Turning Two – and a birth story

Today my baby turns two!  (Well, technically not yet, since she was born at 11:10am and it’s only 10:11 right now!)

Yes, two years ago Clothilde was born on the couch in the living room.  I had really worried that she would be born on Mirin’s birthday (the 14th) or on September 11th.  It’s seems silly to worry so much about that now.  There was an eclipse in August that year, and I had really been rooting for that date.  My friend’s baby was actually born that night, and I was so jealous!  My back hurt, and it was hard to sleep because false labor kept me up.  Every night I thought, “This is it.  The baby will be here in the morning.”  Then I’d end up falling asleep and waking up disappointed.

The night before, I didn’t believe I was really in labor.  I had gotten my hopes up so many times.  I felt like I was never going to have this baby.  But I didn’t fall asleep that night.  I got up and knew it was for real.  The family slept through while I labored and cleaned my house and made myself snacks.  Ethan woke up for work around 7:30.  He saw me on the couch and said, “Well, see you this afternoon.  I’ve got to go to work now.  What’s wrong?”

“Oh nothing,” I replied.  “I’ve just been in labor all night.”

“Huhh???”  His expression was priceless.  Then the children woke up and were slightly terrified about the whole thing.  Mirin had a little panic attack that the midwives weren’t there yet.  I told him they’re fairly useless at that point, but it didn’t calm him down much.  They played in the living room and around me while I labored between the couch and the shower.  We didn’t call the midwives because I wanted just my family then.  I was determined to have a land-baby this time.  My other two births were water births.  I just wanted to see what it was like.

I drew on my midwifery training to check myself, so we called the midwives when I was at 8cm. I figured that would give them about an hour.  They said they would drift over to check on me.  Then my water broke and things really sped up and we called to say they should probably hurry a little.  My wonderful midwife Jess came in with her own 4-month-old baby just as little Clothilde was threatening to be born.  I’ve never seen anyone rip open a taped-shut cardboard box like she did when she was trying to get into the birth kit.

The first thing Clothilde did was cough, cry for a second, and nurse.  She nursed and nursed while everyone hovered around and cleaned my house again.  I couldn’t feel her breathing, but she kept nursing, so I knew she was okay.  The midwives kept checking her pulse and taking her Apgar scores.  They were really impressed.

So that was how she came into this world, ready for anything!

I’ve made a peach cheesecake (with our Snow Queen peaches from the orchard that I froze – I will post the recipe soon!).  Tonight the family will all gather to celebrate our wild, beautiful Clothilde Angelina.

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