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Written by Rob Tapert about Julius' birth.
NOW THIS IS XENA!
She's punched out more bad guys than John Wayne. Her skills with sword and shield are matchless. Lucy Lawless, star of Xena, was quite the warrior princess when it came to the home birth of her son, Julius, in Auckland. New Zealand. Rob Tapert, Xena's executive producer as well as Lucy's husband, gives his take on the experience:
From the start, Lucy was very adamant that she wanted a home birth. 1 thought it was just a passing fancy, but as we got closer to the due date, I realized she wasn't going to change her mind. She decided to give birth at our house in a tank of water. I was like, "Well, okay." Although this was very normal in Auckland, it all sounded pretty weird to me.
One morning, Lucy woke up at four. She looked at me and declared, "This baby's going to be here by noon." But we had about twenty-five workmen stomping in and out of the house building a pool and a garden. 1 think that ended up inhibiting Lucy because a full day goes by and nothing much happens. Lucy does have some contractions but not full labor. That night we fall asleep, and few hours later Lucy tells me that the contractions are coming closer. She asks me to time them.
"They're about seven minutes apart," I tell her. I start timing again, but suddenly the minute hand goes fuzzy and I fall back asleep. Lucy wakes me up three hours later,
"Now it's time to gel real," she says, it was very Xena-esque of her.
I guess I was a bit nervous, but I was so excited. Lucy says I padded around the house looking for things 1 thought I desperately needed, but now I have no idea what they were, we called the midwife, who got there at four. She put Lucy in this water tank that's about three feet deep and six feet across. Supposedly, the water lessens the weight of the baby pushing against your abdomen. It helps alleviate the labor pains.
At 6 A.M., I wake up eleven-year-old Daisy, who is Lucy's daughter from a previous marriage. She is thrilled to be in the room with her mom.
As the baby's coming down the birth canal, the midwife tells Lucy, "Now you can feel the baby's head." She tells Lucy to put her fingers inside her and feel. Lucy goes, "Oh my God, the head's right there. It's coming!" The midwife turns to me and goes, "Okay, do you want to feel the baby's head?" After I do. Lucy turns to Daisy and says, "Do you want to feel your little brother's head?'
Well that was just too much. Daisy screams. "No!" And she tears out of the room. The thought of putting her hand anywhere near her mother's vagina spun her out of control!
But it was time for the baby to come out. The midwife took a picture about a second before the baby emerged. You could see from Lucy's face that she was in a tremendous amount of pain. Then the midwife took a picture about a minute later. The baby had been born and there was nothing but elation on Lucy's face. It's amazing the sensations that race through you. Agony one moment, joy the next. Incredible. And once the baby had been born, Lucy could barely remember the pain- She says it was no big deal. She's a true warrior.
For a while, Lucy just cuddles with him in the tub. I cut the cord. Then the midwife hands the baby to me and tells me to pull up my T-shirt so he could snuggle against my skin.
Julius Robert Bay Tapert was born on October 16. 1999. at 7:01 P.M. He weighed 8 pounds. 13 ounces. He kind of looks like me. Even in the sonogram at seventeen weeks, we joked that he had my profile.
It was remarkable. I walked the little guy around the house. I showed him the kitchen and the living room. Then I introduced him to the dog, who was completely puzzled. He couldn't figure out what this new creature was doing in his house. He may have been a little jealous. Then Julius and I stood at the window and I explained the lay of the land to him. It was my way of welcoming him home
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