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?"
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.
Staying at the Boltons was like staying at a vacation home.
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?
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.
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!!