Friday, February 13, 2009

Addison's Home/Waterbirth

August 28th, 2007
8lbs 1oz & 20inches

I had been having contractions on and off for weeks, so I didn’t think anything of it when I started having mild contractions early in the morning on August 27th. It was around 2-3am, and they were a little uncomfortable, but I slept through them the best I could. I had to get up early to get Wyatt and myself ready to go. Dan worked that night, but would be home to pick us up so we could go pick my mom up at the airport. She decided to fly in since the 28th was my due date. I continued to have mild contractions and they were pretty regular. I was kind of suspicious, but wasn’t sure if it was real or not. Wyatt and I were ready when Dan got home and we left for the airport.

About halfway there, we stopped to get gas and I knew it was real. The contractions were getting stronger and were very regular and it was pretty uncomfortable to be in the car. We discussed turning around and sending someone to get my mom, but decided to keep going since we were already halfway there. Of course, we got stuck in horrible city traffic. The contractions weren’t painful yet, but all I wanted was to stand up since sitting was so uncomfortable! Finally, we arrived at the airport and found my mom. Thank goodness she already had her bags and was ready to go. I let her know I was in labor and she was so excited about our “perfect timing.” Traffic wasn’t nearly as bad driving home and we stopped at Wal-Mart to grab a few last minute things and headed home. We got home around 7pm. It felt SO good just to be out of the car! Dan got Wyatt put to bed and he and my mom ate dinner. As soon as Wyatt was in bed, labor changed suddenly. Contractions became painful and I had to really focus on each of them. It felt good to walk and then lean on the wall or couch when one came on. Dan asked if we should call our midwives and I agreed. That was around 8:30pm and I was down on my knees leaning over my birthing ball. I wanted to try it since it felt wonderful during labor with Wyatt. It was ok..not quite right, but I stayed there because walking was becoming tiring.

Our midwives arrived between 9:30-10pm, I think. The lights were low and everyone was super mellow and quiet. There was just a sense of calm and peace and being ready. I was absolutely thrilled to be in labor since the pregnancy had been really hard on me! I remember Pamela (our midwife) asking me if I wanted to try the birth pool. I agreed it was time, so they started filling it up. My contractions continued to get stronger steadily and were more painful and totally different from what I felt with Wyatt. When they were ready, I got up to go to the bathroom and got stuck on the toilet through some very strong contractions. Finally, I was able to get up and get into the birth pool a few feet away. I think that was around 11:30pm.

Once again, labor suddenly changed. The water felt AMAZING this time. I can’t say it lessoned the pain, but it helped me release my muscles and let go of my body, so it could do what it was meant to. Right away, I felt my body start to push and I was able to just relax myself and be totally consumed by it. I had resumed my favorite position of on my knees and leaning over the side of the birth pool. I would come up on my knees to rock during a contraction and would relax down into the water in between. I remember focusing on my breathing and thinking how amazing it was that I could feel every little thing that was going on inside and outside my body and I knew exactly what all of it was.

I remember distinctly when my pushing changed from gentle to very strong. I *had* to push and I remember it made me roar like a lion each time. It, once again, felt SO good to push and I was so excited that I would meet our baby girl soon! She had been moving and kicking through the entire labor! Finally, with one incredibly strong push, I felt her move under my pubic bone. I roared, “She’s coming!” Then I laughed when I heard everyone in the other room jump up to come see. The air was still calm, but you could feel the growing excitement from everyone in the room. I knew that Dan was there outside the pool, but right behind me and was telling me he could see her head more and more with each push. I was totally unaware of everyone else and completely focused on my little baby that was coming to meet me! I felt her start to crown almost right away and I again welcomed that burning sensation. I slowed my breathing and relaxed my body and let it take over and gently push her out. Her head emerged under the water slowly with 3 small pushes. With one more push, she was out to her belly button. This was a crazy time for my body to take a break, but that’s just what it did! I remember laughing, because I could feel her arms “swimming” in the water behind me and she was still kicking her legs in my tummy! What an amazing feeling! I was finally able to give a little push and Dan helped by pulling gently. She was born at 12:54am on her due date after a half hour of pushing and a total of 6 pushes!

Dan held her just floating on the top of the water until I could turn around and sit down. I scooped her up to my chest and was overwhelmed with gratitude. She was finally here and she was healthy and absolutely gorgeous! I kept saying that I couldn’t believe I had just done that again! Everyone just stared with awe at our newest miracle. She also latched on and started to nurse right away.

About 15 minutes later, I started having contractions again, so I handed Addie to Dan and got on my knees to deliver the placenta. It took a few minutes, but it came out easily and was whole and healthy. Once again, I had no bleeding until after the placenta was delivered! We then had my mom cut the cord and Dan wrapped Addie up and snuggled her while our midwives attended to me. I wanted to shower, but I was still too weak, so I walked slowly to the bedroom and lay down in bed. Dan brought Addie to me and we cuddled and nursed. I don’t know when, but Dan’s parents arrived and I let them take Addie to the living room and the midwives came to check on me. My bleeding was normal and I had no tears again!! Whoo hoo! The midwives then did Addie’s exam. She was absolutely perfect!

I lay in bed with my sweet new baby girl and drank juice while everyone else cleaned up. It was 3am when our midwives and Dan’s parents left. We were all ready for some sleep! We all slept well until 8am, when Wyatt woke up. Dan brought him down to meet his new baby sister. He didn’t know what to think at first, but was soon crawling up on the couch to give her kisses. At that site, my heart became complete mush.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wyatt’s Homebirth

November 1st, 2005
6lbs 4ozs & 19.5inches

October 31st, 2005 I was 37 weeks pregnant with our first baby. I started to swell suddenly, had very high blood pressure, and was close to becoming toxic. After talking to our midwife, we decided to induce by breaking my water around 6pm. Fluid was clear and we were ready to wait for baby! Dan went to work expecting to be called home soon.

I had some contractions but nothing really steady and it was getting late, so my mom, midwife, and I went to bed. I was able to sleep really well until contractions woke me up at 3:30am. They were pretty strong, but I wanted to make sure before I woke everyone. I lay in bed for about an hour and they kept coming, so I got up since it was incredibly uncomfortable to lie down. I went to the bathroom and woke my mom and midwife around 5 am. Dan was due to be home just after 6, so we decided not to call him.
We kept the lights low and my mom and midwife did whatever they needed to do to wake up while I labored on my knees leaning over my birthing ball. That was so comfortable for me. I remember Dan coming home and he did his best to help me, but I did not want to be touched. I wanted people there, but not too close. I ate some toast and drank lots of fluid. I remember getting up a lot to go to the bathroom, but I always ended up back on the birthing ball.

Around 11am, I decided to try the birth pool. After just a few contractions, I knew I had to get out. It just didn’t feel right. I got out and moved into our bedroom. I believe that is when I began transition. Suddenly my contractions just felt different..Stronger, more forceful. Not once did I feel like I couldn’t do it or like I had made the wrong decision. My body began to push around 12:30pm. I tried being on my back with my mom behind me for support, but it didn’t feel right. I got back on the birthing ball and that is when I really started to feel comfortable pushing.

My body’s natural pushing started to overcome everything else at 1:30pm. All I could do was release my own thoughts and worries and trust my body and baby to do what they were meant to. It felt so much better to me to be pushing! I remember thinking “Wow it’s almost over! My baby is almost here!” I was so excited and that made the pain much less noticeable.
I vividly remember feeling baby slip under my pubic bone and being SO happy just feeling the process happen! A couple pushes later, I felt baby start to crown. I purposefully tried to go as slow as possible and focused on my breathing through contractions and totally let my body take over. I wanted this part to be as gentle as possible for me and baby. I was in no hurry to get baby out since I knew it would be over very soon no matter what. Slowly my body pushed baby’s head out until the crown held. I welcomed the burning sensation and did not pull away from it. It was much less painful to me then the rest of labor had been. Another soft push from my uterus and baby’s eyes and nose were out! One more and there was the whole head and my husband was stroking his hair. When my next contraction came, baby came out with one strong push!

He was born into his father’s hands at 2:46pm on November 1st, 2005!
Our midwife helped Dan to lay the baby up between my legs and I picked up my brand new screaming baby boy and turned to sit down. Dan and I just sat and stared at him in total awe of this amazing creation. I could not believe I had just given birth. All my pain was gone instantly. He was perfect and healthy in every way!

Dan and I passed him back and forth taking turns ogling over him. He latched on and nursed 5 minutes after being born. He was already an expert at it! I can’t remember how long afterward, but the placenta stopped pumping blood, so Dan cut the cord while I held him. Our midwife told me it had already been an hour since the birth and we needed to work on getting the placenta out. I had no idea it had been that long!

I passed our baby boy off to his daddy and got up to wobble to the bathroom, sit on the toilet and deliver the placenta. Our midwife placed a bowl under me and with one small push, the placenta came out. It was healthy and fully intact. This was the first time I bled through the entire birth! Our midwife checked me and I had no tears, my bleeding was normal, and my uterus was contracting well!

By the time I was done, our baby had been cleaned a little, cord was clamped to make his belly button, he was wrapped in a new blanket, and snuggled in his Nana’s arms. I decided a shower would be nice, so Dan helped me shower. When we got out, our midwife had everything cleaned up and packed up and my dad had arrived and had ordered pizza!

Our midwife made sure we were all doing fine, weighed and measured baby, and went home to let us bond with our newest family member. We absolutely fell in love!