Shepherd’s birth story
I’m so excited to tell this story! I’m no past the point of still feeling the pain from it, so its easier to tell. Shepherd was 6 weeks this week, and a total joy. I never knew having a second boy could be just as great as having one boy! We are so in love with him and it’s been a blessing to have our family grow and have two perfect boys, each unique in their own way.
Shepherd came into this world even more dramatically than Caedmon, but in a calm drama – if you can believe that.
I think I was right when I said during the pregnancy, “a rougher pregnancy will bring a calmer baby”. Through all my aches and pains the last month, I held on to this hope. Caedmon gave me a perfect pregnancy, I didn’t even know a birthing pain until I went into labor and three hours later he was here! Shepherd’s pregnancy was rougher, wearing, tiring, and just plain painful. I had so much false labor and shooting pains that I dind’t know when this baby would come if ever!
I like to think the birth story began when we found out that my cousin, who lives in western Massachusetts announced she was engaged and getting married in OCT. She did so right when I found out I was pregnant! I instantly was anxious that my family would come for her wedding, leave, and then I’d give birth. I fretted over that for many months, and then realized – “HEY! God know’s!” He knew the whole time that this would happen. He is a loving father who wants what’s best for his children – he knew I wanted my family there. He knew…he delivered.
My family arrived, in stages. First, Nan, Brian, Elliot, and Dede (all the way from Alaska) showed up on Sept 28th. I was due Oct 12th. We spent a few days together until Mom, Dad, Will, Karen, and Mason arrived on Oct 2nd. The plan was that they would take Caedmon to the Oct 3rd wedding, and give us some time to relax, get ready for baby, or have the baby, that day and the next day Oct. 4th. That is just what happened. I had a lot of false labor on Oct 3rd, Ryan and I enjoyed a quiet day together. We went out for lunch, went for a beautiful fall walk, made dinner together, watched “24”, and watched the Bears game. I had contractions from 8 to 11 p.m., but then nothing. WE both slept well that night, and woke up to NO BABY. That was okay, my family was still in western MA and I had a Dr. appointment on Monday the 4th at 12. The midwife could see I was getting ready. I was 3 cm dialted and 80% effaced, she stripped my membranes and predicted I would have the baby within 24 hours. SHE WAS RIGHT!
That afternoon, I felt no different. I prepared a meal for the whole family and Laura and Ryan came to join us. I husseled and busseled around the house, getting ready for everyone’s return at 5 p.m. I was greatly distracted and we didn’t even talk much baby talk.
That night I went to bed, with some contractions, but nothing seriously. I woke up at 2 a.m. – felt nothing. Woke up at 5 a.m. – felt nothing. Woke up at 5:30 a.m….maybe felt something. Then, at 5:40 I had my first contraction with a sleeping husband next to me. Seven minutes later, another one, 5 minutes later, another one, 5 minutes later another one…until 6:15. I then said to Ryan, “I’m not going to let you sleep while I am over here in so much pain. “ These contractions weren’t bad, I was silent, still sleepy, and just relaxing my way through them. At 6:30 the first bad one hit. At the same time Caedmon woke up. I told ryan to attend to him and leave me alone. I then reached for my phone and called mom, at 6:33 a.m. I told her, “this is real, you might want to get here or get to the hospital.” Caedmon came into our bed, with his drink, and a hug for me. I cried, and cried. I knew it was the last time he was my only child. He was my oldest son, my baby…but not for long. It was real, he’d have a sibling today and all we’ve thought of would start to run its course. I held him, he told me he loved me, then I hugged him through another contraction. After that I knew I had to get serious. The clock said 6:45, and I could only think of the traffic on the way to the hospital if we waited too long. I ran to the bathroom. Elliot woke up (nan, brian, elliot, and dede were staying with us this night). I woke up Nan and Brian, told them we were going to the hospital. I was now doing well, about 3 to 5 minutes between contractions, but in pain. I put my contacts in, and began to feverishly brush my hair. Bags were all packed, we said our goodbyes, and I kissed Caedmon *who was now downstairs watching tv. He said, “Can I come.” Everyone in the room answered “NO.”
I got my camera bag, my purse, and into the driveway. I stopped to wait a contraction out and yelled, crying in pain, “ I want my mommy!” I was desperate, and needed to get to the hospital. We drove out of our driveway at exactly 7 a.m. We arrived to the hospital, contractions now 2 minutes apart at about 7:20. When I got into the emergency room, the attendant said, “honey, you’re carrying pretty high, I don’t think you’re going to have this baby today.” I gave her a piece of my mind, I said, “oh yeah! Well, my last labor was really fast too. I was 80% effaced and 3 cm yesterday, I’m having this baby now!” I got on my hands and knees and thought I should push, but I got on a bed and they rolled me to the room. It was about 7:25 when I arrived in the delivery room and met for the first time the midwife on duty – Kate Kent. She was at the end of her shift and visibly tired, not in the mood for me. She was not that cool – sorry, but it’s the truth. I got on the bed and was fully 10 cm, ready to go. They talked me through things, said she needed to break my water. I waited about 2 more contractions and let her break it. It was SWEEET RELIEF! Then had to push, and according to her, I wasn’t “pushing effectively.” Well, you tell me how effective this is – 5 solid pushes and a baby face up – and he was out. They said, “It’s a boy”, I looked down and there he was, on my chest. We were surprised, and overjoyed. Saying, we have two boys!!!! It was great, he was beautiful. I noticed the cleft in his chin right away and we named him Shepherd. It was an awesome moment and ryan did a beautiful job with me all the way. He took great pictures too!
The only sad thing was that mom and nan, and laura were not in the room to be there. Laura was running late, and mom and nan got lost on the way there! Bummer. But it was so special to just be me and ryan. I kissed him and held him and Shepherd was here. After a little bit of repair work*,Mom and Nan entered the room and met him. It was very emotional and sweet. I was so thankful they were there. Laura then came to take pictures. After an hour or so, ryan left the hospital and went to pick up Caedmon to meet his brother. These moments will always be treasured and welcoming Shepherd within hours of his birth was my whole family. I praise God that he delivered - he delivered in so many ways that day! Welcome Shepherd Thomas, you are loved!