Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Big Island, Hawaii
Birth story of Zakary Michael
10-25-12 (10 days "late")
Sunday night I went to bed after having contractions five minutes apart for over an hour. We texted the midwife to let her know but once I crawled into bed they fizzled out. I woke up the next morning a week “late” and not one bit surprised by it. The most amazing thing was though that I woke up with renewed joy.
The previous week had been the most emotionally difficult week that I had had in a long time. My primary midwife had dropped me at 40w2d when I declined an ultrasound because I was now past my due date. It was a hard blow even though I saw it coming. We were fortunate enough to be picked up by our second midwife. That was really hard to go through but what was worse was that my friend, who I was sharing my second pregnancy -- due just days apart again – with, had given birth to her beautiful baby boy and he was fighting for his life. Everyday I was waking up believing for a miracle but he wasn’t getting better. On Friday morning I woke up to the news that she had said goodbye to her little boy. At just four days old he had given it all he had and laid his head to rest while in the loving arms of his Mama. My heart just broke and I grieved. Oh, how I grieved.
When I woke up on Monday morning with joy in my heart I was so thankful. Thankful for the Lord’s perfect timing and provision. Though I was struggling physically under the strain of being very pregnant I was sure that it wouldn’t be long before I was holding our newest miracle in my arms. Emotionally I was so much stronger than I had been the week before. I was ready to embrace the happiness.
That morning I also found the slightest hint of blood when I used the bathroom, which was a good sign that SOMETHING was happening. That alone gave me some momentum for the day. That evening we went out for some spicy food (I don’t really buy into all of the hype of ways to induce but when you are that overdue I see no harm in humoring yourself!) and a walk to the pier and back – about a mile round trip. By the end of the day the trace amounts of blood had all disappeared and there wasn’t much to show for any more progress but the contractions picked up again. They were coming 8-11 minutes apart for hours. I just timed them and then went to bed knowing that if it was going to really start up I’d need as much rest as possible. Again, they fizzled out.
Every morning I woke up still pregnant I had the thought that I at least had another 12 hours since I figured labor was either going to wake me up sometime in the night or early morning or start at night once things were quiet. So when I woke up again to find that I was still pregnant I just got to doing what I had been doing…passing the time.
I did a few loads of laundry (and hung them!) and did my best to keep the house in order. The MW had seen me on Monday but called to see if she could just pop by to check on me. She came and spent about 10-15 minutes doing the assessment and then about another 45 just sitting on the edge of my bed chatting with me and rubbing my back and hips. When she hugged me to leave that day she just held me and prayed. Prayed for God’s timing for this birth and His blessing. Prayed that He would just guide us and give us peace. I remember when she left that day that having had her there with me had given me such a calm. The time she had spent just sitting on the edge of the bed sent a warmth to my heart that I hadn’t realized I was lacking.
Nikolas had soccer practice that evening and though I had been staying home with the girls on these nights I decided to go into town and take the girls to the store to buy chalk (Kate had been asking for it for a few days) and just get some walking in. I didn’t have long but we walked around the store and picked up just a few things and then ran to pick up sushi (our now traditional Wednesday night meal) before we went back for Kevin and Nikolas. While I was driving through the parking lot I gained the attention of two awesome friends who gave me that amazing, “I feel for you” look and then promised to keep me in their prayers. We went home, ate our sushi and then the babies all gathered on the bed to talk to their baby in the womb. They asked the baby to come out and told the baby all kinds of bits of randomness! We had a good evening and then put them to bed. I think Kevin and I watched something, oh no…for the umpteenth night in a row I told him that he could watch whatever he wanted if I could get my feet rubbed the whole time he was watching his show and so, that’s what he did. Just before we fell asleep that night I said to Kevin that 10 days overdue was a nice round number and then I drifted into dreamland.
The alarm went off and I thought that I should get up and go pee and quickly talked myself out of it. Immediately after I thought that I should roll over and again, quickly talked myself out of that too and then WHOOSH! It felt like someone turned on a water faucet. My water broke!!! I laid there for a minute in shock and then kind of rolled a bit and nudged Kevin awake to tell him. Then I grabbed the pillow that was quickly being saturated and made my way to the tub. Ahhhh, just like Nikolas’ birth began (well except this time Kevin didn’t tell me to “shut up” when I told him my water broke). It was 5:48.
Kevin came in and we quickly started on the to do list: call the midwife, call Feather who was coming to help and look after the babies, and then get going on the pool. In the weeks leading up to my due date we had hung a strand of white lights on the lanai (porch) for ambient lighting and I had sewn four white sheets together that we then hung all around for privacy. We had gathered and tied them so that when the time came all Kevin had to do was let the knots out and it would be ready for him to set up the pool out there. After two previous failed attempts at getting the pool filled Kevin had a very clear plan of how it was going to happen this time.
I moved from the tub to the kitchen where I straightened a few things on the counter and then started to focus on what my body was doing. Nikolas woke up and came out and asked me what I was doing. The sun still wasn’t quite up so I’m sure after all of the weeks of me milking the mornings in bed he was surprised to find me in the kitchen. I told him that my water had broken and that Baby “Shaka” was coming today. My very predictable boy got very excited and within minutes was wound up with excitement. He asked me if he could do anything to help me (I know…I’m such a lucky mama) and so in an effort to keep him involved I asked him to turn my bedroom light off so that Charlene wouldn’t wake up. Apparently though Charlene was already awake because she came wandering out a few minutes later. I told her that the baby was coming to which she replied, “Baby” and then headed off to do whatever she had in mind for the day. Kate came out a few minutes later and I was delighted to tell her that when she guessed over three weeks ago what day we would meet our new baby she had been right (along with Auntie Feather). She was grinning like a fool and asked what her surprise would be for guessing the right date – still need to come up with that surprise!
Before long her and Nikolas were bouncing all over the place with excitement. The midwife had shown up by now and Kevin had gotten to work on getting everything set up. My first contraction hit at 6:13 just 25 minutes after my water broke. It seemed like I would have a long strong contraction followed by a “mini” one and for the first time in four births with those long ones I could feel the baby moving down. It was really intense. The baby had been in a posterior position for most of my pregnancy but I thought he had turned the night before. Normally I just labor and ignore what the midwife is doing (and did for the most part this time too) but this birth was different. Each time she came over to check the baby’s heart tones I couldn’t help but really listen. It was one source of fear that had come from my friend just losing her little guy. Each time I would ask if it sounded good and each time she would assure me that everything sounded great. As soon as she would finish I would find myself praying that my fear be taken away.
The pool finished filling (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and Kevin came in and gave me his undivided attention. He was rubbing my back through and between each contraction and helping me replace the wet cloths from where my water would gush every few contractions. He was perfect. Nikolas came in from time to time to check on me. While I was still laboring in the kitchen Feather showed up. After some chit chat and encouragement she went right to taking care of the babies. I was so happy that she was there. It reassured me that I didn’t have to worry about the babies…so far I had only successfully given them some granola bars (and barely managed to think clearly enough to do that) so that they had some food in their bellies.
My contractions had really started to pick up in intensity but I didn’t feel like there was a great pattern to them and I was afraid to get in the water and make them stall so I just continued focusing through them at the counter. Finally though I decided that I wanted to give it a chance. My legs were getting tired with each contraction and I was starting to feel like I didn’t have the energy to carry on. I asked Kevin to ask the midwife if she thought the time was right (I normally just follow my gut but this labor was different than my other three and I was having a hard time knowing just what felt right). I’m not sure what she said but he came back and said to me that if I didn’t get in the tub now he didn’t think I’d have a chance. Only about ten minutes before he had said that it wasn’t going to be long, and if you know anything about Kevin from my previous births, well, he’s always right.
I waddled my way from the kitchen to the lanai and slowly dipped myself down into the warm water of the pool. It was so amazingly refreshing. I can’t say that it took all of the pain away or anything else miraculous but what it did do was allow me to hang over the side of it and just kind of “float” without having to use any energy holding myself up. Kevin started filling it just a little more and I asked him if he could fill it “up to here” while I motioned on my back. He giggled and said that the pool would overflow. I wasn’t even paying attention to how full it already was. Feather was standing out there though and obviously knew just what I was wanting because she made a comment about me wanting some warmth on my lower back and then came back with some hot rags which she laid on my back. THAT was heavenly. Exactly what I needed and just in time because they really started requiring every bit of focus that I had. I had been in the water for a few minutes when Kevin mentioned that it did seem like my labor had slowed and right then I shook my head as I felt the beginning of a massive contraction coming on. I moaned my way through a few of these while the babies all took interest in what was going on. Charlene was kissing me and helping Feather rewet and replace the rags on my back.
I had a few minutes between each of these and during one of those breaks I was rudely interrupted by a political ad on the station that we were tuned in to. I just remember looking up and saying, “Really, an Obama ad?” Someone corrected me that it was actually a Romney ad but all I remember is hearing Obama. We all had a little laugh and then moved right into the next contraction.
Shortly after this I lost my ability to enjoy the babies being out there and Feather, with her amazing sense, took them out without me saying a thing. Though sometime after this I do remember Nikolas wandering out briefly asking me for pencils (which I was unable to communicate clearly enough to tell him where to find them) and telling me that I sounded like a “cow that humming moo”. From the mouth of babes! Kevin was sitting on a stool right outside of the pool and with each contraction I was holding onto the stool or his leg. He was giving me verbal encouragement while constantly pouring warm water over the hot cloths on my back. I remember thinking that this was exactly what I had always pictured for our birth.
Out of nowhere Kevin leaned over and told me that if we had a girl he didn’t want to name her right away. I agreed. We never had fallen in love with the name that we had picked out. I guess that wasn’t enough disruption because shortly after that he asked me what he should cover the changing table with. As soon as he asked me he was saying what a dumb question that was and he didn’t have a clue why he was asking. It was too late though, I was in a full belly laugh, which is NOT a good idea when you are trying to relax every muscle in your body. I recovered before the next contraction hit but there was a small part of me that was afraid that I was going to think about it again mid-contraction and lose, not only, my composure but, my ability to focus.
During the next contraction I heard Charlene coming outside and I knew that I could not handle her trying to love on me. I never looked up, just motioned with my hand and hoped that someone would intercept her before she got to me. Later Feather told me that she saw me and knew exactly what that motion meant -- ”something is annoying me and I need someone to take care of it”. How right she was!
About this time Kevin tells me that a beautiful ray of sunshine suddenly came out and was shining directly down on the pool. He says that it was amazing and it made him feel like everything was going to be alright.
I began feeling like I was losing it. I couldn’t stay in front of the pain. I was moaning and whimpering and crying and doing my best to keep my tones low (with the wonderful help of Kevin reminding me) but I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I also felt a little pushy but didn’t want to say anything and alert Kevin and the midwife and I didn’t feel like I could be that close. With the next contraction though I pushed just a little to see how it felt and it did seem to feel “right”. The next one hit right after that one and I no longer had the choice, my body was pushing, and pushing hard. I lifted myself up off the edge of the pool and remember barking two orders (I felt really bad but I know that I lose the ability to communicate and this time I was not able to being miserable any longer). I told Kevin to get the rags off of me and then when he went to rub my arm (I think???) I told him not to touch me. Poor guy. I think at this point I said that I was pushing and Kevin ran in and got all of the babies.
I reached down to feel what I thought was the head coming out and found a large sac of water emerging. I was shocked, especially since my water had broken already. I guess it was instinct but I just remember kinda trying to break it and then with a little more of that push the head came out and I felt the water release. The midwife had reached down to feel for what she, later told me, thought was maybe the cord and I just grabbed her hand and squeezed. I couldn’t let go and I asked her in the middle of pushing if I was hurting her.
Normally in that moment between birthing the head and the body I have a great sense of relief but this time I did not. Nothing about it was relieving. I also normally have a short break before the next contraction but the next one hit right away and I felt like I was losing my mind with the pain but in that one the body slipped out and I brought my sweet, new miracle to my chest in pure and absolute joy.
It took me a minute to even compose myself enough to look back down at our baby but Kevin announced clearly that we had another boy. My body was wracked more than it ever had been and other than the sense of wanting to hear him cry I was content just to hold him close and gather myself. It probably was only seconds but when I finally looked down at him I just couldn’t get over how much he looked like Nikolas. He was so perfect. Then I caught Feather’s eyes – full of love and tears.
Poor Charlene in all of this had wanted to tend to me and was crying her little head off while Auntie did her best to calm her. She eventually brought her over behind me and that seemed to soothe her enough to settle her crying. I vaguely remember Nikolas and Kate commenting on him being a boy! They were so very excited.
The midwife had listened to him and he had given us a hearty cry and we were all pleased with his health. It was right after that I reached down to see how long the cord was. Kate’s had been extremely long and Charlene’s had only been long enough to bring her to my chest so I was curious to know. As I reached down I realized that it was broken – completely. There was about 8 inches hanging from his belly and the rest was still attached to the placenta and had been delivered. We aren’t sure when it broke or why. We don’t have a clear answer to any of the questions that surround a broken cord. What we do know is that the Lord was right there with us, protecting our little Zakary, protecting us from instant panic. Had any of us seen the broken cord before he had been assessed there would have been no time to calm ourselves before worry set in.
The doula showed up about this time and I was ready to get out of the tub and go snuggle in bed. With all of the babies gathered round and Kevin and Feather we just stared at our newest little miracle and took him in. While we were sitting there Kevin said that as soon as he saw his face in the pool he knew that he was a boy. It took a second but then I realized from where Kevin was sitting when I birthed him that he shouldn’t have been able to see the face. In that moment in all came together. The pain, the lack of relief after birthing the head, the going out of my mind feeling, the way I pulled him up to my chest without ever turning him around, all of it. Zakary was born posterior, or sunny side up.
I had known that he was lying posterior for months in my womb but the night before he came I thought he had turned. Looking back I’m not sure why I thought he turned – there was no sudden movement or anything -- but I’m convinced it was the Lord’s way of protecting my mind. Had I known that I was about to deliver a posterior baby I would have been so afraid of the labor, so afraid of the pain. Instead I was able to embrace the hard work without fear, labor effectively and birth him safely
Kevin left with the three “big” kids to get lunch and “birth” day cupcakes, while Feather and the doula cleaned up the house (washed and folded all of the laundry and did all of the dishes – there was a mountain that I had ignored for two days) while I snuggled in bed with Zakary. When they got back we had lunch (Subway) and then all of us, including our birth team, sang "Happy Birthday" to Zakary.
I delivered the placenta about an hour and a half after I gave birth and the midwife did a very thorough look over it and the cord. The cord was healthy and showed no obvious signs for why it had broken. It will remain a mystery.
We have had a boy and a girl name picked out before we've had our babies. We've always named them as soon as they were in my arms but this time we had two boy names picked out and decided that we would have a good look at him before we named him. I looked at him and then handed him to Kevin to take him and have a good look at him. We came back together and both had a different name for him. I told Kevin to pick the name that he thought was his. It took almost three hours before we named our little man. His name is with purpose just like the other three have been named. Zakary means “the Lord recalled” and Michael is after my Dad and my brother. My Dad for the amazing example and legacy that he has been in his life and my brother for the amazing man of God that he is.
Our little man was 8lbs 11oz (his big sister, Charlene, still holds the record for the “latest” baby and the biggest – by an ounce!). He immediately had the love of all three of his older siblings and they have yet to tire of being able to hold him and love on him. Daddy is so proud to have another son and Mommy is so very amazed once again at the miracle of birth. Zakary…well, he was born in Hawaii. He’s STOKED!
This was, by far, my hardest delivery. My fourth. I pulled two stomach muscles and my body worked harder than ever to birth this little man. Zakary was born in a partial caul. He was born with a broken cord. He was born posterior. This little man is special. I cannot wait to see just how much!
Shannon ~ Wife to Kevin || 08.14.04
Mama Nikolas Eli 04.14.07, Kate Elise 11.06.08,
Charlene Keala 9.27.10, Zakary Michael 10.25.12 & Lillian Hikialani 10.25.14 ~
Baby "Teo" due December 2016 || Loving life on the Big Island!
Last edited by kannondicarpo; 11-04-2012 at 11:24 PM.