Friday, February 04, 2005

A Home Waterbirth In Pictures

Here is a short picture summary of the birth of our new son on February 2nd, 2005. No freaking out allowed, if you do you'll be sent to the principal's office. All pictures will pop large versions in new windows. Before I go any further, I want to be sure to thank our neighbour, Sonya, who was amazing through the whole process - she took care of our daughter while her Mommy and Daddy were very busy, and it would not have been the same (if not impossible) without her. Mom went into early labour on Monday evening, dilating to 5 cm almost right away and then stayed there with baby slightly asynclitic and resting around the pubic symphysis. Active labour picked up on Wednesday afternoon. The water broke at 3:45 pm Eastern, and that's about where we begin...
Mom makes her best pushy face... baby is moving down but much slower than her first baby who was born 3 weeks sooner, so she is working hard. It is 4:26 pm.
A brief moment of rest as the last contraction ends, but more are coming - one almost on top of the other. Mom says, "I am never doing this again!" She is certain she makes sure that everyone present knows it, as well as the neighbours and anyone who may have been passing by in a vehicle on the highway 2 kilometres away. Big sister watches, wishing she could jump in the pool while the midwife twiddles her thumbs patiently.
Our daughter decides she wants to be a 4-year-old Lamaze Coach. "Its OK, Mommy, you can do it," she says as she massages her Mommy's arm since Daddy is a bit busy providing perineal support and trying to make sure baby's head is still moving down. It is 4:31 pm.
The baby is out! And IT'S A BOY! It is now 4:38 pm. Big sister takes her first look at a new baby brother while the midwife reaches in to check his APGAR score (1 minute was 8, 5 minutes was 9, for those who may have been curious).
At 4:44 pm, Mom looks down and she and Daddy officially name their son. They've had names picked out for a long, long time and waited for this moment to find out which one they would use - the boy one or the girl one. No one wants to look in the pool any more.
Big sister gets in close and observes how he has such a cute, tiny nose. Little brother is only 16 minutes old right now, but everyone is in love with him. Mom has already forgotten how much work she just did, at least for the moment.
We wait for the cord to stop pulsing, making sure baby gets everything he needs from Mom before sending him into the world to survive on his own. After 20 minutes, at around 4:59 pm, it stops pulsing, so with big sister checking his work closely, Daddy clamps it with a plastic cord clamp and a haemostat...
...then big sister has her biggest moment: she cuts the cord to separate baby from Mommy. This is no token cut like often done in hospitals, this is the real thing, the first cut, and she does a great job! She has been waiting to do this for the last 2 days. It is now 5:00 pm.
Then, she finally gets to admire her work at 5:34 pm - baby is 56 minutes old and she can finally hold him now that he is all checked over and not attached to Mom any more. Ever had a 4-year-old beg for a toy in the store? Well, imagine that only with wanting to hold a baby.
At about 1 hour 45 minutes old, baby boy rests on Mommy's chest. He was supposed to nurse to stimulate oxytocin and make the placenta come faster. He opts for a nap instead, so Mommy has to do it on her own - and she does, about 15 minutes later at 6:38pm.
So, we find out he weighs 4000 grams or 8 lbs 13 oz, and he is 51 cm or 20 inches long. Done with the day's work, everyone tries to rest a little. Mommy gets hungry at 10:45 pm, though and only 6 hours after delivering a baby, she drives off to get everyone McDonald's with the neighbour and daughter in tow. Daddy and new baby pass out on couch, because only Mommy is a real superhero.


PolarBear said...

Actually, Sonya may also be some kind of superhero - NoSleepWoman or SuperInsomniaGirl... she didn't sleep hardly at all through the whole 2.5 days.

Anonymous said...

Welcome baby boy - your birth has been long awaited.

I can hardly wait to meet you.

~*~*~* Lea *~*~*~

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! You all did an amazing job! Your baby is beautiful and I am so happy for you. Thanks for making these photos available, they are inspiring for my up and coming birth. Blessings on your family!
Wendi (from EmpoweredChildbirth)

Anonymous said...

Your baby is sooooo beautiful! I think the photos are great! Thank you for sharing them! Big congrats to the whole family!! - Erika (Empowered Childbirth list)

Anonymous said...

Your baby boy is so cute! It was nice to watch your birth story! We have a baby boy, too, named Johnathon. I cut his cord, too! Have a great day!

(Comments are from a 5-year-old daughter, and her Mommy, -Jen- from Empowered Childbirth! :)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful birth - I know you have mixed feelings about some of it, but still...the photos are gorgeous - the birthing ones and all those afterwards - what a sweet gorgeous baby. I can't believe his big sister is so big! And as for his mom - she suits her hair longer, I think :-)

Take care, and give everyone hugs from us :-)

- Deb W

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful birth and a beautiful baby boy! Congrats to your family. Thank you for sharing! Jeska [Empowered Childbirth]