And so it came to pass, arriving a week later than thought and on her daddy's birthday, that baby surprise was born. Our largest baby so far, little Willow came in at 8 lbs 7 oz and 22 in. And much like the pregnancy, the labor went nothing like planned.
Originally we had been planning on free birthing her, that is, my husband and I were going to have an unassisted homebirth. This wasn't something that we entered into lightly (and not something that I recommend for everyone,) but it was a decision that we were comfortable with and that made sense for us. However, the Universe had other plans and this is not what happened.
I mentioned last time that we would be moving, due to this the free birth became... impossible. As we're now living back in my hometown (near to where we have lived previously) I contacted the hospital where we had had our last two. I thought it was a long shot that our Midwife would be available for the birth (and she wasn't) but we had to have the baby somewhere and this hospital was a better choice than the other two that were nearer to us.
Our Midwife's back up doctor was available, though, and we went in that same day for a check up and to make arrangements for the birth. But, during a non-stress test (mostly to please husband and doc) we found out that something was going on with baby: her heart rate dropped dangerously low a couple of times. So, in her best interest, labor was to be immediately induced (with the possibility of a c-section if labor didn't progress fast enough or if things got worse for her.)
Luckily, though, labor went well (aside from sharp mind-numbing contractions due to the Pitoscin.) And aside from the chemical induction, birth was as gentle and natural as possible. The doctor was very impressed. She told the nurse that teaches the birthing and breastfeeding classes that she wished the labor and birth would have been video taped because my husband and I were such a great team! This, of course made both of us laugh (after 6 kids for him and four for me now, we certainly should know what we're doing! lol) But, I can see where she was coming from because things did go well and we handled everything on our own up until the very end, as my husband was unable to catch since he was helping to hold me up. The problems with baby's heart rate turned out to be that the umbilical cord was across her shoulders and during labor it did get pushed up around her neck. But, it was loose and was easily removed once her head emerged.
My favorite part of the entire labor was the moment right after she came out. Up to that point, we had been convinced the baby was a boy. Everything about the pregnancy, including the way I was carrying and the dreams both my husband and I had been having, said this was going to be a boy. So, of course, once babe made it out and right before she made it to my chest, everyone in the room went "Oh!" when it turned out that "he" was a beautiful little girl.
It's been just over a week now and we are all adjusting well. Atticus was unsure and distant for a couple of days, but Titus and Aurora immediately loved her and always want to help and hold her. And Willow... well, she's very easygoing, sleeps at night, smiles when you sing to her, and poops a lot.
All and all, things are going great.
Throwing the Bones