Thursday, December 10, 2009

Birth summary

The full birth write-up will take a little while. I'm still mentally processing parts of it.

The summary is labor did start at about 11:45 on the 2nd, her due date, and she was born about 18 hours later. The labor itself didn't really hurt much, so it surprised me when the midwife got here and I was full dilated. Birth pool ftw. Things got hard when we realized she was coming out chin-first. She was sunny-side up, chin first, and she wasn't coming out straight. As this was something I'd never heard of, I was terrified out of my mind. Breech would have been fine, but I'd never heard of a head-down baby that wasn't crown-down (whether posterior or anterior), and never even knew anything else was possible. So I was delivering without knowing what was happening. Her chin, then her nose, her eyes, eyebrows (Cody saw her face peeking out and she was sticking her tongue in and out), until the crown of her head was able to flip out and around. From there, the rest of her came right out in the same push. I lost a lot of blood but not enough to need to be transported, thankfully.

So much for the calm, serene birth I'd imagined full of happy tears and songs (yes, I'd envisioned singing since Cody plays guitar and there are some songs I really wanted played, like House at Pooh Corner, which always makes me cry). I swear I'm going to find some humor in how this birth was almost the polar opposite of what I'd hoped for. But she's a healthy baby and I'm okay (not even a slight tear, a miracle unto itself), and this is what matters.

When I finish my write-up, it's going to be pretty detailed. We're all doing well now, but it was just so hard and the scariest and yet the best thing I'd gone through in my life. Our baby was pretty banged up and swollen with her face bruised, but that started going away quickly. Now you have to look hard to tell.

We did have her at home, and I'm so very glad for that. We were assisted by midwife Karni Seymour-Brown, who I can not recommend highly enough. She's amazing. In her 30 years of midwifery, this is the third face-presenter she's had. And Cody was incredible. While many dads can't handle a birth where all goes as planned (his own dad passed out!), he was a rock and never wavered. He admitted he got into the mindset of something being wrong, a problem to be solved or fixed, rather than getting to be in the moment with his daughter being born. Regardless, his strength gave me the determination to not give up when I swear I thought I was going to die from exhaustion.

Maybe I'm nuts, but I'd actually go through it again. It was harder than anything I've ever gone through, but it all was okay in the end, and I've got a little girl sleeping beside me, and she's ours!

You can see the poor thing had quite a wild ride.

I don't even think I was comprehending anything much yet at this point. This was about three hours after birth. That's as cleaned up as I felt like getting. I wanted to get back into bed!

Daddy's first moments holding her. Her poor little eyes were so swollen!

This was on Sunday night. If you look hard, you can still see a slight mark by her nose. Lots of Neosporin has helped. Soon you won't be able to tell at all!

This was taken Monday. It was her daddy's birthday! (And mine was Monday. Talk about a busy birthday-week! And our anniversary is the 6th!)

A funny thing really quick:

After delivering, I had to have a shot of Pitocin to help with uterine contractions to help stop the bleeding I had, and when the needle was brought in, the first words out of my mouth were, "Will it hurt?" Um, I just pushed out a baby in one of the hardest positions possible to actually deliver, and I was chicken of the needle! This makes me laugh.


  1. Oh Aria, congratulations!!!! I'm so glad to see this post finally. I've been wondering how you were going. :) Welcome to Motherhood! *hugs* How is it all going? Are you coping well with feeding and waking all the time? What sort of baby is she? (apart from the cute kind). You sound like you really coped well with the birth. That photo of you and Charlotte is amazing, you look so serene and calm. Home birth for the win!!! It sounds magical, wonderful, amazing and I am so glad that you got to experience it all at home.

    I lol'ed at your last sentence! Glad you see the humour in it too.

    Funnily enough, I was born face first too, but my Mum doesn't hold a grudge against me. ^_^

  2. She's beautiful. Enjoy these first weeks they go by very fast.


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