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Everly is now 5 days old: A look back on the birth experience.

The last week has been a whirlwind! Everly Charlotte was born on June 23rd 2009 at 1:16am. She weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 21 inches long, her head measured 34 1/2 cm. She was way bigger than we expected her to be but as you’ll see by the photos she is darn good and healthy! She was even born with hair which makes me so happy (I was born bald), her hair is red too.

Her Apgar scores were 9 at 1 min & 10 at 5 min, which is great. She was feeding like a champ right after birth too, they placed her on my chest right after she was out and she found the nipple no problem. I was even feeding her as they wheeled me through the hospital doors at 3am for my repair work. I suffered a 4th degree tear that is very unusual for Farm births and homebirths in general.

A surgeon came in and stitched me up good. I specifically asked how many stitches I was receiving, the surgeon laughed and said he’d lost count and that it’s probably better that way. Basically we got there at 3am and didn’t leave till about 6am. I got lots of stitches. N, Pamela and Everly napped while they worked on me.

We also had Everly’s cord blood tested (to get her blood type) and I received my RhoGam shot while we were there since it turns out Everly is not RH negative like me. I was also prescribed some antibiotics for the tear. Basically I tore all the way through (if you know what I mean) so they were worried about anal bacteria and vaginal bacteria combining and infecting my stitches among other things.

I was not given any pain meds though, just taking Tylenol when I am hurting. I am supposed to be staying in bed with baby for 10 days, per Pamela and the surgeons orders. I am also taking arnica 30x for muscle soreness and trauma healing. I don’t feel incapable of carrying on though so staying in bed is hard.

Basically my pushing phase was super slow to start and then went super fast at the end. We tried all sorts of different positions to get her past my bones. I was laying back in bed, then went to the birthing chair, labored in the shower with N, tried squatting, pulling on a door handle, on hands and knees, kneeling face down on the bed and finally tried pushing while collapsed on my knees and elbows with my butt in the air.

Once I got in to my last position things began to go very quickly. From crowning to head out only took 3 min and she practically shot out of me. Nobody expected her to come as quickly as she did. They didn’t even have time to apply counter pressure to the perineum or to show me her head crowning. I am pretty sure I tore because she came out so fast.

Normally in a home birth situation they have you pushing as hard as you can until you begin to crown, once crowing begins they have you pant through the contractions and go real slow so you can avoid tearing. Unfortunately this didn’t happen in my case and I am certain it had to do with the fact that I made so much fast progress in the end.

Anyway I started pushing and was fully dilated at 10:44pm, she crowned at 1:12am and her head was out by 1:15am. One min later her body was out and I was holding her. It all happen super fast and the pushing part was my least favorite part because I felt like I wasn’t making good progress and that I was doing it all wrong. It turns out it was the positions that were working against me and making things seem like they weren’t progressing.

The contractions were much easier for me to deal with as I had found a way to “get in the zone” and relax through them. I listened to my tranquility music and Tibetan singing bowl music on my iPod during this phase, it lasted about 8 hours. N said everyone was amazed that I hardly made a peep until the last half hour of birth when the molding and crowning was taking place.

All in all I am very pleased with my birth experience and would totally do it the same way again. Pamela was great and N was a champ too. He never really left my side. From the moment he arrived back at The Farm until I was back home and stitched up. He even looked down there and got to see her coming out which we had previously discussed and he wasn’t sure he wanted to do.

Oh, and Pamela even wrote a song about Everly that she played for us on her guitar before we headed home. The song was beautiful and made me cry. We planted the placenta on her land under an evergreen tree, it’s the Everly Evergreen tree now. It seemed fitting since we birthed Everly in Pamela’s cabin on The Farm and it will forever be an important place for us.

Everly’s birth was an amazing experience and it truly was a right of passage for us. We are on cloud 9 now and wouldn’t have done it any other way!

Oh, if you want to read N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 1) & N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 2) are now up over at his blog! I am still working on my long version of the birth story. Posted my short summary version already, it can be read here.

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

20 thoughts on “Everly is now 5 days old: A look back on the birth experience.

  1. Ouch! And more ouch! Take of yourself! And give that darling Everly tons of hugs and snuggles for me 🙂 I’m so happy that all of you are back home safe and sound.
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..His Loss =-.

  2. Stay in bed like they told you–you will appreciate the benefits of that in later years. You have been through big changes in your body in just a short time, and it needs time to heal and rest.

    Everyly is so pretty!
    .-= karen´s last blog ..Scenic Sunday =-.

  3. I’m so proud of you honey! Her birth story is amazingly beautiful…I think you made the best decision for your family by birthing her at the farm. I love that she has her own tree at the farm, so sweet! I’m so sorry you had such a sever tear…ouchie! I also love her name, her full name is beautiful, where did you come up with it? I can’t believe how big she is. I forget she is a newborn when I look at her pics (which are beautiful by the way)!

    Enjoy every moment with your baby girl, you waited a long time for her!
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..I WANT ONE! =-.

  4. Congrats she is so beautiful! I’m so glad that you were able to have the experience you wanted enjoy her every moment they grow so fast!!

  5. She is so beautiful! I am sorry you had such a severe tear, but I am thankful that you had such a wonderful journey with your pregnancy and birthing experience at the Farm. You have touched so many lives already with your blogging and I believe you could be a real encouragement to so many in our local community. Thank you for sharing your story with us at Evansville Birth Network.

  6. I think you had a near perfect birth experience and I am incredibly pleased that it happened for you.

    Yet… I’m an old lady and a bit of a curmudgeon. You had a near perfect birth of a perfect baby… do you realize how lucky you are?

    Had I had a natural birth my first time, I’d have likely ended up similarly to you. My pushing didn’t do much good until suddenly it did. This was a surprise to all apparently as I remember the anesthesiologist saying “the baby is crowning” just before he slapped the “happy” mask on my face. I tore, and was told I had over 100 stitches. My OB-GYN who was not present until my second day of recovery because I was 3 weeks late — he was on vacation — tore a new one in the guy who covered for him equal to my tear. I heard this from my room… and my doctor told me that he’d have to “fix” me.

    Unfortunately, I became pregnant far too soon. My first child is only 13 months older than her younger sibling. My advice: don’t do this! LOL!!

    Anyway, my doc “fixed” me after the birth of my second child, though I still have a fistula. It’s not causing me any problems yet, so I’m not having it fixed.

    What I’m getting at here is that I understand the pain of the stitches and that I sincerely hope the docs have “fixed” you right from the beginning.

    And, secondly… I am reminded of the birth of my first grandchild. Hours… I do not remember how many stuck at dilation of 8. No progress, then trouble finding the baby’s heartbeat. Scary… I cannot tell you how scared I was.

    Finally the doc says it’s a c-section and it’s an emergency. (Just to bring a little politics in here, my daughter’s c-section was delayed by almost 30 minutes because of an emergency c-section for an illegal immigrant who had fallen while trying to traverse the mountains of southern Arizona).

    My granddaughter survived the c-section without problem. She was healthy, wide-eyed baby girl. My daughter… not so much. Possibly due to the delay, the baby’s meconium was distributed into the uterus. Thus there was a need for antibiotics. The epidural given early in labor didn’t last through the c-section and the 2nd epidural didn’t take effect in time to kill the pain. My daughter felt it all.

    And to top that off, the effect of the double epidurals finally hit her about 12 hours after birth — she had no control over her bladder. This horrible effect lasted for more than 5 days. Plus, she was anemic from the blood loss of non-surgical labor plus the blood loss from the c-section.

    On top of all these problems, my daughter had inverted nipples. Frankly, natural nursing was simply out of the question. You have no idea the lengths to which my daughter went to pump milk for her baby.

    Talina and N — in no way do I want you to feel guilty… I simply want you to recognize that what you’ve so joyously experienced is not possible for everyone.

    And… I am incredibly happy for the two of you. Everly is totally gorgeous. Let us be completely truthful here and acknowledge that some babies are not born beautiful. Everly and my grandchildren are the exceptions and… no, I’m not biased at all.

    You guys are lucky and should revel in that! All I ask is that you not judge my daughters for not being so fortunate.

    And… you know, I don’t think that you two would. But I think that others who subscribe to the “natural” way might. This message is for them, not for you.

    And… I’d still love to hold Everly to my chest and rub her back and tell her she was the most precious thing on earth… and that we should both fall asleep in a comfy recliner… certainly she won’t remember it… but she will feel it in some primal way will she not?
    .-= Donna B.´s last blog ..RIP Michael Jackson =-.

  7. Aw, what a wonderful experience (except for the tearing, of course)you had! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I’m grateful for places like the farm because if I were to have had kids, that is the route I’d like to take. Everly is beautiful! I see by the previous post that you have been christened. LOL. I now dub thee, “Mommy.”
    .-= teeni´s last blog ..My Own Church =-.

  8. Everly is beautiful as her mother is. To look at her is to know that she was taken wonderful care of during pregnancy. I love the photos so much, and the story. It’s wonderful to see N so in love with his daughter, and to see you laughing at the poo squirts.May your body repair beautifully from your severe tearing.
    .-= witchypoo´s last blog ..This is the Song that Never Ends =-.

  9. I had the same experience with positions – I tried pushing in a squatting position first and felt like I was making no progress – then I got on hands and knees and baby came out in ONE push – what an experience. I tore too, but not as bad as you … ouch! Great story! Congrats!

  10. I love reading homebirth stories (I was the editor of a homebirth magazine for three years) and feel really lucky to get to read a current birth story from The Farm.

    I too tore after birth – a third degree tear through my perineum and a second degree tear through my labia (which has never healed properly) I had a very slow and peaceful second stage having chosen to have a physiological second stage (no pushing) but the tearing through my labia (he came down hard on the left side) which I wasn’t able to articulate and standing – no one was able to see .. meant my body gave a huge involuntary heave and out he came – heads, shoulders and body in one massive contraction.

    In retrospect now – i am very glad that I did in many ways. Like you – I’m rather active and sitting around doing nothing isn’t something I relish. though I took my midwife’s advice – constant bedrest for the first week and then mostly bedrest for the second.

    While my tears were slow healing – they forced me to slow down at a time I really needed to. And gratefully later on at both four and six months I had lots of energy, was healthy and well – at a time when other mothers were hitting the wall – having got straight back into life after birth.

    Babymoons are standard in most traditional societies for a reason … and I think there is often a gift behind tearing at birth.
    .-= Jodi Cleghorn´s last blog ..Getting Antsy =-.

  11. What a wonderful birth! I’m sorry about the tears-I had an episiotomy with my first and ouch! But still…definately better than the cesarean I had with my last one. I hope you heal well and make sure you stay in bed!

    @Donna: I’m sorry your daughter went through all of that! I wonder, was she up and about and able to try different positions as well? Its pretty common to get *stuck* and have changing positions finish dilating. I was stuck at 9 for HOURS with one of mine (I’ve had 5 so far) and finally all the walking and changing positions worked-I actually felt her drop. She was born 15 minutes later 🙂

    Also, inverted nipples doesnt mean she can never nurse. I too had inverted nipples with my first. I pumped exlusively for 3 months due to that and my son having nipple confusion (the hospital gave him a bottle, which is bad in general, but probably much worse in the case of inverted or flat nipples). Finally after 3 months of trying he nursed for the first time-and never looked back! I never had any issues after him; my nipples are no longer inverted. Between pumping and nursing, they were drawn out. So dont give up hope! If she has another one, she may be able to nurse! Good for her for pumping though, I know how draining it is.

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