My Beamish Brood

My Beamish Brood

Friday, August 30, 2019

Leo Ellis: The Wait is Over

Eight days after his due date, our little man decided to enter the world! It's funny, the longer we waited, the more it felt like he would never arrive. As Paul kept reminding me, as each day passed it was actually more likely that he would be born, but boy did it feel like the opposite! What a change from my first pregnancy to this one... I have officially experienced the whole gamut, from preterm labor and bedrest to 41 week appointments and plans for possible induction! What a trip.

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.

So now, in the early hours of the morning, I was approaching the birth center completely unsure of what this experience would be like. I was greeted at the door by my smiling midwife and led to the beautiful, quiet birthing room in the back of the building. Then we were left alone! She and the nurse checked in periodically to listen to baby, but mostly we had the room to ourselves while we waited for labor to progress. I almost didn't know what to do with myself with no papers to sign, no monitors strapped to my belly, just me and Paul quietly waiting.

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. 

At around 10:30, the nurse came in and told us we were clear to go home if we chose, but there was no rush. Paul and I looked at each other and decided that we were ready! My biggest fear about the birth center was that we would have to go home so soon, but when the moment came it seemed so natural. We packed up our things, strapped Leo into his carseat, and drove home to introduce him to his siblings. They all ran out to meet us and ogle their new little brother. Leo had fallen into a deep sleep in the car, so while Paul passed him around and snapped pictures, I went to bed and slept for several hours. Eventually my parents took the kids to their house, and we had the house to ourselves for two nights!

He has been with us almost a month already, and everyone is absolutely in love with him. The kids want to hold him all the time, and they pride themselves on being able to calm him down when he cries. They are not big on chores or work, but if I give them a job that involves helping me with Leo, they will all jump at the chance.

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.