...Or That Time We Had a Baby By Costco
3 Days Old
Hello everyone! After over a year of hiatus, I'm back! I hope to blog more regularly now.
A lot has happened in the time since my last post. We built a tiny house, we moved onto a goat farm, my husband Cosmo started RCIA, we started the process of getting Peter some dentures, Cosmo took on a whole new profession and job, and we had a baby! I'll write more about those other things in the days to come...today it's all about Lucia.
She's All Smiles
Someday I'll write up Peter and Rosie's full birth stories, but in brief they were both straightforward homebirths. Rosie was born really really fast though, so we knew that was a possibility for baby #3. For those who don't know, we live on a beautiful little island in the PNW. It's a 20 minute (or so) ride to Seattle. Ideally there would be a midwife on the island, but right now we don't have a practicing one. I spent weeks making phone calls to midwives in the whole Seattle area and I couldn't find one who was able to do a homebirth ON our island at the time of her due date, who also took our insurance. We would have to plan an off island delivery.
I also was fretting about postpartum. I had MAJOR difficulties breastfeeding Peter - and the breastfeeding difficulties continued in different forms for the entire first year of his life. I'm not a quitter, so I stuck with it. But I encountered literally EVERY breastfeeding problem in the book. I was relieved that when Rosie came along, the major problems only lasted 2 weeks. I did get mastitis monthly that first year of her life, but that was a walk in the park compared to what I went through with Peter. I had an incredible lactation consultant who helped Peter learn to latch and saved my supply from dropping (and then later helped us with oversupply issues, thrush, mastitis, etc., etc.), but she was unavailable when Rosie was born. We had to go off island to get the help we needed and that was expensive and difficult. I firmly believe that women who have trouble breastfeeding need to be able to rest in their bed, with their baby, skin to skin, and have the help come to them. Spending extended time away from home, traveling to appointments, is not ideal. But it was our only way of getting help, and thankfully the major issues resolved so much quicker with Rosie.
Since we already knew that we were going to have an off island delivery, I decided to go with the midwife group at our local hospital. My choice was mostly based on the fact that I would get to stay at the hospital for a day or two and get help from their lactation nurses who work on call 24/7. I also heard that the food was excellent.
The only big concern was getting to the hospital before having the baby. Because Rosie was born so quickly, we knew that it could happen again. Lucia tried to come too early, but thankfully we were able to stop preterm labor. We are so thankful for our community who rallied together and helped us when I was on bed-rest. Finally when I reached the week when it was safe to go off bed-rest, I entered into weeks of confusing/painful prodromal labor. The contractions would take a pattern and get closer together and then stop. It was extra stressful because I knew we had to get going as soon as possible if it was the real deal.
For my 39 week check up, the grandparents came over early in the morning to watch the kids, so that Cosmo and I could go to it alone. I was really hoping that I would go into labor while we were over there. The midwife checked me and said I was at a 5 and she told me she thought it as gong to be that day. But, I wasn't actually in labor yet. We stayed in the city a couple extra hours to try and encourage things along. We went to Costco, took a brisk walk in a park, and got spicy Thai food. It was the first "date" we've had in a long time (since having kids?!). It was delightful, but true labor wasn't starting, and we felt that we had to get back to our kids. We didn't know when it was going to actually start, and we didn't want to exhaust our childcare before we actually needed them. We got home and I took a nap with Rosie. Little did we know that this would be the last baby bump nap we would take.
Baby Bumps Make Excellent Pillows
Cosmo and I both grew up on the island and we've never known there to be as many back-to-back ferry problems as there were this year. Additionally the ferry system decided to make new rules for women in labor, to try and avoid babies being born on the boat. Because of all that, we had different plans for different circumstances. I decided it would be a good idea to take a vigorous forest walk that late afternoon, because if labor could start before the middle of the night (when there are bigger gaps between boats), that would be good. So we went...
After the walk we stopped for some groceries at our island store. Cosmo had just gone in when the first REAL contraction hit. I waited. Eight minutes later another big one. I called Cosmo and he ran back. We dropped the kids off at our house, had our neighbor wait with them until the grandparents could come back, and raced to the boat. We got in line at 6:25 for a 6:35 boat. Everything was going as planned. Contractions were staying steady at about eight minutes apart. We got on the boat and my water broke. I knew things would probably start to speed up, but at this point we still had time to get to the hospital. Then, right when the boat was due to depart, the captain got on the intercom and announced "We don't have enough crew to sail the vessel, so there will be a ten minute delay". Ten minutes later he said it again. Then ten minutes after that he said it AGAIN. It was 40 minutes before we finally set sail.
Just, you know, sitting at the dock, trying to not have a baby.
I looked at Cosmo and said, "we are not going to make it to the hospital".
To be continued...
To be continued...