Monday, March 29, 2010

Alice's Birth Story

We welcomed our daughter, Alice Claire, into the world on Saturday, March 27 at 2:46am.
I was 42 weeks, 1 day pregnant.
It was quite the experience.

Here's the story:
I woke up Friday at about 1am with contractions.
I tried to sleep through them, but it wasn't working.
I timed them for about an hour before waking up Ben.
It appeared as though this was the day we would finally get to meet our baby girl!

Ben took a shower, we packed up a few things, picked up the house a little bit and then headed to Ben's parent's house at 4am.

I know what you may be thinking.
"Wait. Ben's parent's house?! You had your baby at your in-law's house?"
It's true.
The Boltons were so kind to offer their "birthing suite" for Alice's birth.
Ben's sister had already had her two kids there, so we knew it was a perfect setting.
Also, our house is significantly smaller.
One bathroom.
Tiny bathtub.
Staying at the Boltons was like staying at a vacation home.
Loved it!

Back to the story.
I labored all day long.
Contractions were strong, but not yet consistent.
During the day, Ben and I played a game, napped, went to Jamba Juice, watched TV, went for a walk, etc.
Our midwife came over at about 6pm to check to see how things were progressing.
She said Alice would likely arrive sometime that night between 1-3am.
Asked us to give her a call when contractions were consistently under 5 minutes apart and lasting at least a minute.

That happened around 10:30pm.
She came back over, broke my waters (to speed things along just a little bit), and then we waited.

It was a rough (to say the least) few hours.
I hit transition at around 1am.
I don't remember much of what happened during that time.
I remember falling asleep/passing out between contractions.
I'd wake up having no idea how much time had passed...1 minute? 20?
I also remember not saying much and not wanting to be touched.
It took everything in me to try to stay relaxed.
At one point our midwife said, "You're doing great! You're in textbook transition."
I replied with, "If I were in a hospital, I'd have a textbook epidural."
I somehow thought that was important enough to muster up the energy to say. :)

At about 2am I got into the tub.
The warm water was a nice, welcome change.
After a few contractions I started to feel the need to push.
About 30-45 minutes later we finally got to meet our little girl!
It's wild how the intense, indescribable pain disappears immediately once the baby is born.
It was the most amazing experience ever!

Alice about 30 seconds old-

About a minute old-

She came out pink, fluffy, and perfect!
She scored a perfect 10 on the APGAR scale.
It was only the 2nd time our midwife scored a baby that high right out the chute.

Alice and I stayed in the tub for a nice long time after she was born.
We loved hearing her first cries and could not take our eyes off of her.
It's crazy how drastically our lives changed in that instant.
We are smitten!

I took a shower while Ben held Alice.
After the midwife checked to make sure I was a-okay, it was time to check the baby.

Ben cut the cord-

Our midwife performed the newborn check-

Alice weighed in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces and was 21 inches long.

I love this picture.
Is there anything better than a chunky newborn?
She was all cozy because there was a heating pad underneath the blanket. :)

I've been asked a couple questions often enough that I thought I'd answer them here.

1. Why in the world would we want to have a baby at home?
We considered the options and decided this is what was best for us.
Having our baby at home was the best way we could plan for the birth we desired...
Un-medicated, minimal interventions, relaxed setting, etc.
We fully trust in the process of giving birth since women have been doing it for thousands of years.
We don't feel like it is a medical condition that needs to be "fixed" or "cured".
Our bodies know exactly what to do and so as long as Alice and I stayed healthy and low-risk, we knew a home birth was the route we wanted to go.

We also know that this option is not for everyone.
Many women have hospital births and love their experiences...and that is fantastic!
Many need the medical interventions that doctors and hospitals can provide.
Thank goodness we live in a country where we have access to those services!

We don't feel like we deserve a special ribbon or gold star for having a natural birth.
Really, I would love for every woman to get to experience what I got to experience in bringing Alice into the world.
Hardest thing EVER, EVER, EVER, but worth it a million times over.
But, becoming a mother, regardless of how it happens is the best thing in the world.

2. Would we do it again?
That's easy.
If/when we have another child we hope to have the exact same experience.
Well...maybe a little shorter labor next time. :)

I'm happy to answer any questions.
I tried to keep this post free of too many gory details, but I like talking about them.
Sick, right?

Lastly, we were surrounded by prayers and support from our families and friends.
We don't know where to even start in thanking everyone for the encouraging emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, etc.
We are so blessed to have such amazing people in our lives!!


Katharine said...

wonderful story - Congratulations!!!!!

Meredith said...

I loved reading Alice's Birth Story! Congrats on your beautiful baby girl!

Mandy said...

that was beautiful! so so so proud of you. can't wait to see her :)

Danielle said...

love this...thanks for sharing! what an incredibly precious experience you had! She is beautiful (and so adorably chunky)!!

MrsA.Woods said...

You have me crying! She's absolutely beautiful!! Many, many kudos to you for having a natural birth... I really have to give it to you. It's hard enough laboring with an epidural!! Congrats to you and your husband!

Mrs. B said...

Congrats!! Her and I share a birthday! :)

Blomgren2 said...

Love love love love your special birth story! Way to go, you are an awesome strong new mom! You're in the club now :) Can't wait to hear ALL the gory details in person!

kendra said...

love it. thanks for sharing! i am so happy that everything went so well for you. alice is just precious. hope to meet her someday soon!

Chrissy said...

She's so precious! I am very glad she and Allie share a birthday too! And to think... Allie called it last July!! I should take that girl to Vegas! ;)
I love you three! Have fun hanging out with Mom this week!

lindsayw4 said...

Congratulations!! I'm glad it went so well! Enjoy your precious girl:)

Charissa said...

Congratulations!!!! Your daughter is beautiful!!! Chunky, healthy newborns are the best! I loved your story and
I'd love to hear any details.
I had a c-section at my doctor's urging, so I think you are absolutely AMAZING for having a home birth. That is awesome!
I know you encouraged a natural mama (other than my daughter's c-section birth) I'd have liked to hear how the breastfeeding is going, though I'm sure that may be too personal a question for a blog! I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 2 years, 1 week and 5 days. :)

Kristen said...

Beautiful birth story! Congratulations!
And that is so awesome that your in-laws had a "birthing suite" in their home - if only all grandparents-to-be were so supportive of the home birth option.
I am so happy for you all!

Justin and Victoria Nelson said...

just showed justin the pictures of alice. he's in love with her too!
we are so happy for you guys.
and don't worry, there's no rift between us because u had a home birth and i had a c-section ;-) even though u ARE better than me, i love you with all my heart.
im so excited to hear more about alice.
lots of love,
justin and vic

Justin and Victoria Nelson said...

p.s. everytime i'm on the computer now, i have to come and look at the pic of alice in all of her chunky galore!
i absolutely love that picture of her =)

Jen Rich said...

Wow! Such a sweet baby! Thank you for sharing your experience girl...can't wait till Mark and I are able to share our experience too. No, nothing to share yet but I'll make sure you know when there is. Miss you! Give that Alice a hug for me! Jen

Kristin Jo said...

Thanks for sharing! My first baby girl is due any week now (I'm 37 weeks today!).

Congrats on it all!

cara. said...

love the blog. love the baby. alice is absolutely adorable! glad your homebirth worked out for you.