Katie’s Birth Story

by Mama Chocolate on April 26, 2011

I am woefully behind on the A to Z Challenge…but I’m resolved to finish it, even if it takes me three times as long as it was supposed to…
For “K” I’d like to share with you the story of Katie’s birth, that wonderful day 2 years ago when we went from a “couple” to a “family,” and I became a mother!
I knew even before we were married that I wanted to have my babies at home if possible. I was blessed to grow up knowing several home-birthing mamas, (including my own dear mother!) and I always knew I would be most happy and comfortable laboring at home, avoiding any unnecessary interventions, assisted by people I actually knew and liked, and snuggling with my brand new baby in my own bed.
We knew who we wanted as a midwife before we were married, so when we learned (to our great delight!) that we were pregnant shortly after our first anniversary, we were all set to go!

My pregnancy was beautifully uncomplicated, with hardly even a touch of morning sickness. The 40 weeks dragged by as we eagerly anticipated the arrival of our little one, and my estimated due date of March 23rd, 2009, passed uneventfully.

Two days later we went to see Carol, (our midwife,) again, and she told us that the baby had dropped! She told me to get lots of walking in, in order to help the baby further engage and to possibly get some contractions going! (I had never had any Braxton-Hicks or contractions of any kind up until this point!)

I think we took a walk every evening after that. By Saturday, (the 28th, 6 days after the “due” date,) the baby was so well “engaged” that I could barely walk or sit! I felt like my monstrous belly was between my knees!
My brothers- and sister-in-law came over to hang out that evening, and Beka swears it was her hilarious story that she read to me that got the contractions going!
Later after they went home, I started feeling crampy. I’d been pretty regularly afflicted with trapped air bubbles during the latter part of my pregnancy, and it took quite a while before I realized this was not air…for one, the pain was all in my back, and then, it wasn’t constant.
I was playing WordTwist on Facebook with my brother, Benjamin, (destroying him, of course. Or not.) I tried to get comfortable between rounds of the game. John was in his office on his computer, and the thought that these were contractions suddenly occurred to me, (yeah, a week past my due date, ya think I woulda figured it out a little quicker, huh?)

They weren’t at all what I expected contractions to feel like, though. Not a single twinge in my belly area, but completely in my back.
So I tried not to get too excited, but told John that I was pretty sure these were contractions! About a half hour later, I started to have some “show,” and I finally allowed myself to feel excited!
This might be it!

John decided he should get some rest before things got intense, so we both tried to sleep. John succeeded. I failed.
It was very uncomfortable to lie down, so I went to the living room and sat in the big armchair. The contractions were about every 5-7 minutes, lasting for about 45 seconds and kept that up through the rest of the night. I just sat and rocked in the armchair and got a hot-pack for my back.
By 7:30, John was awake again, and we agreed that it was definitely happening, so we called Carol.
She’d been asleep for an hour when we called her, just having finished up with another birth that night! (After Katie, she delivered another baby the next day, too! Busy week!)

Things obviously weren’t happening too fast yet, so she arrived about 9:30 with her assistant, Janean. Carol checked me and found that I was at 3cm. She predicted, judging by the progression so far, that I’d be at 6cm by 2pm. (I mentally took this to be an optimistic, best-case scenario, so I was very pleased when I actually was 6cm at 2pm!)

I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch on Saturday, so they encouraged me to eat something…I ate a banana and proceeded to throw it all up during the next few contractions. Ew.
Janean rubbed/put counter-pressure on my back during a contraction once and that helped a lot, so after that Janean, my mama-in-law, (who’d come about the same time as the midwife,) and John took turns helping my back during each contraction. Carol took a nap at our encouragement in the “nursery,” since she really hadn’t gotten any sleep to speak of over the past day or so.
I lay on the couch in between each contraction, and then would get down on my hands and knees during, as that position seemed to help with the intensity on my back.

My sweet Mama-in-Law brought me a “labor-present” when she came:
This was an exciting reminder of where we were about to be: holding our little one at last!

By 2pm, when I was at 6cm, the contractions were really starting to come right on top of each other and I didn’t have enough time to really get a rest in between. It was taking all my focus to keep on top of them, and though I still felt in control, I knew now how women could “lose it” during labor! (I was only at 6cm still…who knew what it would be like in another 3cm!)
Carol said I could get into the tub if I wanted now, (we’d discussed laboring and possibly delivering in the tub before-hand.) After the next contraction, I knew that “I wanted.”
It seemed to take an eternity to get our big soak-tub filled up, but once I got in, I had almost instant relief, and everything was much more manageable again!
For the next 3 hours, John sat up on the edge of the tub to help my back during each contraction. In between, I would lean back and rest on him..

Eventually, my water broke with a *pop* and very shortly afterwards I started to feel the urge to push! Carol said to go ahead and try a couple pushes and if it felt good, we wouldn’t try to get me out of the tub to check the dilation! (Ya, no thanks. Ain’t nobody getting me out of that tub now!)

After a few pushes, Carol told me to see if I could feel the head. And I could! It was so amazing to already have my baby so close to being in my arms…and I knew now that my baby had hair. A lot of dark hair!
I was suddenly inspired anew, and about 15 minutes later, she was born in the water into my own hands, and I was the first to know that “Baby” was a girl, our beautiful Kathryn Elizabeth.

Besides John, Carol and Janean, both grandmas and three aunts were in the room when she was born and there were quite a few happy tears and lots of excitement. And about 3 bajillion photos.

The whole labor from the very first contraction to baby-in-my-arms was about 15 hours, not bad at all for a first-timer, and not a single hitch or complication, with only a tear so minuscule it didn’t even require a stitch.

I remember saying, shortly after I got out of the tub, “I could totally do that again!” And I could. And I have. Although, after #2 (which you’ll get if when I ever get to “V” for Victoria’s birth story,) I felt considerably less…jovial.

I loved homebirth and the water labor and delivery, and can highly recommend it to everyone that has that option available!

Kathryn Elizabeth
4:49pm, March 29th, 2009
8lbs, 4oz, 21 inches
…with a head full of hair!
Papa getting acquainted his sweet new daughter…
Our little angel sleeping in Papa’s arms a few days later…

We love our little girl and can’t imagine life with out her!

Life would be so…boring.



{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

amyineccl3.11.13 April 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Thanks for sharing – very sweet story that somehow I've missed hearing until now. You tell it so well – everything a woman likes to hear, without out *too* many gory details. ;) You certainly have two of the most beautiful daughters I've ever seen. I simply love the first picture of you in the post with your fresh little blue baby! You are a beautiful and talented mama – keep up the good work!

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Maria April 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm

What a wonderful birth story! Love the photos. I wish I'd had the knowledge and support you did for my first two. Tot his day it bothers me that I was THE LAST to know the gender of my kids. Literally EVERYone in the room, including strangers, knew before me.

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Happy Homemaker April 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Great story and great photos! Hopefully you'll feel much more jovial after #3…

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Nf1andprek-whisper April 27, 2011 at 6:53 am

i never wrote my son's birth story.. but I think I will thanks for the inspiration…

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Mrs. Skelton April 27, 2011 at 9:37 am

Thanks for sharing!! :-) I enjoyed reading it! :-)

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Adelina Priddis April 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

oh my goodness, she is adorable! What a wonderful experience!

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Mariah April 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm

This is such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it!

I'm finally stopping by and returning the visit from FormulaMom! Thanks for stopping by! I'm a new follower!

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Jennifer May 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Wow so much hair. she is beautifuk. I am stopping by from the Alexa Hop. Here you can find my story.

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Jessie @ MomVantage May 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm

What a wonderful birth story!! I love reading it, and I hope you get to V because I can't wait to hear your other one! :)

I am a new follower from the Alexa hop – please stop by if you can :)

http://momvantage.net

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Love You Always & Forever May 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Awwww! I love reading birth stories!! Thanks for sharing yours! Your daughter is and was such a beautiful baby!!! Amazing how fast it all goes though huh??
I'm Alexa hopping!

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Melissa May 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm

That is so sweet! Makes me remember when mine were born. Dropping by from Makobi Scribe's Alexa Hop.

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Katie May 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

My name is Katie short for Kathryn too!

(Stopping by from the alexa hop – http://blog.concertkatie.com)

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Skye May 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Oh my, what a honestly perfect birth :)
I so enjoy reading your posts every week!
I can remember Ethans birth (my first) perfectly, he will always hold that special place in my heart, because he made myself and my husband a 'family'
Alright.. now I gotta go hug Ethan :)

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Callista May 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

Awwww, what a beautiful story! That IS a lot of hair. I'm not brave enough for a home birth but I can imagine it's better to have family and friends around.

I LOVE that give you got. I've seen those kind of statues at a store around here before, I'll have to get myself one (since I gave birth 5 weeks ago.)

With this last one, I felt the contractions I had (only braxton hicks as I had a c-section) almost entirely in my back and he was much lower so I think that has something to do with it.

Stopping by from Alexa Hop. I now follow.

Callista's Ramblings

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The Old Block House May 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm

So glad that you had such a wonderful experience with home birth. Thank you for sharing your story.

Hopping from the Alexa Hop. Please visit me at http://theoldblockhouse.blogspot.com/2011/05/lets-go-to-movies.html

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Momma3J May 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Great story, thanks for sharing! By the way, I have the same exact "labor present" you received from your mom-in-law. My friend gave it to me though. Happy Mother's Day to you. I found you on the Alexa Hop. Matter of Cents

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fancygrlnancy May 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm

beautiful story. thanks for sharing. I love the labor present. I don't have that one.. now I want it too.

stopping by from alexa hop, please visit back http://arizonamama-fancygrlnancy.blogspot.com/2011/05/support-me-in-walk-with-me-for-easter.html

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Sandy Elliott May 8, 2011 at 8:51 am

What a sweet, touching story.

Stopping by from the Alexa hop.
Sandy~ French Macaroons

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Mom vs. the boys May 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm

ooohh I love a good birth story, okay any birth story! thanks for sharing. I had all three of my boys at home too, only they weren't planned that way, they were just in too much of a hurry to get here! lol

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Chase May 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

I love birth stories (especially home births) Your story was beautiful! :) And your pictures of her are just so sweet!

Visiting from the alexa blog hop!
Chase’s View

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By Word of Mouth Musings May 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm

What a lovely story the way you told it and that last pic – gorgeous! Enjoy, it flies so fast i want to stop time over here!
Guest from the Alexa blog hop – hope you know how it all works …
my take is to visit everyone … and then when you are done – go and visit them all again :)
http://www.bywordofmouthmusings.com/2011/05/its-museless-and-not-amusing-but-it-is.html

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Julianne May 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. I was actually just asked this past week to be present at a friends homebirth/waterbirth in July – so neat to read about someones experience!

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Danielle May 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

That is such a beautiful story. I love reading/watching birth stories. I have never had a home/water birth, but I'd love to. I have no idea how to go about doing it, how much it would cost, if I'd even have that option or not. You gave birth to a very beautiful baby girl!

I'm a new follower from the Alexa Hop. I have a blog hop on my blog as well if you'd like to link up there too. http://www.adeliciousobsession.com

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Victoria Davis May 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Thanks For sharing this inspirational birthing story. I am pregnant and expecting my first in Aug. I too am doing a home birth/ water labor. This story was really encouraging to a mommy-to-be.

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Michael, Trisha, Grace, and Anna May 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Beautiful!

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joyfilled May 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

Beautiful birth story!! Isn't homebirth wonderful?? I had my first in a hospital but have had two unassisted homebirths since and there is just no comparison. I never want to leave the comforts of home (to birth) again! :)

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Shairbearg August 26, 2011 at 4:37 am

Great story!! I have that same statue! When I was pregnant with my first, it was Mother’s Day,. and my hubby got me that. Yeah, I cried. LOL

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LaVonne April 15, 2012 at 12:25 am

What a great first birth story. Loved it. I remember my own so well while reading yours. You are braver than I. I had a midwife too, at a birth center across the street from the hospital. It was nice to be heading home though 3 hours after my Princess was born.

Thanks for sharing the story and the pics. So beautiful!
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Danielle @ We Have It All June 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm

OMGosh I LOVE this story! I want this so so bad, but I am so scared.

Thanks for sharing!
Danielle @ We Have It All recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Bird Attack! (LINKY)My Profile

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