The Birth of August
My husband and I went home to spend time with our three kids. Together we made a belly cast as we'd done during my other pregnancies. I felt very restless during the process and looking back I should have suspected something, but I hadn't noticed any contractions. When we sat down to dinner just before 6:30 pm I couldn't eat. At precisely 6:30 I pressed both hands firmly against the table and let out a deep sigh as a contraction hit. My husband shot me a look that told me he knew this was it. Our baby was making his way into the world. Even though I'd had two precipitous births I decided we should ALL take a walk. This was NOT my brightest moment. I alerted my doula and we took all three kids, 6, 4, and 2 for a walk... with bicycles and tricycles. I could say, "What was I thinking?" But I know exactly what I was thinking, early labor = move. I'd wanted to labor at home with my previous pregnancies, but it hadn't worked out that way for various reasons. This is what I'd been hoping for... and it was intense. My contractions started out coming every seven minutes, but by 7:15 they were every three and walking through my suburban neighborhood, especially while carrying a two-year-old who "don't-wanna-ride-wanna-picky-up" (insert pout face), was a challenging spectacle at best.
By the time childcare arrived I was ready to have my baby at home because I didn't think we'd make it to the hospital. Contractions were every 1.5 minutes and they lasted an eternity. The ride to the hospital was littered with expletives. Thank goodness my amazing doulas (yes, I was beyond blessed to have two incredible women supporting me) met me at my car because I wasn't sure I could walk into the hospital. I was fully dilated and we all knew I'd be meeting my baby soon.
Our birth photographer, Carrie Turner, also met us at the hospital and I believe the rest of the story is best told through her lens. (*** WARNING: some images may be considered graphic by some audiences (It's pictures of a birth so...***)
Almost exactly 4 hours after that first contraction shook my body, August Harold was in my arms. His birth reminded me why, even with my fourth baby and even though I knew without a doubt that I was capable of birthing my baby, I hired a doula (or two). Because the laboring mind is not a logical mind. It's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be primal, intuitive and when tasked with thinking things sometimes get confusing. My doulas were there every step of the way to talk things out, rub my back, and celebrate with us after the birth. I'm thankful for them, for my husband, for my care providers who were patient and caring, and for the ability to bring a new life into this world to join our crazy family.