So I checked the clock earlier and figured it was another time. It’s Alyssa’s second birthday, to be exact. Hard to believe that two years ago today at 4:46 in the morning a precious little baby girl took her first breath and immediately began tying an unsuspecting father around her itty bitty finger.
THUD! That’s the sound my chest made when Erika woke me to tell me that she needed a towel. Having been beckoned from a dead sleep, I again leapt from the bed. I got the requested towel from the linen closet and chucked it at her. She immediately chucked it back at me and said, “NO, a rag towel, my water broke!” How am I supposed to know that? You woke me up at 3:16 am and asked for a “towel”, so I got a towel. Now that she had her towel I decided to climb back in bed and see if I could get a little more sleep in before I had to set up the pool. (Oh, did I mention we had Alyssa at home, in the living room, in an inflatable pool.) “What are doing?” I was asked. “Going back to sleep.” “Aren’t you going to set up the pool?” “There’s plenty of time.” “Go set up the pool.” At this point there was no arguing. I set out for converting our living room into a homemade birthing room. This consists of a sheet of 3/4" plywood, plastic, inflatable pool, more plastic as a liner, water, and whole bunch of towels, rags, and other miscellaneous little things. While I’m frantically trying to do this, the laboring one is attempting to clean the bathroom. Yes, I said clean the bathroom, and this is only after she had already made the waterbed. She’s in active labor, contractions and everything, and she trying to clean house. Halfway through the bathroom, while already making plans to dust the living/birthing room she finally realizes that she’s progressing a little bit faster than she did with Jake. Mind you she had not had any contractions prior to her water breaking. She decided to sit down in the living, I mean birthing, room and try to stay calm. This baby is obviously coming in less time than it’s predecessor; who, by the way, actually sleeps through the entire birth.
There are so many details that I could throw in here to show just how much more work goes into a home birth, but then I think you might not care to read it all. Just remember that not only do I have to stay with Erika as she is trying to give birth to a baby, I need to set up everything for the birth. It is a very busy time. Shortly after the wake up, phone calls were made and at this point the midwife and both of Erika’s parents were at the house. Eileen, the midwife, tells Erika to get in the 2/3 full tub and prepare to have a baby. “But it’s only been a little over an hour.” “This baby is coming soon!” She wasn’t kidding, the hose was removed from the tub and full out baby birthing went into gear. Ninety minutes after her water broke Erika bestowed upon the water a 6 pound 4 ounce 18 ½ inch whopper that we named Alyssa Mae Leaf.
Then to end the early morning activities, seconds after Alyssa was born Jake emerged from his room and asked a simple question, “Mommy, what ya doin’?” And again our lives were changed forever once more.