Trek was due on April 13, 2011. I had Peyton at 37 weeks and Conner at 36 weeks, I expected Trek to come early. He came 2 days before his due date. We planned a home birth with a midwife, but had to cancel it in the last few weeks because my blood pressure would not go down. I had high blood pressure with all 3 pregnancies, but thankfully none of them ever developed into any complications.
April Fools Day
It was Friday morning, April 1, 2011 and Jarrett had already left for work. I was cleaning the bathroom in a sports bra and looked at my belly in the mirror and told the baby-you better not come on April Fools! At that exact moment my contractions started! I noted it and kept cleaning trying not to get too excited. This went on for about an hour, so I started writing down the contractions, they were about 10 min. apart.
After 2 more hours I called Jarrett and told him to come home. He came home and we proceeded to do all the fun and special things I had read about that you do while you are in early labor. I packed our stuff up, called Amanda, and got the boys all excited. We played board games and watched a movie.
My contractions were about 7 minutes apart at 2pm, but they were not increasing in intensity so I kept fighting Amanda and Jarrett off when they tried to take me to the hospital. We went on a walk to McDonald’s and got ice cream cones. I even went to the beach by myself and laid in the sun for a while.
My contractions finally got to 5 min. apart around 6 pm so Amanda came and stayed with the boys and we went up to the hospital. When we got there I got checked in and got cozy in the bed hoping this little guy would come after midnight so his birthday would not be April Fools day.
Our doctor came in to check me, I just knew I would be at least a 5 or 6 after contracting all day, but I was only 3cm dilated! What!? She told me that she thought I was in labor and she had seem women go from a 3 to a 10 in less than an hour and to go for a walk. So Jarrett and I walked around the hospital for about an hour, laughing at how ghetto it was as we explored every corner since we had nothing else to do.
We went back and I was still a 3. So we walked for another hour. Still a 3. We walked one more hour and when I was still a 3 we decided to take a nap and check around 1 am. When she checked me at 1, I was still a 3, so we decided to go home. The doctor tried to talk us out of it, but I was afraid if we stayed much longer they would try to induce me.
By the time we got home I was no longer having contractions and did not have any more contractions until 10 days later at 1am on April 11, 2011. It was a crazy day, but I am so thankful for that time that we spent together as a family anticipating and welcoming Trek-even if it was 10 days early:)
The Big Day
Tuesday April 11, 2011-1am
I had barely fallen asleep when I started feeling low crampy contractions. They were slightly uncomfortable and I was too excited to sleep so I got up. I did not wake up Jarrett because of my last false alarm last week and I wanted to be sure this was it. I got up and read some birth stories on the internet for a while and wrote down the times I had contractions. They were about 15-20 minutes apart. I was bored and kept doing chores and watching youtube home birth videos in between contractions.
They started hurting worse and when I would have one I would get off the couch and curl up in a ball on the floor. I still was not sure this was it because the contractions never got closer than 15 minutes apart. I did my hair and got our hospital stuff ready.
The contractions became more intense and I thought to myself that I might have to get an epidural at the hospital because these were really hurting and I was probably only dilated to a 5 and I could not imagine the pain when I was dilated more. I scolded myself after each contraction at this time for being such a baby! I said, Chelsea you had better buck up if you want to do this naturally!
I called Amanda and told her she probably would need to come over around 6:30 or 7am. I woke up Jarrett, but he did not really hear me and I didn’t care because I felt like I needed to be alone to cope with the pain.
I had a painful one that all of a sudden made me really mad at Jarrett that he was asleep. I went and woke him up and said I already woke you up once why are you asleep!!! He got up and I told him to get ready that this might be it. He said he needed to take a shower and I yelled at him-Why did you not take one last night!
I was so irritable at poor Jarrett and he was being so sweet. I now know that I was in transition and probably dilated to a 9. I went to the kitchen and was leaning over the counter to have a contraction, I was really annoyed to have someone up and watching me for some reason. He told me I looked beautiful and he would take a quick shower. I told him to shut-up and not talk to me!
Hehe-looking back I still had no clue I was so close to birth but Jarrett said when I told him to ‘shut up’ he started to think I was farther than I said. I felt so bad that I had yelled at him so after my contraction I went into the bathroom and told him I was sorry and I wanted this to be special and I would be nicer. I told him I was going to snuggle Peyton and Conner in bed.
minutes away and totally unaware
I remember those minutes in bed so vividly, I had spent 4 years with just these 2 angels as my world and I wanted to treasure the last few minutes we had together. I snuggled and kissed both of them over and over.
I laid there for about 15 minutes without a contraction and thought, man maybe Jarrett should just come back to bed, maybe this is another false alarm.
Right about the time I thought that I felt a contraction start to build so I quietly crawled out of bed and rolled onto my hands and knees and a huge contraction was met with an uncontrollable urge to push. I let out deep birth cries and moans like the ones that I had heard from the two homebirths I had been lucky to witness in the last year.
birth pains and cries
I could not control the sounds escaping me or the pushing my body was doing. I was right by the window in our bedroom and I thought-our neighbors are going to think someone is dying!
This long contraction/pushing lasted about 1 minute, the boys both woke up and started jumping on the bed shouting-the baby is coming, the baby is coming!! They had watched all those home birth videos with me and knew exactly what was going on.
I looked up from my position to see Jarrett magically dressed and calling Amanda to come Right Now! I thought to myself-she is still in bed, I told her not to come for 1 more hour, there is no way she will be here any time soon. Jarrett came and got me and started to lead me out the front door when another rockin contraction brought me to my hands and knees, right then I knew I was really in labor and I was going to have the baby at home. My mind started racing, should I get in the bathtub? I told Jarrett through my birth cries-call Tina (my friend:) she can help you deliver the baby, but I knew as I said it no one would make it in time.
completely out of control of my body, it knew just what to do
Jarrett was calmly and firmly telling me to get to the van. I got up and was looking all around for my shoes, but I could not find them and Jarrett just kept saying, get to the van, get to the van. He helped me to the bottom of the stairs of our front porch right when I hit the ground again, I was on my hands and knees.
It was so wonderful and completely crazy to have absolutely no control of your body. I was yelling and pushing and contracting all without having one single thought to do so. I knew now all our neighbors would be woken up-I was so loud!
This one was longer and my body was pushing with more force, out of the corner of my eye I saw Amanda pull into our driveway, and I thought “how on earth did she get here that fast, we called her less than 4 minutes ago!” She was perfectly dressed with makeup and her hair done and Chet and her boys were in the car-super woman!
about to meet a little angel
She ran up and started massaging my lower back, it was a nice gesture, but I was way past that-I wanted to tell her to stop and see if his head is out, but I was deep into the contraction and could not speak since I was yelling. I felt a pop as my water broke and his whole head came out at the same time.
It hurt and burned for an instant and then went away. I don’t remember him crowning for long, even though he may have been, he just popped out. I thought oh man, I have to feel that stretch again when his body comes out! After the contraction was over I yelled-his head is out!. Amanda pulled down my shorts and saw Trek’s sweet face.
I was not sure where Jarrett was at this point but I was really scared the baby was going to fall onto the concrete. Then I heard Jarrett tell Amanda to go get towels. I saw him kneel down behind me and I knew it was all going to be ok. Jarrett was so good in extreme situations. He told me later that he thought ok-here we go-I can totally do this. I yelled at him-don’t let him hit the concrete!
I had one more uncontrollable push/contraction/birth cry for about 30 seconds. I felt another burn as I pushed his body out. I felt every part of his body it was so amazing. He landed right in Jarrett’s hands. Jarrett started yelling I got him I got him! in an emotional strong voice that I have only heard him use at the births of all of our sons.
what the heck! I just had a baby in our driveway!
Amanda came around the corner just as Jarrett was handing our sweet baby to me. I was worried he was cold and Amanda gave me a towel. He stopped crying and did not cry again till he got his heel prick for his PKU 8 days later.
The first thing I noticed was that he did not have any vernix. I had planned on waiting to bathe until he was a couple of days old so I could him rub the vernix into his skin, but he was completely clean, no blood or venix anywhere. He took his first poop right when he came out. I knew he had not aspirated any of it, but I worried the hospital would be concerned if they saw he had a bowel movement they would do tests to see if he had breathed it in. Thankfully they did not.
I look back now and think he was perfectly cooked! My water had broken right when I pushed him out so he was so clean. He was not one second too early or late-no vernix and a poop the second his butt hit the air.
he is here and perfect
By this time 2 of our neighbors had come to see what all the commotion was and our friends and upstairs neighbors-Becky and Jason were bringing down pillows. Jarrett and I just sat there in pure happiness for about 10 minutes before we decided to call the ambulance.
We might have sat there longer had not all the neighbors been slightly freaking out. We had to calm them down! Since we had originally planned a homebirth, we were prepared and comfortable with the idea of natural birth. Our poor neighbors were not:) I almost decided just to go back inside and skip the hospital, but I did not want Jarrett to cut the cord. I also thought that I might need stitches and I wanted to make sure that the baby was ok.
I sat there in pure bliss thinking about all that had just happened. It was the most wonderful, serene, intense moment of my life. I felt every part of his body as he came out, and I remember every moment. I in no way felt like I had just given birth, I now get how some women go right back to working in the fields as some people joke! I didn’t even feel like I had worked out, I felt amazing with no tiredness or pain.
About 5 minutes after he was born I felt another contraction and delivered the placenta. We called the ambulance and the 911 lady told Jarrett to tie the cord with a shoelace.
Haha, I was too involved staring at Trek and processing the event to tell Jarrett not to bother and that it was unnecessary. Some people leave the cord pulsing many minutes and some leave the cord attached to the placenta and baby for days. But honestly I did not even care, I felt so much relief that I had got to have my homebirth with no interventions that him tying the cord felt like a small thing compared to my major victory!
I was a little nervous that the paramedic would view the situation as an emergency and try to give me medicine or take the baby, so I thought about Jarrett just driving me to the hospital himself. But then I thought that I did not want to put the baby in the car seat or get the van dirty.
the new brothers meeting
Peyton and Conner came down for a little bit to check out the commotion and see the baby. I was so glad that they were there, we had originally planned a home birth and had shown them videos and got them all excited about it, they were disappointed when I told them we had to cancel it. The hospital did not allow children in the birth room, so we were all sad that they were not going to be able to see their brother born. Trek must have heard me though and came at home like we had all dreamed about!
the kind paramedics
The placenta was still kind of attached inside of me, so I could not really move around a lot and just sat there making lovey eyes at Trek. The paramedics arrived and when I saw them casually walk up I knew we would be in good hands. One paramedic did not utter so much as one word, and the other one muttered something about women have been having babies for thousands of years and they did not need his help. He cut the cord and helped me wrap the placenta in a towel.
They helped me onto a gurney and wheeled me by my family and neighbors as I waved like a parade float with my sweetest baby in my arms. I got in the ambulance happy to be cozy and get to hold my baby as I had hoped I would be able to.
Jarrett rode in the ambulance with us. Amanda followed in our van. Chet, my awesome brother-in-law stayed at home with Peyton and Conner.
around 7am-1 hour ambulance ride accross the island to the hospital
I started breastfeeding and Trek latched on immediately and nursed on and off for the the next couple of hours. The paramedic checked my blood pressure and it was high, which it had been after my last two births. He made sure the baby was nursing and checked his oxygen levels. They were a little low, so we laid a mask on my shoulder to blow some extra air his way.
We told the story to the paramedic about 20 times-we were just so excited about it all, and were trying to process it. He was so chill and let us ramble on and kept inserting how there is nothing for him to do since this is part of nature and I don’t really need any help. He also kept making sure that Trek was breastfeeding.
Trek mainly slept and I can’t remember him opening his eyes the entire time, I actually don’t think he did until later that night. He was so relaxed and sleepy.
arrived at Maui Medical Hospital
We got to the hospital and they wheeled me in on a gurney. I went up to Labor and Delivery where they were expecting me. I got one of the newly remodeled rooms which at the Maui Hospital means it had a 20 in. TV and a flower painted on the wall! I felt bad that some other woman down the hall was in the middle of giving birth in one of the ugly rooms, the least she could have is a flower to look at, I already had my baby to look at I did not need the flower!
I remember being on my guard so that they would not try to take the baby to check him out or freak out, but I was pleasantly surprised. No one really paid attention to us, which is how we wanted it. We just wanted to make sure the baby was ok and see if I needed stitches-we just wanted to relax and enjoy Trek.
The same nurse who had attended me on April 1st was my nurse again. She came in to see if I needed a drink and to hear the story. The doctor came in about 20 minutes later. The placenta was out and wrapped in a towel but there was one piece still attached inside of me. I was scared to pull it, but the doctor gently pulled it and it came out. She checked the placenta to make sure it had all came out and it had. She said that part of it had a blood clot on it and it may have detached a little bit and maybe that’s why Trek popped out so fast.
She checked to see if I needed stitches and I did. She was laughing because I had grass on my butt and she said she had never had that before! I needed a few stitches-man that stinkin part hurt worse than having a baby! I asked an extra shot of Lydocain and that helped a lot.
We got me all cleaned up and talked a little bit, she saw that we were refusing all newborn shots and the eye treatment and briefly tried to advise us against it. I think she was mainly concerned about the PKU which checks for birth defects, but we actually were planning on doing that but just at the pediatricians office. We nicely told her we had done our research and she left us alone.
At this point Trek was still under a towel and nursing and not one person had even checked to see if I had a baby at all! It was kind of funny, but I was so happy that I was getting to have my birth with no interventions.
now to baby…his perfection is confirmed
After the ObGyn left a nurse came in to check on the baby. She peeked in at him and told me that when we were both ready she would measure and weigh him. I nursed him a while longer and called her back. She put him under the warmer and quickly and gently did her thing. She weighed him and measured him. 8lbs 5 oz. and 21 in. long. My biggest baby by one pound.
I laid back and relaxed knowing that Papa Bear Jarrett was on duty and he would not let that nurse get away with anything. Trek did not make one peep and was back in my arms before i knew it.
I was having bad contractions now and just holding Trek and letting his presence get me through them. Those after birth contractions hurt as bad as the ones before!
We hung out in the room for a couple more hours just loving on Trek and telling the story to all the nurses. Amanda came up while super dad Chet watch the other 4 boys at our house.
They were worried about my blood pressure and were getting me some medicine. The pediatrician came in and checked out Trek. He was so nice and gentle, and we told him so and thanked him. He laughed and said how else would I be? We told him that he would be surprised not wanting to tarnish Trek’s happy day with some of our past experiences.
The pediatrician confirmed that we did not want shots for the baby and that we did not want to circumcise him, I think we signed papers declining both. (added because a couple people asked. A great source with info about cicumcision-http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/) He did not try to talk us out of it, he was very kind and even released Trek on the spot so we could bring him home whenever we chose to discharge ourselves.
My ob came in and talked to my about my blood pressure. I felt good about it, but she was worried when I got home I could have a seizure. I really wanted to go home and be in my own bed and show Peyton and Conner their new brother. But Jarrett and I decided to stay one night just to monitor by blood pressure.
bummer…thinking we were going to stay overnight
I was pretty bummed since this hospital does not let the dads stay overnight. They moved us to the postpartum room and I knew instantly that I would not be staying. It was a joint room and the bathroom was really messy from the other mom with whom I was sharing the room with. They were also doing construction right outside of the window and I had to yell at the nurses for them to hear me. I looked at Jarrett and he knew too and told the nurse that we needed to sign the discharge papers right away.
Phew! I happily put Trek in his ‘going home outfit’, took a few pictures, gave my sweet obgyn a hug and promised her I would call if anything went wrong, and hightailed it out of there…in my bare feet. I never found my shoes earlier in between the contractions. We signed 10 different papers saying that ‘yes’ we knew we were leaving against doctors orders.
We pulled back into our driveway at 11:30 am. In the 5 hours since I left my house it had been cleaned and the birthplace on the driveway hosed off. I was greeted by the Sommervilles and my sweet little boys. Amanda had everything all cozy and ready for me to snuggle in bed with my new sweet baby. Peyton and Conner were so excited to see their new brother. They both took turns holding him.
Trek and I wore a path between the bed and the couch over the next few weeks and months. My parents came first to visit and then Jarrett’s. It was all so magical. Jarrett took 2 weeks off of work and then long weekends for about 2 months.
our family is complete
Time stood still for the first 3 months of his life. I didn’t drive very many places, the boys and I cacooned ourselves in the house and still kind of do. I do not want to miss one minute of this simple time when Trek just wants to be held and snuggled.
He is so peaceful and never has a reason to cry. He has a fake cough he does to warn of his discomfort and there is always someone close by to fix it for him. There has not been any jealousy from his brothers, only lots of love and attention.
When I think of the birth of Trek I am overwhelmed with emotion and joy. It was truly one of the three most magical days of my life. I am so glad of his adventuresome arrival, it has changed our family and none of us will ever be the same. He was the push we needed to live our dreams today, he totally lives up to his name-Trek Atlas.