Sunday, March 21, 2010

Better Late than Never

It's been quite a while since I took the time to blog, and now I have another birth story to share.

After a month and a half of wondering when this baby was going to come (because we were unsure of his "due" date), Silas Harper Hodges was finally born on March 2nd, two weeks and a day after the date we guessed was his EDD.

I had been having "false" labor for quite some time, but finally in the evening of March 1st, I started having real contractions, though for a while they were sporadic and didn't last long. I tried to go to bed around midnight but couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned until 2:30 when I could no longer ignore the contractions. That is when I started timing. They were about 8 minutes apart and lasting around 30 seconds. So I put off calling my midwife, and just got up and breathed through them. I did this til about 4am. Then they were 5-6 minutes apart, lasting around 45 seconds. Then I woke up my mom to tell her that my midwife would be coming soon. Then I called my midwife. She lives over an hour away so I knew I had some more time on my own. I woke Phil, put in a movie, and tried to watch. The contractions started getting even stronger, so I got in the shower and stayed there til the water started getting cold. Then back to the movie... it was close to six now, and Jenny still wasn't here. I went back to my room to find a comfortable way to work through the contractions. I focused on relaxing my muscles, which would naturally tense with each contraction, and leaned on our exercise ball. Phil was so wonderful through the whole thing. He was calm, and relaxed and helped me to relax... he was awesome! Finally Jenny's assistant, Margaret arrived and got the room ready. Jenny showed up before 6:30. I was already 7-8 cm dilated and so she broke my water around 7. By then contractions were very rough and right on top of each other, but as long as I stayed focused, it was easy to breathe through them. Around 8 I knew it was time. I pushed for about 45 minutes (I think... kind of lost track of time there), changing from squatting to standing, to finally, reclining against Phil. Since Silas was so late, the bones in his skull had already started to harden, making pushing much more painful than usual. But finally, at 8:43 am, Silas Harper Hodges was born. He weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz and was 21.5 inches long. His cord was so short, I couldn't hold him right away, but they put him on my stomach and he did the "breast" crawl! So cool! The sense of smell is so strong, some newborns instinctively head for the breast immediately after birth. (google "breast crawl" if you'd like... there are some really cool videos out there... warning, though... obviously there's some female nudity involved... duh!) Anyway, it was really cool.

The whole experience was wonderful. Not being tied down to a bed, not being poked and prodded, no extra "staff" in and out of the room, able to eat and drink what I please... Wonderful. I would have had all of mine at home, if not for the cost... Midwives can't accept insurance, and it isn't cheap to hire one. Annnnnnyway. I highly recommend it.

Now, almost 3 weeks after his birth, things are going well... The kids all love their new brother, and Silas is a sweet, happy baby. Mommy is a bit exhausted, but Silas is a great breastfeeder and is already getting fatter... the lack of sleep is definitely worth it.