*Warning - this is super long*
Arthur is already 2 months old, so I figured I needed to finally get his birth story written out before I completely lost it to the far corner of my brain.
To start with the little guys was 2 weeks late...yes 2 weeks. All our other three were early or right on time, so waiting was hard. I was tired and cranky and my family handled it really well. I spent the week prior filling the freezer and cleaning the house. I also had been having contractions off and on for weeks.
It all started the evening of April 15th, 2013. My water broke around 11 pm that evening...just that, no contractions happening. Which also was very different then the others, I had never had my water break on it's own. With the other three, I always started with contractions and actually had my midwife break my water later on in labor - basically right before delivery.
So there I was, late Monday night sitting in a huge puddle of water and nothing else happening. I texted both my midwives and let them know what wasn't going on and tried to get some sleep. Sleep didn't come very easily and I slept off and on all night, had a few random contractions but no real progression to labor.
We got up in the morning and discussed what we were going to do with the other children and decided to call Joe's mom to come and get them. Grandma LuAnn ended up picking them up and they spent the day playing at their cousins house..while mama impatiently waited out little boy's arrival.
I let my midwives know what was going on and texted a couple of girlfriends...letting them know that my water had broke but I was not in labor yet and to pray that labor would start and we could get things going. I didn't let anyone else know. I didn't want to hear the questions and worries about getting to a hospital because my water had broke so much earlier. I felt at ease being at home and trusted my own body to do what it was suppose to do. My midwives don't have a hard and fast rule about how long after your water breaking that they worry. I was told to stay away from public restrooms and refrain from sex...no problem, neither were interesting to me at that point.
Most of Tuesday (April 16th) was spent sleeping and walking. I was having contractions but they were very inconsistent and were not getting stronger or longer at all. My midwives came out around 2 pm and checked baby and mama and everything was fine just not really progressing. I was frustrated and cranky and just baffled at how different this labor was from all my others.
Grandma brought the kids over for awhile that night and then they went back with her for one more night...just in case labor actually started moving faster. I didn't really feel like having them all here for the delivery. I am not one to have a million people in the room. I would never think to ask my mom or my sister or a friend or mo mother-in-law, etc to be here for any baby delivery. The less the better - Joe and midwives was plenty for me.
Around 8 pm contractions finally started to get regular and they continued to do that for the rest of the evening. I talked to my midwives around 10:30 pm and asked them to come back out...hoping that things would change quickly. My other labors went from manageable and 5 cm dilated to ready to push in a matter of a couple hours and both Kim and Jane live about an hour from us.
They got here around 12:30 am Wednesday morning (April 17th). I timed a couple of contractions and they were about 8 minutes apart yet and manageable. baby was active and contractions were regular. We all basically slept at off and on for the rest of the night/morning. By morning, contractions were a lot closer and more painful but they still seemed doable to me. I was feeling bad that I asked everyone to come out earlier and have to sleep on my couch and floor instead of in their won beds.
Joe got up and I was still feeling like it would be a few hours so he left to run a couple of errands. Around 7:30 am, I had midwife Jane check me and I was dilated to 5 and basically completely thinned out. I went to take a shower. I was having back pain and was hoping the warm water would help. Then I went to bed and tried to sleep some more...exhausted. I hadn't really slept for 30+ hours.
Labor pains were very different than my other labors and with each contraction I need to get out of bed and on my hands and knees to manage the pain...this made sleeping impossible. I finally went back down stairs at about 9:15 am and asked to be checked again. We checked baby and his heartbeat was good. I was having contractions fairly close together, so checking me was a little more difficult but we did finally get it done. I was now dilated to about 8 cm.
I sent Joe a text and asked him to come in and fill the birthing tub for me. He was on his way back and figured he was about 10 minutes out yet.
I asked if I could shower again and was told 'yes' but asked to leave the door open so that they could hear what was going on. By the time I got in the shower, my contractions were right on top of each other. I was in the shower for maybe 10 minutes and then decided it was time to get out. I stepped out of the shower with the intention of going potty and getting dressed again. None of that happened.
About this same time, Joe got home and was trying to figure out how filling the tub. We were now out of hot water and there was no way we had enough time anyways...I couldn't move from where I was.
It was 9:55 am and I was on my bathroom floor ready to push and delivery our little one. I'm not sure but I probably pushed through about 4-6 contractions and a whole 10 minutes later Arthur was born at 10:05 am on April 17th, 2013.
As he was being delivered, Jane calmed stated we have a cord. And sure enough he had a lot of cord and it was everywhere...around his neck, around his belly, around his legs. They just calmly unwrapped him and it wasn't a big deal at all. I don't think it would have been handled in the same way in a hospital.
A few minutes later, baby and mama moved to the comforts of our own bed and snuggled up. It was so nice to just take time slowly. We didn't cut the cord until about 45 minutes later...he nursed a bunch and I delivered the placenta before the cord was even touched...minus the untangling earlier.
Arthur Cody Neaton
born 10:05 am
April 17th, 2013
8 lbs 2 oz and 21 in long
4 days after delivery...my entire family was here for a visit. An event that had been planned before his birth and I had been expecting to have at least a 2 week old by then.
This is 4 generations - grandma Geri, my mom Deb, me and baby Arthur
I'm pretty sure we are done having babies, but if it happens that we are blessed with another we will definitely be doing a home birth again. It was a great experience and I feel very blessed to have had Kim and Jane here for it. I think the nicest thing was the postpartum visits...they came to me for a 24 hour check, a 3 day check, a one week and a two week check.
The boy was my biggest newborn and has continued to grow like crazy. At his 3 day check he had already gained 4 oz since birth. At a week old, he was up 1 whole pound and at 3 weeks he had gained almost 3 pounds.