So, I was reading through some old, old, old posts of my mine on this blog, and came across one entitled Birth, which surprisingly enough is all about birth. This post was written about 6 weeks or so after John's birth...but back then I was all paranoid about the internet and didn't use my kid's real names and tried to be all secretive and anonymous and stuff, so I called him "Baby Son." Now..I'm just all "eh..whatever" and figure that as long as I'm not posting anything I wouldn't want my mother or my neighbor to read then it's all good.
Anyway...back to the topic at hand. So, I was reading that old post, and it made John's birth seem so dramatic and scary. And, I suppose it was. John was born at a hospital, under the care of a CNM (that's certified nurse midwife for those of you not familiar with that particular bit of nomenclature). My labor with him was pretty stop and go and *I* ended up asking for my water to be artificially broken to speed things up...and speed things up it did. But, after that, fetal-John started to go into "distress" and there was some heart decelerations and I had to get him out NOW and it was a lot of hard pushing and stress and pain. It was not an experience I wish to repeat again..although he was (and still is) pretty darn cute, so it was all worth it in the end.
Heidi and Greta had pretty typical hospital births with almost textbook labors..both using regular OBs and nothing scary or exciting happened. And, while labor certainly wasn't fun and there was a good bit of pain involved (especially towards the end), overall they were pretty ho-hum...just your typical, textbook, hospital, labor and birth (except without the epidural..which I guess most people typically do get).
Elsa's birth on the other hand was totally and completely different from all my other births. The other ones, generally all followed the typical pattern of easy contractions, go to hospital, labor stops, walk around to get labor started again, labor starts again, progressively more painful and closer contractions, exceedingly painful-cut-me-open-NOW transition contractions, to pushing, to baby's born..hooray!
Elsa's labor and birth was almost like a non-event. In some ways it feels like I didn't even go through labor and birth at all, she just sorta fell out of me and..oh look..here she is. With Elsa, for a variety of reasons, we decided to go with a homebirth. It was something I had put a lot of thought and prayer into..even reading a lot from anti-homebirth blogs and sites. There were several reasons we chose homebirth, but the main one being that in the past, as soon as I get to the hospital, my labor always stops. This is super, super, super annoying because we had gone to the hospital to have a baby and just wanted to get on with the business of having the baby.
Anyway, because I was planning a homebirth with Elsa, I wasn't paying too much attention to contractions and basically just went about my regular, ordinary day doing all the regular, ordinary things I would be doing on that day. As typical of any homeschooling mom, this involved lots of walking around and being on my feet..which I think definitely helped labor along. Anyway, along towards evening, after cooking dinner and washing the dishes, the contractions started to get un-ignorable, but still pretty far apart and we decided to call the midwife. She arrived and contractions were pretty intense, but still like 10-15 minutes apart and very manageable as long as I was walking around. We thought we had HOURS and HOURS left. Then boom, while in the bathroom...all of a sudden I had like 8 strong contractions which were about 30 seconds apart. I started to feel nauseous (as I always do during transition), I started to feel pushy and somehow managed to walk out of the bathroom and call to the midwife and Ben to get there. I was going to ask the midwife to check me, since I thought I was pretty far along, but didn't think I was fully dilated. However, just as they walked into the room, my water broke..I started pushing and baby was born like 2 pushes later. The whole "intense" part of labor and birth probably lasted no more than 20 minutes (while with my other labors it was 2-3 hours). I'm not kidding when I say that it totally felt like a non-event and it was EASY. Almost, like one minute things were just pretty ordinary and the next minute, I had a baby. After she was born, all I could say over and over again was that I couldn't believe how fast that was and that it was already over.
Now, don't get me wrong...I'm SUPER thankful that I was BLESSED with such and easy and quick birth..but in some ways it feels weird. Like, I didn't work hard enough or get exhausted enough. Labor and birth is supposed to be this great, big EVENT, but between NOT going to the hospital and having such a quick birth..it almost felt like a non-event. It's wasn't this super challenging mountain to climb and conquer, it was more like this little walk in the park with this tiny little hill at the end.
But, as with all my births, no matter where or how they were born, we ended up with a beautiful, healthy babe...and that is after all the most important thing.
And now, I have nothing more to say, so I'll just leave you with this cute little picture of Elsa when she is just a few hours old! Notice her ear. When I first saw her, all I could think was "OMG, she has pointy, elfin ears. Everyone's going to think she's a freak. Aaaaaaaah" Then I calmed down and was all "Oh, she's so cute...look at those little pixie ears, she'll have a fun, distinguishing characteristic.". But, alas..her ears have since rounded out to just regular, old, ordinary looking ears...so I guess she's not really a pixie after all.