The Birth of Bear York 8.2.2016

By Echo Zielinski

I had thought every day for the two weeks leading up to my August 2nd due date that this baby would come. It was SO low in my pelvis and I was having consistent braxton hicks so I just didn't think my body would hold out...but it did! 

On Monday the 1st I began having a slow leak of fluid off and on throughout the day. With my girls, labor began with my water fully breaking so this was a whole new experience for me. I felt all day that we may be having a baby in the night but I didn't want to tell Andy that because I knew he was very overwhelmed with the August 2nd launch of the Nike+ app he has been working on since starting his new job at Nike (we kept saying baby can come any days but the 2nd or 3rd-- haha- I am pretty sure when you declare something like that it makes the opposite a reality!) 

We went to bed around 10:30pm and I was awoken around 12:30am with what felt like stronger braxton hicks- I still had to feel my belly to make sure I was even having them but I knew these might turn into the real thing. I immediately got out of bed and began making sure the house was in order for what may be ahead. By 1:14am I knew that they were getting a tad stronger (though totally easy and manageable) and due to Poppy's fast labor, I texted my midwives to give them the heads up that I thought things were starting and they decided it was best to head on over. 

After knowing that my birth team was on it's way, I thought I better wake Andy up and let him know we would be having a baby! At his 1:30am groggy state, he jumped into gear and began helping me fill up the birth tub. At this point my contractions were still totally bearable and I would just pause at the kitchen counter in between warming pots of hot water on the stove, breathe through it, and then continue on my way. Right around 2am I got my first contraction that actually felt somewhat painful- I looked at the clock to take "note" of when I thought active labor might be beginning. Pretty soon my whole birth team was in my living room and asleep on my couch while they gave Andy and I the space to do our thing. He parked it on the other couch near the birth tub and I climbed on in. We chatted and joked in between contractions and I remember thinking "this could take awhile because this is just too calm in between still"- Not having had my water break this time made it so different as I had that "buffer" that kept baby from shooting down so quick. I finally checked myself and sure enough I could feel the head about 3/4th's of a finger in. I decided to feel during each contraction and it was amazing to feel the progress of the head coming lower and lower each time. I felt empowered and like I was able to know exactly what to expect and when to wake my birth team to come into the room. Right before 5am I could tell my body was beginning to push, but because I was touching the head during each contraction, I knew I had time before I needed anyone there. Around 5:06, Lynette (my apprentice midwife) heard that I was pushing and I let her know that I indeed was! She alerted Jennifer and Mary and pretty soon I had the calm presence of 3 skilled women there to witness me give birth to my baby. Once the head was close, I could get a better feel and realized that it was so smooth and bouncy and that it was actually my bag of water I was feeling and not the head! This was such a cool thing because I had never gotten to experience an intact bag with my other two. As my body pushed though, I realized that the "balloon" like bag was getting in my way and I wanted to get my baby out. I nicked it with my nail and it broke and immediately the head was about to be born. One more contraction or so and the head was out and I reached down and felt the sweetest little ear. The baby then rotated (coolest feeling ever) and at 5:19am our new baby was born. 

I waited a few seconds and then lifted it off my chest so that Andy and I could see what our baby was... a BOY! The look on Andy's face was amazing. The man ADORES his girls but I knew how much a boy would mean to him. Andy finally had his little dude, all while our baby girls slept in the other room :) 

Bear York Zielinski // August 2nd 2016 at 5:19am // 8 lbs 15 oz // 21 inches long