My chubby baby Marilyn turns 5 MONTHS tomorrow and in order to keep myself from totally melting down into a puddle of hormonal-overweight-newish-mom-tears, I figure it’s time to post about her birth story.
You’d think after birthing 6 babies that nothing could surprise me but DANG. This baby’s birth was intense. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that’s because I wasn’t really prepared for her birth. The more babies I have, the more I’m convinced of a strong mind-body connection during birth and part of me was not ready for a new baby and everything that brings!
Hence, these birth photos are gritty, painful and REAL. But I think that’s a big part of birth and there just ain’t no sugar coating it. I was also much busier as a mom during my pregnancy with Mimi (Finn’s nickname for Marilyn 🙂 and I didn’t make time for practicing breathing, relaxing and meditation…a big part of being prepared for a natural birth.
That being said, I still wouldn’t have done it any other way. I went only four days over my due date with Marilyn, (as opposed to the TWELVE days over I went with Finn! That kid was trying to kill me) so that was a big plus. Also, labor was only a few hours long which has kind of become the norm for the past few kids. I started having contractions when I was about ready to go to bed at like 9:30 or 10. By 11 my midwife and mom had showed up and things were getting more intense.
The only bad thing about a quick labor is not having enough time to fill up the whole birthing tub. I also ended up with back labor again with this baby (intense pain in the lower back) which probably meant she was in the wrong position. Water definitely helps THAT!
The only other memorable part of this birth was the pushing…it was totally different than my other natural births! I felt hardly any urge to push but I was DONE with contractions and knew I was ready to get her out. I think she hadn’t descended properly and so I was trying to push her waaay down and it was HARD!
I usually reach down to catch my babies and love the experience of feeling baby’s head emerge. Welllll…not this time. When her head came out, the midwife asked if I wanted to feel her and I said that I just wanted to keep pushing and be done! Thankfully, after a couple more pushes, she was out. Someone said, “Your baby is here!” and all I could think to respond was “Hallelujah!!” That got a good laugh. You know me, just yukking it up while popping out babies. 😉
This was one of my favorite pictures because of my mom’s face. Can you imagine what it’s like to watch your daughter birth her own baby? It’s gotta be such an amazing, painful and emotional thing as you remember her own birth, decades ago. Isn’t life crazy and cool like that??
Once I started pushing, the midwives had a flashlight underwater so we got lots of fun light playing around while I was pulling her out of the water.
Another fun turn of events during this birth happened while we were waiting for me to birth the placenta. That normally happens within minutes of giving birth but this time my body didn’t want to let go. (The picture above is before we cut the umbilical cord and it was kinda short, so she was just hanging out on my stomach).
It turns out that in the homebirth world, if you don’t deliver the placenta within an hour of the birth, then you’re legally required to go to the hospital to get checked out. That means I would’ve had to get ready, get in the car, drive to the hospital and either leave my baby or buckle a 1 hour old newborn into the car, all while an umbilical cord is still hanging out of me. Yeeeahhh, no thanks. We also could’ve called an ambulance but that’s ‘spensive and it wasn’t an emergency.
She was born at 12:15am and at about 1:05, we decided to say a prayer so the placenta would be delivered and we could stay home. Wouldn’t you know it, contractions started back up and I delivered it at 1:15…right on the deadline!
The recovery went swimmingly and I was up and feeling awesome less than 12 hours later. I love home births! Her official stats were:
Marilyn June Wiscombe – 7 lbs – 19 in – 12:15 am
Since her birth, she has turned into the chubbiest, happiest and smiliest baby EVER! We love her more than we could imagine.
Some people might think me certifiably insane for saying so, but I consider myself really lucky to be able to give birth so many times. It is absolutely my favorite part of pregnancy because (obviously) I get to meet my baby and not be pregnant anymore but also because it’s such a clarifying, spiritual experience. There’s nothing quite like labor to push the mundane details of life out of your mind and remind you what’s important. It’s also a bit of a snapshot of life in general: there’s blood and sweat and tears, joy and pain, rejoicing and suffering. There’s the chance to remember that no matter what else fills our days, there are only a handful of specific moments that will carve themselves into our minds and hearts forever.
For me, birth helps me resolve to make and enjoy more of those moments with the people I love.