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.