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Birth Story of Caleb Alexander
8lbs 8oz and 21.5 inches
I had been having contractions off and on for weeks and we all expected that Caleb would arrive before his due date. Instead, I ended up going past my due date! The plan was for a home birth with the same amazing Midwife(Andrea)/Doula(Angie) team who were at Kennedy's birth.
Through out the weekend before I had been having contractions 7-8 minutes apart, they were uncomfortable but not all that strong and not showing any signs of getting stronger. On Monday I woke up still pregnant. I decided to take Kennedy to mom's group at the birth center. While I was getting ready I noticed the contractions were a bit stronger. I had thought about not going but my friend talked me into it. I figured I had an appointment in the afternoon anyway, I could always see if they could fit me in that morning. On my way there, Andrea called me to let me know that she had forgotten her cell phone and if I needed her before my appointment to call the birth center. I mentioned that the contractions seemed a bit stronger, and she agreed to check me that morning. Kennedy and I got to mom's group at about 10am and hung out with our friends until Andrea came over and said she was ready for me. There was no doubt that the contractions were stronger and I was hoping that we would be meeting Caleb soon, but after expecting it all weekend I didn't want to get my hopes up. Boy was I shocked to find out that I was 4cm and stretchy, and his head was lower. Unfortunately he was posterior, which Andrea felt was the reason for the lack of progress. She told me to get in with the chiropractor ASAP and call Angie to come over and work on things to change his position. She said if we got him to turn that she would likely be seeing me later that day. I finished my appointment, packed up our things and we left mom's group to go home and *hopefully* have a baby later that night. I called Angie and arranged for her to come over, and called the chiropractor's office - who fortunately told me to come right in. My husband was working from home and I called to let him know we would hopefully be having a baby later that day. Something told me to call my mom at work, and arrange for her to come home to help with Kennedy. By the time I had made those calls the contractions were even stronger and 5 minutes apart! I decided to call the photographer, since she didn't exactly live close by. I was starting to think this could happen sooner than later!
I got in and out of the chiropractor's office fairly quickly and was leaving there only 45 minutes after I had left the birth center. The contractions were now 3 minutes apart and getting more intense! I called the birth center to let Andrea know and she said if they continued that way for another 20 minutes she would make her way over. Angie was already on her way and she told me to go home and get in our bath tub. By 12:30 or so, Angie, Andrea and Hallie (the photographer) were all at my house! When Andrea arrived I just looked at her and told her I had no idea I would be seeing her THAT quick! Angie was busy helping me work through the contractions and using different techniques and positions to help him turn. Because he was posterior the back pain was the most intense. Everyone else was busy setting up the birth tub. Once that was ready I got in right away. I couldn't believe how intense things had gotten so fast. It had just been 3 hours or so since I was hanging out at mom's group and now there was no doubt Caleb would be making his appearance very soon! The water felt amazing and With the help of Angie, Andrea and Marlon I was able to keep pretty calm and breathe through the contractions. I definitely felt more in control through this labor than I did during Kennedy's. Everyone took turns massaging and putting pressure on my back and hips. We laughed in between contractions, and my mom brought Kennedy in from time to time which made for a lot of smiles and giggles. She was so excited by the big "pool" in the bedroom and at one point we even let her get in the tub with me. It was an amazing distraction to have her in there and splashing around with me. It was just how I imagined the birth would be. I was surrounded by an amazing support team and so much love. Things felt like they were taking forever to progress. The contractions continued to be really close together and very intense. Andrea suggested changing positions to hopefully get him to move down, and bring about more progression. After some time, things were continuing in the same path. She suggested I get out of the tub, and she would check me and maybe try some other techniques. I wasn't thrilled with getting out of the tub, but if it would help move things along it was definitely worth a try. She checked me and although I had dilated a lot more, he was still posterior and not dropping down enough. We set out on a mission to get him to move. I'm so grateful for the support of my husband, Andrea and Angie. They were truly amazing and provided so much encouragement and support. This was definitely proving to be a harder birth than Kennedy's and different in so many ways.
Finally my water broke, and everyone quickly worked to re-heat the tub. The contractions intensified to a level that I don't ever remember with Kennedy and I quickly started to feel that same familiar pressure. I moved from the hallway, to the bed and was on my hands and knees waiting for them to finish reheating the tub. By the time they said it was done - maybe 5 minutes later - I knew there was no way I was moving! I had to push and there was no stopping me, and definitely no moving me! At some point, I decided I wasn't comfortable on my hands and knees. I laid down half on my side and half on my back. Never in a million years would I have imagined I would give birth in this position on my bed! I was planning a water birth. But this was truly one of those times that you just do what feels right in the moment, and in the end I'm thankful that I didn't make it back into the tub. In an attempt not to tear as much as I did with Kennedy, Angie and Andrea helped me stay in control through pushing. I was able to reach down and feel his head coming out, and tried to do more breathing than pushing. I have no idea how long I actually pushed - I want to say it wasn't more than 3 contractions. Apparently Caleb also hand his hand by his face, which probably contributed to the slowness of things. My husband was right there to catch him and place him on my chest. My mom brought Kennedy in immediately to meet her baby brother. Words cannot explain everything I felt in those moments.
Andrea and Angie became such a special part of our lives when Kennedy was born, and to have their love and support through Caleb's birth meant the world to us. They will always have a special place in our hearts and in our lives, and I cannot imagine giving birth with out either of them!
Love the youtube video. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I was able to show my kids to give them a better idea of what we are doing. Although now they want to get in the pool with me too! (thanks for that lol).
Congrats on the birth of your son.
__________________ Kelly Mommy to Jack 10, Christopher 7, Kaitlyn 6, and Ryan Thomas (Born Sept. 3, 2012).
Love your birth story...and seeing your pics really makes me wish I had used a photographer. It really tells the story. I totally cried when I saw the pic of your midwife catching him. Amazing moment. Congrats on a birth well done and truly experienced! Love it!