Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Elsa Rose,...and a birth story.

The cutest baby in the world turns ONE YEAR old today!

Always with her hairbrush in hand. maybe I'm just a bit biased here...but we think she's pretty cute...and it's a mother's job to think her baby is the cutest...right, right?  

Elsa is such a joy and blessing to our family.  Everyone just dotes on her and showers her with attention.  This last year has been wrought with change and transition and uncertainty and anxiety....but Elsa has brought a lot of blessing and joy to our family.  Well..except for when she's destroying things (like Daddy's laptop) or eating cat food..but we won't talk about that.  

Even at the tender age of only 12-months we can already tell she's a genius <wink, wink> and has a firecracker of a personality with a screech that can be heard across the miles if someone so much dares as to stop her from doing something fun (like playing in cat litter, playing with stuff like that).  She's just as sweet as pie though (now that we're living south of the Mason-Dixon line I feel like I can use all these quaint Southern expressions) and we all just love her to pieces and feel very blessed to have her.  

1 day old

1 month old

2 months old

3 months old

4 months old 

5 months old

6 months old

7 months old

 8 months old

9 months old

10 months old

11 months old and starting to walk

12 months old

Elsa was born at home. My first homebirth (and probably my last) even though it was an almost perfect birth...practically painless and super fast.  Someday, I will write a post on my changing views on homebirth and why I did it once, but probably will have the next one in a hospital.

Elsa was born on September 11th, 2012 at 8:58 PM..weighing 6 lb 15 oz.  She was born 13 days before her due date (which was another surprise...the other three kids were born exactly 10 days before their due date, so we were kinda expecting her to be 10 days early as well).

All my other labors were long, so we were expecting this one to be long as well. Which I was somewhat happy about, because I really didn't want her to be born on Sept 11th...because you's September we weren't really expecting her to born until the early hours of the 12th.

Here is her birth story (feel free to skip if you hate birth stories).  I wrote this when she was just a few days old....I'm sure it would read a bit differently if I wrote it now. 

The homebirth of Elsa Rose

On the evening of Monday Sept. 10th, I started to feel some cramping and noticed light pink spotting. I had never really had any spotting in pregnancy before, and I had a fear of placental abruption so I called the midwife that night and asked her about it. She reassured me that a small amount was normal before labor started and to only worry if it gets to be actual bleeding instead of just spotting. The next day I had bloody show throughout the day and contractions/cramping periodically throughout the day, but I didn't really think anything of it. Around 4 PM the contractions got a bit stronger and at 5 PM I decided to start dinner, even though I had no appetite (which is a sure sign of labor for me, I hate eating while I am in labor and can barely stomach anything). Anyway, I made chicken alfredo and swiss chard for everyone and managed to eat a little myself, even though I didn't really want to, all the time having contractions that were about 6 or 7 minutes apart and strong enough that I needed to walk through them. Around 6 PM I told Ben that I was pretty sure this was it, and I called Dawn (midwife) to give her a head's up, but said that I didn't really think I needed her. For the next 1 1/2 hours, contractions continued to be between 5-10 minutes apart, but they kept getting stronger and more painful. I felt them mostly in my back as well, I was worried about back labor. At 7:00 I decided to get into the shower and the warm water helped, although contractions started to slow down. They picked up again when I got out, and I told Ben to call the midwife and have her come over. She got here around 8:00 and by this time, contractions were still about 8-10 minutes apart, but when they came, they were VERY painful and hard to manage.   Around 8:40 or so, I had to go the bathroom during a contractions so ran in there and went. Afterwards, I started having really strong contractions right on top of each that I just had to walk through. I had maybe 5 or 6 of those when I started feeling lots of pressure and like I was ready to push. Meanwhile, no one (not Ben nor the midwife) knew that I was suddenly having strong contractions super close together and Dawn had just texted her assistant (Rebecca) and said that things were slow and she could take her time. It took a lot for me to walk out of the bathroom and call to the midwife for help (she was waiting in the living room), but I did NOT want to give birth in the bathroom by myself. So I walked out into the office, and called out for her. She comes in and right at that moment my water broke all over the carpet, so she starts throwing towels down. Ben brings me a chair to lean on as I was standing up. At that point, I could feel the head right there, and start grunting and Dawn asks if I am pushing and starts throwing chux pads down. I say yes, ask if the head is there. She said yes, and I push 2 or 3 times and she was out...born a little before 9:00 PM. Rebecca never even made it over.
Elsa had a short cord (same as John did) so Dawn cuts it right away as there was no way she could hand me the baby or anything. She was born very red/pink and crying...good apgars! I sit down on the couch under all these chux pads and she latches on right away. After a few minutes, I start feeling more contractions, hand her off to Ben and deliver the placenta (with some help from Dawn). It was such a relief to get that out! She spends the next hour or so nursing, before being weighed/measured/examined.
Giving birth at home was such a different experience than being in the hospital. I loved being mostly left to blood draws, no vaginal checks, no constant monitoring being strapped down, and no one taking the baby away after birth. Mostly I loved being free to move around and have privacy if I wanted it and give birth in whatever position I wanted to. I definitely think being at home is why this birth was so much faster and quicker and shorter than my other ones. I'm still kinda shocked at how quickly things went, since I feel like I went from contractions 8 or so minutes apart to birth in less than 20 minutes. None of us were expecting birth to go that fast, but I'm so thankful it did!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!  We love you!

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  1. She shares a birthday with my sister, my step-brother and many other super smart, funky/fantastic folk.
    Happy Birthday little Elsa.

    She's adorable.

  2. She's SO cute!!! I'd love to hear your hospital birth to homebirth back to hospital rationale - I'm leaning towards homebirth for whenever we have our next baby, but there are some things I really like about the hospital!

  3. Happy birthday to the sweet one! Just got back from a birthday party for one of the dearest little girls I know. September 11 has produced some fine ones!

  4. Yay! Happy Birthday, Elsa!!! (I feel like it wasn't that long ago that I was reading the newborn posts!)


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