The Birth Story

by Esther on Sun, May 30th, 2010

in Documentation,Labor,Parenthood

As we’ve already reported, our son Axelrod was born on May 15th, 2010, at 7:43 in the evening.

He was born in our bedroom, where we first unknowingly conceived him, knowingly dreamed of him, and with hope laid a great many plans for him.  He was born into the hands of our very capable and trusted midwife, Lynn, and from there went straight to his mother’s arms.

From start to finish, the hours that followed my water breaking are both foggy and precious.  There are moments that are burned into my memory forever, and moments that my husband reminds me of when we retell the story to each other while trying to get a grasp on just how our universe changed that day.  There are moments when I’m sure that the both of us seemed incredibly lucid… that we already have forgotten.  Memory, when it comes to an event that is the most painful, most endearing, most pivotal event of your entire life, is funny, stretchy and malleable times all the stars in the sky, added to the value of each fish in the sea, to the exponential frequency of infinity.

That in mind, I doubt I’ll do our birth story justice.  I’ll never be able to quite capture something that becomes more fully realized to me with every second of our son’s life.  I could write this story in 10 or 20 years and it would have a different, equally precious, description of every moment I recall.  I could write for hours today and feel the story is still incomplete.  Life that brings babies is like that, I guess.

When I last reported to our pregnancy blog, my water had broken in a gush of glory at the local cabaret club.  I had slept soundly for the night after a shower.  I woke up that morning with no symptoms of labor and spoke with our midwife, who encouraged me to start drinking delicious castor oil cocktails at noon.

I had really hoped that my son’s birth story wouldn’t be kicked off with castor oil.  I decided that we should walk to one of our favorite breakfast spots, about a mile away, to try and encourage my inevitable labor.  I put on the dress that my best friend Myrtle had bought me to labor in the day before: a kelly-green jersey sun dress that was stretchy, cheap, and comfortable.  I layered on a hat and a sweater and headed out with my husband and my best friend at about 9:30 in the morning, which is an hour I’ve hardly seen the outdoors of during these last few years of working a noon to nine schedule.  The morning air felt pretty ripe with expectation; it was a beautiful day.

While carb loading on buckwheat pancakes with delicious fruit toppings at the cafe, we played it normal.  Honestly, I can’t remember in the least what we talked about.  Every part of the conversation was overshadowed by the knowledge that I was going into labor that very day.  I started to really zone out into my own birthing bubble.  I felt completely connected to my husband.  My best friend was with us, and she’s our partner in all things criminal and lovely, but my husband!  My husband was my whole world starting at breakfast and continuing on for the rest of the day.  As far as I was concerned, there was a bubble around us that the universe had hermitically sealed and it was impermeable.  We were going to have our baby, finally.  The news washed over me again and again.

On our walk home, we stopped at Whole Foods to stock up on foods for the folks who would be in the house for our delivery.  I barely knew what to order!  I thank goodness every day that Myrtle was with us, acting in a way like my sensible, outside the bubble, extension.  She choose some foods for us to order while I stood mutely in front of the prepared foods counter, overwhelmed by the whole outside-the-bubble world.  We picked up those foods and some extra supplies and headed home.

We were home by 11:30, I suppose.  Myrtle and I put the foods into glass bowels that were wrapped for later before she headed off to have a lovely day, knowing that she would come back later to me going through the motions of what was supposed to be a long and exhausting labor.   I called Lynn to get a pep talk about castor oil.  What would it do?  How long would it take?  Would it be terrible?  How did it work?  I hated the thought of having to induce anything, but was also so done with being pregnant.  I was 3 centimeters dilated, 41 weeks along, well rested, and mentally prepared.  I just wished it could have all been triggered on its own without having to drink something that had less than desirable side-effects.  Lynn explained to me how the castor oil worked, and also reminded me that, while we had 72 hours to deliver before having to transfer to a hospital (for risk of infection), the midwives at Rainy City Midwifery liked to have their ladies in labor within 24 hours of water breaking.  I braced myself and pulled out my (former) favorite flavor of coconut milk ice cream from the freezer.

Using a hand blender, I combined my (former) favorite ice cream, 2 ounces of castor oil, and Perrier for a delicious milk shake.  At exactly noon, I downed it.

Castor oil milkshakes are actually not delicious

Shortly after finishing this, Milton and I went up to the loft to get one last nap in before labor started.  I had been instructed to drink another milk shake at 2pm if labor hadn’t started, but was absolutely certain that I would wake up to my first contraction before then.  I was wrong.

At 2:30, I woke with a jolt and checked my cell phone.  It was late.  I was supposed to have drunk another milk shake by now!  I shook Milton awake and worried to him that I had messed everything up when I didn’t wake up on time.  He assured me of my craziness, and we went downstairs to make a second milk shake with my second (former) favorite flavor of ice cream.  I drank that and I waited.  I tried to pass the time doing whatever I could.  I watched the banana bread defrost on the table.  I went to the bathroom.  Mostly I just wondered why the hell I wasn’t in labor yet.  I worried.

3:10 rolled around with still no signs of even a Braxton Hicks contraction.  I googled “immunity to castor oil” and came up with a good dozen stories that convinced me that castor oil had done absolutely nothing for my system.  For a famously fast metabolism, I was sure getting nowhere fast.  I yelled down to Milton, “I’M IMMUNE TO CASTOR OIL.”  We wondered what would happen next.

At 3:13, I had my first contraction and pulled out my iPhone to use the Contraction Master application.  I was fairly convinced that showtime was still so far in my future that using the app was just a funny game, but I was also certain that the game was ON, which was exciting enough.  For an hour, Milton and I made out, slow danced, and laughed with each other.  We were totally going to have a baby!  And we are totally in love!  Win!

All through this hour, I was having contractions every 1.5-2.5 minutes for about 45 seconds.  They were definitely progressing, but were completely manageable.  We texted our midwife and doula to let them know that the contractions were regular, but that we were totally in control and not in a 4-1-1 situation yet.  Our doula was off supervising a birth for another couple in our birthing class.  That woman was had been at 10 centimeters and pushing since lunch, so we told the doula, “No problem!  We’ve got plenty of time!” and carried on with our labor.  Our midwife decided to come over and check me out to see how things were progressing.  She figured that she would pop in and then leave us to laboring alone for a few more hours.  I bounced on a ball and read my favorite columns in the latest issue of The Stranger for a little while.

Bouncing

After this photo was taken, I hit another level of intensity.  We were still at 2.5ish minutes for 45 seconds and chugging along at a very manageable pace, and right after a contraction, Milton followed me up the stairs to supervise a trip to the bathroom.  I stopped on the landing of our stairs to support myself through another surge, and again at the top of the stairs.  Milton joyously declared it a 2 contraction trip to the upstairs.  I asked for the bag of rice that we had warmed in the oven for my castor oil pains and found that that bag was just what I needed to get me through the next several contractions.  I hung out upstairs in the rocking chair, not realizing that I wouldn’t come downstairs again … for a whole week.

At this point, I still didn’t think my contractions were a big deal.  I was doing a lot of deep Ujjayi breathing through them, and found that I could maintain my breath throughout.  This had been my plan for labor all along.  I had hoped that I could maintain my Ujjayi practice through all of labor and delivery.  I had read a bit of hypnobirthing literature, and though I’m not fond of visualization (frankly, the rainbow visualization technique outlined in the hypnobreathing book made me feel as if I were gagging on a tie-dye moo-moo), I felt as if the 2 breath practices that hypnobirthing waxed poetic about were the same practices I used in my asana practice or to lower my blood pressure during times of stress.  I practice that breath control all the time, on the mat and otherwise, and figured I had everything covered.

At 4:56, Lynn arrived for my check up!  She watched me move through some contractions before checking me out on the bed.  I have to stress here that we all still thought we were in this game for the long haul.  Lynn was going to check me out and leave us to our laboring for a while.  I had my rice bag and my husband in my bubble and we were going to rock this birth out slowly and with grace.  Our doula was going to finish with a birth down the street and arrive with a birthing tub so we could deliver our son into the water. Myrtle was going to enjoy her afternoon while I was in early labor and arrive in a few hours when things got intense.  We had all the time in the world at that point.  We were bound and prepared for a glorious all nighter!

Or so we thought. Lynn checked me out and declared me “a good 4 centimeters” along.  She looked at my husband and said, “I’m not going anywhere.”  She told me that she was surprised I was as far along as I was from the look of my contractions and I pat myself on the back a little.  I figured there was no way I would lose my Ujjayi breath if I could get to “a good 4 centimeters” without a hitch.

We contacted our doula and let her know that I was in active labor.  The woman she was with was STILL pushing (uh oh!) and she sent for her back up to join us.  Right around the time this call happened, I started to feel a little more intense and decided to get into our bath tub.  It was 5:15.  The water felt amazing!  I couldn’t wait for my birth tub to be ready!  Milton stayed with me and held my hand.  With every surge, he commanded my eye contact and helped me breathe through.  At this point I realized for the millionth time what an amazing birth coach he was going to be.  He was absolutely right there with me for the ride.  Up to this point, he had project managed the whole labor, making sure that he executed contact with our midwife, doula, family, and friends.  He refused to let anything distract me or stress me out.  Now, in active labor, he committed himself to being totally with me and letting everything he had set up so perfectly ride itself out.  Our connection, which has been solid since we first met, honestly sparkled.

While I was in the tub, Marion arrived.  She’s Lynn’s assistant, a student midwife whom we’ve met before during a clinic appointment.  She’s swept my cervix before.  I know this woman!  I was, however, lost in little our bubble at the moment, and I decided that she’s a new face.  I introduced myself to her and she laughed.   Around this point, we stopped timing the contractions.  It no longer mattered how far apart they were.  I was in active labor and time had stopped.  Time had stopped for my husband.  It became just a blur of rushes and coping.  It was all meditation and strength from where ever I could find it.  Marion checked the baby’s heart rate before, during, and after contractions to make sure he was maintaining.  He was doing great, like we all hoped he would.  My blood pressure, on the other hand, was not the best.  I’d been trying my best to keep it down for some weeks, and now that the contractions were coming so fast and hard, it was being a bit pesky.  The midwives give me some sort of homeopathic powder to put under my tongue that seemed to do the trick.  I remember feeling a superhero relief when Lynn gave me the blood pressure nod of approval.

Lynn watched me go through a contraction and declared that it seemed different than the ones before.  She was right.  She also noticed at some point that it seemed like I was having one weak contraction and then one strong one.  This is reflected in my Contraction Master records as something that had been occurring since labor began.  Of course, I didn’t exactly notice until Lynn did.  I just thought it fun to note.

Not very many rushes later, I had to ask myself if I was being dramatic.  It hadn’t been so very long and, rather suddenly, I felt pushy.  How was that even possible?  It was a half hour or so since my 4 centimeter check up.  I felt so not ready to feel pushy.  I thought that, obviously, I must be pushing along this process psychologically in much the same fashion I pushed along the pre-labor process and thought I was about to go into labor every day for about 3 weeks running.  I had another contraction and looked into my husband’s eyes.  When it was over I said, “I think I feel pushy?”  For some reason, I remember that I didn’t want him to tell Lynn that I was feeling this way.  I guess that’s because I figured there was really no way I could be so far along.   Everything I do is dramatic!  It’s natural for me to exaggerate everything, isn’t it?  He told Lynn anyway and I remember feeling foolish.  If I felt pushy already, what would it be like when I was even further along?  I expected that I was really just at 5 centimeters.  Lynn reached into the tub to check things out.  I was at 7 centimeters.  I was in transition!  It was 6:20 and it had been only 3 hours from my first real contraction.

At this point, our doula’s back up lady, Mali, arrived and introduced herself.  Actually, I don’t remember her introducing herself at all, but am sure that’s what happened.  I do remember hearing Lynn call down to her that there isn’t time to set up the tub.  I stared at my feet in the bathroom and cursed inwardly.  I was momentarily pissed that we were not going to have our dreamy water birth and I say as much to Milton in between contractions.  Between 2 big rushes, I thought this was all going a little too fast and for my tastes.  With the next one, I forgot to think anymore about control over the birth I wanted.  At 7 centimeters, I became completely immersed in the birth that we were having.  I let it roll over me and let myself get lost inside it.

Lynn asked me if I wanted to have the baby in the bathtub.  No, I did not.  It’s small, cramped by the toilet, and we had a pretty big team assembled at this point.  Eventually, I specifically got out of the tub to use the toilet.  Experiencing some pretty frank castor oil side effects, I was too modest to ever be on a toilet with anyone around, so I endured a few contractions in the bathroom alone.  Contractions were difficult enough with the support of a husband!  Alone, they were horrible.  Alone, I hated them.  Alone, they were an unproductive enemy.  I was just totally lost in them without a coach.  They hurt a thousand times more, and I felt so alone.  Still, when Marion peeked her head into the bathroom to check on me, I yelled at her to get out.  Modesty triumphed over loneliness and pain for a good 5 minutes.

It was 6:30 when I moved to the bed to labor on my side for a bit.  I don’t remember much about this at all.  I don’t remember the contractions.  I don’t remember the people.  I don’t remember what people are saying to me.  I don’t know if I said anything to anyone.  Some time around then, Myrtle arrived.  I felt like an animal and I didn’t want her up stairs to see me like this.  Of course, she was downstairs in the kitchen, taking in my every primal scream.  For some reason, downstairs felt like a different world from upstairs.  To me, the visual was different from the audio.

At 6:48, Lynn checked me again and jolted into reality when she tells me I am 10 centimeters dilated, 100% effaced, and ready to push.  I asked her to repeat herself.  For a moment, I was really, truly, completely in shock that I was complete.  We pushed through a few rushes on the bed while Marion holds my top leg up and Milton coached me.  They felt painful, unlike anything I ever expected.  My known and trusted Ujjayi breathing was long gone.  I breathed however my husband told me to breathe.  Pushing felt unproductive and Lynn told me that I had to get the baby over the bone.  I remember all of this from our birth class.  A stuffed skeletal pelvis and a doll head flash through my mind.  Lynn shows me where in my perineum to concentrate my pushing and I dedicate all my energy and all the months of highly competitive (with myself) Kegel exercises I’ve been practicing to this area.  Lynn asks if I would like to move to the birth stool.  I am totally game.  Lying on my side feels fine, but not productive, and I want to have this baby.

Immediately, on the stool, pushing felt so different.  The baby was moving.  He was coming, and I might have said as much.  In between contractions, I felt almost as if I was entranced or sleeping on my husband’s shoulder.  Every song that the stereo played was one that I absolutely loved, which was convenient since I made the mix myself for this very occasion.  My husband was on my left hand side and Mali was on my right.  I had just met this Mali, but I already needed her desperately.  I reached for her hand with my right hand every time a contraction began.  She became indispensable to my getting through this experience.  Between contractions, I am at the same time entranced and lucid.  During contractions, I remember overhearing Mali say that I was “a monster” (in a good way).  Pushing was the worst torture I’ve ever felt.  I hated it.  I hated it so fucking much that I  said as much, which I am later ashamed for.  I remember saying, “It fucking hurts!”  Later, I can’t believe I complained at all.  Of course it hurts.  It’s labor!  I honestly wish I had been able to channel the pain a little better and not complain.  I told my husband at some point during the final pushing that we are never doing this again.  Everyone else in the room laughed, apparently it’s a common sentiment.  Seeing my baby’s face now, I would relive the whole experience for the same outcome.  I would endure it ten fold!  In retrospect, it didn’t hurt even a little bit.  Thank god for our malleable memory and our personal bubbles.

I can’t tell you enough how amazing the rhythm of these contractions were.  Here I was, in the most horrible pain I could’ve ever imagined, and then – I am fine.  Between, I was able to rest.  At the height of a contraction, I was uncertain of my ability to sustain and survive.  In between,  I was gazing into my husband’s eyes and thinking about how much I love him, thinking about how the two of us are having a baby who will shape and define the rest of our lives together.  I almost forgot that I am in labor in the space between these rushes.  I was almost able to forget that another contraction was coming.  When the next rush came, it would start slowly and I would think it won’t be as bad as the last.  I would grab for Mali’s hand and tell everyone, “Here it comes!”  Every time it came, it was worse than the one before.  I now knew what they meant when they talked about the ring of fire.  I now knew what it meant to have the baby come down and then slip back up after you’ve pushed so hard to get him down there.  When all of this happened, I also knew that it was almost over.  I could feel the contour his little face low inside of me.  I knew that, soon enough, I would have him in my arms.  Lynn had me reach down between my legs  to feel his head.  It was soft and wrinkled, like the skin of a newborn kitten.  Feeling him was really surprising to me and, according to Milton, I gasped in surprise, as if I didn’t expect him to be there.

In between all the rushes I called down to Myrtle to check on her.  I felt badly that I’d left her down there all alone to den-mother my kitchen!  I wanted to make sure she was comfortable.  Between one of the contractions, Milton knocked over my water.  Marion goes downstairs to get me some more because I can’t let go of Mali’s hand.  I told Marion that I like my water with lemon, but not with rind.  I hate rind!  Lynn apparently remarked to Milton that I was remarkably lucid.  When downstairs, Marion tells Myrtle that his head is an inch out.  I began another contraction, pushed, and felt madly productive.  I heard Lynn yell, “Marion, get up here, I need you!”

Next thing I knew, his head was out.  His body was easy after that.  It slipped out as if it had no bone.  I was in a daze when Lynn’s voice called through our bubble and said, “Reach down!  Reach down!”  Suddenly, there was this gurgling blue and white creature in my arms!  I was elated!  In complete awe!  He was gurgling and like a little old man, I’ll never forget the sound.  When he found his breath and cleared his lungs, he screamed and screamed like a little devil.  Both Milton and I found this hilarious!   He was pissed, and telling us all about what just happened to him!   Milton cut the cord at some point, and I’m told that the cord was really very healthy and difficult to cut.  This makes me very proud!

We did it.

I called down to Myrtle and told her that she’s gotta get up in the loft to check out our guy.

Greeting the 4th partner in crime

I find it hard to believe, looking at these photos, that it’s still light outside.  For some reason, I picture his birth as having taken place after the sun was set.  But, actually, as Lynn remarked at the time, he was a sunset baby.  This is fitting, because a variation of his name (his real name) means sunlight in Japanese.

At some point, I delivered the placenta.  Apparently I complained that this also hurt, but I remember that it was absolutely easy in comparison to my son’s impressive head.

After a while, I handed our son over to his father so that I could move off the stool and on to the bed, which has been protected with a drop cloth between sets of sheets for quick changing after the event.  I told Milton to take his shirt off so that Axelrod could have skin to skin contact.

Skin on skin with his father

This is another blurry point of our story.  It’s almost a point of the story that I don’t want to share, because I don’t want to pull back from the awesome that is the birth of my son to get into medical issues and aftermath.  But, it’s part of the tale.  And, on reflection, labor and delivery involve every kind of emotion and event.  Labor and delivery includes everything wonderful, awesome, dramatic, and sometimes grotesque.  So. I stood up off of the birth stool and move my butt up to the bed… and proceeded to hemorrhage down the side of the bed and on to the floor.  It splashed impressively on to feet and ankles with a sound.  I looked down and thought, “They’ll fix that right up.”  Milton looked down and thought the same thing.  Myrtle confessed later that she was worried.  My doula confessed later that she started to rush from the birth she was attending in another part of the city (that woman, after pushing all day, delivered 4 minutes after I did) because they were talking about having me transferred to a hospital.  Lynn gave me a shot of something and put something else under my tongue.  The bleeding stopped, thank goodness, and I recall being very diligently monitored by Lynn and Marion for some time after while I shook and trembled my way through the shock that my body was experiencing towards the light of recovery.

I was really curious to see my placenta and asked for it.  Marion offered to bring it to us to give us a little Placenta 101.  This was really exciting to me.  I think I might have asked Myrtle if it was ok with her that Marion bring it around.  Of course Myrtle is game for anything at this point, I mean… she had just watched me hemorrhage all over my bedroom floor without so much as flinching.

Marion gave us a pretty stunning class on the different parts of the placenta, showing us the amniotic sac, the tree of life, and the cord.  I have to say that I am really very impressed with my body.  I just can’t believe I grew that thing!  Or that it sustained my son for 41 weeks!  Around then, our doula, Cheryl, showed up and made a placenta impression on a piece of paper.

Placenta print!

(I’m sorry if our placenta is too much information for anyone out there, but I personally find it all very fascinating!)

Next, I had to use the bathroom to prove that I could use my bladder — which was a Very Important Event — and I was then also allowed to take a shower.  I was absolutely relieved to be allowed to shower all of the day’s waste off of me.  I figured if I was allowed a 10 minute shower all by myself, I would be transformed into a picture of bright and shining health.  A quick glance to the mirror told me otherwise, though.  My ruddy skin was 3 shades of the wrong color and I knew that it was right to confine me to bed for a week after the birth.

When Cheryl, got there, I was so stoked that I got to have my two doula’s with me at once.  Two doulas, two midwives, a husband, and a best friend (who was totally promoted to sister after seeing the whole after birth business), AND a brand new awesome son.  How lucky can one lady get?

My two doulas!

Soon, our son was weighed, measured, and checked for the proper reflexes.  Everyone in the room took bets on how much he weighed.  I thought silently to myself that he might weigh 9 pounds and 2 ounces.  I only figured this because it’s what my brother weighed when he was born.  I didn’t say anything out loud, though, but I swear to you, readers, I had it right in my head.  He was 22.25 inches long, which delights me.  I have a thing for long legs and am glad that they run in our little family.

9lbs, 2ozs

Eventually, after giving us lots of important instructions, our doulas and midwives left.  Myrtle stayed for a while, shot some amazing photos of Axelrod, and cleaned my house like a champ.  She was leaving the very next morning for a flight home.  She took this photo before we all cried and she left for her hotel room:

Post-fetal position

We spent our first night together marveling.  The first long nap that Axelrod was supposed to take never really happened.  Alexrod just wanted to nurse all night, which I was really fine with.  We worked through the hours together, figuring out how he worked on the outside of my body.  Figuring out that we were family, and that we were both in it for the long haul.  Milton and I will never be the same sort of family we were before this little guy’s birth.  We are now part of a better, bigger family.  We are now parents, and sport a very worthy and excellent son.  We wouldn’t have it any other way, either!  I can honestly say without a hint of irony that this is the best thing we have ever done with each other, for each other, and for our family.  Parenthood is pretty awesome stuff, already.  It is every emotion.  It is every worry.  It is every sort of elation.  It is every sort of love.  We welcome it, completely.

The End.

Or, more accurately:  The Beginning.

One week old

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ACB Sun, May 30th, 2010 at 10:59 am

What a wonderful, amazing story. I can’t thank you enough for sharing it. I’ve been reading for a couple months now, and have really appreciated your stories and thoughts – especially as my husband and I are a few short weeks away from welcoming our own little boy into the world. We’re also planning a home birth, and while I don’t anticipate it going as quickly (!!) as yours, I have every belief that it will be as beautiful.

This quote will definitely stay with me: “With the next contraction, I forgot to think anymore about control over the birth I wanted. At 7 centimeters, I became completely immersed in the birth that we were having. I let it roll over me and let myself get lost inside it.”

Thank you, thank you, and congratulations and blessings and joy!!

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2 Kellianne Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Thank you so much!

Best wishes for your home birth! Honestly, I hope for everyone’s sake that it doesn’t move as quite as quickly as ours did. While I loved our birth and obviously can’t have it any other way, I do wish it could have been a bit less wham bam thank you ma’m. But, as said, it’s best to let the birth that’s happening to you happen. Go into it with a whole lot of love and no fear! Come to think of it, that could be the first great lesson in parenting!

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3 Jana Kleitsch Sun, May 30th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Wow, as a woman who has two children but knows nothing about childbirth, I LOVED reading about baby Axelrod’s birth story. I feel like I went through it with you as I read this. Yay for your “beginning!” What an amazing start! Xs and Os!

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4 Kellianne Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 6:00 pm

You might not know about childbirth, but you know how to make darn good carrot soup and cookies! Imagine my surprise this morning after finally rallying my sour milk covered self out of bed. I don’t know what time you were here, but I have been experiencing the boon of good cooking all the day long.

Thank you for being an awesome friend. We both really appreciate you!!

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5 Christine Sun, May 30th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Fantastic story! Congratulations, you three!

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6 Kellianne Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Thank you!

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7 marissa Sun, May 30th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

amazing. thank you so much for sharing, i was brought back to my own labor (although it was a wholly different experience, obviously) and nearly brought me to tears. congratulations! your beautiful blog makes me long for baby #2!

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8 Kellianne Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 6:03 pm

It’s ridiculous, but sometimes I already think about having a second baby just because I know just how different every labor can be and I’m curious to have a more intimate knowledge of those differences. Also, I’m completely in awe of the newborn, in a way I never thought I would be! I thought it would be a struggle to get through these early days, and it’s actually a joy. Thank goodness!

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9 Keewee Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 2:42 am

Congratulations! That’s so rad that you were able to take a shower in your own bathroom immediately after delivery; and being able to have a sweet day at home after your water breaking makes me inclined to want to do a home-birth when my time-to-be-a-mom day arrives. It just sounds like it’s better for mom, dad, and baby to be in such a relaxing environment as opposed to the hustle and bustle and unfamiliarity of a hospital.

What wound up being on your birthing playlist?

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10 Kellianne Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I would highly recommend midwife care. Not only for the comfort of being at home immediately… but also for touching and personal care. It’s been such a wonderful experience to have midwife care through a pregnancy and after!

One especially notes the difference if one gets out there to interview a few OB’s first. I’m not saying that any of the OB doctors we considered were not good at their job- I’m sure they were. But we definitely felt that the rushed sterile cold of a hospital environment was not the go-to answer for our family. We’ll save hospitals for a time when we are (god forbid) very sick, and really need them.

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11 Keewee Wed, Jun 2nd, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Good to know, even though I’m years away from baby-land despite being the only girl from my high school swim team to not have a kid. My mom’s an RN and even though I know some great docs and nurses, I think your experience has a calmness about it that I don’t think hospitals are designed to provide.

So what was on that playlist? I’m so darn curious. I feel like the Cure would be on mine, for some reason.

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12 Tina Thornes Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Loved every word of the story! Feels like I was there, or better yet that I went through it with you! Wait a minute, I did, only 25 and 21 years ago! Not a lot has changed in giving birth since then, or long before, except that you welcomed your son at home in your very own bed!! How cool is that? Love it, love it all!
Congratulations to you all. He is so beautiful.

Love Aunt Tina

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13 Jen Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Rock on! You all did a great job, and what a beautiful critter :) I so hope to be in the care of a midwife when me and mine are ready for one. Congratulations!

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14 Michelle Tue, Jun 1st, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Oh lady I have known you so long and I can honestly say that o one deserves a wonderful little family more than you do. I am so proud of you lady *hugs*

Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Sincerely,
Michelle

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15 elissa Wed, Jun 2nd, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I love this story, especially a few days before Cougar’s 5th birthday. Make sure you always share his birth story with him, he will love it and it will make him feel special. I am so happy for you all. Making me a little teary now because it all goes by so fast. xo

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16 Kathy O'Connell Wed, Jun 2nd, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I am happy for you. You are a wonderful, loving person. It is wonderful that you shared so much of your story. Your son will enjoy to read all this things years to come! Patrick and I can’t wait to meet your son

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17 zahra Wed, Jun 2nd, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Beautifully written! I’m so proud of you for birthing at home. Your inspiring story is sure to boost confidence in women considering home birth. I love all the pictures you’ve posted of your sweet family. Many blessing to you!
Love~Z

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18 Erin Sat, Jun 5th, 2010 at 7:11 am

I don’t think I’ve ever commented b/c I have your blog plugged into my google reader. I’ve been reading along and what a journey. I’m glad that you shared it. I’m trying to share my own stories as well, b/c I too, think it’s nice to have a story from the beginning.
Congratulations, and what a gorgeous little boy!
I hope that we have a good home birth experience too. There are times when I wonder if it’s what will end up happening in the end. I know things can go wrong and I seem to be dwelling on that, but your story helped me to realize that things DON’T always go wrong. Sometimes they go very right. So, thank you. And congrats again!

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19 amanda Tue, Jun 8th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

love it. the whole thing.

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20 Shaxxon Wed, Jun 16th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I read the whole thing. Absolutely outstanding writing and an incredible story.

Congrats again and again. :D

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21 Mino Fri, Jun 18th, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I have read this beautiful story twice already, and once out loud to bob. What an amazing journey your birth story was! Thank you so much for sharing it. I loved every word and really felt i was transported through all of your emotions. Congratulations!

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22 Kellianne Sat, Jun 19th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Thanks, Mino!! It’s nice to know you read it. I feel your positivity all the way over here and miss you oodles. Please send Bob some of this love from Seattle and take the rest for yourself: xxoxoxoxoxo <3

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23 Aimee Mon, Jun 21st, 2010 at 11:08 am

Such a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it with us.
Did you ever find out what they put under your tongue or gave you a shot of?

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24 Annalize Wed, Jun 23rd, 2010 at 1:35 am

Such a great story, and a really adorable son. Congrats.

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25 Sandra Mort Sun, Jun 5th, 2011 at 4:43 am

Wonderful happy joyous perfectly fabulous birth story. Had me all teary. And that one week photo, he is SO CUTE!!! The best pic, imo, is your dh holding him. Nothing makes a heart go pitter patter faster than a good daddy :)

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