Thinking about Christ’s Atonement made a big difference for me, I now had the vision that I needed to complete this mission. Knowing that even though the pain was surprisingly different, the power to overcome it was available, I knew that it was His Atonement that would help me.
We called Richelle once more and told her that I was in the tub and that this was it. He also asked her how he could help me with the back labor. At her suggestion, I would lift my belly with each contraction. It was definitely doing something. She arrived about 10 minutes to 11. All three of us were pleased that when she checked me I was dilated to a 7 and 100% effaced. Oh, thank goodness!
When Richelle had come for our 36 week visit, we had gone over a more detailed plan for Garrett’s birth. We had discussed preferences and special wishes. Really, my only special request that I’d suggested was having salmon. My husband had fed me salmon towards the end of my daughter’s birth and I’d really enjoyed that. We have a running joke that I thought we’d have lunch together after she was born. A laboring woman really is challenged when it comes to keeping time. Our daughter was born at 3:43 pm. 🙂
Well I bought the salmon last week with hopes of #3’s soon arrival. So after Richelle had checked me I looked at my husband between contractions and asked him if he thought we could have salmon for lunch. He smiled, laughed, and asked me if I knew what time it was. It was 11:30. We decided a very late lunch might be an option though.
After laboring for a bit on the bed, I went back into the tub (I think this was “transition”). I hung over the tub, Richelle would press on pressure points in my lower back, and my husband was supporting my chin so that I could make “low, deep sounds.” I was relieved that Richelle was there. I needed a bit more help, and she knew just what I needed. Once again, I was feeling new things. In fact, I was actually feeling him drop down inside of me as I tried to open up for him. “Yield to your baby” and “relax,” Richelle would say. Somewhere in here Heather, Richelle’s assistant, arrived. She was kind and also supportive.
During one of those contractions where I was feeling the baby descending, I felt a “pop” and a “woosh.” And another first for me (I haven’t noticed it breaking at the end of the previous two), “my water broke,” I exclaimed. They looked, and sure enough, it had broke.
I knew we were nearing the end. Almost hearing my thoughts, Richelle asked if I wanted to change positions. Delivering hanging over the tub, squatting, didn’t sound so great. I’d really liked delivering my eldest on my side, so I laid on my side in the tub. A few moments later I felt a great contraction, reached down and there was his hairy head. I tried even harder to relax and let him come through. It was difficult to relax and not push, so I asked Richelle if I could push. She said to hold off as long as possible to allow stretching. I held out as long as I could and soon felt his head coming through. Just thinking of relaxing made all of the difference. (no tearing to report :)).
Out came his head and his right hand along his cheek. And for another first, he came out anterior (as opposed to our two previous “star gazers” who came out posterior, sunny side up). My husband was catching, Richelle was helping our son’s arm through, and there was the other arm, folded across his heart. Another push and there he was: born 12:20 pm.
He was so peaceful, just looking at us all. Though he didn’t breathe for a while, and didn’t seem to want to either. He was making these distinctive “old man” grimaces as we tried to coax him to take a breath. Just like his older brother and his father, he was holding his breath at this new experience/trauma. My husband blew into his face and it seemed to do the trick (something we do when our eldest is holding his breath).
The midwives were checking him out and doing their thing. He was just looking around…he wouldn’t cry or make any noise. He was just very alert and aware. After he pooped (:)), he weighed in at 8 lbs. 7 oz. He measured 20 ¼”.
My mother arrived and announced that he did look like a “Madsen” and that Madsen was a very suitable middle name. For his hands and feet are just like his Papa, and most likely he, too, will not be able to make an official Boy Scout salute with his hand…just too wide :). But there are distinctive Berg parts to him as well: his kissable lips like my husband’s, for one.
Overall, he is a calm, sweet, baby. After dinner, my mother-in-law brought the kiddos home to meet their new brother. They were both so excited to see him. Smothering him with hugs, kisses, and loves, he just took it all in. When putting the kiddos to bed that night, Nana had read several stories to our daughter, but she was not ready for bed. I suggested some cereal. But that wouldn’t pacify her either. Finally Nana and my husband realized that she was saying, “Baby.” Our daughter wanted to hold her baby. Once she had done that, given him a few more hugs and kisses, she was now ready to sleep.
We all feel so thankful and blessed to welcome our littlest son safely into the world and to this overly excited little family. And if you’re still wondering…yes, we did get to eat salmon for lunch!