Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Carter's Homebirth: Part 2

You can read the first part of Carter's Homebirth HERE.

It was midnight...

I was timing these contractions at 10 minutes apart and I knew for sure that they were real.  I had been having false contractions for weeks, but as soon as these started, I immediately remembered what real contractions felt like.  Isn't it funny how quickly you forget?  It had only been 20 months earlier that I had been in labor with Jack!

At 12:30, I decided to call my midwife.  I have a history of fast labors and she was over an hour away, so I figured I better give her a heads-up.  It was a good thing I called because while I was talking to her, my contractions immediately jumped from 10 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart!  Needless to say, she left immediately and I was glad she already had her bags packed!

I have to admit, at this point I was a little worried that she and her assistant were not going to make it in time.  They were traveling together, so if one didn't make it, neither did the other!  At this point, I woke my husband and he woke my mother-in-law, which in turn woke our 3-year old daughter, Addy.  Suddenly, there was bustling activity all through the cabin as we prepared the bed and the table full of supplies.  We put out a basket of snacks that I had prepared ahead of time in case of a long labor.

I walked around the house.  It felt amazing to be able to walk during labor!  In my previous hospital births, I was told to stay in bed because my water had broke.  How torturous to have to lay still during contractions!

I went into my "zone".  A couple of hours went by and I barely even noticed when the midwife and her helper arrived.  They busied themselves with preparations and took my blood pressure a couple of times, but other than that, they left me alone to "do my thing".  It was comforting to know they were there if I needed them, and also liberating to not be hooked up to an IV and monitoring machines.

A little after 4:00 a.m., I decided to get into the birthing tub.  This thing had been blown up in our dining area for a couple of days and I remember thinking..."Finally!  I get to finally get into this thing!". 

All I can say is WOW!  If you have never experienced labor in the water, you should consider it for your next birth.  It was amazing!  I'm not going to say that the contractions became less intense, but they somehow became easier for me to handle.  The water was so soothing and I could sit on my knees and lean against the side of the tub, releasing some of the pain from my back.  Especially at the end of the labor, the contractions were easier...they never came right on top of each other like they had in the past, so I felt like I had time to catch my breath in between.

My daughter got in the birth tub with me.  She thought she was in a swimming pool and had a grand time splashing around and floating around me.  Luckily, I was feeling pretty calm and was able to handle it for most of the time, but about 15 minutes before the birth, I had to have her get out.

At this point, my mother-in-law woke my 9-year old son so he could be present during the birth.  He was in the hospital room when Jack was born, so he really wanted to be a part of this birth as well. 

My labor progressed pretty quickly from there.  I was only in the tub for about an hour when I suddenly felt the pressure of the baby.  He came out on his own, no pushing on my part at all.  My water never broke until he was on his way out.  He was delivered into the water, but no one else knew because it was kind of dark in the house.  As soon as I caught my breath, I told my midwife that he was in the water.  My husband reached in and lifted him out. 

He was so gorgeous!  His head was perfectly round and his color was perfect.  He didn't even really cry except to get his lungs cleared out.  I sat in the birth tub and snuggled him for about 10 minutes, but our drafty cabin was pretty cold that night, so we had to get him closer to the woodstove.  He was handed over to my mother-in-law while my husband helped me to the shower.

I felt amazing and I couldn't believe that I was standing in the shower just 15 minutes after giving birth!  Then, I went to my bed and the baby nursed for awhile and then slept soundly.  My husband also napped and my mother-in-law and the kids went back to bed.  Even the midwives took turns closing their eyes for a rest.

I was the only one who couldn't sleep.  I was so high on adrenaline.  All I could do was stare at this precious new baby...I couldn't believe he was finally here!  It is so sweet to hold a newborn and to know that he fits with you, wholly and completely.  To know that the Lord created me to be his mama...it's a feeling I don't even have words for.

Later that morning, my husband prepared an egg breakfast for everyone.  It was so wonderful to be sitting at my own dining room table, with my family, holding the new baby in my own home just hours after delivery.  I felt so blessed to be "on the other side" of labor and to be holding a healthy, 8 lb. baby boy in my arms.

He was born on December 8th, 2009...our only winter baby.  We named him Carter Ellett.  Ellett is my late grandfather's first name, although he always went by the name "Andy".  I want all of my boys to be the kind of man that my grandfather was, so we thought it fitting to give one of them his name.

Today, Carter is a busy toddler, learning to climb and run and keep up with his older brothers and sister.

We have since added another precious child to our family, so Carter is a big brother.  Her homebirth story is still to come.


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