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The BIRTH STORY Thread - Page 2

post #21 of 121

Congratulations, 1love4ever! joy.gif

post #22 of 121

Here is our birth story...

11/10/11 7:30pm-We had just finished eating tacos for dinner and I was having some lower back aches so I sat on my yoga ball and bounced up and down a little.  It seemed to help and then unexpectedly I felt a trickle of water come out.  I immediately knew what had happened and was completely shocked since it was still two more weeks until my due date.  When I say I was shocked I mean it...I was cold and shaking and was having trouble breathing.  I took four drops of Bach's Rescue Remedy and within 5 minutes I was calm as a cucumber and ready for what was ahead of me.  I called the hospital and they wanted me to come in just to make sure everything was ok.  We called my brother in law to come over to watch our two year old, packed a few last minute items in our bag and we were on our way.  I wasn't having any contractions yet and we had a very relaxed 50 minute drive to the hospital.  When we got there the nurse checked me and said I was 1-2 cm and my cervix was still high.  Sigh.  She suggested we just wait it out for a little while and get some rest.  My hubby and I curled up on the futon in my room and watched a little tv then fell asleep.  He was snoring like a lion which was a little annoying but I was able to rest up a little bit.  Around 1:00am  I started having regular contractions which felt like bad period cramps in my lower back but I was able to handle them lying down and they were about 5 minutes apart.  The nurse came in at that point to check on me and said she would be back in an hour to see if I was progressing at all.  That is when things really picked up.  I labored mostly by myself in the dark, in the bathroom.  I felt very in control and felt like I was progressing very quickly.  I vomited once but didn't think much of it.  That is when I started to moan through my contractions which felt like they were one on top of another without a break.  I have to say I had no bloody show so I was starting to think that maybe I wasn't progressing at all.   The nurse came in around 2:20 and put me on the monitor to see how far apart my contractions were.  They were 2-3 minutes apart and were doubling and tripling.  My husband called my mom and sister to come in as they were supposed to be my labor support.  The doctor came in to check on me and almost went home to get some rest but decided to see how much I was dialated.  I was at 10cm and ready to push!  I couldn't believe it!  Needless to say my sister and mom didn't make it there in time since they live 50 minutes away!  I pushed through three contractions and Audrey was born at 3:22 am 11/11/11.  The cord was wrapped tightly around her neck but she cried right away and was absolutely beautiful!  I had no tear which was awesome because I had a fourth degree with my other daughter.  I feel so lucky to have had such a positive birth experience...it was calm and no interventions...exactly the way I wanted it to be.  She is nursing like a champ and I am so happy to be home with my little angel!

post #23 of 121

Thanks for sharing Jill.  Congrats!joy.gif

post #24 of 121
Thread Starter 

Great story Jill!  I'm so happy for you that you had a peaceful, and tear free birth!

post #25 of 121

Eowyn Jane was born on 11/12/11 at 6:09 pm, at 41 weeks 4 days old. She came after about 2 hours of INTENSE labor following a hospital induction by AROM (artificial rupture of membranes). We risked out of the home birth following routine post-dates testing  because she had no amniotic fluid. She came out with her body wrapped in the cord and with a hand near her face. The initial APGAR was 4, but after some help getting started the second APGAR was up to 8. Elisabeth and Julianna got to be there for the birth and are very excited about their new baby sister. We went home 24 hours after the birth after being held in the hospital for about 8 hours without medical reason because pediatrics refused to sign discharge paperwork because of some of the routine procedures we had declined. We will be filing a complaint about that, but are very happy that she is home with us now, and safe.


Here is the link to her longer birth story and pictures.

post #26 of 121
Aria Rain's birth story: 

Saturday morning started out normal. Cramping and BH were normal in that they were always there. We went out for breakfast and I usually get something light like eggs Benedict but for some reason I chose to get the oven baked apple pancake. It was huge and I ate a ton of it. I joked with my husband that maybe I was instinctively carb loading for a reason. When we got home we took our 4 year old on a walk to the park. I walked around the park while they played. I speed walked up & down hills and stairs. I went a total of 2 miles - nothing major.

Around 4:30 pm on Saturday night, I felt a real contraction while I was laying down. I had forgotten what those felt like. Sorta like, I'm about to rip your cervix open. I was feeling them about every 10 min or so. I wasn't convinced yet because I had been cramping for almost 2 weeks but I knew these felt different. When I got out of bed around 6 pm, it seemed like my water broke. Water came running down my legs, not a gush or anything. And when I used the bathroom and wiped, it was a huge dangling glob of bloody mucous. I got excited.

Contractions sorta died down after my water broke though, which was really unexpected. I would have short  30 second ones every 10+ minutes, then 5 then 15, they were just really inconsistent which I also wasn't expecting. But this was to be a night of the unexpected. 

My MIL came to pick up DD for the night, my hubby & I already had a date night planned for the evening but we decided to stay in since I was still leaking water. DH and I watched Meet the Parents (I wanted something funny) and had some Lou Malnati's pizza. After that he decided to get some rest. At 8:30 my niece came over. I was still having inconsistent, not really strong cntx. So I decided to go to my sisters house. She lives at the top of a 3 floor loft apartment so I had about 5 flights of stairs to climb to get up there. I hoped they would make things pick up. We watched FastFive & just hung out. By midnight, I figured I should try to rest. I still wasn't having regular or strong cntx. As soon as I laid down in my sisters room they became more consistent. Every 4-5 min lasting about 1 min and getting strong. By 12:30 I wanted to go back home. I was still talkative and happy in between which I figured meant I wasn't that far along. My niece dropped me back off at home. I got my red raspberry leaf tea strained and put into bottles so I could bring with to the hospital which I imagined we might be going around 5/6 am at this rate. I went upstairs to put some last minute things into my bag. Contractions were still very easy and manageable.

Around 1 am, I suddenly started having much longer, stronger & closer cntx and found myself not wanting to leave the bathroom. I started feeling very hot, nauseous and lots of pressure. I was also shaking a little during cntx. Some cntx started double peaking and I had one that lasted over 2 minutes. The cntx were still weird though. They varied between 3-4 min apart lasting 30-40 sec  and then there would be super long ones that would double peak thrown in there - I was very confused. I had planned on laboring most of the time at home and didn't want to go to the hospital too early but I was also concerned with how nauseous I was feeling & the strong desire I had to keep sitting on the toilet though nothing was happening on there. I decided I'd rather go to the hospital while I could still talk between cntx since I knew I'd have to be answering some questions when I got there. I woke DH up around 1:30 and said I wanted to get going soon. 

We went in ER and I felt cntx happening every 3 min or so. We got upstairs to L&D around 2 am. The nurse checked me around 2:15 and said I was 6 cm. This discouraged me a little because I had hoped/thought I was further along. No matter, I figured I had a good few hours of work ahead of me. I started needing darkness and was keeping my eyes closed. Then I started needing silence as well. I had planned on moving around and walking while there but then I found myself dozing off between cntx. My head would literally droop & I would be almost snoring. I chose to labor sitting upright on the bed with the back totally lifted behind me. I was sitting cross legged and would just rock from side to side. At one point I'm pretty sure I had a Ray Charles sway going on because I was moving my head and neck side to side with my body. The cntx were unbelievably intense at this point. I started thinking "I don't want to do this anymore, let's just pause this so I can sleep, I don't WANT to do this!!!" but I quickly forced myself to think "You ARE doing this, keep going, you got this." I was hot and sweaty and asked for cold rags. I was so thirsty too. For a while now I had been humming through the cntx. I started getting louder & lower in the noises I was making. I also started feeling like I needed to poop. I mentioned it to a nurse and my midwife came and checked me. It was 3 am. I was hoping she'd say I was almost 8 cm. Instead she said I was complete! I had went from 6 cm to 10 cm in 45 minutes! Baby was at zero station so she said the next few cntx would help move her down more and then I could try pushing if I wanted to. Awesome. I figured I had about 30 minutes left. There was a light at the end of this labor tunnel! 

The next cntx I started feeling knotting pressure in my back which I remembered from when I had Maia. I gently pushed a little to see how it felt. The next cntx I found my body suddenly pushing with strength that I didn't know I had. It was like a jackhammer. I pushed 3 times in that one contraction. First push - I felt her head go into the birth canal. Second push - her head came out. I felt her body rotate quickly. Third push - and Aria came flying out. She started screaming immediately. My midwife caught her and immediately put her on me. I was totally shocked. I had no idea what had just happened. It happened within about 30 seconds or less! No one was expecting it, let alone me. My sister didn't have time to record the birth and my midwife didn't even have time to get gloves on! It was 3:06 am. I had no tears or rips which was surprising for how fast she came out. I also lost very little blood. I might just have to credit the super fast transition phase and little blood loss to the red raspberry leaf tea I had been religiously drinking.  I remember after Maia was born I had tried doing a kegel. It was like super slow motion attempting it. This time, my vagina feels completely normal and just as tight as it was before delivery. I find that weird, but I'll take it!

I feel fabulous, empowered and blessed to be a mother to this beautiful creature. Aria is very mellow and she is a wonderful breastfeeder. She is worth every second of pregnancy & labor pain & discomfort that I experienced.  I'll edit this post later with some pics! I can't wait to read all of your ladies stories!

6 lbs 10 oz, 18.5 inches long

Edited by FaithF - 11/15/11 at 12:46pm
post #27 of 121


post #28 of 121
Thread Starter 

Awesome story Faith!!  It sounds very familiar to my own second birth experience where you reach that point where you think you can't do it anymore, but keep trying to convince yourself that you ARE and you WILL and then you realize that means you probably are complete!  And the pushing!  Yes, 2 1/2 pushes sent my son flying into the world, too.  That was amazing for sure!  So funny that your mw didn't even get her gloves on! 


Congratulations!!! joy.gif I love the name!  If we have a girl, her middle name will also be Rain.  love.gif

post #29 of 121

Congrats Faith!!  Thanks for sharing your story.  joy.gif

post #30 of 121

I really enjoy reading all your birth stories. I am near my computer alot now :) due to breastfeeding every 2-3 hrs around the clock! Some of you said you read my birth story on my blog. I did not have a good experience so skip it if you rather not read about complications but we did have a happy ending. Roam and Ember are super mellow and so fun.

Here is my story


post #31 of 121
Thread Starter 

Nicole, we talked about you on the chit chat thread when someone posted your blog.  winky.gif  And we all commented at how truly amazing you are for not just enduring a c-section that you could feel (massive cringe), but also for the fact that you are so active so soon and that your boys beat so many odds to be perfectly healthy right away!  Truly amazing!

post #32 of 121
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Nicole, we talked about you on the chit chat thread when someone posted your blog.  winky.gif  And we all commented at how truly amazing you are for not just enduring a c-section that you could feel (massive cringe), but also for the fact that you are so active so soon and that your boys beat so many odds to be perfectly healthy right away!  Truly amazing!

yeahthat.gif I also commented on your blog yesterday. orngbiggrin.gif


post #33 of 121
Thread Starter 

11/14 Chena4:


I had my baby girl 11/14 in the front seat of our Dodge Charger. I went to the hospital Monday morning and afternoon because I was bleeding bright red. They kept saying I wasnt bleeding because when I arrived at the hospital I had already changed my panies and pad. When they checked me, they were only getting a finger time of blood. So the midwife said she was going to give me a shot that would help me cope with the pain of the contrations that I was having every 3-5 minutes. They hurt like crazy. They kept telling me that I didn't look like I was in active labor because I was talking. I told them the pain was crazy!. The midwife still sent me home @ 6. My hubby drove me home. The shot she gave me did not help one bit! I called the midwife on call at 8:30 telling her that the pain had not eased up and the contractions were now back to back. She again told me that I didnt sound like I was in active labor because I was talking calmly. Ladies, being calm is my way of coping with the pain becuase it was BAD!!!!!!! My husband put the kids to bed @ 8:30 because he said he wanted me to have time alone. I tryied to get up to go to the bathroom and dropped on the floor shaking. My husband said that was it and we were going to the hospital. He helped me up to the bathroom, but my body didnt want to get up. When I got to the bathroom I noticed that I was still bleeding. Asked my husband to look to make sure I was still seeing the bright red that I had been seeing all day. He said he saw the blood. He called his friend to come and watch the kids since they were in bed. After using the bathroom, I ran back to bed before another contraction came. My husband was upset because he told me he was taking me to the hospital and I just didnt want to get to the hospital and get turned away again. I put my shoes on me. I had to lay in the bed for another 10-15 min because the pain was sooooooo bad. I couldnt move until they eased up. When they did, I ran to the car in the rain. The hospital is about 5 min away from the house. When we turned on the road to the hospital, I started saying "NO GEM'MAICA NO!" that was me talking to the baby because I felt like I had to do #2. Then my water broke as soon as we turned on the street. I told my husband that my water broke and we were 1 min away from the hospital. He pulled up to the ER door and ran in and told them I needed to get in because the baby was coming. All I could think of at the time was, "Awww man now the pain is going to get worse because my water broke and I need an epi asap" Next think I knew I felt a little burn and I knew her head was coming. The man with the wheel chair was trying to get me in the wheel chair, I told him I could because the baby is comming. All I could say is the baby is coming. I had to take off my shorts and my panies so my husband and the man could see the head. The man and security ran in and all I would hear is them yelling, "A BABY IS COMING A BABY IS COMING" Then I felt head popped out. I told my husband to catch her and my body just pushed the rest of her body out in the seat. My hubby picked her up and unwrapped her leg from the umbilical cord. She never cried. She doesnt cry. She just makes a little noise when she wants attention.Really cute.


By the way she was born on her due date @ 9:47. She weighed 6.02 and 19 inches.



Sorry didnt proof read this. Hope this was easy to read. I had soooo much to say. LOL.

PS I dont know how to post the pic.


post #34 of 121
Thread Starter 

Wow Chena!!  That is quite the story!!!  Pants and panties off in the ER parking lot!  Your dh catching the baby!  Amazing! 

post #35 of 121

That's awesome. What a cool story. Thanks for sharing it.

post #36 of 121

Amazing story!  I makes you wonder if these people know what they are doing...my doctor almost went home before she checked me and I was at 10cm.  You know better than anyone what your body is telling you!  Congrats on your new little one!

post #37 of 121

Well, at 15 days overdue, my sweet little Theodore Joseph finally made his entrance into the world. 


His birth was completely different from my other four kids, and at the end I had to let go of all illusions of control that I'd been hanging on to. I think that was my biggest lesson through the whole process--I'm not in control!!


I woke up on the morning of the 16th at 5 with mild contractions. I've also been having contractions for the last three months--this wasn't any different. But from the first one, I knew that it was finally the real thing, somehow.


By six they were strong enough that we called the midwife and doula, who both arrived at seven, along with my sister who came to watch the other kids. By the time the mw got there, I was ready for counter pressure on my back and hips during contractions.


I was still able to talk and laugh during breaks, but since I started this whole process dilated to a seven, I knew that with the intensity of the contractions that I was making some quick process. All I wanted was to stand through them, with pressure on my back from my awesome doula. They put the plastic and chux underneath me, and encouraged me to push during the peaks.


Normally (as if there's really a normal in labor) I have my babies in one big push. I was waiting for that moment, and scared to let go and handle things differently. Finally I had to tell myself that this was it's own experience, and to surrender. When I finally let go and surrendered into the intensity/messiness/scariness and unknown, that was the moment of release when he started to descend. 


Three huge, splitting and incredibly intense pushes later, my sweet babe was born. I reached down and pulled him between my legs and climbed onto the bed. He was deep purple blue, and the mw started to suction him with her mouth, then the bulb syringe. She worked on him for a couple of minutes and he didn't pink up, so they stuck the oxygen on him. He needed it for about half an hour, but everything else looked perfect. I think he aspirated a bit of meconium, but since he was only in the birth canal for such a quick time, there wasn't very much. His apgars were six and eight.


Theodore was 8 lb 6 oz, 21 in long, and has the fattest cheeks ever. He's been nursing pretty much nonstop ever since then. I feel like his birth taught me some pretty important lessons and it was perfect--15 days late and everything.

post #38 of 121
Thread Starter 

Congrats Becca!!!  Sounds like an empowering birth!   Welcome to the world Theodore!

post #39 of 121

Thanks for sharing your story Becca.  Congrats!!  joy.gif

post #40 of 121

Birth story is posted in its own thread, but here's the text-only version:


"Every pregnancy is different." We remind each other of this fact often, but despite that, still look for patterns in our own to make them more predictable. It's hard waiting and not knowing. This pregnancy reminded me of that very strongly. My body followed its pattern of earlier symphysis pubis dysfunction and earlier prodromal labor--but not earlier labor itself. The baby inside me settled differently, responded to stimuli differently and, in general, was as unpredictable as could be.

I assumed on the 'safe' side, that I would have a day-long labor as I've had in the past. Well, right from the start, my actual labor started differently--it started at night. Around 9:20 pm or so. I just figured it was more false labor, but the contractions were intense enough that after a few hours of it, I texted Tara, my doula and turned on my contraction timer and recorded that they were averaging approximately a minute every 3 minutes.

I danced around to music and sang a little bit. My contractions were only really bearable when I was standing or dancing, so it seemed like the best thing to do. I couldn't get baby to drop and my labor pains moved around into my back a bit and down my legs--things I'd heard about, but never experienced myself before. I figured the dancing was still helpful anyway.

I posted on Facebook a few times, to keep everyone in the loop as promised, then decided I had to have a shower around midnight. I got into the shower and sat down, letting the water fill the tub and rain down warm on me. The contractions broke a little, but did not become less intense. I still felt better for having it. I put on a Poise panty just in case, so I could just go to bed and not worry about making a mess with my water.

I tried to get some sleep, as I'd advised Tara. I had a strong feeling that I was definitely in labor. I'd been tricked once before, so I still questioned it repeatedly, but I wanted to be rested as much as possible regardless. I was very glad I'd made the kids let me take a nap earlier. Off and on, I used the hypnobirthing/hypnobabies wrist drop while breathing through contractions and while I wasn't able to do anything involving the 'hypno' part, it still helped, surprisingly.

I woke up to contractions off and on and started chanting positive messages: "I'm fine." "It's the baby; I'm going to have a baby." "I can do this." "I've done this before." At first, they were just in my head, but I started having to breathe them out as it got harder to tolerate them while being so tired. Eventually, they became verbal and I decided I was too loud and gave up on sleeping, trying to let my family get as much as they could.

Every time I went to the bathroom, it was terribly painful from the pressure of the baby and I finally couldn't take doing it all on my own anymore, so a little after 6am, I called Tara and told her that I needed her. I had tried to make it at least until 7, but I wanted her there as soon as possible and I knew she would take about an hour to get everything ready to go. My bloody show was becoming more and more red and it seemed a good sign that things were progressing.

I called and left a message at the birth center that we were having a baby today, but didn't want to call and wake up Rachel herself when I was so sure I still had half a day left or so.

Tara came and we talked for a little bit, then I dozed on the couch off and on between contractions while she stayed next to me, dozing on the labor ball that I just could not stand to use more than to squish baby down a bit. She helped me get through more intense contractions and I returned to chanting my positive messages when I wanted to scream.

A few times, I did howl and yell, but I tried to turn it into singing, goofy sounds or more positive words when I could. My family woke up and Brandon made the kids breakfast. I was torn between starving and so nauseated I didn't want to eat. Tara had retrieved a bucket, just in case, but thankfully, I never used it. The birth center returned my call to see what was going on, but I wasn't able to talk, so I gave the phone to Tara.

Transition hit hard and fast around 10:45 or so. The birth center called back again and talked to Tara to assess where I was in labor. Tara confirmed that I was definitely in labor and that things were going quickly. Neither of us had really recognized transition yet, but my contractions had doubled and I wasn't tolerating them much anymore. I kept trying to chant my positive phrases, but I was shouting them and crying.

I was afraid of how intense it was getting, flashing back to Naomi's labor. Nausea had taken any desire to eat away and I wanted the birth pool, which I cried into Tara's shoulder as I held onto her and we swayed through a contraction. She called and told Rachel to fill it, who said she wanted to wait and check me first (which I figured, since I'd always had slower labors).

I lost all my positive and started crying that I couldn't do it, things were too hard, it was killing me, etc. and Tara just stayed positive, just as I'd asked and told me I was just in transition and it was almost over. She and Brandon got the girls ready and all the stuff out to the van while she continued to support me every couple minutes in between. Everything seemed to be flying, suddenly.

Then as we were walking me out, I grabbed Tara, falling into a contraction (to which, I had begun pleading and occasionally screaming in shock) and told her I was feeling pushy. It was a strange, half-feeling, but I knew it very well and instead of the joy with which I announced it with Naomi, it was a half-panic. She asked if she should call Rachel to come and do it here, but I was determined to get to the big, blue pool and was sure I could make it the barely 10 minute drive.

Before I could put on my seatbelt, another contraction left me screaming and arching and my water broke. I yelled at Brandon to buckle me in and hurry and that my water had broken. I started apologizing before contractions, because I knew I couldn't not scream through them. But more, 3 minutes into the drive, I was pushing and couldn't stop.

Brandon sped, worrying about being pulled over, but worrying more about not making it to the Birth Center. He kept telling me that he didn't know why I was apologizing, that I was okay. I just kept doing it--it had become a mantra. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" I was writhing in the seat, trying to get away from the intense pressure on my perineum. I knew it was the baby's head and I didn't want to sit on her.

We pulled up to the ramp and Brandon ran out and banged on the door to get the midwife while I unlocked the doors as Tara ran up and unbuckled. I arched away from the seat, screaming that I was crowning, the baby was here, I was going to sit on her! When Rachel opened the door (Tara meant to call her to let her know we were on the way, but things had just moved so fast right before we left, we forgot plenty in the whirlwind), she heard and saw me and ran out, Sheena following behind.

Then she told me what I knew and didn't want to hear--I needed to get out of the van and into the Birth Center. I howled that I couldn't and she argued with me. The second there was a lull, I was being pulled out of the van and supported to the ramp. Due to my weight, I'm always nervous about people supporting me, so I was terrified that I couldn't do it. I made it almost up the ramp and then collapsed onto my hands and knees as another contraction caused my body to push and push hard!

I continued to argue with them that I couldn't get to the door as I tried to do what I knew had to be done. Just a few more feet, but my contrary birthing brain kept arguing grumpily at them (which was how I was able to keep going--that fighting urge).

"It's too cold to have the baby out here!" I heard Rachel say and I forced my hands and legs to crawl me in the door. I chewed Rachel out for not filling the pool for me and yelled that I wanted it. They started filling it while Rachel apologized, pointing out that none of us expected me to be going so fast! Later, when I had access to logic again, I'd know that there was no chance I would ever have got in the water anyway--I couldn't stand up to get in! I could barely move my legs and my uterus had a mind of its own.

I was pestered toward the bed, but I finally called it and just worried about crawling out of my pants and Poise panty (which had contained my entire water mess, hooray!), then lifted up one leg and reached down as I screamed while my body pushed again and I felt something soft and strange, but hard at the same time, coming out of my body.

I wondered if I was feeling buttocks instead of a head and asked what was coming out of me. There was a questioning, "Maybe your bag of waters?" as people shuffled to see, but I just kept wanting to know what I was feeling. Then the rest came out and I realized it was my baby's head just as someone told me that was what it was!

I couldn't see Brandon and I yelled for him and a camera. I had kept meaning to ask for pictures during labor, but it wasn't to be, things just went far faster than I expected. Instead, it was going the way we had hoped (only a little faster at the end than I meant!). Brandon appeared and pictures were taken, though it was Tara taking them.

The kids were playing in the lobby/living area of the Birth Center and totally missed the actual birth because I screamed one more time and my baby girl flew out of me. I looked down in shock and couldn't actually comprehend that I was looking at my baby. I was very confused. A closed-eyed baby was in my hand, very still. Someone mentioned that the cord needed to be moved off her neck and it was. I heard someone say it was 11:42 when Rachel asked for the time.

After a moment, I realized that she wasn't moving as they rubbed at her and brought over the oxygen. I rubbed with them and started down, still in shock, responding mechanically. I said, "I had a baby!" in surprise as I finally absorbed that it was my baby in my hand, not breathing. Then she gave some coughs and started writhing as I yanked off my shirt and pulled her to my body, still attached to me. I looked at her ginger hair and grey eyes and noted what a round little chubber she was.

My body contracted again and I felt something coming out. I reached down and birthed my placenta, setting it on the floor. It was still partly inside, so Rachel was looking at it and waiting for it to finish. She said to give a little cough and it would finish coming, but I told her I couldn't do anything right at that moment. My body was tired and barely listening to me, though that was too much to convey.

I felt okay after a moment and gave a little push and the rest came out. I realized I'd had a lotus birth in the back of my mind, but now I was too interested in the baby I was holding. I also noted that my placenta looked to be much smaller than Naomi's.

I mentioned that Lilly should be called in to cut the cord and the girls were brought into the room to see their new sister. Lilly asked a ton of questions as Sheena opened the clamps and scissors kit and we answered her. Lilly cut the cord, though it took her a few tries to get all the way through. I examined it in fascination both before and during the whole process.

The baby had covered one of the towels in meconium shortly after being born but was mostly clean all over from all the rubbing to get her breathing. I was helped to get into the bed and snuggle with my naked baby. She and I just stared at each other for a while. I was super weak from the intensity of everything that had just happened and she was so chill that I didn't offer to nurse her. We just looked at each other, both of us surprised. She was so quiet and calm and we realized her purple complexion on one side was due to a bruise when looking for birth marks (she had none).

Her head was perfectly round, which made sense since she went from feeling high in my belly to shooting through my pelvis in only 11 minutes. Only four minutes passed from us arriving to her coming into the world outside of me. It was an hour before the shock wore off and she and I tried to nurse. I finally got her latched on (her rooting instinct hadn't kicked in) and her eyes went wide and she drank enthusiastically, looking more surprised every time she sucked and got milk.

Time flew by after that and I was only half-aware of what was going on. When Tara was ready to leave, I asked that she stay and Brandon go to Subway to get me my celebratory turkey sandwich that I had so been looking forward to. So she did and took pictures during the newborn exam. Naomi got to trim the cord down and I finally got to find out how much the baby weighed--8lbs, 13 oz and she was 20" long.

I fuzzily did the math at just under 14 1/2 hours from beginning to end.

Brandon and I talked about names (he still had my list on his phone and when he brought up one of my favorites from the old list and paired it with my favorite from my new list as a middle name, I liked the combination) and texted Tara as soon as we'd decided, then I called my mom while Brandon posted on Facebook that we had chosen--without revealing the name.

He told his sisters, parents and one friend who texted with a good story as to why she deserved to know (and hadn't been a pest about it, so he was happy to tell her anyway). He had been pestered severely by coworkers for weeks for a name (that he wouldn't have told them had we known) so he took delight in keeping it to ourselves for most of the day.

I ended up with two stitches, before which, I got up to pee and Katarina Xylia cried for the very first time as she woke up without me. Immediately, Mommy instinct hit and I called out for someone to pick up the baby, but she wasn't totally content until she was given to her daddy (since I couldn't hold her right then). She knew him right away and settled back down.

I ate and was encouraged to nap some more after a failed attempt to go shower. I didn't make it to the shower (nearly fainted) and instead, the pool was filled back up for me to take a bath. It was heaven and I brought Katarina in and we bathed together. The moment she hit the water, she relaxed and slept against me, so content. It felt so wonderful.

I was encouraged to stay a bit longer and nap some more since I was barely able to walk. It took me longer than average to recover, since things had gone so fast after so little sleep and I wasn't feeling my body's cues, so I didn't know when I was hungry and thirsty. Once I was hydrated, fed again (pizza) and napped, I was able to get dressed and walk out, feeling much better. We went home around 7pm and my sister met us at home to make sure that there were two adults to help me into the house in case I nearly fainted again, but I did fine.

My fastest labor, my heaviest baby who was the calmest, most alert newborn baby I've ever seen. My first totally natural birth--it was intense, but amazing and everything went the way I'd wanted (except for the land birth, but that's what I get for hoping for a fast birth!). I'm feeling good and I have a little baby who likes to talk already (and two proud big sisters and a sleepy, proud Daddy holding Katarina as I typed this out).

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