Harrison Jude arrived September 2, 2007, weighing in at 10 lbs, 7 oz, and 22 inches, he is our "little" man :)
Here are the details. I had a wonderful out of hospital birth. No, not at home... my husband wouldn't let me do that! We had him at the Fruitful Vine Birthing Center. www.fruitfulvine.com
It was so nice to have a totally natural childbirth. I highly recommend it! Now I wish I had done it with the other two. We took Bradley classes (www.bradleybirth.com) and they are great at preparing you to have a totally natural childbirth. It was much easier than I had imagined it would be. It was so nice to labor in the garden tub with jets, in the shower, and to be able to walk around outside and see beautiful trees and feel the wind blowing and get fresh air. It was also nice to be able to eat and drink during my labor and not to be on my back in a hospital bed in a hospital gown with an IV and a monitor, etc feeling like such a patient. I wore my own clothes and it was so much more comfortable. I had a doula, which I highly recommend, and she massaged me and supported us wonderfully during the entire labor and delivery. I came home 3 hours after the birth and it was so nice to be at home!
One of my biggest surprises (I was coming from a background of having had 2 prior induced labors with an epidural) was that it didn't hurt to actually deliver. That was my greatest fear (besides the contractions). I was really afraid that without an epidural, it would be very painful to push a baby out. I was determined to do it, though, after several of my friends were so convincing with their birth stories. Especially those friends who had had prior hospital births with an epidural and then had a natural childbirth and said that they liked their natural birth better. When it was time to push, I had an uncomfortable feeling in my back and I relayed this to my midwife. She said, yes, it is uncomfortable because you need to push the baby out! I did and of course it didn't hurt to deliver (I actually didn't feel a thing vaginally) and my back discomfort was immediately relieved. I had a 10 lb 7 oz baby boy with no epidural and only a very mild abrasion/tear. I was so amazed after having had 2 very uncomfortable episiotomies in the hospital with smaller babies! I remember how bad the pain medicine and epidural made me feel. Very itchy, numb, yucky feeling. I like the natural feeling much better.
As for the contractions, they never got as bad as I had imagined they would be. I never went through a bad transition. The contractions were very manageable and I kept telling myself "they are going to get worse when I go through transition". Then I felt a burning sensation in my vagina, told my midwife about it, she checked me and said "the head is right there! It is time to push". I couldn't believe it was already time (even though I had been in labor for about 10 hours). I couldn't believe it, because I had not gone through the typical transition type behaviors yet. My husband tells me that I actually went to sleep and snored during contractions right up until the time to push. He couldn't believe how relaxed I was.
God is so good to give us such a sweet blessing as a baby. This is such a sweet time together as a family. It is so nice to have a slow unhurried pace for once. The two older boys love the baby and fight over who will get to hold him next. They can't seem to get enough of him. I am enjoying the help! My husband is being super sweet and taking care of everything else so I can just rest and nurse the baby. I am so blessed!