We have felt the overflow of warm wishes and congratulations from friends and family around the world regarding the birth of our beautiful baby boy. We feel so loved and thankful to bring our son into such a welcome. We've had a good week adjusting as a family of six. Lots of loving and cuddling Theo who is as good natured and sweet baby as I could have hoped for. Family coming to see him. Friends dropping by meals and pausing for a quick visit and hold. Double the laundry (how does that happen?). Not very much sleep, therefore a couple of meltdowns..by me :). Plenty of use of the Flip camera and lots of pictures of our boy.
Before I post some of the images of our yummy baby, I wanted to share a few of the night that he was born. These were mostly taken by Ben, who knew how important it was to me to have some of the emotion captured, and who had to take on the role of photographer since my sister and friend could not be there.
Last Sunday the 24th of October, I was in a dark and grumpy mood. I had been on bed rest for four weeks and had many, many stressful nights of being up with crazy contractions despite the medication I was on. Feeling I was just making it by the skin of my teeth, I was so glad to make it to 37 weeks and figured that as cranked up as my body was, I would get up and get off the meds and have this baby. My sister and mum arrived from Canada. My best friend flew in. And.....nothing. We walked at the beach, shopped, went out to eat, got pedicures. I lifted and hauled and bent over and did things that I literally hadn't done in months because of how many contractions I would get. I couldn't believe it and was greatly consoled when my midwife was as surprised as I was when no baby came. So that Sunday, after my sister and friend had to go home and I had shed a few disappointed tears, I stomped around the back yard. I got my pruners and hacked at bushes and filled up the yard waste bin. I was soaking wet from the rainstorm crashing through and my kids were staring out the window at me open mouthed. Then I got on the treadmill and marched away.
That night I was starting to feel the contractions rolling and told my sister to be on alert to come on down from Vancouver again, but then not wanting to "cry wolf" I told her to just go to sleep. Off to bed with a sympathetic hug from my mum. At 12 o'clock I awoke with contractions five minutes apart and called Ben who was out with a friend for coffee which went on a little late. Poor guy was probably needing to get away from his growly and weepy wife :). Twenty minutes later Ben returned home to this.
Yes, that's me with Windex, wiping down bathrooms. Type A. I know. I was pacing around the upstairs, greatly cheered as the contractions got closer and stronger.
Time to call the midwives. Michelle said when she heard the phone that night, she knew it would be me. Then we readied the last few things on our list of supplies right before they arrived at about 1:40.
Oh, how happy I was to be having this baby at home. The comfort of my own space. The familiarity with the women who knew me so well. Michelle has been my midwife for all of my births and when she saw my mum, they hugged like family. Mel, as kind and knowledgeable as she could be, was also such an incredible support. Here I am bouncing on the good, old yoga ball as we visited.
It sure helped to pass the time to talk and laugh in between contractions and them monitoring me.
Eventually, as the pain increased, it was into the tub for me. Such relief. You can tell I looked a bit cooked here.
I had Ben bring the rockers into the bathroom and we all hung out until I was really feeling it. Head pressed down on a wash cloth. Ben counting me quietly through contractions and then praying for me. Quiet support.
He was born at 5:32 A.M. with the midwives guiding me through. Ruby had asked me over and over if she could be there when he was born. I was a bit wary, not wanting to scare her out of giving me grandchildren one day. We finally decided that my mum would get her right at the end and be her "buddy", giving her the opportunity to opt out if she wanted. I was so proud of her. She did great and was so excited.
And then he was there. I cried all over, feeling this wild, incredible connection to our beautiful child. There are truly no words to describe that moment or the power of that love.
All covered with vernix and indignant he was, but beautiful and perfect.
Ruby crawled right up beside me. I was so glad she had been there. I asked her if it was what she expected. "Not at all, Mum!" I asked her if it was scary. "No way! I thought you would be a lot crazier, and noisier!" I guess prepping her for the worst case scenario made anything else seem like a piece of cake.
Ruby was included in giving him a newborn exam. I was checked. The room was tidied. My mum brought in smoothies and breakfast.
Then just before eight the boys woke up and got to come in to meet their brother.
My dad had been sleeping through it all in the guest room downstairs and got to come in and meet his new grandson after Ruby ran in and announced, "Our baby is here!!"
Such a bub.
He was checked out and pronounced to be in great health.
LOVE this one of Michelle checking out Theo's walking reflex. He is not amused as he steps along.
These ladies are worth their weight in gold. Seriously. It was such a gift to me to have Theo at home, with them.
Happy, happy, happy are we to welcome Theo Maddox Hamilton to our family.
And I think our little treasure is happy to be here as well.