Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The First Week

I can't believe our Claire Bear is already more than a week old. She has been so sweet and the kids love her so much. She is a good eater and a good sucker, already starting to enjoy a pacifier.

I am recovering well. I feel better now than I did the last couple months of pregnancy. It is so good to have my body be my own again, even if it isn't the same.

This is a picture of her hair. I know it doesn't look like much, but for us it is a lot. Nathan says, "I have blond hair and her hair is dark!" Not sure where the dark hair came from either.

We were trying to get a picture of her tongue tied mouth in this picture.
She didn't like it very much and you can't see it, but it is pretty significant and it will be cut at her first appointment to the pediatrician.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two Slide Shows for Your Enjoyment

Here are two slide shows Curtis and I made. The first is of my growing belly and the second is of Claire's Birth. Enjoy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Me Brave? Not Really.

I have received comments about how brave I am for having a baby at home, but the truth is I was more scared to have the baby at the hospital.

I was afraid I wouldn't make it to the hospital on time or arrive there too early.
I was afraid that they would strap me into the monitors so that I couldn't help the baby move down by moving myself.
I was afraid that the labor would try to be controlled rather than monitored.
I was afraid that they wouldn't let me eat and drink what I want to keep up my energy.
I was afraid that the labor wouldn't progress as they wanted and they would put me on pitocin.
I was afraid that the labor would be too painful to bare being stuck in a bed and augmented with pit that I would end up getting an epidural.
I was afraid my back would ache for 9 months again at the epidural injection site.
I was afraid of getting a spinal headache or other side effects from the epidural.
I was afraid the epidural would slow down the labor and they would have to up the pit.
I was afraid that too much pit would cause the baby to go into distress.
I was afraid that the doctor would tell me that he didn't think I could do it and that I would need help.
I was afraid that he would cut me in my most private place and that it would take years to be comfortably intimate with my husband again.
I was afraid of being the 1 in 3 that ends up being sliced open through layers of skin and muscle to have a baby pulled from me and then take weeks to recover while trying to take care of a young family.
I was afraid they would take the baby from me and poke it and prod it before I was able to admire how amazing he/she is.
I was afraid of the $10,000 medical bill, even if no interventions were needed.
I was afraid that my other two children wouldn't get to see their new sibling for hours or days after.

I was not afraid of what I knew my body could do.
I was not afraid that my doctor would ignore signs of trouble.
I was comfortable at home. It was wonderful.

Others have said, "I've tried to have a natural birth, but I just couldn't do it."
I didn't do it the first time either, but that is because I didn't have the proper support and knowledge.

If you were trying to lose weight, would you choose a place that straps you into a chair and places a delicious looking cake in front of you and the only people there to lend support are the pastry chef and his assistants who keep saying, "Just eat it, it will make you feel better!"

Or would you choose a place that has lots of workout equipment, a personal trainer and plenty of fresh veggies to eat?

Hospitals just don't know what to do with someone who wants to labor naturally and avoid all the risks that come with interventions.

I did not do this on my own. I had a doctor monitoring me from the moment I got pregnant. Everything was completely normal and healthy. He had no concerns and therefore I had no concerns. If there were complications then the hospital would have definitely been necessary.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome Claire! The Birth Story

(40 weeks pregnant)

First of all, I just want to say that when you expect a baby to come early and you pass your due date, it is very hard. I was so tired and ready to be done. Each day felt like a year and was a huge hurdle to get through knowing I would still be pregnant that night. Originally, we thought August 28th would be a great day, my brother's and my aunts' birthdays, then just August, then labor day, then my mom's b-day, Sept. 7th ... we had a great reason for almost everyday between then and the actual date.

The due date came and went and so did the weekend. I woke up Monday morning like any other day thinking, "Here comes another long day without a baby." But it didn't take long before contractions started and we began using the contraction timer app on the iphone. After about an hour of them being 3-5 minutes apart and 40 seconds long, they petered out and I sent Curtis off to work. An hour later they were back. I called my sisters and mothers to let them know things might start happening today. Zilpha didn't answer her phone, but I left a "heads up" message. I also called my doctor who said he would come by that morning to check on me. When he arrived I was still taking care of the kids, jumping on the mini tramp and talking during contractions. He checked me and said I was in early labor, 5 cm dilated, 90% effaced and at -1 station. He headed back to work and said to call him when the contractions got more intense.

(2 hours before the birth)

Alaura arrived and took Audrey to the bus stop and so did my mother-in-law Shauna, who took Nathan shopping. My mom came and took Audrey to school because she had missed the bus. I was glad to not be laboring while trying to take care of kids anymore because they were getting more intense without much break in between. I told Curtis to come home and called the doctor. He knew when he walked in the door that this would be it and he called his helpers, a midwife and a midwifery student. Alaura tried emailing and facebooking Zilpha, but it wasn't until mom called her in-laws that we got a hold of her and she started driving the hour down here.

Curtis and Dr. Wright got busy filling the tub and by 1:30 I was "relaxing" in the warm water. Curtis changed and joined me shortly after. He held me in his arms, holding me from behind as I tried to relax with each contraction getting more and more intense.

After about 1/2 hour after getting in, Dr. Wright checked me again. I was 100% efface, 5 cm dilated and at a station +2. I thought to myself, "Really? Only 5cm? How many more hours of this do I have then? 4 or 5? Can I do this for 5 more hours?" The contractions were really intense by then.

Within 15 minutes my water broke and I had the urge to push, so I went along what my body was doing. I reached down and could feel the baby's head not crowning, but there. It was exhilarating. During those crazy intense contractions I was engulfed in joy and excitement! I called out, "I am so excited to have this baby!" A couple more pushes and I was crowning! The baby just slipped out and Dr. Wright placed him/her on my chest. Amazing!

We just sat there cradling our new little one, no one prodded or bothered us, we were able to just take it all in and fall head over heels with this precious little one.

After a couple of minutes someone asked if it was a girl or a boy. I said, "I don't care." because I really didn't. I was just so excited to be hold the baby in my arms. Dr. Wright took a peek and said, "It's a girl!" and Curtis and I said together, "Claire!"

Not long after the birth, Nathan came up to meet his new sister and Zilpha arrived 5 minutes too late. We were in the process of getting cleaned up when Audrey came home from school. It was early out day, we had totally forgotten.

We couldn't be any happier with the way things turned out. Everyone is healthy and happy. What a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Which Blanket?

I made two quilts for the baby, one boy, one girl. Which do you think we'll be using? =)

And here's a pic of the valance I made to coordinate with the room.

Audrey is a Kindergartner!

Today was Audrey's first day of kindergarten. She was a little nervous last night and even ended up sleeping on the floor in our bedroom last night, but this morning she said she was excited to go to school and she happily went on her way with the teacher when it was time. She is excited that two of her friends from preschool are in her class again this year.

We are so proud of her!

Getting Ready

The baby room is all set up, all unisex clothes washed and in the drawers, bed made with cute new brown and green bumpers, valances made and hung, diapers purchased and blankets folded ready to use.

The doctor brought over the birthing tub and all the needed equipment last Tuesday and this weekend we tried it out. It comfortably fit Curtis and I. He plans on catching the baby, though he has some concerns that he won't be able to do all I need him to, I know he will be great. All I really need is him there beside me. And he will have help. The doctor plans on bringing a nurse or two and my mother, mother-in-law and two sisters will be there to help with all the little errands and watching the kids.

I am really looking forward to birthing comfortably at home, not stressing about if I will make it to the hospital on time, or worrying about the doctor doing unnecessary procedures.

I have been really uncomfortable today and really tired. I have had mild contractions the last couple of nights, but nothing that should get my hopes up too high.

Audrey kisses my belly goodnight and holds it as she bounces up and down saying, "Baby, baby, baby!" She can't wait to have a baby brother or sister.

We are ready little one!