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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Our RV Homebirth


"We don't exactly DO 'normal'. We homebirth, and this is our home. So to us, RV birthing was a given."
I have put off writing this for about a month now. I have needed the time to clear my head and process my birth in hindsight. I'm STILL riding my birth high, but that doesn't mean it was easy. My birth didn’t quite go the way I had thought it would, so I have been thinking about how I would put it into words. My Midwife is probably reading this right now, saying “I keep telling you to stop comparing it to your last birth”. And she’s right. I really shouldn’t. It’s REALLY hard not to though, especially when my last birth was so freaking easy compared to this one. I’ve often heard that the 3rd birth is a game changer. Just for the record, even though I was on my 3rd baby, this kid did not “fall out of me”. I had to work hard to meet my sweet Baby Boho.

If this is the first time you've visited my blog, you should know that we live in an RV. We RV full-time for my Husband's job. We had come back here to Colorado in November 2014, per the request of his boss to work from the main headquarters for what we thought was forever. So we put our RV in storage, thinking it couldn't handle a Rocky Mountain winter, and rented a beautiful house in the woods. We began to really miss it though, so we moved back into our RV in mid-April, and talked the boss into hitting the road again come Summertime.

The day before we moved back in, however, we found out we were expecting kid #3. So we set up shop here in our RV in the Colorado Rockies. We found an amazing Midwife that was willing to let me birth whatever way I chose. Come September, we began the preparations for a Colorado Winter and by December, we were ready for the homebirth of our 3rd child. Yes. We decided to have this baby in our RV...which just so happens to be 28 feet long, 232 square feet, and on wheels. And there were 9 people in and out of here throughout the day, too.


There were only 2 obstacles standing between me and my dream birth, and that was the incredibly limited supply of hot water, and no bathtub...or even somewhere large enough for a birthing pool. We solved the first problem by installing a tankless water heater for $900. You can read about that HERE. That would supply we with all the hot water I would possibly need, and I found an RV-sized inflatable tub for just $80. It would work perfectly to labor and/or birth in.

Many people have already expressed to me that we were crazy...possibly stupid...and certainly courageous to attempt an RV Homebirth...it's just not normal. Not even by Homebirthing standards is it normal. But in case you don't know this already, we don't exactly DO "normal". We homebirth, and this is our home. So to us, RV birthing was a given. So now that I've brought you up to speed...

Here is the Birth Story of Baby Boho.


The night of Friday, December 18th, Nic got home kinda late after work and I yelled at him to hurry up and take me to Verizon. I was 41 weeks pregnant, really grouchy, and in excruciating pain from the pregnancy-induced SPD (premature widening of the pelvis...very painful). I was ready for this birth to be over, and yet at the same time, I wanted to stay pregnant forever. I wanted to feel this life kicking and squirming inside me, safe and sound, for eternity. I was and I wasn't ready to be done.

But I WAS ready to get a new phone. I was constantly in fear that my HTC was going to catch on fire. I could upgrade to a new Samsung for next to nothing. And I wasn’t going to wait any longer. For 2 hours, Nic and the girls sat in the truck outside with the heat on...it was FREEZING outside. Cindy was asleep and MHG wasn’t interested in sitting around the store while I was busy.

I sat there inside, talking to the Verizon guy, while I was in early labor. Contractions were getting harder. I had to pause while talking to him to breathe through them. They were still too far apart to get excited though. The guy was pretty sure I was going to give birth in his store. I told him “No worries. My Husband is outside in the truck. If I have this baby here, he can just catch. It wouldn’t be the first time.” The look on his face was priceless. You can read about our second (and far less challenging) homebirth HERE.
"The guy was pretty sure I was going to give birth in his store. I told him 'No worries. My Husband is outside in the truck. If I have this baby here, he can just catch. It wouldn’t be the first time.' 
The look on his face was priceless."
We got home, and unwound for the evening while Nic whipped up a nice batch of Vegan chili for us all. It was getting late, so the girls went to bed immediately after dinner. It was around 11 o’clock by that point, and my contractions were still hard, but still very far apart…like 10 minutes. Nic and I laid in bed, both on our phones. He was reading, I was trying to learn the ropes of this newfangled contraption. He fell asleep shortly thereafter, but I stayed up til about 1, downloading all my apps and getting it organized.

At 3:13 am, I awoke to REAL labor. The contractions were coming in waves about 5 minutes apart. I could easily breathe through these ones, but they were much harder than the earlier ones. I went to the bathroom and hung out in there, texting my friend for about an hour. I didn't want to wake anyone.


Around 4:00, I finally decided I needed to wake up Nic, call my Midwife-Christie, and Photographer-Kristi, to alert them, and start getting everything ready. I mean, we WERE ready, but we needed to put on fresh sheets and chux with the shower curtain underneath, grab the towels, and get all the tub stuff together and ready to go. Those sorts of things. Contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart by that point. I was getting excited, this is it!!! We were about to receive the greatest early Christmas and Yule present ever!

"Contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart by that point. I was getting excited, this is it!!! We were about to receive the greatest early Christmas and Yule present ever!"



Around 5:00, my Photographer, Kristi, arrived. I was still able to hold a conversation and joke around with everyone, but I definitely needed to focus harder. I was attempting to listen to my Birth Hypnosis tracks, but the lady’s accent started to piss me off, so I stopped. I needed to concentrate on my labor, not her accent. I drew much more energy from my Birth Empowerment Necklace anyway. Side note: thank you to everyone that contributed to it. The energy was pulsing through it amazingly while I had it on. I could feel all of you with me, cheering me on. If you have no idea what that is, you can read about it HERE.


   
"I needed to concentrate on my labor...I drew much more energy from my Birth Empowerment Necklace."
   
   


Nic rested briefly between getting things ready and getting things MORE ready. Once everyone began to arrive, he took down our closet in the back, so everyone could use that entry/exit. He didn't want everyone's coming and going through the front door to bother me. It's right next to my bed.


My best friend arrived around 6. She was there to help my Aunt with the girls AND to witness a TRUE natural birth. NOT a hospital birth. She wants to be a Nurse. I want her to be a Nurse Midwife. So I had a not-so-hidden agenda by inviting her to attend, haha.


I’m not sure if my Aunt was here at this point. She had a motel room at our RV park, so she could be close to us and help out. The girls were to go over there, if ever they got scared. Everything is a blur. All I truly know, is that my girls were REALLY stoked to be spending so much time with their 2 favorite Aunties.


I labored on, visualizing the sweet babe that would soon be in my arms, and conversing happily with everyone between contractions. This is one of the greatest reasons to homebirth...you are surrounded by all the people you DO want at your birth, and none of the people that you DON'T want. Everyone and everything is comfortable and familiar.


My eldest daughter had been preparing for a few weeks to be my Doula. Her only job was to be in charge of my Essential Oils. I had typed up a Labor, Delivery, & Post-Partum protocol for her, and we dry-ran it a few times until she was comfortable following along. Some oils were to be applied to certain places on me, in specific ways. Some oils were meant to be diffused. Some were meant to help save the day…should something go wrong. And a couple were for anointing Baby Boho once he/she was Earthside. She did an amazing job, and was well aware that at any point, I might tell her to stop. I have a REALLY difficult time focusing on labor if I’m being touched. It’s too distracting. A great book to get if you are interested in using Essential Oils during your Labor & Delivery is called "Gentle Babies". It's $13 on Amazon, and worth every penny. And of course, if you need any Young Living Essential Oils, you can email me anytime at: EssentialOils@BohoHobos.com and I will be happy to get you those. 



"Some oils were to be applied to certain places on me, in specific ways. Some oils were meant to be diffused. Some were meant to help save the day…And a couple were for anointing Baby Boho..."



     
Eventually, the contractions were taking too much out of me, so I decided it was time to lie down and ride the waves. This is about the time the rest of the day begins to get hazy. I was freezing and practically convulsing from the chills. This is completely normal for me at this point during labor.



My Midwife, Christie, and her assistant, Bea, arrived around 7 am. She immediately checked my vitals and listened to baby’s heart rate.


We were both doing great. I was trying to gain control over my contractions and was dozing between each one. Contraction pain is really not that bad if you can stay ahead of it, not fear it, trust that your uterus (a muscle) is just flexing to do its job...to bring baby down and out to you. A few times I let them get the best of me, however.


Around 8:00, my labor started to slow down. I was getting a little too comfy in my bed cocoon, I suppose. I got up and started walking around. My Midwife and her assistant suggested I start doing some squats and lunges, because baby still hadn't descended (-1 station), even though I was already dilated to an 8 and 90% effaced. So it was time to put my Yoga to good use…not that it isn’t always useful. So there was lots of breathing, lots of lunging, lots of squatting while my Midwife pressed together on my hips to try and help baby descend, and lots of me moaning and breathing long and slow through contractions. I also started taking a homeopathic herb to bring on contractions more, and began some good ol’ nipple stimulation. All of which helped get my labor moving steadily once more.



It looks like I'm in pain here, I was breathing through the contraction and my Midwife's pressure on my hips actually worked marvelously to relieve the contraction pain. I remember telling her every time she did it, that for such a tiny lady, she sure was ridiculously strong! Like SUPER strong. Don't let her petite frame fool ya! We did the squat-counter pressure-stand up-monitor baby dance for a while.
"There was lots of breathing, lots of lunging, lots of squatting while my Midwife pressed together on my hips to try and help baby descend, and lots of me moaning and breathing long and slow through contractions."






It was so wonderful having my girls here with me for this. They were so helpful and oh so loving.



More Essential Oils to help things along.





By 9am, I was at 9cm and fully effaced. I was still squatting and lunging in hopes of bringing baby down, and my mini-Doula was still kicking all the ass with applying my essential oils.







Around 10:00, my Midwife asked how I was feeling. I told her I felt ready to push. My vitals were good to go, so she gave Nic the green light to set up the tub. Nic sent the girls and Lauren off to Aunt Sandra as they readied the tub. 



I paced as they filled the tub, stopping to breathe through contractions, and leaning on Nic, the counter, my hallway, whatever I was near, when I needed to. At one point, as I found myself hanging on my Husband, I had to let him know that it was OK to touch me: “You can touch me. I won’t punch you.” Everyone knows normally not to touch me during labor.
“You can touch me. I won’t punch you.”



You can SEE the contraction in this pic. It's wild! Walking feels VERY good during labor.

   

From 10:30 to 11:30, I tried pushing. Not really very well, and not very frequent, because the water was so relaxing, that my labor started to stall again. I had to start doing nipple stimulation again to pick things up a bit, and I had to take that homeopathic supplement again as well.



   

I still remained in good spirits between contractions.

   




At 11:30, I got out and went to the bathroom. After going, I realized I had LOTS of pressure and really wanted to push on the toilet. So I did. For another half hour. It wasn’t working. I couldn't push as hard as my Midwife was telling me to. I was just sooooo tired, and in sooooo much pain. I was losing too much energy, and fast. I hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before. I had no appetite. I had already gotten sick once today. I didn’t want to eat then get sick immediately after. I have read so many stories of women's bodies pushing the baby out on its own. Why couldn't that happen to me? Why couldn't I just take a back seat to this show and let my body do the work? I thought my uterus knew what to do without my helping it along? I couldn't handle it anymore.

I left the bathroom and lied down for my Midwife to check me. I was pretty much at a 10 and fully effaced, but a tiny lip of my cervix was still in the way, so my Midwife asked if I’d like her to try a maneuver while I pushed. It would help open my pelvis for the baby to descend down the birth canal, and she would also be able to hold that lip back to allow the head to slip through. It seemed like a GREAT idea at the time…



…a GREAT idea, until she was in there and was actively opening me up...spreading her fingers wide apart. It felt like a freight train just crashed into my vagina. It took everything in me not to punch her in her beautiful head. I HATED her in that second. I screamed at her to stop and she immediately pulled her hand out, but OH MY GOD. It felt like she was in there doing that for hours (it was only like 2-3 minutes). It was the most blinding pain I have ever experienced in my whole life.
"It felt like a freight train just crashed into my vagina...It was the most blinding pain I have ever experienced in my whole life."
That was it. I couldn’t take anymore. I was overly exhausted, and my tank was on zero. Labor had completely stalled at that point. She decided it would be best if she, Kristi and Bea left for a while so I could sleep. She lives just a couple miles up the street, so she would be able to get back here in seconds if we needed her. She was optimistic that that’s all I needed to get things going again. Nic bid them farewell and I passed out before they even crossed the threshold. Maybe from the pain. Maybe from exhaustion. I don’t really know. But either way, I so needed the rest.

I awoke around 1pm to my lovely contractions returning, and this time, my body was trying to push this baby out for me. Finally. It's about damn time I got a little backup. Although not well enough to my liking. I headed to the bathroom again and there I stayed for the remainder of my labor. No one was getting me off that toilet for the world.

Around 2pm, Christie, Bea, and Kristi arrived back here to the sight of me on the toilet, and still pushing to no avail. Keep in mind that I’m collectively 2 1/2 hours into pushing by this point. But I still had plenty of energy to go. Probably because I wasn't "pushing in earnest"...whatever that means. All I know, is that even though I felt like I was giving it my all, my Midwife said I wasn't even getting started. She really would be the one to know, but in that moment, I was thinking "what the hell do you know?" (Sorry Christie.)



From 1-3pm, after every contraction and push, I went through a strange ritual of checking myself, then washing my hand. It was like some crazy OCD crap. I would contract/push, check myself, get defeated because although I could still feel the water sac, it still hadn’t descended whatsoever from the last time I checked it. Then I’d pull out my hand and wash it. Although according to Nic, I would check myself with my Right hand, pull it out and place it back on his forearm to brace myself for the next contraction, then wash my Left hand. It seems odd that I would do that, but I wasn’t in exactly the clearest of mindsets. So it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I was doing something strange like that.

At some point, he transitioned from squatting in the hallway next to me, to sitting on the side of the toilet in front of me. He had his Right arm placed on the side of the sink/counter, and his Left arm was gripping the door frame. With him in that position, it allowed me to grab his forearms and bear down with every contraction. I was using him as the most perfectly placed leverage to push off from.

Around 3pm, I was beginning to feel so incredibly defeated by my lack of progress. I was pushing with everything in me…or so I thought. It was 3 1/2 hours of pushing. Who the hell does that?! I was so over it, too. At 3:08, I reached up inside after that contraction and ripped through the first layer of my water sac. It was REALLY hard to break it, too. I felt like I was clawing at a half-filled latex balloon with no fingernails to aid in my desperation. That thing was incredibly durable. I strongly believe that if I hadn’t broken my waters, my baby would’ve been born “in the caul” aka, still in the water membranes. It is a rare occurrence, but it DOES happen sometimes. I have heard it helps ease the baby into the world AND makes birthing the baby less painful. But I no longer gave a crap about ANY of that. As I ripped through that second layer, it POPPED and water came blasting out. All. Over. My Husband.

And holy cow, those contractions took on a whole new level of excruciating. For the past two hours, I had been begging and pleading with my Husband to take me to the hospital. The contractions hurt. Pushing through the contractions hurt even more. Not gonna lie. I was done. I wanted ALL. THE. DRUGS. I wanted this baby CUT, RIPPED, or SUCKED out of me. I no longer cared. Between each contraction, my Husband sat there, trying to reason with a wounded animal. He tried so hard to remind me of my stance on birth. How I feel about pain killers and unborn babies. How I feel about c-sections, and vacuums, and unnecessary medical interventions. All I heard was "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...WE'RE NOT GOING TO THE HOSPITAL".
"I wanted ALL. THE. DRUGS. I wanted this baby CUT, RIPPED, or SUCKED out of me. I no longer cared. Between each contraction, my Husband sat there, trying to reason with a wounded animal...All I heard was 'BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...WE'RE NOT GOING TO THE HOSPITAL'".
I loathed him on a level I can't even explain. I wanted to kill myself. At one point I begged for a gun to end my life. I was so serious, too. Childbirth is not for the faint of heart. You’d think I’d have remembered that from my last two births? Maybe even before we decided to try for #3? Yea I didn’t, and I’m fairly certain women are programmed that way. Because if we DID remember how painful Childbirth is, I’m pretty sure civilization wouldn’t have made it this far.

A quick side note for those of you thinking my Husband is a jerk for not granting me my wishes of going to the hospital. This is not his first birthing rodeo, either. Please keep that in mind. Our first was born in the hospital…so I was already there. But you bet your ass, that the second I reached the pushing phase, I was SCREAMING for pain meds. There just wasn’t any time to get them in me. (My epidural had failed, and I felt everything and survived to tell you about it...imagine that.) That’s what initially led to our becoming homebirthers. Our second baby he caught in our home waterbirth. And he’ll even tell you I was screaming then, wanting to go to the hospital. I wanted drugs and a c-section during the pushing phase. It’s a normal thing for me (and I’m pretty sure for lots of natural birthers). It means it’s almost time. The baby has descended, the ring of fire is beginning to rear its ugly head and I’ll have that sweet baby in my arms in just a few more minutes.

We both knew, prior to my homebirth this go around, that I would reach the point of begging to go to the hospital. And I had given him express instructions to NOT let me have my way. (Not unless there was an actual NEED to transport.) We both wanted this baby to be born into our loving arms, drug-free and in a peaceful setting. Not that screaming is conducive to a peaceful atmosphere, but it’s a whole lot more peaceful than me being pissed off at doctors and nurses for NOT letting me have my Birthing plan go verbatim to my instructions.

It is worth noting here, that we have been team green throughout this whole pregnancy. We had no idea what we were having. I didn’t even have an inkling throughout the whole 41 weeks. Our girls insisted the whole time that it was a boy. I had no clue, up until THIS day. I figured with a labor like this, it HAD to be a boy.

Also, we still hadn’t agreed to a name. I had loved and wanted the name Cedar, if it was a boy, but Nic wasn’t sold on it. We never could agree on a girl name, he wasn’t thrilled about Cedar, and yet he was bringing NOTHING to the table anytime I brought up having no names. This baby might just have to be named Boho Racca.

At 3:20pm, Christie checked in with me to see how I was doing. I was still pushing and shit was getting real. Bea poked her head in to calmly speak some birth affirmations to me. It was so hypnotic. Like listening to my birth hypnosis tracks, WITHOUT the irritating accent. Or like listening to my Yoga teacher as we work our way through the Asanas. It was very soothing to me and I loved it. She left and Lauren poked her head in to say something like "You can tell me to eff off if you want." So I obliged. Everyone but Nic left. I bore down through 2 more intense pushes, feeling the “Ring of Fire” both times, but backing off of them and not pushing through to the end. I couldn't do it. I wasn't ready. I was never going to be ready. That shit hurts WAY TOO MUCH. Nic hollered for Christie to come back. He saw the “tin foil head” and knew it was time. I was crowning.

Christie came back in at 3:35pm, and told me the tub was filled and ready for me to get in it. I couldn’t move. I wasn't going anywhere. This baby was about to be born on the toilet. In my mind, I had been pushing for 4 hours, but my Midwife said I only "pushed in earnest for 10 minutes". Either way, I was ready to bring this to an end. She reached down to support my perineum to prevent tearing. I grabbed her wrist, screaming at her to “Get the f*** out of my vagina”. I thought she was inside me performing that excruciating maneuver again. She responded “I’m not in your vagina, that’s the baby’s head, push through the contraction, here comes Baby!” Meanwhile, Nic yelled “C’Mon Cedar!” with everything in him. In that very second, hearing my Husband yell that, it was like something in me finally clicked into place. This was it. Our baby was almost here, it was a boy, and he had a name. Cedar. It was like my mind and body finally gave him permission to enter this world.

I pushed through the blinding pain. I left this world, grabbed my baby, and brought him back to us, Earthside. At 3:36pm, I stood up a little, bracing myself on my Husband’s strong, unwavering arms, and his head was born into my Midwife's hands. With the next push, I grasped my Husband with everything in me, stood up even more, and at 3:37pm, the rest of him was born. And dear Goddess, he must’ve been so tall! It felt like he was gliding out of me forever. I brought him immediately to my chest, and after a minute, someone reminded me to check to see what he was. I already knew, but I obliged. "IT'S A BOY!"
"IT’S A BOY!!!"
In my head, all I could think was “Welcome Earthside, Son.”

   

But outwardly, all I could do was scream “I DID IT!” Over and over again. Every time I look at this picture, I am reduced to tears from remembering every single thing I was thinking and feeling in that moment. It is a very powerful and accurate representation of the extremely difficult and different polarities I was experiencing in that moment. Doubt, courage, shock, relief, Warrior Mama, helpless little girl, Birthing Goddess. And above all, it shows all the love I was feeling for that little boy in my arms.
“I DID IT!”


"It is a very powerful and accurate representation of the extremely difficult and different polarities I was experiencing in that moment. Doubt, courage, shock, relief, Warrior Mama, helpless little girl, Birthing Goddess. And above all, it shows all the love I was feeling for that little boy in my arms."










A couple minutes later, I birthed the placenta, and boy was it perfect!

(My friend came up a few days later to grab it. She is a Doula and is going to encapsulate it for me.)

   

Nic & Bea took Cedar to begin his assessment, and Christie helped me get into the shower to rinse off. My pain, worry, discomfort and unease was immediately washed down the drain with all that blood. It was over with, and yet at the same time, just beginning. We just brought a Son into this world.







I settled into my bed to be assessed myself, and Nic called my Aunt to head back over with the girls. In the meantime, I was able to bring Cedar to my breast for our first latch and first time nursing. I have been waiting for this moment for over 9 months. And he knew just what to do, even though we had some work to do a little work on that latch of his for about a week.

"I have been waiting for this moment for over 9 months."

They arrived a few short minutes later, anxious to find out if they were right. Did they have a Brother?



MHG has been wanting a Baby Brother since she found out I was pregnant with her Sister, 5 years ago. I’m so glad my Photographer captured the moment she found out she finally got him. She was beyond elated!






After an hour of letting the umbilical cord completely drain, Daddy cut Cedar free from his placenta.



After he was measured, I found out I was right. He WAS tall. 21” In fact…just like his Daddy...


...and he weighed 7lbs 3oz. My biggest baby to date!


   

The girls are absolutely smitten.



We got footprints.


And then everyone started to clean up and file out of here, little by little.

Kristi captured these last couple shots for me, and I’m so glad, too. I was so upset for the longest time, thinking I never got pictures that day of Cedar with my Midwife and Best Friend.


She is truly so wonderful. I will never be able to thank her enough for these powerful images. She not only gave me the gift of wonderful photographs, but also the gift of remembering that day. Forever.
"And my Midwife gave me the gift of believing in me...when I couldn't muster up the strength to do so."
And my Midwife gave me the gift of believing in me...when I couldn't muster up the strength to do so. She was so amazing all day long. I have been blessed twice now, with 2 incredible Midwives, for both my homebirths. My 1st trained my 2nd. Both are truly wonderful, and even though they are both very similar, they are both very unique in such special ways. I couldn't ask for better, more powerful women to help me bring my children into this world. They are the difference between having a traumatic birth, and having a magical one.


After everyone left, we settled into some more skin-to-skin contact, for as long as I was able to bear. It was pretty cold in front of that window. It was only 20 degrees outside by that point.




So we put on our shirts and finally eased into our first nap together. He fit right there on my chest like it was meant to be. I had been waiting so long to finally meet him. I am so glad he’s here now.





With the addition of Baby Cedar, our third beautiful child, I can finally say for the first time ever…
…our family is finally complete.

   

"…our family is finally complete."


In hindsight, having Cedar in our RV was actually a pretty amazing experience. I never had to go far for anything, it was all within reach. I'm sure it was pretty crowded and maybe even less than enjoyable for everyone else here, but if it was, no one ever said so. My tankless water heater was incredible! And in conjunction with the inflatable tub, it worked swimmingly for laboring in. The pool was full and ready to go in about 20 minutes. It would've been just fine to birth in as well, had I actually been able to leave my throne. Everyone that was here was incredible. I couldn't have asked for a better team. The Aunties (thank you so much Aunt Sandra, for driving out from Chicago two months ago to help me with the girls during the last months of my pregnancy, & for helping me with my girls during the birth), my Photographer, my Midwife and her Assistant and my beautiful girls and inspiring Husband. All. Were. Amazing.

This birth may have been quite unlike my second homebirth, but it was still equally amazing and magical...but it took me some time to allow myself to accept that. For the first few days following the birth, I was beating myself up. I felt like a failure for asking for drugs and transport...completely forgetting that I did the same thing in my second birth. I felt overly dramatic and that I embarrassed myself in front of everyone (not that I felt that way at the time). I felt like I let my girls down by not allowing them to be present for Cedar's big entrance. I felt like a pansy in the presence of my amazingly strong and capable Husband...I was worried what he thought about me. But most of all, I was upset that it wasn't over and done with in 3 hours...like I had imagined it to play out in my head. I was disappointed in myself that there was screaming in pain at people on occasion, and groans, and guttural yells. I was upset that I couldn't force myself to get to the tub in time...maybe that would've prevented my tearing (it wouldn't have...not this time...not with THAT head). I'm mad that I hadn't been able to contain my composure at all times, like the peaceful hippie image I had painted in my head.

Seriously. I write this now and realize how ridiculous I sound thinking these things...but they were very real emotions for me 3 days post-partum. I didn't see myself for the homebirthing badass that I truly was. And that's OK. It took me over 30 days to process my birth. To see it for what it was. To appreciate myself for what I did. To be PROUD of what I did. But I do now, and I am soooooo glad that my Husband didn't give in and transport me to the hospital!

If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing, it would be to prepare for DIFFERENT types of Labors and Deliveries. No two births are the same...not even within the same woman. I was prepared for this birth to be like my 2nd, and it wasn't even close, and that's OK. That doesn't make it an Epic Fail. That just makes it different. I get that now. It took me hearing my Midwife in my head, over and over again...for the past 30 days, but I finally get it. 

I LOVED my RV Homebirth.

It was just as amazing as my last birth. I just had to work a lot harder to meet my baby. And I had to "Let Go." We believe it took me so long to birth him, because I knew he was my last, and subconsciously, I wasn't ready to let him come out. I still wanted to feel him safe and squirming inside me. And I truly believe that that's true. But eventually, it was time. I am glad how everything turned out. He was my longest labor, but I am grateful for those last 12 hours I had with him. They are forever seared into my mind. I wouldn't change a single thing about that day. It all happened exactly how it needed to, and for that, I am thankful to everyone for helping, and allowing it to play out exactly the way that it needed to. 

Welcome Earthside, Cedar James.

Watermarked photography by the amazing Kristi Williams Photography in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

An update on Cedar at his 1 month mark:

He is quite the chunk already and has gained over 3lbs since birth. As of today, January 20th, he is 10lbs 8oz and 23 inches long! He nurses all day on demand-like a champ-and has been sleeping through the night since he was born (a VERY foreign thing to me). A couple times following his birth, I would wake him every 2 hours, but he was gaining weight so well, that I said screw it. He sleeps 6-7 hours straight...only sometimes waking briefly to nurse himself back to sleep. Co-sleeping for the win! He's got the chillest demeanor of all my kids when they were babies, and his smile completely lights up our lives. He is the greatest little boy ever. We are truly blessed by his presence, and so grateful that he picked us to be his Earthly family.

4 Days old.


1 Week old.


2 Weeks Old.


3 Weeks old.


Yesterday.


Today. Sir Chunk.