Woke up in the morning pretty sure Jen's water broke. Now you never REALLY know with Jen. I guess once you have a first kid all bets are off when playing the "What Fluid Is In My Underwear?" game. Good thing one of our midwives lives across the courtyard. She popped over to verify the substance in the underwear was amniotic fluid. We were having a baby that day one way or another.
First things first. Jen hops on her computer and starts the series of events she had been planning for this occasion. All she really has to do is send 25 emails to various people saying "Execute protocol 1.4" and everything runs smoothy after that. I, on the other hand, sent an email that more or less contained "Hey Boss, I forgot to tell you that we're having a baby over here. Cover for me for a while. Those projects on my desk will have to wait."
One of our absolutely best friends, Meredith, had been invited to be present at the birth. Only problem, she lives in Oregon. So we roll the dice and select a 10 day span she should fly in for with the hopes that she can catch the birth of a baby. It was a long shot and the midwives were worried it would create pressure on Jen to go into labor which could consequently slow down or stop labor. Meredith flew in on Friday night. Baby born Saturday morning.
So Meredith takes Rigley out to the store and The Farm next door to play while Mommy and Daddy get busy birthing a sibling. Well, mostly Mommy, although Daddy did hold a towel and tracked contractions. Yeah, that's right. AND I almost broke a sweat.
Labor starts in earnest around 8:15am. Noticeable contractions, but we decide to take a walk down to the river anyway. If this were to follow Rigley's birth, we should be having a baby at 6pm. Second kid may come faster so we ballpark a birth time at around 3 or 4pm. Plenty of time. If any of you happened to be strolling through Lee Martinez Park that morning and saw a woman hunched over, don't worry. It was just a woman in labor having a contraction every 100 feet.
Once we got back to the house, Jen started to dial it in. Shades pulled, no more talking, hunched over some pillows in the downstairs bathroom. For Rigley's birth, I tracked contraction frequency and duration on a post-it note. Now there is an app for that. (Highly recommend Contraction Tracker for all of your contraction tracking needs.)
Our neighborhood midwife comes over just to watch and listen around 10:15am and immediately texts the other midwife to get over here ASAP. At this point it kicks into high gear. I'm texting our birthing support team to get over to our house quick, and calling Meredith who was checking out the new baby pigs at The Farm with Rigley to get back home. We really wanted Rigley to be present for the birth and be one of the very first people to hold the new baby.
Midwife #2 shows up at 10:35 and pushing starts in full force. Jen is still wedged in the bathroom downstairs so to catch this baby I hop into the bathtub and wait.
10:57am baby comes out. Jen was an unbelievable champ! Meredith and Rigley arrived to hear Jen's last cry and the baby's first. They hustled downstairs to see mommy and daddy crying and holding a new baby boy.
The whole thing was intense. Because it was so fast there was no room to get into a groove. Every contraction was slightly stronger than the last. There were no plateaus just a steady increase in intensity. You really have to hand it to Jen who champed it out from top to bottom. A totally different experience for her first labor, but nowhere near beyond her abilities.
Welcome Walden! May your stay on this planet and with this family be full of joy, love, and laughter.