11/24/09

Where To Begin...


So much to catch up on after three weeks away! I've missed you all but I really enjoyed all of my guest bloggers' posts and was really inspired by their tutorials and links. I'm so thankful for their willingness to fill in for me while I focused on our new little girl. Jen, Jenny, Ashley, Ruby, Mandi, Vivs, Candace and Dylan, thank you for the gift of time! Now it's time to share how it all went down.


Unlike my first pregnancy, warm up contractions with Ruby started around 36 weeks and grew more frequent the closer we got to the 38-39 week mark. After two or three days of thinking 'this is it' and frantically cleaning the whole house, Brett and I decided to take a step back from the edge of insanity and go on with life as normal until the contractions stopped me in my tracks with seriousness. My due date rolled around, family came in from out of town, and the contractions maintained their teasing.

I woke up in the morning on Saturday, November 7th with the Black Eyed Peas song 'I've Got A Feeling' running through my mind. I tweeted about it, ate breakfast, and then watched Sebastian play in the front yard. It was a gorgeous Fall day. Around 10:30 a.m. I felt a contraction that made me sit up straight and wince a little. Two strong contractions later and I decided it was time to record them. Sure enough, they were coming regularly about 6-8 minutes apart and lasting about 20-30 seconds. I told Brett but we decided he probably still had plenty of time to go to the YMCA with Sebastian to get in a workout. I was off to take a shower and get the house picked up. Just in case.

He hadn't even pulled into the parking lot of the YMCA before I called him to come home for moral support because my contractions were about five minutes apart and getting stronger. The next 40 minutes were nuts. I was ordering him around with jobs to do while I wiped down counter tops, cleaned the bathroom sink, picked up the studio, and put away laundry. I knew I only had about five minutes of work in between each contraction so I made sure I was always somewhere that I could squat and relax my muscles. We finally called the midwife and nurse around 12:30p.m. and then called my dad to tell him to text my mom that I was in labor. She was currently 40,000 feet in the air on her way to see us!


Our nurse, Beth, showed up at the house while Brett was getting the laboring tub filled up with water. She checked my vitals and then helped Brett with the tub. My contractions were now strong enough that I needed to lie down to manage them and asked Brett to stay close to offer counter pressure on my lower back where I felt the most pain. He was great and remembered exactly how to help me through them. I really felt like we were a team working to bring this baby out. Twenty minutes later Brett's mom and then the midwife arrived.

I got into the laboring tub soon after as my back pain was getting pretty intense and was able to relax in the warm water by hooking my arms over the side and relaxing my stomach and back muscles. Despite having learned a few pain management methods, the only things that worked for me were counter pressure on my lower back, visualizing the wave of each contraction, and low deep moans. I sound like a water buffalo when I'm having a baby. The midwives didn't need a monitor to show when they started and stopped because I was providing plenty of audio in that department.

I felt the urge to 'go to the bathroom' but didn't want to get out of the water. Lori told me it might make me more comfortable if I tried so after a contraction I was helped out of the tub and towards the bathroom (dripping wet in my skivvies and sports bra) and had another four contractions in about two minutes. Beth later reminded me that changing positions brings them on faster. Once I got back in the tub things got serious and I started feeling like I couldn't do it any longer. The pressure was getting stronger and I knew I was in transition. My water broke and relieved a little pressure but I was starting to need some direction from my midwives who had stayed pretty hands off until that point. Lori told me I needed to decide where that baby was going to be born. In the tub or in my bed.


It was a short walk from the tub to my bed but the significance of changing locations with each stage of labor wasn't lost on me. We were getting closer! Lori checked me for the first time to see how far along I was and enthusiastically told me I was at 10 cm and could push when I was ready. The problem was I wasn't ready.

I got on all fours to let gravity help me along and could feel an incredibly sharp pain in my lower back that made me want to yell, "Just pull her out!" Brett wasn't allowed to counter pressure any more since it could work against her moving down the birthing canal. I remember everyone being on the bed around me encouraging me to bear down and push through with each contraction. I was very aware of the sounds outside, the cold wash cloth being held to my forehead, my hair being a complete mess, and the bright sunshine that filled the room. It was beautiful but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to push her out. I was suddenly scared of the pain.

I finally got rolled onto my back again and in a matter of minutes I was moaning and groaning and yelling and finally able to push. Brett told me one second he couldn't see anything and the next second her head was out! Another push and at 3:46 p.m. she was mine. All 9 lbs of her! She was placed on my stomach and Brett cut the cord and other than being slightly blue when she came out, scored 9's and 10's on her Apgar. She was a loud little thing, just like her Mama. Labor lasted five hours and sixteen minutes and I know it's because those weeks of contractions had done a lot of the hard work beforehand. My mom arrived thirty minutes after she was born. We did the usual weighing, measuring, smiling like fools, and enjoying the natural high that comes with a new life in the room.


Our midwives stayed until about 9:00 p.m. that night making sure we were stable, giving us post-natal instructions, helping Ruby and I get a sitz bath, washing our sheets and towels, emptying the laboring tub, making sure we took to nursing, and sharing stories about other births. It felt so warm and comfortable and familial and Brett and I felt so thankful to have had the birthing experience we were hoping for.

Recovery has been speedy thanks to some homeopathic remedies and plenty of help from family, and despite being sleep deprived and smelling of milk and spit up most of the time, we are completely enjoying life with a newborn.

xoxo,
Rachel

80 comments:

KimberleyAnn said...

wow! what an absolutely beautiful experience to read about. giving birth is so beautiful and rewarding while at the same time being so scary and painful. well done, your little princess is just adorable!

doublegrr said...

Awesome .. awesome awesome awesome .. That's all I can say :) What a great story .. I'm so happy for your beautiful family .. The photos of her are so precious

Congratulations!
xoxo,
Pam

keely steger said...

Congratulations! I love homebirths. Praise God for a healthy delivery and a healthy baby girl (and momma). Happy Transitioning to life with a family of 4!

Mariana (: said...

wow what a beautiful baby story :') I wish mine was this pretty ha, but I hac a c-section :P. you are a great woman Rachel :)
Bless u

EliseBlaha said...

congrats Rachel. So nice to hear your story. Did you have a home birth with S too?

Kirsten W. said...

Beautiful and inspiring birth story. Thank you for sharing! Congratulations!

~Shauna~ said...

Congrats! I got a little misty reading this, lame I know! But it sounds like it went beautifully and she is adorable!

GraphXGrrl said...

Wow! That's an amazing story & I'm so glad everything was as you had wanted! :) She's beautiful.

And thank you for sharing your story. It's very interesting to hear others' experiences.

Elle said...

Congratulations!! Yay!

kristinga said...

That was a beautiful experience to read about. I'm glad she was born so safely. I was born three and a half months early and weighed one poound ten ounces, thankfully little miss Ruby is a healthy beautiful baby. :)

Violet Bella said...

thanks for posting, i couldnt wait to see pics of the little one, she is beautiful.

what an amazing way to come into the world, i dream of a birth like that. I have fears though with a first child.

ruby is a lucky little girl!

Maggie Whitley {Gussy} said...

That was a really, really neat story. You are a great story-teller. Everything made sense... and I've never had a baby! Yay... Ruby :)

Toni Brockliss said...

That was a wonderful birth story and you did everyone so proud.
Thank you for sharing your story. I could read these all day. Makes you proud to be a woman.
x
PS - Ruby is so beautiful in her vintage.

jari spry said...

you are such a strong, beautiful woman. enjoy little red... adorable.
xo.

Vivianna said...

yay! this is a beautiful story!

Hello Ruby!

Elsie Flannigan said...

that's beautiful!

Sarah said...

Amazing story - thanks so much for sharing. Ruby is beautiful :)

Casey said...

Congratulations! She is a beautiful baby :)

Lee said...

What a beautiful experience! I am wondering if you would mind sharing with us the homeopathic remedies that helped make recovery easy??

nataliexmarie said...

thank you for sharing your beautiful experience! home births are a beautiful thing. congratulations on your little bundle of joy! :)

bbyimbadnews said...

beautiful baby!!! ruby is a doll!

bbyimbadnews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacinda Davis said...

Congrats and thanks for sharing your story!

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

oh yay! So glad to hear that everything went how you wanted it! Thank you for sharing your birth story--they are all truly perfect in their own right!

I too, had a water birth after a reallllly bad first, medicated birth and I loved it, too!
Rest up!!
Sarah M

Suzanne said...

what an incredible and beautiful story! thank you for sharing :) and congratulations!

mintjewels said...

Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing this moving beautiful story. She's precious :)

Jenna said...

rachel, what a beautiful story. it almost made me want another one. *almost*. it must have been nice to be at home for the birth. so glad you've all transitioned well into a family of 4!

ails said...

Congratulations! ^_^ Your story is so interesting and it made me consider homebirth when i get pregnant too. ^_^ Thanks for sharing your wonderful life Rachel! ^_^

Bird Trouble said...

What a beautiful baby!

jenny said...

I´m sitting here in Sweden on a cold november morning reading your story and crying. So nice of you to share it with us. I have two more months before my baby arrives, and this reminded me of what is going to come. With my 4-year old viola it was a 2-hour long labor, and I´m a bit scared this one will be even faster. exiting yet terrifying.
Jenny at dosfamily

Jacque said...

That was so wonderful to read about your experience! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!! I am terrified of giving birth, so I have the utmost respect for those brave enough to bring life into the world. I think a home birth is such an awesome idea! I bet you felt a lot more comfortable in your own home. Glad that you are back to blog!!!

Eeffie said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing it! It brings back so much memories...your story really touched my heart!

Lilith said...

I am happy for you that it went perfectly well and you have a beautiful and healthy baby girl:)
enjoy:)

craftyfox said...

Such a beautiful story. When I finally have children it'll be stories like yours that help me through! xx

Kristin said...

What a lovely story! I enjoyed reading it and remembering my own labour. Congratulations to all 4 of you :)

Clare said...

What a beautiful post. I love reading your blog and I was so pleased to hear that your birth went fine! I'm not normally a baby kind of person but reading your blog made me get a bit teary eyed. It was beautiful. I hope you and your family are all well and happy x

drummbellinaxxx said...

Well done! Good labour stories always make me cry, haha :) Thanks for sharing x

elliebelle said...

Wow, amazing!!! I think women who have home births are so brave - I love the natural-ness of it. What a strong woman you are! Ruby is absolutely adorable. Congratulations!

Love or Nothing said...

thanks for sharing your story, rachel! very cool to hear about.

Laurie Anne said...

What can I say that hasn't already been said...Thank you for sharing your joy with us, your readers. I was never brave enough to have a home birth so I admire your courage, strength and faith. What a beautiful experience, what a beautiful baby girl.
Welcome to the world little Ruby! xx

sarahjane said...

What a lovely little birth story! So glad it was as good as you'd hoped. She's sweet!

Paula J said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! What a wonderful story. It's great that you were able to write it all down while still fresh in your mind.

Paula

sewshesews said...

What a beautiful story :) You are such a champ! I did natural child birth with Asher and Violet and only wish it was a lovely experience like yours! I think part of the problem is that I am a mean laborer, kinda like a mean drunk. HA!

I wrote my labor story on my personal blog, if you wanna read it, this labor was SO different for me and in good ways :) I will go and approve you.

Hope you are doing well!

margot said...

so sweet, and so beautiful!

Adrian said...

I'm not a usual commenter but I am a regular reader. I am so happy that you were able to have the home birth like you wanted. Birth is a beautiful thing. I hope to have a natural birth next time probably at a birthing center. I've toyed with the idea of a home birth but I have a while to think about that. Congratulations on your beautiful little girl!!

Sarah said...

Rachel, I'm getting teary! What a beautiful and peaceful story of bringing new life into your home...the way it was meant to be! That Ruby girl is just as sweet as she can be. :)

Rubyellen said...

despite the pain, it sounds so dreamy!!! i am not strong as you... without the meds is amazing! maybe if i stayed home to give birth, it would be easier.

congrats again and i love your beautiful story!!! and thus the happy story now continues...

mrs_muffins said...

Congratulations! My little girl was born in a hospital and at the time I didn't think it was a big deal but I've decided if I ever have another I would like to be at home, or the very least, a birthing center. You have a beautiful inspiring story and a gorgeous baby.
xx

"Divine" Hand said...

That is the most beautiful birthing story ever!!! Being in the hospital is SO VERY stressful. Congrats to you and your family and I hope to have a lovely birth story with our third on the way.

Martha said...

Rachel,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the world. There is such power in sharing our own stories with each other. I truly believe our American society desperately NEEDS to hear over and over about beautiful, healthy, (painful, yes), peaceful births like Ruby's. I am so happy for you and Brett and the beautiful family you two have made!

I wish you all much happiness and love during this sentimental season of the year!

Love to you friend,
Martha

Jessica Fulkerson O'Brien said...

So courageous of you! Congrats to your entire family. Beautiful story... xo

robin said...

I'm so glad everything went so well for you...she truly is beautiful rachel..You know how I simply adore Mr "s"..and now I getting to meet miss ruby...can't wait to watch her grow as well..thanks for sharing your life thru photos/blogging..a very special "online" friend you are

Alex Mason said...

Congratulations!! what a beautiful way to welcome Ruby into the world xx

Amber Ulmer said...

oh rachel!!! Your birth story is incredible!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! Beautiful experience and Im so glad it was amazing for you! I would LOVE a homebirth for our next one but since we had placenta complications w/Josie, I'll have to do more research since I was almost placenta previa... love ya deary!!!
xo

Tu et Moi: Amour et Tranquillite said...

What a beautiful experience to share! Thank you for sharing your story!
I'm so happy for you and your family! Ruby is beautiful!
My aunt and uncle just had their first baby boy a couple weeks ago! I haven't had the opportunity to be around many newborns, (I wish I could be!) but to see such a new life is incredible! Babies are precious little wonders!
Have an amazing Thanksgiving with the new addition to your family!
I'm not much of a blogger, but I love reading your blog and the inspiration you give!

Love&Peace,
~Lindsay

lacy said...

So wonderful, so beautiful, thank you so much for sharing it with us! You are an inspiring warrior mamma!

mama*thayer said...

What a beautiful birth story! Thank you so much for sharing! I took the step from medicated to natural pain management with my last labor, and if we decide to have a third child, I would love to experience a home birth! It sounded so magical! Congratulations again!

JenCoen said...

so lovely... thank you for sharing!!

Tiffany Harper said...

What a beautiful birth experience! I was rooting for you and I felt like I was there with you during your labor! Congrats to a healthy 9 lb girl!!! She is just beautiful!

Melissa Mann said...

beautiful story and a beautiful little girl! congrats!

Shabby Chic Crafts said...

That sounds so perfect. Minus the pain.

Congrats guys! So happy for you!!!

Dee Dee said...

Beautiful birth story and baby girl. :)

Jenny said...

Congratulations on this beautiful addition to your already fabulous family! And thank you for sharing your story! Happy Thanksgiving!

Marcia Hamelijnck said...

What a wonderful birth story! Thanks for sharing. I just found out about a week ago that I'm pregnant with my first child. Yay!
I'm feeling horrible at the moment. The nausea 24/7 is "not so cool". But I can't wait to hold my baby in July!

Congratulations!
Love,
Marcia

Michelle said...

So happy to read about your experience. Shes beautiful!

{tam*jan} said...

amazing! Congratulations on little Ruby!

Silvitanova said...

I'm so glad to read that you gave birth at home. I didn't know that that was possiblie in the US. Here in The Netherlands it's the usual way to give birth.
Congratulations!!!!! She's so beautifull!

Mandy said...

You are brave and she is perfect. Congrats!

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh, what a darling Ruby is. :) Lovely story!

The Wooden Spool said...

Congrats! I love reading your blog. You have a dear family.
I love the name Ruby! So sweet.
Thanks for sharing your story with us. My second birth was quite similar with contractions starting early, which meant for a faster delivery. Glad all is well.
Best wishes,
Laurie

katie said...

that is such an amazing birth story! i think you are so brave to do it at home. i don't think i'd be brave enough to have a child at home. i just like hospitals too much... you're truly inspiring. :) and i have sooo much respect for you and your family. i'm happy you had such an awesome birthing experience and that ruby [and you] are healthy and safe. :)

<3katie

Mim Smith Faro said...

Congratulations on a beautiful birth with a beautiful baby!

Tracy 1117 said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and I just wanted to let you know that I am so happy for you and your family. Ruby is beautiful and I always enjoy reading about Sebastian. Thanks for sharing your stories and your life with us!

Tracy

jenny said...

beautiful story... thanks for sharing! you are a beautiful momma, and she's a beautiful baby too!

followthedot said...

Oh WOW!! That was an amazing birthing story. You have a lot more strength than I had. I had to get an epidoral. I just couldn't take the pain. You're baby girl is BEAUTIFUL and she fits right in to your already beautiful family. Congrats!!

photography4me said...

What a beautiful story Rachel. You even made me tear. I've never had a baby but it was like I could invision the whole process. Not sure what a birthing tub looks like but I'm sure its not what I had invisioned (galvonized something or other...LOL! really I am laughing as I wrote that) Anyway I'm so Happy for you and Brett. Welcome little Ruby!

Leslie said...

What an incredible story, and such a sweet, adorable baby girl!

nathalie said...

such a neat story. i have been ruby blogging friend for a while and live here in springfield too. my friend will be using lori too. i'm assuming this is lori link? nice to meet ya and what a sweet baby girl you have!!!

hannah said...

what an incredible story!! aren't new babies so amazing?? i love those moments after birth, seeing all those tiny features that God made!! amazing! enjoy this time!

Joy said...

Hehe, I was definitely a waterbuffalo as well, thanks for sharing your sory, I love to ehear natural birthing stories!