Monday, March 18, 2013

Andrew's birth story, a home birth

 I like to say we have gotten progressively hippy in our childbirth choices.  Lydia at the hospital with all the drugs, Caleb at a birth center with a midwife and no drugs.  And now for Andrew we were choosing to have the midwife come to us and we were planning on having him at home.  I am thankful for the broad childbirth legislation in Florida that we had the option of a home birth.

I was constantly told my midwife and others that the 3rd pregnancy is a wild card and not to expect it to be like your first or second, and Andrew proved that to be a true statement throughout.

At first we thought we were going to have a girl because I had mild morning sickness much like with Lydia. And really I never felt 100% throughout the pregnancy. By 20 weeks I was already having round ligament pain in my abs from carrying the baby and it last for the whole second half of the pregnancy. This alone made me rather uncomfortable.

At 35 weeks I had a new experience that I didn't have with the others, Preterm Labor. The midwife suggested we go to the hospital and get checked out because I was having time-able contractions that weren't going away. After calling a friend to come sleep with the kids, because of course this kind of thing only happens in the middle of the night, we went to the hospital to wait for 3 hours to get checked out to be hold I had no progress and they were sending me home, how disappointing, but good that baby was still baking.

Audrey weighing Andrew
The midwife suggested I go to the Chiropractor and have a procedure called the Webster method done to try and turn the baby and hopefully make some thing happen or stop it. The chiropractor visit stopped the contractions after 24 hours of no-progress labor. And the midwife put me on bed-rest for the next 3 weeks to help us keep our plan of a home birth. The hospital would deliver no problem at 35 weeks but it wasn't safe at home. Those 3 weeks included the Christmas holiday which we had family coming to visit. It was great to have them around and their help but I missed not being up and around and watched everything from the couch.

I continued to show no progress when I was examined and the baby was in position head down but his face looking up, “sunny-side up” This would lead to a painful and hard delivery if he stayed this way. I finally gave up any hope of him coming early and being the 3rd child he was going to do things differently, his way. 

 On January 19 at about 5 in the morning my water broke. Thankfully it didn't make a mess in our bed. Today we are having a baby. We took our time getting up and made arrangements for the kids to go to a friend's house for the day. And they went out the door before 8, little did they know what was happening while they were gone. The midwife arrived at our home around 10 and began setting up. They blew up the birth-tub (swimming pool) and began setting out different things so they would know where they were. 2 midwifery students also came to assist. The more senior student, Audrey, was actually helping me and the midwife, Maggie was overseeing her. So we had a little party while we waited for Andrew to arrive.

The party "guests"
just born
As things got more intense I moved from my bed and walking around to being in the birth tub. The water helps relieve some of the pain and is soothing. The midwives kept commenting on how calm I was and chilled out. I was laughing and joking with them until it was time to push. I pushed for 20 minutes which was spent mostly trying not to push so I could ease him out and not tear the perineum, like had happened in the past. And around 1pm Andrew James joined us.

He had to be different of course so he didn't cry for the first 2 days. He purred like a cat constantly even when he was sleeping so it made it hard for us parents to know if he was awake. He was a champ for nursing and had no problems getting started. The purring was very funny. The midwives cleaned us up and did their paper work before cleaning up the space and leaving us to rest. Bob and Me and baby Andrew.

Our friends brought the big kids home at bed time, bathed and in new/borrowed pajamas. Lydia had gotten her finger nails painted for the first time and even had her hair braided. Caleb was just glad to be home. They were both happy to meet their little brother before going off to bed themselves. The neighbors told us later that they thought maybe he was being born that saturday because of the extra 3 cars in our driveway and no other signs of activity outside, when we usually park our 1 car in the garage.

Thank you to Tree of Life Birth Center in Sanford Florida for an amazing experience

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