Here it is....FINALLY! The birth story and more pictures. Please know that this is a detailed account of Luca's birth. If you are not interested in ALL the details, just skip the reading and enjoy some of the photos. =)
The Birth of Luca Francisco
Thursday, April 28 (37wk/5d)
We thought this was going to be the birthday. For sure. I had been having on and off contractions for a few days, but nothing regular. That evening though things started to get regular around dinner time so I went for a walk to make sure things kept going. They were about 10 minutes apart. After the kids went to bed, we got some last minute things ready and I showered and went to bed to rest. Around midnight, they were 5-6 minutes apart. Nothing too uncomfortable, but regular, and given how quickly Matteo's birth happened and how similar this was, we decided to call in the grandparents and our doula Lisa. By the time everyone was assembled and in place it was nearly 2 am, and I decided to try to sleep again. **Paul's thoughts: It was around this time, 2am, that I decided to make a pot of coffee. As I was sipping my first cup, Cristina went back to sleep, and I was sitting there, practically twiddling my thumbs realizing what a dumb idea the coffee was...Things were still regular, but not intense, so the more rest, the better. By 7 am, I was still exactly the same. And so it continued to be exactly the same - mild, but regular contractions 5-6 minutes apart from early Friday AM until Saturday night. And then....it stopped. Yep. Just stopped. Talk about frustrating. I was still having contractions, but they became irregular and again, not very strong. It was a very good practice run.
Tuesday, May 3
At my OB appointment the following Tuesday, he explained that the more children you have, the more likely this "warm-up" to labor is likely to happen. Given my history of progressing very quickly in labor, he checked me and I was about 3 cm, and 50%, but baby was still up pretty high. Okay. Some practice run, right?! Patience, patience, patience. I certainly didn't want to rush this baby out. I have been down that road before (my induction with Sebastian) and I have no doubt the the many interventions to have him come before he was ready played a big role in our breastfeeding relationship issues. So although I really wanted to have this baby, I knew that patience would pay off - and lead to a much better labor and delivery. Our wonderful OB, Dr. Gomez was totally on board with waiting it out too and encouraged us to just be ready - it could go quickly - or not!
Friday, May 6
Mother's Day weekend! Yay! This was a big weekend for our family to begin with for several reasons. My cousin Jaqueline is getting married in mid-June in Boston and my "cut off" date for traveling to the wedding was Mother's Day. IF we had the baby by then, we would make a decision within a week or so if we would travel for the wedding. I know the baby would be very young, but we would have lots of family help and I would keep him/her close and just....well, be as careful as possible. Because we REALLY wanted to be there to share this special occasion with much of our family. It was also a big weekend because we were celebrating my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary and they, along with my brother-in-law and his wife were going to be staying at a hotel on the beach near our home. So it was going to be a big fun beach weekend. And everyone would be close by, just in case baby decided to come. =)
Friday morning, I woke up with a mild back ache, but nothing super significant. I was also having contractions on and off, but nothing too regular so I figured it was more of the same. **Paul's thoughts: I got home from work and Cristina told me about the contractions. I suggested a walk around the neighborhood before my parents got there in hopes it would keep things going...Regardless, I went on a walk in the afternoon and things still felt the same. I was trying to not get my hopes up. Friday evening we went out to dinner at Long Doggers with my in-laws, a local dive/surfer/beach joint that is really popular. Don't ask me why, but I ordered a plate full of fried goodness - shrimp, clams, french friend, coleslaw. Yeah. I NEVER eat fried.