Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lovely G's Birth Story

Lovely G, a couple days old

There is a lot that led up to the birth of our third child, and younger daughter. Here, though, I just want to record the story of her birth. My first two pregnancies ended in c-sections, the first an emergency and necessary at that point, the second not an emergency, and as we found out later, not really necessary. This time around we all wanted something far more gentle and family friendly, so we worked towards a natural birth at home.
Proud Dad and Lovely G, just a couple hours old

The plan was to labor at home for a while then head to town to a close friend's house (they were heading to a hotel for the night) and actually birth there so if there were any complications, since I had had two surgeries, we were close to a hospital. Things don't always go according to plans, though. :)
A couple days after I hit 38 weeks, on Thursday at 3:30 a.m., my water broke. I had gotten up because I felt like something was off down "there" and ended up getting over the toilet just in time for my water to burst. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions on and off since the evening before, but nothing that made me think I was in labor. After the water breaking, there were a couple contractions, but still nothing substantial. Thursday we called Auntie Andie to come over and hang out with the kids in case things picked up, and Dad and I headed to town for a once over by my midwife, who stirred things up a bit in hopes contractions would pick up, and confirmed my water had indeed broken (I had been leaking since the initial break, and continued to until I gave birth). From there we went to the chiropractor to make sure things were in line for an easy birth, and from there to the acupuncturist to add one more line of insurance that things would pick up before my water had been broken for too long to be safe for baby and me. We picked up dinner from A Dong, headed home and relieved Auntie Andie and sent her home until we had more action. At that point I had a contraction here or there, but nothing rhythmic.
Dad and Lovely G a few hours old

I slept well that night, and Friday morning called my midwife to report there was still really no action. She didn't want to see my headed to the hospital for something that simple holding us up and making me have to fight with a doctor for a VBAC when we had made it this far, so she suggested a castor oil cocktail-which is making my cringe just remembering it-and nipple stimulation (I used the breast pump which hadn't seen any use since I had needed it to express milk for Pony Gal). I did the castor oil at 9 and the pump at 10. At 10:30 a.m. I emptied anything that had been in my body out anywhere it would come (just so much fun, I tell ya. Ug.) and by 11:30 a.m. contractions started in, every three minutes lasting one minute each. There was no building up to that point-it just jumped straight to intense.
I called my doula who had to take her kids to a sitter. Things were happening fast enough that I didn't feel able to call anyone else, though, so then Dad took over and called Auntie Andie and my midwife to come out. Auntie Andie helped with the kids at that point, but was so helpful in giving some massage therapy at the height of the contractions right before I hit the transition to push, as well. Around 1:30 p.m. my midwife's assistant and my midwife made it to our house-because of how violent the castor oil had made "things" and because the contractions were so close and uncomfortable, we ended up deciding to just stay home and risk things there. I couldn't imagine being in a car at that point, and honestly our plan had been to head for town well before things made it to where I ended up starting with the labor, so my body didn't really give me a chance. In the meantime, we got the phone call that my doula wouldn't be making it because her grandfather had passed away and she had to stay with her grandmother. She offered to send her back up, but I knew I wouldn't be comfortable being half naked with someone I didn't know there, so passed and figured that I was lucky that both my midwife and her assistant were wonderful for support as it was (her assistant is a doula anyway, training to be a midwife). Dad was super supportive, as well, and I get teary eyed thinking about how he missed getting to play that role in the prior births because of the surgeries and how birth should be a family affair. My kids were able to be around as much as they liked-Pony Gal chose to be outside, but SuperBoy watched everything and still asks questions about what all happened and why. We were together in a safe place and it is incredible how different that situation is compared to heading to the hospital.
So, after laboring for roughly three hours, two in my jacuzzi tub, and one in our bed, the contractions were coming so close I could barely get a break. I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, and so the ladies helped me in there. Nothing happened but I felt like I needed to push. It seemed too soon in my reasoning, so I brushed it off but once I got back to the bed and laid down it was more intense. My midwife heard me grunt a bit at the end of a contraction and asked me if I felt like I needed to push, took a look at things and realized I was crowning. She barely got the pads in place and her gloves on  in time to help coach me through pushing. At one point I asked to stand up, but she reassured me there was no time or reason to do so. It took three pushes, each one minute apart to push my sweet second daughter into the world. Everyone was rather happy with how quickly and smoothly everything went.
Lovely G in Mama's arms, only an hour old
I felt rather cheated later thinking about how I missed the moment of relief and joy as the baby slipped out, with my other babies. There is nothing else like it. Lying there with my older kids by my head and the baby on my stomach as she was wiped off and rubbed down to get the blood flowing, hearing my husband's pride as he told me he got to cut her cord, to take her first bath with her in our bath tub (which was one sore point with Super Boy, as he usually can take a bath with me if he likes, and he couldn't at that point, which made him super upset because he just couldn't understand why. He didn't care that there was blood in there and that was not going to be the best place for him.), sitting in my living room just an hour after giving birth talking with my support group and nursing my daughter in my clothes, eating my food, drinking a cup of tea-the experience was so, so, so different, and so, so, so worth every ounce of work it took to get us there. I think I am still a in a bit of a haze, but I just keep thinking about walking to my bedroom to go to sleep with my girl in my arms that night, in my bed and how incredible it was to have finally gotten to experience something so unique to being a mother, all I have to say is wow, and thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped me get there. So many people were active in supporting our decision to be home with this birth-family, friends and skilled support-we wouldn't have made it without such a strong support system. We have no idea if we will have more kids after this (okay, but I have always wanted a BIG family, so in a few years I am sure I'll get an itch) but knowing that the next time around I have choices and we can have a beautiful experience rather than a scary one is something leaves me at incredible peace. I asked God for the opportunity to experience things the way He created them, that I was trusting Him with our family planning and if there was another surgery, I would take it as the sign we were finished and it was amazing to have so many prayers answered in a matter of a few hours.
He has blessed us with a happy healthy little girl-born at 5# 2 oz and 18 inches at 3:07 p.m. on Oct 21st-and we are all smitten. Everybody in the house loves her. She is nursing like a champ-she takes her time, but in a matter of a week managed to gain 12 ounces-double what the midwife likes to see in newborns. She sleeps fairly well at night-now during the day does love her mommy time, so we are taking things easy and enjoying her at this tiny stage. The kids can't wait until she is old enough to play with and love giving her kisses and helping with diaper changes or singing her to sleep. I keep pinching myself to make sure this isn't a dream because it still seems surreal that everything played out like it did and we are all doing so well. After the struggles of the first two times around it seems so odd to be doing so well right now.
Praise the Lord!
The birthday cake the kids and Auntie Andie baked to celebrate Lovely G's Birth Day, around 7 p.m. the evening she was born. Proud, excited siblings and mama :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your birth story!! Indeed, Praise God for He is good and merciful! This birth story is beautiful! I'm so proud of you and your bravery and success and given so many woman so much hope, including myself. Thank you for your example and your willingness to do what you knew was right. What a special twist that you ended up at your own home in the end. :)


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