Archive for the ‘home birth’ Category

Two Months Old

Two Months Old

I just wandered back to ol’ Ruby Pines Adventures in Arkansas to see that my last post was three days before the birth of my son (over two months ago). You know all that stuff people say about babies taking up all your time and energy? Well, it’s true! It seems ridiculous that I haven’t been able to sit at a computer and type up Henry’s birth story in two months, but life has definitely taken a different twist…for the better, of course.

Henry was born at 9:30 a.m. on September 5, 2009. He was born at home as planned, although everything didn’t go exactly as planned. Here’s the overall adventure. My water broke and I immediately went into intense labor around 9:30 p.m. on Friday night. I dilated fairly quickly for a first baby, with intense contractions close together from the moment they started until I was ready to push around 3:00 a.m.. Although the contractions were incredibly painful, I was able to handle the pain by moving from the birth pool to the yoga ball to the shower, etc. and having Leo next to me to encourage me to remember all the relaxation techniques we had been studying. Now is where things start getting crazy. The pushing stage did not go quickly for me. I basically pushed with every contraction for six hours. When I saw the sun come up, I started panicking a bit internally because I was exhausted and felt like I was not capable of pushing this baby out on my own. The midwife was trying every technique she knew. I was trying every existing position trying to get this boy out! Poor Leo was almost as sore as I was the next day from me pushing and pulling on him. The baby was slowly descending, but there was a long period of time where he seemed to be hung up on something. Finally I was trying to take a break for a bit when another contraction came on and I felt like I wasn’t able to push anymore, but something took over (endorphins or something!) and miraculously, my baby was suddenly placed on my belly. Leo was the first to see that he was a boy and Henry began nursing immediately (Well, after pooping all over me and Leo). The only reason we were able to keep at it for so long was because Henry’s heart rate never changed throughout the entire process, and he came out perfect with an Apgar score of 9 or 10. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite as perfect after his birth. I began losing too much blood. It turned out a blood clot had formed probably due to a rip in the uterus lining. Because the baby’s head was in the birth canal for so long, the blood could not drain, and a large blood clot formed. An ambulance was called when I was bleeding and I was given pitocin to stop the bleeding. Once the clot was delivered, the bleeding stopped. We aren’t sure if this is due to the pitocin or the blood clot being expelled. When the ambulance arrived I still had not delivered the placenta and I had a small tear, so we decided to go to the hospital to make sure everything was ok. We are still not sure if I didn’t deliver the placenta because of the pitocin or because my body just shut down. Henry rode with me in the ambulance and nursed the entire trip and nursed the whole time I was waiting to go into surgery. They sent me to surgery to remove the placenta and stitch my tear (second degree). Leo and I came home the next morning with Henry. It was sad spending that first night in the hospital, not sharing a bed with Leo and Henry, but we are just thankful everyone is healthy and that most of the things that were really important to us were able to happen. Henry was born naturally with no drugs and we were able to hold him in our arms immediately in the comfort of our own bed. Before we left for the hospital, the midwife weighed Henry and he was 8pounds, 10ounces.

About 15 minutes old

About 15 minutes old

Henry is now just over two months old. He is a beautiful, big boy! At his last doctor’s visit, he was seven weeks old and weighed nearly 13 pounds, which puts him in the 95th percentile for his age. He has also grown to 23 inches (he was 21 at birth). A few weeks ago, he really started to smile and laugh and he likes to be carried around in my wrap all the time. He is adjusting to life in the “outside world” and becomes more enjoyable daily. Here are some photos I took a few days ago:

Henry Grey Contemplative

Henry Grey Laughing


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Any day now…

Pregnant Rachel and Pregnant Tree

So this baby could be here ANY DAY! I feel as ready as a person could be. You always feel like there is more to read or learn, but at the same time I’m just ready to experience it for myself. I have the most supportive husband a girl could ask for. He has prepared as much as I have and will be a wonderful birth coach and an amazing father. I think I’m just as excited to see Leo as a dad as I am to meet this little person growing inside of me.

Think of us over the next few weeks as we bring the baby into this world and then adjust to the fact that it is now in the world!

I’m sure I will have gobs of stories and photos to share once the baby is here and we are settled.

Rachel and Leo kissLeo and Rachel kiss 2

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An important part of our Bradley Birthing Classes is to help us make informed decisions on the typical procedures done to babies and laboring women here in the U.S.. In our class last week, all the couples had to research a topic and present pros and cons for both sides of the argument. We learned about: circumcision, ultrasound, Electric Fetal Monitoring, IV use during labor, and newborn procedures (Vitamin K injection, Hep B Vaccine, Eye ointment, PKU test).

Some of the topics don’t necessarily apply to us since we’re having the baby at home (fetal monitoring, IV, etc), but we were very interested in learning about the newborn procedures and what we feel our baby needs to be safe and healthy. We haven’t made decisions on everything yet, but we are fairly certain that we will not circumcise our baby if it is a boy. There is simply no reason to do it. The couple who presented that research in the class was a doctor and his wife. The doctor has performed circumcisions himself and brought in all the different tools used and gave us a very informative demonstration and presentation. He basically said the medical hierarchies do not give any reason to have the procedure done. Many insurance companies won’t even cover it because it is considered “cosmetic surgery”. Unless you have a religious reason to do it, it is not necessary. From the Mayo Clinic Website:

“In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement that says the benefits aren’t strong enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns. Today, the AAP leaves the decision up to parents – and supports use of pain relief for infants who have the procedure.”  Mayo Clinic Website

 The argument for hygiene has little upholding because the findings they have are very small and also many uncircumcised babies are not properly bathed or taken care of. The main argument for circumcision is that it is necessary for “social reasons”, “so that the baby looks like the dad and everybody else”. To me, this is a weak reason. I don’t want my child to feel the need to look like everybody else. But I did leave it up to Leo since he is a man and he said he sees no reason at all to circumcise a baby boy. After researching the topic, the doctor and his wife have decided NOT to circumcise their son (they know they are having a boy and he is due the same day as our baby), which I thought was quite a testimonial.

“Worldwide, only about 10% of males are circumcised, and even in the United States, circumcision rates have declined from 80% in 1980 to 64% in 1995.” About.com: Pediatrics

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Here’s a nice article I found for someone just learning about your choices for birth.

The Homebirth Choice

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