That’s right, as of Friday Dec 19th at 10:10 pm I am the mother of a newborn baby boy, 9 lbs, 19.75 inches long with a 14 inch head (don’t ask me why they have to measure and tell you).
The home birth was awesome. During the afternoon we went to The Bangkok Village in Naperville for their lunch special, I had a red curry. As I got in the car to leave for lunch I had a sharp contraction that ran through my tailbone, but nothing else happened so I didn’t give it another thought. After lunch we headed over to A-1 Antiques of Naperville and I sat around looking through bags of $5 vintage jewelry for pieces to remake.
As Chris loaded me into the car, he slipped on ice and bumped into my hip, which made my whole abdomen ache and contract. When we got home I sent him at 4:30 to Chase Bank which bought out Washington Mutual and our subsequent CDs which just matured, while I took a warm shower for my aching back. By the time the he got home I was on all fours rocking my pelvis to help ease the pain. Interestingly I found that certain positions slowed down contractions, and posterior pelvic tilt made them come on stronger. After 30 minutes I told him to call the midwife because I was sure this was labor. It took her an hour to get to us and by the time she did I was at 2 minutes apart, propped up on a ottoman leaning over a stack of yoga therapy blankets in my yoga studio. I had given up on having the baby in bed, it wasn’t comfortable. What seemed like only minutes to me passed and I was in full active labor, pushing the little one out. I had moved to my massage table, squatting on top of it, leaning over more blankets and holding on to Chris’s jean loops – his height made it impossible to comfortably hold anything else. The midwife and her assistant used warm compresses which helped me focus my pushing, as with my last birth I never felt an urge to push, just abdominal contractions. Trying to “breathe” through the pushing didn’t work, I couldn’t focus and instead went with a groaning/screaming technique that really helped me push. I had several pushes to mold the head, then heard that scary “he’s stuck on a ring” again which freaked me out – everyone assured me he would be fine and that with one or two more pushes he would be out. I used my own personal mantra of “baby, baby, baby” to help me focus on the task, bore down and had him out in one huge long push.
My water broke as he came out – so I spent the last month of pregnancy worrying about my water breaking and sitting on plastic in the car for nothing!
The best past about our home birth and midwives were their firmness yet compassion. They knew this is what I wanted, that I had had a natural birth before, and they had confidence in me, even when mine faltered. Chris was supportive and there for me, but a few times when I could look up at him, he looked a little overwhelmed, scared and nervous, not them. When I said I couldn’t do it, it was too painful (it wasn’t actually painful – I was dizzy, tired and had aching edema ridden legs in a squat for 5 hours) they came back softly but firmly with “it’s painful for everyone, we all have to go through this, now you can do this, come on.” They let me rest when I needed it, they were strong when I needed them, and always careful and considerate in their actions. I was never scared once, I always knew what was going on. My only problem was not having anything to eat but that small curry at 1:40 pm for lunch and nothing else until after the baby was born – I should have eaten more to keep my energy up. My episiotomy scar did tear, but only an inch, I should never have let them do that to me with the first birth, but you live and learn. I opted not to have this one stitched, that was it will heal on its own and supposedly not rip again because the skin will not be so tight.
My mother, who was a nervous wreck about me having a home birth, called during active labor, and because I didn’t want her to worry I carried on a conversation with her during the last contraction before pushing began – everyone was amazed. When we called her at 10:14 to let her know about the baby – she said “What? Emily had the baby, but I just spoke to her at 7:30!” My parents and my brother came over at 11:45 pm to see the new family member.
The only drawback is after care – now let me start by saying my midwife called twice a day for the first two days, came out on the third day to check me and the baby and is coming back next week. In the hospital though there were nurses who did everything – checked the baby, changed his diaper – I was able to get more rest -but I definitely was not as comfortable as I have been here at home.
All in all, the whole time during labor I kept commenting how easy it was, how it wasn’t as bad as I kept thinking it would be – mainly because my body had been doing the work for the last 2 weeks. Funny enough, the baby is supposedly 1 week early based on vernix covering, etc. at 9 lbs though he wasn’t getting any more time. His APGAR scores were 10 and 10.
Interestingly his brother was born at 10:28 in the morning and was 1 extra week (over his already 2) late based on measurements and he 10:10 at night and 1 week early based on measurements, complete opposites. We will have to see how they grow up.
As for me, I think Jan 1st will start my weight loss plan. I have lost at least 20 lbs already, my legs are mine again, my belly looks like I am only about 2-3 months pregnant and it has only been 4 days.