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Leslee and Jack
Vaginal birth, no medication

My due date was January 11, 2001. I had a normal pregnancy, except I must admit, I hate being pregnant. I do not enjoy anything about it. Never for a moment did I feel sensual, sexual, or the least bit beautiful. I packed on 50 pounds, most of it in the early months, and I trudged through pregnancy mostly weepy and miserable. I oddly enough do enjoy labor, perhaps because I've been blessed with quick labors (less than one hour) and I've managed all of them without medication of any kind.

I expected to go early, as my other children were born two weeks early. At my appointment on December 2, I was two cm dilated and 80% effaced. So basically from that day on I thought "Today is the day." Every night I thought, "Tomorrow's the day." This went on all of December, and beginning in January, I was becoming very depressed and extremely frustrated. I tried every trick in the book. Evening primrose, enemas, sex, and more sex, much to no avail. One night I tried mineral oil, which I no sooner swallowed and it came right back up, all over the bathroom floor and down my shirt. Frustrated, I ran my huge body upstairs and dramatically threw myself on the bed, sobbing "this baby hates me, he doesn't even want to meet me." My husband, having gone this route with me so many times put his arm around me saying, "not much longer, sweetheart, not much longer..."

Things were starting to get complicated as well. Our minivan's engine blew, and our only baby-sitter for the other children were my husband's 80-year-old parents. His father has bad knees and ankles, and his mother has Parkinson's disease and a walker, not your pick of choice to watch a 10-year-old, a three year old, and a very active one year old. My mother traveled one hour to our house every Wednesday to help me out, and loan me her car to go to my doctor appointment. My husband took the "it's definitely today" days off from work, which was just about every other day. Even so though, he only had a two-seater truck, how were we going to get the kids to his parents? What about getting the 10-year-old from school? The 3-year-old from preschool? "It's going to take too much time, I'm going to end up delivering this baby alone, at home, I just know it," I thought. What if there's a snow storm? The hospital is 40 minutes away already as it is... this is bad, very very bad." I would say every day. "It's going to be OK somehow, everything will work out," my husband would respond.

On January 10, my mother came to our house. My husband took the day off from work to take me to my doctor's appointment. We drove his two-seater junky, no heat, fume-filled truck to the appointment. I was at my rope's end. I was exhausted from worry and had been having contractions on and off for days, as well as bloody show for the past six days. I cried the entire ride there as I anticipated the midwife casually stating "no change, see you next week." My husband physically and emotionally exhausted himself, sat silently, out of any consolable words, as I picked up an oil filled Dunkin Donuts napkin to blow my nose.

At my appointment my midwife checked me and asked, "You're five cm, and 100% effaced, what do you want to do?" I bellowed, "Have this baby NOW!" So, off to the snuggery we went. It was 2:00. My husband called my mother. She drove my kids to my husband's parents, and then came to witness this long awaited birth.

At 3:30, my midwife appeared, dressed in pink leather pants and a matching shirt. She was hip, and beautiful, the type of woman men love to look at. She broke my water and I immediately became uncomfortable. She offered me the hot tub, which I gladly accepted, but I told her I didn't want to deliver in the water. It was 4:00 when I got into the tub, and I was breathing and giving it everything I had in order to stay in control.

At 4:20 my nurse said I was fully dilated and I could start pushing. She buzzed my midwife via intercom and told her I was pushing. "Something's wrong," I said, "He's not coming. Why isn't he coming? " After a few more pushes I said "I never had to push like this before, something's wrong." My midwife checked me and said I wasn't "fully" yet, and to "stop pushing." I had posterior cervix, about two more cm to go. My nurse was very inexperienced, and too short to feel my cervix in its entirety leaning over the hot tub. I was frustrated and I asked to get out of the tub. My midwife told me I was doing so well, and that she really thought I should stay in, so I did. She was right, I wasn't going to be more comfortable on the bed.

At 4:40 I finally felt the urge, and gave a push, all the while yelling "PLLLEEEAAASSSEEE!" (which my husband later admitted he thought I was yelling "police!") His head was out, and my midwife worked to get the cord around his neck off, but I was still pushing, and at the same time reaching to pull my baby up and out, all the while choking him. The cord was not just wrapped around his neck, but in between his legs, around his shoulder and back around his neck. My husband was saying "Les, let go . . ." But I couldn't, I just couldn't let go. Finally, my husband grabbed my hands from behind me, and my midwife untangled my 7 pound 6 ounce baby boy, Jack Michael Toomey, born at 4:45 Wednesday, January 10, 2001. He was perfect, healthy, and beautiful. I cried tears of joy for the first time in 9 long months. "This was one of the most beautiful births I have ever attended" said my midwife, and I of course, have to agree.

Jack Michael Toomey was born to Leslee and Patrick Toomey and is the younger brother of Justin, Mckenna and Abigail Toomey.

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