Thursday, December 19, 2013

A "Normal" Homebirth, Liberty Kate's Birth Story

I guess since our newest little one should be arriving soon, it's way
past time to share Liberty's birth story.

After Mary Claire arriving three weeks early I was convinced that Liberty would follow in her big sister's footsteps. Let me just say now that this was the worst plan ever! The last few weeks of pregnancy are pretty miserable and being convinced that your baby is coming early makes them even worse.

 Liberty just a few seconds after birth

I had four cesarean sections before I had my first natural birth so I'm always considered a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) which makes me higher risk. People get very nervous when any pregnant momma goes past their "due date" but even more so when she's had cesareans before. Liberty did an excellent job of making sure that everyone got extremely nervous. :-)

Madisyn heard me and thought she would come see if I was noisy because the baby was here

A due date is just a guess. Anything between 38 and 42 weeks is considered normal. It's not abnormal to deliver after 42 weeks. As part of the care with a midwife, I would be required to visit an OB if I passed 42 weeks. This visit for a non-VBAC patient would be to assess the baby and mother and make sure that neither is experiencing distress. At this time, induction could be discussed and a plan of action implemented. As a VBAC patient, chemical/medical induction is not an option for me as pitocin can increase the chance of uterine rupture. In our area most hospitals do not allow a trial of labor for a patient with a previous cesarean. If I visit an OB, I would be heavily pressured and possibly threatened into a cesarean section.

In this case, the early bird cuts the cord. Daddy let Madisyn have the honors.

After each cesarean section my recovery time was longer than the previous section. With 7 children, I really wanted to avoid a recovery that was any longer than necessary. I also had an allergic reaction to several medications during Ben's cesarean and we're concerned that another exposure to those meds would result in an even stronger reaction. When I visited my midwife at 41 + weeks she gave me a herbal tincture to help encourage labor. I had been having contractions that were regular but they would last a few hours (almost always in the middle of the night) and then taper off. The hope was that the tincture would help the contractions to continue.

My little chunky baby. Liberty is our largest (and I hope she keeps that record) baby. She weighed 9 lbs. 8 oz.

I now had a deadline. If I did not had Liberty by Friday, I would need to visit the OB. Tressia suggested I plan to use the tincture one day and if it didn't assist with labor to take a day off and try again. I wanted to avoid any interventions but felt the tincture would help me to avoid a section. I used the tincture all day with no results. I have to say - it tastes terrible!

 While I changed into dry clothes, Tressia started on Liberty's assessment.

I took the next day off.  On Tuesday, I awoke with contractions. I took the tincture every thirty minutes as suggested. Imagine my disappointment when the contractions stopped! That afternoon I laid down for a nap. I was quite excited when I awoke from nap with more consistent contractions. I started taking the tincture again and a couple of hours later the contractions stopped. I'm fairly certain that tears were shed at this point!

Big sister also go to assist with dressing Liberty for the first time.

Around 11 pm, I went to bed. At 2 am I woke up with more contractions. They were getting pretty intense so I took a hot shower. Around 3 am I was making so much noise that Kent couldn't even try to sleep. He wanted to call Tressia and I told him that the contractions would stop in a few hours and I really didn't want to wake her up. He let me continue to labor for another 30 or so minutes. The contractions were only about 3 minutes apart so he made the call.

Proud Papa

During this time, he filled the birth pool and set out supplies. I climbed in the pool. I can't express how much water assists with labor pain. Our birth pool is the best "baby" investment we ever made! Tressia arrived around 4:30. She prepared her supplies and timed a few contractions. She also checked the baby's heartbeat. At this time, my water had not broken (which was part of the reason I was convinced the contractions would stop). She asked if she could check dilation and Liberty's position. I said that would be fine after the next contraction. Seconds later my water broke and I had a urge to push.

 Griffin was the first boy to hold Liberty. He loves babies almost as much as Madisyn.

After a couple of more contractions and just as many pushes, Liberty Kate was born at 5:14 am. I got a little loud on the last few contractions and Madisyn woke up. She came in when Liberty was less than 2 minutes old. She even got to cut the cord!

 Of course, everyone had a turn checking out their newest sister.

It took three tries but I finally got the home water birth I had planned with Henry. Isn't the saying "We make plans and God laughs"? God definitely had other plans for my two previous homebirths but he gave me  the desires of my heart on my third. We didn't have to call anyone to come get or watch the kids. Everyone was asleep so it was quiet. She was born in the wee hours of the morning so it was nice and dark. All the things that I learned during my last births that make labor a little more enjoyable for me (if there is such a thing!).

My sweet little Libby Kate. She is still one of our most laid back kiddos.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for our next little one's birth. When I look back at all of my births I can see how he orchestrated so many details and the things that I was worried about never came to pass. I do have to admit that I sure pray I learned enough patience waiting for Liberty and I won't have to experience that part again! :-)

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