The Birth of Donald Ray
It was an easy labor. Easy, because I welcomed the ebb and flow of the contractions. I thought of how in yoga I breath deeper into each stretch with a long exhale and did this with the peak of each contraction. I also found counting helped remind me how long I had to put up with the contraction and my 4-year-old enjoyed helping me count.
Contractions started about 6 am and when my 11-year old, Lily, woke up she wanted to stay home from school and she was a great DJ with the music. My 4-year old went to grandma’s house at about 1 pm. I called Patrice to come at 3 pm, she checked me when she arrived and I was at 5 cm. Yea! About 4 pm my doula/best friend, Amanda, came, then I think at about 7 pm Barb and Amanda Jones came.
My water broke at 8:30 pm and I was so excited I pushed when I should’ve waited and let Patrice check my cervix as it swelled and I had to wait through an hour of ctrxns for the swelling to go down before i could push. Not pushing was SOO hard, and without my sweet Lily encouraging me with her calm surety and faith I don’t know how I would’ve done it. It is amazing what we can do when our children ask us.
Finally, lots of hard pushes (I felt every inch of this boy-o and it was so cool) but then a shoulder caught for 9 terrifying minutes. I found myself right where I had been for Miriam’s birth standing next to the bed and ineffectually pushing with everyone telling me to push.
And finally, God bless Patrice and Barb, the baby was free, I knelt and turned to see my baby, a boy, lying so still. As everyone worked as a team to respirate, milk the cord and check his heart rate, I reached to hold and rub his hand and it was so warm and slippery and I asked him to come be with us. A long moment and then a gasp, and another, then breathing! Oh joy! My friend was on the phone to the EMS, but as they came up the stairs 8 minutes later our boy was crying!
Lily ran to call my parents only to realize when they asked she hadn’t paid attention to whether it was a boy or girl. She ran to check and couldn’t stop chanting “I have a baby brother’!
Then he was in my arms and right away nursing. I think he surprised Patrice at how quickly he went from still to thriving. I was just in too much shock and was ready for everything to be normal if it could be and it was. He is a resilient little guy. And so my husband named him after his father, Donald Ray.