Bella, 3wks new with her birth team... moments after pooping all over Dad (which we celebrated as this colicky baby did not have a good BM history). Mom talk: Real life peeps, real life.
...was snuggle our new baby with my family in the comfort of our home, on our bed, under the glow of Christmas lights… awe, what a way to ring in 2011! :-) How our 3rd baby made it’s grand entrance, just in time to ring in the new year!
Wed 12/29: Contractions had been going for about a week... starting every evening and then petering out when I decided it was time to sleep. It was frustrating but my amazing birth support team kept reminding me that baby would come when he/she was ready and it was all happening for a reason. Everyone’s prayers and encouragement were definitely felt! I started to think there was something “holding back baby”, mental block in most cases but sometimes physical, so… we saw the doctor that morning, baby was great, cervix was soft and ready anytime, a little dilation and effaced (not that it means anything J but it was nice to hear something had been happening over the last week of sleep deprivation). We had a nice day as a family, working through some “boy name issues" after convincing (don’t get me started on ultrasounds ;) our doctor to let us see baby one more time to confirm my intuition that it wasn’t a boy… long story for another day), cancelled any plans that I might have been "holding baby in or forcing baby out for”. We walked the mall, window shopped, and saw a movie to celebrate our fresh attitude and peace in waiting patiently for this little one. After letting everything go I decided I was "over it" and was focusing on attending a New Year's Eve party at my brother-in-laws... maybe baby needed a party to crash! J
Thurs 12/30: I awoke renewed and the girls and I kept busy. The girls had some G-ma time while I visited the wonderful chiropractor (one of the four, yes four I saw in this pregnancy- cool how they each have their own technique and focus, I’m a bit of a believer in good chiropractic care J). This particular Chiropractor (Dr.Ashley Thompson at Drake Chiropractic) helped alleviate my pelvic pain. I also received an amazing massage from a dear friend, Katy McMillen @ Cox Chiropractic. She also shared tips on acupressure, wouldn’t work unless the body/baby was ready… couldn’t hurt, right?!), and headed home with contractions that I planned to ignore until I absolutely couldn’t. I texted Carl that contractions were 6mins apart but not to get too excited just “don’t dally coming home”. I also didn’t get too excited as I didn’t want to interfere, then my daughter fell off the swing onto the concrete- eek! Adrenalin pumping and some company stopping by and guess what?! Yep, contractions stopped, wow- amazing how the body works. I was a bit bummed but also felt very blessed to have such amazing friends- they finished up their visit by taking a picture (of course) and praying over us- what peace that brought to our home. After the house settled down (girls in bed), Carl and I shared our love and the contractions started up again. We did our best to ignore the contractions until I felt lots of pressure and “pinching” and I decided baby needed me to move. I walked the stairs until I couldn’t. My wonderful hubby-coach tried to comfort me but I needed to just keep moving… thanks for understanding hun. After about an hour of this dance; sleep. I got some interrupted sleep as a strong contraction would wake me about every hour until 5am hit and I woke up suddenly feeling “different”, yay! I lost my mucus plug- progress! God’s plan is always “just right”.
Friday 12/31: 7am-Carl had the day off so we got some breakfast and headed out to run errands- what else do you do on “labor day”, get groceries, do a little shopping, and hang out with your family. I even got a nap! After waking up contractions got a little more intense and I kept ignoring them… I asked Carl to blow up the tub, get hoses set up, etc. so we could fill it when it was time. 4pm- My sister took the girls to the mall and I did some “nesting” in the girls’ room/birth room. My wonderful hubby kept trying to support/comfort me but I told him to ignore me until I looked like I couldn’t handle it… not sure why, I guess I needed to face the intensity on my own, too much relaxation maybe?! I checked my blood pressure and baby’s heat tones before, during, and after a couple contractions and all sounded great- what a strong baby! 6pm- Girls got back, we ate dinner (hmm, I couldn’t’ sit down for dinner), and as planned Daddy and the girls went to the New Year’s Eve party (I would have as well but I was losing too much mucus to go anywhere—I was still in denial that this was really going to end in a baby). I thought briefly about calling my doula and photographer but thought better of it—if I “brought in the troops” (hubby’s words), I was just sure the whole thing would peter out again. So… the girls “doula’d” me (what precious moments/pictures) and poured water over me while my sister played my “birth song” and Carl filled the tub half way… I don’t think anyone knew how quickly the rest of the story would unfold. 8pm- The gang left and my Sister stayed with me. We watched my favorite birth videos on the laptop while I labored in the tub and I listened to the song during the contractions—which, by this time were taking my breath away, forcing me to get in all fours position and I started praying “Jesus, I trust in you”, and reciting my birth mantras “my body is made to do this, my baby is made to do this”, and “singing” my baby out through contractions. 8:56pm- While belting out my favorite part of the song: “You’re all that’s good, of this I am sure. You’ve awakened such joy…in my heart secure” a really good strong contraction overwhelmed me and I told my sister to call Carl and ask him to head home in about 30mins or so. 9:02pm- I changed my tune, “Marisa, no really, I need Carl now!” When she talked to Carl he was already on his way (good job Coach!) I started giving Marisa directions: get the camcorder, check my camera, take some pictures, fill the birth tub, call my doula (Laura Hamilton) and photographer (Nelly Cole); I didn’t get enough of a break and clarity of mind to call my long-distance MW, sorry Dana, but what could you have done? What a great support my sister was—she honestly represented every woman, past present and future who had experienced the same thing (maybe even at that moment-- my brother’s girlfriend was in labor as well)… she was truly my “village”. Thanks Sis! I don’t know how I pulled it together enough to look up numbers so my sister could call (pictures to prove it) but I did—guess support & captured memories are pretty important! J 9:15pm- Carl home, he embraced me, reminded me to breathe (my how we forget the basics in transition!), everyone prepared for baby, and Carl helped me into the half-filled tub. The water was running; we were hoping the water heater would hold out. The girls took their roles very seriously. Bailee was our quiet presence (it’s true what they say, doulas aren’t made, they’re born), and comic relief: “Dad, rub my mom. I need to go warm up my hands.” Haha! We had talked a lot about mom’s aversion to cold hands. Blair was our cheerleader: “Good job momma, good job momma,” while rubbing my hair, riding her stick pony… just another day with a “birth junkie” as a mom. 9:20pm- Our doula, Laura, arrived and her presence too was very calming. It’s nice to have someone who had “been there, done that” here for support. She manned the camcorder and offered little reassurances when needed. I can’t stop myself from “teaching”… I got some great breaks between contractions so I took this opportunity to commentate, haha! I mentioned to Laura the idea of letting my BODY push as long as possible, I told her I was trying that… haha! She gave me a knowing look and “ya”. Laboring women are so crazy; in a good way! I digress… I labored on my hands and knees while leaning into Carl as the crazy strong contractions expanded my body and my baby moved down. Talk about intense; I wonder if baby had it’s hands up by their face. I and Carl felt baby’s head as it moved down and I told everyone I was sure there was hair! (Our first baby with hair, if this was the case!) Although our past births at the Birth & Women’s Center in Yoder, KS with awesome Midwifery care were amazing in their own rite, this time we needed something different. The baby needed something different, this birth was exactly what we needed. I am still in awe of the completely unhindered birth we had; trust was a big part of it. Our bodies are created to do this; our babies are created to do this. 9:27pm- I had an especially hard contraction that I felt I needed to push with (but I didn’t get that “pushing with it” relief… it freaking hurt! No other “nice” word for it!) My water broke and finally I had some relief. I felt again and YES! “there’s hair, our baby has hair!” and the waterworks began; it’s true what they say about feeling the head, like touching the hand of God. This gave me the strength to work with the expulsive and overwhelming contractions. The atmosphere became eerily quiet (even my girls were waiting in silence) as I started to really push with the contractions. I barreled my head into the towel and Carl’s chest (lucky for Carl I used the towel and not his arm as my “biting stick”). While I was burrowed my photographer started her magic just a minute before baby’s entrance, literally… she started shooting at 9:43pm. A couple more pushes and I felt her head turning very low—that was wild! I pushed one more time and I felt a “pop” as the head crowned. My doula confirmed that yes the head was crowning and I asked her if I should turn over which I did carefully so as not to emerge her head from the water. The baby was looking around peacefully like it didn’t know it was born (just like all the birth stories said they do) and I slipped my hands under the arms as the baby slid out into the water. 9:44pm- I slowly brought our baby up out of the water onto my chest and removed the cord from around the shoulder noting the two (yes two!) knots in the cord. It was very interesting how juicy-curly cords can still provide for babies; baby was trying to compete with her sister’s cord which had one knot 2 years ago. Baby took it’s time to begin breathing as we admired the thick baby “frosting” from God. I put her on my knees and we saw that it was a SHE! And she had hair to boot! And curly too- like a little wet lamb. What a surprise!! Just a few minutes later I felt heaviness and I stood up to smoothly birth the placenta. The water was gunky so I decided to postpone the “leboyer bath” and moved to our warmly lit bedroom where we observed the pulsing cord, took pictures galore, Daddy cut the cord, the girls adored their little sister and she started nursing as soon as she got close enough—AWESOME! We weighed her, 7lb 4oz (same as her middle sister) and measured her, 19inches and right before our eyes her vernix soaked in leaving a velvet baby behind. I guess listening to my body really worked as I only had a “papercut” tear which was easily healed by the application of some seaweed- awe, natural remedies. Everything I had ever hoped for had come true, the birth was beyond perfect—THIS was my FIRST Birth to Remember!We are so blessed!
Shortly after the birth, we started talking about girl names (hadn’t really worked on it til 2 days before as we were sure baby was a boy) and decided on Isabella Marie “Bella” so she could be one of the “Bees” and started sharing the big news! We finished our big night with a New Year’s picture, sipping champagne, snuggling in our bed in the comfort of our home. What perfect timing for everything—we cleaned up and sent everyone on their way in time to celebrate with their loved ones. Life is good.
Isabella Marie “Bella” Heincker Born at 9:44pm, weighing 7lb 4oz, and measuring 19in. ~Carl, Janine, Bailee, & Blair~