Birth Take 2 (or is that 4?)

So, I was reading through some old, old, old posts of my mine on this blog, and came across one entitled Birth, which surprisingly enough is all about birth.   This post was written about 6 weeks or so after John’s birth…but back then I was all paranoid about the internet and didn’t use my kid’s real names and tried to be all secretive and anonymous and stuff, so I called him “Baby Son.”  Now..I’m just all “eh..whatever” and figure that as long as I’m not posting anything I wouldn’t want my mother or my neighbor to read then it’s all good.

Anyway…back to the topic at hand.  So, I was reading that old post, and it made John’s birth seem so dramatic and scary.  And, I suppose it was.    John was born at a hospital, under the care of a CNM (that’s certified nurse midwife for those of you not familiar with that particular bit of nomenclature).  My labor with him was pretty stop and go and *I* ended up asking for my water to be artificially broken to speed things up…and speed things up it did.  But, after that, fetal-John started to go into “distress” and there was some heart decelerations and I had to get him out NOW and it was a lot of hard pushing and stress and pain.  It was not an experience I wish to repeat again..although he was (and still is) pretty darn cute, so it was all worth it in the end.

Heidi and Greta had pretty typical hospital births with almost textbook labors..both using regular OBs and nothing scary or exciting happened.  And, while labor certainly wasn’t fun and there was a good bit of pain involved (especially towards the end), overall they were pretty ho-hum…just your typical, textbook, hospital, labor and birth (except without the epidural..which I guess most people typically do get).

Elsa’s birth on the other hand was totally and completely different from all my other births.  The other ones, generally all followed the typical pattern of easy contractions, go to hospital, labor stops, walk around to get labor started again, labor starts again,  progressively more painful and closer contractions,  exceedingly painful-cut-me-open-NOW transition contractions, to pushing, to baby’s born..hooray!

Elsa’s labor and birth was almost like a non-event.  In some ways it feels like I didn’t even go through labor and birth at all, she just sorta fell out of me and..oh she is.  With Elsa, for a variety of reasons, we decided to go with a homebirth.  It was something I had put a lot of thought and prayer into..even reading a lot from anti-homebirth blogs and sites.   There were several reasons we chose homebirth, but the main one being that in the past, as soon as I get to the hospital, my labor always stops.  This is super, super, super annoying because we had gone to the hospital to have a baby and just wanted to get on with the business of having the baby.

Anyway, because I was planning a homebirth with Elsa, I wasn’t paying too much attention to contractions and basically just went about my regular, ordinary day doing all the regular, ordinary things I would be doing on that day.  As typical of any homeschooling mom, this involved lots of walking around and being on my feet..which I think definitely helped labor along.  Anyway, along towards evening, after cooking dinner and washing the dishes, the contractions started to get un-ignorable, but still pretty far apart and we decided to call the midwife.  She arrived and contractions were pretty intense, but still like 10-15 minutes apart and very manageable as long as I was walking around.    We thought we had HOURS and HOURS left.  Then boom, while in the bathroom…all of a sudden I had like 8 strong contractions which were about 30 seconds apart. I started to feel nauseous (as I always do during transition), I started to feel pushy and somehow managed to walk out of the bathroom and call to the midwife and Ben to get there.  I was going to ask the midwife to check me, since I thought I was pretty far along, but didn’t think I was fully dilated.  However,  just as they walked into the room, my water broke..I started pushing and baby was born like 2 pushes later. The whole “intense” part of labor and birth probably lasted no more than 20 minutes (while with my other labors it was 2-3 hours).    I’m not kidding when I say that it totally felt like a non-event and it was EASY.  Almost, like one minute things were just pretty ordinary and the next minute, I had a baby.  After she was born, all I could say over and over again was that I couldn’t believe how fast that was and that it was already over.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m SUPER thankful that I was BLESSED with such and easy and quick birth..but in some ways it feels weird.  Like, I didn’t work hard enough or get exhausted enough.  Labor and birth is supposed to be this great, big EVENT, but between NOT going to the hospital and having such a quick almost felt like a non-event.   It’s wasn’t this super challenging mountain to climb and conquer, it was more like this little walk in the park with this tiny little hill at the end.

But, as with all my births, no matter where or how they were born, we ended up with a beautiful, healthy babe…and that is after all the most important thing.

And now, I have nothing more to say, so I’ll just leave you with this cute little picture of Elsa when she is just a few hours old!  Notice her ear.  When I first saw her, all I could think was “OMG, she has pointy, elfin ears.  Everyone’s going to think she’s a freak.  Aaaaaaaah”  Then I calmed down and was all “Oh, she’s so cute…look at those little pixie ears, she’ll have a fun, distinguishing characteristic.”.  But, alas..her ears have since rounded out to just regular, old, ordinary looking ears…so I guess she’s not really a pixie after all.


Sleep in Heavenly Peace

The Christmas Season is almost over …but not yet.  It’s STILL Christmas until the Epiphany, which means I’m totally, completely justified in writing about a line from a Christmas Carol on January 1st, right?

Lately, I’ve been musing a lot about the last line from Silent Night ….you know, the one that goes “Sleep in Heavenly Peeeeace…..Sleeeeep in Heavenly Peace.”

What I want to know is exactly what is heavenly peace?  And, how come my baby isn’t sleeping in it?

You see, with a young baby, the topic of sleep seems to come up a lot in conversations.  And, I’m never quite sure how to answer the question on “how is she sleeping”.  I just want to say “like a baby” and leave it like that, because well..she sleeps like a baby….which mean she wakes up a lot and doesn’t like to be put down.

The thing is, Elsa spends a good portion of the day,  NOT napping..she is basically a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad napper.

This is how a typical Elsa nap goes..she is tired, she fusses, she nurses, she falls asleep and sleeps..oh…typically about 8 1/2 minute before *something* happens to wake her up.   That something could be like

I dare to shift her in my lap..she wakes up

.I try to put her down…she wakes up.

Someone whispers near her…she wakes up.

A butterfly flaps its wings in China…she wakes up.

The only way she really naps well is if she is in the sling, and I’m basically running walking a marathon.  Don’t get me wrong…I love walking with her in the sling..but I generally can’t do that more than twice a day (once in the morning during *my* exercise and once in the evening when I take my kids.)   Of course, if I did, I might be a lot skinnier.  Alas, I have other duties I must attend to and other children that must do important things…like I end up just holding her for most naps..which isn’t so bad because they only last about 8 1/2 minutes anyway and I can happily sit and surf the ‘net for 8 1/2 minutes.


And, that’s okay..because she is only 3 months old and a baby needs her mama..and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

But nighttime on the other hand…nighttime is different.  Nighttime sleep is glorious.  We sleep cuddled up together and Elsa frequently goes 6 hours or so without waking up.

Ten years ago, when Heidi was born, someone gave us a beautiful bassinet. We set it up in the bedroom and that first night home from the hospital, I laid her in it and then  went to bed and tried to go to sleep.  Thirty seconds later, I popped out of bed and had to peek at her…just to make sure she will still breathing.  I lied down again and tried to sleep…only to do another breathing check about a minute later.

Then I realized, I’ve never get any sleep that way, took her into bed with me and have been co-sleeping with babies ever since. (my kids typically move into their own bed  and room sometime around age 3).  There is nothing more delightful than cuddling up in bed with a sweet infant and falling asleep together while they nurse.  That is what heavenly sleep must be like…snuggled up safely next to your most, very favorite person in world (and since I have the “nana” I’m obviously the most very favorite person in the world).

When I took Elsa to the doctor when she was only a few days old, the pediatrician asked where she slept and  if she slept with me and when I answered in the affirmative she was all “oh, well, I did that too, but we don’t recommend it and I have to advise against it, even though I also co-slept with my kids”.   At least she was nice about it.

I realize other people manage to get their babies to sleep in a crib and different sleeping arrangements work better for others..but co-sleeping always just felt so natural to me. Or maybe I’m just lazy and will do just about anything not to have to get up out of bed again (okay, no maybe about it..that is a definite).

Thankfully however, she does, on occasion, sleep by herself…here is photographic evidence…sometimes she even does this for up to 9.5 minutes at a time..which is what let me write this blog post.

But, now she is about to reach the 9.75 minute I best be off.



p.s Isn’t that hat just too adorable…I call it her “granny hat.”