I’m falling a bit behind finding new and inspiring recipes. Now that it’s hot and full summer I don’t really want to be in a hot kitchen with no AC standing over the stove at 37 weeks pregnant. So I’m going to take a recipe hiatus for 3-4 weeks and post the birth stories of my other three children in hopes that Baby #4 will have arrived and the final birth story will be his/hers.
There are no guarantees since Tonchi was 9 days early and Aisling was 10 days late… so there is quite a window for this baby’s potential arrival! I will certainly post a quick announcement when baby decides to show face and of course with some photos, but the full birth story will follow later!
So here is the first story…
The Birth of Tonchi Paul Mintz
July 12, 2007
6 lbs. 10 oz. 19 inches
I guess it all started about a week before he decided to arrive. Exactly one week before, I started having a few contractions on our way home from Ocean City, MD. They weren’t anything regular or painful, so probably just Braxton Hicks, but I hadn’t had any of these the whole pregnancy.
Then the next day I lost my mucus plug and continued having small contractions throughout the day and night, but nothing with consistency. Over that same weekend I continued to have contractions off and on. I then decided to go to work come Monday and continued through Tuesday and Wednesday. Each day at work was fine and I had no problems working, just feeling a little more tired than usual.
Thursday morning I was up bright and early. I wasn’t supposed to work until 11am, but I was up at 6:00 am. My water broke! At first I just thought I had had an accident, since I hadn’t gotten up to go to the restroom in a few hours. But… as more time passed I was sure labor had started and that it was my water that had broken! Brian went ahead and left for work around 7 and he promised to have his phone nearby in case things started to pick up! Well, they did! By 7:30 I was having contractions about 5 minutes apart. I called Peggy the midwife at 8am and she said to keep her updated. I also called Brittany (sister), Tyler(God-mother-to-be) and Michelle (best childhood friend) to make plans for coming over. None of them answered their phones, so I wasn’t sure if we would have anyone here! I also called Brian to turn around and come home. He had just gotten to the office! While he was on his way home, I started changing the sheets on the bed and putting the plastic underneath.
Also the birthing pool wasn’t yet set up, so I started working on that until the contractions got too strong and I couldn’t. By the time Brian got home, contractions were about 3 minutes apart and I was lying on the bed upstairs. Brian agreed to finish setting up the pool, but he hadn’t watched the video with the instructions, so I came back downstairs to tell him how to do it. Finally, we had it set up and started running the water to fill it up!
Brian tried calling all of the ladies again, including Peggy and told them it was about time that they come. Tyler and Peggy arrived around 11:00 and Brittany arrived around 12:00 with Michelle.
By that time my contractions were about 1 minute apart – I think – if I can remember correctly and they had gotten pretty strong. By 12:30 they had the pool filled and I went downstairs to try it out. It was about 110 degrees and was quite warm. Brian didn’t get in right away because it was too hot. The midwives as well agreed that it was too hot and the ladies (Tyler, Brit and Michelle) started taking hot water out of the pool and adding cold water. I kept asking for cold wash cloths for my hair and face, but I didn’t want to get out of the water because it was so relaxing. Tyler had made some labor aide which tasted like lemonade with honey. There was also magnesium in to help give me some energy. Brittany had brought Stromboli for lunch and I had some of that as well. It really tasted good at the time! Labor continued to get stronger over the next few hours.
When Peggy checked me to see how dilated I was at 1:30 I was only 4 cm. I was hoping for more than that, but I just reminded myself that it really didn’t matter!
Around 3:00 she checked me again and I was 9 ½ cm dilated! YEAH!!!! I was really having a rough time though. I really felt nauseated and the contractions were very hard. Peggy tried to push the last little piece of cervix out of the way, but it just didn’t want to budge. One of the midwife students had me walk up and down the stairs and then hang around Brian’s neck to try and help the baby move down. I know I was complaining that “I can’t do this any more. I’m done. I’m out of energy.” The midwives also gave me a few herbal medicines to try and help me relax and give me more energy to keep pressing on. I know I really didn’t want to do it any more, but I kept reminding myself of the options. If I wanted pain relief then it would have to be an epidural and I really didn’t want that, and if I wanted to be done, then I would have a C- section and would have to go to the hospital and I definitely didn’t want that. So… the only other option was to suck it up and continue on.
Through the entire labor Brian was incredible. There is no way I could have done it without him. He was very encouraging and very compassionate. I never felt like he was patronizing or talking down to me or making fun of me. He knew what to say when and what to do to help me relax and help me to continue on. He was by my side the entire time and was in the pool with me the whole time as well. I do plan on having a home birth again, only if he will be there. I could never have done it without him, and that is the truth!
I labored on the toilet upstairs for a while as well and for the last 30 minutes the contractions were a lot less frequent and I got some much needed rest. Then I just knew the baby had moved down. I felt and could barely touch the top of his head and then more of the amniotic fluid came out as well. It was nearly 6 0’clock. 3 hours of transition is really hard, but by God’s grace I made it!
I went back downstairs to finish laboring in the pool. As soon as I got in, I started to feel like I was ready to push. After 20 minutes of pushing, baby boy Tonchi was born! We sat in the pool for probably the next hour. Peggy said she didn’t think she had any other mothers stay in the water for that long afterwards. I wanted to deliver the placenta in the pool to help keep the mess all in one place. After holding Tonchi for probably 30 minutes the cord was cut by Brian and I started to breastfeed him to help pass the placenta. Within 30 minutes it was out and we had a biology lesson from Peggy. Brenda got in on it too.
Breanne and Brenda (other two sisters) arrived soon after the baby was born. Dad actually showed up around 5:30 and didn’t want to come in, but dropped off pizza, sushi, and salad for us for dinner. He then went home, and once Tonchi was born he and Mom
The rest of that evening we had a lot of visitors! I felt GREAT! The midwives left around 9:30 and before they left they checked us both out and gave us instructions for the next couple of days. They said I tore in about 3 places, but nothing that needed stitches. In no way would I say that the labor was easy, but I’m so glad I was able to give birth at home. After a long day of hard work, it was so nice to be able to sleep with my husband and our new son in our own bed. God has certainly blessed us with a healthy beautiful baby. We think he is just perfect! We are so excited for this change in our lives and all that we have to learn and enjoy.
Without so many wonderful helpful friends and family we never could have had the wonderful birth experience that we did. The birthing class taught by Allison Sowell was just what we needed to prepare us for the day. Peggy Franklin was a wonderful midwife and taught us many things and walked with us through the whole pregnancy and birth. Aimee and Wendy were the student midwives and added much to the experience with their ideas and ways of caring for us. Tyler, the Godmother, is such a wonderful encourager and calming force to the whole day. Michelle, my best friend from youth, her prayers and words of strength and endurance helped me see it through to the next contraction. Brittany, my wonderful sister, re-arranged her day to be with us and experience this wonderful time in our lives. And last but not least, Brian, my wonderful husband, who met my needs like no other, and walked with me through every part of the day.
Thank you to each of you. Know that you changed the day to be exactly what we had imagined and dreamed of. Thank you for being there with us.
This was the birth of our first and definitely set the tone for the next two… soon to be three! What a great reminder and how fun it is to re-read and remember that day almost 6 years ago!
Tonchi is now 5 and growing up so much. He is super protective of his younger siblings and also very bossy! He can tend to be parent #3… which doesn’t earn any points with Koa and Aisling. However, he is also fun loving, energetic, cheerful, helpful, inquisitive, and a joy to be around!
Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for story and baby #2 next week!