July 24th 2016
As most people slept soundly (including Gabriel and Noelani) our third little blessing made his quiet yet grand entrance into the world. Here is a short summery of how Zeke joined our family outside the womb (=
A lot of things about this third pregnancy and the birth of my third child, Zeke were different than the first 2 pregnancies/births. This was my third time giving birth without an epidural, but it was my first time doing it at home rather than in a hospital. So even just the option of having an epidural ("just in case") wasn't there, although I didn't even think about it during this birth, unlike my first 2. With my first 2 pregnancies, even though I wasn't high risk, the option of giving birth at home/birth center wasn't available for us. This time it was and I settled on welcoming our sweetie in the comfort of our own house and in a birthing pool (some women have said that water is nature's epidural, and I wanted to know for myself). Good thing we planned a home birth, because I probably wouldn't have made it to the hospital or even the birth center with how fast the labor progressed.
I thought I would give birth before my 40 week mark. I have 2 little kids under the age of 3 who constantly need me and physically drained me, especially in the last weeks of pregnancy. We bought a multilevel house so I was walking up and down the stairs daily. As week 40 came up I was calm and excited, expecting labor to start any day. Then my 40 week mark came and went. No signs of baby. Then my 41 week mark approached. That's when I starting to get a little anxious. I was fine with going past 40 weeks but wasn't mentally prepared to go over 41 weeks because I didn't think I would. I wanted to trust my body and let the baby come when it was ready, but I was also nervous about getting closer to 42 weeks. As I was getting more and more anxious, I kept getting a thought to trust God's timing. After some prayer I decided I wasn't going to try any natural induction methods to start my labor and would wait on God's timing.
The morning my water broke. I wanted to take a last "belly" shot
Then on Sunday morning (July 24th) my water broke and started leaking. This was so exciting for my husband and I. Finally the baby would be here. But even after that nothing really happened as the day progressed. I got a few contractions here and there, but nothing serious, or even different than what I had experienced in these last few weeks of pregnancy. My midwife told me that since my water was leaking my body and baby were ready to come, but they might need a little help getting things going. She told me that I could use a breast pump and see if anything will speed up. Since my husband was running a fireworks stand that whole day I decided to wait until evening and for my other two kids to be in bed, sleeping before I tried anything to speed up labor. Thankfully my sister in law was over and I got a good nap earlier the day while she entertained Gabe and Noelani.
My previous 2 labors were around 8 hours, so I figured this one will be the same. After I put the kids down to sleep for the night I started using the breast pump to stimulate labor. Around 9:45/10pm my contractions started getting pretty steady and every 2-3 minutes apart. Soon my contractions started getting more intense. Although I thought David would have enough time to close up the stand before needing to get home in time for active labor to start, I soon realized I was wrong. I texted him and told him he needed to get home ASAP. Around 11 pm he arrived and my midwives came shortly after that. At this time my contractions were pretty intense. I'm so glad that I was able to walk around and move freely through the contractions. Between helping me through tough contractions, David started setting up the pool. We were in such a hurry to get it up that we even forgot to put the pool liner in before filling it up with water. That's how fast things were moving along. Somewhere between 11:15 and 11:20pm I felt a strong urge to push. There are women who can stop their bodies from pushing during this stage. I'm not one of those women. With all 3 births, when I felt the urge to push, my body pushed, even though the doctors told me to wait. When I felt the need to push I panicked a little. It was so soon and I wasn't sure if I was dilated enough, the pool wasn't even filled up all the way. My midwife told me to listen to my body and follow its cues. If I wasn't dilated enough nothing would happen even if I did push. By this time I was in non-stop pain. It honestly felt like a non stop super strong contraction, with peaks of pain where I had the urge to push. It was pretty hard going through that because I had no breaks in the pain where I could take a breather. We didn't even have time to fill the pool up all the way before I got in to start pushing. After getting in the pool and a couple pushes later my midwife told me I could feel the baby crowning if I wanted to, but in that moment I was in so much pain that I thought I would just add to the pain if I tried to feel the baby's head. On the other hand my husband did get to feel him crowning. Finally the head was born. Huge relief! It was so amazing to actually pay attention to how the baby felt while He was being born. I didn't feel it with my first 2 and it could have been because I was pushing in a different position this time around. Due to his cord being pretty tight around his neck I was urged to keep pushing for the body to come out instead of wait for another contraction. Once he was fully born the midwife handed him straight in my arms. David was the one to find out the gender first and told me excitedly that we have another little boy! It took about 2-3 minutes for him to get a good cry out. In those first few minutes as the midwife was getting him to get a good cry out, I was a VERY emotional momma. I remember repeating "God don't take my baby, don't take my baby" After a good 5 minutes of crying he had a good color to him and we were all a lot calmer. Later that night after the midwife did an assessment on him, she reassured me that everything was good and he was healthy as can be, despite the fact that it took him a few minutes to really cry at birth.
Shortly after Zeke came my placenta was born. It was SO cool to get to look at it. After that I was basically left alone to relax a little and look at my baby's sweet sweet face. It was so nice not to be rushed to get cleaned up but just to sit and enjoy my little boy those first few moments after his birth.
enjoying my sweet baby boy, while the midwife is making sure his lungs are working properly
Once I was somewhat rested we moved to my bed where I got about an hour of uninterrupted bonding time with Ezekiel. Midwives cleaned everything up back downstairs, I just got to sit and snuggle my baby boy. About 40 minutes after Zeke was born Gabriel woke up. He had the sweetest reaction to the baby finally being here! Since Gabe was awake David and him cut the umbilical cord together. By this time it had completely stopped pulsing and all the baby's blood made its way from the placenta back to Zeke's body. Zeke didn't nurse right away, and I didn't push it because he didn't seem to want to.
8lbs. my biggest baby yet
Once the midwife did an assessment on him she said he did have a tongue tie. We had his tongue tie snipped at the end of the exam and after that he nursed. while I was still pregnant my midwives gave me a few videos to watch on breastfeeding. In one of them the women said that if a newborn baby isn't "helped" to nurse they are more likely to start off breastfeeding great. That made sense to me. When a baby is first born, although they are very fragile and need help with a lot, one thing they don't need help with is finding the breast. God makes us humans so amazing! When a newborn baby is out on the mother's belly, the baby can actually crawl up and latch on to the breast all by itself or with very little help during the crawling process.
And that's our little story (=
Nothing can really prepare you for giving birth, but having the right help and support team along with being in the right setting does give you a better chance at a more peaceful and calm birth. I'm SO thankful God crossed my paths with BirthWise Maternity. And I will never regret my decision to have a home birth. It didn't go exactly how I had pictured it would, but it was so much better than my 2 previous hospital births (=