Sunday, June 29, 2008

Announcing Rebecca

Ladies and gentlemen, do you have trouble with guests who have overstayed their welcome? Do you have company that just refuses to leave? Well, grab a pencil and jot this down. I have three little magic words that will clear your house faster than “I just tooted.” Ready? “My water broke.” (I learned yesterday, however, that this also works on guests that you are not trying to get rid of as well.)

If you’ve heard the birth story of our fourth child, Roxanna, this story is going to sound faintly familiar to you. The thought may even cross your mind that we must have wanted to do it this way on purpose. But then you might want to check your Crazy Pills prescription, because nobody would want to do it this way again on purpose. We even made a most concerted effort with our fifth child, Tanner, to make sure that it in fact didn’t happen that way again. Plus why would anybody consciously decide to pay for the loving care of a midwife, and then not invite them to come over for the love and care? And then why would you do that twice?! That’s like experiencing a very unique movie, and realizing it was certainly a once-in-an-odd-lifetime experience, and then finding out there is an unnecessary sequel. (Weekend at Bernie’s II, I’m looking in your direction.)

Well, it all started with a single contraction on Friday night. I was on my way to a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert with some of my other home-nerds, so you can imagine my relief when Katie said she was sure it was nothing and gave me the green light to rock on with Al and his accordion. (Speaking of once-in-a-lifetime odd experiences, I had seen Mr. Yankovic in concert in 1987 and had assumed that would be the only time. So I should have seen this as a sign. But I was too busy wondering how My Man Weird is able to do so many costume changes in one concert. The man is truly an artist, obviously dedicated to his craft.)

True to her word, Katie had no other contractions. Until Saturday morning. Yes, beginning around 6:30 a.m. Katie started having extremely mild and completely irregular contractions. This continued through the early afternoon, when some ol’ college friends of ours who were in town for the weekend brought lunch over.

Katie was feeling so great, she was able to be social and casual and showed no signs of ever being uncomfortable. She would still have the occasional contraction, but these were the most gentle and docile contractions ever recorded, according to Katie. The contractions weren’t getting any harder, they weren’t getting any closer, they didn’t seem to be progressing at all! I could have had these contractions, and I have a very low tolerance for pain. (I also have a low tolerance for large crowds of Weird Al fans, it turns out. But this isn’t about me. Or the fans.)

Around 2:30 p.m. Katie slipped into the downstairs bathroom just to tinkle. The rest of us were on the couches, chatting. Katie called for me and said, “Can you come in here for a second?”

I tried to open the door, but it was locked. “Can you unlock the door?" I asked.

“Nope,” she answered.

“Well, we’re going to get going,” said our college friends, leaping from the couch to gather their kids from upstairs, and, in the process, easily breaking the Olympic qualifying time for the track and field hurdles.

I picked the lock and opened the door to see my cute, sweet wife on the potty. “My water broke,” she said. “I need pads and dry clothes.”

I retrieved the goods from upstairs, but I was actually quite casual about it because while Katie seemed energized that things were finally moving, she didn’t seem overly anxious or concerned about the immediate moment we were in.

I walked back into the bathroom with her stuff and she said, “Why don’t we call the Midwife. I think we’re going to have this baby tonight.” Now, our standard go-to Midwife that we have used for our last four children is Margie. Margie is wonderful. Margie knows her stuff. Margie makes you feel comfortably at ease. Margie was on a cruise in the Bahamas. We had three back-up midwives to select from.

“Sounds good,” I said. “I’ll call one of the back up midwives. Did you want to say goodbye to the Muirs? They’re leaving now.”

“Uhm…no. If I get up, I just know I’ll have a contraction.”

I left the bathroom, said goodbye to the Muirs, and was walking over to the phone to call a midwife when I heard Katie yell for me again. This was a different yell. This was a familiar yell. This was a “For the love of heaven, get in here and catch this baby” yell.

I opened the bathroom door, this time to find Katie pushing out a baby. Katie’s head was down, her eyes closed, her arms stretched around her front with her hands holding the bottom of her stomach. She seemed remarkably peaceful. Focused. I have never known anybody to be able to understand their body like Katie. The room seemed entirely still and silent

She looked up at me and said, “Tell me it’s a head.” This was a legitimate concern, because if it was a bum, a leg, or anything but a head, we were up an afterbirth creek, without a paddle.

I dropped down on my knees and saw the head out, just above the eyes. “It’s a head,” I said. “Are you ready?”

Katie started pushing again and the head came out. She pushed some more. “Is it further out?” she asked.

“No. Still just the head.”

She pushed some more.

“I can see a shoulder, here it comes.”

And she slipped right into my arms. She was covered in vernix, and now I was too. I held her so close because I thought she was going to slip-slide right out of my hands. She wasn’t crying at all. I couldn’t believe I was holding her. We had waited so long for her.

It was 2:36 p.m., and all of our kids were peering from behind the bathroom door at this point, wanting to see what was going on. They came in to see her, and everybody oohed and aahed, except Tanner, the 2-year old, who had a very concerned look on his face. After he saw that Katie was okay, he seemed fine with the situation. And has fallen in love with the baby.

We called our friend and neighbor, Jonelle, who has been to a number of births. We knew she wouldn’t freak out at being up to her ankles in…stuff. With the baby in Katie’s arms, the placenta in a bucket, and Chux pads on the couch, Jonelle to came over and helped me help Katie make the move from the bathroom to the living room.

Katie sat down on the couch and started nursing the baby right away. We cut the chord and called the backup midwife, but she was with another woman who was laboring. We called the second backup, and she was in Boulder City with another woman who was laboring. (Which, honestly, how long does it take? If they are like Katie, we should have had a midwife arriving in about 15 minutes.) But she sent her apprentice over. She showed up about two hours after the birth. We sat there for two hours like it was the most normal, Saturday afternoon thing to do.

When the Apprentice arrived she weighed the baby. According to the scale, she was 16 pounds. According to the Apprentice, the scale must be broken. So we had Abbie stand on a normal scale, and then handed her the baby, and then figured the difference, which is about 10 lbs and … something ounces.

We’ve named her Rebecca. (We call her Becca). She is lovely. I adore the smell of her newborn head and sweet breath. I love her dark eyes and quiet nature. As always, I am absolutely and in every respect overcome with wonder at Katie. She is powerful, soft, and warm. She is beautiful, secure, and poised. I wonder if we should have named the baby after her incredible mother. Or we could have named her “Weird Al”berta Craig.


P.S. I am leaving the Comments on, if you would like to wish Katie congratulations!




46 comments:

merathon said...

okay, WOW. how many people can say they've birthed not one but TWO babies by themselves on the toilet? when i saw that picture, i had a flashback of the roxanna birth story, as i'm sure you all did too!

congratulations! our third should be born here within the next couple weeks or so but i'm really hoping it will be in a hospital-- i can't imagine how you guys do it at home, as you said, "like a normal saturday afternoon thing to do." i LOVE your family and especially am in awe of my beautiful and amazing cousin katie! as soon as you're recovered, come on out to charlotte for a visit! i do believe it's your turn... (first one to comment-- that's got to count for something too, right?)

Hita Broomand said...

Dear Craig Family,

Congrats on another beautiful baby! Katie, you really are amazing! I am totally in awe of you. Ken, your take on the birthing story is totally you...

Congrats again!

Much love,

Hita

elperrogato said...

You continue to amaze me! Both of you are so awesome. I look at you and I see how marriage and relationships ought to be. My husband would never in a million years scoop up and hold a goo covered baby for me. Rebecca is beautiful. Katie is…well my hero. Congratulations again.
XO
Patti

Matthews7215 said...

Now, how many new born baby pictures are actually that beautiful?! (So far, only my babies were. No really.) And how many Mothers who have just given birth look absolutely relaxed and beautiful for a photo that should be framed? None. Except Katie! I would have thought it was a staged picture, excepted that it is you guys and it jives with this incredible story.

I can vouch that Rebecca is absolutely as beautiful as she appears because I got to hold her just yesterday! And she fits perfectly with your beautiful family. Congratulations!

Danette Matthews

Lisa said...

Ken and Katie,

You are my heroes! Katie, you are amazing--mostly because you remained calm with all 5 of your children there--and I'm so glad Becca is here! We can't wait to meet her (and kiss her head and smell her breath--I love that part, too!) Ken, you are amazing because you took your kids to a Weird Al concert and lived to tell the tale. (Don't tell my kids.)

Love,

The Clarks

Lenzi said...

As if I didn't think she was amazing enough already! You've gone and done it again! Katie, you truly are a mother to be looked up to! Congratulations on another beautiful Craig baby!!

Lenzi

Doug Waggoner said...

Congratulations!

Reading your story, admiring Katy's calm and poise, seeing how great it is to have your kids involved, wow, I just know, if we were to have another baby, we'd do it at the hospital with lots of morphine.

The Yates Family said...

Congratulations you guys! Honestly, we are not surprised at Katie and her wonderous abilities in childbirth. She is amazing. Becca is absolutely beautiful, in looks and name. We are thrilled for you guys and happy that Katie isn't a basketball any longer. We'd love to come and see her when things have settled down. YAY FOR ANOTHER CRAIG! Well done.

Amy said...

Congratulations! We feel a slight connection to this baby because Katie spilled the beans to us before a lot of people knew. Ken, we think you should start looking into the career of midwifery. We are so happy for you guys.
-Steve and Amy Rhodes

Mirien said...

Congratulations! Meredith sent me a link to your post and as I am currently pregnant with our 6th, also a girl, this story hit home. How can you make it all look so easy?!! I'm honored to be related to you. Way to go!

jen said...

I love that Katie is just sitting there, on the potty, with her cute accessories, holding her brand new baby, with her beautiful smile. And then the picture of Katie perched on the couch with all of her beautiful children gathered. It's just perfect. You and Katie are beyond amazing. When can I come over?

Angela and Mike said...

Wow, that is an amazing story. I'm sure that my birth story won't go quite like that. Way to stay calm Ken...I think Mike would've passed out! haha. We are so excited for your new little Rebecca. We hope everyone is doing well. Let us know if you need any help with anything! Enjoy the new little baby :)

Troy and Barbs said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to come over and see beautiful Rebecca. So glad we are friends... We admire you and your strengths. Thanks for keeping the beauty and simplicity of motherhood/birthing alive. It is very refreshing. We love your family.
Barbara & Troy

DeNae said...

Well, next time you tell me I can come for the birth, I'm moving in a week after conception. C'mon, it'll be fun! I'll write musicals with Abbie, foster-mom baby goats with the littles, do a screenplay treatment of Ken's blog, sneak orange soda into Garen's room at night... I'll stay busy and out of the way, and I'll finally get to see one of these textbook miracles in person. I'm sending all my love and leftover post-Caesearean Karma your way!

Team C said...

WOW! Katie you truly are amazing! I wonder if just once you could give us other mothers a break and look a tad bit disheveled. I am not talking crazy here, just a little. What a beautiful little girl. You go girl!! Congratulations to the Craig family. What an amazing addition!

Kich Pwi Pwi said...

Well if I wasn"t out of town I'm sure you would have thought,"quick call Holly, she's got to be here for this!" Or at least that was the plan for both Roxanna and Tanner. I'm begininng to think that those are just fake promises:) I've so enjoyed reading your blog. I just discovered it, and am laughing my head off just like the good OLD days when we could stay up til 2 a.m. telling these funny stories in real life. Love you all! P.S.this is a pic of Matt not me but he looks hot!

The Allen Family said...

Congratulations!!! Katie, you look so beautiful! I hope I look like that after childbirth! You are truly a baby hero and a definite awesome example of what motherhood means! She's beautiful for a 16 pound baby! :) She really is beautiful! Congrats to both of you!
-Chandi

jen&ben said...

Once again I am in awe of you, Katie. Did you use hypnobirthing or something? You know that stuff is dangerous! :-) Can I just say that if I was ever crazy enough to have another baby (and I'm not)... I would want you there. AGAIN! Becca is beautiful, just like her mom. And Ken... would you please publish your novel already?!!! Love you guys.

jenny, ben, bella and griffin TITUS

Jonelle said...

Open Comments!!!! What should I say? Hmmm... Well, you guys know how I feel about you and your family. But, I will say it anyway. We love and cherish you all. It was a beautiful day to be a part of, and I feel honored and still excited over it! I got to check out a placenta, and you know how I love placentas! If I did not love Katie, I would want to just pinch her hard or something! Her beauty, peace and overall contentment with motherhood, birth and and all things amazes me. Ken, your midwifery skills, ability to tell a story and being covered in vernix and not particularly caring about it
(Bert literally threw up in his mouth when I told him that part-he can handle roadside massacres, but birth is tough on the poor guy), amaze me. Craig kids... your excitement, respect for the occasion and perfection amaze me. One has to count themselves lucky to have you all as neighbors, ward members, friends and adopted family. To beautiful Becca....much love, peace and happiness just like your first hours in this world have been. May it continue for the rest of your life!

Merzy said...

WOW!

WOW!!

WOW!!!

Y'all really are the most amazing batch of studmuffins. Congrats! I'm thrilled for each and every Craig. :)

Stefanie said...

WOW, Congratulations you guys. That is an awesome birth and your new little one is beautiful. Not to mention your wife as well, she's my hero now. I hope my next birth goes that well, should be any day now. Congratulations again!

Ransoms said...

I have to comment on this incredible event. Welcoming a new baby into the world is always a miraculous and wondrous thing, but the way you do it is truly extra-ordinary! Best wishes to your happy family of eight.

Kim said...

Wow! Pioneer through and true! I tell you what, tho- you need to become a midwife so get going to classes (in all your spare time). We will certainly call you if it ever happens to us- I imagine with all the close calls that we have had, it might. I'll pay you good money too even if you do not make it :).

Oh and I had to laugh that you were accessorized and looking like you could pose for a photo shoot. And Becca- I can't wait for the human interest story on your little angel face. For all the money your folks earn from this story, I am certain they will build up a trust for you, doll.

Love to you all.

The Kelly's said...

Yeah!! Becca is beautiful and I love that Katie is perfectly accesorized for the occasion. I wish I had one picture even remotely as beautiful after my three deliveries. Congratulations to all the Craig's. Love, the Kelly's

Gina said...

Congratulations! What a darling baby and an amazing Katie. (I'm not creepy, I'm Lisa's sister-the one with you on your first date-and now 6 kids later!)

Mz Baird said...

The namesake is here! I LOVE the pic of Katie with her adorable hair and accessories. Way to go sister! I'm so homesick for LV right now, I must come see this beautiful creature and be surrounded by all things Craig.

The Shearers said...

Amazing as usual. Congratulations on the new arrival and on another miraculous birth. Can't wait to meet Rebecca!

Travis & Amber said...

Katie-
You are an amazing woman-we don't know how you can do it so effortlessly and look so beautiful after! (esp a 10+ lb baby!)
Craig Family-
Congrats! You will always have the trump story at ANY party.
Love ya
Wiser Family

Rhonda said...

Oh my gosh, Craigs! You guys never fail to amaze me!!! Congrats again! :)

Bek said...

Let me just add to the wowza comments. Katie makes having a baby sound easier than going through the taco bell drive through... I love your descriptions though. I am amazed at how normal it sounded, have friends for lunch, go to the bathroom, have a baby, clean up (but it did get her out of dishes though, right??).

BTW.. I LOVE the name (and I was Becca growing up too). ;-) I never hear it any more.. so thanks for continuing the name. I always like it and it has served me well.

CONGRATS!! Now your Becca, My Gracie and Lisa's Margaret can form a band when they are older, or hang out with Mike Masse. Either one.

Bek said...

Also, I love that the toilet paper roll is empty. :-)

PMC said...

Katie-
You just look so darn cute perched up there on that toilet! You could sell toilets! Pink toilets with little daisies....
Fabulous fabulous experience! Welcome little Becca!

Misty (and family)

ginger said...

An amazing story and an equally amazing family. I'm so glad everything went well (although that was to be expected with one do-it-yourself delivery already under your belt). Congratulations!

Marlise said...

Congratulations (again)! I'm excited for you guys, and loved seeing the pictures on here! We'll have to get our kids together sometime...."soon". :)

Terilyn Taylor said...

OHHH!! MY GOSH!!!! This story belongs in the Readers Digest. The birth of Becca is two in a million. Welcome to the world Becca! I can see that you are going to rock the world!

Congrats!!

Chief Kaholoaa said...

Holy Crap! We already knew Katie was amazing but how in the world did you do it? Again? I would be freaking out. I would have called every fire department in the city for help. Only certain people can do that. Wow! CONGRATULAIONS! Let us know when you're baby blessing will be and we'll come and witness this great event. If we're invited that is. Any excuse for a trip. Hey I just wanted to stop by also and let you know I have my own Blog at ChiefKaholoaa.blogspot.com

Give our Love & Aloha to Katie and the kids. Gigi aka Fathead

Marie Wright said...

Congratualtion to your whole family. And I am grateful that everything went very well. She looks beautiful and mom looked great. You have a great family and think your additon is wonderful to your family. Have a great time enjoying her. Love the Marie Wright and Family

Jill Campbell said...

Katie and Ken,
I loved every line of that birth story! Congratulations! When I first saw the toilet photo before reading I thought it must be an old Roxanna photo! Well, Katie, at least you don't have long grueling labors. (I'm so glad it was a head, too!) I love you guys lots. Becca is gorgeous.
Love, Jill

Konchar Family said...

What is the word for when you are totally jealous and envious, but in a really Christ-like, I'm-thrilled-for-you kind of way? Because we are that, for you. She is absolutely gorgeous and will no doubt be exactly who you never knew was missing.
Loved her birth story and your review of events. Thanks for being our friends.

Konchars

Tober Family said...

I'm a little delayed on the congrats but I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to do so. Your baby is so beautiful and it sounds like everything went well and all are well. I can not wait to give that baby a squeeze. Anyway, Congrats!! We love you tons!!

shauna said...

Just got back from girls camp and read the blog...the story Ken wrote was great, but the actual "story" was amazing.

You two are the best and what lucky spirits have come to your home.

Congratulations and much love to both of you and Becca.

shauna oblad

Suzanna H. said...

Katie, I still remember in young womens, when you just had one! You were the first person I knew to have a home birth. Just to let you know, it made an impression!

Suzanna (Cox) Haltern, and little Maja

Laura said...

Wow Katie, She is just beautiful!! Congratulations. I'm so happy for you and your family. I'm glad all went well with the delivery... now the little sisters will have something very unique in common.

summerzfamily said...

hey ken it is summer, bob weaver's wife-- he just showed me your blog---- wow what a story-- amazing!!! he want me to invite you to our blog, but it is private-- email me you address & I will invite you!
sumweaver@gmail.com
he must like you a lot. he talked to you on the phone the longest I have ever heard him talk to anyone (including myself) he usually is not much of a phone person!! i have heard about you for years!!!!

Sister Lang said...

Dear Ken,

Would you please send me your folks address?

Sister Lang
rubalang@verzion.net

Libby Olenslager said...

Ok.... so I just BARELY saw the comment you left me back in September.....my bad! So I don't know if you are even gonna get this. But yea, sorry I didn't come in and say peace out to you before I left. I figured that I would just wait and come back when you least expect it. I'm thinking that I would hide in the back of your car and pop out when you're in a dark parking lot.... but we'll see. But I'm pretty sure that I am coming to Vegas for Christmas, so hopefully you will be able to meet my new boy. Yea, his name is Joe and he's pretty great. I will need you to approve of him first....of course! :)