Meeting Forest . . . 2 years ago

Well, it's that time of year again . . . time to look back on October 19th, 2009 when Forest Timothy entered our lives! Since I didn't know many of you then, I'll give you all the details! Read on if you love birth stories, skip if you don't, at the bottom are pictures. The story is pretty short and sweet :) And here is the last belly shot I took, over a week before he was born! This is for all my pregnant friends, so you don't feel so big :)


On Sunday the 18th I went to visit my dear friend Tara, who had given birth two days ago, to her son Collin. I joked that I hoped my baby got jealous and came out. Went home and had the most painful "bowel cleansing" of my life, moments before the boys returned. I didn't think I'd be able to get off the bed when it was over!

Monday morning I woke up around 5 and realized I was having "pain" but I thought maybe it was just gas pain. Got up at 6 to get the boys ready for the day, started feeling pain stronger, still wasn't sure if maybe I was just tricking myself or having false labor (Shan's labor started with my water breaking, so I've never had false labor and didn't want to trick myself!!). I was already having pretty good contractions about 5 minutes apart- I carried on about the morning, sneaking in the apartment to bend over the bed or couch during contractions. I left Jer at home with Shannon and went to chapel & staff meeting with contractions 5 minutes apart, and getting harder to hide. Yes,I sat through staff meeting in serious labor!

Got home around 9:30 and started really feeling like it was hard, though they weren't real regular in time apart but were about 40-50 seconds long. At 10 am I decided it probably was going to be baby's birthday, so called our boss to arrange care for our boys, called my mom so she could change her ticket and get here (from NY) and called the midwife. Oh and I called a neighbor to watch Shannon since I had just cried my way through a shower and was having a hard time controlling my emotions.

The midwife said to call when they got closer to 1 minute or longer in length. By 11:30 I started really having a hard time working my way through each contraction and I told Jer to remind me that I could do this . . . was I that much bigger of a whimp this time around? Ended up calling the midwife at noon, said I just felt like I couldn't do it by myself and she said to get over there ASAP!

Had contractions the 15 minute ride over to the birth place (probably 6 of them?). Between walking in the door, putting my stuff down and heading over to the other room for the exam, I had to stop for 3 contractions!!!! The midwife, Jennie, laughed at me and said, "Yup, this is the way Erika does labor!" She had to check me really fast before another contraction and laughing she said "Either I have forgotten how to do an exam or you are 9 cm!!!!!!!!!!!!" Never have you seen such a happy pregnant woman. Oh wait, let me show you how happy I was!!!


I was SO happy to hear that, I was so afraid I just wasn't handling labor well or something ! We went right into our room where they started setting up for delivery (not labor!), and I had a few more contractions leaning over the couch. They helped me get up on the bed, leaning over pillows on hands & knees. By about 12:50 I was starting to get grunty, started doing little pushes and eventually the midwife broke my water, which felt great!

Because I wasn't exhuasted (like with Shannon), I could really feel each sensation and knew what was going on. Talk about empowering a woman to know how strong she is! I could feel his head move down, his body getting into position, etc. I pushed until he was just about crowning, then they helped me onto my side, where after a few more contractions he was born at 1:20!

Of course he was popped right up onto my naked belly, where we got to snuggle and cuddle. We got cleaned up, continued snuggling, took a 5 second break to weigh him and continued to lay on the bed resting and nursing. Jer got me some yummy food and 4 hours later we headed home!

This is what birth at a birth center looks like- baby is literally placed right on your {naked} chest for immediate skin-to-skin bonding- best for baby & mom, helps prevent the common hospital problem of "temperature drop" and the necessity for "warmers."


He just wanted those fingers in his mouth!


Snuggling with Daddy- again, check out him cramming fingers (and blanket) into his mouth!


All dressed and snuggly!


Ready to go home! This is my midwife Jennie, the most amazing British midwife you've ever known!!!


Meeting sister Shannon.


And that is the birth . . . more on our Dear Forest later!


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