It's so crazy because I've babysat and nannied before, so I've been around infants, I've watched them grow. But this one is mine~ I don't have to give him back at the end of the day. Aaron and I get to keep him for ever!
I've spent the last couple days debating if I wanted to write a birth story, but as I was sitting here with my baby sleeping in my lap I know I do want to share with you how he came into our lives. I'n writing this on my ipod so sorry in advance for any spelling/grammar/format errors. (So if you aren't interested in reading the details of birth, it won't hurt my feelings if you stop).
To recap the pregnancy real quick, we were trying to get pregnant for a few months when we got a positive test back. My grandma had just passed away so it was an especially bright momen for us. We decided to tell our families a few day later at the funeral and everyone was overjoyed. During the drive from the service to the wake we hanmered out names, but decided to keep them a secret until we found out the baby's gender.
After talking with some mama friends and doing some research Aaron and I decided to get with a midwife an do a home birth instead of an OBGYN and a hospital birth.
A lot of thought went into this decision and our reasonings came down to two key factors:
1) The drugs I would be getting at the hispital would prevent some of my body's hormones getting to my baby during birth and I couldn't allow that to happen. I want my baby to have everything my body can give him and drugs would have stopped that. The conviction in my heart is so strong on this point it surprised me. Not getting an epidural was something I was willing to give up without a secod thought.
Besides, giving birth is what my body was made for. Woman have been giving birth for how many tens of thousands of years without drugs. If all those woman could do it, so could I. No question about it. No doubt in my mind.
I just figured giving birth hurts so since it's all painful I wouldn't complain about anything during the pregnancy and birth until the shoulders came out. I'm 100%?serious about this. It was my motto during the pregnancy and helped me keep things in perspective.
2) The cost of going through the midwife was $1500. That includes every appt (the last two being at my home) and each appt was as long as I wanted/needed it to be, all exams and tests, 24/7 access to her by phone or text, almost 24 care from time she arrives for the birth, 1 day old check up on me and baby, one week old check up... There's acutally more but I realize this list is long. Basically, I felt this is the absolutely best care my baby and I could get for our money.
The pregnancy went fast and pretty much carefree. On Monday 3/24 I was 38 weeks and a few days along when I started getting these cramps at work that were starting to bother me so I went home so I could not be a brat to my customers at work. I figured I could take an epsom salt bath, or two, drink lots of water and push off labor until the next day.
It worked a bit but by 10:30pm that night my cramps had turned into contractons that were 5-7 minutes apart and about 15-20 seconds apart. We stayed in bed watching wrestling in an attempt to distract me but at 3:00 am my contractions were 30-40 seconds long and about 1:30-1:45 apart, so Aaron texted our midwife to see what she thought an she texted back immediately saying she was calling her assistant and they were on their way. Aaron and I starte filling the tub with water and got ready for the show to start.
The assistant who was a doula arrived first and she was incredible. Our midwife arrived a few minites later and we just hung out in the front room while I labored standing against the couch. After some amount of time we moved to the tub to give my legs a break. The tub was so nice to labor in. It helped my body do what it needed to do, and the hot water helped keep me relaxed.
Keeping relaxed is so hard for me to do on a normal basis so this was a challenge. We all started talking about different relaxation techniques we've read from Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and one thing we joked about was "horse lips" - pursing your lips together and making horse noises. Immediately i had a bad contraction and without thinking did "horse lips" and I instantly relaxed, everyone saw it and I felt it. We were all completely surprised that something so seemingly silly worked so well!
Aaron stayed with me the entire time either in front of me while I was in the tub holding me, or right next to me helping me through each contraction. His presence, support, strength, and love were the key to this birth for me. Without Aaron this story would not have happened. I love him soooooo much!!!
After a few hours I was pretty much fully dialated but wasn't making pregress so we migrated to the bedroom. We prepared for laboring there but I honestly thought I would deliver in the tub. Something was preventing that so I had to move. Turned out my baby was stuck on a lip of my cervex, so after about an hour of pushing and him not getting past the lip, my midwife broke my water to help speed things along. I had to keep up with the "horse lips" because the contractions hurt so bad and I didn't want to squeeze the baby and make things take longer.
After some anount of time, lots of horse lips, and a bit of screaming the baby finally crowned. After the pain I had just gone through I was certain his head was out, so I was a bit upset when it wasn't. After even more pushing, "horse lips", and a bit more screaming, his head finally came out and I wanted so desperately for him to be all out I pushed and pushed and at 11:19am I pushed the rest of him out. (At this point I don't actually remember everything clearly at all, this is just what I recall).
As soon as he was out, my midwife put my baby on my chest while she did everything she needed to do. Aaron and I were able too look at and touch our baby boy. He had a full head of hair and was perfect.
After a half hour, I think, my midwife cut the cord handed him to Aaron so I could finish up. Turns out he came out face down and with his right elbow up against his head. No wonder he was stuck!! We joked about him being a wrestler and then he comes out doing my favorite wrestling move, the "flying elbow"! XD
Luckily I didn't rip at all. I had a few scratches that needed stitches and the spot where his elbow came down was eccentially a rug burn so there's nothing to be done with that. After I showered off, I got back into bed with the baby and we napped until everything was cleaned up and good to go.
So I was in labor for about 14 hours, delivered my baby drug free on my bed with my husband at my side. It was an incredible experience and one that I chose and that can't be taken away from me. It is not something I can say I want to do again, but I am so glad I did it.
Dean Fredrick was born March 25, at 11:19 am, was 8lbs 3oz and 21 inches long.
So yeah, thank you for sticking around for all that. It was pretty long, I know, but I appreciate you hanging in there. If you have any questions about Dean's birth or my experience with our midwife please ask. I am so happy with our midwife and homebirth and have so much more I could say about it.
I hope everyone is having a super great day! <3