Archive for January, 2011

Birth Story

Everett is four weeks old today. Every day since his birth I’ve waited for the perfect moment to sit and put my thoughts down about his entering the world. Every day I thought, “Today might be the day”. And it never was. Today isn’t even the day, because as I sit here, I can think of dozens of things that I should be doing and am not. Nevertheless, the house is quiet. The two younger ones are sleeping, the older ones are playing in their playroom. I am undisturbed for an undetermined amount of time, unbelievably. Maybe I can ponder some more “un-” words to waste yet more time…

I might have even mentioned this in my last birth story – the story of Tess – but living remotely and traveling to wait to have a baby is a huge adventure. The getting ready, the living elsewhere for who knows how long, the questions from strangers about the baby. Isaac and I talked one day in Ketchikan about the fact that we are so secretive about the baby to family, friends, and acquaintances: not only do we not find out the gender, but we also don’t share the names we’ve chosen. Unless, of course, you’re a perfect stranger, then there’s no hesitation. We just both love to surprise others so much. And what does it matter if you surprise a perfect stranger? You’ll probably never talk with them again anyway. That’s part of the adventure, I guess. But aside from that it is also a little scary, and nerve-wracking, and inconvenient. While normally one waits in their own home preparing for the birth: cleaning, freezing meals, and any other nesting-activity, we have been, for the last three births, uprooted to wait elsewhere, where we were practically forced to do nothing but hang out. And as impatient as I felt at times to get my labor to start, our girls loved the experience. I’m sure it would have grown old after a while. After all, we were only there for ten days. But the days before the birth are filled with happy moments that, just like the moments before the births of Jolie and Tess, will forever hold a special place in my heart.¬†Moments that have produced a love for Ketchikan that I cannot explain, I’m sure.

So, we had been in Ketchikan for 6 days. It was Saturday. I was really hoping for a 2010 baby (pfd, taxes) and was filled with extra anxiety before the new year that dramatically decreased once the clock struck midnight. I knew at once that it wasn’t meant to be, so I slept peacefully knowing the baby would come when it would come, and there would be no willing it out, no matter how many miles I walked. I was also in the process of reading a book called the Bait of Satan and knew that the Lord wanted me to read more before the birth so I spent some time each night reading before I went to sleep.¬† On Saturday we saw some Thorne Bay friends, the Jensens, who had driven a Suburban back from Minnesota for us to buy. Diedre asked if I felt anything happening, and I didn’t, so she suggested washing the floor. As much as I like to clean :), I didn’t do that, but Grandma and Grandpa, Isaac, the girls and I all went out to a beach park where we walked around and admired the landscape. The girls played and played on some playground equipment there and some of us took some pictures while climbing around on some huge rocks.¬† It was some time after the climbing that I felt the baby drop: an intense pressure that was very low. When we got back to downtown, I suggested a walk, so Isaac and I walked a brisk pace for about 30 minutes, returned to the hotel for some dinner (of which I ate very little). I was apprehensive to mention the baby dropping because it wasn’t necessarily indicative of impending labor and I didn’t want to get everyone excited for nothing. I fell asleep for a good hour or so and then was up again suggesting another walk. Isaac and I walked even farther this time, all the way to the vacation rental we had stayed in last time while we waited for Tess to be born. The rest of the evening was pretty standard. The pressure had become not so deafening, so I actually went to bed feeling pretty sure that nothing was going to happen that night. But I was wrong.

Thirty minutes later (10:15) I woke up to a gush of water and hurried to the shower, managing to not get any fluid on the bed or floor. I stood under the shower faucet for a good 20 minutes waiting for contractions to start but felt nothing. Isaac called the hospital at about 10:45 and they told him to bring me in and shortly after he hung up I felt my first contraction. He called his parents to come be with the girls and we got ourselves ready for the hospital. I remember feeling hugely relieved that the process had started and that it wouldn’t be much longer until we could return home. Not to mention that we would have a new baby in our arms. Isaac’s mom had a very sober look on her face as she kissed us goodbye. I remember telling her that I would be just fine. We were a little nervous about my history of hemorrhaging, but we had a lot of people praying for us and I felt God’s presence so strongly that it made me peaceful.

We checked into the hospital at around 11:30 and the nurse said I was at a 5 or 6. Isaac filled up the tub for me and I labored in there for an hour or so (how nice it must be to actually give birth in one of those!) before I felt an urge to push. When checked again, I was between a 9 and 10, so the midwife said that I could start pushing whenever I wanted. The urge lessened, however, and I wondered if my body was, as in the past, giving up at the last minute. They started the pitocin drip and about 20 minutes later (around 1:00 a.m.) I felt the urge coming back. Two big contractions back to back got him out and at 1:06 a.m., Baby Everett Wallace Martin entered the world surprising his mama and his papa. I was so enamored that I cried. I guess I had forgotten how much I had always wanted a son.

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