Kells O’Connor Chester, A Birth Story (June 11, 2011)

We had a hunch that he would be born that night–some new things seemed to be happening with my body.  I was two days past my due date.  So we called my parents and they came and got Rosie and Paloma.  We all agreed it would be easier for them to get the girls in the early evening to spend the night than to come over in the middle of the night (which they had already done on two occasions for “false alarms”) if it was time for us to go.  So we said goodbye to the girls, got a few things in order, and sat down to have a cup of tea and watch a movie.  I had texted my midwife earlier in the day to let her know things were changing and that I thought it may be soon.  She checked in with me around 9:30 and I let her know I was just starting to have some semi-regular contractions and that I was a little crampy.  She said she would go ahead and set up the tub in a room for me (we had been planning a water birth) in case I did come in in the night.  The movie we were watching turned out to be completely boring, and the contractions were starting to get stronger, so we decided to try to sleep while we could.  We didn’t get sleep.  At about 12:45, I told Randy I thought we should go to the hospital.  We packed up quickly and headed to Toccoa.

On the way, I called my midwife.  I had already dragged her out in the middle of the night before, so I was trying to err on the side of caution.  I told her my contractions were pretty strong, about 4-5 minutes apart, and seemed to be building in intensity.  I said I didn’t know when things would really start picking up, but that I was pretty sure this was really it.  She said to go on in, that she would have someone check me and give her a call.  I hung up.  The next contraction was really strong, and I started to panic.  I was afraid that she wouldn’t be there in time to really help me through this birth.  I wanted to call back, but I told myself that God would get me through it.  And I would just wait.

We checked in the hospital at 1:40.  They sent me to the E.R. waiting room.  By this time, the contractions were so strong that I couldn’t sit through them.  Whenever I would feel one coming on, I would lean against the wall and focus all my attention on my breath.  There was a middle-school aged boy sitting with his parents in the waiting room.  I felt acutely aware that I was going to be his reference for a woman in labor for the rest of his life.  It was embarrassing but completely impossible to be any more discreet than I was.  The first contraction I had in the waiting room (leaning against the wall, in clear view of the middle-school boy), my water broke.  I yelled across the room to Randy (who was still tied up with waiting room formalities) that my water just broke.  He hurried over, and I handed him my phone and told him to call my midwife and tell her my water broke and I was shaking.  He did.

They came and got me and wheeled me into my room.  It was a long ride with bumps in the doorways.  I was so happy to get out of that chair.  Sitting was impossible at this point, and laying down was not much better.  They hooked me up to the monitor to see how the baby’s heart sounded.  My midwife got there in a couple of minutes.  I was so thankful to see her.  I told her I wanted to get in the tub as soon as I could.  She started filling it up.

In about ten minutes, I got in the water.  I was beginning to feel like I could not go on with this, definitely wanting it to all be over.  I was unsure how far along I was.  No one had checked to see how dilated I was.  The contractions were almost more than I could bear, but I was also aware that I was really clear and focused.  I hoped I was near the end, but I was afraid I wasn’t.  About 10 minutes after I got in the water, I had to push.  And it was just a few more minutes before Kells was born.  Randy delivered him.  He came into the world at 2:23 a.m. (about 45 minutes after we arrived at the hospital!).

When he was born, I was so happy.  It is the happiest feeling in the world to have a new baby.  To have finished such a great work, and to have such a beautiful prize.  Kells was 8 lb, 4 oz at birth, and he was wonderful.

I am so thankful for God’s mercy to me through this pregnancy and birth.  In those last moments of labor, I really tried to see what was happening in my body as the best praise I could offer up to God.  Letting everything within me praise him.

We have been home for a little over a week now.  Kells is the sweetest, easiest baby you can possibly imagine.  He has stolen my heart.  We are all crazy about him.  Paloma kisses the air around him when she walks by his bed.  Rosie wants to hold him all the time.  Randy loves him so tenderly.  It is so amazing how love really does grow.

“My heart divides and multiplies
It’s a mystery beyond anything
I ever studied in school
It breaks every mathematical rule
Two become one
One becomes three
Three becomes a family
Where love grows exponentially
Three becomes more
A family of four
And we have all been waiting for
Beautiful you.”

-Song for Kells