Summer 2015 was fantastic. (I’m sad to say it in the past-tense, so let’s just move on from that quickly!) I was pregnant for half the summer and have had my newborn for the second half. Obviously it has been wonderful and amazing and awesome (etc etc etc) since he has been born, but my #1 most memorable favorite moment of the summer was just hours before he was born. I know the exact moment that was my absolute favorite, and it is one that I will never forget!
My due date with Gavin was June 29. That day came and went, and then the 4th of July came and went, and then we got well into mid-July wondering when “baby boy” (then unnamed) would make his entrance into the world. I was fine with him being late. I was perfectly comfortable, enjoying my time with Zara and Hayden, being very active and having an awesome summer. Sure, I was excited to meet the little guy, but I was in no rush to get him here quicker than when he was ready. I got texts and phone calls from people every day asking if he was here yet.
My prenatal visits showed that he was fine. He was not stressed, nothing was worrisome, we were just waiting until he was ready. The only thing that started to weigh on us was when we started knocking on the 2-weeks-overdue door, which is when our birth center midwives say we have to deliver at the hospital instead of there, just to err on the safe side. We did not want to deliver at the hospital – don’t get me wrong, we had an awesome “plan b” experience delivering Zara at the hospital, but we really wanted to deliver him in the water at the birth center! And we really wanted to let his labor and delivery happen naturally.
So once we started getting 11, 12, 13 days overdue, we kicked up the “natural methods” of inducing labor…. You know them, you’ve heard them, and we tried them. Except spicy foods, I don’t do spicy foods. On day 12 overdue, after two membrane sweeps in two days, my midwife gave me a natural herb called cotton root bark, with instructions on how much to take in a given hour. It was a liquid that I swallowed every 15 minutes for an hour, took an hour off, and then repeated the next hour. The end result goal was for it to kickstart contractions.
Here are a few final pregnancy pictures on those last couple days – Jeremy, Hayden, Zara and I went on a lot of family walks, trying to naturally get things moving while we waited for Gavin to join us.
And it was on Saturday July 11 between 630 – 7pm that was my absolute most favorite and memorable moment of summer 2015!! Jeremy, Hayden, Zara and I were at our neighborhood park on a family walk. We had stopped at the park because Hayden wanted to take a quick dip in the lake. And somehow, no one else was there at that time and we had the whole park, beach, dock, and swimming area to ourselves. I sat on the bench on the beach, as Hayden jumped in the lake and Jeremy and Zara played on the dock and threw water toys out at Hayden to catch. They were all laughing and having a great time. It was such a peaceful and serene moment for me, as I watched my sweet little family, with the lake and trees surrounding them and the sun setting behind them. It was beautiful.
And that’s when the contractions started. That’s when Gavin decided it was time to join our family. He was ready. We were ready. And I will cherish that moment forever.
The start of labor is not like what they show in the movies or on television. It is not a mad panic and rush to the hospital – at least not for us. 🙂 We went home, ate dinner as a family, I bathed Zara, and the kids went to bed – all while my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and starting to get stronger and closer together. Jeremy and I made sure our bags were packed and our families and midwife knew that “it” was starting and to be on-call through the night. And we went to bed to try to get some rest.
The rest of Gavin’s birth story is another story all on its own, and I will save that for another post (coming soon!). But it was the start, the very moment he finally decided it was time to join our family, that I will remember forever. 🙂