Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful Thankful Lord knows I'm Thankful!

On this final day of the Thanksgiving weekend, I have SO much to be thankful for!
I originally thought I'd share my thanks on Facebook, but then realized that the post would be far too long, so I'd better write a blog post instead!
We celebrated Thanksgiving with two meals - one on Thursday and then a traditional meal on Friday, both were blessed to have family here with us.
As we went around the table on Friday while eating our turkey dinner, it was amazing to hear what each person was thankful for. The depth of thanks to our Lord and the way He has provided such gifts in the lives of my immediate family was awesome.
And so I'd like to share what my answer to the question "What are you thankful for this year?"
First I'm thankful that God answered our prayers for another child. Daphne Louise is a gift to our family and, born at 42 weeks, she was worth waiting for! I'm thankful I was able to have the natural birth we desired for our littlest one, born in peace and joy at home. 
Next I'm thankful for our family members that, for the past month, have traveled to come and stay with us and help us. They have cleaned our home from top to bottom, given Camille extra love and attention during this time of HUGE transition for her, and supported me as I've needed extra rest, time to shower, and even made me meals (often bringing them to me in bed!). My family has been truly amazing and I cannot express our thanks enough for their support in this time!
Finally and most importantly, I'm thankful for my husband who has been truly amazing. Throughout my pregnancy, especially at the end, he went above and beyond to take care of me and take care of our eldest daughter. His support since the birth has been phenomenal - constantly getting me food and drinks, taking our daughter for walks, taking the baby when I need time to connect with our eldest, keeping our house clean, and even doing most of the cooking for our Thanksgiving meals this weekend.
He is simply amazing.
We are so grateful to our local community of friends who have brought us meals, groceries and so much love and support.
This year I am truly full of thanks!
So in the words of our favorite Thanksgiving song: " I'm thankful, thankful, Lord knows I'm thankful! Happy Thanksgiving Hap Happy Thanksgiving!"
Hap Happy Thanksgiving 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Daphne's Birth Story

*Warning: Some images include blood, placenta and umbilical cord. All private parts are covered or cropped.*

October 30th was our 42 week mark of pregnancy with baby Daphne.
The day started out much the same without any birthing signs happening. For the two weeks prior birthing waves had been coming and going but nothing regular.
I had an appointment with the midwife scheduled for that day and she had said she would bring some herbs to see if we could regulate some contractions and she planned to stay for a few hours.
11:00a.m. I asked my sweet friend Candace, who is trained in massage therapy, wants to be a doula and has had both of her children unassisted at home, to come over to do some massage and pressure points.
She brought her two kids who played with Camille while she massaged me & did pressure points for about an hour.
When she left, Camille & I had lunch & then went upstairs for some quiet/nap time. I used the opportunity to listen to my HypnoBabies track while Camille slept in my bed & soon pressure waves were coming 5 minutes apart and increasing in intensity & power.
I texted my midwife and husband to keep them updated, knowing my midwife was coming over soon anyways.

2:30-3p.m. Midwife arrived and we chatted for a bit while she observed my focus & breathing during waves. She checked my dilation, which was 4cm & did some light cervical massage which was very easy since my cervix was very soft and pliable. She said my water bag was bulging through my cervix, very taut, and could break very easily.
We then went downstairs & she gave me some herbs with water which were meant to augment/regulate contractions. After she tied a scarf around my belly to help Daphne move down we then went in the backyard to walk for awhile. Camille played, kicking the ball and running around while I walked, listening to my birthing day affirmations on my iPod, walking through waves, which continued to increase in power, needing to stop and breathe through some. I also chose to sweep our back walkway while I was at it.
We decided that we would wait to check again until Wes got home from work. He picked up thai food on his way home.
5:30p.m. We all ate dinner together and then Wes and Camille went outside to carve a jack-o-lantern while Jessica & I went upstairs to check things out and decide whether to break my water.
6:55p.m. I was now dilated to 5cm and the water bag was bulging and very taut, with Daphne's head even lower and ready to go. We decided to go ahead and gently break the water bag and it was very comfortable, warm and just easily trickling out.
There was some old yellow meconium in the water, but thankfully she hadn't inhaled any. It was probably from my having the flu a few weeks prior, which may have stressed her out.
I sat up and cleaned up a bit while Jessica went downstairs to have Wes start filling the birthing tub with water. The next waves came powerfully and I knelt by the side of the bed. I could hear Camille calling me to come and see the pumpkin but needed to make it to the bathroom as a gush of water came out.
Once on the toilet I knew I wasn't getting up for awhile. Some meconium filled fluid ended upon Camille's step stool in the bathroom,which she was very concerned about getting cleaned  up when she saw it. Funny kid.
The waves came so powerfully and quickly that I called out for Jessica because I felt faint. It was hot in the bathroom so we opened a window and I had to close my eyes and focus on breathing through each wave. I did pass out for a few seconds while she and Camille fanned me and wiped my face,arm sand chest with a wet washcloth. Heather,the backup midwife arrived during this time and after I began to vocally moan they helped me move back to the bed. They laid down some towels and plastic sheets to protect the bed.
I moved onto my hands & knees and remained in that position. The waves were coming one after another and they asked if I wanted to try to go downstairs and get in the tub. I knew I wouldn't make it down the stairs.
I was breathing in and in a deep voice "Oh"ing out. Camille got on the bed on her hands and knees and was joyfully Oh'ing also which made me smile and laugh.
I quickly felt nauseous & they set a bowl in front of me. I never did throw up but instead was belching often,which is another sign of transition.
In minutes I was pushing. As Daphne was crowning they called Wes and Camille upstairs. Jessica told me to reach down and feel her head,which really inspired me
Camille wanted to be right in the action and stood over Jessica's shoulder as Daphne's head came out.
Daphne was talking immediately and I could hear her baby noises. I really had to focus to push out her shoulders and she came out onto the bed and they told me to pick her up.  Camille was so excited and laughing.
8:31p.m. I picked up my baby girl and was so joyful! She just laid her head on my chest and quietly looked around.

The midwives cleaned up around my knees and I was able to lay back on my own pillows in my own bed and wait for the cord to stop pulsing, which seemed like15 minutes.

Camille crawled right up to see her sister and kiss her.

She knew it was her time to cut the umbilical cord and asked the midwives for gloves like they were wearing. This kid! Future midwife for sure! Ha!
After the cord lengthened, I pushed out the placenta after a few tries (I was tired of pushing!). The midwife assistant, Jennifer, put it in the bowl that I didn't use and Jessica guided Camille in cutting the cord.
They helped get me cleaned up and to the other side of the bed. Daphne and Camille nursed together and Daphne latched on like a pro!
Camille had changed into her swimsuit and was eager to go in the birth tub, so at least someone got to use it!

Everyone went downstairs and Daphne and I had some time to rest and bond before measurements were taken and she was checked out.

Daphne Louise McClain weighed in at 9 pounds 6 ounces and her length at 22 1/2 inches. Her head was 14cm and her chest/shoulders were 15cm. She is our newest little love and our birthing time was so beautiful.