Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Homebirth of Karlie Joy

Karlie JoyK and W

It has been just over a week since the birth of our precious Karlie girl. I look back at her birth-day as one of the greatest "joys" I have ever known. I could never imagined that one incredibly hard day would be so worth it!! The whole day was exhilarating! I would like to take credit for how beautiful she is, but when I look at her there is no question that her Creator is our Heavenly Father. All the glory to Him! I have prayed and prayed and done everything I could to have a smooth, successful VBAC for my child, and I feel abundantly blessed!! The whole day was what I hoped for and more.

The night of Aug. 21st Thad and I were watching a movie and I was realizing that some of my contractions were not feeling so braxton hicksy anymore. I had to actually focus on them a little more. I thought that after that movie I better get to bed in case I wake up with actual labor. Well, I really only got 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Some contractions waking me up, I would time them, and they seemed about 10 minutes apart, but some of them were really not strong at all. Then about 5:30 I decided to just get up because my mind was going all night, thinking this could be the day! I went down and made some toast with peanut butter and went for a walk outside. The sun was coming up and there was a nice cool breeze. I timed my contractions on a my trusty contraction master app on my phone while listening to Hillsong. They were coming every 6 minutes! I decided that it was time to wake Thad up and start making some plans for the day. Then I don't remember much about the next two hours until my doula got there except the visual of the bathroom rug as I was on my hands and knees trying to relieve some back pain. My mother-in-law came to pick up Will, he actually slept in that morning which was really nice. Then about 8:00 my wonderful doula arrived with amazing feeling back pressure and all sorts of different positions to try to get this baby to turn from the posterior position that it so stubbornly layed in for the last couple months. She really kept me moving while Thad prepared the birthing tub. Once the tub was ready...I was in it! It felt amazing!!! While in the tub I labored leaning over the edge on my knees. Jen(my doula) or Thad would press on my back and I would squeeze their hands real tight while taking deep belly breaths. On the exhale I would concentrate on the word "open," so I would in a deep voice say "OOOOhhhh,"and try to relax every muscle in my body while visualizing my cervix actually opening up. My doula had me get out of the tub once to keep me moving with more positions. About this time I lost my mucous plug and about 15 minutes later I was ready to get back in the tub. While being in the tub my contractions went from like 5 minutes apart to 1 minute apart in less than an hour if I remember right. At this point I think I said out loud that I didn't know if I could do this anymore...although I was thinking it the whole time...also that I don't think I will ever do it again. :) Thad called my midwife and she got there about 12:15. She wanted me to get out so she could check me. I did NOT want to get out of the tub again...and the last thing I wanted to do was lay on my back and have her stick her fingers up me. "...and there is no cervix," she said..."You are at a 10, fully dilated." Wow, I remember being really surprised...then again in the last couple of contractions I remember kind of involuntarily pushing. The urge was definitely there. But compared to my first experience, I was expecting another long labor. I got back in the tub for a bit, until my midwife thought that maybe getting on the bed would be a good idea. I did not like this idea, but went with it. She had me lay back into Thad on the bed and at each contraction grab my legs and pull back as hard as I could and push. I was curled so far back on my shoulders it was like I was upside down. This really helped that baby unlodge her head and turn. Thad said he could actually see the baby turn by watching my belly. Then a couple pushes later SHE was born! At 1:59 p.m. on August 22, 2011. She was 6 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. The moment she shot out of me (literally), they placed her on my chest. She was pink and beautiful and gooey. I placed my nipple toward her mouth and she went right for it. It was the coolest thing ever. I don't think she actually latched on at this point since I was awkwardly laying down while being stitched up, but she was trying. It was like she knew exactly what to do. I think in all it was about 7 hours of labor and an hour of pushing...oh yeah and my water broke during one of those pushes too, and may have splashed a little on my midwife if I remember right. :) It really was an amazing experience. I was so much more alert. I felt nourished on watermelon and fluids and did not get sick this time. I keep thinking over and over again that I had the best birth team ever, and I believe that I would not have had this HBAC experience without each of them.(including the tub)... :)

Unfortunately the recovery has been harder than expected with a significant tear and the loss of a bit more blood than usual, but I am gradually gaining strength and healing. My biggest concern is figuring out how to deal with two children now. Especially an almost 3 year old who has been acting up with quite the attitude lately. Will loves his baby sister...almost to an overwhelming amount that he can be in her face a little too much. :) I think once I am healed and we can get back to our normal routine and get outside a little more, my hope is that he will return to his normal self. But for now we are cherishing each little squeak and facial expression from this little girl and trying to get lots of rest. Who could look into the eyes of such a miracle and doubt the reality of God? I never could.

Here are a few pictures of the big day...you can also click here for a few more.

the birthing tub all prepared

must have been between contractions

It's a girl! (sorry skipped a lot of "show-to-much" pictures)

happy ending :)

Isn't she adorable!?

meeting big brother

Will REALLY likes his new sister :)

first family pic

We love you Karlie!


Angela Thayer said...

So amazing, Stephanie! I loved reading your story...and I'm so happy everything worked out for you to have a home birth! When things slow down and we get back to normal, we will have to get our kids together! She is beautiful!

Brian said...

You go girl! Lovely story of Karlie's birth. She is just precious!

I pray that Will gets back into a routine and that he starts behaving like he did before.

You're a great mom!

Congratulations to you and Thad!

It sounds like an incredible experience and I am so happy that you were able to have it. A huge pat on the back to Thad for all his help!

Rachel Farley said...

The above comment is definitely not from Brian :)

Sometimes I comment and don't realize it's signed in as him (hence my picture next to it).


Lora said...

what gorgeous photos! you look amazing - that one of you as a family together on the bed - you can't even tell you just had a baby! you are beautiful. :) and your baby girl is so sweet! congratulations on such a wonderful, peaceful homebirth. God is good! blessings, lora

SBarnes said...

Hey Stephanie! I'm really glad to read your blog about your home birth! I think it's a really great and wonderful thing! I hope you know your post gives me a lot of confidence because I will be doing a home birth myself in January! You have such a wonderful family, you are truly blessed. Congratulations! Steph Freeman Barnes

Nicole Suzanne Farley said...

Oh Steph, she is BEAUTIFUL! Way to go you guys, I'm so impressed and happy that you guys got to do it the way you wanted...looked awesome!

Morgan said...

Holy cow! Super woman, super family, super everything!! Congrats on that beautiful girl and the strength that brought her here!

Kristin said...

oh my...I'm sobbing. and those pictures are just what I needed to see today. I'm in love with her already and can't wait to get my arms around her. I'm printing some off today and putting them up! I'm so happy to have some of both of them and all of you together! You're doing a great job sis! Love yoU!

Maria Lovin said...

AMAAAAZING STORY!!!! I'm SO proud of you and thrilled for the blessings of a safe and wonderful home birth. She's beautiful! Congrats!

Becky Bartlett said...

Such a wonderful story. Karlie is beautiful!! What a blessed family!

Scott Family said...

Steph and Thad Congrats on your new baby girl! And I cannot tell you how happy I am that your were able to have your home birth experience this time around without the complications of Will. We are right behind you, due with a baby next week. We also are trying again for our home birth so I only hope ours goes as well as yours. Congratulations and thanks for posting your story.

Love Jenn, Heath & Makenna Scott

Abby Arneson said...

This is so great. I feel like I was just reading how Will was born. My how time flies. :) She is so precious and I can't wait to meet her!!

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