Finally getting around to posting a birth story/announcement:
Turner Miles Anthony Williamson was born Friday, April 21, 2006, at 7:02 a.m. He was 21 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces. He came into the world after a short, easy, 4 ½ hour labor, in a beautiful, perfect home birth.
Since both of my first 2 babies came “early” – 35 ½ and 38 weeks – everyone, including my midwife, was expecting this one to get here well before his due date too. And since Guthrie was over 9 pounds when he arrived at 38 weeks, as that marker passed and I started getting closer to 40 weeks – April 24 -, and was still gaining weight, I was getting a little worried about how big this little guy was going to be. Every night when we went to bed, Eric and I wondered if it would be the night. I was also expecting the same pattern that had held true with my first two, and figured my water would break in my sleep, and then contractions would start a few hours later.
Thursday, April 20, we had a very busy day. Early in the day, Eric, Guthrie and I ran some errands and went to the grocery store. When we got home, we had the computer repairman come over to help me set up my new computer. I had asked my mom to come over for awhile to help me get some work done, and a little while before she arrived two of our friends came over with their baby. A potential renter stopped by to take a look at the house. Eric made dinner, and our friends stayed for dinner. We were a bit later than usual getting all settled in for the night, but I think I was still in bed by about 9:30.
I woke up about 11:30 feeling like something was going on. I was a little crampy, and had some lower back pain. Eric was still awake, working in his office, so I told him I thought it might be a good idea for him to come to bed soon and try to get some rest. Then I went back to bed, knowing I would also be needing the rest.
At 2:30 I woke up with contractions I could no longer sleep through. I lay in bed for awhile, thinking I should rest while I could. I got up about 3 a.m., went to the kitchen, and stared at the sink full of dirty dishes wondering if I should wash them. I decided against it. ;) I ate a bowl of Frosted Flakes. My contractions were getting longer, and coming closer together, so I figured it was time to wake Eric up. I went in twice, about 10 minutes apart, and calmly told him I needed him to get up, and both times he promptly fell back to sleep. When I went in the third time, at close to 3:30, I wasn’t quite so quiet and calm, and he asked me what was up, and why I needed him. I responded, “I’m going to have a baby,” which finally got him out of bed. J
We decided it was about time to call my midwives, although I was really unsure of whether or not it was too soon. Then I called my mom, who said she would be there as soon as she could. Eric decided he would go ahead and do the dishes (good man), and suggested I turn on some music. I had made a couple iPod playlists of calm, soothing music for labor, but when it came time to turn it on, that’s not what I wanted to hear. Instead, cheesy 80’s pop music sounded better, and I found myself swaying through the contractions to Prince, Billy Idol and Culture Club.
My contractions were getting stronger, and closer together, but were not at all as bad as with my first two. I handled my contractions by standing and swaying my hips back and forth, sort of belly dancing through the pain. Eric started making some cookies, which I’d been wanting for a few days, and Guthrie was still sound asleep on the futon in the living room.
At about 5:00 my mom arrived, followed shortly by Cheryl, one of the apprentice midwives. I was still doing well at that point, but my contractions were getting closer and stronger. My mom went upstairs and woke Samantha up, to ask her if she wanted to come down, but she wanted to wait awhile. About 5:30 Rachel, my midwife, and Lisa, her other apprentice, arrived, and after talking with me for a few minutes decided it was about time to set everything up. Eric tried to move Guthrie into another room without waking him, but it didn’t work, and Guthrie was sure surprised to wake up to find a houseful of people. Eric and the midwives got everything set up in the living room, on the futon bed, while I got out my birth ball and tried bouncing on it for a few minutes. It didn’t feel right, and didn’t seem to help as much as it did with Guthrie, so I ditched it pretty quickly.
By about 6:15 my contractions were coming right on top of each other, with me standing in the middle of the living room floor holding on to Eric, and making low vocalizations through them. Guthrie was in the dining room with my mom, and started to get upset by “Mommy making noisy,” so Eric suggested my mom wake Samantha up and take both kids out to the barn to play. The midwives set everything up for a birth there on the floor, if that was what was going to happen.
I was feeling some pressure, and thought I would try squatting, but that didn’t feel right, so I went to an all-fours position, bracing myself with Eric kneeling in front of me for support. After a few minutes my contractions all but stopped, and I reached that period of rest I’d heard so much about but never experienced. It was a little strange for me, but a blissful, much welcomed rest, and Rachel assured me that this was completely normal.
I was feeling a lot of pressure, and after a few minutes my water broke. I was still in basically a resting stage for a bit, but feeling more and more pressure, and my midwives told me I was ready and could push when I felt the urge. I wanted to work with my body as much as possible, and didn’t yet feel ready to push. Once I did start to feel the strong contractions again, and the urge to push, the hands-and-knees position didn’t feel comfortable anymore, so I turned over and leaned against Eric in a semi-sitting position.
I was dreading pushing, as much as I wanted it to be over and hold my new baby. At one point, I felt like I couldn’t do it, and announced, with my baby’s head starting to crown, that I couldn’t do it anymore. Eric and my midwives assured me that I could, and that my body would do it whether I wanted to or not, and with three more relatively short easy pushes, my little boy was welcomed into the world. He had his cord wrapped once around his neck, which Lisa removed quickly and without a problem, and once his body was born he was placed on my chest.
We lay there on the floor for a little while, in that state of awe at the new life I’d brought into the world. His cord was cut, placenta delivered, and we moved to the futon, where Turner latched on like a pro and started nursing away. After a few minutes Eric brought my mom and the kids inside, and Samantha and Guthrie got to meet their new little brother.
My midwives stayed for a couple hours, and we all chatted and I settled in with the new baby. Everything went absolutely perfectly, and I can’t imagine a better way to give birth. I was completely relaxed, in control, and comfortable in my own home to do what I needed to do, and just listen to what my body was telling me. There was no need to get out and leave the house at all for days, and we could all just relax and settle in with our new family member. The older kids were able to sleep through most of the process, and be comfortable and secure in their own home while they awaited their new brother’s arrival.