Friday, March 11, 2011

Skylar's Birth Story (Better Late Than Never!)

I know, it took me forever to get Skylar's birth story posted, right? As always seems to happen, life has gotten busy and I never got it posted. So here it is--the exciting birth story of how my sweet Skylar Reese was born at home. By the way, this story tells it like it is and is probably TMI for some people. But, I know many people asked about her birth story. So, if you are interested, please read on:

On the night of December 8, 2009, I had a little bit of bloody show right as I was going to bed, so I warned Drew and my mom that the baby might be coming soon. We were a bit surprised since the baby wasn't due till December 24, but Carter was born 13 days early, so I wasn't totally surprised. I was awakened at 1:30 am on December 9 with contractions and more bloody show, but managed to sleep off and on till 2:30. I realized then that I wasn't going to get any more sleep, so I got up and started to get ready for the day. I figured I wanted to do it while I was feeling well and the contractions weren't too bad. I wasn't moving too fast and had to take breaks for contractions, so it took me till 3:30 to wash up, put on makeup and fix my hair. Yes, I put on makeup. But I wanted to look nice in the inevitable pictures; plus, getting ready was keeping me distracted from the contractions.

At 3:30, Drew got up with me and we went downstrairs, where we watched TV and played on the computer. My labor was progressing well with the contractions getting stronger and closer together, but nothing too bad. My mom got up at 6:00 and checked on us and we let her know the baby would be coming soon, so she got ready and came down to help. About 6:30, the contractions started to become a little stronger, so I spent more time on my knees laying over the ottoman with Drew or my mom rubbing my back. At 7:15, Drew called Jamin, our midwife, and let her know that I was in labor. Drew then went upstairs to our room to start filling the tub and getting the supplies ready while my mom continued to help me labor in the family room.

At 8:00 Drew called the midwife again and let her know that she should come over because the labor was progressing and I was getting closer to delivery. I was still having contractions about 6 minutes apart, but there was more pain between the contractions as well. Luckily, because of our Bradley training, I was nice and calm. But my knees finally started hurting from all the kneeling, so I was laying curled up on the floor while my mom rubbed my back. Our midwife and her backup arrived at 8:40. Because it was the holidays, our second midwife was on vacation; so we didn't know the backup midwife, but she was great as well. When Jamin arrived, she could tell my labor was really progressing, so she quickly went upstairs to our bedroom to set up her supplies. After 15 minutes, Jamin came down and told me she wanted me to come upstairs because she was worried that if I waited any longer I wouldn't be able to walk upstairs. My contractions at that point were still 5-6 minutes apart, but there was pretty much constant pain between the contractions as well. So Drew helped me head upstairs to the bedroom, stopping a few times to rest and breath.

When I got to our bedroom, the tub was only 3 inches filled, so I was going to curl up on the bed or floor instead. But I decided before I laid down that I should go to the bathroom since I was already up and didn't want to have to get up again soon. Before I started to sit down, I realized that there was a ton of pressure all of a sudden. I called into the bedroom to tell Drew that there was a lot of pressure, which I heard him relay to our midwife and my family. Instead of sitting down, I reached down and realized that I could feel the top of the baby's head! Whoa!! That was a huge surprise! No one had any idea that I was that close.

Well, once I discovered that the baby was crowning, all I wanted was to hold my baby. Plus, after being ready to push when I was in labor with Carter and not being able to because we were in car on the way to the birth center, I didn't want to not push now that it was time because I knew how hard that was. So I decided I was going to get this baby out, whether I had help or not. I walked a few feet into the main part of our bathroom, squatted down a little bit and gave a push. Then I heard Jamin, our midwife, come hurrying into the bathroom, saying, "Come on. Let's go over to the bed. We're not going to have this baby in the bathroom."  At that point, she saw me squatting there with the baby's head half out and started saying, "This is fine. We can do this here. It'll be just fine." Drew and my mom made it into the room right then, which was good because they made it just in time for the birth. Jamin supported me a little and I gave one more push the Skylar's head came out. Then I reached down and, with one more push, caught my sweet little baby! My dad, Ryder and Carter came rushing in just as Skylar was born. After my dad being out of town for Carter's, birth, I love that everyone got to be there to witness Skylar's first moments.

The birth was honestly so quick and unexpected that it was fairly overwhelming. Jamin had me back up and sit on the toilet so that she could help me get my pants off and make sure everything was fine. With the cord still attached, I walked over to the bed holding Skylar. It was a little tricky since her cord was really short so I had to hold her low on my stomach, but we made it to the bed fine. Skylar and I cuddled up in our own bed, tummy to tummy, all snuggled under a blanket. If it's any indication of how surprised everyone was with her appearance, we were so busy talking about her sudden birth that it was 10 minutes before we got around to checking whether she was a boy or a girl! Skylar was a champion nurser and nursed immediately after we got in bed. The kids climbed into the bed to see their new baby sister and cuddle. The midwives stayed for a few hours to make sure we were both fine, but at noon they left and we spent the rest of the day marveling at our sweet new girl.

I loved the relaxed, family, comfortable atmosphere of our home birth. I was a little disappointed that I still wasn't able to have a water birth since she came so quickly, but I loved getting to catch Skylar like I did Carter. That was such a wonderful experience and one I was happy to repeat. Drew and I knew ahead of time that we would enjoy having a home birth, but we ended up liking it even more than we thought we would. It was so comfortable, relaxing and personal. The home birth was less hassle, less worry, less fuss and less stress. It was so amazing not to have to rush to the birth center while in labor and not to be surrounded by all sorts of unknown and intrusive personnel. machines and surroundings. I loved being able to relax in my own bed, surrounded by our family in our home, knowing that we wouldn't have to be going anywhere. And I loved that the midwife left Skylar and I alone to bond and get to know each other without interference. It may have been a bit of a surprise, but it was a perfect birth. If we end up having another baby, Drew and I would definitely try to have a home birth again!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

365 - Sept 10

Ryder and Grandpa body surfing. After Ryder enjoyed body surfing in Newport so much, my parents got a board for him to use at our house. He still requires some help getting launched, but he likes to try to ride the surf. Plus, my dad and Drew love using the board when Ryder's done :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

365 - Sept 9

Ryder doing his morning work at school. 

365 - Sept 8

Ryder and Carter at the aquarium with Grandma Becca. Grandma really wanted to see the sea horse exhibit, so we took a quick trip to the aquarium to check them out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

365 - Sept 7

Carter riding bikes on our patio

365 - Sept 6

Could this get any cuter??

365 - Sept 5

Drew was excited to finally get to see a race at the Del Mar racetrack. And we went for family day, so there were lots of things for the kids to do as well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

365 - Sept 4

Skylar, Carter and Ryder with Grandpa Peter at the symphony. We went with Drew's parents to the last concert in the outdoor summer symphony series. The music was fabulous and ended with the 1812 overture with real cannons and fireworks. Combine that with a great picnic and it made for a wonderful evening. 

365 - Sept 3

Skylar and Grandma Becca snuggling at dinner. 

365 - Sept 2

Drew reading bedtime stories to Carter and Ryder. The kids miss Drew while he's gone on his frequent work trips, so he tries to make sure he's the one that reads to the kids on the nights he's home. They love reading with Daddy. 

365 - September 1

Skylar hanging in the cart at one of our favorite places to shop--Target!

365 - August 31

Carter and Ryder pretending to take a nap while they were playing

365 - August 30

Ryder holding Skylar. Ryder is quite pleased with being able to pick Skylar up now. Luckily, she enjoys him carrying her around. 

365 - August 29

Carter on one of the kiddie water slides at Legoland. Carter isn't tall enough for the big water slides at Legoland, but she loves getting to ride down the little water slides. Our first trip, she only wanted to try the 4 person slide so that she could go with someone else, but today she tried the single rider slide and LOVED it!

365 - August 28

The kids all set up to watch our Up at our local park. Our neighborhood puts on 2 movies in the park each summer. The kids love getting to watch movies outdoors and eat the treats they provide :)

365 - August 27

Carter playing dress-up with some of the girls from her preschool class. We had a few of the girls from Carter's preschool class over for a playdate so they could get to know each other better. They had a great time playing together.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

365 - August 26

Carter at school. Our family loves science and anything to do with the ocean, so Carter was excited to go examine the shells as soon as she arrived at school. 

365 - August 25

Skylar loves her bath time! She loves to splash in the tub and will spend as long in the tub as I will let her. I normally have to drag her out. The only problem is that she now likes to pull up constantly, even in the bathtub. So it's a struggle to keep her sitting down in the tub!

365 - August 24

Carter on her way to her first day of preschool. She was really excited to start preschool. She couldn't wait for us to drop her off and had a wonderful time during her first day. She loved her teachers and was excited to go back to the next day.

365 - August 23

Ryder with his teacher on the first day of school. Ryder was super-excited to start Kindergarten. He woke up  extra early on the first day because he was so eager to go. He had a wonderful time during his first day and is looking forward to the rest of the year.

365 - August 22

Carter, Ryder and Grandma at our church's beach clean-up day. The kids were very diligent about picking up trash and handing out bottled water to people on the beach. Ryder was totally bummed when our stretch of beach was cleaned up!

365 - August 21

Enjoying all the shows at Sea World. Everyone had a great time during our first trip to SeaWorld--watching shows, seeing animals, enjoying the sunshine :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

365 - August 20

My little swimming Skylar. I love watching her swim and enjoy the water! All of the kids love to swim, but Skylar is the most at home in the water. She gets so excited when we get to the pool that she can't wait to get in the water!

365 - August 19

Exploring the tide pools with Grandma and Grandpa. There is a great tide pool walk down by the aquarium that the kids love. This time, we found crabs, sea anemones, sea stars, chitons, mussels, barnacles, fish and many other animals. The kids loved holding the hermit crabs, but everyone's favorites were the sea stars.

365 - August 18

Drew and Skylar enjoying an afternoon at the beach. Drew was able to meet us at the beach after work for a little beach time. The kids love to spend an afternoon digging in the sand. And, if the water is warm enough, maybe even take a dip in the water!

365 - August 17

I love those sweet little smiley kiddos :)