Harrison William Anderson
June 18th 2006 7:16 a.m., Sunday; Father’s day.
Weighing 8lbs 8oz., 21.5 inches long with a head and chest measurement of 14 inches.
After five births that came between 36 and 38 weeks I had no reason to suspect I would get to 39 weeks and 6 days with my the sixth. I started bed rest at 30 weeks like I usually do and by 37 weeks I was tired and very uncomfortable. When 38 weeks came and went I was beginning to feel depressed and anxious. By 39 weeks I wondered if I should start to worry. Nathan joked that I was intentionally waiting for Father’s day so he wouldn’t get his “day of rest”. I guess he really is prophetic.
I had occasional visions of this birth trough out my pregnancy. They were just small glimpses, nothing that seemed real insightful. Things like the birds singing and the sun rising and even the way Nathan supported me, but they all where there when the time came. I hope this signifies my connection with my body, though I can’t say I felt terribly in tune this time. I did have this deep unexplainable fear that I wouldn’t be able to handle labor. For some reason I thought it would be very long and difficult. I’ve always had short easy labors, so I really don’t know where this fear came from.
Saturday night we went to bed about one a.m. I told Nathan it would be ideal to have the baby in the middle of the night while everyone slept. As I was going to sleep I thought three a.m. would be a good time to get up and tat I’d love to watch the sunrise as I labored.
I woke up at 2:53 a.m. with a strong contraction. I didn’t get excited as this was pretty common at this point. I waited for it to end and went to the bathroom and then back to bed. As I dozed I got another contraction. I started praying that this was it, that God would have mercy on my body and that the children would sleep through it. I continued to have contractions; I would pray through them and doze between them. I was having sharp pains in my pubic bone, but thankfully no back labor.
Just shy of five a.m. my water broke. This came as quite a surprise as this usually happens right before I’m ready to push. My contractions had been regular but mild and fairly spaced out so I wasn’t expecting to be ready to push yet.
I woke Nathan and quickly got off the bed. I didn’t want the bed to get wet because Fenton was still asleep in it. Nathan got a chux pad for me and helped me off with my pants. It felt good to stand and there was less pubic pain, but the contractions seemed to space out, although I had never timed them. My legs soon got tired and I asked for a chair. The contractions were a little more intense sitting but not bad. They still seemed very spaced out and I was a little concerned we would be there awhile. Nathan turned on some classical music and lit the candles. The back door was open so there was a slight breeze and the house was silent, it was all very peaceful. As the birds awoke I asked Nathan to turn off the music so I could hear them.
The contractions started picking up and I was getting more pubic pain. At some point I pushed the chair away and tried to find a comfortable position on the floor. I was really tired and waned to sleep between contractions. I noticed the sun was coming up and how beautiful the sky looked, but I worried that the children would be awake before the baby came and when I needed Nathan most. I had been praying with every contraction for mercy, courage and strength and now I added that the kids would sleep until the baby was here.
The contractions quickly picked up as did the pubic pain. Nathan sat behind me so I could lean against him; it felt good to share this space. I think transition hit about this time as I felt just one continuous peak and immense pubic pain as well as some low back pain. It was very intense, I found myself wanting to escape rather than embracing it. The sharp pubic pain was new for me and I think it caused me to worry which hindered my ability to let go and go with it. I squeezed Nathan’s hand and tried to breathe and vocalize. That’s when CJ knocked at our door wondering what was going on. He was obviously frightened.
There were two of those long contractions and then I went forward and laid on my side exclaiming that he was stuck. After another long contraction I asked Nathan to help me to my knees. The pack-n-play was directly in front of me and resting my arms on it I was able to keep body upright but still resting against something. I had another contraction, though with this one there was little pubic pain and I felt him enter the birth canal. I began vocalizing quite loudly and when I heard Nathan “shhhing” I was ready to smack him, but Fenton was waking and it was him he was “shhhing” I then felt the need to push. I rested back onto my bent legs and pushed twice before I felt the head begin to crown. One more very strong push and the head was out, oh what a relief! Nathan was trying to see but there wasn’t really any way for him to. He was also trying to make sure Fenton didn’t get scared. I had a moment to breathe and then felt the need to push with all my might. I really wanted to grab my baby and guide him out but I was pushing with such force that my fists were clenched and I couldn’t relax my hands enough to hold him so I let him slip out onto the chux pad directly below as I scooted back to make room. I sat there for a moment and stared in wonder at the life that just came from me. Then I picked him up and asked for a towel. He sputtered and let out a cry; I wiped off his face and held him to my chest. The sun was up, and the birds were singing and I thanked God for this awesome opportunity to participate in His creation.
I asked Fenton, who was laying in the bed watching, if he wanted to see the baby, he shook his head yes and came over with eyes wide with wonder. We then invited CJ in who asked what it was so I had him look. Then each child woke up and came in one by one. We all sat in silence for a moment, just a moment, and just looked at our newest family member.
The placenta came quickly afterward along with a large puddle of blood. I tied and cut the cord and Nathan held him and got me the Shepard’s purse. I took one dropper full, and then headed to the shower where I took a second. I got cleaned up and into bed and took a third. I was shaking a lot and wondered if it was related to the amount of blood I had lost. I got Harrison latched on and contemplated at what point I would tell Nathan we needed to transfer. Harrison nursed wonderfully and when I checked a half hour later I was satisfied that the bleeding had slowed significantly and the need to worry had passed. Nathan got everything cleaned up and I set about inspecting our newest little blessing.