Monday, July 12, 2010

daddy's side of the (birth) story

I always think its fun to hear birth stories from the Dad's point of view. I'm so glad Jared took the time to write this down in his journal on Miriam's birthday. I thought I'd share. You can read my version of the birth here
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Happy Birthday Miriam Dawn! I cannot *believe* that she is really here! She is such a sweet, petite and precious little thing. It is such a miracle that one day a woman is pregnant and then suddenly there is a new person in the world! What a miracle. And such a RELIEF that everything went so perfectly! This pregnancy and birth has made of me a passionate advocate for natural home birth. Having Miriam born at home was a sublime, intimate experience. It was reverent and peaceful--everything that we could have asked for. But I shall back up a bit. 

Katrina, Asher and I arrived at the midwife shortly before 9, and Rebecca stripped her membranes and gave her antibiotics [for Group B Strep]. Asher was really great, playing with several cars (and hitting them with the toy golf clubs). Rebecca also gave Katrina black and blue cohosh, which gets things in order and stimulates contractions. We ran to Costco and ShopKo. I was feeling excited but also anxious to get HOME so we could get things in order. We got home, and the girls and I finished cleaning and set up the tub. The labor was quite intense, and Katrina very quickly got to the point where she needed to use her Hypnobabies to manage her contractions, and she could not talk during them. We got home a little after 11. Rebecca got here around 1:45ish, took a look at Katrina and said "that is a woman who is going to have a baby. You can fill the tub the rest of the way." As soon as she got in the tub she felt instant relief. I called Anne [the older kids' grandma] and arranged to have the girls picked up and was calling around to get Asher taken care of when he got up from his nap. Unfortunately I had put some birthing materials in Asher's closet, so woke him up. He probably would have slept through the entire birth otherwise!

I could tell by the sounds Katrina was making that the labor was really intense--she was kind of making this singing/moaning sound through her contractions. I ran Asher over to Kristen Johnson's, got back as soon as I could (though I should have driven instead of walked!). When I walked back in the door, Rebecca shouted out, "Jared come over here you are going to miss it!" I went over to the tub and saw a little body hanging out, from about the upper abdomen down. It happened REALLY fast, but I saw her wiggle around. One arm came out, then the other, and then her head came out. Chris, who had come only about 10 minutes before, described things as she saw them through her more experienced eyes. She said that Miriam maneuvered around to get her arms out, then did a little kick so her head would clear the pubic bone. I was very impressed by how ideal water birth is (it functions as everything--temperature control, lubricant, pain relief, cleaner, assists with positions, etc).

Miriam is crying, that incomparable little newborn cry.
I was also impressed by how well babies really do know how to be born. I saw how still she held when only her lower body was out, and she moved in just the right ways.
Miriam is small, but so beautiful... she was 6 pounds 10 ounces. I am so glad she had every single day she did in the womb! She was pretty purple at first but pinked up beautifully quite quickly.

It is difficult to adequately express how peaceful and joyful the birth was. It was so wonderful to be HOME, to be in our own space. We could tell that Rebecca was really enjoying it here. She had NEVER seen a home breech birth! It has been six years since she saw a breech at all. She said she has felt so calm about the birth, though she studied up a bunch! [This is why we had the other midwife there who was very experienced with breech births.]

It is such a RELIEF to have this birth behind us, just because of the concerns... but everything went so beautifully we didn't need to worry at all. There is precious little we would have changed... it would have been awesome to get the home breech birth on video, since it is so rare, and I wish I had been there for the entire birth!

An interesting random note.. Even this morning I could tell Katrina was really in labor because her breath smelled the exact same way it did when Asher was born!

Wow, what a day. That was one of the peak experiences of my life. Chris, the other midwife, was really great. She didn't even really need to do anything. But she is a interesting mix of laid back (doesn't really do medical notes etc) and just a powerhouse, competent personality. And this birth was a total bonding experience with Rebecca.

I guess I am running out of words, but I feel deeply, deeply happy and grateful. So grateful that Katrina and Miriam are doing so well. Katrina exclaimed how good she felt after the birth, like she didn't even have a baby today. She did not tear at all (just one "skid" mark), and her bleeding didn't need any intervention. And Miriam's little features are so perfect. Her bottom is a bit purple and swollen, but not bad at all.

The kids were really sweet about meeting their baby sister. Asher handled it really well; he was excited and didn't seem weirded out. Grace called, mostly to ask if Miriam had red hair! Olivia asked if she could come over, and was in tears when I suggested she wait until her mom could bring all of them over. Then Olivia said "My legs hurt because I rode over here SO fast on my scooter!" And Isaac said Miriam was his early birthday present and was really happy.

I can't believe it... what a wonderful day. Ok, now to finish up what I need to do--diapers and put food away and such.

Oh, the pizza guy showed up at our door and we were a bit confused. We were like, "is it paid for?" Katrina's grandma bought us pizza, which was really sweet.


  1. Katrina - I just found you blog today and have spent way too much time looking through your archives. Love your blog - we see eye to eye on so many things - and I'm looking forward to keeping up with it now, and especially to hearing about how tandem nursing goes for you!

  2. Jared! I am happy to hear you talk about the birth, it sounded so perfect. I think I'll have to do a post after vivi is born. We are so thrilled for you all. Congratulations and we love you guys.