Leopold Paul Napotnik

My sweet baby boy.  Leopold Paul Napotnik.  A bold but humble leader.  November 13, 2011 was the day he came.  It was a magical night…if I may say so.  Just so because the sky was crisp with chilly late fall air and the moon was oh so bright.  I remember.  It was a full moon.  I remember waking up with contractions and thinking to myself…these are not just Braxton’s anymore!  My first two labors with my girls were long so I didn’t feel the need to wake August up.  I let  him sleep as wave after wave of contractions washed over my ripe body.  I tried to calm my anxious and excited thoughts about meeting my baby for the first time and decided to sleep as much as I was able to.  At exactly 4:45 a.m I could sleep no more.  I hurried (more like waddled) to the bathroom and bent over our bathroom vanity as the contractions hit closer together.  I remember looking at my clock…was that really five minutes?!  I was in denial.  I’ll let Gus sleep a little longer…there’s no way this baby is that close to arriving.  But when the contractions kept coming, I decided it was time to wake my sleeping husband.

“August….August…I think this baby is coming now!”

August slowly rolled over and softly looked up at me from the air mattress on the floor.  Being heavy with child I had been extremely uncomfortable in my last month of pregnancy and would kick and thrash at night out of discomfort without even knowing it.  August slept on the floor to get a better night’s rest than he would in our bed with me!

“What do you want me to do, Sweetheart?”  came his gentle and reassuring voice.  No ounce of nervousness in it.

I had just called my mother and my midwife to let them know I was definitely in labor.  While I waited for mom I decided to fill up our bathtub and wait out the contractions in warm water.  Well, “wait it out” became my whole entire labor!   I labored and labored in our little bathroom with the shower curtain drawn.  It was all I could do to drag myself out of the warm water to get in the car!  As I managed to dry myself off, sweep my hair up into a nice neat bun and get dressed…all between excruciating and intense contractions, I called out to August.

“August this baby is coming now!  We need to go now!”

A sense of heaviness in my pelvic region was present and although I was still in denial I was that far progressed-because I was already getting the urge to push-I knew we had to leave right away or else baby number three was really going to be born at  home and August would be doing the catching!

On our way to Brookhaven Birth Center the full moon was staring us straight in the face.  It was lower in the sky and in the moist 8:30 am morning moisture it looked so much more magnified.  It was magnificent.  Ugggg…..and push.  Uggg…and push!  I felt a dribble of my water with the second push.  As August screeched into the parking lot my birth assistant met us at the door…I pushed again in the front seat and then managed to hobble out (with what felt like a watermelon between my legs).  I looked at Gina and said, “Are you ready to catch a baby because this one’s coming!”

She looked pretty nervous…it’s a good thing I wasn’t!  I just wanted this baby out!

They had the hot tub already filled and as I pulled all my clothes off I sank into the deep warm water….ahhh…nothing had ever felt so good.  Really…

I pushed again and this time my water broke.

Another push and baby’s head was crowning.

Misty walked in the door and helped guide baby out.

Instant relief.

I turned around still in the water and watched my baby float up to me like an astronaut up in space.  As I grabbed baby I was overcome with such joy I just cried and kissed the little face while the first breaths were taken and the first cries filled the air.  I was so thankful for this little one!  But wait….is it a boy or a girl!?  “That’s your job to find out, Kelli!”  Came my midwife’s voice I looked down.

A BOY!!!

August looked down at the two of us with admiring eyes.  The poor guy didn’t even have time to grab the camera in all the frenzy of arriving and Leo coming right away.

Misty, Heather and Gina helped me dry off and get to the bed where I nursed Leo for the first time and rested a while.  Five hours later I was home and tucked in to my own bed.  Honestly, it was quite a luxury to be so comfortable.  Leo was a healthy baby boy.

He is still a healthy baby boy!

Seven months later and he is on the verge of crawling (he gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth).  He coos and babbles to himself and it’s magic to my ears to wake up in the morning hearing him go “da da da da da!”  I can’t believe his first year is flying by.  I am so blessed by this little boy.  Before giving birth I was anxious about caring for THREE children.  Would I be able to manage three?  How will the girls handle it?   Two had been easy enough, but how would THREE be?  Leo makes it easy on me.  He is content and happy, take three naps a day and is in bed by 7:30 and he sleeps through the night.  Sometimes I forget I have him because he’s content to play by himself while I am busy with the girls.  His sisters love him!  God is so good.  It is my continual prayer that my little Leo will grow up to be a bold, but humble, leader for Christ.  That he will be used by God as a vessel of honor, as a reflection of Christ’s love for us to those around him, and that he will be a man who will glory in his Redeemer.  Amen.

Taken by Katy Napotnik