Friday, April 3, 2015

The birth story of Abigail Olivia Howell

After having prodromal labor over the last two weeks I was a little in denial that this was the actual thing for most of the labor. Even when it came time for pushing I was thinking it was too soon and only after Stephanie reassured me my body knew what it was doing did I let it happen. My thoughts are still all over the place and I'm letting everything soak in as I write this. I can't believe just over a day ago I had a baby! I delivered a baby in my living room. She was in my belly and now she is laying wrapped up in a blanket next to me on the couch in the place she was born. I LOVED my birth with her. So as I sit here trying to get all my thoughts and feelings of that amazing day it might seem jumbled but hopefully you can get a glimpse of how beautiful, empowering, spiritual the experience was to me. I also have notes that my dear friend Emily Ward wrote for me. She didn't get to my house until about an hour into my labor so I don't specific things written down until the point when she got there. I love that I have a time line of notes from all three births. Its pretty cool to have not only my memories of the days but also having someone else's perspective is great. So remember I'm not a great writer and I don't pretend to be but here is the story as I remember.

Warning** stop reading if you believe in TMI as I don't. This is birth and there will be talk of amniotic fluid, placenta, and all other body things to do with labor and birth.

February 10th, Tuesday morning I woke up because I thought I heard Noah calling out for me. I went into his room but he was still sleeping. He might have been dreaming and called for me but I also might have been hearing things. Sean was in the living room checking his email before leaving for work. I went to the bath room and when I wiped the toilet paper was tinted with a little blood. Then when I stood up a leaked a little fluid but I honestly couldn't tell if I peed or it was my amniotic fluid leaking. I told Sean and he said ok well let me know how things progress. I will have my phone ready. That was at about 6:15am. Sean left for work and I got dressed for the day. Noah and Rebekah kept sleeping. Calli got dropped off at 6:30am. Noah woke up right after Calli got here and was in a great mood. Him and Calli went straight to playing some silly game as I put laundry away. Around 6:45am I got up from the couch and as I did I had a weird plop type feeling of fluid in my underwear. It wasn't a whole lot but enough that I knew it wasn't pee but I was still in denial. I texted Sean and let him know I was pretty sure it was my water but also unsure at the same time haha. I started having contractions around 7am and leaked some more fluid. Rebekah woke up and I got her dressed and ready for the day. I turned on itunes radio on my tv and played the Lenon and Maisy channel.  I made sure the diaper bag was packed and ready for them to go to Grandma's house. I called Sean and he said he was coming home. He made great timing and got home a little after 7:30am. I also told my friends Melissa and Adriana at 7:15am that I was leaking fluid and having contractions. Adriana had been invited to do photos at my birth so she started getting her kids ready to go to grandmas house. I was still having contractions but they weren't hurting too bad and I was still thinking it could stop at any moment. Sean decided to take the kids out to get donuts so I could just be home alone for a little bit. So he and the three kids went to Bosa donunts and I went for a walk in front of our drive way. I called my sister Robyn and told her I was pretty sure I was in labor but also still having second thoughts. While talking with her I made the bed and put the water proof cover on it, then put the throw away top sheet on it. As we were talking she started timing my contractions and let me know they were about 3-5 minutes apart and that I should call my midwife. I agreed and hung up and called her. She said that it could be my water but it could also be my mucous plug. She said that when I'm ready for her to come to call and she will be there in 15 minutes.  I texted Calli's parents and let them know I was pretty sure I was having a baby today and they should come get her. I also called my mom and let her know and she said she would take a shower and be right over. I texted my friend Emily who was asked to take notes, and my amazingly talented friend Andraya who was also doing photos. (this is the same Andraya who always does our family photos, and my hair)  Sean and Adriana with her kids and husband, Tim, got to the house at the same time at 8:30am. Tim went straight to the couch with his son and they played video games  while Lily Noah, Calli and Rebekah played in the living room. haha. Sean (Calli's dad not my Sean) got to the house just a little after my Sean and everyone else got here.He and Calli left right after he got here. My mom got here right after they left. I went back and forth between my bedroom leaning on the desk during contractions and the kitchen leaning against the counter or the table during contractions. My mom, Adriana and Sean and I chatted in between contractions and I ate a raspberry jelly filled donut. Elizabeth got to the house at 9am and took the kids. (They had a fun morning going shopping with her). Tim and his kids left shortly after Elizabeth and the kids left. Sean started putting up the birth pool and filling it with water right after they left. So it was just Me, Sean, Adriana and my mom at the house as the pool filled. I was still having contractions around 5 minutes apart and they were getting stronger. Adriana asked me if I was ready for Stephanie to come. I still wasn't sure if it was going to stop or how long it was going to last. I didn't want her to come too early and not have anything to do. The contractions were stronger but I didn't feel like they were too bad yet. Adriana was so great and had such kind supportive words. I asked Sean to give me a priesthood blessing. In it he said that I would be safe and that things would go as planned and that it would be quick and smooth. I felt such peace and love from my Heavenly Father and I just knew things would be ok. After the blessing the contractions started getting longer. I got in the pool as it was still filling. It was about half way full. Sean called Stephanie and told her we were ready for her to come. I loved being in the water. I even told Adriana who is also having a home birth with Stephanie, that she should use a pool and that it was amazing. I got out because I had to pee and had one contraction while I was out and it was horrible. I was so happy to be back in the hot water again. In between contractions I would sit and lean my back against the pool and then during the contractions I kneeled and leaned over the pool with my arms hanging out. My mom would hold my hand for some of the contractions while Sean messed with the water and hose filling the pool and Adriana took pictures.Adriana took a picture of my birth candle and my birth frame and posted it on our home birth community facebook page so the women there would know I was in labor. The things everyone posted on the picture were so sweet. I loved being able to read them after I gave birth.   I can't remember when but at some point Stephanie got to the house and started setting things up. Shortly after Emily got to the house and started taking notes on her laptop. Then at some point Andraya got to the house.  I can't remember when because it was after a contraction I looked up and saw her there putting her camera together. I was so happy to have such amazing women there supporting me. Knowing Sean was near me and watching over me was so comforting. And I went between holding his hand and my moms hand. My mom was so helpful grabbing towels for me when I needed. Stephanie is a midwife goddess and empowered me so much! She said exactly what I needed to hear. The contractions got stronger and closer together. They were right on top of each other. I moved to the other side of the pool and was leaning over on my knees. One big contraction happened and my body started pushing down. Its the weirdest feeling for your body to just take over and do something without you really telling it to. Its hard to explain. I looked up shocked and said to Stephanie "I think I'm pushing. Its to early for that right? I shouldn't be pushing yet". I'm so used to having babies in the hospital where they check you to see how dilated you are constantly and then when you start feeling ready to push they tell you not to and to wait and that you have to wait til the doctor gets there, or until they can check you first or any other reason for it to be on their time line not your bodies. (I loved my hospital births and nothing will change that but its amazing to see the difference of a home birth. I was in charge. It was amazing) Stephanie told me that its ok if I feel like I need to push and to go with that feeling. Do what my body feels is right. Then I had another contraction and I could feel Abigail moving down more and I felt the urge to push. I kind of  halfheartedly pushed. I was still in denial that it was time to push and that it was time. I didn't feel like it had been long enough and I wasn't really feeling like it hurt that much. The pool helped so much with the pain. Stephanie told me after that contraction that if I'm feeling the urge to push still that I should take my bikini bottoms off now because I will not want to be doing it later. I took them off and had another contraction and that time I pushed. I could feel Abigail crowning. Then Stephaine told me to feel my baby's head. I reached down with my hand and I could feel her head coming out. I held Sean's hand with my right hand and had my left hand down in the water feeling Abigail coming out with each push. It helped me concentrate so much to actually feel the progress of her coming out. The warm water of the pool was so great for the pain. I remember when I had Noah and Rebekah having that horrible "ring of fire" while pushing. I never had that with this birth. It hurt of course but it wasn't to that point where it burned or anything. It was a different kind of pain. As I was pushing Stephanie said to me "It's ok for it to be fast, its ok for it to be easy." Thats what I needed and I felt more strengthen. Holding Sean's hand knowing he was there with me I felt so much love. My baby was going to be here soon. I said a prayer in my head 'Heavenly Father, I'm almost done. I know I can do this. I'm already doing it. Its almost done. Please help me to finish. Help me bring her here'. I felt her head come out. I just needed to get her shoulders out and the rest would just come. Right then 'wrecking ball' by Miley Cyrus came on the tv itunes radio I had on. All I could think is "no, no no no. My baby is not going to be born into this world to that. It needs to stop". Mid push I said "make that song stop. I hate her" haha Stephanie laughed out loud and so did everyone else in the room. Sean quickly grabbed the remote and skipped the song. Lenon & Maisy came on next and I was good with that lol. Stephanie told me one more big push and she will be here Deana. One more push make this a big one. She said to be ready and to get my baby. I remember getting nervous and feeling tired and I said to just let Sean do it. But Stephanie told me I could do it. Reach down and grab my baby.  I took a breath and pushed and I felt her flop out. Stephanie told me to reach and grab my baby. I caught her. I caught my daughter come into this world. I made her and I got to be the first one to hold her. Sean and Stephanie helped guide Abigail through my legs and I laid back in the pool and brought Abigail to my chest. I was done. She was here and I did it! I couldn't believe that just happened. Stephanie told me I was a rock star. I felt like a ROCK STAR! I had my baby in my living room and I rocked it. Some people are talented at sewing or cooking or crafts; I make babies haha. Sean was beaming looking at her in my arms. I love that man. I sat in the pool holding my little girl. About ten minutes later I delivered the placenta in the pool. The water was still clear and clean after Abigail was born right up until the placenta was delivered. Then it was stained red with the blood. I actually didn't even care. I had my baby. Stephanie put the placenta in a bowl. She explained to me that I needed to get out soon so she could check me and be able to tell if there was any excessive bleeding. My mom grabbed the bowl with the placenta, Sean took Abigail and Stephanie and Emily helped me out of the pool. We all moved into my bedroom and I got on the bed. Abigail went back on my chest and the bowl with the placenta next to me. Sean cut the cord. Abigail latched on and had her first feeding. I couldn't believe how easy it was. I held up my breast and she just latched on and had a feeding for almost a half hour. Someone brought me my lemon filled donut and Abigail and I had our first meal together haha. I can't remember that much after that. Everyone was in the room looking at her and I and all I could do was stare at her and then back at Sean. I remember at some point Sean took her and I teared up seeing him with her. I fall more in love with him with every baby we have. He is such a great father. He loves those babies with all his heart.
After I fed Abigail for awhile Stephanie took her and weighed her right in front of me and Sean. She was 7 pounds 2.5 ounces and 20 inches long. She then laid Abigail on the bed next to me and did the newborn check. I loved that she never left my sight and was close to be the whole time. Everything was perfect.
Stephanie and Amy (the midwife assistant who showed up just after Abigail was born haha) cleaned up everything and started a load of laundry. Everyone gathered in the next room while Stephanie checked to see how I was. I had a tiny little tear at the bottom and all she had to do was put some glue to close it. Thats how small it was. After about 2 hours everyone everyone left and it was just me and Sean and sweet tiny Abigail. We all took a nap for a few hours. Elizabeth brought the kids over to meet Abigail after nap time and Andraya came to take pictures. The kids adore her. They went back to Grandma's house to spend the night.

So thats the birth story. I wish I had a thesaurus because all I can think of is amazing. It was AMAZING! I felt the love of my family and friends the entire time. I knew Heavenly Father was watching over me. I felt strong, and calm, and peaceful. I was home. Sean and I have now said every baby will be born at home now that we know how great it is. Home birth rocks :) And Abigail is perfect.

Now here is the overload of pictures, in order of events :) 

These are the photos by my friend Adriana

dounts, in between contractions

how many can I eat before mom gets them?

going to hang out with grandma

birth necklace I made at my blessingway

I think it was during this contraction that Sean walked in from the laundry room after turning up the water heater and saw me bent over the counter and smacked my butt. He thought he was being sweet/funny, not realizing I was having a contraction at that moment! After it ended I turned and said "really? ... I was having a contraction."  He was so sorry haha.

setting up the birth pool

put toys from living room into the kids room

blessing for comfort during labor. Something I love that Sean has done for each birth

so happy to be in the water!

I love my midwife <3

Emily taking notes of things that happened. I love having a play by play

birth supplies

I started feeling like I was going to throw up so they gave me a bowl. I never did though!

Andraya, One of my photographers.

These are the photos done by Andraya

This was the first contraction where I started feeling like I needed to push and Stephanie told me to take my bikini bottoms off. 

This is the position I was in for pushing. 

This was in between contractions. I think I had just asked to have the song changed haha

There are a ton of pictures between the above picture and the below picture but I have to edit them some before posting them. I was leaning over the pool in an almost squatting kneeling position to push Abigail out and my lovely butt is all out for the world to see. I need to edit a few of them and then put some here because it looks pretty awesome. I was feeling her head as it came out and the got to be the one to catch her in the water 

This is Stephanie helping me pull miss baby out of the water.  

get out placenta. 

contractions to get the placenta out. ouchies

Good job you had a baby, kisses for you

yeah thats the placenta in the bowl. Mom was the official placenta holder 

daddy cutting the cord

I just love my midwife :) 

She is a pro nurser. so good at eating, she latched on right away

uterus contractions while nursing. 

Stephanie makes special hats for all her home birth babies

everyone singing happy birthday to the newly birthday girl 

whispering something loving to miss baby girl

watching my love with my babies is one of the most beautiful things I've even seen

I tear up sometimes seeing all the love he has for our family 

love my mama

hugs and loves

Abigail got some one on one time with Daddy while mama got checked out. 

Daddy adores his babies

this is my favorite 

what is this hat doing on my head? 

who needs a pacifier when you got a daddy finger


that nose! So stinkin cute! Its the Howell baby nose.