Monday, July 8, 2013

Pregnancy Update~ 36.5 weeks + Madeleine's Birth Story

Here's a picture for you.... baby bump and all!

36 weeks!
This was taken on Wednesday of last week.
To see an update on the nursery, from this past weekend, click here!

And no, don't worry, I didn't have the baby....
this is Madeleine, a few minutes old! Precious!

I have wanted to post Madeleine’s  birth story--- click away if not interested or if you don’t like birth stories! I was inspired by reading Michele's. I got so much peace from reading her story, as she prepares for her upcoming birth. So.... since I'm 3 weeks away myself, here you go... Madeleine's birth story!

It was a long process deciding to do a homebirth with a midwife. Molly was born in a hospital, and so was Frances. Frances was natural, Molly was not- I had an epidural.  I talked to a friend who had used Nicole, our midwife for Madeleine, and she said it was like having a good friend at the birth. She came for home visits, which were AWESOME- nothing like having her come to YOU, at your house for every check-up. She really was an amazing person. In the short time we got to know her, I trusted her, she bonded with our kiddos, and put forth an incredibly professional presence.

The reason we finally decided to go with Nicole and a homebirth was because we were in inner city DC, our insurance wouldn’t cover a nice hospital in the area, and I was wary of going into labor in the car if we tried to go to Annapolis, about 40 minutes away to an incredible labor and delivery facility there.

A few days before Madeleine was born, I watched a video of a birth standing up, and thought, I could do that. It seemed to really be good with gravity on my side, so I tucked it away as something I wanted to consider for the birth.

On Saturday, I cleaned and I got ready for my mom’s arrival. The timing could not have been more perfect. She got there late Saturday evening to help out with the girls during the imminent delivery. We had a nice time together.  On Sunday, we went to church, took lots of pictures of the girls, and ate a big lunch, with cake for early Mother’s Day celebration.

On Sunday night, May 6th, I prayed that the Lord would bring the baby soon. Both times before I remember telling God, “I’m ready for this baby to come. I’m ready, baby. Come out!” The house was clean, we finally returned the library books that were in the car, we got everything on the homebirth list, even the ammonia that we had trouble finding before. We stopped on the way home for a few last groceries we needed. I went to bed Sunday night feeling very ready to be a Mommy of three babies.

I started feeling painful contractions between 4 and 4:30am Monday morning. I thanked God for answering my prayers! No long, awkward wait for labor while my Mom was visiting!  I woke up, had a small breakfast with lemon tea, checked email and listened to music. As labor progressed, I kept spiritual peace by meditating on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and asking St. Anne and St. Brigid, patron saints of labor and newborns respectively, to pray for me. I also tried to stay in the present moment, and to refrain from fear of the future, or labor getting more painful, by meditating on truths of scripture and the promises of God, such as...

I will never leave you, nor forsake you
I will meet, supply your every need
I will give you peace for the journey
I will be with you
I will give you rest
I will direct your path
I will give you my Spirit, the Comforter, to sustain you and give you a willing spirit
I will love you.
Life is a precious miracle.

I stayed in bed and rested, and contractions just kept coming every 10 minutes all morning.  I also used the rainbow technique to make it through each contraction. I imagined each color of the rainbow one by one and tried to think of something that color.

The girls would come up to check on me, and so did my Mom and Stephen. Things were not changing much, so when we called Nicole, she said to keep resting, and call when contractions sped up to 4 minutes apart.

I spent the morning in bed, feeling like I had a mild flu. Then, labor sped up at around 11:30am.  It started transitioning from every 10 minutes to irregular contractions, anywhere from 7 to 4 minutes apart. We called Nicole at 12:30pm, after 3 back to back contractions that were 4 minutes apart, and she said she would be there in 30 minutes. She came in 40 minutes! :)

I took a shower, and it was getting hard to keep going.  Stephen brought me oranges and saltines, turned on classical music, and I asked him for some teaspoons of honey. Contractions were getting very intense, but I didn’t realize how close I was to giving birth. I kept going back and forth from sitting to standing up, all while in the bathroom. Everything was becoming painful, but I would bear down and really try to make the most of every contraction. My water broke while I was sitting on the toilet. It hurt, but I kept bearing down.... the more painful the better, I kept telling myself. And yes, the contractions were productive. Very productive.  I suddenly felt the urge to push and let out a very large scream. The girls had just returned from a walk to the playground with my Mom, and Molly heard me from downstairs, as they were starting lunch, and said, “Why is Mommy screaming?”

Stephen came upstairs, and I said, “She’s coming!” He checked standing from behind but couldn’t see her head, but I could feel her crowning.  I had another urge to push, and he looked again and saw her head.  He said, “Just keep pushing!” I gave one more push standing up, and she was born! Stephen caught, or delivered, the baby. Stephen yelled to my Mom, “Wendy! She’s here!” He was awesome and very calm the entire time! She was born at 1pm, about 10 minutes before Nicole arrived.

My Mom came upstairs, and Stephen handed the baby to my Mom, so that he could call Nicole to find out what we should do. My Mom was standing behind me, so I had to swing my leg over the cord, which was not around her neck, but wrapped around her back and the back of her neck.  Stephen’s comment was, “I’m so glad God made the cord so long. He knew what he was doing!” I could finally hold her, and Nicole told Stephen on the phone that I needed to recline. I almost laid down in the bathroom, but then said I thought I could walk to the bed! She was blue at first, but pinked up quickly with blankets.

It didn’t seem to take long until Nicole got there and helped us to do all the post-partum care. She was awesome, despite being up all night with another birth. She had Stephen cut the cord, and then we cleaned her up together, and she got me some tea with herbs. I nursed Madeleine, then she did the baby exam and weighed her... 6lbs 15 oz. I kept saying, “I can’t believe she’s here!” And Nicole said, “I have never missed a birth! I can’t believe I missed it!”  She checked me, and I was able to deliver the baby without tearing at all.  Praise God, that was one of my prayer requests.

a few hours old....

My other prayer request was peace and a non-eventful labor. Well... ironic that that was my request... delivering our own baby was peaceful, but it definitely WAS eventful in its own way! It was not what we expected, but just as God usually works, an extremely sacred, relatively short, fairly simple labor at home, and only three pushes, with no tearing, and a healthy baby...was better than what we hoped for, expected, or imagined!

She was a great newborn. She was a great eater and good sleeper. She had her days and nights mixed up, but she stayed by me all night the first night, and nursed like a champ. I'm really, really in love! She is beautiful, but I'm sure I'm not biased. ;)
a week old.

Look at her now... big girl at 14 months!


Michele Chronister said...

Thanks for the shoutout! And of my totally returned the favor! This birth story was just what I needed this beautiful and so peaceful. I loved it! I hope your experience this time is every bit as beautiful. look amazing!!!

Libba said...

I love it!! I remember reading what you typed out last year, but this was so fun. She's a beautiful little girl! I hope you have as much freedom to move with this little boy!

allison said...

Wow, I didn't know that happened with Madeleine! That is amazing! I am praying we can make it over the bay bridge in time!

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