We only have an Internet connection at work, so this is a belated birth announcement...I'm trying to catch up on all sorts of things in the office, with the little one sleeping (at least for now--she's a constant nurser) in her sling.
Our little girl, Luthien Liora, was born on November 30 at 2:02 p.m., weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 19 inches long. She was born at 41 weeks' gestation, although I had this weird pulsatile type of labor where, from 37 weeks on, I had early-labor-like contractions for several hours per day, up to 10 hours, that didn't get any closer or more intense and would go away by evening, so it was difficult to tell when things were really getting started. Then on Tuesday evening (the 27th), my water broke and I started having actual early labor at home. Our two fantastic midwives came over and, along with my amazing husband, were present with me throughout a very long labor (something like 60 hours from the water breaking, I believe). Unfortunately, the birth process stalled when I was pushing her out--I could feel her head and they could see it, but I made no further progress for an hour, despite going from laboring down to hard Valsalva pushing, and I started passing meconium and her heart rate showed distress, so the midwives recommended transfer to the hospital, where I had a Caesarian birth. I haven't yet learned what happened to obstruct her labor so late in the process, but I suspect something funky about my pelvis, especially as she actually rotated from occiput anterior to occiput posterior right at the end. As a girl, I was an avid horseback rider and was thrown from the saddle a few times; I wonder if I sustained a small pelvic fracture, which could've resulted in bone growth that blocked the pelvic outlet in a way that couldn't be felt with pelvimetry.
I'm so grateful for my whole birth experience: that I got to labor at home in a beautiful and sacred manner of my choice, that the midwives were so efficient at transferring me to the hospital when we needed that, for the excellent surgical team, and for the fact that the hospital staff were accepting of my choices: to be awake for Luthien's birth, to have my husband with me, to have her brought back to me after her newborn tests (about 15 minutes, with my husband accompanying her during that time) to start breastfeeding right away, and not to supplement her with formula. She even stayed beside me in the bed in my room the entire three days I was there, as despite the hospital's official policy of discouraging co-sleeping, because I had an adult awake in the room with me at all times (my husband, brother, and adult daughter all spelled each other), they let me sleep with her.
She's made an amazing transition to life outside of my body; she's a bright, interested little person whom it's our joy to get to know even more every day! My parents are here visiting and having a blast with their new granddaughter, whose favorite activities include almost constant nursing during the day and trying to wrestle out of her sleeper at night. She's also made friends with all of our cats, who are wonderfully protective of her.
Welcome to all of the new babies, mamas! May you all enjoy your new little ones!
With many blessings,
Here's Luthien sleeping beside her father on her seventh day of life:
And here she is at ten days with her buddy Utena on the changing table: