Luna's Birth Day:
Luna came into our lives very quickly on May 13th- 1 day shy of her due date. The day before I was feeling very uncomfortable and felt like she was trying to push out the front of my stomach; even my midwife told us my stomach was very 'tight' and there was no more room and that she should be arriving soon! I woke up at 4am on the 13th to use the bathroom for the 4th time that night, as usual, and felt some menstrual cramps which I had been feeling off and on for a few weeks. Then climbed back into bed but noticed the cramps were somewhat stronger than before. I woke up Todd and told him to Google my symptoms to see what they meant and he said that I may be in real labor. So I quickly got up, made sure our bags were together and then got back in bed as our midwives told us to try to sleep off early labor.
Well, 5 minutes later they were very intense so Todd started using his fancy iPhone app to time the contractions- there was no sleeping off anything! I was still not sure they were real contractions as this entire pregnancy I have been wondering what a contraction was going to feel like, as everyone told me I would know and that it would be very painful, but was not sure what kind of pain it would be, like a sharp shooting pain, or a dull ache, etc?? But I soon knew these were the real thing as I was doubled over in bed and on all four's. It was now 5:30am and they were 5 minutes apart and had been occuring for the past 30 minutes. Due to my family history of fast labors, Todd called the Birth Center and spoke to one of the midwives, reminding her of our family history so she told us to meet her there by 7am.
At 6am I told Todd we needed to get the car ready as I wanted to get there soon, the only problem was that it was so hard to get up and get moving as the contractions were coming fast. It took me 30 minutes to get to the car from our room and he helped me climb into the bed of our SUV so I could lay down. He called our immediate family that lived out of town and told them to hurry so they could be there soon. I told him to run all the red lights he could on the way and we made it there in 10 minutes! My Mom arrived right when we did and was shocked to see me climbing out of the back of our SUV doubled over with Todd coaching me through a contraction.
When we got inside the Birth Center's exam room, my midwife noted I was 5 cm dilated, and then on my way down to the birth room got a little sick on their nice Oriental rug, oops. All I knew was that this baby was coming fast but all of my labor worries leading up to this day soon went out the window as I knew I was in good hands with my midwife Carol.
I made it into the birth room and I was able to get into the jacuzzi tub to help decrease the contraction pains and Todd was a great coach helping me with my breathing and relaxation. The birth assistant, Debbie, was also amazing and very helpful with suggestions and helping us ease the contractions. They put in my iPod 'relaxation playlist' and used aromatherapy to help ease the discomfort. Did I mention I was doing this without pain meds? Yep, I weathered through it and surprisingly was able to handle it without wanting anything. I wanted to make sure I experienced her birth as much as possible.
After about 30 minutes in the tub I was 8 cm dilated and my midwife told me I could have a water birth as Todd and I had planned to do, but that the baby would come out faster if I squatted her out at the bed posts on the Victorian bed. I wanted so desperately to meet our girl so I decided to do the squat method. My midwife and birth assistant were so amazing, getting me ready and caring for me and preparing me for the birth of our girl. Todd was stationed behind me to support me as I held onto the bed's post while I squatted during contractions. It was the hardest part of it all, but luckily the shortest. All I wanted to do was lay down from the exhaustion, but I couldn't because the baby was engaged and about to crown. Still no pain meds and so grateful for that, as I tried to concentrate on getting our little girl here!
Finally they moved me to up on the bed as the baby was about to crown and after several short pushes, our little girl emerged crying and Todd 'caught' her as he helped pull her out and placed her on my chest. It was the most surreal and amazing experience and words can not express how I felt as I held her for the first time. Todd was crying and speechless and after the cord stopped pulsing, Todd cut the cord. My Mother and sister then came in to see her and congratulated us while Todd called his family to tell them the news.
I could not believe that our little girl arrived 1.5 hours after arriving at the Birth Center and so thankful I had a healthy girl and a safe, non complicated delivery!! I then got back into the bath tub to give our girl her first bath and when they first placed her on my legs, was the first time I got a really good look at our girl and was just amazed how beautiful she was and how amazing it was we now had a precious girl! The bath time was a special bonding time for us and Todd assisted in washing her hair and rinsing her off. He then put on her first diaper and dressed and swaddled her.
My Father then arrived in from Houston and was so excited as this is his first grandchild. We then moved to the upstairs recovery room and had other visitors come to meet our new little girl including Todd's father who had come up from Austin. We ordered lunch from Two Sisters (and so excited I could now eat all the forbidden pregnancy foods) and relaxed. Then came the name decision, and after going through our list of choices, finally decided on naming our little one, Luna, and her middle name after Todd's grandmother, Katherine. Luna is a name I have loved for a long time and after we spent time trying to think of other names the past 9 months, we could not find one that was more beautiful and unique to describe our girl.
Since we recovered so well, they told us we could leave by 3pm. 6 hours after giving birth, Todd and I took our little girl home! I of course rode in the back seat with her as could not leave her alone and Todd drove as slowly as possible. We got home and Todd's sister Heather had arrived to meet her new niece! My midwife ordered me to 3 days of strict bed rest so I was thankful my family and Todd was there to help me and the baby.
We spent the first 2 nights alone to spend time together as a new family but had amazing help from our family and friends!! My mom then spent several nights with us to help relieve us in the mornings with Luna as well as doing cooking and cleaning and my sister helped take care of the dogs. After the 3 days of bed rest, the next 2 weeks I have light 'waking' meaning no cooking or cleaning. It's nice to have to take it easy for awhile and I am so glad I have a wonderful husband and family to help!
Luna's birth day was so amazing and wonderful and am glad I decided to go the Birth Center route as the whole experience was very special to us. I am very happy to have a healthy little girl and so excited to have her in our lives, she is a complete joy!!
The pictures below show the birth room, Todd 'catching' the baby and giving her the first bath as well as the proud grandparents and Aunts.