For a year before our journey, we have been planning. Getting wonderful people to stay in our home, take care of our pets and getting permission from work. We were well into this planning when my beautiful wife dropped the bombshell:
What to do? Do we delay the trip (for how long? 6 months? A Year? Forever?) Do we carry on – knowing that we’ll have a baby somewhere in Europe?
Now, you can read the title of this post, so you know that we find the adventure in everything. However, there were a few technical issues to work out. Fortunately, our midwife for babies 2&3 is enrolled in a graduate program in London this year. So, after agreeing with her to meet up in London – we began our trip.
Now, if you do any web searches for “traveling while pregnant” they all say “get home by 35( 32, 30?) weeks. That wasn’t really an option for us.
We arrived in London the first week of December (that’s 35 weeks folks), and we started nesting. All of the birthing supplies had to be ordered (Thank you Amazon Prime!) We were completely open and honest with our AirBnB host about being pregnant and having the baby in London (she is/was ecstatic)
Now, we have been through this before. This is baby #4 after all. So, we knew the drill. It could come soon, or it could come later. The birth could be really fast, or it could be long.
So, for the last 3 weeks, we have had an inflatable birth tub leaning against the back door of our apartment:
Not shown – the hosing that traveled through the kitchen and into the bathtub. We did a practice fill. 30-45 minutes.
And so we waited. We had a wager going with our friends on Facebook (date, time, gender). Yes, we had no idea the baby’s gender. 🙂
We learned that our midwife was going 2 hours away the week of Christmas, and if we went into labor then ,we’d be on our own.
Did I mention that I picked Boxing Day for the birth? (we needed to revise those plans!)
We had a few twinges of potential labor here and there, but after the 28th (midwife is back in town!), we went into the city, and walked for a couple of hours. That was the kick the baby needed, and after a fitful night of contractions, by the next morning (the 30th) labor was in full swing.
The kids helped refill the birth tub. We lit candles! I made a big pot of soup! Mom was pacing. The apartment has a great long hall – perfect for pacing.
From 6 AM through 8 AM she walked. at about 8:30, the midwife arrived. From 8-11:40, K was in the birth tub, in full labor. Our little baby was positioned OP – that means he was turned backwards, and has to turn on his way out. In layman’s terms. OUCH. This labor was, as K put it “the most painful one yet!”
But, at 11:46 AM, our little KJ was born. His shoulder may have been stuck, and our midwife may have to pull him out, but he was born! After getting Mom and baby out of the birthing tub and into the bedroom, we did all the measurements, and he (yes – he is a boy!) weighs in at 9 pounds – our biggest baby yet (and still 6 days early!)
I took down the birth tub (and by evening it was dry and back into its sack (it is a Birth Tub in a bag after all!).
For the last 3 days, we have been holding, cuddling and getting to know this new little member of our family. The kids have been getting up at night to help with diaper changes (on their own accord) and have been making sure everyone gets a to hold him a “fair” amount.
Welcome young KJ! We have 8 more months on this trip. Get ready for some fun!