WRITERS NOTE: This entry would have been made sooner, but every time I tried to write it:
- The cat got in the way, making it impossible to type;
- Jade climbed onto and squirmed all over my lap, making it impossible to type;
- The pictures wouldn't upload;
- Fawn needed something;
- I wanted to hold the baby;
- I needed to eat;
- Jade needed her meal;
- We had visitors;
- The dog needed walking;
- Jade wouldn't go to sleep;
- Jade wouldn't go to sleep;
- Jade wouldn't go to sleep; and
- You get the idea...
The mucous plug went sometime around 6:30 in the morning. I always thought a mucous plug was something reserved for noses, but I was wrong. Fawn starting having weak contractions that she described as "small cramps" every hour or so. I was originally planning on going to the Remembrance Day ceremony and then joining some folks for a bit of snowshoeing in the afternoon. Obviously, I canceled those plans.
The morning went by. Around lunchtime, Jade and I went over to our neighbour's for a visit. When we came back, I put Jade down for her afternoon nap and went to sit on the couch. I thought Fawn was sleeping and didn't want to disturb her, but went to see how she was doing when I heard her breathing through a contraction. I joined her in bed and attempted to time the contractions. They were about ten minutes apart, but soon scaled themselves back to about twenty minutes apart.
Around dinner time, I called the midwife and left a message on her paging service. The contractions were about seven minutes apart. I was supposed to call her when the contractions were four to five minutes apart or when the water broke, but I figured I would call early. Instead of a gradual increase in the rate of contractions, I think that Fawn goes through labour exponentially.
When she wasn't using me for support, Fawn sat on an exercise ball to help work through the contractions. Jade thought that was a great idea and wanted to do the same.
Fawn's mom, Fawn, and eventually Jade, all sit on balls.
Heather, the midwife, came and started setting up the big birthing pool in the office. Almost immediately after the midwife arrived, Fawn went into full-blown labour. She said she felt like she needed to go to the bathroom, so we shuffled over during a very long contraction. She sat on the toilet and I stood in front of her so she could hang on my arms while she breathed through the contractions. I later said that we make a good team: Fawn does all the work while I just stand there.
Heather mentioned that the birthing pool wasn't going to be ready in time and asked if Fawn would like to have the baby in the bath instead. Heather started drawing the bathwater.
By now, Fawn's contractions were intense and the midwife asked her to try to slow things down. She tried, but the baby wanted out of there.
Fawn said, "Something just broke," or, "Something let go," or something else along those lines. Her water had just broken.
The midwife told Fawn to stand up. When she did, the baby's head was hanging out. Less than a second later, the rest of the baby followed the head. Heather caught the slippery baby. I like to think of it as the "$2,500 catch" (the midwife's fees because, unlike many of Canada's more enlightened provinces and territories, the Yukon does not yet have funded midwifery - but I can't complain about the rest of the system).
It was 19:50 on Remembrance Day.
Fawn sat back down on the toilet and Heather gave her the baby. Fawn looked before I even thought to. "It's a girl!" she quietly declared.
The baby was doing well. Her colour was good and she was reacting and breathing beautifully. A few minutes after things had settled down, we moved Fawn and baby to the tub where they could both stay warm. The placenta needed to be delivered and the baby was still attached by her umbilical cord.
The water in the bath turned red from the blood of childbirth. I like to think of it as a genuine "blood bath".
Fawn complained about our lousy tub. I know she was looking forward to the birthing pool, but the speed of the delivery took everyone by surprise - including the midwife.
As Fawn, baby and midwife waited for the placenta to be delivered, I went to tell Fawn's mom and Jade that the baby was a girl. They were downstairs watching Caillou. They followed me back upstairs to see.
When Jade saw Fawn and the baby sitting in the blood bath, she wanted in, too! She started shedding her pajamas in the same way that Clark Kent sheds his suit to become Superman. We encouraged her to wait until the big pool to was filled (and started filling it again) so we could all sit in there together. Then, the hot water ran out. Simultaneously, water started dripping from under the sink - possibly from the pressure of trying to pump water all the way to the office - so we had to scrap that plan. Determined to have her time in the water, Jade shed her diaper and climbed into the tub. She was thrilled with her new baby sister.
Eventually, the placenta was born and I cut the cord. I have pictures of all of this, but they all contain shots of my wife's breasts. As much as I'm an unabashed fan of my wife's breasts, I don't want them plastered all over the internet, so you're going to have to make do with the sole breast-less shot of Jade sitting in the blood bath with mom and baby sister, which you can view by clicking here.
The rest of the evening was spent getting cleaned up and dealing with those post-delivery things that need to be dealt with, like checking the placenta.
While examining the placenta, Heather commented that it didn't just tear - it exploded! She checked to to make sure that it was still intact and that it was healthy-looking. It was. If you want to see Nugget's placenta, click here.
Nugget weighed in at 7 lbs, 5oz. (3.317g) and was 19" (48.26cm) long. And NO, we still don't have a name picked out.
Nugget took to breastfeeding quickly and spend the rest of the night engaged in that same activity.
It was strange holding a newborn again. Strange and wonderful.
I was wondering how, when I have so much love for one child, I could make room for another. I now realise that it isn't a matter of trying to fit all that love into one solid room. The room expands! What a neat feeling!
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, some pictures of Nugget...
Also a fan of my wife's breasts...
First family picture.
Mother and baby, both doing well.
Nugget! (The next day)
Taking a well-deserved break from pooing and breastfeeding.
Jade and Nugget get to know each other a little better.
Jade loves being a big sister.
"That nipple is no good. I might as well sleep."
Jade remembers her old cradle.
Nugget cries and mom thinks, "Here we go again!"