Blair Grace was born at home on June 8. She is named after her Papa, David Blair Sutton, who called her ‘Sweet Pea’ and loved her so much, even though he never got to meet her. I know that he is smiling down on her from Heaven. Here is her birth story:
Thursday evening, June 7th, I was having some fairly regular contractions. I’d been having them on and off since Sunday afternoon, and was feeling really ready for them to turn into the real thing. I thought that Friday would be a great day to have a baby, so I went to bed and tried to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for possible labor the next day.
I woke up around 4:30, restless. Not really sure if it was contractions that woke me up or not, but by 5:00 I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I decided to see if I could jump start some contractions. Without going into too many details, I did some nipple stimulation, but by 6:00 my contractions were still not strong or regular, so I went back to sleep and luckily was able to sleep in until about 8:30.
Once I got up and moving around, I realized that I was indeed having regular contractions, although they weren’t very strong, so I didn’t really know if this would be the day or not. Jer got up and ready and went to work, so the kids and I were just hanging out. I was puttering around, trying to get some last minute stuff done, in case this was the real thing. Around 11 I still wasn’t sure if it was serious or not, still regular contractions, but still not very strong, or getting any stronger.
My neighbor came by around 11:30 and asked if the kids wanted to come over and play, and I was happy to get a little break from them. Determined not to have another super long labor, like with Bren, I tried to help things along again. I called Jer and then called my midwife and she said to call her back in an hour and let her know how I was doing.
The kids came home around 12:30 and I was trying to feed them lunch and get them down for a nap. They were being loud and crazy and rowdy and I just couldn’t deal with them, and the contractions, I knew it was getting a little more serious. I texted Jer and asked him to come home asap. I also asked him to call his parents who were going to take the kids during the labor and birth, and his mom said she would come by to pick them up after she finished stuff up at her school – it was her last day – good timing!
Jer came home while I was putting the kids down, and took over reading to them. I called my midwife back, and since I was GBS positive and needed to have antibiotics during labor, she said she would come over in a little bit. I took a long hot shower, and then just tried to relax, rest and hang out, because I was becoming more convinced that the baby was really on her way, but I was still feeling really restless.
The kids took super short naps, and were up after only an hour. We were still waiting for the midwife to come, for my mother-in-law to pick up the kids, and for our friend to come and pick up our dog. While we were waiting the contractions started to slow down, and I started getting worried that my labor was going to stall.
Finally, the midwife arrived around 4:00, and before she gave me the antibiotics, she checked me to just make sure that we were dealing with the real thing. She found out that we were, that I had been right, I was definitely in labor at 3-4 centimeters and 100% effaced. She was hopeful that things would move more quickly after the kids left, and said that I shouldn’t expect to be up all night in labor. I was relieved about that, and also hopeful that the baby would arrive while it was still light out.
My mother-in-law picked up the kiddos, our friends took our dog, and the birth assistant arrived, and we were all set and ready to have the baby, but things were still pretty slow going. My contractions were regular, about 3-4 minutes apart, but still not really too strong – nothing I couldn’t deal with fairly easily.
After a while, I was getting tired of just sitting around. I was super restless and felt like I needed to do something. So, even though it was pretty hot out, we decided to go for a walk. It turned out to not be as hot as I expected, there was a pretty nice breeze, and Jer and I took a nice walk around our neighborhood, had a good time talking, and I had some pretty strong contractions. We got back, and I was really ready for things to move along, but things still just seemed to be taking their time. I really didn’t want this labor to last forever, the way Brenden’s had, and to have to be in labor into the middle of the night.
Finally, I asked my midwife what else I could do to speed things up, and she said I wasn’t going to like what she had to say. She told me nipple stimulation, and I said I’d already done that earlier to get labor going, so I definitely wasn’t opposed to doing it again. So, about 7:30 things started getting a little more serious, the contractions were definitely hurting more, and I was getting to the point where I felt like I just wanted to get this baby out.
I labored for about another hour, and then finally felt the urge to push. I was sitting on the birth stool in our room and having strong urges to push with every contraction, but after a couple pushes that didn’t seem to do much, my midwife checked and realized that I was still only about 6-7 centimeters and still had too much cervix in the way to actually push. She broke my water, to help move things along, and that also really relieved my urge to push, so I went back to laboring through my contractions to work on dilating the rest of the way.
Now, this is when things got really tough. The contractions were super strong, and long, and really, really painful and hard to deal with. I was definitely in transition, and in my head I knew it meant I was close to the end, but it felt like my labor was never ending. I felt like this period lasted for like 3 hours, but in reality it was only about an hour.
I was in a lot of pain and was finding it really hard to relax, even between contractions. Jer was a great help and support to me. I would hold onto his neck or arms during a contraction and he would help me through them. But, I felt like the pain was just too much to deal with, and I was starting to doubt my ability to be able to get through the labor and birth. There were lots of tears, and I just kept saying, “I can’t do this” over and over, and Jer and my midwife had to keep encouraging me that I could, and really had to, get through it in order for the baby to come.
Of course, I knew this in my head, but just could not process it through the pain. But, I never felt worried about the baby, or about being at home. My midwife and nurse kept checking the baby’s heart rate and assuring me that she was fine, and I was fine, and that she would be here soon. I had complete confidence in my midwife that everything was fine and progressing normally – it just hurt – A LOT!
Finally, I was lying on the bed in between contractions, trying to rest and relax because I just felt so overwhelmed. I decided to try to stay lying down during a contraction, instead of standing and holding onto to Jer, which is what I had been doing. As I was having my next contraction, my midwife checked me and announced that I was completely dilated, that she had been able to push the last lip of cervix out of the way, and the baby was ready to be born.
Almost immediately, I felt the pressure of the baby coming down, and I had to get up and off the bed. I got back onto the birth stool and pushed with the next contraction. The baby was all the way down and ready to crown, and my midwife handed me a mirror and asked if I could see her head, I couldn’t, but I used the mirror for the next contraction, and it made such a huge difference.
Instead of focusing on the pressure and the pain of pushing, I could see what my pushing was accomplishing, and I could see that the baby’s head was going to be born. I could concentrate on the progress I was making with my push, and make sure that I got her head all the way out in one push. Then I asked my midwife if I could go ahead and push again, and she said sure, so even though I wasn’t really having a contraction, I was able to push the baby the rest of the way out, and there she was!
Up onto my chest, and the most absolutely amazing and wonderful feeling, holding my new baby in my arms, and knowing that I had done it! She was born at 9:39, just 5 minutes after I had completely dilated! She was here, and she was beautiful and perfect. She cried, and her skin turned pink, right away, and we knew that everything with her was good.
Now, here is the best part about home birth: after delivering the placenta, and Jer cutting the cord, I climbed up into my bed, and snuggled up with my baby. It was so comforting and wonderful to just be in my own bed, at home and peaceful. So amazing.
The rest of the evening went smoothly. My mom arrived about a half hour after Blair was born, Jer sent the news to family and friends. Blair was eager to nurse, and was in her wonderful quiet/alert stage. After an hour, they weighed and measured her, and we learned we had our smallest baby yet at 7 lbs. 3 oz. After the midwife and nurse were finished with the paperwork and cleaning up, they left around 11:45 and Jer and I were able to climb into our own bed, with our new baby, and snuggle up together for the first time. It is a memory that I will always cherish.
We were so blessed to have a wonderful and amazing home birth, and we have been enjoying being at home since then. It’s so nice to be able to sleep in your own bed, eat your own food, be together with your family, and be comfortable and peaceful in your own home.
At this point we’re not planning to have any more babies, but if we did, I would definitely do a home birth again. There is something just amazingly beautiful about bringing your baby into the world in such a natural and peaceful way. Both Jer and I were amazed at how simple birth can be when you just let it be what it is – without over analyzing, over complicating, or overly intervening in the process. I can definitely say that not all of labor was fun, but it was good, so, so good. And of course, the end result of a healthy baby and mom is the very best gift of all. We are truly blessed, and enjoying our time together as a new family of five.
Thank you all so much for all of your support and prayers for our family during this time!
If you’d like to learn more about living green and living frugally I’d love to have you as a Live Renewed reader! You can subscribe, either by email or in a reader, to get the latest posts, ideas and inspiration for living frugally green. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!