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Sunday, June 1, 2014

A somewhat brief birth story

Peter Russell Homer
May 30, 2014; 6:57 pm
8 lbs. 13 oz.
21" long
14" head circumference

I will tell the story in more detail later, and include pictures from our awesome birth photographer, Cali, but for today, a brief summary and pictures from our phones will just have to do. I'm too busy cuddling a sweet newborn on my lap to spend too much time typing on a computer.  :)  (Note: just because this is brief doesn't mean I'm avoiding words like 'perineum', so consider yourself warned.)

Once again, we decided to do a natural induction. Again, to allow a family member (this time my mom) to have time to get here.  That morning I went in for a pre-natal massage that I had scheduled several days earlier. When I told them I was being induced that day, they switched gears from a comfort massage to a labor-stimulating massage. I actually liked it better than the comfort one I had a week or so before. Hah!

Kessa holding Peter. Abby was more excited about the horse on the couch.

For various reasons, the induction got pushed back from 2 pm, but it gave everyone plenty of time to get here, get everything set up, etc. Abby didn't take a nap, so when everything got started, we just got her up and took her downstairs to play with Kessa. I had bought them a bunch of new toys (bubbles, glitter sidewalk chalk, golf set, legos, play dough, etc.) so they were quite happy. Meanwhile, upstairs, they checked me (I was dilated to a 7) and broke my water. Then they set me to walking. Pretty soon everyone realized I was boring, so they went down and played with the girls. :D I still couldn't feel contractions, so I just walked up and down the halls with BJ and my doula, Carrie in tow. It got really boring really fast. I just walked, feeling like I was constantly peeing my pants. We joked about doing jumping jacks, but all agreed that didn't sound fun. So I joked about playing the Wii... maybe Hula Hoop on WiiFit? Haha. But I didn't. I should have. That would have made a great story.

After about a half an hour of walking aimlessly, I started feeling contractions. I went back upstairs and breathed through them on the birth ball, or leaning against the side of the tub. They were several minutes apart, so I would have time in between to gauge how intense they were and how to deal with the next one. We got out a contraction timer app on my phone and BJ started timing them. (This is the first birth we've ever timed contractions for, but I've always been interested in knowing what it was afterwards.) Soon I decided I really wanted the buoyancy of the water, so they filled up the tub and I got in. It was definitely easier to labor in the water.

It was less than an hour and a half, I believe, in the water before Peter was born, but I had decided to be more vocal with what I was doing, and I decided to be open to the idea to moving around. When I noticed my legs were starting to fall asleep, I'd turn over and sit instead of kneel against the side. I didn't really like sitting through contractions, though, so it wouldn't last too long. Before long I hit transition and pretty much stayed kneeling with my head on my arms on the side of the tub, though I'd rock back and forth and up and down.  Before long, he started to crown. I definitely felt the ring of fire on this one. Yipes. And since my main goal was to not tear, I had one of the student midwives right at my head, helping support my perineum and talking me through it. "I know it's hard, but you have to push slowly. Relax. Wait until the next contraction to push. Let him stretch you. Blow through your lips." That may have been one of the hardest things I have EVER done. And probably the thing I'll remember the most from this labor. I just wanted him out so much. But despite it, I listened to her. And waited it out in agony for the next contraction and pushed slowly and made horse noises (and felt silly, but didn't care At All). And then he was born.
Hello world!

As I was kneeling against the side of the tub, they were going to pass him up through my legs so I could hold him, and I had had my hand on his head the whole time, so I was right there ready to help him up, but it became very obvious very quickly that he had his cord wrapped around his neck (and maybe shoulders?) and it made it so the cord was too short to let me pull him up. I could also tell they were pretty urgent about needing to unwrap the cord, but couldn't because it was tight in that position, so I instinctively turned around to sit in the tub. They unwrapped it quickly and next thing I knew, I was holding a little boy, with lots (relative to the girls anyway) of dark hair, and a very purple face. (BJ likes to point out that he blended in with the purple towel he was being wrapped in. Don't worry; he got better quickly.) And I loved him.

Grandma Lovell sleeping with Peter

The rest is all unexciting birthing business (I tore, but only a few stitches worth) that I won't bore you with in this version. Stay tuned for the detailed version if you care. (Though I ended up throwing in far more details than I had anticipated. Lucky you!)

The important part is that both he and I are happy and healthy and content.  I am as pleased as punch with how everything went. I wouldn't do anything differently if I could.

Everyone was great and loving and supportive. I loved it.

4 generations of Homers


Gio/Dallin Stone said...

I love his name. You guys really do make the cutest kids!

zookeeper08 said...

Fabulous experience! I'm so proud of you for being such a great birther!

Alison said...

awesome! Love birth stories! The more details the better! great work!