Monday, November 11

Eliel's Birth

So Laura left on Saturday.  Colin came home from taking her to the airport and filled up the birthing pool and it stayed in our living room halfway inflated, just waiting.

Colin was convinced we shouldn't go to church on Sunday because I was beginning to have signs that the baby would come soon.  (Colin's brother's baby was born at home in Finland just a few days earlier even though they hadn't planned on a home birth because he came so quickly!)  But I wanted to get out of the house and it felt good to go to church.  (Well, it felt as good as anything feels when carrying a large baby past 40 weeks.)  We came home and had a relaxing Sunday.  I remember really enjoying being around Mavry that day and thinking maybe that's why baby was waiting - just so Mavry could enjoy another day of being the baby.

Colin went to work on Monday.  Mavry and I went to play with some friends at an indoor playground after her nap and then I went to Trader Joes to get some snacks and a treat for the midwives.  (I had already eaten cookies I had bought for the midwives when baby didn't come early like I expected, but this treat was better.)  We ate roast and carrots for dinner that I'd put in the crock pot that morning.  Right around dinner time was when I started feeling contractions again.  I told Colin "I'm feeling contractions, but I've been feeling them almost every night for two weeks!  I don't want to get my hopes up."  He wisely told me to do a hypnobabies relaxation track.  He put Mavry to bed and by the time he came out from her room, I knew it was the night.  I had started timing contractions.  They were pretty regular, but not to the 4 minutes apart, one minute long for one hour (4-1-1) yet.  I called my midwife anyway.  She asked if I could talk and walk through a contraction.  I could.  She told me to call her again when they got more intense. 

I called her again within the hour and told her I'd like for her to come.  She probably got to our house around 10:30.  I had just gotten in the birthing pool before she got there.  It felt SO GOOD.  I guess I stayed there until around 1:00 AM when my midwife suggested I change positions to make the pushing more effective.  I told her I didn't want to move but I would if she thought it was a good idea.  She suggested I stand up and walk to the bed.  I think I had to push one time in between the living room and the bedroom and then I think I pushed one time on the bed.  Then she asked me if I wanted her to break my water.  She told me it would help baby come out faster and I immediately said YES!  If I remember right, I pushed one or two more times after she broke my water and he was out.  Sometimes babies are born in their bag of water, but oh my goodness I was already pushing out almost 10 pounds of baby (I soon found out).  I couldn't imagine pushing out any more! I was so thankful that he was out.  I wish now, since this is most likely our last birth, that I had been able to see his head come out, but I was so caught up in the process that I couldn't do anything but focus on pushing him out.  I am so glad that Colin was able to watch him come out, that we were able to put him on my chest right away, wait until the cord stopped pulsing to cut it, and enjoy being with our boy in his very first moments. 

We stayed there on the bed and held him, letting him nurse (he came out pooping and was hungry from the start!).  I remember saying over and over "I'm so glad you're here! I'm so glad you're finally here!"  It felt so good to have him on the other side of my belly and so good to be finished with labor.  I had pushed for an hour, which isn't too crazy considering how big he was, but I realized after I got on to the bed that I had some doubts in me about whether I could actually push a baby out.  Since my hospital experience with Mavry had ended with the midwife giving me something to stop me from pushing until the doctor got there and then the doctor using a vacuum (ugh), I hadn't finished the birth on my own.  Once I realized that, I looked at Colin straight in the eyes and said "I can do this!" He looked right into my eyes and said "You can do this!", which was exactly what I needed him to do.  A push or two later and Eliel was in our arms!

We got time alone to spend with Eliel in our bed while the midwives cleaned up in the living room then they came back to check on us, weigh him, and clean up in the bedroom.  They guessed his weight since they knew he was a big guy by looking at him, but even they guessed low.  He surprised all of us by being 9 pounds 13 ounces!  We all had a slice of cheesecake and they started a load of laundry for us and then they left. 

Eliel after some bonding time, about to be weighed.
We went to sleep at about 4:30 and then Mavry woke up at 6:30.  We had thought about taking her to spend the night at my friend's house who was planning on watching her, but we thought she might as well sleep in her own bed.  It worked out well and she was able to meet her little brother as soon as she woke up.  We had been talking about the baby and she would kiss my belly when we talked about him.  When she got to meet him, she seemed to think it was all completely normal. 

Mavry meets Eliel.
The only bad thing for us about having a home birth instead of a hospital birth was that there wasn't anyone to bring us breakfast in the morning.  :)  We were completely worn out but completely overjoyed to have our little boy join our family.


Heather said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful and inspiring story, Lela! I was in (happy) tears while reading it. I would love to hear the story of Eliel's name! =)

Angela said...

I love birth stories! What a precious miracle. So happy for your wonderful birth process and that you are all well and healthy. That is a big boy! He beat out our 3! Way to go to all of you. ;)

Lela Thorne said...

Heather, Eliel is just a name that we both liked. It means God is my God or my God is God. We didn't settle on it until the last few days though!