Happy to announce the newest addition to our family has arrived...
At 1:53 AM on Monday May 7th we birthed a beautiful 9 lb, 11 oz baby boy in our home. This was our second son to be born in the same room, on our same land, at home- what a gift!
The labor for this baby was all we could imagine. The night before my husband took me on a romantic full moon walk/climb around our property and by the time we got back home baby had obviously started to drop.
The next day we woke and were outside from then on for the most beautiful sunny day- perfect weather. My husband, mother, and three year old son were present the whole time as we just relaxed on our porch and when a tightening came I would spiral my hips and "dance" into it. Really sweet and simple. We even had arranged prior for a friend to come over and help get our house all clean and fresh as we were outside. Perfect timing!
Around two-thirty or so my husband took me on a bumpy ATV ride around our neighborhood to help keep things moving. I was skeptical but I think the combination of bouncing and laughing really did something! We would ride and laugh then pause for a contraction, then ride and laugh again.
Got on the ball a little when we got back home and kept spiraling my hips... contractions were relatively strong now and regular about every two-and-a-half to three minutes lasting about 45 seconds. There was something about the spiral that really worked. Side to side or any other pattern was not the same. Called and checked in with our midwife Laura Roe, but told her not to come by yet. We were just enjoying our peace.
The energy got stronger about six o'clock and we called midwives again to report. My legs were starting to shake with the contractions and I felt sure we were moving forward with the process. I had no idea how far dialated I was or how much farther we had to go, just knew all systems were working and baby was on his way in whatever time that may be.
Since we live about an hour outside town, I was thankful we called our midwives when we did. Things shifted quickly in that next hour and contractions got more intense. The inbetween time was still relatively easy resting time but the contractions themselves took concentration and focus. Breathe in, breathe out... I had started to hang on my husbands neck during the contractions leaning my head on his chest. This movement set the stage for the night as almost every singe contraction to follow was done holding on to him with us sharing that time.
When the midwives got to our home we had just made our way upstairs and were settling in to do our work. I almost immediately said that I felt like I was starting to feel a pushing urge, was that normal? To me it felt like we were early in the game still and I imagined we had a ways to go. Veege suggested I take my jeans off if I was feeling like I was getting ready to push. "Oh- good idea" I said. HaHa. I tested the feeling with a little push when the next contraction came and - surprise - my water broke with a gush.
There was a little time as the midwives moved into the space and got set up. We kept our focus and just kept working from our zone... Jamie and I were there together every contraction sharing breath. So beautiful that closeness. That appreciation we got to experience together. Our teamwork in those moments such a reminder of our partnership as parents. We were bringing in another child together. Our strength and focus made that new life possible and those moments in labor a remider of that effort. Very romantic. Very loving.
Then the energy shifted again and it felt like time to push. I started the pushes and they were so primal, so gutteral. With my first I never really got the urge to push so I was so happy to know what that felt like... I had asked for that thinking about this birth. That I really wanted to know that feeling of surrendering to the body as it takes over to birth baby. I did not specify how long I wanted to know that feeling though which is a good reminder to be very clear with requests!
It ended up being a very long and full number of hours feeling the pushes. I would get into a place and be pushing and then Jamie would encourage me to move around helping to move the baby down. Gravity, different positions, moving my hips with climbing up and down stairs- all with the intention and understanding that moving was helping baby to be born... It was so challenging to move but I felt a responsibility. Our baby was in my body but WE were working as one to bring our baby in.
I was fully dialated and effaced for the most part almost from the time the midwives arrived. My body felt ready but baby was not there yet. Not descending down. So we kept moving. Baby was vey low in my pelvis so I felt like I had monkey butt as I walked around. It was hard work but I kept moving. We kept doing our contractions. Time was far away. There was just the moment. As long as it took. That is how long it would be.
I did not have a thought of needing to transport to somewhere else to have our baby. I did not have a feeling that my body could not birth our baby. I was working hard but I know birth is work. I saw my mother birth my sister, her fourth child, in our remote home with solar power and no phone lines... I know birth works. With my first son she helped me in transision by saying "Pretend there is no road. There is nowhere to go. You have to have your baby." It made me laugh at the time because it did seem so funny to go somewhere else and it shifted my intention into a state of mind that helped me birth my baby.
I feel fortunate to have had the trust of Laura and Veege as my midwives again (they were the team that helped with the birth of my first son) and the trust of my mother and husband knowing me deeply and being present for me. They all supported me and trusted me and that was essential for the unfaltering of my trust in myself.
When baby was finally ready to crown there was incredible intention on all of our parts. I was on the birthstool with my mother holding me up from behind. Jamie was ready to catch baby, holding my hand, rubbing my shoulder... our son Jonathan who had been downstairs sleeping was brought up and laid on the bed behind us. He was too tired to wake up but he was in the room with us.
Baby's head was born with big pushes and effort. Then there was a moment of pause. Baby was doing his spiral to turn his shoulders to fit through my pelvis. It felt like eternity and a single second at the same time. The universe opens and I felt like I was at a gateway. The same place of life coming is as going out. Meeting my baby. There was no cord wrap or other concern, just the fit of shoulders to get out. Laura called me in. "Have attention now". We were working together. Mother and midwife. I needed her assistance. This was a big baby and I needed some help. Veege was counting the time and Laura was working to move baby out. She told me now is the time to push and I pushed with all I had...
Baby was born into papas proud arms. He was placed on my chest and immediately given so much love from us all. He was given some oxygen to assist for just a minute. Felt good to be able to help him. No stress of unhealth. There was good care being given to him and I knew Laura and Veege were giving best to him.
The rest of the night blurs of course as I had my baby in my arms after that and the smell and sight and feel of him overwhelms all else. Placenta was born. He nursed with enthusiasm. I peed. It was all wonderful. My baby was born!
9 lbs, 11 oz of pure love. Welcome Theodore Narin Syken. We are so happy!
Laura Roe was our midwife and Veege was her assistant with our first birth. Then for our second Veege has completed her schooling and gotten her own practice going now too - Oak Grove Midwifery - but she agreed to be a part of our birth team as well for our second.
Thank you to the midwives who help bring these babies in!!!