Justus Daniel Forlines
born at home 2/25/14
20 1/2 in
Justus' birth was not what we expected at all. Throughout most of the pregnancy he was turned sideways instead of backwards which is the best position for a baby entering the world. So I anticipated a long labor as he worked his way into the correct position. Now granted, I was contorting my body into some different positions to try to get him to turn, but I didn't think it would help too much.
I started having contractions about a week before labor started. They weren't painful, but they were often and regular. On the day of Justus' birth I kept my nephew, Eli, while my sister worked her 12 hour shift. Ironically Miriam was keeping Elise overnight the night that she went into labor with Eli. Apparently keeping each others kids signals our bodies to go into labor! It was a busy day just keeping two kids, so I asked Dane to pick up a pizza for supper. We ate supper around 6pm and all was well. At about 6:45pm I started having a little bit of pain with my contractions. By 7:15 they were getting uncomfortable and I was hoping that Miriam would show up soon to pick up Eli. She showed up at 7:30 and I started timing my contractions at 8. They were 2 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. We put Elise to bed and I tried not being snappy with her when she got whiny because I knew it was probably the last night that it would be just her to put to bed.
After we got Elise to bed I called our midwife, Sheryl, and let her know that I thought this was the real deal and then I got in the shower to relax. Thankfully Sheryl was in a town about 30 minutes away with another patient of hers when I called. Otherwise she might not have made it for the birth since she lives 1 1/2 hours away. Sheryl showed up at 9. We talked for a bit and then I went into the living room to lean over the birthing ball to help get through contractions. When I walked into the living room I heard a loud squawk. I thought it might be someone's phone, but Miriam informed me that there was an actual bird in the living room. Sheryl had taken her pet bird on the road with her that day to give her family a break from it, not anticipating that she would be delivering any babies that day, but alas she did and the bird just joined right in. She covered up the cage and the bird didn't make a sound during labor.
After I got settled on the birthing ball the contractions got very intense and my body pretty much just took over and did it's thing.. Dane would massage down my back during the contractions and that helped so much. At 9:45 my water broke and my body was ready to push. Thankfully we had taken the initiative to put some pads on the floor under me. At some point during all this the birth assistant, Megan and my friend, Alicia showed up. Adam came by and picked up Eli to take him home while Miriam stayed to help with the birth. I was pretty oblivious to all of this.
After my water broke it only took a few pushes over the course of 14 minutes for Justus to arrive. I couldn't beleive that it was happening so fast. During those 14 minutes I said that I just needed a 5 minute break to which Miriam replied, "in 5 minutes you will have a break because the baby will be here!" Justus' heart rate dropped into the 60s toward the end and Sheryl was very adamant that I get him out on my next push. He came right out and Dane got to catch the slippery fellow. I looked down and saw the male anatomy and announced that it was a boy. It took him a few seconds to start breathing and then he pinked right up. After a few minutes Miriam cut the cord. After the placenta came out we headed to the couch to snuggle and finish all the clean up.
Sheryl stayed for a few hours to make sure all was well and that we were settle in for the night before she left. He was breathing well and his oxygen was good when she left. The next day Justus started struggling to breath around noon and Sheryl came to check him out. That's when we went to the hospital. Anita came and got Elise and Sheryl came with us to the hospital and stayed all day until it was decided that he would be admitted. Most of you know the story of his first week of life in the NICU.
The whole thing was so different from Elise's birth that it's hard to even compare the two. Justus was our dessert after supper that night. Eat supper, have a baby. That's about how it happened. It was amazing and quick and surprising.
We thank God for his new life. We're thankful for his every breath. Birth and life are miraculous mysteries.