Kara shares with us the powerful story of her son’s birth. Read Part I here.
At around 7:15 a.m., I decided it was time to get in the birth tub. I ripped off my skirt and hopped in. The water was so warm. I felt my tense legs relax a bit. I had another contraction, and the water, as always, soothed me. During that wave, I remember that voice inside my head saying, “It’s almost time to push. On the next wave, your body will push.” I still doubted a bit, but was willing to do nothing, and let my body work. As with my previous two labors, cervical checks weren’t needed… Letting my body do good work without involving my mind and the doubt or hopes that could arise.
My contractions began to space out a bit, giving me that amazing break before the final part of labor. I was able to focus and look around. Malory put cold washcloths on my head. The next wave came, and sure enough, pushing came with it. I reached inside and could feel my baby’s head moving down. One of the most amazing things I experienced during this labor was feeling the baby’s energy. With my hand, I could feel a swirling and buzzing coming from inside of me. I’ll never forget the power that was coming out of me. It was so amazing.
Contractions were coming fast now; and with every one, my body pushed hard. I gripped the side of the pool, planted my feet, and bore down. Very soon, I could feel my baby’s head coming out. The feeling was such a relief. As the head slipped out, baby spun all the way around. It was a crazy feeling to see and feel the head turning on the outside world, and feel the body spin, still tucked inside. Truly in two different worlds. There’s nothing like feeling that soft, baby head as it is being born — the bones molding, the firm skull, the silky hair, the awareness of knowing your baby with your touch, but not yet with your sight. I felt baby’s face then, with my hand, and gave one last push. And then, I held my whole baby.
Robinson (Robin) Blake Sylvester was born at 7:48 a.m. I brought him up on my chest, facing the world. His cord was wrapped once around his neck, and easily slipped over his head as he joined us. I started to cry, which I have never done! He was beautiful, and radiated peace as he took his first breath of air. He had no vernix, like his older sisters did, since he decided to stay inside a bit longer.
“We did it!” I cried, and looked around at the smiling, crying, loving faces surrounding me. There is no more wonderful feeling than welcoming your child into a peaceful room filled with kind, caring people who love you and your baby so much.
I held my first son in the water for a while, then got out to deliver the placenta. Tessa and Nadia cut the cord, and daddy held Robin skin-to-skin as I made my way to the bed to relax and nurse. He nursed a bit, but much more reluctantly than his older sisters. He is still that way, five days later – taking his time, and in no hurry. I expect my little guy may always be that way… A good reminder that life doesn’t need to be rushed.
The birth team hung around awhile, doing their checks, taking photos, writing notes, and making me a smoothie. They took such amazing care of both of us. I have been moved to tears over the last few days thinking about my awesome team—how lucky I am to now have birthed three babies with them, exactly the way I wanted, without interference, pressure or expectation. They trust my body just as much as I do (maybe more!), only bringing support and safety when my babies and I need it. Isn’t that what all women should expect as they bring forth new life?
We all had mimosas and of course a “Cheers!” to this beautiful new little boy – the first Sylvester boy since Bryan was born 37 years ago. We both checked out perfectly, and snuggled in to bed. Never did I think that by 8:00 a.m., I’d be in my blankets, surrounded by love, kissing my newborn son.
The girls all got a chance to hold him — Nadia, then Tessa, then Sybil; and then we weighed him: 6lbs, 7oz and 20 inches long. We were all shocked at his size! He was a pound lighter than the girls, and almost two weeks later! He had blondish brown hair, long fingernails and a birthmark or bruise on his right arm. He had a dimple in his chin and one on each cheek.
The birth team and my mom then packed up to leave, giving us warm hugs and kisses as they said goodbye. By lunchtime, our new family of six was all alone, starting the fun, chaos, and beauty of three daughters and a son.
Read Part I of Robinson’s birth story here.
Photographs by Amanda E Photography