Born into Water

lifting baby out of waterI never once had a cervical check, but I trusted my body. I pushed. Within a few contractions I could feel the head in the canal, it was happening so fast (I pushed for 2 hours with my first labor). I had planned on "laboring down" to let myself stretch a bit (hoping to avoid another tear) but in the moment I completely forgot.

in birth tub holding newly born babyI remember thinking "I can't do this!" then hearing my own mind respond "of course you can, you ARE doing it, right now!" It felt like her head must already be out, she was so RIGHT THERE, but they assured me she was not. A few more pushes and she was! The midwife "caught" her then put in her my hands under water and I pulled her up between my legs. She was covered in vernix but bright-eyed and so sweet.

The time of birth was declared to be 4:17 a.m. I realized I had not looked at a clock once since 2 a.m. I was so happy. I felt that with my first birth, so much emphasis had been put on how long things took, so I had made a goal of covering all the clocks but in the end there was no need.

The midwife gave me a warm towel and checked her heart immediately as she laid on my chest, where she stayed as I delivered the placenta.

first look at babyI then got to really look at her for the first time. She had a powdering of brown hair, and dark blue eyes, dainty little hands and feet. So different from my son. Her lips were a bit swollen from the birth process and I remember thinking she looked much like my paternal Grandma (who was in her late 90's when she passed):

They handed her to Kenny while I got out of the tub and dried off a bit. He was so excited! I sat up on the couch and Kenny handed me her to nurse for the first time. She took to it like a champ.

During that time, Danniele set up an herbal bath in our master bath room for baby and I to take together. She was so pretty and pink and was looking a bit less like grandma :) and I fell in love. She's a beautiful baby.

Stitches and Stuff

Afterwards they stitched me up on my bed (4 deep stitches along the lines of my scar from the first birth)- oh did that hurt! I was far more vocal through that then I had been in labor. I had had many many more stitches after having my son, but had been anesthetized (which is likely why I tore in the first place) and don't remember them.

While I was being stitched, baby Camille was taken out to meet her big brother, who had just woken up from a normal night's sleep to find his house full of strange people. He seemed to immediately understand that this was the baby from mommy's tummy and his baby sister.

Finally we weighed her -- she was 7 pounds, 2 ounces!

A Trip to Emergency

midwife holding oxygen mask for babyAfter a few hours, we noticed the area around her lips kept going gray. You can see it a bit in this picture.

She'd get pinker while on the midwife's oxygen, then go gray again. This can be a sign of heart problems (cyanosis) so we called around to find a pediatrician to look at her. None were open and the oxygen was running out, so we opted to go to the ER instead.

We were the spectacle of the ER. They never see brand new babies; that all happens upstairs at Labor and Delivery. Everyone was shocked I was in such good shape and walking around so soon after birth. All the ER staff gathered in the hall to see the "homebirth baby," but everyone was respectful and congratulatory. None of their equipment was meant for little bitty babies, but eventually we could see that even when she was gray, her heartrate and oxygen level were great.

They took an x-ray then took us up to the NICU to await the results. They told me because we were a homebirth we were going to be kept in isolation so as to not infect the hospital babies (I remember thinking, "No, we should be kept in isolation so the hospital babies don't infect MY baby!" But whatever).