Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Big Island, Hawaii
The best catch Daddy ever made! The Unassisted Birth of Charlene Keala. *PICS*
Charlene Keala Carpenter
9/27/2010 (13 days "late")
Well, September 14th, our "due date", came and went with very little to talk about other than the fact that the baby did not seem to care one bit about what day it was. By now we were all ready to welcome baby. Birth kit had arrived a few weeks prior, house was clean, Nikolas and Kate were pep talked and ready to meet their new Baby, Kevin and I were mentally and emotionally prepared, the stage was set!
We spent that week outside walking alot and talking about when we thought the baby may come. Another weekend came (and went!) and I was now more pregnant that I had ever been at 6 days "overdue" (Kate was born 5 days "late"). I remained in good spirits and kept reminding myself that the baby would come when they were ready. I knew the story was already written. God had a plan and I was not going to meddle with it.
So day after day I sent Kevin to work with a grin and a hope that maybe, just maybe, I would call him home at some point with the good news that I was in labor. And day after day I sat here at home with nothing going on, well nothing except those braxton hicks contractions that I have been having since I was 11 weeks pregnant and 2 toddlers who, I think, were really starting to think I was fibbing about the baby coming to join them! Nothing else though. No sudden gush of water to start things, like I had with Nikolas. No prodromal, or early labor, like I had with Kate. No sign of anything happening anytime soon.
And so we found ourselves on another Saturday morning trying to find something to do to entertain ourselves. At 11 days "overdue" not much sounds like alot of fun. I had already walked a 2 mile walk earlier in the week so going out for a walk just didn't seem at all enticing. My pelvis at that point felt like someone had kicked me with a steel toe boot and my back...oh my back. So off we headed to this little place 90 minutes away called Deersville to hang out with some of our favorite people -- Ben, Kelli and Midge! We spent the entire evening there. Walked around town, had burgers on the grill, roasted marshmallows, watched the kids play and laughed. We left sometime around 10pm and headed back home. Sunday morning came too fast and I spent the morning in bed. Kevin came and woke me and suggested that we go out for brunch. All Sunday was relaxing and when evening came we did our Sunday night tradition with the babies -- taking them to play, driving around until they go to "Dreamland", and then stopping to get ice cream so that we don't have to share! It's fun for them and a date for us!
Since it happened to be really cold on this Sunday and it's getting dark alot earlier in the evening we had taken them to an indoor playplace (yes, those nasty, germy kind that I swore I'd NEVER take my kids to!) so that they would be warm and had time to play even after it was dark. Kevin bought a cup of coffee and I was sipping on it while we sat there. Oh, I know better. Caffeine for me after about 2pm is a sentence to be up atleast half the night before I realize that it's the caffeine racing through my body! So here I am at midnight on the computer looking up a few things because I CAN'T SLEEP. I was now 12 days "overdue" and knew that I was looking at the possibility of "risking out" of the care of my midwife if I made it past 43 weeks pregnant, which at this point seemed VERY possible to me.
At about 12:45, while I was researching, I had come back around and knew that I was not interested in even a "natural" induction (herbs, membrane sweeping...) and though I had entertained the thought of going in to have an ultrasound (the only one I would have had for the entire pregnancy) I decided that it really wasn't necessary. I believe in my body. I had NO feeling that the baby was not healthy. I trust myself and my instincts. I trust my God!
So I crawled back into bed, thought to myself that I was now 13 days "overdue" and laid there for what had to have been atleat another hour or so.
At about 5:15am I woke up and had to pee and at the same time felt a pop. I figured it was just gas though and laid there for another 15 minutes willing myself not to pee the bed. At this point, with my pelvis hurting so badly, getting out of bed was like torture. Peeing the bed actually seemed like a good idea most early mornings, though I never actually did it! I finally got up and as I was walking down the hallway I felt a small gush and figured it was just pee. I had actually slept with a pad on that night (not sure why!) and when I got to the bathroom the pad was damp and a bit pink! I put another pad on then went and laid back down. After a few contractions that were different than the braxton hicks that I'd been having and gave me a little of the "I don't really want to be laying down having these" feeling, I decided to get up and see what time it was. It was 6:00 and I had had about 6-7 contractions while laying in bed. I went pee again and this time the pad had a bright pink/red spot.
I woke Kevin up and told him that I thought I was in labor (I have a great sense of denial for some reason!) and he asked me why I thought I was. After I told him that I had now had about 9 contractions in 45 minutes and some blood he affirmed that yes, I was probably (I'm sure he rolled his eyes when he said this word) in labor!
I told him I was going to call Kelli (who missed the birth of Kate because I waited WAY too long to decide that I was actually in labor) and the midwife. I called Kelli and told her to head up here and then called the midwife and told her that I would call her back in 30 minutes and let her know if she should head over. As soon as I said that Kevin interrupted and said that she should just come over now and she asked what I wanted her to do. I thought about it for a second, Kevin ALWAYS knows me better than I know myself when I am in labor, and then told her that yes, I'd call her back! HA!
Once I made those 2 calls I started cleaning up the kitchen. After weeks of cleaning the house every weekend, this was the weekend that we hadn't and the house had piled up a bit. A sink full of dishes, a large pile of clean laundry that needed folded and put away, and toys from one end to the other of the house. So I put most of the dishes into the dishwasher, while easily managing a few contractions and got that going. I remember contractions starting to get more intense and even thought to myself that the noise of the dishwasher was bothering me but I just carried on.
Kevin was coming in and out of the kitchen as he was looking for different supplies to get the birth pool set up. His top goal was to get THAT pool set up this time (it was filling when I had Kate so I never had a chance to use it). At one point he came in and said that we were going to have the baby before breakfast. I replied that that was less than an hour from now and thought to myself that HE was crazy and the baby MAY be here by noon (about 5 hours from then).
I started a load of laundry and was wiping down the counters and stove when I had a thought that I just did not care anymore about the kitchen (let alone the rest of the house!). I texted the midwife that she could head over. By now my contractions were getting more intense and I was leaning over the counter vocalizing through them -- just like I had with Kate. Kevin, despite everything going wrong with the pool (pump was not where I thought it was, plastic sheeting wasn't where I told him it was, nozzle on the hose would not come off!) was coming in for every contraction and rubbing my lower back. I kept trying to time my contractions but they would come on so sudden and intense that I would forget to look at the time.
Kevin came in and told me that Kate was awake and then soon after Nikolas wandered into the kitchen as Daddy was telling him that Baby Jojo was going to come today! He then just followed Kevin around the house "helping" him get the pool ready. I had gone over with Nikolas how I would probably be in the pool and that I was going to be in pain but everything was going to be ok and had even given him a few things that he could help with (pouring water over my back, rubbing my back...). He was pretty stoked about his role!
At 7:00am with a contraction Kevin walked into the kitchen and at the same time my water BURST! It was incredible. It just kept gushing and gushing and gushing. I could not believe it. Kevin came over and just reassured me. He then went and got a towel that I could stand on. With every contraction came another gush of fluid.
He went back to working on the pool and came in and rubbed my back. A few contractions passed and he told me that he wanted me to come into the living room (where the pool was). He said that he had it all set up for me and that we did not need another baby born in the kitchen (like Kate was!). I told him that I felt like I was more comfortable leaning over the counter and so I stayed put.
A few contractions later he said again that he thought I'd like being in the living room and so, against MY gut feeling, I gave up my post at the kitchen counter. Just before I did though, I told him that I just "need to rest for a minute". The key phrasing that means things are just about to get interesting! He said, in a way that really makes me giggle when I replay it in my head, "Oh, no!" As soon as I said it I thought to myself that I was "just being a baby and that I needed to get focused". I then waddled down the hall with him at my side to the living room.
I must say that my living room has NEVER felt so serene. I came in and he had the pool going, some music playing, a candle lit in the corner, the birthing ball right next to the pool and the couch and a few pads down on the floor that I could kneel on while I waited for the pool to finish filling. It felt amazing in the living room.
I got down on my knees and laid over the birthing ball but with the very first contraction like that I had the same feeling that I did when I labored like this with Kate -- this is NOT going to work. It hurts like crazy in that position for me. BUT I wanted to get into the pool and I was really liking that we were all together in the living room so I toughed a few out. With those few though I found myself arching my back and trying to "get away from" the pain. I know better than this. I know to not run from the pain, to let it work, to not let it get in front of me, just go with it -- but I felt like I couldn't. The next contraction, in the same position, I forced myself to keep my head on the ball, my jaw slack and keep myself in front of the pain. I actually found myself managing them but they HURT! These few contractions were the ones where Kate decided to get down in front of me, in my face and mock the sounds that I was making. I don't remember this but, according to Kevin, she was "mooing" right along with me. What I do remember is that while I was forcing myself to keep my head down on the ball, she had my face in her little hands and was kissing me and trying to pull my face up so that she could kiss my cheeks. Sweet, sweet girl of mine!
I had another contraction and said to Kevin that I felt like I needed to push but thought to myself that it was probably just the position that I was in and that I indeed was crazy...I had hours to go, right? I can't remember what Kevin said but it was something from the family of "WAIT!". Wait, as in, I want you to be able to get in the pool. Wait, as in, I don't want you to tear again. Wait, as in the midwife isn't here. WAIT!
The next contraction came and without warning my bowels emptied themselves and I felt my body pushing the baby out. Kevin was plugging in a fan that I had asked him to move so I could feel it as I told him that I was pushing. He again told me to "Wait!" to which I told him that the baby was halfway out! He put down what he was doing and came over to assess the situation and inform me that yes indeed, the head was halfway out! (*giggle* Thanks Kev!).
The next contraction came and he told me to breathe through it. He was determined to get me to birth a baby without tearing. I did all that could and let out 3 short breaths, but my body just pushed until the head popped out, at which point I said out loud that I felt myself tear.
Nikolas and Kate had run over to sit with Daddy and watch and with the next contraction, I began, in a relaxed voice, repeating, "Everybody just stay calm. Everybody just stay calm. Everybody just stay calm...." Until that contraction peaked and then I calmly said to Kevin, "Catch the baby" as she slid out and into her Daddy's hands at 7:45am. Kevin said, "Oh hi, sweet girl!"
What! A girl? I was certain that we were having a boy and after being right the last 2 times I was shocked, but oh so delighted, to discover that God had blessed us with another girl!
He passed her through my legs to me and I noticed the cord was still wrapped around her neck (all of mine have now been born with their cord around their neck) so I gently rolled her over and unwound it. She did not cry right away. Did not make a peep. After a few short back rubs, though, and me asking her to cry for mama she let out the tiniest little peep and I took a deep breath. I commented on how "cheesy" she was. For 41w6d she surely didn't look a day late.
Kevin, in a bit of a panic, jumped up to grab an aspirator but came back to find that she was breathing and just fine and then went to grab the camera. I called Kelli to apologize that she had missed the birth (again!) and tell her that we were all ok. At this point I hadn't even thought about the fact that the midwife had missed it until I heard her knock on the door. She was about 5 minutes late.
Kevin came in, with the midwife trailing him, and took a few pics. The doula showed up just a few short minutes later and then I decided that I wanted to go lay in bed. They all helped me stand up, the cord was too short for anyone else to hold her while I stood up, and I moved to the bed.
Nikolas later informed that "that was a good catch that Daddy made!"
2.5 hours after I woke up with a "pop" and just 2 hours after labor started "the best catch the Daddy ever made" came flying into our lives.
Nikolas and Kate have planted hundreds of kisses on her already. Daddy is still living on the high of catching her. Mommy is over the shock of being 13 days "overdue", of a 2 hour labor, of the fact that my husband, for the third time, has known me better than I know myself in labor, that this little babe is a girl and is completely over the moon.
Charlene Keala Carpenter. Our newest blessing. Our newest love.
Loving life on the Big Island!
Last edited by kannondicarpo; 10-08-2010 at 08:04 PM.