Today has been an emotional day for me. Yesterday Stuart went back to work after having 3 days at home with me. Saraya is back at school, and today my Mum went home too. She had been staying with us since Monday night.
I guess the solitude of this afternoon gave me the opportunity to reflect and think and feel. And the post-birth hormones were kicking in! So yes, I was weepy and emotional. I'm not ready to "let go" of the incredible experience of birthing William, or of the beautiful babymoon period I've had with him. I am in awe of the way God strengthened me last weekend, the way he made it possible for me to birth at home despite a long and difficult labour. I don't really want to go back into the real world again yet. I am also missing our midwife Claire and just generally feeling a bit emotional! I thought maybe noting a few things on the blog might help.
My pre-labour stage was very long, going slowly for several days before finally kicking in on the Friday night. We had had Claire up from Gympie twice in the preceding days, wondering if "this was it" after hours of decent contractions. :) We even called her in the middle of the night Thursday night, only for her to leave again by mid-morning Friday. She was patient and encouraging, and aside from the exhaustion of the contractions keeping me up from Wednesday night through to Saturday, I kept in fairly good spirits most of the time! Friday required heaps of encouragement from everyone though, as the tiredness was really getting to me. A movie with Cathy and Helen and Stuart that night helped to get me smiling again, and by 11:30pm my labour had really started. Finally! Cathy stayed the night, and kept vigil supporting me physically and in prayer through all the increasing contractions. Claire arrived at about 5am. Cathy went home to sleep and Helen arrived to be with us. In the above photo Helen and Claire support me through a contraction later that morning.
Helen was essentially here to support Saraya and Elijah through the day. She was amazing! They kept busy with games, a trip to the shops and the park, and baking the beautiful cake below.......... William's birthday cake.
Labour was intense and progressed rapidly from lunchtime onwards. I can remember sitting with everyone at the table eating lunch, chatting etc. and then getting up to hang onto Claire through contractions. The conversations surrounding me kept things as light as they could be for me..... it was great to have the children close to me, they were so happy and it was like a normal day aside from me being in labour!
Half-way through lunch I couldn't sit anymore and from then on it was into the stong and very close-together contractions. William remained posterior and his path downward was therefore a tricky one for him. (and me:)). Just before 2pm I had moved into the bedroom, and suddenly felt the urge to start pushing. My waters broke soon after, and at 3:02pm William was here!! He weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces, our biggest baby yet. Cathy had come back about half an hour before his arrival, so we were all together.... the children were excited and overwhelmed to see their baby brother born. They took it all in their stride and were amazing. William needed some oxygen to help him start breathing after birth, and Claire was calm and collected as she did this. He recovered well and his good hearty cry was the sweetest sound to our ears! There was such a strong spiritual energy in the room and I know the Holy Spirit was right there beside me through this incredible challenge. Like never before I have experienced God's awesome power, and his love for me.
My amazing birth support team ( minus the very important Stuart!) - Helen, Cathy and Claire. We did it!!!
And these are two of the photos we took the morning after.
Things are going well so far. He is feeding well, and even sleeping beautifully (something that my other 2 babies weren't so apt at!). He is absolutely gorgeous and I can't take my eyes off him. Thankfully it's the weekend tomorrow so we'll get a chance to take it slow and have some more family time together.
I praise God for an unforgettable birth experience.
William's middle name David means "beloved". He is so beloved, the name is perfect.