I have been meaning to write about my sweet girl’s birth for some time now. I hate the thought of forgetting any of the details that I treasure so much! Speaking of details, if birth-related terminology makes you squeamish, you may want to skip this post :)
In preparing for Holland’s birth, one of my concerns was recognizing that I was in labor. That may sound crazy to some of you, but if you recall from Wade’s birth, I didn’t realize that what I was experiencing was labor until things had gotten fairly “active.” (and by active, I mean that I was pretty uncomfortable and didn’t really want to move much. Philip would tell you that this became a bit of an issue when it came time to start thinking about getting to the hospital.) Wade’s birth was very quick (about 5 hours of active labor), and so we were expecting Holland’s birth to likely follow a similar, efficient pattern. After all, it was my same body giving birth again, and subsequent labors tend to be quicker anyway.
These are just some of the reasons that Philip and I began to consider the prospect of having a homebirth. We knew that we really valued the kind of care a midwife can provide, and we also knew that Nancy, the homebirth midwife here in Richmond, had 35 years of experience delivering babies at home and came wonderfully recommended from so many people. Even the OB I saw a couple times during my pregnancy with Wade had delivered one of her own babies at home with Nancy! The idea of having our baby in our own familiar, comfortable nest with someone we could trust so completely was very attractive to us, especially when we considered how fast Wade’s birth had been. Honestly, the most stressful part of having him was getting to the hospital. Taking that part out of the equation just made sense to us. Of course homebirth isn’t the right choice for everyone, but for us, it was the perfect choice.
Fast forward to November 7, nine days before my due date. I had woken up a couple times in the night with some GI discomfort that, at least in my mind was reminiscent of the early labor I’d experienced with Wade (but had written off as a stomach ache). Not wanting to miss true labor, I called Nancy to see what she thought. She suggested I get up, take a shower and see what happened, as true labor would progress when I became more active. Well, within a short amount of time, I was feeling fine, so we all carried on with life as usual.
Fast forward to November 11. I woke up this morning with some cramping, and this time it really felt more like labor to me. (Nancy had always said she really thought I would know when it was labor!) That being said, it was definitely manageable—I would call the contractions pretty dull, and I felt like I could easily get up and do other things without a problem. At Nancy’s recommendation, Philip and I, with Wade in the stroller, went for a brisk walk to see if labor would pick up. Things were definitely happening during the walk, but once we got back home, most of what I’d felt earlier had tapered off, so I decided to go to Mother’s Together, the weekly mother’s bible study I love so much. I laughed as I arrived a little late and shared with the girls in my small group that I just *might* be in labor…They laughed nervously and jumped a little every time I got up, thinking I was making a mad dash to get home to have the baby! (I wasn't.)
Nothing happened for the rest of the day. Philip, Wade, and I went to a nearby park and played, took lots of pictures of the three of us, and just enjoyed the most perfect Fall afternoon. Really, it could not have been any better. Wade got to sit on a digger, I got to hold my little boy as my only child for just a bit longer, and we saw a New Holland tractor! Maybe it was a sign? :)
Come back for part II soon!!!