Baby Reece’s Birth Story by Jessica Portzer on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 2:56pm

Reece was due on November 10th, but somehow I knew he would come early. Throughout my first day of maternity leave, I felt the usual Braxton hicks contractions as I ran errands- 39 week appointment, DMV… That evening though, the contractions got a little more frequent and a little stronger.

My water broke at about 12:30 am Friday morning. Lyle and I jumped into action. With Liam’s delivery being only 6 hours, we knew it was possible that Reece would come even quicker. I immediately called the midwives, and Lyle pulled out the air pump to begin inflating our birth pool.

The pump let out a loud noise and then a rattle of tumbling broken pieces, which woke up Liam.

Fortunately Lyle got Liam right back to sleep and the three midwives arrived quickly with an extra pump. They set up the pool and their supplies, got their caffeinated beverages and settled down in our living room around the pool. I jumped in.

Then everything slowed down. Few contractions, and they were not very strong. After a while I decided to get out and lie down in our guest bedroom nearby (which was made up as the alternate birth location/ postpartum hangout). Hillary checked me at this point, and I was 5-6 cm dilated. I then took a very nice 4 hour nap.

At 7am I work up, excited and ready to go. Everyone else had taken a nap too. I started baking some croissants and farina, and made a pot of coffee. The sibling doula arrived with bananas and clementines. Still only a few contractions here and there, mostly when I was really moving around. This was a much slower start than I anticipated, but really anything can happen, so I went with it.

After a leisurely morning snacking, walking around, watching Liam tow his new friend all over the house to show her his favorite things, there was still not much happening. Hillary, Tera, and Rachel were sitting on the couches and on our bean bag chairs passing time working on their iPads, reading, and talking about other births (and checking our baby’s heart rate every 15 min or so). It almost felt like the morning of a slumber party.

In the late morning, Hillary said she thought perhaps my water had not broken all the way and wanted to check things out. Sure enough- that’s what happened. I guess it’s possible for the bag to break up near the top, spill some water, but never really break away. Hillary broke the rest of it and this set things into motion.

As we ate lunch, the contractions got stronger and more frequent. Lyle took Liam upstairs for his nap and the midwives warmed up the pool. I got in the water at about 2pm. It felt really soothing, especially after pacing around all morning. Contractions were ramping up- I knew it would not be a whole lot longer. The water was great because it allowed me to move around any way I wanted and not tire out in any position (water was about 2 ft deep and about 5ft X 4ft oval inside).

We didn’t look at the clock when I started pushing, but it was not more than an hour before baby Reece emerged into the water and was caught by Lyle and Hillary. Relief and joy came over me at once as I held my new baby boy.

By the time Liam woke up from his nap, I was back in the guest room bed, feeding baby Reece. Liam was very curious and observant of his baby brother, cautiously peeking at him in the little nest of blankets on top of me.

It was an amazing and wonderful event, and actually a lot of fun too. In the days since I have had moments where I am overcome with happiness. I could not wish for a more amazing and beautiful family :)