Our last 2 children, Rosalie and Harry, were both born at 37 weeks 2 days. So when I reached that day with McKay's pregnancy, I planned to keep myself busy so that I wouldn't be sitting around expecting something to happen. And I stayed BUSY!
We left our house that Saturday morning at about 10 am. Rose had gotten gift cards for her bday to Disney store and Build-a-Bear and we still needed to get her birthday pictures taken. Monti wanted to get a suit for the blessing day. We needed to do home inspections for our side business. Well, I accomplished my goal. Those things, coupled with a few snags throughout the day, kept us out until 10:30 pm. We came home and everyone was exhausted. By the time we got the girls bathed for church the next day, into jammies and tucked in, and I climbed into bed, it was nearly midnight. I turned to Monti and with a smirk said, "Well we got everything done. Now I can have this baby tonight." He said "Ha ha. Very funny." and rolled over to go to sleep. I did too.
But not for long. As had been the norm for several weeks, I woke up about an hour later with pins and needles in my arms. I got them settled again and drifted back to sleep. The next time I woke up it was 3:30 am and I needed to go to the bathroom. I rolled out of bed (literally) and waddled to the bathroom. While I was there I had a contraction. Nothing big or hard, the same kind I'd been having for weeks. I went to the sink to wash my hands, and felt a trickle. I almost laughed out loud. 3 labors that had begun with my water breaking and I knew that trickle. I called Monti's name and said, "I think my water..." Then came a gush. "Correction. I don't think…I know. My water just broke." He bolted upright. I knelt down and he checked to make sure he couldn't see any cord. Then he asked what he should do. Having had my water break with Rose nearly 24 hours before I had contractions, I told him to go back to sleep. I put a towel down and climbed back into bed as well. After 3 or 4 contractions in bed it became apparent that I wasn't going to sleep much. They still weren't hard or coming at a regular pace, but I was too wound up to sleep. I felt hungry so I went into the kitchen to make some toast. Monti asked again if I wanted him to get up. I said no, he should try to rest while he could.
After the toast I decided a hot shower sounded nice. While I was in the shower, Monti started timing the contractions...of a sort. When I got out he informed me that I'd been in the shower for 11 minutes and I'd had 4 contractions. We talked about whether we should bug our midwife, Stephanie, or wait until a more decent hour. After another contraction we decided we'd at least give her a heads up. Gracie's labor had been 40+ hours and Rose's had been 8 so we figured we still had a long way to go. So I texted Steph and my sister (and doula extraordinaire) Tracie and told them that my water had broken about an hour before. They both texted back and asked if I wanted them to come. I told tracie that I was fine for now, but to come whenever she was available. Then I was having another contraction, so Monti called Stephanie and asked what she thought about coming out. She said she would like to come and check things out, "after the water breaks it goes faster." I said ok. But I doubted her. Again, I'd been through this before and it had been hours after my water had broken with both girls.
The contractions started getting harder but were still manageable but I started to panic a little. What if something went wrong? What if there were problems? I texted Tracie again and told her I was having anxiety. She said she'd be right over. Then I called my mom and asked her if she could come and help get things straightened up around the house. Tracie and my mom arrived at nearly the same time, around 5:15. My dad came and helped Monti administer a priesthood blessing. I felt my nerves relax and knew that all would be well. Monti and I went to work stripping the sheets and putting on the ones set aside for the birth. At this point Gracie woke up from the hustle and bustle around her. She came running in during one of the contractions, looked me in the face and said, "WHAT IS IT?!" I smiled and said, "it's time to have baby McKay." She let out a loud whoop and ran off into the kitchen to "tell grandma".I continued to have contractions, but tried to keep busy in between. Stephanie arrived around 6 am. She and Brynn started getting their things set out and prepared. Stephanie checked my vitals and listened to the baby. She smiled widely and assured me that we were both doing great.
By now the contractions were taking a lot more of my strength and concentration. I settled onto the birth ball and tried to relax between contractions. Monti and Gracie helped the relaxation by rubbing my shoulders.
At some point Stephanie asked if I would be ok with moving the ball from the living room into my room so it would be less of a walk to the bed after delivery. Oddly, I wasn't picking up on all of these hints that things were progressing quickly. I still thought we had hours to go. But I agreed and we moved. I was still in complete control during all of the contractions and felt really good.Shortly after the move into the bedroom things got down to the nitty gritty and I started really working to get through each contraction.
Rose woke up and came over to see what was going on. Being 3 she quickly lost interest and some wonderful family member took her into the kitchen for some breakfast.
I told Stephanie I felt like I needed to push. She told me to go with what I felt. So on the next contraction I pushed some. And on the next I pushed a lot. I had the urge to go to the bathroom and I informed Stephanie of this. She said, "No that's your baby. Go ahead, try to go to the bathroom. You'll have a baby." Things quickly got very intense.
I turned and said, "Stephanie, I do NOT want to do this!" She just smiled that perfect Stephanie smile and said, "Too bad! You're doing it." In my mind I had the crazy side and the logical side. The logical brain said she's right. What am I going to go get an epidural? Even if that's what I wanted, I couldn't even make it to a hospital at this point! Let alone get medicated! And the crazy side said I don't care! But I AM NOT DOING THIS!! Gratefully the logical side won out very soon and I settled into pushing again.
I grabbed ahold of Monti's arm and pushed with everything I had.
Stephanie told me that that had made great progress. Then she turned and told Tracie that Grace needed to come in. On the next contraction I pushed again like I had before. I reached my hand down and felt McKay's head emerge. It was so soft and I could feel that he had a head full of hair. I cupped his little head and felt so much joy. Then I pushed again as hard as I could and his little body slipped into the world.
I pulled him to my chest and kissed his sweet head. He was covered head to toe in vernix. I didn't care, I just kept kissing him.
At that moment I felt a little tear in my heart for the son I had not held at birth. And yet at the same time I felt an immense healing take place. The placenta came very quickly after. When the cord had given everything it could to our little baby, we tied it off with a beautiful tie made for us by Tracie and her daughter Hayden. Gracie cut the cord and Monti took McKay so that I could get into a more comfortable position off of the floor and into the bed.
Then our little family all snuggled into the bed to look at the beautiful angel who had joined us earth side.
This experience was more than I could have ever asked for. Labor was little more than 4 hours from start to finish and his birth was as filled with comfort and love as it could have been.
Thank you to my family who came and supported our family and helped us welcome our precious boy.
Thank you to Stephanie and Brynn who were such a calming influence and guided us through this amazing journey. And thank you to my incredible husband and sweet girls for being my foundation. I love you all!!
McKay Adams Randall
Born 5/5/13 @ 8:16 am
7lb 2oz 20" long