My son turns one years old today! I am so proud! I could just post some pics and tell you what Mark is able to do now, but I decided to share my labor experience and Mark's birth story today.
Just a few years ago you could hear me say, "I'll never have kids!" (But deep down I always wanted to be a mom and always wanted to have a house full of children, I was just afraid of the whole labor/birth experience.) My words were said in fear. I was afraid of pain and afraid that I would never be able to handle delivering a baby.
But God put just the right people in my life, my husband, my doula, and just the right Obgyn. I've known Rosemarie for about 7 years now. John and I had just gotten back from our honeymoon and we did a skit in church and the Dimares sat behind us. They were new believers and quite wonderful people. The following year I had their youngest son Nicholas in my third grade class, and then again the next year when I switched to fourth grade. (He was definitely one of those favorite students you aren't supposed to have, such a little sweetheart.)
When I got pregnant with Julia, Roe approached me about her doula services and childbirth classes, of course we said yes, we wanted all the information and support possible. Roe knew the kind of birth I dreamed of, an all natural, unmedicated, waterbirth. I can't tell you why exactly, but I just never wanted an epidural. When I was pregnant with Julia and John and I traveled to England to take classes at Oxford, I met a woman who shared with me her labor experiences with her 3 children, 1 of which was in the hospital and she hated and the other 2 were at home, all natural with a midwife. The way she described how beautiful the experience was I knew that was what I wanted. And for some reason, I really don't remember when, I always wanted to have a water birth. I just thought that would be the best way for a baby of mine to enter the world.
On May 27th, at around 9 am (it was a Wednesday), I was getting ready for Bible study with my Debi...I was so excited because it was my grown up time and Bible time and we were doing a Beth Moore study on Esther. As I was getting myself ready and Julia ready I noticed every few minutes a little discomfort, nothing bad, just different. I don't know how I knew, but I knew they were contractions, and I knew Mark would be coming this day...how I knew, I guess a mother just knows...I had been nesting for weeks, the house was spotless, my belly was huge, it was time.
I tripped down the steps, not good, and her my foot that morning. Of course John rushed to my aid (this was before MSSB, his NY job) and recommended I stay home and asked, why doesn't Debi come here? But nothing was stopping my plan...I'm stubborn when it comes to the way I envision a day. And that day was no different. Contractions or not I was going to my Bible study, and I was going to drop Julia off at my MIL and I was going to have grown up time!
Well, as I dropped JuJu off and headed to Debi's I began to cry. Why? Hormones probably, but I can remember thinking, "It's not fair. Julia won't get all the attention anymore, and she's still a baby, she's my baby. I'll never be able to love this new baby like I do my Julia Star!"
During our Bible study the contractions got closer together and more regular, but still were not a bit painful, hence why we finished our lesson and I just jotted down the time every time I felt one. I would text John every 15 minutes or so and he called Roe, Roe called me, and we all decided I should go get checked at the doctors.
So, I left Debi's, picked up Julia, called my mom out of work to watch Julia, and John, Roe and I went to Dr. Giovine, while Julia had both Grandmothers over spoiling her to pieces :)
Dr. Giovine said I was only about 2 cm dilated, and he felt I should go home and labor more there. Apparently you can be 2 cm dilated for days without the baby coming, but I still knew today was our day. Roe and I labored at home, we ate lunch, we walked around the block...Julia was napping...and right around 3:30 my contractions got a bit stronger and a little painful, so I made the decision to head to the hospital because I didn't want my Julia waking up from her nap to see me laboring around the house. Not that anything would be wrong with that, but I knew I'd have my "game face" on and I needed to concentrate and bring this baby out!
At the hospital I was admitted and was now 3-4 cm dilated. Roe and I did lots more walking around the halls, and I came back to the room to labor with John, use the yoga ball, and get ready for the tub.
The tub John and Roe set up this time was so much faster and easier to do, which meant I had a lot more help from John. He was a gem and my hero. He just let me do what felt right, and during this labor I felt much more in control than with Julia and much better able to deal with my pain. I knew just what I needed and I drank lots of fluids and kept moving around. When the tub was ready I was in it. It was hot in there, but with lots of ice I was able to cool off and get more comfortable. Laboring in a tub is truly awesome. Water does miracles for that back pain you feel in labor.
At 9:30 p.m. my water still had not broke, but I was 9cm dilated...Dr.Giovine suggested that I have that done so that it would speed things up...by this point I was exhausted...labor is a lot of work, people! LOL I felt like I ran a 6 hour marathon! I looked at Roe and she said, "Go for it!" I was afraid to have my water broken because I knew the contractions would get a lot more painful and they did, but thank goodness at 10:03, after 2 pushes in the water, Mark entered the world!!! And it was so cool, to bring him up out of the water and announce to everyone, it's a boy, I have a boy! I was in baby heaven....and just for those of you wondering how you can ever love that second baby as much as your first, take it from me, God just opens up your little heart wide open and you fall in LOVE all over again!
I'm so thankful for my birth experience, but I'm really just thankful that Mark was healthy, at 8.1 lbs and 19 inches long, and a head full of reddish hair, he was a sight to behold and we were the proud parents of a 17 month old daughter and a brand new baby boy...Mark Ciro McInerney we love you!!! Happy Birthday baby, you are such a big boy now...but still my baby.