It's been 9 days since our newest little bundle has joined our family and we are still in awe of our amazing ability to grow life. He's fitting in nicely and Julian is taking more and more to him each day. Folks have asked so here's the explanation of his name:
Daschel- A name we all liked, especially Julian. When we ran a few choices past him this is the one he liked the best.
Braddock- The name of the main road where we live. We found it fitting since he was born at home.
Mitchell- Mitchell is Thad's grandfather, and also Thad's middle name. We found out we were pregnant the day that we found out he passed away....we found it fitting to honor him.
Without further ado, here is Daschel's birth story.....I'll get into what my care was like under a midwife and our decision to do a home birth after cesarean another time.
Sunday, the 21st, wasn't anything particularly crazy, just a normal day. After dinner we were in the living room and at 7:06pm I had my very first "real" contraction. It was enough that I turned to Thad and said, "ow, what the hell was that, it really hurt." We kinda took note of the time but went on with our evening, giving Julian a bath and putting him down for bed. In the 7 o'clock hour I had about 3 contractions, and in the 8 o'clock hour I had about 4. By 9 o'clock I was like, ok, these really hurt and are coming every 10 or so minutes now...should we call someone?! I spoke to a friend to get her opinion since her birth story was still fresh in my mind (she had a planned home birth but it turned into an unplanned unassisted birth since her baby came so quick and the midwives didn't get there in time) and where I didn't want to call the midwife too soon, I also didn't want to wait too long. After I got off the phone with her, we called our doula and our midwife and Marilee said she wanted to come over to "check things out." I was really nervous about her coming over because I didn't want her to come and this just be a false labor. We sent Scout to my mom's since he was whining at me and I had to work through the contractions enough that his whining was pissing me off royally. So off he went.
The midwives showed up at about 10 pm and my contractions at this point were every 5 minutes, lasting about 60 seconds long. They hunkered down on the couch and took my vitals, listened to baby, and we spent the next hour seeing how things were progressing. We called Mary Beth, too, and she decided to come over as well. I didn't truly believe I was in labor and it wasn't until we lit the birth candle and I finally posted on FB for my friends to light their candles that I thought 'this was it.'
The next couple hours are a bit hazy to me as far as the timing goes, but essentially my contractions went from 5 minutes apart to 4 minutes apart over the next hour and then finally down to 3 minutes apart. We labored in the living room and they had set up the birth supplies in the bedroom, but as the night continued more and more supplies were appearing in the living room. Soon I was stripping down my clothes and chux pads were appearing under me everywhere I moved in case my water broke. I labored most of the time on my hands and knees or standing on the stairs (having my legs at different levels really helped) but as my contractions got to 2-3 minutes apart, I felt like I needed a change. I knew he was coming down but I couldn't figure out a better position to be in, so my midwife recommended that I lean back on Thad. Once I got in the sit position leaning back, the baby dropped incredibly low and I had a feeling I could start pushing. I was really, really worried to push since I didn't know how dilated I was and Marilee doesn't check unless I ask. I figured that we still had hours of labor ahead of us so it would be premature to push. Well the position we were in in the living room was so uncomfortable that I couldn't square up my hips. My hips kept on tilting one way or the other thus the baby did too....so Marilee asked if I wanted to move upstairs on the bed to be more comfortable. We started a mad dash in between contractions up the stairs. Thad was bracing me for each contraction, Mary Beth was following me with a chux pad in case my water broke, Valerie (the midwife assistant) started shuttling birth supplies back up to the bedroom, and Marilee was talking me through each contraction. I distinctly remember someone saying to me, "when this one ends you have to move, pamela, to make it up the stairs before the next one." I don't think I walked so fast in my life, especially with a bowling ball literally between my legs.
We got into the bedroom, I laid on the bed, and I decided to have Marilee check me for dilation. Shoot, if I had hours more of this pain I had to be able to deal with my energy level, right? She checked me and very calmly said, "you are complete and the baby's head is right there." With that we began pushing around 3am. She said she could feel my bag of waters right in front of his head and I remember asking her if she needed extra clothes in case my water broke all over her. Next contraction, I beared down and my water literally popped everywhere- it sounded like a water balloon! At that his head really came down and we pushed through a few more contractions when the stretching was really kind of freaking me out Thad was being a great cheerleader, "with every push we see hair," "his head is right there!" I love him but gee, I know where his head was! There was a point where Marilee told me that she'd ask me to stop pushing so she could guide his head out slowly and when that moment hit, boy was that mean! Sure enough, though, down and out he came (cool note, my sacrum was so loosey-goosey that they said they could see it moving to let him out...props to chiropractic care during pregnancy) and at 3:33am our little boy was born. Daschel weighed in at 6 lbs 11 oz (2 lbs smaller than his big brother) and 20 1/2 inches long.
She placed him right on my chest and he was COVERED in vernix, a sign that he was early. Marilee said his gestational age was about 38 weeks which is just fine since this little dude is perfect. The placenta took over an hour to come out (it was posterior so I ended up having to sit on the birthing stool to get it out) and then I took a shower, got some stitches (which is why I was in bed for a few days to let them heal), and the newborn exam. Julian woke up just in time to see the newborn exam and check out the placenta (which is SO cool!). I'm still surprised he slept through all the ruckus.
By 6:30am everyone was headed home and Thad, baby, and I hunkered down in bed for a nice nap. Here we are, 9 days later and I am still on cloud 9 from our birth experience, and little Dash is napping on daddy's chest. My milk came in on day 2 and nursing (so far) has been a total breeze. Also, side note, all that eating well did me good...not only was Dash a great size, but I am only 2 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Granted, my belly needs some, um, toning, but damn, life is good.
Here is a photo right after he was born: