"If I were to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, I am SURE He would ask me the same ..."

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About Us

My name is Jessica and my dear sweet hubby is Kelly. We have three beautiful girls, big sis and little sis plus our newest little baby sis :) Welcome to our site where we will blog about our journey to grow our family through adoption in Africa.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baby Sister is Here!!

So, finally the little one is here! We welcomed the youngest sister into our family in the first hours of Friday morning at 12:44am. As some may know, I decided early into this pregnancy that I wanted to have a home birth. This is the story.

I went into labor with very sporadic contractions at 5pm on Thursday and was cautiously hopeful that she was finally on her way. I put everyone on notice and got in the tub. My contractions kept coming but really didn't hurt at all by this point. When I got out of the tub awhile later, I called my midwife and let her know what was going on, she had me lay down to see if they would keep going or if they subside. Once I laid down, I felt like my contractions had doubled in intensity and could only stand it for about 3 contractions. At this point, my best friend was on her way to be part of the birth team and my other friend was on her way to pick up the girls for a sleepover.

I called my midwife, Tavish back and gave her the update and she said it sounded like she should head my way. That was fine with me, I didn't really feel like there was a big hurry. After all, Little Sis took about 13 hours of labor.

So, girls were off to sleep at my friends' house, best girlfriend was here and hubby was busy prepping all the birth stuff. He had a mental list of things that needed to be done once labor had started like getting supplies out, and moving a few things around. He was a busy bee for awhile and I left him to it while I enjoyed a popsicle and BF folded some laundry.

Midwife got here just around 10pm and got right to checking my vitals and to see if I was dilated. Blood pressure was a little high and I was 4 cm, we were on our way! So, since my blood pressure was high and my contractions had picked up I wanted to get in bath tub again to relax. I think I spent around an hour in there.  Kelly finished up his set and and was sent off to the other room to rest since he was going on 4 hours of sleep and a very long day at work, and my midwife set to work getting supplies and the room ready.

I sat on the birthing ball now having to concentrate on the contractions, and no real energy for chit chat in between.  At one point I remember asking my girlfriend what time it was and I was surprised that it was already 11:30, time was flying by for me.  At some point things changed, my friend said she visibly saw it, the only thing I can pin point is that I was going to be sick...and I was...

I have never threw up while in labor and I think this threw me for a little loop. On top of that I had a couple really bad contractions and I decided that I really wanted Kelly.  So, Tavish went to wake up Kelly and I think at this point she said that she was going to call the birth assistant.

Meanwhile, I tried to change positions from sitting to leaning on the ball.


That did not work for me and as soon as I could move back, I DID!  From this point on, I really had to breath threw the contractions and had to be reminded of my breathing by my midwife because I was losing focus.  After maybe 2 contractions where I felt like I was not going to make it, Tavish suggested that she check me and maybe break my water; so my friend went to fill up the bath tub so that I could get back in.  It was about all I could do to get on the bed and I about came out of my skin as I had a contraction right when she started checking me.

Music to my ears....."well, you are fully dilated"

But, I'm sure everyone else's blood pressure went up since no one thought we'd be here this early.  Did I mention that Tavish's assistant wasn't there yet?  Oh yes, my poor best friend got tagged to be the helper. I am laughing as I type this because she tells how she was a little unprepared to be the one handing my midwife supplies and such with medical terms she had no clue of.  But... Tavish stayed calm, and my BF rocked it as a birth assistant.

As for me, I was having terrible urges to push, and I was in the one position I didn't want to be, flat on my back and quite frankly not really sure how I could move out of that.  I remember asking if I could make it to the tub...no idea what answers I got, maybe everyone was too busy getting their game faces on :)  I finally made myself clear that I NEEDED to get off my back, Tavish grabbed a leg and I was half way there before a contraction stopped an more progress.  Kelly held up my leg thru the contraction, but it still wasn't better and I was determined at this point to get on my hands and knees.

I did make it to my knees, but not the tub....oh well, maybe a water birth next time ;)

After only about 15 minutes, Baby Sis was born at 12:44am on March 11, 2011.

She was born in the peace and quite of my bedroom, in the presence of one 3 special people (and me, but you know, I only really saw her after she was out).

She came out awake, wide eyed, and didn't make a sound.  It took about a minute for my midwife to get her to cry and even then it was one short cry.  She was content to quietly look around the room at what was going on.

(A side note, I was told afterwards that while I was pushing, my dogs that had spent the evening in the backyard, were trying desperately to break into the bedroom thru the window.  Poor doggies were worried about me!)

By the time I had laid back and baby was handed to me, the birth assistant had arrived.  I simply could not believe that I had done it, I had had a natural, drug-free, homebirth.  I simply could not believe it.  I'd had silly doubts along the way.  It's been 6 and a half years since I'd had a baby, did my body still know what to do?  Did I have it in me to do it naturally again?  Would everything REALLY be fine with no medical problems?  Would I have to be transferred to the hospital?

Everything was fine, she was finally here and perfect.  I lost very little blood and felt....honestly.....pretty darn great.

A little of my thoughts on homebirth.  Two years ago, I would have told you there was NO way that I would have a homebirth.  I was all for the natural, don't interfere with labor as I went that route with Little Sis 6 years ago.  But, I just felt it better to be close to medical attention.  I had no idea what a midwife was, or what a homebirth would even look like.

After a close friend of mine had told me some of her stories (all 5 of hers were born at home) and told me to ask questions and that it just might be different that I thought.....I started doing some research.  I started asking questions, I started wondering if this could be for me.


Once I found out I was pregnant, I met with my friends' midwife and really started leaning towards a homebirth.


Some of the reasons I choose this are:

I knew that my body could do it naturally, I had already done it once.

I wanted no drugs and no interventions without having to fight for it tooth and nail.

I wanted to have a relationship with the person delivering my baby. (I can honestly say that I love my midwife, she is awesome.  Never have I had the attention and care from an OB.)

My pregnancy, my body, and my baby were healthy throughout. (I would have never don't this with a known risk to either of us)

I believe birth is a natural occurrence, not a medical issue.  I do believe it can become a medical situation and we had an emergency plan.

My midwife has been delivering babies since about the time I was born.  She is licensed by the state and is certified to do what she does.


Some benefits that I think were gained from a homebirth: (I am NOT a medical professional, these are just my opinions)

My labor was very fast.  I know that all kind of factors can go into this, but....I feel like being at home helped.  About the time I would have been headed to the hospital, it when things really picked up.  The drive, the new (uncertain) place and people all could have easily slowed or stalled labor at that point.  Instead, my body pushed forward.

I lost very little blood.  I also know that this can happen in the hospital because I lost very little blood with Little Sis.  BUT.....I believe that this is a benefit of no interventions.

My sweet girl was as calm as could be when she was born and she has had the most peaceful first 4 days of her life than any of my girls.

(This seems a little morbid considering the topic, but it's on my heart and I want to remember it down the road as something to pray for)
On another note, we take medical assistance and even midwifery care for granted in this country.  In Ethiopia, I have heard that a woman who is pregnant is said to  have one foot in the grave.  That is because so many mothers die in childbirth due to not enough trained midwifes, poverty, poor conditions and other reasons.  While I don't know what Caleb's situation will be and that most likely, his birth mother  will have passed away....I pray that she does not die in childbirth.  I pray that she gets to snuggle Caleb and love on him, that Caleb gets to hear her heartbeat on this side of the womb and feel the softness of her skin.  


Jim and April said...

this was beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing! ;0) so happy for you!

Jenn said...

Congratulations! Loved the birth story and baby sister is absolutely precious. <3

I can really identify with your last paragraph. Every time I snuggle my little baby I think of how blessed I am when so many women or babies around the world don't have the same opportunity. :(

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