Birth Stories...

Scarlett Edythe Becher -

I was convinced that Scarlett was never going to come, that I was going to be pregnant forever, and I was okay with that.  The uneasiness of not knowing when or how she would let me know she was ready to come into the big bright world made me more and more nervous the longer she waited.

My mom had given me giant bed pads from the hospital to put under my sheets just in case my water broke in the middle of the night.  I was lazy and never put them on, six days after my due date, prepared to be induced the next day, I woke up at one o'clock in the morning to a "pop" and instant labor pains.  I knew my water broke and instantly cursed myself for not putting on the pads...what were the odds of my water breaking six days late in the middle of the night?  I eased out of bed, waddled to the bathroom, and threw up.  This was happening too fast, I wasn't ready.  Six days late and I still wasn't ready. Regardless of my internal pregnancy clock, it was time, my contractions where fast and strong.  I waddled back to Chris's side of the bed, shook him lightly and whispered in his ear "are you ready?".  He woke up confused but within a second saw the look on my face and the puddle at my feet, grabbed the bags and said "I have to email the school and get a substitute" he did, while I changed into something not so wet and a little more presentable. 

We got in the car and Chris was speeding to the hospital while I practiced my breathing.  I told him not to speed and he said "if we get pulled over I can say 'my wife is in labor'". I laughed through the constant waves of pain as he continued to speed, secretly hoping to get caught just for the drama of the moment.

We made it to the hospital and everything progressed in a blur.  I was admitted at 4 centimeters, given an epidural, and left to wait.  I watched my contractions speed up and every hour was dilated one more centimeter.  She was coming fast.  At around 5 in the morning the nurses rushed in, gave me a breathing mask and told me to take deep breaths.  With no warning they did an internal monitor of the baby while Chris and I looked on with fear and worry.  Everything was fine but Scarlett went into a little distress, I had to stay on my right side because on my left Scarlett's heartbeat would become too slow.  I started feeling the contractions, the epidural was wearing off and  it was time to push.  I got sick.  This was coming too fast.  I wasn't ready.  After each deep breath, I followed with a deeper push.  Chris held my left leg, while the nurse held my right.  Push, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4...I couldn't push any longer.  In those moments it was just me and Chris, I heard his voice encouraging me to keep going, I felt his hands holding my knee and pushing the hair from my eyes.  These were our last moments shared before officially becoming more than just husband and wife.

She was born at 7:20am, December 10, 2009...6lbs11oz, 20.5 inches long

She was placed on my chest, still attached to my body.  A gooey, sticky, little girl.  I remember thinking, "this is kind of gross", but I didn't care, I was ready.  We were parents. She was born without a name. We were torn between Lucille, Scarlett and Penelope.  We chose Scarlett because she came into the world with bright red hair and a distinct personality.  She cried for a moment, but mostly just watched.  She still does this, she watches and mimics and learns and explores.  I hope this never ends.  I am ready.

Dominic Martin Becher -

This pregnancy kicked my butt.  I was constantly aware of my discomfort, I was grumpy and on edge, especially with Scarlett and Chris.  I knew that it was the hormones raging through my body causing this unfortunate personality change, but also knew that I had very little control over the quick ups and downs I was feeling.

At 38 weeks I prayed daily for the baby to come early.  Because of the once weekly ultrasounds and twice weekly non stress tests I knew he was a healthy little 7 pound boy and I was ready to meet his sweet face and kiss his puckered little lips.

I was just as anxious for this delivery as I was for Scarlett.  I knew that I got lucky with Scarlett, having my water break was a sure sign that she was on her way.  On Sunday  November 4th, a full week before my due date, at 3:30 pm  I woke up from a nap and felt the first signs of labor, subtle contractions coming 5 minutes apart and lasting for 45-60 seconds.  Chris kept telling me to prepare for the hospital and I kept questioning the strength of the contractions and the truth of the labor pains.  I called my mom and her advice was wait until it hurts, "you can still talk, so chances are you are not ready for the hospital".  We waited and waited until 8:30 pm and decided 5 hours of constant contractions was enough to illicit a quick visit to the hospital, even if we were turned away it would be worth it to get an idea of where I stood in the labor process.  We finally packed our hospital bag and cleaned the car seat minutes before Chris's mom came to pick Scarlett up for a possible overnight stay.

Driving to the hospital I continued to question the reality of the labor pains.  Chris and I pulled into the hospital parking lot and turned right around, deciding to wait it out another half hour at a coffee shop across the street.  The contractions continued but with them my anxiety grew.  At 9:30 pm we stepped off of the elevator and were ushered into a delivery room.  The familiarity of the experience shot through my veins and I fell into "let's get this done mode".  I was unfortunately brought back to reality when they told me after a full afternoon of contractions I was only dialated to 2 cm..  Within the next hour my contractions grew stronger and closer together.  I was trying to remember my breathing techniques while squeezing Chris's fingers together until they turned purple.  I was officially in "labor".  I labored naturally for three hours before giving in and requesting/demanding an epidural.

The rest of the night was a blur of epidural induced shakes, blood pressure drops, heart rate concerns and slow progression of labor.  I let my body do its work through the night while trying to get some rest between the every hour blood sugar pricks and frequent checks on baby boy Becher's dropping heart rate.  I made it to 5 am and was finally ready to push.  After one push with the nurse she told me to stop and I felt his head waiting to be released.  We waited for the doctor and I fought the urge to give one last good push and finally meet my son.  Dominic Martin Becher entered the world a little purple and having a hard time breathing but was a healthy baby boy.  Weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and measuring 21 inches.   He is a joyful, perfect baby boy and we are a very blessed family of four. 

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Maxwell Christopher Becher -

My pregnancy with Maxwell was a challange.  Chris and I had just moved our family to a new state away from anything familiar when we found out we were pregnant.  I was sick and Washington did not disappoint with its early nights and gray rainy days.  On top of the dreary weather and only 7 hours of sunlight, I had newly been granted the position of stay at home mom and my morning sickness turned into afternoon sickness turned into middle of the night sickness day after day.  It was all I could do to say "hi" to Chris as we crossed paths every afternoon, I crawled into bed promptly as he walked in the door.  It made for long days for both of us.  Month after month passed and I knew this would be our last baby or at least the last one away from the support of family.

We survived the winter months and along with it the first trimester, coasting slowly into the second. We chose to keep the gender of baby number three a secret although we had pretty strong feelings that it was going to be a boy.  Winter turned to spring and with it fresh air, longer days, thousands of colorful blooms, and a return of my gestational diabetes.  In the third trimester we started walking around the neighborhood more and enjoying our final days as a family of four.  School was coming to a close and every day I told the baby to hold off until after Scarlett's preschool "graduation" ceremony, which was still a full 11 days before my due date. But baby boy must have felt the relief of my anxiety at finishing the school year for the sake of Scarlett's memories because the contractions started fast and furious that night.

I had been having contractions for a little over a week, soft and slow, on and off.  But the morning of June 12th, I woke up around 4am and knew that something was different about the new set of birthing pains.  I labored at home for 45 minutes before deciding it was time.  As with my other two, once my body gives in to the idea that the baby is on its way, labor starts fast and furious.  We arrived at our new hospital unsure of where to go and what to do, but thankful most labor and delivery centers have similar routines.

The rest of the labor was very similar to my other two, a couple hours huffing and puffing with each contraction and the rest of the time watching the contractions gain momentum on a screen while fighting of the epidural shakes and constant nausea. When it was time to know if it was a boy or a girl the doctor asked if I wanted Chris to announce, and in the chaos of the final moments I yelled "yes" and heard "it's a boy" spurt from Chris's mouth almost simultaneously.  Baby Max was our only day baby, born June 12, 2015 at 12:19 in the afternoon.  It was so odd for Chris and I to welcome our boy with daylight shining on his face and even more odd to facetime our friends and family moments after instead of being attacked by a flurry of hugs and kisses.

If anything Max's birth made us miss home more than the nauseous nights from the first trimester. It was really hard celebrating away from family and having to wait till he was two months old to show off our 7 lb, 19.5 inch bundle of joy.  But in the end we are thankful for a healthy baby and a happy to be a family of five.