This is Mr. Crafty Nest’s perspective of our home birth. It only took my procrastinating husband 7 months to write and for that reason I will be publishing it on my blog to share with the world (err, well the part of the world that reads my little blog) what a big giant mushy guy he really is. His words make me miss that day and they almost make me want to do it all over again.
July 10th, 2010
Logan Vincent Charles is born at 7:48pm in our master bedroom, on our bed, in our own home. This would have been unimaginable to me just a few short years ago, since I thought only emergency births or wack jobs had babies anywhere other than a hospital bed. But, after watching a little documentary called “The Business of Being Born,” my mind was changed forever. Home Birthing is where it’s at! At least that’s how my wife and I feel anyway.
Vanessa was fighting nausea and stomach cramping all day and the night before, but we thought it was a stomach bug causing it. Little did we know that Logan was on his way, a full 4 weeks earlier than expected. With a couple of calls to Nedra, one of our midwives, and some very steady 2 minutes apart contraction readings, we were convinced that he would be here today! It was around 4:30pm when Nedra arrived at our home. Mary, our other midwife, was on her way as well.
Nedra began to check Vanessa and confirmed that Logan could be here any minute now. I rushed out into the living room to start preparing the birthing pool, a small, plastic kiddie pool that I’d fill with water from our kitchen faucet. I bought the special adapter a week before to convert the faucet into a long enough hose to reach the other end of the room. Good thing I didn’t procrastinate on that one, even though we weren’t expecting our little guy for another month or so.
Before I could fill the pool with water, however, I had to fill it with air! We didn’t have an automatic pump, so I had to use a manual, billows type pump. Let me tell you, this would be the most exercise I would get in years! I think I dropped 10 pounds that night from stepping on and off of the pump a million times. After 20 or so minutes of frantically pumping air into the pool, it was ready for water. I quickly ran over to the faucet and turned on the warm water. As I breathed a sigh of relief that finally we were on our way to getting Vanessa into the comfy pool so she could Labor in peace, I hear Vanessa and Nedra tell me that Vanessa won’t be using the pool. WON’T BE USING THE POOL?! WHAT?! Vanessa was perfectly content laboring on our bedroom floor and wasn’t planning on moving anywhere anytime soon. Oh well, on to plan B.
Mary had arrived at this point in the story. Mary and Nedra are a great team: they were very calm through the entire delivery, and that helped both Vanessa and me stay calm as well. Mary brought an oxygen tank with her, as well as a plethora of supplies. Vanessa had also collected a tub full of supplies that the midwives told us we would need: necessary items like Olive Oil for stretching, towels, things like that.
Vanessa and I spent this part of the labor in the master bathroom. Vanessa was on all fours and breathing, trying to relax, but it was hard. Our plan was to play our birthing soundtrack in the background, but reality set in quickly: she wanted quiet. I guess you can’t plan ahead for that much pain, you just have to go with the flow. Not only was it the most pain she had ever felt in her life, but we were both worried about Logan: would he be healthy coming into the world at just 36 weeks? How tiny would he be? Would he need to use that big tank of oxygen that Mary brought with her? This added stress made the experience that much more painful.
Now it was time to prep the bed. We stripped the bed and placed a plastic, protective sheet on the bed first, then another cotton sheet on top. We were now ready for Vanessa to start actively pushing. With Mary on one side and me on the other, we helped Vanessa lift her legs in a squatting position. The house was hot at this point, 80 degrees or more since Logan would be very cold when he arrived. Newborns cannot regulate their body temperatures: they don’t have what’s called “brown fat,” especially when they are premature. Vanessa would push for a couple of minutes and then rest. Nedra massaged olive oil and warm towels to prevent tearing, and she did an excellent job – no stitches necessary.
Time was travelling at a very strange pace – for me at least. The whole labor and delivery seemed to take minutes, but hours went by. 7:48pm was here. At least 3 hours had gone by! Amazing. The water broke with a few hard pushes. Then ensuing explosion shouldn’t have been funny, but it was: our cat just jumped up on the bed to examine Vanessa when it happened, and Nedra had to clean her face off after, haha!
First I saw the crown of his head. Nedra asked if I would like to touch his head and I said yes. It was an amazing experience. His hair was so fine and delicate, such a tiny head. Vanessa was next to touch and even though she didn’t want to at first since it’s kind of gross, she was glad she did. We were in love already. A few more hard pushes and a lot of work later, and Logan was born. He shot out like a cannon into Nedra’s hands. I started to cry tears of joy, Vanessa too. This was the happiest moment in our lives.
He was beautiful, so tiny and cute. His eyes swollen like a prize fighter after the long journey he had. He was staring up at Vanessa’s eyes after being placed on her chest to nurse.
After his umbilical cord stopped pulsating, I cut the cord. It was a strange feeling – so rubbery and tougher to cut than I imagined. It was a great experience. I still keep Logan’s dried up cord that fell from his belly button weeks later in a keepsake box. I will treasure it always. I will treasure my Son always. I love you.