A blog! A blog! It's been a whopping 5 months since I've written a post. We've moved, the kids started back to school, we had a baby, I quit my job, I took over shipping cards for the Gathering Site and now we are just outside of the busy holidays. Time to get back into the swing.
Disclosure - this is a birth story, therefore a long novel of a post. For those that enjoy these sorts of things, those looking for insight and my own guilty pleasure.
Orion Gregory Trent Crutcher: September 08, 2016 @ 2:10pm
Orion was an afternoon babe.
When we found out we were pregnant we started our prenatal visits with the TriHealth Midwives through Good Sam. I met them through a client I had as a doula and remembered how amazing they were. They are kind and have altered the practice to be as close to a home birthing environment as a hospital can give you. Truly amazing, conscientious midwives. Love them!
That being said. I don't know if it was being busy with 3 five year olds on summer vacation, work or my husband being in the police academy but at week 32 I noticed I'd been really detached from the pregnancy. I didn't look forward to my prenatal checkups and was battling some pregnancy blues. After a lot of thought and reflection I realized it wasn't being busy or depression - I wasn't preparing for the birth in a way that was intimate and personal to me. I wanted to home birth. I needed to home birth.
After training as a doula and assisting births both in and out of the hospital I truly felt I knew my body and the biology of birthing well enough to handle it stress free at home (actually less stressful than being in the hospital). Trent and I talked and in a nut shell - we both decided it was what we wanted, not just me - so we found KaiaJade (in Cincinnati, this is a great place to start a search for the perfect Midwife).
The amazing KaiaJade! You will never meet anyone with a heart so kind and large as this woman. My AMAZING midwife. She is truly incredible. We met in week 33 and OUR minds (all three of us) were set. We had 7 weeks to catch up on prenatal information and get prepared for the big day. Or not....
We moved the first week of September, which would have been week 35 into 36. It was a crazy week, but we got through it with the help of my brother and his family (OMG! Thank you!!) and our Woodburn Village (more on that later). By the next week, I was working hard to get the house in order so I could focus on getting ready for the birth. FYI - we didn't know the gender of the baby nor did I have any of the supplies needed for the birth. Just my doula bag - yikes. By Wednesday of the following week (pregnancy week 36) - I called my mom in a fury.
'What was I thinking?! I can't handle another baby?! Am I crazy?!' Sobbing, screaming full fledged anxiety attacks. And... that's when my mom started packing. The beauty of her knowing me SO well. She knew the big day was if not hours, only days away. My manic break down before birth.
That night I decided to replace a window unit in the boy's bedroom and put the bigger one at the stairs for Trent to carry down. Not a great move while pregnant. But taking it easy hasnever been my forté.
The next morning started like any morning. My alarm went off at 6:30a. I was definitely at the sore & tired part of pregnancy, so I laid in bed and listened to the kids wake up around 6:45. I listened to their play and went to check my phone around 7a, go through email, etc.... When I put my phone back I felt a little - well, squirt. Incontinence in that past month was kicking in so I figured it was just my inability to 'hold it' and I'd be up soon (TMI? I don't care. It's a fact of having children). Not minutes later came the gush. No question what that was.
My waters broke with Soren as well. Just following in my mother's footsteps with both my brother and I. We are two of the very few that water breaking signifies active labor. I ran to the bathroom saying - 'No, no no no no no. Not yet!!!! We aren't ready!'. Trent came running in and asked if I was sure I wasn't just peeing my pants. Heh. Yeah honey. I stood up and another gush of clear liquid came out.
He shrugged. Smiled ear to ear and quickly ran upstairs to tell the kids they weren't going to school. 'We are having a baby!' He may deny this, but it was one of the few times I have seen him so ecstatic he couldn't think straight.
We quickly called KaiaJade, made a list of supplies, asked my dear friend-amazing-human being-that happens to be an ER nurse, to call off sick and attend the birth (which she did VERY willingly. I love you Sarah!), my mom who responded 'duh! I knew it! I am on my way!', my boss - there was a CSO concert that weekend and school for the kids. Trent took the boys out to run some errands - birth supplies, food, etc.... Sarah came to check on me and then left to snag my pitocin script from Bethesda and couple more supplies.
I was left home alone to focus on birth. The contractions started up quickly. I did miles circuits as instructed by KaiaJade to insure the baby would be anterior and in a good position.
By the time Sarah (my amazing ER nurse working friend and other mother of the Woodburn Village) got back I was moving pretty quickly into active labor. I could still talk between contractions and move but my hips were starting to feel it. And this time - my abdomen. Soren was all, I mean ALL back labor. I never knew what an abdominal contraction felt like. Back labor was extremely painful. I was in tears this time. Of happiness.
I remember laboring in the kitchen and screaming how much better this felt. My hips still felt like they were ripping but WOW! I can stand. I can move. I can bear down! Yes! Thank you baby! Keep it up!!
KaiaJade got to the house around 9/9:30 (I think, I am a little foggy on time at this point). We continued miles circuits until I couldn't do them anymore and we ended in our bedroom where we prepped. Trent came home with the kiddos and Carol (the Woodburn Village Resident Nana) took them out to play. I continued to labor and lean on Trent with sounds of the kids playing in the background (they hunted for butterfly larvae - yes, caterpillars. But they are privy to the terminology). He never left my side but once to answer a text from my traveling mom.
The contractions were strong and hard. I pulled, squeezed, grunted, breathed, dry heaved, you name it - on my husband. But he stayed, looking me straight in the eye. Always there - my rock, my confidence when it seemed impossible, the reminder that I wasn't in this alone - ever.
My mom arrived around noon. I will never forget her scent entering the room - the comfort I needed at the time. Trent wanted this birth to be the two of us along with our labor and delivery assistants. It meant a lot to him. I just required my husband and our kiddos if they wanted to be present. I just wanted to be home with my family while we welcomed our new member. My mom respected that, as hard as it was to hear her daughter laboring and not be there. She went out with her grandsons and became the liaison between our room and the kids.
Shortly after that I started losing hope. I told KaiaJade and Sarah I didn't think I could do it. I didn't have enough strength and I was losing reality. I felt like I was wilting and giving into the pain. KaiaJade knew me, she knew I had to prove I could do this.
She said softly - with no judgement 'I understand you are tired. We can go to the hospital if that is what you wish. I honor your decision. You are ok, the baby is ok.' I responded with a 'hell no! Let's do this!'. She promptly gave me a couple homeopathics in hopes they'd wake me up (they did!) and some encouragement and sure enough I made it through transition and started pushing around 1:30p.
This I remember vividly. The head crowned. Trent was waiting to catch, both of our hands down by the head as encouragement and support for both myself and the baby. He called out for the kids. My mom brought them up. All three - they looked in awe and excitement. 'There's the head! The head! There's hair!?!?'.
There was still some pushing yet to go, so we asked if they wanted to stay or leave. They meandered and two ended up staying by the time Orion's shoulders began to come out. After that and couple more pushes, there he was. In my husbands hands. Soren ran over to my side and Mayer jumped on the bed. They couldn't wait to get a closer look. Trent put him on my chest and the comments and questions began to fly.
I was so aware - so awake. I answered them between gasps of disbelief, tears and kisses. I finally held him up to see what we had and looked at my husband 'Orion?', and he shook his head. Marley came running into the room and on the bed. So many questions. They were curious about everything. In awe that this new life - their baby brother just came into the world.
I had less shaking with this birth and more clarity. Although they were both unmedicated, this one was so different. My placenta came and we quickly realized Orion's EDD was incorrect and he likely had a twin that I counted as my last cycle. He was more likely 37 weeks, almost 38. He was 6lbs 10oz (Soren was 6lbs 14oz @ 39 weeks), no small fry but not huge. Healthy, quick to latch, big eyed, full head of hair - our little peanut. All of us, absolutely in love.
I know home birthing isn't for everyone, but it was definitely the right move for us. KaiaJade was phenomenal. The perfect balance of hands on and encouragement, with a depth of knowledge that is astounding! She is so in tune and selfless when it comes to birth.
The kids - oh the kids. Hearing their voices, their energy - seeing their faces, touching their heads and holding them close during and after birth. I can't imagine it any other way.
authored by Chelsea Crutcher