Welcoming Willa!

* Warning this post talks about birth, birth is not clean. If the description of natural birth or pictures of birth bother you… this may NOT be the post for you. Willa was a planned home birth. My fourth home birth but Jeff’s first, I’m trying to talk Jeff into writing his version of the events.* 

So lets start off with “due dates” I originally calculated 6/17 and thought she would be born 6/21.
After several sonograms the OB said 6/8.
Our wonderful midwife said 6/14.
Officially we went with 6/14 because that way we would be safe if she came on the early date or on the later date.

After 2+ weeks of having consistent time-able contractions (6/2 thru 6/19) and the midwives out to check twice (6/2 and 6/11)…

On 6/20 we woke up early to take Elliott to an appointment at 9 am. I was having contractions but that was not really anything new. We got into the car at 8:20 ish and as soon as we started driving I realized these contractions had teeth to them…  they were getting intense and coming quickly. So I started timing them. 4 min apart and then down to 3… Then less than 3 min apart! I texted Alisa our midwife and gave her a heads up.

We were a block from the appointment when I realized this was “IT” (9 AM) and we need to head back home! Since we were so close I sent Jeff my husband went into the office to tell them what was going on… So we turned around and I texted our birth team in between contractions.

We arrived home (9:25 AM) and I immediately asked Jeff to start setting up the tub. I went potty, got a drink and a snack (because of course I had not eaten before leaving). Our 2 midwives- Alisa and Naomi, 1 apprentice midwife- Abby and my Mom all arrived between 10:00 and 10:15. My contractions were getting hard and lasting almost as long as there was time between them. My back was sore and I liked to have pressure right at the top of my tail bone. Alisa (head midwife) asked if I wanted to be “checked”, I declined and felt I was probably 8 cm and getting close to “pushy” (this was probably WRONG!)… The contractions bumped up again! Becoming more intense. My back and hips aching more and more.

me and mom labor

At that point they told me the pool was warm enough for me to get in (10:50 ish?). I got in and it felt so good. I had contractions in the pool with different people applying pressure to my back. Laying my head on the side of the tub and holding Jeff’s hand. When a contraction would hit he would apply pressure to my back for me. At one point I remember Alisa saying “if we don’t have a baby in the next 15 min we will need more warm water” internally I was laughing and thinking “someone better warm up some water… We have a ways to go!” And subconsciously laughing. I found out at our 2 week postpartum visit that it was 1 min 20 seconds from Alisa talking about warming water to Willa’s birth! Alisa was a lot closer than I was.

(11:09)- surge of a contraction hits and I realize my body is bearing down. Unconsciously I’m pushing. I’m thinking this can’t be right? I’m not ready! I put my hand between my legs and I can feel babies head? She is right there! I say something… Alisa feels and says “that is not babies head that is the water intact. Push if you feel like it?” Next contraction I intentionally pushed head and intact amnion were born. As I pushed for the second time the rest of baby was born with a splash as she hit the water (Alisa told me in 20+ years of midwifery she has never before had a baby SPLASH when born). The amnion ruptured as her body was born. I was so surprised I could not catch her and no one else did either. We pulled her up on to my chest… I looked at my Mom with total shock! I just had a baby and it was a complete surprise to me! I really expected to be in labor longer.  Miss Willa was born at 11:16 am… Official second stage of labor was 7 mins long.

She did have some fluid in her lungs that had to be sucked out and she did need a few puffs of air to help her get her lungs full. We were able to give her the rescue breaths while still attached to the cord. Delayed cord clamping allows baby to get ALL their blood from the placenta.  Big sister Elliott cut her cord. Earlier than I have with my other children (it had stopped pulsing) just so we could get her lungs cleared and make sure she was okay. She pinked up quickly with a little help. Yes she is on a cutting board in the picture below….

rescue breaths

We settled into bed delivered a very interesting huge Placenta! And snuggled our baby. Talked to our friends. Alisa has been a family friend for 20 years. She delivered my youngest sister 20 years ago, both nieces 6 and 3 years ago. And the 4 year old milk shared with her daughter Charlie!

I did have some retained membrane. That have made for a more difficult postpartum.

Now interesting thing about our Placenta! One it was HUGE. But in looking at it we discovered Willa was a twin. Identical with a shared blood supply. The twin had “miscarried” before 9 weeks and had been absorbed into the placenta. We could distinctly see the difference in tissue as well as the smaller twin placenta attached to Willa’s. Also Willa is a miracle baby her cord attachment into the placenta was separated prior to embedding into the placenta, you could stick your finger through the gaps. This is one of the 2 most common reasons for miscarriages (#1 being genetic abnormalities). If one of those arteries or the vain had broke when it was say the size of a hair… We would have lost her too.

Willa is here happy and healthy. Big sister Elliott helped measure and weigh her. She is 9 lbs 4 oz and 22.5 inches long. Born at 11:16am 6/20/2018. 2 maybe 3 hours of labor total.

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