I woke up on the morning of Saturday, March 14th around 3:00am with mild contractions. We'd already had a few episodes of what my midwife calls "positional contractions" which turned out not to be "real" labor, so I had learned to wait and see where they went. Previously, they would come for a few hours, not increase in intensity, and then go away suddenly. I got up and rushed to the bathroom after several contractions in a row, which made me wonder if we were finally ready to meet our baby. I couldn't help but lie there in bed, unable to go back to sleep due to the intensity of the contractions, thinking about how cool it would be for the baby to have his birthday on Pi Day - 3.14. Pi Day on the year 2015 is even more special because it is accurate to more digits - 3.1415. After about half an hour, the contractions were strong enough to make me decide to start timing them - I hadn't yet let myself believe that they we were in labor "for real" because I wanted to wait and see if they increased more in intensity and frequency - that "false" labor that was plaguing me wasn't going to fool me again! However, soon after that I decided that I had to treat them as if they were "real," because they were real to me in that moment and were intense enough to require my full attention. So I went on timing them until about 6:00am, when I decided to wake up Mike and see what he thought. It took us another few hours to see a pattern in the contractions - they would get closer together, then space out, but every time they cycled through that pattern, they would get closer together. I mostly labored in the living room, kneeling on my yoga mat.
Mike was right there with me, amazing husband that he is.
We FaceTimed with my brother and sister-in-law, who live out of state. My brother led us in prayer - a very special moment.
The animals would come up and check thing out once in awhile. Mollie was the most interested and concerned with what was going on.
One of my favorite pictures from the whole day! This was when labor was starting to intensify, and Mollie jumped up on the couch to be with me. For some reason, burying my head in the couch cushions helped.
My mom arrived around 9:00, and my dad came to get Eli and spend the day with him. By about 1:30 I was ready to have the midwife and our doula head out way. Mike started to inflate the birth pool in our bedroom, running out to the living room to be with me for every contraction.
Mom caught me in between contractions.
At one point my doula said to me, "Not every mom belongs at her daughter's birth, but your mom does." It's true!
Mike cut the cord with the help of the midwife and took the baby for some skin-to-skin time so I could move to the bed and get cleaned up.
Getting weighed and checked over by the midwife.
He weighed 8lbs 8oz - the same as his big brother!
Getting an adjustment from our doula (who is also a chiropractor and has been treating me since my pregnancy with Eli).
My dad brought Eli up so they could meet Ben.
Eli brought me flowers, wasn't that nice of him? :)
My dad meeting his new grandson - they are up to five grandchildren between my brother and I, all under the age of 5!
"I'm a big brother!"
And that's the story of how our little boy came Earthside - about 11 hours from start to finish!