I found out I was pregnant with Luke after I had started dancing a lot again. I was also working at a dance supply store and teaching several dance classes. I got pregnant in September which meant I was due in June, right around the end of the year dance concert at the studio where I worked.
I continued to dance through my pregnancy and for the first time I had a hard time gaining weight. I would often not gain anything, or even lose weight, from month to month.
I continually tried to convince the studio director that I should perform, after all I had done it while I was pregnant with my oldest. Of course, I wasn't 40 then and it wasn't a week before my due date. Still, I thought I could pull it off.
The week before the dance concert, I had resigned myself to not performing, but I still had a lot to do to get my students ready. I was still demonstrating full out, even in Irish Step Dance, but I remember feeling very tired and "funny" after my Thursday classes.
On the morning of Friday June 13th, I woke up not feeling right. I felt like it was getting to be that time. I was supposed to take the train and then a bus to Arlington to see my midwife, but I didn't think I could make it. Thankfully, she came to me.
After checking me out, she thought it would be soon but could still be a few days away. The baby's head was still up pretty high. That was all I needed to hear for the "green light" to finish up everything I needed to get done. I would be at the dress rehearsal that evening. I also had a load of pottery I needed to fire.
I carried 2 boxes of pottery a couple blocks up the street to my kiln. I unloaded finished ware and loaded the kiln back up again. On the way home carrying the boxes of finished pieces, I felt a small gush. Soon after I got home and rested, it slowed to less than a trickle.
I put on a pad and went to the dress rehearsal. My daughter, Lillian, was performing and I wanted to be there for her in addition to my students. I had mild cramps throughout the night, some strong enough that I stopped talking to breathe through them. I left at about 9pm and immediately went to bed.
At about 5:45am strong contractions woke me up. I went over to the computer and started timing them on a website to monitor contractions. After a very short time, I decided that it was not only time to wake up my husband but that we should also call my midwife.
I wasn't totally sure I was in labor because my water had very obviously and dramatically broken prior to labor in all 5 of my older kids' births. I also generally retreat and get very quiet in active labor. This time I was more stir crazy and wanted to sit up rather than relax lying down. Still, I could not talk through contractions.
My midwife left to come over as quickly as possible, knowing how fast I can go.
In the meantime my husband got everything ready. I was sitting on the edge of the bed when my midwife arrived, and then the assistant. I asked my midwife to check to see if I was dilated because I still wasn't sure if I was really in labor. She checked and said I was fully effaced and dilated, and that my baby was about half way down the birth canal.
Several contractions later, at exactly 9am, Luke was born. He was my 2nd Saturday birth. Lillian was also born on a Saturday, and also at 9am. All my other kids were born on Tuesdays.
|getting ready to sneeze...|
He sneezed twice immediately after being born!
|5 minutes old|
He nursed right away with no problems. Since we had practiced Elimination Communication (EC) starting at birth with 2 other kids, we were able to catch his meconium and first pees in a potty. He wore tiny little training pants and undies.
|needs the potty|
It is amazing and empowering to recognize facial expressions and other signs expressing various needs.
That evening was the dance concert. I did Lillian's hair and make-up and my parents brought her to the show. They announced Luke's birth during the performance.
|Bekah holding Luke|
Six weeks after Luke's birth my family was in a family member's bridal party. I needed to have my bridesmaid dress altered so that I could nurse Luke, and I had to find a halter style nursing bra. My mom made me a brocade sling to match my bridesmaid dress.
When Luke was a few weeks old, I took him with me to help out at the dance supply store. The wonderful owners bought a baby swing for Luke to sleep in while I worked. Most of the time, though, Luke just liked to be carried in the sling. By now I had plenty of babywearing experience, including working and wearing.
Luke turned 4 years old yesterday. He is smart, funny, energetic, imaginative, and extremely empathetic. Happy Birthday Luke!