I did a lot of research before deciding on a homebirth and just felt that God had led us to have Ember at home.
“Lily” in Hebrew is Susan, we opted to use this middle name to honor my Grandmother Susan who passed away in January. How I wish she were here to share this with us.
Birthday: May 7, 2009 (this also happens to be the birthday of my Dad’s dad who passed away when I was a child).
Weight: 10 lbs, 8 ozs
Length 22 ¼ inches; Head: 14 inches; chest: 15 inches
Apgar score at 1 minute: 8
Apgar at 5 minutes: 10
On May 4, 2009 I began having contractions which began in the evenings each night but would die out when I went to sleep. It seemed my body was “practicing”. I was more than ready because this was a really hard pregnancy. My back ached constantly, as well as my ribs, sleeping was getting to be impossible and even eating was getting difficult since there seemed to be so little room in me for meals with what I’d soon find out was a huge baby!
On May 7, 2009 I had some errands to run. Bryon was already home with us on family leave so I was venturing out on my own while he stayed with the kids. (Skylar 7.5, Summer 5.5 and Decklin 2.5). Before I left the house (as my 7.5 year old helped me get my sandals strapped) I mentioned to Bryon that I was having stronger contractions than the last few days. He said he was ready for us to have a baby.
Off I went to the post office. As I parked the car, I noticed the contractions getting stronger. I felt chills and sweats with each contraction, which I’d not felt before. I also had to focus a bit to breath calmly and I had to walk slowly.
Once I got to Walmart they seemed to be more frequent, this was about 2:30 P.M.. I finished up and got in line to check out. The young lady asked when I was due, and I told her I thought I was in labor right then. She commented that it might have been the walking. Another lady checking out when I was said “don’t do that to me”, implying that I might give birth in the check out line, to which I chuckled. They both wished me good luck and off I waddled to my car.
I was feeling a bit of panic at this point. On the way home I called my Aunt who advised me to “go to the hospital” to which I replied, no and laughed.
When I got home, I unloaded my bags and handed them off to Bryon. I told him I was having a good bit of pain and asked him to make me a sandwich as I was going into the tub since I was not feeling well. I spoke to my Mom on the phone while I ate and told her I thought this was it. We were both bummed that she was not going to make it for the delivery (she was going to book a flight in the next night if I‘d not had the baby yet). We began timing the contractions which were about 6 minutes apart. The water did help a lot and made them more manageable. I was feeling a lot of things, nervous, excited, hopeful, scared, all at once!
I got off the phone and decided to get out of the tub. At some point thereafter contractions came on much stronger. I called my Midwife (Cindy) and factoring in the last few nights of things stopping, she told me to call her when they seemed to be consistent for about an hour to two hours (as they had been dying out each night).
They kept getting more intense. I tried many different positions to help ease the pain, but I began to get a feeling of panic since they were getting very hard to manage. I was trying to watch The People’s Court which we had on the DVR and could not focus on it at all.
Bry said he was going to call Cindy. This was at about 4:41 P.M. and he told her that they were now 2 minutes apart. She said she would be here soon.
She arrived at 5:25 P.M. (I was just getting ready to get back in the tub). She checked and said I was already 8 cm’s so no wonder I was really feeling contractions at this point. She also said that baby was at 0 station, 100% effaced and that my bag of water was right there and bulging. I would have died if she said I was only 4 (which is when I asked for the epidural with my first daughter Skylar). I had made it twice as far already in the comfort of my own home!! Wow!
The breaks between the contractions were so nice. I felt like jekel and hyde. During a contraction I was so miserable and short, and when I didn’t have one, was smiling and calm. Very strange feelings to go from one extreme to another.
At 6 P.M. I was 9 cm dilated with her head lower. The water was still there in front of her head. Contractions were 1 - 2 minutes apart, lasting 1 ½ minutes.
At 6:20 P.M. I was 10 cm dilated. I was pushing in the tub where my water broke. This was an odd popping like feeling. I felt like I could not make any headway in the water while pushing, so Cindy suggested I get out. I got out and tried squatting next to the bathtub, pain had me double over though and I ended up on my knees clutching the side of the tub. I sort of traveled a bit from here, went into my bedroom, dropped onto the floor, tried to dry my hair, ended up on the bed. (all the while Cindy trying to get chucks pads under wherever I ended up). I can tell you at this point I felt like a wild animal, trying to find anyway to handle the pain. I began asking for my Mom, and I started saying during contractions that I could not do it. Cindy kept trying to get me to focus and over and over said I could do it. I had trouble pushing, it was hard to direct the push to the right place. Cindy put her hand there to help me focus, which it did.
She said this was transition. With my other kids I could feel them moving down and out, not with this baby, and that made it feel so useless when I pushed. I began to get scared to push because of the useless feeling of it. I felt very overwhelmed and confused as to why I could not feel it like before. (which was most likely due to here size!).
I was pushing and making these animal sounds, grunting I guess, but they seemed to me to be so loud and intense. I found myself laying on my back in my bed grabbing my legs to help me push. No other position seemed to work at all. This one seemed to feel right for where I was mentally. In between contractions I’d try to remind myself “I can do this”, but during a contraction was right back to “I can’t do this”. I remember begging Cindy to just get the baby out, and telling her I couldn’t do anymore. She asked me what my alternative was to which I said “none”.
Finally she said the baby’s head was crowning and I pushed so darn hard. She told me to go slow but I was too scared to stop pushing. I didn’t want her to go back in I guess.
Cindy began calling for Bryon (who was outside the bedroom with the kids). I told her “I don’t need him”, not sure why I said that - maybe because I felt the kids needed him more than I did (my brother had not yet arrived). So I finally pushed and felt her head out. And then Cindy was talking to me sternly telling me that I had to turn over. I got on my knees but I could not raise my chest up (she wanted me on a hands and knees position). Bryon came in during this and I grabbed his hands and he helped lift me up the way she wanted me, and I pushed what seemed like maybe 2 times and baby was out. I collapsed on the bed on my chest. I didn’t even have the energy to look over my shoulder yet to check on the baby. I felt her out, I heard her cry, and it felt so good to have her out. She got us situated, me on my back on some chucks pads and baby wrapped warmly in an old towel and my arms. We didn’t cut the cord until it stopped pulsing. I did feel a good bit of pain when having contractions for the placenta to come out. I could not wait to get that out (which was like 20 minutes later). It felt great once that was out!
Bryon remarked that he was sweating like crazy and pacing outside the door (he didn’t want to see the messy parts LOL) little did he know what he’d be walking into when Cindy called his name LOL. He said Cindy was on the bed catching the baby and the bed was just covered with water, tons of it. He could not believe that. He was so nervous when he came in the room. He was scared to death that the baby was not okay.
He was looking at me like I just fought and slay a huge dragon once the baby was born and telling me how good I did. I had to chuckle as it took me having a homebirth to get that surprised look from Bryon (who is very hard to surprise LOL). He cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and we had the kids come in to meet their new baby sister.
My brother had walked in the front door just as the baby was making her first cry.
Bryon took the baby while I was given 3 stitches - OUCH! Now that was no fun at all!
Today is May 11th and I’m starting to feel a bit better physically. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Emotionally I’m adapting. The birth was so different than what I’d ever experienced before and it’s taking time to process all the emotions I felt through it. It was a hard and fast labor and with the baby being so big, it made it so intensely painful. So different than the epidural births I’d had with my other children. Bryon is home with us until the end of the month, which will be a huge help.
Ember is so sweet. She has these soulful big eyes that really seem to see you and access what’s happening around her. And oh my goodness that sweet baby smell. With my milk in she is taking a nice long afternoon nap with her full belly. The kids all adore her. Decklin calls her “Baby” when he talks to and about her. Today he asked to play with “his baby”. Skylar likes just sitting and looking at her with a huge smile on her face. Summer gives the baby a kiss on the head whenever she passes by. All the kids have been a huge help, especially Skylar. She folds towels, grabs me a glass of water, fresh diapers and so on. All the kids have been so amazing, welcoming their new little sister into the house. We are so very blessed!
Sorry this got so long. Thanks for taking the time.
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My homebirth blog is located here.