The Birth Story of Collin Patrick Maloney
After my first two children had been born at 41 weeks, I was fully expecting my third pregnancy to go past its due date as well. I was prepared with plenty of activities to keep me busy those last couple of weeks and still had tasks to do on the to-do list. Having a due date of February 28, I had just been telling people “early March” since the beginning to try to keep the stress down as I fully expected my due date to come and go with a baby still inside. However, there was a little voice inside me that said, “maybe this baby won’t be late. What if he came early?” I couldn’t tell if it was some sort of intuition or just wishful thinking (my hips were quite sore towards the end!), so I kept that idea to myself and just kept plugging away. However, as February came around, the nesting instinct kicked in more than it had in the past and Jonny and I spent a lot of time organizing and getting things ready around the house.
We had an appointment with our midwife, Rebecca, on Thursday February 19 after work. Everything looked good and right on target. She asked us, “Are you getting anxious to have this baby?” to which we replied, “Just let us get through this weekend first. Jonny has a big paper and presentation for school that he needs to do. Then this baby can come whenever he is ready.”
The next day (Friday February 20), at 39 weeks exactly, I was having contractions throughout the day, starting when I woke up in the morning. I didn’t pay too much attention to them because I had been having contractions on and off for several days/weeks. These contractions were a bit more noticeable, but still mild and far apart. I complained to Jonny (at work) that they were annoying and I hoped they didn’t last for another two weeks til I went into “real” labor. The girls and I had a low key day at home, making some lactation cookie dough for the freezer and trying to get things cleaned up. The later the day got, the more urgency I felt to get the house clean. However, I wasn’t making progress fast enough as the kids were making messes and I was pausing for contractions while working.
Jonny got home from work around 4pm and I asked for his help to get the living room and kitchen clean. He was tired from a long day at work and felt like he was getting sick, but he joined in to put away toys and vacuum. After about a half hour of that, Jonny started to realize that I was pretty serious about it and asked if I might possibly be in labor. With tears in my eyes and feeling a little overwhelmed, I replied that I wasn’t sure, because neither of us could fathom the idea of having a baby at 39 weeks. At this point, Maggie (our 2 year old) had found a bucket of crayons and markers and was drawing all over herself and the wall. I started texting my neighbors to see if someone was available to watch the kids for an hour or two while we figured out if it was real labor. Jonny put the kids in a bath around 5pm and convinced me that maybe I should give my parents a heads up, since it was the plan for them to watch the kids during labor and birth.
I was really unsure if I wanted to send the kids away for the night, since I still thought it might be a false alarm, and the kids don’t usually do as well sleeping away from home (and hadn’t ever spent a night without me). So my dad (who was on his way home from a meeting in Green River) came here to play with the kids downstairs and my mom headed down from Ogden.
After Jonny gave the kids a bath, I took a nice hot shower, then locked myself in my bedroom and turned on relaxing music on Pandora (Steven Sharp Nelson channel) to cope with contractions and decide what to do. I texted, and then called Rebecca around 6:30 to let her know what was going on. We decided we didn’t need her to come just yet, but we wanted her to be aware that we might need her that night.
Jonny got the kids bathed, in jammies, and made them some food while my dad entertained them downstairs. My mom showed up around 7, expecting to watch the kids at our house, but by the time she arrived, I was ready for the kids to go so I could have Jonny’s full attention. They got ready to go, and at quarter to eight as they were leaving, I let Rebecca know that we wanted her to come.
With the kids taken care of, Jonny sprang into action to get the birth tub set up and take care of my needs. I labored near him as he worked, kneeling on the floor leaning over the birth ball. Rebecca arrived at 8:30 and I was excited to get into the tub and accept the relief it offered, even though the water level was quite low still.
When I got into the tub, I labored sitting up, leaning back against the side of the tub, for quite a while. At this point, I felt like I slowed the intensity down a little bit (the water calming me down and getting into a position that wasn’t putting as much downward pressure) and we took a few moments to breathe and take in the fact that we were actually going to have a baby that night, which was still unbelievable to us! We discussed what we would name him, joking that maybe if we named him Sean (one of our top contender names), Jonny’s professor (Shaun) would give him a break on his assignment that was due. The other top name was Collin. A nickname for Collin (in the baby name book) was Cub, which I called him as I talked to him during labor.
We continued to add more warm water as it was available (had to wait for the water heater tank to fill up again, so Rebecca boiled some water on the stove to supplement with) and Rebecca monitored my vitals and the baby’s heart beat. Everyone was doing really well. I switched positions and tried kneeling, resting my head and arms on the side of the tub. That position made labor more intense as it helped the baby continue to rotate and move down through my pelvis.
Rebecca reminded me that all over the world, women were doing exactly what I was doing, that we were sharing in this sisterhood of labor. I remember being filled with gratitude at that moment, and saying, “and I’m one of the lucky ones.” I was so grateful to be in a safe, comfortable, loving environment with an awesome husband by my side and a competent caring midwife monitoring the safety of myself and my baby. There was only love and joy and peace in our birth, no stress or anger or fear. Our baby was healthy and we had a safe loving home waiting to welcome him.
I started pushing as the pressure got lower and lower and at 10:22, my waters broke. At this point, I was expecting him to be born immediately since my girls were born within 1-2 minutes after the water breaking. He needed to move down a bit more though, and it took a few minutes for his head to be born. Everyone was excited that they could see that he had lots of hair. After his head was born, it took a minute for the rest of his body to be born, as he wasn’t rotating all the way, so I asked Rebecca to help him a bit. He was born at 10:28 pm and we were instantly in love! I was able to bring him right up to my chest as his cord wasn’t wrapped around him at all. His face was puckery and his eyes were squeezed shut as his vernix-covered body stretched out for the first time outside the womb. It took him a minute to start crying (although the cord was still giving him plenty of oxygenated blood so he was fine) as we talked to him and rubbed his skin. Once he had that first gurgly cry, he didn’t stop talking the rest of the night!
After bonding in the tub with him for a bit (and waiting for the cord to stop pulsating), Rebecca helped Jonny cut the cord and gave him the baby to hold while I moved to the bed. The placenta was slow to deliver, and our baby wasn’t quite ready to latch on (still working out fluid in his nose), so I got a shot of pitocin to try to help move things along. Even with that, it still wasn’t coming along very quickly. I was starting to get stressed that I was going to require a catheter (as a full bladder can inhibit the delivery of the placenta) or further interventions, so I asked Jonny to say a prayer that things would continue to go as smoothly as they had, and I would be able to deliver the placenta and be able to enjoy snuggling my boy! Gratefully, after that, the large placenta was delivered and the bleeding was minimal.
We finally weighed our baby boy and it was announced that he was 9 lb 1 oz and 21.5 inches. I felt so grateful to have delivered a 9lb baby and have no stitches needed! Rebecca gave him a full checkup and everything looked great! We put him in his first outfit (newborn-sized froggie jammies that we then decided were too small for our big boy!) and took lots of pictures and enjoyed snuggling with him. All night that first night he just purred and whimpered with every breath, which was so sweet. Once he got the hang of latching on, he was a great nurser. We enjoyed the quiet night with just us and our little boy, but we were anxious to introduce him to his sisters, who came back the next day mid-day. They thought he was pretty cute, and then the chaos of having three kids began! :) It took us a few days to “officially” decide, but we decided to name him Collin Patrick Maloney. And he is very loved by his parents, sisters, grandparents, and so many more!
and an updated photo (now 3 mo old):