stay behind and keep us company. My parents took the girls to spend the night at their house. So after all of our goodbyes and saying goodnight to our girls, we put on a movie, and I hung out on the big bouncy ball chugging water (for some reason, I was really thirsty – like 6 liters of water thirsty!). My contractions were still coming but were not very intense. About an hour into the movie, I started getting restless and wanted to see if I could get my contractions to be stronger. With the girls, when I was up and walking, my contractions felt much stronger then when I was sitting or lying down. So, I jogged up and down our stairs a few times, then asked Nick if he wanted to walk around the block with me. It was probably close to 9:00 by now and we walked around the block a few times just enjoying the crisp air and glow of the christmas lights.
My contractions finally started to get stronger. I was excited, but I still think I hadn’t fully wrapped my head around the fact that we were going to have our third baby that night.
I refused to stop walking during my strong contractions. I would just keep walking and when Nick asked me, I’d tell him, “wow, that was a good one – is that all you got!!” After a handful of “good ones”, we decided to go inside so Nick could check me again. This time, I was about 9cm. He was thinking this would be a good time to head to the hospital (I wasn’t GBS positive this time… yay!), but I had other plans. I told them that I just wanted to pee before we left. So I ran upstairs into our master bath and when I sat down to pee, I had a really strong contraction and I told Nick that unless he wanted to deliver a baby in the car, that we were not going to the hospital. So, in his best pumped up voice, he said, “okay – let’s do this!”
He ran to his truck and got out his emergency medical kit. Then he told his sisters and his mom that the baby was coming now. Luckily, both of his sisters happen to be pediatricians and Nick’s mom is a retired RN. My plan was falling into place 🙂 And, if there was ever a better team to have a baby at home, I couldn’t think of one.
I was still sitting on the toilet because I just didn’t want to move. Nick’s sisters got a strand of white christmas lights from downstairs and a candle and brought them up to our bedroom. Then they grabbed a new painters tarp and put it on the bed and put a clean sheet on top of it. Nick got a trash bag and a towel. I told them that I would probably be ready to push in about two more contractions. They were coming quickly and getting stronger. I felt really focused; nothing else mattered. It was awesome. I could feel baby dropping and getting ready. I knew that I was in good hands.
I told Nick that it was time. He helped me walk from the bathroom to our bed. That’s when I saw the Christmas lights and the candle and heard the Greek music we had playing when the girls were born. It made my heart happy. Nick stuck a towel and a trash bag under my butt (who said things needed to be fancy) :-). Then I really did just put all of my trust and faith into Nick and listened to him and my body.I asked him if it was okay to push when I felt the next contraction, and he told me to push whenever I felt ready. So, with the next contraction, I gave a good push. He said, okay, good job, just relax now and take a little break. Again, I felt pressure and stretching but did not have any pain. In between contractions, he was doing perineal massage with olive oil to help prevent any tearing. The second contraction came less than a minute later and it was time to push again. This time, he told me to stop pushing and give everything time to stretch. I could feel that his head was almost out and knew that with the next push, I’d get to meet my beautiful baby boy. But I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. I just tried to focus on the moment and relax and make myself stop pushing. Then the next contraction came, and I pushed again, Nick told me I needed to push hard this time, and I did. I could feel his head out, but needed to keep pushing to get the shoulders free. And then he was out and on my chest. It was amazing.
My legs were shaking and I was exhausted, but had never felt better. It was less than ten minutes from the time that I laid on the bed until Georgie was on my chest.
George was born at 10:00pm and was by far the best Christmas present I’ve ever been given. Our lucky Greek CD was playing in the background and he arrived into this world to the glow of Christmas lights in a room full of love. Nick clamped the cord and delivered the placenta a minute or two later and both of his sisters kept a close eye on George to make sure he was pink and perfectly healthy. I think until that moment, Nick’s sisters and his mom had always thought Nick was full of it when we told them that I really had easy, fast, and pain free deliveries. They still tell me that they think I’m ridiculous – and from three amazing women who have had nine kids between them, I take this as a huge compliment. Nick’s sisters listened to George’s heart and lungs and made sure that he was perfect. We didn’t bother calling the hospital or going in because both George and I were doing great. He nursed right away and after about an hour, I finally let the docs 🙂 have at him for a full inspection while I jumped in the shower. There was no mess and almost nothing to clean up. They just took the top sheet and the tarp off the bed and threw everything into a big trash bag.
It was an unexpectedly perfect end to a very special day. I spent the night in my bed with my baby boy and my amazing husband who again guided me through another seamless delivery. I felt so blessed.