Juniper's Homebirth (the short version)

Monday, December 17, 2007

One week ago today, I called my midwife, Susan, at 11AM to tell her that I'd been having contractions since the night before every 8 to 10 minutes that were lasting 30 seconds to a minute, and that it was possible that at some point later that day if things intensified, I would need them to come over. After I hung up the phone, Landon started timing them, and they were lasting a minute to a minute and a half and were every three minutes. I had only estimated them at 30 seconds, but in actuality, they were lasting much longer. They were painful enough that time slipped away during the height of them. By 11:20AM, Landon was on the phone with Susan and I heard him say that someone needed to come over soon. By 12PM, my midwives were at the house, and Samuel was off to our neighbor's. They checked me right away, and I was 6cm. dilated. I said, "So, would you say this is true labor?" They said of course it was. I'd had so many false labor experiences that I had been in a state of denial since the day before when the pains started, but honestly, these pains were nothing like all the false contractions. During labor, I remember feeling peaceful & relaxed in between my contractions. I could be found in various rooms in the house. Sometimes I'd lean on different pieces of furniture. Other times, I'd be on my knees hugging our rocking ottoman in my office. One of my midwives or Landon was always nearby to support me through them. My music was playing softly, and candles were burning all around. There was the smell of grapefruit oil in the air. I had started to feel nauseated, but I only got sick once shortly after my midwives arrived. After that, the nausea disappeared. Close to transition, I felt painful enough that I laid down on my bed. I remember shaking gently, and knew that I was getting close. Shortly after that, Susan came into my room and asked if I'd like to try out the birthing tub. They had been boiling water to get it full in time, as I was progressing so quickly. I agreed, and walked downstairs in between a contraction and got into the tub. The contractions were stronger than ever now, but I still had 30 seconds to one minute breaks in between. During those breaks, I would zone out and rest before the next contraction. When I got into the birthing tub, Susan checked me, and I was 8 cm. They only checked me those two times--at 6cm. and 8cm. Landon was in the birthing tub with me, supporting me from behind. It felt great to have him there, and what a huge support he was during that time. After about thirty minutes, I started pushing on my own. Active labor had lasted just over 3 hours. My midwives never told me how to push or when to. I did it all on my own in my own way. After 27 minutes of pushing, Juniper Octavia was born at 3:21PM, only a few hours after my midwives arrived. It was a joyous moment, and one I will never forget. She had a full head of dark, curly hair, and cried as soon as she came up out of the water. There were no complications. After about 10 minutes, Landon cut the cord, and the placenta came out fully intact. Shortly after, we got out of the tub & went upstairs. Juniper weighed in at 9lbs. 7oz. and was 21.5 inches long. I'm so glad I pursued a homebirth for Juniper; it was an experience I can't really put into words. Every mother births her baby in the way she feels most comfortable. For me, it was giving birth at home in my own way in an environment of love and peace.
Landon supports me through a contraction.

Landon changes Juniper's first diaper, shortly after her birth.

Midwives Susan & Brandee do a newborn exam on Juniper.

Midwife Brandee at our one week post-partum visit.

Brandee listens to Juniper's heart tones, one week post-partum visit.

Juniper, One Week Old


Jeremy said...

What a beautiful birth story Karli. It sounds like it went exactly like you had hoped it would. I'm so happy for you!

She is really beautiful. I can't wait to meet her! I hope you start feeling better took me quite awhile after Sawyer as well. Get lots and lots of rest and take advantage of Landon being home. You need it!

Sarah@mommyinjapan said...

Congratulations on the birth of Juniper!

I hope you're feeling better soon and are able to get up and around. She's a cutie-pie!

A just-for-fun FYI. In Japan, they believe that if your baby has the days and nights backwards that if you put up a picture of a chicken on the wall, the baby will switch on their own! Talk about an old wives' tale!

Anonymous said...

So great and meaniful to be able to remember, express, and ezperience a birth that was a momentious time in your life!
You were very expressive in telling it also Karli!! I'm so happy for you! I LOVE all of the pictures also!!!! The last one of Juniper is so very precious!!!!
SO WELL WORTH EVERYTHING YOU WENT THROUGH!!! Love her ~~~~and you sweetheart!!

Katie Jervis Photography said...

Amazingly beautiful story, karli... thanks for sharing.


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