|And excited "new big brother" with his baby sister the morning after she was born. He is telling everyone, "I am a new brother now!"|
Sarah took her sweet time coming to us! She was due on September 22, but didn't arrive until the early hours of October 4. We joke that she wanted to be part of the October birthday crew! Now more than half of our children have birthdays in October! Crazy! I guess I am quite fertile in January!
Now back to Sarah's story... A few days before the due date, Sarah flipped to a posterior position, which means she was facing forward instead of backward. Posterior births are possible, but often slower and more painful, so I was really praying and experimenting with different techniques to try to get her to turn. As the days kept slowly moving past, I began to relax and release it all to God for His timing! Still, she waited. In the early days of October, she did in fact turn, and then I began to really anticipate her arrival at any moment. Finally on Thursday morning, I began to feel the familiar tightening in the tummy that told me something was happening. As the hours passed, I was sure that the sporadic contractions were the beginning of labor, so we began to prepare for our baby girl's arrival. For the first time ever, we had friends present for the birth: my good friend Della and her two girls and a young, newly married friend who was so excited and curious to experience a natural homebirth. So about 9pm, the midwife and her assistant had their equipment set up and our friends arrived, all anxious for a baby to arrive. And still the early labor drug on! David and I walked around the neighborhood late into the evening, we sat around talking, I even got into the birthing tub for a short time, and still the contractions were mild and irregular. About 11:30, the midwife, thinking there was too much activity for me to really relax and let the labor process progress, suggested we all go to bed and rest a bit. So we found places for everyone to rest, and David and I went to bed. It was impossible to sleep while having contractions, but it was nice to rest, and David got a bit of sleep. And she was right! As I rested, the contractions got stronger and stronger. Sometime after 1am (wasn't really watching the clock), I got into the birthing tub, while David brought pot after pot of hot water to try and warm the water that had cooled from sitting there for several hours.
Now the labor began in earnest!! Focus, relax, breathe, wait, and do it all over again. But not too many times, because sooner than I, or even the midwife and her assistant expected, Sarah was ready to enter this world. Finally, David joined me in the pool as I began to push. One push to get her down, two to get her head out and the third to usher her into her daddy's waiting arms. He pulled her out of the water and into my arms! And the newborn wails, and mama sighs and rejoices, and daddy beams! What a miracle! Everytime. Number 7 is no less spectacular than number 1. The girls and our friends all poured in excitedly to see the miracle I am holding in my arms. We rejoiced together. Then Sarah and I moved to the bed for clean up, cutting the cord, weighing and measuring the baby, nursing, and SLEEP! However, sleep was a long time in coming, as I kept bleeding and lost a good bit of blood. After a scary hour or so, the bleeding slowed, the midwife breathed easier, and I was finally able to sleep about 6:30am.
I have rested and given my body more time to recover this time than any other pregnancy. David was a huge help with the kids and housework, while I rested. I wasn't allowed out of my bed for the first 12-15 hours, then I stayed in my room for another day or so. After that, I began to move about the house slowly! A friend organized evening meals for us, which has been a huge blessing! My parents came for a week and were a big help and nice company!
Now three weeks later, I feel stronger and have energy for everyday life. We even started back to school this week with a lighter work load. Sarah is doing great! Eating well, sleeping well (!!), and just as cute as can be! How amazing that God has entrusted us with another of His children!
|Still in the birthing pool. Sarah is just minutes old!|
|Rachel and her friend Aerelle enjoy the newborn baby.|
|Micah and Silas (in the Star Wars shirt) admiring Sarah|