Charles Ray Anderson Bahr was welcomed into this world at home by his mother and father and siblings in a family water birth with no assistance. It was quite a remarkable experience, possibly the most perfect birth ever! :)
Eli woke me up at 5:35 this morning (Sunday, 14 October 2012) wanting Mama Milk. I don't nurse him during the "night," only at sleep times and in the pre-wake up morning time (after 6:00 a.m.). He threw a small fit and really woke me up. I had a few "sensations" that were a bit exciting to me that made me wake up even further. I could feel the difference between these new feelings and the ones I had all the time. Instead of my entire abdomen feeling rock hard, I could feel an actual pulling at my cervix. I wasn't sure if this was real or not. I lay in bed in excited anticipation for a short bit, then I got up to use the bathroom and had a few more. I went to the living room and sat on the couch for a few minutes. I had had about 8 of these feelings when I decided that this was very likely our birthing day.
I went in to wake Luke up at 6:10 to tell him about my discovery. He was tired and did not want to be up yet, so was not quite believing (in his mind - he behaved appropriately to me, though he did *not* want to be bothered yet) that it was for real. We decided it would be better to be prepared and not have it happen than to have it happen not prepared. We got up and got to work. We tidied up the house and set up and filled the pool. I finally got in around 7:25. It felt wonderful!!! At 7:50 I checked to see if I could feel any progress and thought I felt the bulging membranes. (It wasn't what I thought it was. It turns out it was part of my cervix, but I mistook it at the time based on how it felt - I have no experience with feeling a birthing cervix to compare it to.)
We turned the video on around 7:52. Things are pretty casual as the kids get up and get ready for the day. Luke tries to help them to get their morning routine done and get them something to eat, while they all play in my tub water. We all have a pretty laid back morning for a while (for about 25 minutes anyway). Around 8:16 I begin some low moans to accompany the sensations I had. Two minutes later the "ahhhs" begin. That translates to a change to more pushy types of feelings than before, or in other words, baby is getting CLOSE! I check myself soon after this and discover a head and ask Luke if he'd like to feel. He does want to, but he's a bit busy trying to get the kids their breakfast before the baby is born (it really was a race!). He finally gets a chance to feel for himself about 7 minutes later.
At about 8:24 I definitely feel a pushy sensation and my "ahhs" are noticeably louder and deeper. The next minute Luke notices a gush of pink/red and notifies me that my water just broke. Just after that is when he finally gets to feel the baby's head descending. I get even louder at 8:27. At about 8:29, I announce "Baby. Bowel movement. NOW! Crowning." Luke and the kids are all in the other room and come in. Luke is slightly preoccupied with trying to deal with the fecal matter - poor guy, I hate that part! The next thing I know, there's a head emerging. I shift my position to be better able to catch my little person. My next proclamation is, "Head. Shoulders. Baby. Done!" in a matter of seconds.
Wow! There was a baby in the water! I pulled the remaining membranes from it's head and gently lifted it out of the water. The one thing everyone wanted to know was if it was a boy or a girl, so we didn't wait long to look. IT'S A BOY!!! He cried right away after being born and was a beautiful color right away - he didn't even have that "scary" newly born purplish/blue look at all. He lets out a few good cries. He's breastfeeding withing about five minutes (and stays latched for nearly two hours!). At about 8:37 the kids sing Happy Birthday to him. Luke called my mom just after and Bishop Metcalf called at the same time.
Eli kept pointing to the baby and calling him John and we couldn't figure out why. I thought maybe we'd better consider that as a valid naming option before insisting on Charles. Luke discovered while I talked to my mom that it's because when the kids are playing make-believe their baby boy is called John. Mystery solved.
The placenta took a bit longer to come than I had expected. We continued to record after Charles was born for about 20 minutes more and there was still no placenta. In feeling for the presence of the placenta I did discover a small perineal tear. It's very minor and probably happened because that kid took no time in coming out once he decided he was ready. I didn't even help him out by pushing, my body did it all on it's own. It was so amazing. :) So, we quit recording around 8:50 or so and the placenta delivered within the next ten minutes or so. It was probably within a half hour of birth.
Charles is still nursing quite happily at this point and the pool water got quite murky after the placenta delivered and I was ready to get out. I took him off the breast to his dismay and passed him to Daddy so I could go lie in bed with him to finish our feeding. He protested quite loudly! :) We went to the bedroom and laid down and finished our brunch. We eventually both dozed and slept for a little while. Eli would not leave my side, both during birthing and laying in bed afterward. We had not cut the cord yet, so the placenta was in a bowl next to us on the bed. Eli was rolling around all over the place just being happy and excited about "his" new baby. Eventually his foot landed in the messy bowl and I finally asked Luke to take him out for a while so I could rest. That was when I finally got to nap.
After our nap, we got up for a little while. We had visitors. Jessica René and her little guys Leander and Augustus, and Elise Wannberg, both neighbors and friends of ours, stopped in to visit and meet the new baby. Luke's brother Jacob and his wife Rebecca called us a while later to congratulate us. Then Bishop Metcalf stopped by to check in on us also. It was a lovely day.
Charles Ray Anderson Bahr was born at about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, 14 October 2012. We figured his weight the best we could at about 8 1/2 pounds. He was about 20 3/4 inches long. His head was 36 cm, and abdomen was 35 cm. I was grateful to not have another whopping 9 pound baby! Though he's not my smallest either. Three of my other four were all right at 9 pounds, Kayli was only 7 lb 9 oz and was my littlest so far. We had our neighbor/friend who is studying midwifery here at the U come by in the evening to help us do a newborn evaluation to be sure the baby was indeed sound and healthy as he appeared - this was mostly for my mom's comfort! :) He is.
I wanted to include the video here for you, but alas, I can't seem to get it to work. So, find me on Facebook and watch it there in three segments. :)