Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oliver Michael

Oliver Michael came into this world on Wednesday morning, June 18, 2014, at 7:21 AM.
7 lbs 10 oz, 19 1/2 inches
He was born exactly three weeks before his due date of July 9, which happens to be today.

After a very (very) short and intense four hour and thirty minute labor, Oliver was born in the comfort of our own home, surrounded by a wonderful team of midwives, my mom, my sister, and Eric.

I delivered in a birth pool, and eased him out of my body with my own two hands, pulling him up to my chest upon his arrival. It was nothing short of miraculous and quite possibly one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

No tubes, no IVs, no beeping machines and matter of fact nurses. Just a very skilled team of women caring for me in my own home as my body did its work naturally.

On Monday night, June 16, just shy of midnight, my waters spontaneously ruptured. I was genuinely frightened, since I was still not quite 37 weeks yet and was concerned I would be sent to the hospital due to having a premature baby. Fortunately, although my waters were leaking, I had not gone into labor yet. My midwife assured me that normally when this happens, the body will naturally go into labor within 24-48 hours, but usually within 24. And since I was at this point only one day shy of being 37 weeks, they were still comfortable delivering the baby in my home. The next morning, I was having some contractions, though not regular. Knowing the baby was coming soon, we had my dad come to pick up the girls and my mom came to stay. While I paced the house, my mom and Eric got the house and bedroom ready for the delivery. My midwife came over to check on me and drop off the birthing pool (I was supposed to pick it up the next day at my 37 week appointment), and Eric promptly filled it with air, put in the liner and got it set to go. To go along with our wonderful timing, we also discovered a major plumbing issue that morning in the kitchen and had two plumbers making a giant mess in the kitchen for several hours trying to resolve the issue. They were probably a little more than confused about the pregnant lady wandering around the house aimlessly and everyone else bustling around like crazy people.

I took a nap that afternoon and by 5 PM, all contractions had stopped. My midwife called and told me to go to bed and if labor didn't start on it's own in the night, they would try some of their fail proof natural inductions in the morning (aka Castor oil....YUCK!). I went to bed, slept well, and naturally, dreamed that I was in labor. I woke up around 2:45 AM to discover that as a matter of fact, I was. When I started timing my contractions shortly after waking up, they were already 2-4 minutes apart and increasing in intensity. I called the midwife who was on call, Tera, and she arrived shortly after with her assistant, Annie. Funny story about Annie. When my first born Lexi was born at Swedish Covenant hospital, I was in the care of the midwife practice there. During my labor, they called in a volunteer doula to assist me. Annie. Four years later, at my second prenatal appointment with Gentle Birth Care (the home birth midwife group I delivered Oliver with), Annie and I realized that we knew each other and that she had already been to one of my births! It was wonderful having her assist me again, especially now that I had a relationship with her.

A few hours later, my midwife I had most of my prenatal appointments with, Amy, came over to relieve Tera, who had to catch a flight somewhere. I was so happy it worked out for Amy to be there! At this point, I was now in the warm pool and ready to push. With the encouragement and assistance of my birthing team, Oliver was born soon after, emerging out of my body and into my hands. The most beautiful moment of my life. Laughing and crying, I gently pulled him up out of the water onto my chest and discovered that I had just given birth to a son.


While I realize that not everyone can safely have a home birth and many need much more medical assistance that can only be provided in a hospital, I personally couldn't have asked for a better labor and delivery. Eric and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. We are forever thankful that I was able to deliver in the comfort of our own home, with people that we know and trust. My midwives don't treat me like a patient. They treat me like a person. A woman who they want to get to know and respect and care for naturally to the best of their abilities. This is why I have been in the care of midwives for all three of our children. My only regret is that we didn't have home births with the other two as well!

The Lord is good. Our baby is healthy, I am healthy. Our four girls love the baby, but are adjusting to the new pace and tempo around here. Five kids under five is a lot. We even have to get a special waiver from our foster agency in order to continue caring for our foster daughters (who are in the very beginning stages of the adoption process with us)! If we can do it with four, we can do it with five. I just have to get my strength back first. In the meantime, we're welcoming any assistance we can get. :-)

Welcome to our family, baby Oliver. 
Everything from your conception to your birth 
has been a surprise and a daily practice of joy and giving thanks in all things.

We are so incredibly thankful for you.