Tag Archives: birth story

Welcome, Baby Dean!: The Story of Our Second Unassisted Birth

Unassisted Birth Story #2:

Ready for a birth story? If yes, you’re in for a treat. If no, well, carry on my wayward reader.

After two episodes of false labor in the weeks prior (that left me just a joy to be around), I woke up at 5:30 on September 14th in order to be at work by 7am. Because State was in our building for our annual inspection. On my last official week at my assignment. #awesome

About 10 minutes into being awake, I started noticing that the uncomfortable feeling that often accompanies eating bad Indian food was actually going away at fairly frequent intervals. As Peter left for the gym, I mentioned that we might not have had to wake up so early after all, as I was beginning to think that these contractions, feeling different than my last two practice sessions, were actually going to lead to something. I texted my boss (and my replacement DON) to let them know I wouldn’t be in at 7. They were so excited and told me to keep them updated.

I tracked my contractions for about an hour, noticing they were fairly consistent. They were increasingly uncomfortable, but I was still able to walk through them. I rubbed some black pepper essential oil on my back to help with the back labor.

Contractions became irregular around 9am, but still uncomfortable. I decided that a hot bath sounded delightful. MY GOODNESS, I had no idea how comfortable it would be! I could feel the contractions but was still able to relax through them.

The hours marched on and contractions were still uncomfortable but irregular. I wasn’t concerned since every labor is different. I focused on relaxing. Peter made a labor playlist for me with nature sounds, Native American flute music, and several Xavier Rudd songs. We diffused Balance essential oil and I just focused on relaxing, with Peter checking in on me frequently, topping off my coconut water as necessary. I was also texting many of my coworkers and keeping updated on how the state inspection was going.

Around 3:45pm I was getting irritated at how long this was taking with seemingly little progress. I hopped in the shower because showers make everything better and after about 5 minutes I started getting little tremors and increased pressure. Recognizing this was most likely transition, I got out of the shower and headed to the bed, where I had created a nest of waterproof pads.

I was right. Transition hit hard and furious. Fetal Ejection Reflex was strong, and just after 4pm my water broke. I think most of my 50 pound weight gain had been in the waters, because it didn’t just break, it exploded everywhere (sorry to those of you who are more visual). I called for Peter and told him that my water broke, “and also we might want to get new pillows.” He asked what the water breaking indicated, and I told him that Baby K was coming fast and it would be soon.

Right again. The pressure was so intense I didn’t think I could bear it. It was pressure to the point of pain. I buried my head in my pillow so my moans wouldn’t scare Tristan, who was in the living room watching DinoTrux at the time. That didn’t work well. I yelled/screamed for Peter again, who ran in, leaving Tristan in the living room yelling for me.

When Peter came in, I told him I could feel the baby crowning, and he jumped into the role of birth coach, excitedly updating me on progress. “I see it! There are the eyes! The nose is out – it’s a cute little button nose! There’s the mouth! The whole head!” I breathed out the shoulders and caught the baby as the rest of the body slid out gently (a VERY different birth than Tristan, who shot out head and body all at once like a squid). Peter asked “What is it?” I looked down “it’s another boy!”

We were both shocked, we had been expecting a girl the entire time. Every single old wives’ tale “test” indicated girl, except the Chinese Gender Predictor chart.

Peter let Tristan in immediately and we introduced him to Baby Dean. His face lit up when he saw the baby and we told him he had a brother. He had told us months ago that it was “a brudder” because he wanted to ride bikes with him and “guys ride bikes, mom.”

I took a picture of Dean and texted it over to my boss and my coworker who had been following progress via text all day. She texted back saying that my boss announced Dean’s birth over the intercom system. There was a contest going on at the facility, and $50 went to the staff or resident who had the closest guess for birth date, gender, weight, and length. One of the CNAs won!

our second unassisted birth story
first moments earthside

Peter took Tristan to the local coffee shop to get us some coffee while I relaxed with baby Dean. I did my full nursing assessment, and was surprised to see a true knot in his umbilical cord. Gotta love that natural Wharton’s Jelly, keeping the knot slippery and open during labor!

By the time Peter and Tristan returned, the cord had stopped pumping so it was time to clamp and cut. I wiped off Dean (who had a huge healthy meconium poop all over me, just like his brother), diapered him, wrapped him, and handed him to Peter while I delivered the placenta. I felt great, so I got up and took a shower (my third of the day) and enjoyed the fact that I could fit back in my t-shirts without my belly hanging out underneath.

I drank a bottle of beet juice and snuggled on the couch with my TWO sons while Peter cleaned up the bedroom. Within two hours of birth, we were all sitting on the couch watching The Cleveland Show and texting our friends our happy news. It was so relaxing, and we marveled at how lovely it is to birth at home.

approximately 2 hours after birth

I used my Clary Calm roll on quite liberally the first few hours – those afterbirth pains are no joke! Thankfully, that took the discomfort away and I was able to snuggle with my boys without constantly squirming from the pain.

I recovered much faster from this birth than Tristan’s. I’m not sure whether to attribute that to better nutrition, drinking copious amounts of coconut water during labor, knowing better what to expect this time, or most likely a combination of all 3, but I’m thankful.

We named him Dean Alexander Sirius. He weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces (only 3 ounces heavier than Tristan! I was expecting a much larger baby), and was 19 1/2 inches long. He has super long fingers like Tristan and I did and smaller feet than Tristan, so he can fit in all those adorable footie pajamas that Tristan could never wear. He sleeps for long interludes (including overnight) and is just starting to show some lady-killer dimples.

Sometime in the near future I’ll share about our second night as parents of two. But for now, I have baby snuggles to return to.

Oh yeah, and we bought an RV.

Talk to you soon! ūüôā

 

Baby Tristan: Our Unassisted Birth Story

our unassisted home birth story, natural birth

Given that I had never given birth before, I’m not quite sure how to write a birth story. ¬†But it was an amazing birth and our little guy is so precious, so I had to share. ¬†Bear with me.

The Stats:

Tristan Amadeus Elihu was born on December 19th at 5:14am. ¬†He weighed 7 pounds, 5.5 ounces, and was 20 1/4 inches long. ¬†He also had the largest feet I’ve ever seen on a newborn. ¬†Even after feeling him kick me for so long, I wasn’t expecting such massively long feet. ¬†This child will be tall.


10 minutes old. So precious!
10 minutes old. So precious!
The Details:

I spent Thursday December 18th sitting on a yoga ball because it made my legs feel better (I developed hip flexor tendonitis during the last few months of pregnancy which made walking sometimes painful).  I was due the following Tuesday, but because this was my first baby I was expecting to go overdue, so bouncing on a yoga ball was not a means for me to induce labor.  I had had one or two mild contractions a day since Sunday.  Nothing about that day was abnormal, maybe 3-5 contractions but nothing painful or regular.  I went to bed around 10pm.

Peter woke me up at 11:50pm, feeling guilty that he had just finished watching the entire 3rd series of Sherlock. ¬†As we were talking, I felt a contraction in my back (babe was facing the wrong way, so I was anticipating back labor). ¬†I mentioned that I felt it and we continued talking. ¬†About 3 minutes later I felt another one, so I pulled out my phone and opened the “time my contractions” app and Peter and I started timing. ¬†Yep, 3 minutes apart, lasting a minute each.

I read a Native American Proverb that said “if a woman lies down during labor, the baby will not come out.” ¬†That’s enough to scare anyone into being mobile. ¬†I got out of bed and walked around the bedroom for an hour. ¬†Around 1am I knew this was the real deal, and finally convinced Peter that it was time for him to head out to Walmart to get the last of our needed supplies (thankfully our birthing kit had just arrived that afternoon). ¬†We talked on the phone while he was gone and I started getting things ready for the birth and recovery. ¬†As he ran around WalMart trying to find graham crackers and coconut water for me to snack on during labor, I was mixing oils for my recovery spray and getting out the first few things we would need from the birthing kit. ¬†I called our friend who was going to attend the birth for moral support and let her know, but at this time I was still walking and talking through contractions. ¬†She told me to call her back when I felt like I wouldn’t be able to cross the street during a contraction.

Peter got home and we put the big pads on the bed and the new sheet. ¬†It took me about 10 minutes because by this time contractions were every two minutes and lasting a minute each. ¬†They were strong enough that now I wasn’t able to walk through contractions, they were more comfortable if I squatted and leaned against the bed.

My water broke around 2am and contractions came faster and stronger. ¬†I massaged Deep Blue and black pepper essential oils into my back and Peter helped with some counter pressure massage during contractions. ¬†I asked him to blow up my yoga ball so I could carry out my original birth plan of laboring in the living room on a yoga ball with my face in a diffuser of Balance essential oil while watching Disney movies. ¬†The plug for the ball was missing, so we tried to duct tape it closed. ¬†It didn’t work. ¬†Plan B: move the diffuser to the bedroom to labor in there. ¬†Only problem was the only open outlet was on Peter’s side of the bed. ¬†This meant he got a much stronger effect from this oil, and he became *very* relaxed. I tried to lay down and get some rest, but the contractions were so much more painful laying down. ¬†No wonder so many women get epidurals! ¬†If I had to lay down the whole time I would get one too. ¬†It was SO much better to be able to move and walk and pli√© through contractions.

Related: The Hippie Mama’s Guide to a Natural Pregnancy

I, however, was waddling to the bathroom so frequently ¬†that I just decided to stay there. A sweet friend from Facebook was messaging me since she had seen our hint that I was in labor. Her mom had been a birth attendant a long time ago and she herself had just had a home birth a few months prior. ¬†She texted me all throughout labor. ¬†Finally I decided I didn’t want to labor by myself any longer but was now stuck in the bathroom. ¬†Peter was so relaxed from the oils that I called for him (somewhat frantically) six times before he stumbled into the hallway, fell into the door and laid down on the floor. ¬†Methinks I put too much oil in the diffuser. ¬†Anyway, he perked up and found some relaxing music to play on Youtube. ¬†He got the towels that we had reserved for birth and laid them under me. ¬†When the contractions became so intense and I had trouble relaxing through them, he asked me what I wanted to do for our anniversary, “since obviously I’ll be cooking it this year.”

That was just what I needed, because the next contraction Tristan was born! I had relaxed enough that my body knew what to do and I only pushed once or twice. ¬†He came so quickly we were both surprised. ¬†Peter jumped up and ran into the kitchen as I yelled “oh my god it’s a baby!” (not really sure what else I was expecting) and Tristan commenced his screaming. ¬†He cried for 6 minutes straight. ¬†I told Peter “it’s a boy!” and he quickly grabbed his phone and called his family (at 5:20 in the morning) and yelled “I HAVE A SON!” I did a full ICU assessment on him while I admired his little self (and his large feet).

I called our birth attendant friend (oh yeah, I finally forced myself to call her again around 4:30) and she answered with “so boy or girl?”. ¬†She arrived around 6:30 and helped get everyone cleaned up, oiled up, and settled. ¬†We anointed Tristan with Frankincense on his soft spot and Balance on his feet and along his spine. ¬†I used helichrysum and clary calm on my abdomen before doing the “uterus massage” (i.e., pushing your fist around the belly several times every hour to help the uterus go back down to size. ¬†Pleasant). ¬†Peter’s mom arrived around 7 and after she held Tristan she took Peter out to our favorite coffee spot (and they brought home a big latte for me and a new mug I had been wanting!).

The Conclusion:

It was a beautiful birth and extra special because it was just me and my husband there.  I was calm, focused, and in the moment so much that our friend was laughing at me as just two hours after birth I was taking pictures of Tristan being held by his daddy (the one below is my favorite!) and calmly rescheduling meetings with people (hey, I was expecting to go overdue!).  I believe the proverb was right, movement in labor is KEY!  Since I only attempted laying down the once, the majority of the labor I was working with gravity, not against it.  My labor and delivery with my first baby was an almost unheard of 5 1/2 hours!

Tristan was so excited to meet his daddy!
Tristan was so excited to meet his daddy!

Also, I have no idea how women go through labor, delivery, and recovery without essential oils.  They are amazing!

first family photo!
first family photo!