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The Fastest Baby in the West


Pull up a rock and gather 'round the campfire. I'm gittin' ready to spin a yarn about The Fastest Baby in the West. This here tale involves a ma, a pa, and their expected young'un. And that's it. Yep. That's it.

Ya see, they were preparin' to have this here young'un at home, just like all the previous young'uns. Only, it didn't quite happen the way they were expectin'.

So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and listen close, 'cause this story goes by real quick-like.

Our little baby girl was due on December 4. She didn't show up. That's okay. I'm used to late babies. But after several false alarms (and 12 days past the due date), my midwife suggested that we use castor oil to encourage labor. I had used it with my 3rd child, so I knew that it worked. The catch is, if the baby is ready, it will work. So I agreed.

On Thursday, December 16, I went in for my regular prenatal check-up. Since everything still checked-out fine, the midwife (Pam) instructed me to go home and take the castor oil and call her later if something happened.

At 11:00 a.m. I drank the whole 6 oz. bottle (mixed with egg nog to make it go down easier). It didn't last long. Throughout this whole pregnancy, I was naseous and vomiting at odd times. So, of course, 6 oz. of castor oil and a pint of egg nog didn't stay on my stomach for more than 10 minutes. "Darn," I thought. So much for that.

I decided to take a short nap. About an hour later, I woke up with stomach cramps. Okay, so maybe there was enough castor oil left in my system to do something. I got up and told my husband, and we decided that maybe the baby would come today.

About 15 minutes later, at approximately 1:00 p.m., I suddenly started having contractions 2 minutes apart. I had been through enough false labors this time that I didn't call the midwife immediately. I waited about 20 minutes.

By that point, the contractions were so intense that I couldn't talk, so I had my husband call Pam. She said, "It's probably the castor oil getting your body ready. It will usually slow down, and then pick up and real labor will begin in several hours." That is the way it happened with my 3rd child, so I said, "Okay, I'll wait." But it was so intense that I started to doubt. (Randy also called my mom and sister and said, "It's time.")

After about 10 more minutes of the same, I told my husband to call Pam back and tell her I need her to come NOW. She could hear me in the background expressing my pain, so she hopped in the car and headed over. She was at her birth center about 40 minutes away.

During all this time, the girls and Randy were doing some cleaning and tidying around the house to prepare for the extra people who would arrive soon (aunt, cousins, grandparents, midwife and assistants).

I was in the bedroom, the bed was ready, and most of the birth supplies laid out. I was leaning on the dresser through each contraction, since I had learned by experience that standing up for as long as possible allows gravity to speed up the process. I was also thinking to myself, "This pain is incredible for it to still be hours away! I might need to go to the hospital for some pain medication after all!" I was starting to question my sanity.

A few minutes after 2:00, I told my husband that I needed him to stay with me for support. The contractions were close together, longer than a minute, and felt like the real thing. On the very next contraction, I knew something was different.

"I think the baby's coming!" I yelled. I was still on my feet, leaning over the edge of the bed in pain, and he checked to see if I was right.

"Yes, there's the head!" and then "Claudia, call Pam! Call Pam!" he says.

At this point, everything is a blur. All we can remember is that Randy told me to push; I pushed once, he caught the baby, instructed me to lie down on the bed, and then handed me the baby.


She took her first breath and began crying before I even got in bed, so we knew she was fine. Claudia brought me the phone so I could speak to Pam, who was somewhat surprised!

So we waited about 10 minutes for Pam to arrive and take over.

Before Pam arrived, her apprentice walked through the door expecting to find me in labor. Instead, she entered to the sound of a newborn crying. Pam arrived a minute or two later, and they took over, doing the newborn exam.

Catie Rene weighed in at 7 lbs. 4 oz., my smallest baby so far.

She was 19 1/2 inches long, and her head measured 15 inches.

After a warm herbal bath, Mom and baby are dressed and snuggled in bed.

Pam and her apprentice, Hailey, with Catie.

I had plenty of time to admire my new little sweetie pie. Randy thinks this photo doesn't do her justice. He said she looks like a little old man. : )

Claudia gets her first chance to hold the new sister.

About an hour later, my sister arrived just as the midwife was leaving. She said that was so odd, to have the birth finished and see the midwife leave just as she arrived!

The next day, Pam came back for a check-up and did footprints on the home-birth certificate.

So, there you have it. A one-hour labor ending with Daddy being the midwife. It was fast and furious, and I am SO thankful! Who could ask for a better birth?

Or a sweeter baby?

This pregnancy and birth included several miracles, and I will share them with you very soon!




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