I had resigned myself to probably just being pregnant forever when our baby boy finally chose to make his arrival in the early hours of the morning on Friday, August 2. Paul's mom had planned to come to town for his baptism, but when he was still in utero two days before he was supposed to be baptized, we had to re-evaluate. She came to town anyways, all of us praying that Baby would come before she had to head home, and I am so grateful that she was here! We woke her up to let her know we were heading to the birth center, and she prayed with us in the living room before we made our way to the car. She settled in to wait for news while our kids slept peacefully, not knowing their baby brother would be born before some of them even awoke that morning!
All of my previous babies were born in a traditional hospital setting, with a traditional doctor. But after Blaise was born, my hospital closed its maternity ward. No big deal, I thought, there are other hospitals. Then when I found out we were expecting, I went to my first appointment. My doctor of almost ten years congratulated me heartily... and then informed me he was retiring from OB practice! He would be delivering his last babies in April, and this one was due in July. So, left with a completely blank slate, expecting baby number six, I decided to try something completely different: A midwife at a birth center.
After we had been there about an hour, things really started to happen. I had been hoping to try a water birth for the first time ever, so I eventually got into the tub... and the relief was instant! My body relaxed and I could actually enjoy the moments between contractions. My one regret is that I didn't have all five previous babies in the water!
Leo Ellis entered the world at 7:33am, 9 lb 11 oz, and 21 inches long. We were again left alone as a family to snuggle in the comfy queen-sized bed and get to know each other for awhile. We then called my mom, who lives just blocks from the birth center, to come and meet her newest grandbaby. She brought us pancakes (my traditional post-birth request) and held Leo as we ate our breakfast. I am so glad she got the opportunity to meet him without all of the other kids in tow! Usually she and my dad are on kid duty, so their first interaction with my new babies happens while trying to herd our whole crew through a hospital.
We are happily adjusting to being a family of eight, and I just can't wait to see how Leo grows and develops his little personality among the beautiful chaos of our crazy, wonderful home.