OH, you guys. Grace Ellen is here, and she is lovely. Jess delivered her in her home yesterday- right on her due date!- after twenty hours of labor, most of those hours being actual, active LABOR labor, not "labor" like I had with Jameson. She was a trooper, let me tell you. And going on about two hours of sleep and a twenty minute nap, plus a posterior baby! It was one of the hardest AND the most amazing things I've ever gotten to see. By the end I was sweaty and exhausted myself!
I've never been at a home birth before, and I have so many new thoughts and feelings, but it's not really my story to tell, so I don't want to ramble on and on. I'll just say that while I'm honestly content with my choices and really don't think I'm a good candidate for home birth, I was thrilled that Jess got to do it, and I couldn't imagine a gentler, warmer entry into the world for baby Grace. She was so alert, so peaceful and so healthy within seconds of her birth- pink and rosy and shiny eyed, staring up at her thrilled parents. A beautiful reward after a grueling labor! And I can honestly say I don't think the delivery would have been the way Jess wanted if she'd been at a hospital- her labor stalled out for several hours in the middle of the night, and while the midwives just told her to nap and rest and wait for contractions to return, I bet at most hospitals she would have been on pit, gotten an epidural, or even a c section by the end. Which is not the end of the world, obviously, but I know it's not what she wanted, and since the baby was fine there would have been no reason for it.
The name of the game for a home birth is watchful patience, is what I took away from that birth. Not reckless patience- not ignoring warning signs, certainly; those midwives checked baby's heart tones more often than my ob did during pushing!- but the patience of knowing that labor rarely follows a straight, simple path, and that you just have to go with it. The body and the baby usually figure out how to work together if you let them. And it's a miracle, every time. A common, everyday miracle.
Dang it, now I'm crying AGAIN. Congratulations, Adam and Jess! And thank you for inviting me to be there. It was the best night's sleep I ever missed!
P.S. I'd just like to add that I think c-sections are a miracle too; there are babies/moms alive that wouldn't be without them. Obviously nature doesn't ALWAYS get it together, and I don't mean this to imply that if you don't choose to give birth on your knees in a tub your baby's birth was not a miracle!