Three weeks ago we welcomed our sweet little girl, Vivienne Grace, to the farm.
I begin by saying she was born at home…on purpose.
She was born surrounded by her dad, her brother, her grandmother, her great-grandmother, the same midwives who caught her brother, and the same doula who assisted me during her brother’s birth.
People always say every pregnancy is different, and Vivienne’s last weeks of pregnancy and delivery could not be more different from Isaac’s.
With Isaac I had no “practice” contractions and when we went into labor, we went into strong labor than lasted 52 hours. Thankfully he was born after only a few pushes. He was also a home-birth with no pain-relief, so obviously it wasn’t bad enough to stop me from doing it again.
This time “practice” contractions started weeks before Vivienne’s guess-date. I was optimistic that this was a good thing and her labor would be shorter and smoother. About a week before her guess-date steady/strong contractions started, they were consistent enough to start timing and strong enough to lead us to question if they would turn into true labor. As the day wore on it became clear they weren’t going anywhere.
Fun fact, contractions can be triggered by changes in barometric pressure, so the terrible storms we were having caused all that.
Unfortunately, once the storms started the contractions, they continued to come and go for the next week. It was a fun week.
Easter came and we went to my mom’s for lunch and Easter Bunny. We get home to a couple missing chicks so we hunted them down, put the animals up, got the toddler ready for bed and we crashed. Being extremely pregnant takes its toll.
Monday was our guess-date and I was exhausted. After resting/ doing laundry most of the day, Isaac and I went outside to play while Vince worked. It was supposed to start storming the next day and we needed as much outdoor time as possible. Not to long into playing contractions started again and I cursed the stupid weather. We kept playing.
I walked down to check on a chicken and on the way back had to stop for a contraction. I cursed the super steep hill and trudged back up.
I tried to stand up and had to stop for another contraction. This time I texted the midwife to ask her if it was real this time. She told me probably and to go get some rest.
Well it was real and I tried unsuccessfully to get rest that night. My doula showed up about 9:30 Tuesday morning and we talked chickens, she is a fellow chicken owner, and laughed about the 46 chicks in the entrance hall.
The Midwife showed up about 10/10:30 to check and see how things were going. Things were going well enough that she stayed.
Baby girl was like her brother and turned a bit wonky, so we did exercises to turn her, then tied up my belly so she was forced to stay in a good position.
One by one the apprentices showed up and by mid-afternoon things were progressing but we were still waiting.
Around this time we decided I did want to try the birth pool so we set it up on the landing and my mom made a last minute trip to the store to get hoses to fill the pool. The pool was wonderful, and the view from the landing made me wish my bathtub was on the landing.
The rain had held off and the weather was beautiful and we had the doors open. We got to listen to the very proud crowing of the rooster right below.
In order to get things moving a bit more my doula decided we were going to take a walk. We went outside, I made Vince rescue the giant turtle stuck in the fence, Isaac showed off his goats, Vince put away the animals for the night, and we laughed about the stereotypes we were representing at the moment.
My kind doula then made me do lunges up the stairs, they worked. I finally told her I had to go back upstairs now or I’d never make it back up.
After That I never left the birth-tub. The storm finally arrived and we got to enjoy a bit of it until the wind started blowing rain into the house.
It was getting late and Isaac was getting tired and upset, and labor was getting much more intense than his ever had been.
Isaac was confused by all the people still being there, and didn’t understand why his nightly routine was so messed up. He knew something big was happening but he didn’t understand what. In the end Vince just held him so he could be close to both of us.
My water finally broke and things get a little bit more manageable, just as I began to push. I remember this part with Isaac and I thought it couldn’t get worse… little girl showed me how wrong I had been. She took quite a few more pushes than Isaac, and she decided to get her shoulder a bit stuck. The odd thing is that for as painful as it was the recovery after her was much easier than with Isaac. And even she hasn’t scared me away from any future home-births.
Vivienne finally joined us at 10:54pm Tuesday night, after only 28 hours of labor.
As with Isaac I bled more than was normal, this time enough to make me a bit light headed when I sat up, but after the midwives got it to stop and I ate a bit I felt much better.
Isaac stayed up way past his bed time, but was able to see his sister born, and even “helped” Vince cut her cord.
Her labor and delivery may be different, but she had her similarities. She was exactly the same length as Isaac (21 inches) and 2 ounces smaller (8 lbs 4oz) than him.
We are all absolutely in love with her, especially Isaac.