Sunday, July 31, 2016

731 Day

Our family decided to take part in the first 731 Day festivities. We went to Centennial Park, where the big kids participated in the biggest water balloon fight EVER!! We managed to keep a pretty good eye on where the kids were in the balloon chaos, while simultaneously not losing a toddler!After the fun and games we enjoyed snow cones.  
first photo of the 10 of us


Monday, July 11, 2016

Margot Clementine: Birth

 The much awaited arrival of our newest babe finally came. Margot Clementine West was born July 11, 2016, weighing 8 lbs. even and measuring 20.25 inches in length. It took a few days after her arrival to settle on the name that was just right for her. Her name, Margot, pays homage to her paternal grandmother, Margaret. Clementine means mercy. We were fortunate enough to have another flawless homebirth. I get to advocate for homebirths, since this is my blog. We believe that for us, homebirthing is the safest choice for us. I have always been free to make the choices that I felt was best for me and my baby, without an ounce of pressure from my midwife. That included forgoing what I felt were unnecessary testing, being allowed to go past my due date and having my entire support system present at birth. I had what is considered a low risk pregnancy with our midwife, Lynda Hoskins. With each prenatal appointment, there was never a cause for concern of my health or the health of the baby. I met with my midwife monthly, then moving to every two weeks and then finally every week. Having known her and developed a rapport with her over the course eight years, I trust her knowledge and skills, but above even that, she makes me comfortable.
I woke up the morning of July 11, having had some stronger contractions periodically throughout the night. For me that never does indicate true labor, for many times they stay strong and regular for a time, and then taper out before disappearing completely. This is called prodromal labor. It will eventually become true labor, but it is not the real thing, although it is not Braxton-Hicks either. It can be frustrating. I knew that things were different this morning, because my show was present. I texted my midwife to give her a heads up. Still birth could be days away. I continued to update her and also notified those that I wanted present during labor. There are certain people who make you feel encouraged and safe. I want those people around me during labor and birth. My safe place. My midwife decided to come with her assistant just to check things out. She arrived at approximately 11:00 am. I was filling up the pool because my contractions had found a rhythm and I wanted the relief that warm submersion provides. The birthing pool is called "the midwife's epidural". Upon checking my dilation, she found that I was eight centimeters and my bag of waters was still intact. I labored until around 2:45 pm. I was frustrated that things were not progressing faster. I knew my support system could not stay forever. Mentally, I was thinking about too many external factors to relax completely anymore. My contractions were still very manageable because of the cushion that the bag of waters provides. But, I also knew it was hindering how quickly I wanted things to happen. Let it be bag of waters was not hindering the natural process and there was no need to manipulate anything. It was hindering my desires, nothing more. At my own request, I asked for a dilation check again, which found me to be at a very stretchy 9.5 centimeters and 100% effacement. I expressed my frustrations and she offered me the choice to break my bag of waters. I agreed (which I regret now, simply because it did not allow for the natural progression of labor...and secretly I had hoped that the baby might be born in the caul.). During a contraction, she gently punctured the bag and instantly the urge to push was upon me. Very controlled, I pushed three times and our baby was born into Daddy's arms at 2:59 pm. I was allowed to discover the gender of the new baby....A GIRL! I was allowed to enjoy our new baby as long as I desired in the pool even nursing her for the first time, before transferring into my own bed. The midwife checked me out to find not a single injury. I changed into my own clean , comfortable clothes while the newborn exam took place right on our bed. Baby was in perfect health. She was given back to me where she stayed.
Birth is a joy for me. My children are a gift that I absolutely feel humbled to be blessed with. There is nothing else in this life quite like carrying life and bringing it into the world uninhibited. I am continuously grateful to the Lord, the Creator of life and the Giver of all good gifts, who is my strength as I birth the way He designed. (That statement is absolutely free of any judgment) He has provided the freedom to birth where I feel safe and secure. I am immensely blessed in this respect.