Well, my next post for thanksgiving day (the day I hit "full term") was going to be "place your bets on when this baby comes"... but that's the day my water broke
Introducing baby Camille Loraine Kunz
7 pounds, 2 ounces. 20 inches long.
Camille was a name suggested by my sister Lori that really grew on us the last few weeks. Loraine is my aunt's name (and my sister is a Lorilynn), so the name is attached to two of my favorite people (and is a beautiful name besides).
Elanor, the name we HAD been leaning towards, was meant for a hobbit child, and this baby is no hobbit, she's just too dainty.
She's a VERY mellow, sleepy baby. She has a dusting of dark hair (much more than Daniel ever had), very dainty feet and hands, and is just very pretty, if I do say so myself. I wish I had more pictures of her with her eyes open, she just looks so dainty.
My water broke at 4:15 pm on thanksgiving. I prepared some for the delivery, we ate our meager thanksgiving feast, then we waited anxiously for contractions to start before finally giving up and going to sleep around 11 pm. I woke up with contractions a few hours later and we called over the midwife and my "birth team" around 2 am.
We chose to do a homebirth for various reasons. One, since we have no access to maternity coverage (though our regular insurance would cover complications if they arose), it was the cheapest way to go. But really, I believe that the hospital is somewhere you go when something is wrong... and there isn't anything medically wrong with a low-risk labor. I felt completely relaxed and in control and comfortable. I've spent years researching it and felt that it would be the safest and smartest route for us (fortunately, Kenny agreed without needing to be convinced). I may write a post another time with details around choosing a homebirth and why it isn't as risky or crazy as it sounds, but for now... on to our story.
In attendance were my midwife Chris, her apprentice Danniele, and my friends Cristin (who acted as my doula) and Marissa (who lent her support and took pictures). Daniel was asleep upstairs the whole time (in the morning, he went to spend the day at my brother Kevin's- we are SO grateful he was somewhere we didn't have to worry about him).
Chris took my temp and listened to baby's heartrate and everything looked healthy and normal. A huge part of a midwife's job is to foresee any problems so we can take appropriate steps (including heading to the hospital if necessary), but my pregnancy and labor were pretty straightforward.
I got through the first contractions by leaning on the couch. In between, we chatted and laughed. I didn't have any internal exams after my water broke, so I can't tell you how quickly I progressed. Around 2:30 am I got into the birthing tub we had set up in our kitchen.
The water felt wonderful and the tub was obviously designed with laboring women in mind. Things definitely got intense, I made lots of funny noises ("lalalalalala ooooooooooooo"), but never felt out of control. Around 4:05 am I felt the urge to push, and Camille was born into water at 4:17 am.
She was SO quiet and sleepy when she came out. Apparently this is very typical of water births- it's a smoother transition for them- but she's been quiet and mellow ever since. She didn't want to nurse at first, she was too sleepy, but she latched really well about an hour later and seems to be a good nurser so long as she's awake enough for it.
This labor was SO different than Daniel's. For one, the second my water broke I spent every possible minute on my hands and knees to make sure she got in the right position- she had been hanging out sunny side up and I did NOT want a back labor like I had with Daniel. It worked, and I didn't have that horrible back pressure the whole time. In between contractions I could regroup, something I didn't have the first time. I had a very minor tear, just 3 stitches- again, SO much better than Daniel's labor.
This entire labor lasted for less time than I spent PUSHING with Daniel, and you can tell- I'm not nearly as physically exhausted and became a functioning human being much faster. Anyways, it's a GOOD kind of tired
After I was stitched up (and while others cleaned up the kitchen), Camille and I took an herbal bath in the clean master bath which she seemed to really enjoy:
After a few hours, we realized that the grayish tinge around her mouth wasn't going away. She'd pink up while on the oxygen my midwife had brought, but then go gray again if we took it away. Midwife told us that cyanosis (gray-mouthed babies) can be a sign of heart issues, and we knew my midwife's O2 tank wouldn't last forever, so we decided to head to the hospital.
I'm a little bummed that after such a successful homebirth we ended up paying the hospital money anyways, but I like to think we're living proof that homebirthers don't take unnecessary risks. Anyways I'm so glad I got to labor at home, our stay at the hospital only reminded me of some of the reasons we avoided delivering at the hospital.
It was fun being the spectacle of the ER- they don't get new babies very often (that's a different department of the hospital) and all the staff were very curious- you'd see people leave their offices to come watch the "homebirth baby" come down the hall. Everyone was super nice, congratulatory and supportive, though we did have to explain to them that Yes, we HAD had thorough prenatal care, and Yes, we'd had an ultrasound and everything looked healthy. It was odd, because even without the oxygen mask her O2 saturation levels would be at a perfect 100%, but her lips were still gray. On paper she looked great!
They did an xray, which led them to question the shape of her heart (NOT something we had wanted to hear), so they sent us up to the NICU and she got an echocardiogram.
Now, technicians usually can't tell you ANYTHING while taking tests like that, but ours was a very friendly man who told me "heck, lady, you're brave enough to have a homebirth and now you're walking around like you weren't even pregnant, I will go ahead and tell you, everything looks 100% normal."
Whew!!! Then they sent us on up to a nice suite in pediatrics where we spent the night under observation. By afternoon she was staying pink on her own.
They sent us home yesterday morning with a completely clean bill of health.
Daniel has been SO cute about his new sister. When he woke up yesterday morning at 5:30 am and came down to a house full of strange people, you can tell he was overwhelmed, but he was still very sweet and excited about his "baby -ter" (baby sister).
Apparently yesterday morning he came down the stairs asking "baby -ter?", then when Kenny explained we were at the hospital he said "baby -ter lost? Lost baby
When I brought her home a few hours later, his first reaction was this:
He's been all hugs, kisses, and pats since- perhaps a little TOO affectionate but oh-so-sweet. As far as interacting with kenny and I goes, he's very dramatic right now and obviously trying to figure out where he stands.
We couldn't be happier with how the homebirth went or with our sweet new baby girl. She only woke up once last night to eat, but I suspect she hasn't really woken up to the world yet and it will be a different story in a few days.
Thanks everyone SO much for the many happy thoughts and well wishes. This little girl came into a world of love