Oh, you neglected little space. So much living has happened these last nine months. Like, a wedding anniversary. A new baby. Birthday celebrations all around. The purchase of a house. First flights experienced by our two boys. The stomach bug for Daddy, Mama, and Big Brother. The stomach bug again for Big Brother (those were some of the longest five days I’ve ever lived). Packing every possession we own in 2.5 weeks while caring for a toddler and baby. The Husband working long, hard days for a month straight to get us into our purchased home. And in general, trying to figure out life as parents to a toddler and baby while still being Husband and Wife.
Ellis Patrick, I’m sorry I haven’t done the whole “here’s his birth story” thing. I don’t think you’ll really mind down the road, but here’s a little something to try to catch up… You’re here. Created by God, brought into this world by me, your mama, in our small rental home on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 9:27am. You arrived four days late.
Labor was short and intense (somehow so much worse than what I remembered with your brother), and when I force myself to think of something other than the extreme and exhausting pain I experienced, I think singing. My little bedroom, crowded with too many people for how small it was, filled with the peaceful sound of my mama (your nana), my sisters, your daddy, and even my midwife’s sweet assistant singing hymns. I hated the pain associated with labor this time. You may say, “Don’t you always hate it?” It was somehow different than my first labor and I didn’t know how I was ever going to make it through. I wanted somebody to stop the process. I wanted to curl up in a fetal position, say, “I’m done now,” and have it all go away. I did say, “I don’t want to do this. I can’t do this,” a number of times. But when the singing would start — it was all I needed to help me focus once again not just on telling my body to relax, but reminding myself that the Creator of my body created me to bring forth life, and He was strengthening me through every wretched contraction.
Contractions woke me at midnight on the 31st and I was unable to get any further sleep because they were only fifteen minutes apart. By 4am we called the midwife and birthing team, and at 8:50am while in the bathroom I told my wonderful, amazing husband that I wanted to push. My midwife, who told me after the birth that she had thought I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I had since I wasn’t “losing it” during the contractions (so nice to hear since I felt like I was not doing a good job of keeping myself together), calmly said, “Well, let’s get you to the bed and see where things are at.” Surprised, she gave me the go ahead to work with my body and deliver you.
I laid on the bed for what felt like an eternity with absolutely no contractions. And I panicked that something had made my body pause. Or what if the urge never came. Why were there no contractions?! It was the best break before a short, but hard process.
A few pushes and my bag of waters broke. With the incredible direction by my midwife, I gave a few more pushes and your head was delivered. She calmly told me to pause while she unwrapped the umbilical cord which was wrapped tightly around your neck (that was a bit scary and hard to do!), and then another two pushes and your shoulders and body came out. 20 minutes of pushing and I was done.
And there you were. Long and big — 21.5″ and 9lbs 2oz — limp, blue, and a bit lifeless looking. You gave us a scare those first 30 seconds, but you came around and were perfect after that.
I loved giving birth at home. I loved the ease of it. I loved the comfort. I loved being able to do whatever felt best as I labored and pushed. I loved having sisters and my mama in the room (more people than most hospitals would allow!). I loved hearing Adrian and his twin cousin playing downstairs. And I loved being home the second after I delivered our sweet boy. Home. I used my shower, sat in my bed, had all my things, and didn’t have to worry about getting ready to leave 24 hours later.
You were a sweet, easy newborn, Ellis Baby. After getting days and nights figured out, you slept like a charm and were a content little thing. You’ve been here for almost eight months now. You grin easily and love to laugh. You’ve two teeth and two more about to push through. You absolutely adore your brother (as long as he stays a safe distance away from you) and you worship your Dad. You don’t sleep as well anymore and most mornings I wake with a knot in my back and a stiff neck from having you in my arms all night, but sooner than I know it, you’ll be past that stage and you won’t be demanding to be tucked safely by my side so I don’t mind.
You are so easy to love.