Birth Story ~ Salem

On September 2nd, 2006 our Bubs ~ Salem Charles Babcock was born.
This is his story. 

we found out we were pregnant in January 2006.  so excited is an understatement.
the pregnancy was going great. at 20 weeks, we found out Salem would be a boy. his due date was September 4th, and we couldn’t wait to meet our little man. 
life was grand with our sweet Soleil. we were pumped for her to have a little brother. P.A. was also pumped to [finally] be having a little boy. 

so the months went by and summer came.  june was a hot month and I was one hot mama. i had been through pregnancy before with soleil’s birth and was pretty much an expert. i began to think, ‘let’s just skip these last few months of ankles swelling, raging hormones and increasing crankiness’… 
and just have a baby. 
but it doesn’t work that way… still, there were some days i even managed to convince myself i would go into early labor.  i was in such a hurry to have him.  once i thought i really was in labor and we went to the hospital early, only to be sent home. finally, September rolled around on the calendar.  i was so anxious. on that Saturday, September 2nd, i woke up at 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I read my Bible and wrote in my journal. 
labor had begun.
however, i had myself convinced it wasn’t labor. i didn’t want to go back to the hospital only to be sent home. so i talked myself out of it.  i muffled my way through contractions that day and we went on our merry way.  my mom had just come into town the week before. we went to run errands: Sam’s club, Marshalls, Kohls. and for lunch we ate mexican food [a big mistake] i would find out later. and as we were sitting at the mexican restaurant, i hesitantly began to believe i was really in labor. we started timing my contractions only because my mom made me. 
yes, did you realize that even at age 29 your mom can make you do something?  
it’s true. 
my mother knows best. thanks mom. 
otherwise, he might have been born under the table. 
playing with daddy’s hand at the restaurant while i’m in labor
 after lunch, we walked around the mall at Easton and went to Barnes and Noble where Soleil played with the “chu-chu” for a little while. i figured lots of walking and activity could only help progress this lil’ labor to move along, so i was all for never going back home. and procrastinating going to the hospital for as long as possible.  at Barnes and Noble, we timed my contractions, as they increased in strength and intensity, until *again* my mom made me strongly suggested we prepare to head to the hospital.  and she was right *again*. here we are waiting for our friend Stacy to pick up Soleil, before we went to the hospital. 

3 generations 🙂
the next few hours were a whirlwind of activity and waiting.  we arrived at the hospital around 7:30pm, and my friend Amy met us there.  i had my support posse in place, and found out i was dilated btwn a 3-4. things were moving along, but not really fast enough for me, so we took a little walk around the maternity ward.  that was fun until i threw up my mexican lunch from earlier all. over. the. carpet.
  “Clean up in the maternity hallway!”   
i continued laboring in the room and was barraged with a bunch of labor questions from one of the nurses.  she had impeccable timing *during* each contraction.  i had answered so many questions prior to labor and filled out a laundry load of paper work, so i didn’t understand why she was asking me again the same questions. i was growing irritable. i was waiting for her to ask me, “do you prefer Dr. Pepper or Coca Cola?” “Is your favorite color blue?”  etc… Adam & my mom fielded most of the questions and Amy made jokes to keep me distracted. jokes are one of her spiritual gifts. 

finally…
a few hours, a few strong contractions and a few pushes later at 11:27pm ~ 8 lbs 3 oz of awesomeness entered the world.

Big Sissy!
Our Bubs ~ now he’s a big six year old! Salem is an amazing boy full of energy, compassion, love and laughter.  we are so grateful to have him as our son.  he brings us joy every. single. day.
Birthday Boy~loves his homemade Super Mario characters from Soleil 🙂
Happy Birthday Bubs! We love you and are so excited to share your birth story today!

Birth Story ~ Soleil

May 9th, 2004 ~ Soleil Elizabeth Babcock made her entrance into the world ~ via Beth Israel Hospital in NYC, NY
***
on that Mother’s Day Sunday ~ 5:46pm ~ our lives forever changed
our first born, our boo-ba, our sunshine
***
and it all started on a British Bus

now get your minds out the gutter. Soleil wasn’t conceived on a double-decker British bus or anything, but our first desire to have a child was.

At the time, P.A. and I were living and working in NYC.  We lived in Battery Park City, served in ministry at a vibrant church in Midtown Manhattan, and had a healthy love/hate relationship with the Big Apple. 

In the fall of 2002, we went on the trip of our dreams to Europe.  We traveled by planes, trains and automobiles, exploring England, Germany, France and Switzerland.  We backpacked, traveled light and stayed at hostels, convents and budget hotels.  Our first stop was London and the first day there, we rode on one of the British double decker buses.  The same kind of tour buses we made fun of in NYC.
Yes, we were those tourists.


On the top level of the double-decker, as we were taking in the sights of London, like Buckingham Palace, etc… P.A. and I both looked forward and caught sight of this cute little boy with wavy red hair.  He looked back in our direction toward his parents behind us and flashed a smile.  We then looked at each other and started to tear up.
We knew.

At this time, we had been married for over 5 years and had no plans of having children anytime soon.  We didn’t even like kids. unless they were a good distance away from us.  we were never ‘baby people’.  “Ohhh, let me hold your baby.” or “Your baby is sooo cute!” or “babies are the best!” …
nope.
those words never came from our mouths.

Yet, in this moment. we. just. knew.
We spent the rest of our dream trip talking about our future with kids.
And now we have 3 wee babs…
and Salem, our 5 year old, has a toy British Bus and often asks, “When are we gonna go on a British Bus?”  To which we reply, “We want to go as soon as we can!”

So we procrastinated on actually having a baby.  since we are good at procrastinating, why mess up a good thing?
By God’s grace and mercy, I became pregnant with Soleil in August 2003, right away, after waiting procrastinating to “try” and get pregnant.

As soon as we found out I was pregnant, emotions were high and everyday was a new adventure of learning and questions like “what to eat?”, “what to wear?”, “how will I feel?” and “will I make it thru the day without throwing up?”  At this point, I was consumed with myself more than a normal human typically is, I’m guessing.

I was very sick for the first trimester. I couldn’t keep much food down.  I lost 10-15 lbs.  and I was excited about this.  I was enjoying being a “skinny pregnant chick”.

Fast forward to February 2004.  I was 6 months pregnant and we were taking our birthing classes at the hospital, given by a midwife.  During this time, I discovered that the c-section rate at our hospital was very high.  I started doing my homework, not procrastinating for once, and researching everything there is to know about pregnancy and birth at one of my favorite places to dwell for endless hours, prior to having kids… the Barnes and Noble cafe tables in Union Square.

After our birthing class and my personal research, I was empowered with enough information to become a doctor and deliver my own baby, so I decided to change doctors.  Although I tend to be a people pleaser and don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings, I didn’t have a committed relationship to my doctor, so I changed hospitals and found a midwifery group that I could marry into.
These ladies rocked!  

At this point, I also cared more about Soleil – who at the time was Hannah-Soleil – and was growing beautifully.  We were growing very anxious to meet her!  During the 20 week ultra sound, the technician said in her Russian accent “she has strong arm.”  During this ultra sound, we also found out she was going to be a she.  P.A. kept asking, “are you sure?” only to be met with a firm look and a stern answer, “Yes. I sure.” from the technician who, as I said before, was Russian and looked as though she could arm wrestle us with her pinky.  I kept nudging P.A. to believe her and just let it be… but he asked because he had to be sure.

In case you weren’t aware of this fact: 
Pregnant women can experience a range of emotions.  

When I was just a few weeks away from my due date, P.A. and I went to Quiznos for lunch, and as I waddled into the fine sandwich establishment, I suddenly felt like I was under a spotlight.  As we approached the counter to order, one of the workers making sandwiches whispered loud enough so that i could hear, “Man, she is mad pregnant!”  Really?!?  I wasn’t sure.  I thought I had just swallowed a whole basketball or watermelon or some other thing roughly that size… needless to say, I was like “dude, I can HEAR YOU!” and I stared him down until he couldn’t handle my fiery gaze any longer and he turned away.  I don’t think he will share his opinion on any pregnant women again after encountering moi.

After 9 months of swollen feet, maddening hunger, severe need to always be near a restroom (not always easy in NYC), and feeling like a manatee… Saturday, May 8th arrived.  This was a normal day, whatever that means for our lives. We had a youth leaders meeting an hour north of the city and drove up there to connect, encourage and pray with one another.  During the dinner and meeting, I visited the restroom a record number of times and had some painful infrequent contractions.  At the end of our time together all the leaders gathered around to pray for us, as we were about to journey into the unpredictable land of parenthood.
They prayed I would have the baby that night.

As we drove back to the city, I talked with my sister in law on the phone, reporting to her all of the details of my recent contractions and obsessive need to go pee, throughout the youth leaders meeting.  When we got home, I plopped myself on the couch and watched some show about “Celebrity Moms”.  At midnight, I managed to pry myself off of the couch to walk four feet into our bedroom and Whoosh!   My water broke.

I. was. in. shock.  

I didn’t really expect to go into labor so soon – my due date was still a week away.  But there was no doubt, labor had begun.  I called my midwife. went to the bathroom 30 more times, soaked thru several pairs of pants and after 6 hours of laboring at home, we headed to the hospital at 6am.

Nearly 12 hours later, after an intense natural labor and all of the fun things involved with that – which I will spare you the details on, since you have enough other details of her/our long story – Soleil was born compound presentation.  this means she had her hand on her cheek when she was delivered.  let me tell you, that was super fun.  especially given no meds… and the fact that she was a “big baby” weighing 8.9 lbs.

But I didn’t care about the pain, though P.A. nearly passed out.  She was healthy and in my arms.  As soon as we saw her, we new she was not a “Hannah-Soleil”, she was a pure ‘Soleil’ ~ We were ecstatic!  and she looked just like a female version of Adam.  we couldn’t get over it.  so we gave her the middle name Elizabeth, after the middle name of P.A.’s sister.

Here is P.A. with Soleil – 1.5 days old – leaving the hospital.  I almost peed my pants laughing when I saw her in those sunglasses.

Soleil ~ just born ~ 5:46pm, Mother’s Day Sunday, May 9th

So, this is Soleil’s birth story with a lot of important details leading up to her life story.  She just turned eight years old and is already changing the world and touching lives.  She has changed our lives forever with her grand entrance into the world and we look forward to the rest of her story… so far it is only halfwritten.

Happy 8th Birthday to our Sweet Soleil!