I never did give you the full birth story of little mister Max. I had so many posts leading up to the big day, and then neglected to recap the actual event itself.
I had lots to say throughout the pregnancy. You can see posts here and here and here. And here and here. And this one was the day before our little Maxwell arrived. I talked about his arrival a lot.
And now he's here. And three and a half months old.
He's just found his hands. His little face frowns in concentration as he clumsily grabs one of his hands onto the other. He's working so hard at it. The other day I laid him under a friends toy bridge at a playdate, and before too long he was holding onto the little bird dangling above him. I'm so proud for him. I love watching him. I could watch him all day.
He's also found his voice. He giggles at us, and coos and 'talks'. We've decided he's aiming to beat Claire to talking. At this rate that just may happen! (I'm getting a little sensitive about Claire's delayed talking. But Troy reminds me that we also had this conversation about both Seth and Thane when they were this age, and they are now two intelligent little men who never stop talking. I'm not sure what's in our genes or teaching, but we have babies who could scale a fence at two years old. Early talkers, not so much.)
So as I was saying in my last post pre-Maxwell, I had been having minor contractions for about three days, sometimes elevating to me calling my sister to return from Fredericton, her city that is a bit more than an hour's drive away. Nearish but not so much when I'm in labor and need her to watch our children ASAP. She had a lot on the go that weekend and was trying to be available for me. She drove back without complaint at least twice for false alarms! My parents had decided it was good weekend to keep plans they had made away. But that's another story altogether. Maybe to be included in a future post. Possible title, "Things I will not do as a grandparent, even if it is the 7th grandkid.". I joke. I kid. I'm only a little bitter.
So where was I. Oh yes. False alarms. There had been a few.
Sunday morning, I woke up with the definite, this is it moment. These contractions just felt real. Not overwhelming, just definitely not false. It was about quarter to 5. I woke up Troy to ready himself and our things ~ having made it to my due date for the first time I actually had a little baby bag packed, I think that was also a first. I called my sister to come watch my still sleeping babes, and she called her on-call friend who lives near me and started on her way also. Within minutes this dear girl was here, and I was grateful for friends of family. She told me later that Thane woke up shortly before my sister arrived, walked by her in the kitchen (the mom of a friend he had only seen a handful of times), then retraced his steps and said "So mom went to have the baby?". So nonchalant. That boy. To be fair he had been well-informed on the plan.
We quickly made our way to the hospital, only turning around once for a cell phone or something. It was really quite a casual trip. I think we even stopped into Tim Horton's if I remember correctly.
By the time we arrived the contractions were even stronger, but still no closer together. This was a twist unique to this birth. The contractions were three minutes apart for the entire thing. It was almost odd to me. Seconds before Maxwell was born I still had quite relaxed moments, calm between contractions. We had to do some talking with the nurses between contractions as well, convincing them that I was fine, would be fine, and that the pitocin was not necessary. This was the first birth that I had considered birthing at home, but I had decided as long as I had Troy at my side to support me and we were prepared to voice our plans, we could happily do both a natural birth and birth at the hospital.
The contractions of course became stronger and stronger. But it was bearable. Getting better with practice proved true even in childbirth. The empowerment I felt in this birth was so much more powerful than ever before. I didn't feel out of control. I was aware of my body and the stages, confident in my capabilities. To be honest, I kept thinking of my grandmother for some reason. Who had born thirteen children. And the woman I knew wouldn't have wimped out. She would have just got on with the job at hand in her practical, faithful, quiet manner. So I did. I knew that I was doing better than my previous three births in being calm, I was breathing well, focusing and taking deep breaths to manage the pain. I knew I could do it, that I would do it, that as soon as it became too hard it would be over. And my beautiful baby would be here.
And he was. At 7:53 am he was born.
First our surprise at his hair. He has so much hair! Our babies have never had hair.
Then, almost secondly, "It's a boy!".
And I cried. Out of joy. A boy was perfect.
And we snuggled. And he ate. And he was wide awake and wide eyed. He met us and we met him.
Somewhere along the way they gave him a cap. We got warm blankets. And Troy went to get the camera.
And Max ate, and we snuggled, like we'd been feeding and snuggling forever.