Saturday, August 29, 2009

He's Here!

It was eight weeks ago yesterday that my baby was born. I put this post up earlier and then pulled it off, thinking I needed more time and perspective before I published it. That's why the date says August 29th. I now feel ready to publish it again, but today's date is October 19th.

On a Sunday in August when I woke up, I had the thought, "Maybe today is the day! My last two babies were born on a Sunday. Here it is Sunday again...we'll see."

My due date was Thursday August 20. Here it was three days later. I am not going to go into it all the details now, but I had finally decided just the prior Sunday to have my baby at the hospital, instead of at home. My last four babies have been born at home so this was a major shift for me. So I had spent the week readjusting my mind, grieving the loss of a home birth but feeling somewhat relieved, I admit, that I didn't have to finish organizing my bedroom and ask my husband to finish dejunking his dresser top to provide a pristine condition for the birthplace of our new baby.

I was feeling peaceful about my decision and not having any more bad dreams. I have always felt that a woman should be able to choose where to have her baby and that it should be where she feels the safest. For this baby, I felt safer at the hospital. I never thought I would ever think this way after having had four wonderful home births but you never know how things will change in your life. I only made this decision after a lot of prayer and a confirmation from the Holy Spirit that it was in accordance with God's will. I am learning that some things are absolutely true, like the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and other things, like childbirth and mothering, can have variations.

Anyway, I decided to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication. Nobody else in my family wanted to go to the morning session with me, as they were all wanting to sleep in. So I went alone and enjoyed the Spirit. To think, 13 temples in Utah! What a blessing. I especially enjoyed President Uchtdorf's talk. Yes, God our Father wants to give us all that He hath, and temples are needed for Him to do this.

I came home and took a nap while the rest of the family finished their late breakfast and played. I woke up at 12:10 and was lying there in bed awake when I heard a pop and felt a "stitch" break in my cervix, like a loose basting stitch keeping a bag closed. My bag of waters had broken! The fluid came gushing out.

I called to my husband to get me a chux pad between my legs and waddled to the bathroom. Then I started calling people, my lay midwife, Chris, my doula, my parents. Eventually I got to the hospital around 3:00 PM. I didn't want to leave right away because I wasn't even having contractions when the water broke. After an hour they started coming every 10 minutes. I was at a 4 when I got there. I asked to wear my own clothes to labor in (a maternity top and an imitation Binsi skirt) and we played some lovely Christ-centered music on the CD player to help bring the Spirit into the room. (It was my brother-in-law Michael Dowdle's beloved hymns on guitar, see I am thankful for my Bradley childbirth class over 10 years ago and all that I have learned from childbirth books and my home births which kept me from having a conveyor-belt based birth. One of the nurses actually was ready to give me Pitocin and I had to adamantly refuse.

The baby was born at 6:53 PM. A boy! He was 10 lbs. That's my biggest baby. He's such a cutie! I hemorrhaged a lot, the nurse estimated it was 2-3 pints of blood. I don't know if I had been at home if we would have been able to control the bleeding. Maybe that's partly why I felt I should be at the hospital.

So now we are nine: my husband and I and our seven children, five boys and two girls. The four little ones spent a whole week at Grandma's following the birth. I had a luscious babymoon taking two or three naps each day with my baby in bed with me to catch up on the sleep I lost the first two nights, at the hospital. I am grateful for hospitals and that they are there for when they are needed. I think this whole experience was to help me be nonjudgmental of women's choices in childbirth. Yes, it is possible to have a Christ-centered birth in the hospital.


  1. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. You are such an inspiration!

  2. Grr. I just posted a comment and then clicked off to check something else and poof, one second before leaving I saw I had to have a word verification. I wish they would put them on the same page.

    Anyway, I hope I can remember what I wrote.

    Congratulations. Your baby is beautiful--and ten pounds. Wow. Amazing, you are so tiny.

    I'm glad you listened to the spirit. Hospitals are indeed the place to be when something goes wrong. You are in tune. As always. And as beautiful as always, too.

  3. Beautifully written. Congratulations!

    As for this part: "I am learning that some things are absolutely true, like the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and other things, like childbirth and mothering, can have variations."

    I have come to exactly the same conclusion of late. It's rather liberating, actually, to realize that the *only* philosophy I have to accept in its entirety is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The rest I am entitled and obliged to pick and choose, ponder and try for fit, and enjoy every bit of the journey.

    Thanks, Celestia! Sally

  4. Congratulations! Your experience is beautiful. I'm glad all is well. I will pray for you but know that you are a strong woman and child of God who knows where to go for strength and I know that you will continue to nurture and love your family even through change and maybe even a little chaos.