The Birth of Kale

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Kale as a newbornI thought I’d be more confident the second time around. “After birthing one baby naturally at home, number two will be a breeze,” I told myself, as my due date approached.

Truth be told, I was scared shitless. Literally. At about 10 p.m. on March 22, 2016, my body suddenly decided to clean itself out. I started to remember how painful labor was with Indie and began to dread the thought of going through it again.

Rewind to earlier that day…

I woke up feeling a bit crampy. I had been crampy for a few weeks though, so I didn’t think anything of it. At 10:30 a.m., I hopped on my computer for my daily work stand-up meeting. The cramps subsided for a few hours and came back at around 1 p.m. I didn’t think I was in labor, but I decided to lay down and wait it out. My prenatal appointment was scheduled for that evening, so I texted my midwife to tell her how I was feeling. She told me to let her know if the cramps continued.

They did. But they didn’t really get worse. Still, she knew they would if I got in the car, so she said she’d come to my house for the appointment instead.

I noticed some progression around 7 p.m. and decided to take a warm bath to see if I could slow things down. It didn’t really help, but thankfully my midwife showed up at around 8:30. It’s a good thing she did. Though I had been in denial all day, I was most definitely in labor.

Indie was still awake and in a very playful mood. My contractions were closer together—about ten to fifteen minutes apart at this point—so I did a few cat-cow stretches while she pressed on my back. It felt good. Thank God for toddlers.

At around 10 p.m., I felt a strong urge to use the bathroom. I remember sitting on the toilet and having a very painful contraction. Indie walked in as it was happening, and Jereme followed behind her.

“Take her away!” I said, trying desperately to breathe through the pain.

“Maaaaahhhhh-meeeee!” she screamed, as he took her to her room to start the bedtime routine, and my heart sank. I wanted so badly to be able to rock her to sleep one last time before this baby came, but I knew deep down that it wouldn’t be long before he made his entrance into the world. I had to focus. I had to be strong.

Jereme returned about twenty minutes later after she had gone to sleep and asked how I was doing. I was still on the toilet.

“She is progressing quickly,” my midwife told him.

“Should I fill up the birth pool and call our moms?” he asked me. I’m not sure if I responded or not, but he went ahead and acted as though the answer was yes.

After my body finished cleaning itself out, I stood up and went into our bedroom. I got down on my hands and knees and labored through a few more painful contractions. A trickle of warm fluid ran down my thigh—an indication that the outer layer of my amniotic sac had broken.

My mom arrived.

Noticing that I had started to fatigue in tabletop pose, my midwife suggested I try sitting on a birth stool. It just so happened that she had brought one with her. Gotta love people who come prepared.

Minutes after I squatted over the stool-with-a-hole, I felt the urge to push. Jereme squeezed my hand as I moaned and grunted loudly.

His mom arrived.

We had asked her to photograph the epic event, and she showed up just in time. Realizing that I had already begun to push, she started snapping photos right away. It took four minutes and two pushes for Kale to make his grand entrance. He was born at 11:54—just six minutes before midnight (on the day that Jereme’s uncle Dave had guessed he’d be born.) I didn’t even have time to get into the water.

Kale Easton Lukoskie. Loosely translated, his name means “free man from the east.” (Fitting, considering he was off the grid until just yesterday when South Carolina finally decided to mail us his birth certificate. That’s another story for another post.)

He was 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 19.5″ long at birth.

He latched on to my breast and started feeding right away. They were right: boys love the boob. We’re four months into life with two, and that hasn’t changed. I don’t see it changing anytime soon. 🙂

Though very different from the first, this birth experience was every bit as amazing and special. And I’m every bit as thankful to have been able to do it naturally, at home, with a supportive team of people.

Now for the question everyone’s been asking: are we done having kids?

We don’t know. We’re not actively trying, but we’re also not actively preventing. We’re open to whatever God has in store, and so far, his blessings have been pretty freaking incredible.

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