Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Better late than never!!!

10 days past his estimated due date, our wonderful baby boy joined our family on November 17th at 1:00pm, weighing in at a hefty 9lbs, 21" long, with a 14.5" head. Our homebirth went smashingly and I could not have asked for a more successful, gentle, stress free birth than what I had with this little one.

I awoke at 5:50am to hit the bathroom and upon returning to bed, felt my first contraction just past 6am. Since I had been having prodromal labor on and off for over a week, I didn't really think too much of it. But then 6 minutes later, another was felt, and then another , and another. I was FINALLY in labor!!! We called the midwife and my parents at about 7:30am to let them know that things were progressing. At this point the contractions were about 4min apart, but I was able to function through them. The kiddos woke up and M and I got breakfast going. After breakfast, I broke out the birth ball to help with positioning and to keep my hips moving. 9am brought the birth assistant followed shortly by the midwife. About 30minutes later, my birth "team" arrived. I don't think I've ever had so many people in our apartment, LOL. Our team was made up of my mom, who along with M is my main birth support, my dad, he was responsible for watching the kiddos, including my 2.5yo little brother who came along, my 18yo sister, she floated between helping with the kiddos, taking some pics, and helping the midwife and birth assistant. Along with these 3 people came my mom's best friend who was visiting from NJ and her 17yo daughter (my sis's best friend). While they didn't have any specific jobs to do, they helped with the kids, too and did whatever tasks were asked of them. So, let's see... yes, I had 11 other people present at the birth of my 3rd child, crazy isn't it??? But you know what, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Having all these people kept me talking and moving and not focusing too much on the pain of the contractions. In fact, by the time the contractions were hard enough for me to have to really focus on them, I would sit and roll on the birth ball, cover my eyes lightly with my hands, breathe through the contraction, and pick up the conversation where I had left off. All the while, my birth team was bustling and talking around me. It really helped me to have so much activity, I was thriving on it.

At about 12:00pm, I told M it was time to fill up the birth pool. The contractions were coming harder and faster and I needed the pain relief of the warm water. The team moved quickly to get the pool filled and by 12:30pm, I was laboring in the warm water, thankful for the relief it brought. About the time I got into the pool, my body said it was time to push. Relaxing myself and giving in to my body, I let the contractions do their job and quietly hit transition. I moved to my knees and leaned on the pool as the contractions washed over me and M climbed into the pool. About 15minutes later, I could feel the baby descend and get ready to crown and I let the midwife know the baby was coming. With the next contraction, my body began pushing the baby out and while my midwife told me I needed to slow down the pushing, she also recognized that I wasn't actually using force to push, it was my body doing its job. I focused on controlling the pushing so as not to "shotgun" my little one out of the birth canal. As the head emerged, the midwife realized this little one was following in Mushie Face's footsteps and was being born "in the caul" or in the bag of waters. Just as we had to do with Mushie, the bag was cut with a pair of scissors. The next contraction delivered the shoulders and the baby slipped into M's hands. The midwife helped unwind the cord that was loosely around his neck. At 1:00pm, our beautiful baby boy entered the world, completely covered in vernix and protesting loudly. Immediately he was put to my breast. While sitting in the birth pool bonding, we were joined in the room by Little Man, Mushie, and my little brother, all eager to see who was making all the ruckus. After having their curiosity satisfied, the kiddos returned to the playroom to continue their adventures with my dad.

We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before M cut it and the midwife collected blood samples to type the baby's blood. A few minutes later, M took the baby and I got out of the pool and moved to the couch to deliver the placenta. After delivering the afterbirth, baby and I got cozy on the couch covered in blankets to warm up and nurse.

This birth was truly a testament to the amazing abilities of a woman's body. While I would like to say that I had "control" during the whole birth process, I just can't. My body did its job and I turned all control over to it. I didn't fight the contractions as I had during Little Man's birth, I welcomed them. I didn't even push, I let my body ease the baby out in its own timing, focusing my attention only on the forcefulness of the pushes. And while it may seem strange to some, having a houseful of people to talk and converse with during labor really helped move things along. Maybe that was part of the problem with my labor with Little Man, other than M, who was stressed out becoming a first time father, I had no one to converse with, to hold my attention. Some women use focus points, I talk :) I thrive on social activity and why wouldn't it make sense that it would help me in labor?? The birth of our third child revealed so much about my needs in labor and about my body's abilities, it was truly an enlightening experience.


Anonymous mommyshanti said...

sounds wonderful
i read on another post that you had midwife Trinlie Wood.
Would you recommend her?
Any other comments appreciated

1:59 PM  

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