As I sit here with my almost 3 week old baby boy, I feel ready to tell his story of coming into this world.
I am compelled to give you a little background of my pregnancy with him, so here goes. To start, Kyle and I contemplated bringing another child into our family. Things are already crazy busy and it is frequent that we long for more time with Terryn, Canon and Laken. The conversation around another baby was basically, “let's reassess this in a few years but for now, carry on”. The older Laken got, though, the more I think both of us realized how we wouldwill miss having a little one around. And, to be honest, deep down I knew I wasn't done having babies. If you know me at all, you know to say I am passionate about birth is an understatement.
In May when Kyle asked "shouldn't you be getting your period soon?" I was a bit taken aback. He never asks those questions. When was I supposed to get it? Hmmm, a few days ago. I'm never late. My cycle is like clock work. Well, I'm sure it is because of this training I have been doing for my half marathon coming up in June. And because you are reading Maclin's birth story, you know it was much more than long distance running. We would have our fourth baby! In the winter! All of this was overwhelming and exciting and scary and exciting and a little bit overwhelming again. The emotions were like a roller coaster. When I told Kyle our exciting news he smiled and responded "I knew it." In my head I was thinking "excuse me, what?" He continued on "the morning you came out here and told me you think the eggs are rotten because they smell so bad, I knew you were pregnant." Apparently he knows me pretty well.
I was excited. I was going to rock this pregnancy. I had been lifting and training for my half and been taking really good care of myself. I had learned even more since my pregnancy with Laken and I felt I knew all there was to know to rock this pregnancy and childbirth! Plus, as a BIRTHFIT Affiliate and regional director, it is kind of my thing. Coincidentally, the day before I found out we were expecting I had scheduled a Hypnobirth training course at our office. This would be perfect.
We planned our water birth at home and talked about our plan for months. Kyle was so involved. Not to say he wasn't with the others but I could sense his support and understanding for how important this birth was to me. He continuously asked what he could do to help me have the birth I wanted. He read the
Hypnobirthing book and supported and encouraged me to practice the HB method. He allowed me to go and coach, lift, run or hike on a regular basis. I was so thankful that he was so understanding.
Fast-forward to two days after Christmas. Our pump went out in our well. And let's save the LONG story surrounding my extreme un-love for this plumber and just say that our water ended up getting contaminated and after what I would consider very poor business ethics, was still contaminated on January 27, 2016.
The good stuff:
On Tuesday, January 26 I went for a run with my friend Amanda and our dogs. I decided not to do our hike after as it had been too much for me to do both the past few weeks. I started having surges that were pretty far apart but definitely stronger than any before during this pregnancy. This was starting to remind me of my birth with Laken. Consistent surges for a day before giving birth.
Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning rather, I was woken up by a very strong surge. Then two more. But they were 45 minutes apart. The last one was at 4:43 am and I decided "all right, I'm going in to Eupraxia to workout.. This will either kick things in gear or it won't and I'll go in to work for the day" Kyle supported me in this of course and off I went. I looked at the clock when I got there, 4:56 am. Great; 4 minutes until class starts. I hurry in and get ready, of course not telling anyone I was in labor. It was kickboxing day and all I could do is laugh and stop when the surges came. I was excited. I was going to meet my baby that day.
Kyle was at a meeting so I called him home when surges were 5 minutes apart. I also let my midwife know, but hesitated to have her come because I didn't want her to be there with nothing happening and take her away from her VERY busy schedule. I knew things were getting more intense when I had to tell Terryn and Canon "All right, that is the last vagina joke that will be said today." They were simply giggling excited that I was in labor and laughing about the baby coming out of my vagina. Something I would normally not get agitated by.
Kyle arrived, I messaged Bridget (my sister) to come over,and the midwives arrived. I didn't tell my sister in law yet because now surges had slowed dramatically. I had all these people here, and didn't even know if I was actually in labor.
I could not get my mind off the fact that I had not submitted payroll for my dad's company. This had to be done on Wednesdays (it was Wednesday) and I was definitely not going to want to go in after baby was born. Who was going to take care of it? The guys wouldn't get paid. All of these thoughts kept running through my head. Kyle and I laid down together in our bed and I confessed that I could not get this off my mind and needed him to drive me to the office to get this done. Surges were about 30-40 minutes apart now anyway!
We went to the office. I did payroll and hit submit and two minutes later I had a surge so strong I had Kyle hold me up. It was definitely time to leave the office (the massage therapists both had clients in massages). It was shortly after noon and I had two more intense surges on the 4 mile car ride home.
Go time. Once that was off of my mind things picked up quite nicely. The midwives messaged that they were on their way back as they had left to run some errands while we went to the office. I remember Terri (one of the midwives) asking when they arrived back "Erica, were you planning on calling us?" Well of course I was but didn't want to call too soon. She knows me well.
Since our water was still contaminated, there would be no water birth. I honestly didn't think of it consciously during labor and when the assistant brought it up I was frustrated. I felt like I was focusing well and didn't want any talk about it as it brought negative feelings. My playlist was on, it was beautiful and sunny outside and trees and ground were covered in beautiful white powder.
Surges were so intense. My legs were cramping as they did with Laken and I was unable to find comfort. Kyle was having to hold all of my weight up with his arms under my shoulders. I was unable to support myself due to the intense cramping in my upper thighs. I needed him by my side.
Our boys were all present, my sister was taking pictures and videoing, my midwife and her assistant and of course Kyle and I were all in our bedroom. The boys were awesome. I could sense that their volume was making everyone else anxious, I suppose out of concern that it would bother me. I actually found a lot of comfort in listening to their comments and joy and curiosity. And I found it hilarious when Canon stuck a golf tee into my physio ball.
It got to the point that even with Kyle holding me up I was unable to relax my legs. Between surges I would focus on my music playlist and relax all other parts of my body. During surges I relied on Kyle's strength to support me as well as the look on his face that reminded me I was strong and I was doing this.
Surges got stronger and the tightening in my legs became intense even between surges. I needed to get off my feet so Kyle laid behind me on our bed. This was far more intense than my other births. I was much more vocal and this wasn't the quiet, serene birth I had expected.
It wasn't long after climbing into bed that it was time for baby to be born. It was so surreal as I could literally feel baby moving down. I screamed as my body was working on its own to bring baby into this world, very fast. Something came over me right before he was born as I told Kyle "it's a boy." Shortly after, Maclin Kyle Boland entered our world. I was overcome with relief. Bringing him into the world was an incredible amount of work. I was relieved he was here, I was relieved he was healthy. It was 4:56 pm. Roughly four and a half hours after submitting payroll. Quick!
We enjoyed our time all together as a family of 6, in our home. It was amazing. I decided to watch my birth video the next day (too soon). The video starts out with my primal yell as I brought Maclin into the world. This feeling of confusion set in. Why wasn't I able to be totally quiet and serene? Why did I feel it should have quiet and serene and why was I feeling guilt? Why did I feel like I had failed?
I worked my ass off to make sure this went how it was "supposed to." It took me a while to process this. I suppose a couple of weeks isn't very long in the big scheme of things but I spent months picturing exactly how it would go. Months preparing for how Kyle and I would work together for this birth. Then it hit me. I have never needed Kyle more in my life. I have never felt so connected to him as I did that day. I really can't describe it. Yes, he was there and supportive and loving for all of the other births, but this was different. And, it was amazing. I felt more love for him than I knew possible. We needed this for each other. Together we created and brought another beautiful and healthy baby boy into this world. Exactly as he should be.
-Erica Boland, DC