At the time of this writing, Friday morning, it is officially my due date. No signs yet. I made it to my 40 week appointment, and made an appointment for next week, just in case. I then decided to stop by Costco for some non-refrigerated essentials, then back home to have dinner and watch the VP debate. It feels strange, thinking back to the beginning, when it felt like the nausea would never end and I would be confined to my sick bed for the rest of my life, to be in a place where I feel ready and labor is a real possibility at any time. I'm starting to feel content with a late arrival. Especially since Shane, who was still not feeling well after our colds and actually made a dr apt for himself, is taking a short round of antibiotics for suspected ear infection and needs a little recovery time before being my labor support. Though tonight would be nice as we'd have the week-end to sort things out. But I would not mind waiting and getting another night's sleep for both of us. Going into labor in the morning would be a new experience. So far all of our have been night babies. Which brings me to Kateri.
Again, there were no warning signs with Kateri. She was due Aug 2nd. A week before, we were hauling buckets of water to irrigate some newly planted trees on our property, about an hour and a half from home. Then we went to a big horse show a few days before her due date in the same location. The thought of her coming early and birthing in the forest with no running water never seemed a concern. I was so used to going over my due date.
So it was a little of a surprise when I found myself calling the midwives at 11:00pm on the 30th of July. My water had broken and was coming out in gushes with each contraction. Unfortunately, so was a bit of blood. It was hard to tell how concentrated it was, but I knew it was not normal. After the phone assessment, the midwife told us to go to the hospital. She would phone ahead to arrange for an ultrasound and meet us there. My in-laws came to stay with the big kids, who were probably not asleep yet , and Shane and I headed to the hospital.
It felt like a long drive, though it was only 10 min or so, but when you think there is something wrong with your baby time creeps by. Just the year before I had known two mother's who lost their infants at birth. So the thought and the experience were not foreign.
It felt like it took forever to check in and they did not feel the same panicked urgency Shane and I were feeling, which made it even more frustrating. Finally we were admitted to a room and met by the midwife, my mom, and a super nice nurse. They started monitoring the blood/fluid loss and eventually the ultrasound technician came in to see what she could.
Nothing looked out of the ordinary or worrisome. She asked if we knew the sex of the baby. We didn't. She asked if we'd like to know and we figured we'd find out in a few hours anyway so why not. But Kateri was too scrunched and we couldn't tell. After all the tests and investigating turned up nothing we felt free to go or stay as we wanted. The nurse tried to convince us to stay, offering a labor tub and other niceties. I asked if I could deliver in the tub and she said no. So not seeing they had much to offer, remembering Audrey's birth, and knowing I was 5 cm dilated and would not be wanting to be moving very soon, we quickly packed up and moved the party back home.
The rest of labor went as usual. I liked the birthing stool again, and holding Shane around the neck for support. Finally, at 3:26, weighing in at 6lbs 10oz, Kateri arrived. She was so small, especially after Cyril, but checked out completely healthy. Upon closer inspection the placenta showed evidence of an old clot and a partial abruption. Her cord was the shortest the midwife had ever seen- about 6-8 inches. To this day Shane still calls Kateri our 'miracle baby'. Which isn't exclusively accurate, because every baby is a miracle.
As are heir birth stories. Which will bring me to Cyprian's birth next, hopefully followed in a bit by Malachi's.