Thursday, August 1, 2013

Twists and Turns, Joci's Birth Story Part IV

Both Jon and I agree, we're so happy with our decision to go with the Birth Center.   Lia's birth was great and all, but this time we actually got to take advantage of all those things that make midwifery so wonderful (except for the whirlpool, why didn't i use the whirlpool??).  I just love their approach to birth - that it's this normal, healthy process that (most times) will just take care of itself.  It's so much more laid back than the hospital, but they're mindful too.

For me, and with a normal, healthy pregnancy, I think hospitals are a tad excessive.  But I'm also not in to that whole freebirthing movement where I'd go out for a walk in our woods or something and come back home carrying a baby.  The Birth Center's middle of the road approach seems to be right up my alley.  But I also understand that not everybody feels the same way and I'm totally cool with that.  All I know is I'm so incredibly grateful that we ended up in this part of Maryland and that I was able to have my last two babies here.  It's really been a wonderful experience!

Throughout my labor the nurse and midwife were regularly checking my blood pressure and pulse, as well as the baby's heartbeat.  But it was only a few minutes each time, and I didn't have to be tied down to a bunch of different machines beeping and humming all around me.  I'm so grateful the midwife and nurses were around though, because there were a few, er, twists, to Joci's birth.

She loves the swaddle!
First of all, the cord was around her neck.  Thankfully, it wasn't tight and I realize this is actually very common in births.  But I'm just relieved that if it had to happen to one of my babies, it wasn't the one that was I was catching in the front seat of the car.  Susannah actually asked me to stop pushing once Jocelyn's head was out so she could determine how to maneuver the baby around the cord.

There was also a true knot in the cord.  We're guessing it had been there a long time because if you even loosened it a little it immediately went back to it's shape.  This could have been a little more serious and is one of the reasons they recommend moms do kick counts.  I never took that aspect of pregnancy very seriously, but there was one night a few weeks ago that I noticed I hadn't felt the baby move in a couple of hours.  I called the midwife and then laid down and prayed over my belly.  Thankfully, Baby Girl got the hiccups before the midwife had a chance to call me back.  It was a scary evening and a reminder of all the things that go on in my womb that I may not be aware of.  I'm  just thankful that God watches over even our unborn children.

Our little blondie.
Finally, and then I promise I'll stop talking about Joci's cord, it was super long.  They say that active babies tend to have longer cords and Girlfriend was definitely my most active baby!  As a result of all that tugging and pulling she earned herself a herniated belly button.  In other words, the Little Miss has a major outtie.  Good thing she won't need to wear a bikini anytime soon.

But all these things are no big deal because our daughter is just beautiful and perfect.  She never cried after being born.  She just laid on my chest and blinked her big, blue eyes.  She's the blondest of our babies and I personally think she has a bit of a wave (dare I say curl??) to her hair.  She was also the least swollen and we think she might be our prettiest newborn, but that's hard to say.  She took to nursing right away (I'm serious, it just keeps getting easier and easier with each kid!) and didn't stop for a good 3 hours.  So of course, by the time we weighed her, she had already eaten everything I had to offer and pooped all over me and the blankets.

Okay, so this was only 12 hours after she was born and long before her hair was ever washed but don't you see those curls?!

Ironically, I had a little bit more trouble after the birth this time around.  There were some concerns about bleeding and blood clots.  Without going in to too much detail let's just say the midwife had to do some things that I didn't know could be done.  And the nurse practically jumped on my uterus a few times throughout the night to make sure it was contracting correctly.  And then there was the shot to my thigh.   And then a second shot in my other thigh a little bit later.  I mean, as if having a baby wasn't enough, I practically got beat up by the staff after she was born!  The only difference between the pain of labor contractions and the pain the midwife was inflicting on me was that I got to hold Joci in my arms with the latter.  And somehow concentrating on her sweet little face made things a bit more bearable.
Four hours old, ready to go home!
I was afraid they weren't going to let us go home but after they were assured that I was fine and that I knew how to take care of a newborn, they let us leave with our baby a little after midnight (which is why there are no "coming home" pictures).  And so, despite having a daytime labor, by the time I was able to take pictures it was completely dark.

Baby's first car ride.
We crept into the house and headed straight to bed.  I don't remember much about that first night.  I know I spent the better portion of it awake, but I did manage to get some sleep and by the time the "big" kids were up Joci and I were ready to greet them!

Her bee-bee.
Can I just say how weird it is to say "the three older kids."  I've said it a lot over the past 10 days and it still feels strange.  And, of course, it goes without saying that Julia is now huge.  I mean, I actually put her on the scale the day we came home because I was certain she had gained a few pounds in the 24 hours I hadn't seen her.  I guess it doesn't matter how old your last child is, when they lose their status as "baby of the family" they suddenly seem all grown up.

He was so excited!
Jack is totally into Jocelyn.  He'll say, several times a day, "her so cute!"  He loves to hold her (for like 30 seconds).  And he pretty much can't keep his hands off of her, or his face away from hers, or his Monkey from touching her little body.  Julia is all about the "bee-bee" as well.  She also likes to hold her and does this thing where she lifts her hands and wiggles her fingers when she wants a turn... and then screams and stamps her foot when she doesn't get her way.  But she's also very sweet with doling out kisses.

Surprisingly, Jude, the child who was most in to my belly while pregnant, wants the least to do with the baby.  In fact, he's still very interested in my belly - whether there's another baby in there, why my other two "little bellies" *cough, cough* are suddenly bigger, and where the door is that baby Joci came out of.  Oh, and while we're on the "kids say the darndest things" subject.  Jack was very disappointed that Joci's birthday is in July.  Apparently, he thinks her birthday should be in August (we had told him she could be born in July or August).  So he's requested that the next baby be born in August.  Yeah, I'm sure Jon will be all over that one.

Anyway, we're all adjusting well.  I'm a little surprised at how well my recovery has been.  They say that postpartum pains tend to get worse with each baby.  They were bad with Julia, like brought tears to my eyes a few times bad.  So I was prepared for the worst this time around.  The midwife even suggested pain killers if necessary.  But oddly enough, I've hardly felt a thing.  I think my sore thighs from all those lunges have largely outranked any other possible pains.

So yes, so far all is well.  I have a feeling I'm about to hit a wall soon.  Especially if Baby Girl doesn't start giving me more than 2 hour stretches at night.  But for now, in this moment, we are completely delighted with this cutie pie.  I wasn't sure how a fourth baby would be, I'm still not sure.  But I do know that the whole family is in love.  And with five of us spreading the love these past 10 days, well, that's a whole lot of lovin' going on up in here.  I really can't ask for more than that!

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