Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ezra Judes Home Birth

I don't know if it had been the emotions that i had been experiencing all day or the fact that i had just had some "Special" time with my husband, but at exactly 10:30pm i had my first contraction.
With the dim light of a candle i laid in bed watching the clock on my phone for almost 2 hours in a suppressed excitement. I was ending my 8th day of being "overdue" and didn't want to get my hopes up in case the contractions stopped. Thankfully they didn't... but little did i know they would continue for the next 36 hours.
I decided i would go downstairs since i was certain that this was going to be a faster labor than my first (30hrs). I had plenty of things to keep me occupied and out of bed. I wanted every contraction to count and so standing upward and walking around was my main prerogative.
Around 12:30am i gave in and texted my mom who called me right away.
Afterward i called my Midwife to just let her know that i was having contractions. She said to call her back whenever i wanted her to come out.
At 2:30am i snuck up to our bedroom and gently woke Dan up to let him know that i was having contractions and that my mom was on her way over. I told him to go back to sleep though, because he would need his rest.
My mom came over around 3am and slept on our lounge chair while i tried to rest on our couch.

Dan and Isaiah groggily came downstairs around 8am. Isaiah and i curled up together while he ate a banana and Dan recorded me telling him that we were going to meet the baby soon. It was a sweet morning, so relaxed. We took our last couple pictures of just the 3 of us. We ate breakfast and hung around the house just waiting for my contractions to continue to pick up. As i hadn't gotten much sleep the night before my mom thought it best if they leave me alone to sleep for a while. They went on a long 2 hour hike and stopped at the store and i was able to curl up on the couch and finally sleep. It felt so good!
After they got back home i got up and realized that i probably should have gone on the walk with them. My contractions had slowed WAY down, and weren't hardly uncomfortable at all. I was pretty bummed.
Thankfully my best friend Mandy was on her way over to keep me company for a while before she had to head out of town. It was a pleasant break from my frustration and it was nice to have her there with me. We decided that her, Isaiah and i would take a small walk down to the river near our house since i was in need of some exercise. I had a couple contractions while we were walking, but nothing very strong. When we got back home she asked if she could give me a foot massage. Since i had recently gotten a pedicure i agreed. haha!
This is where things seemed to change for the better for me. I noticed halfway thru her massage that my contractions were getting much stronger. Nothing to make me uncomfortable in my sitting position, but finally picking up. I kept my excitement to myself.
After we said our sad goodbyes we all hung around the house a bit more and waited for my Father-in-law to arrive. He was over for about an hour and after he left we sat down to eat dinner. I gave Isaiah a bath and he watched in amusement while i danced around the bathroom during my contractions, i was SO ready to get things moving faster. Afterward he and i went upstairs to snuggle. After laying there for a couple minutes i knew i wouldn't last long. During each contraction i kept awkwardly standing up out of bed while Isaiah was trying to fall asleep.
I HAVE to be moving during my contractions. It helps me so much to rock my hips side to side, or front to back, or to squat. I prefer not to lay still. I gave up trying to lay there with Isaiah and asked Dan to take over. I layed down on the couch while my mom crocheted and Dan eventually came downstairs as well.
I was pretty tired at this point and just wanted a little bit of sleep. Every time a contraction came i would change from laying down on the couch to leaning my elbows on the arm rest so that i was in an upright position.

After a while of that frustrating "back and forth game" i asked Dan to call his Mom and let her know she could come over. It was about 12:30am and i decided i should update my Midwife Sara as well. She said that her and her apprentice, Jodi would make their way out.
I asked Dan to lay on the lounge chair so that i could at least have his hand available. Its amazing how the hand of a husband can lend so much support to a laboring women even if he is completely asleep. I was so thankful to have him there with me. During this time i did the majority of my squatting as it felt the most comfortable (Gravity is your best friend during labor!)
My Mother-in-law, Julie, arrived who was shortly followed by my Midwife. I was so happy to see Sara and Jodi as it was another reminder that i was making my way through this long labor. They brought a few things in, Jodi listened to the babies heartbeat and then they sat on the floor on the other side of the room.
Reflecting back on this part of my labor i just have to smile. It was perfect, and just how labor should be: Peaceful. The lights were all out, my mom and and Julie were asleep in the living room, Dan was asleep and Sara and Jodi were crocheting. We were all just patiently waiting. No interruptions, no checking, no monitors beeping, no uncomfortable gowns..... just me, just us,  simply in our own home.
Sara said that they were going to go drive around to find some coffee and to let her know if anything happens. After they left i decided to walk around the house. I couldn't help but notice the full moon that was SO bright. There was something about it that gave me a sense of peace every time i walked past the back door and saw it.
I asked Dan to wake up and try to massage my lower back during the contractions as i was beginning to have a lot of back labor. I had been squatting most of the night and resumed that position.
Around 6:30am my mom and Julie started to get up and at 7am i heard the pitter-patter of Isaiah's little feet upstairs. By 8am i was beginning to wonder if my Midwife had found coffee in our small little town and sure enough, when i texted her, she said that they had just been sitting outside in her car. I told her that i was beginning to feel a little pushy and she asked if i wanted her to come inside. She was incredibly respectful of my own ability to think for myself.... no commands, no suggestions, no interruptions to check how many centimeters i was dilated, only praise for how well i was doing.
Isaiah made his way over to me and gave me his usual morning snuggles. Then he spent the rest of the morning playing quietly with Grandma Julie.
My Midwife, Sara, came in and Jodi listened to the babies heartbeat. They made themselves comfortable on the couches and were crocheting again. I loved it. When i asked my Midwife if i should change anything i was doing she said that i was doing great, and should do whatever my body feels most comfortable doing. She said that she was having a hard time gauging where i was at because i was so quiet. The following day she told me that she had only 1 other client that was as quiet as i was during my labor. I am a silent laborer, that is how i stay calm and relaxed. I focus a lot on my breathing so that i don't get carried away with the pain.
Around 9:15am Isaiah joined me again and helped daddy rub my back during a few contractions and helped me drink some water. He is such a lover, his daddy has taught him well.
Jodi listened to the heartbeat again as i think we could all tell, at least i could, that i was nearing the end. I never kept track of how long i was in labor, it just didn't enter my mind. I do remember wondering if it would ever be over though.
I felt like i needed to go pee, so Dan and i went into the bathroom together. I had a strong contraction and then made my way over to the toilet. Almost as soon as i was sitting down i had another strong contraction and my water broke. It was so powerful that i let out a big moan and i honestly thought that the babies head had come out! Dan and i looked at each other and then very slowly the bathroom door opened and Sara asked if i was doing ok. She asked if i wanted to stay there or move back into the living room and so Dan and Sara helped me waddle to the couch where i sat down. I don't remember this, but Jodi said that when i sat down that i told them it was time for me to push. Between the time my water broke and our babies entrance into the world was 15 minutes. It all happened so fast after such a long labor. Feeling the intensity of pushing out your baby is something i cannot explain. I could feel every little movement forward and every little regression as well. Its incredibly painful....and yet.... its not. I was the 1st to feel the top of his head and it was an amazing feeling knowing that i was so close to holding our blessing in my arms. Sara handed me a few cloths with Arnica oil on them to help in the process of not tearing. (Which i am happy to say was successful). First his head came out, with his little hand tucked up by his chin, which he slipped back inside. My mom and husband called for Julie and Isaiah to come downstairs. As they came racing down the stairs i had another contraction and i pushed the rest of his body out. The cord was draped across his chest and as Sara helped me pull him towards me she moved it out of the way. I felt so relieved that after such a long labor he was finally in my arms AND so shocked that my baby was a 'HE'! I was more than certain that we were going to have a girl. My confidence led me to purchasing a few girl outfits just in case ;-) I also had the reassurance of many others telling me the same thing. Never the less, i was thrilled to have another boy on our hands! We had the name Ezra picked out, but hadn't completely decided on a middle name.... Ezra Jude seemed like the perfect fit for him. A healthy 7lbs 3oz. and 21inches long. It took me a while to take it all fact it took a couple days to really process the whole event in my mind. It was such an incredibly empowering experience and i am so thankful that i had such loving people around me. When you know you are loved and being compassionately cared for it makes it that much easier to love another in return.

Dan, you are the best partner i could ever ask for. You are so sweet, so tender, and yet know exactly how to make me laugh when i need it most. Its overwhelming to share these brown eyed boys with you.
I can't express enough how blessed i am to have been able to share those priceless moments with Isaiah and both of his Grandmas. It was all the more beautiful to have each of you there with me.

Thank you Sara and Jodi for expressing to me the meaning of Midwifery. Compassion never left your eyes and yet you both gave me the space to draw strength and confidence from within and the One who made me. You truly know what it means to respect a women in labor and i will be forever thankful to you for it. You are both amazing!