Dallas Clay Graber
joined our little family
on July 1, 2013 at 1:02 am
weighing 8 lbs. 9 ozs
and measuring 20 1/4 inches long.
If you’re like me, you love a good birth story. Unless, of course, you are male. They’re more interested in details such as the total hospital bill.
I will share with you our birth story of baby number six – Dallas Clay Graber. However, I will spare you the gory details since this is a public blog!
Our church was holding its annual church campout the weekend of June 28-30. By this time, I was 38 1/2 weeks pregnant and my mother had arrived here in Idaho only a couple days prior. As miserable as I was, I also didn’t want to ruin the church campout for my little family by having the baby too early. Our whole family looks forward to this campout and this year was no different – they totally enjoyed it!
Friday came and no baby, so we packed up to go camping. However, Mom, Wyatt and I came home to sleep since I couldn’t see myself sleeping on an air mattress in a tent at 9 months pregnant. Lowell stayed there with the four oldest and I think he enjoyed himself more than he has for quite a while. I was told he would put the kids to bed and then make his rounds at multiple campsites to swap stories, hopefully they were not about his very pregnant wife.
Saturday came and went and still no baby. However, I must have been looking like an overripe watermelon from all the comments I received. Truthfully, I did not mind the comments – I must be a sucker for sympathy.
Sunday morning dawned bright and early and Mom and I headed back to camp with Wyatt for breakfast and church service. By this time, I had my waddle perfected to an art. And as the temperature kept rising towards the 90’s, my pace got even slower still. By noon, I had reached the desperate point to where I was begging God to bring this child that night.
As church was ending, I began to feel strange and my back started hurting. Because I knew I would not be able to chase down my husband if my life depended on it, I urged him to not go too far. He says I had a desperate look in my eye. Would you like to know his very logical male response? He wanted to know if I could at least wait until after supper.
No problem, honey. I’ll hit the pause button.
After lunch, we all sat around and watched the waterfight – of which my dear husband was once again in the middle. And having loads of fun! However, being almost nine months pregnant and ready to deliver any hour, he received no sympathy from me when hearing the tales of how someone had completely drenched him. I’ll blame it on the hormones that sapped all sympathy from my heart.
By 3:30, I had had enough. I had reached the breaking point. So Mom and I went home with promises from Lowell to come later with the older children.
We hadn’t been home an hour and I knew something was happening. My back began to ache something fierce and at 5:00 I started timing contractions. They weren’t hard yet, but were consistent and getting harder. I called Lowell to come home and he began packing up immediately. I’ve had three labors that took only 3-4 hours, so we were not going to mess around.
The midwives were called and arrived home soon after Lowell and the children. My mom took over the care of the kids and providing food for the midwives while I took myself off to a corner of the house to have my baby.
Contractions were coming every 3-5 minutes, but were not hard or excruciatingly painful. It made me wonder if this was going to be a longer labor. And I was right.
By 10 pm active labor had started with hard contractions coming every 1-3 minutes. Lowell was an excellent labor coach, rubbing my back when I needed it or helping me into the tub. He even asked my permission to make popcorn for Mom and the midwives! Very considerate man.
He was my support when I reached the end of my strength and cried that I can’t do this anymore. That must have been transition because it wasn’t too long afterwards that the midwives said I was fully dilated. Within 15 minutes, Dallas Clay Graber was placed in my arms.
And I wanted to weep.
After losing four babies, I could dissolve into tears when I feel a wet, slippery baby placed in my arms. And hear his squalling wail at the trauma of entering this world.
I love that cry – a healthy, lusty, full-lung cry that has just a little bit of outrage from being forced out of his comfortable home in Mama’s womb.
The midwives look him all over, take his APGAR scores, check his reflexes, weigh and measure him, and wrap him up snug as a pea in a peapod.
In case you’re thinking that looks cold, they have a heating pad under the blanket to keep him warm.
Next morning, Wyatt got to be big brother for the very first time! And he loves it still.
Since the children had all been in bed when Dallas was born at 1:02 in the morning, they didn’t find out until they woke up at 7 whether they had a baby brother or baby sister. They were delighted!
Only hours into his first day.
Mom gave Dallas his first bath – something she absolutely loves to do!
My mom totally spoiled me while she was here. I have a freezer so chock-full of meals that I can’t hardly fit anything else in!
All of our babies have loved this spot on Daddy’s arm. I love it, too! Gives Mommy a break.
And as I kiss those soft, brand-new cheeks my heart bows before a God who can create something so infinitely precious, healthy, tiny, and perfect.