Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Christmas

On Thursday, the Graham Family will not only be celebrating the birth of Jesus, but Haviland's 4th birthday as well - our very own Christmas Day baby. In honor of such an amazing day, I dug up her birth story to share.

Jackson was just 10 months old when we found out we were expecting baby #2. Since we were going to have the same midwife and doula that was at Jackson's birth, I was able to enjoy this pregnancy all the more being so comfortable with those we had chosen for care. The pregnancy flew along until my due date came and went with no baby. Antsy as I was, I knew Jackson was five days past his due date so as the days crept by, I waited. Then it happened...

On Christmas morning at 3am I awoke with contractions that were 10 minutes apart. I called my midwife apologetically and told her it was time. My doula made her way over as well and as the early morning hours turned to daylight- we all sat by the fireplace eating a breakfast casserole and watching 19 month old Jackson play with his new train track he found under the Christmas tree.

As my contractions picked up around 7am, I started getting that restless feeling and could not sit still even between contractions, so decided I wanted to go for a walk with Simon. We bundled up for the freezing NY weather and headed out the door. My contractions were beginning to really pick up in intensity, but I vividly remember the cold, calm air on my face as we walked and while I leaned on Simon during contractions. I also can recall seeing lights come on in people's houses as we passed and I imagined children tearing into their presents and for the first time that day it hit me- I was going to have the best present of all by day's end!

After about 30 minutes, we headed back to the house and called a friend of mine (Jamie) and 2 of her daughters - the oldest (who is a midwife herself) as well her youngest daughter who wanted to see a birth. As they made their way over, my contractions were consistently five minutes apart and I was 7cm dilated. I then took my midwife's advice and started upstairs to the warm birthtub that was set up. Not having had the birthtub for Jackson's birth I was not sure what to expect ,but as I got in I was immediately relaxed and understood why water is called "nature's epidural". Even though I was entering transition, I don't think many of us realized it because I was so relaxed, calm and even smiling between contractions that were by now only a minute or so apart. Even my friends who had arrived by this point were doubting how close I was to delivering since their own labors were much longer and intense.

Believe it or not, this picture was taken at 11:47am (48 minutes before Haviland was born).

As I leaned on the pool float for support, my midwife checked the baby's heart rate and I remember my doula and Simon bringing me liquids to drink and wiping my head with a cool washcloth when I needed it. Since I did not experience back labor as I had with Jackson I was glad to give my doula "light duty" this time around as she had used tons of energy giving counter pressure on my back when I was in labor with him.

It only seemed like a few moments later and I heard my midwife whisper in my ear, "I can feel the baby's head. On the next contraction, reach down, put your hand on the baby's head and push gently." It was sort of an odd thought to me as she had caught Jackson and I did not anticipate the fact that I would be the one to catch my own baby.

At the next contraction, I pushed out her head and did not expect to know so much control being able to push from the inside and feel the progress from the outside- knowing when to push, knowing when to stop - all instinctively. With the very next contraction she was out completely and I lifted her out of the water at 12:35pm.
Not knowing her sex, I tried bring her up closer to me, but I could not get her up further than my belly button due to her short cord. Having had lost my eyeglasses in the last 30 minutes, someone found them for me and I was able to announce that we had a baby GIRL!

After delivering the placenta, having a shower, and nursing Haviland we all snuggled down and had the most beautiful Christmas to date.
I knew joy and peace on earth that day and even now, Christmas Day holds a little something extra personal for me.

Happy Birthday my sweet Haviland!
You entered the world on what many people view as a most inconvenient day for a birthday, but I hope you will never question the Lord's perfect timing in your arrival. My wish for you is that no gift you ever receive on your birthday will shine brighter than His gift of love for you as He came to dwell among us on that very special day.
Love, Mommy
Thank you Father for your perfect love and gifts from above. A Savior and a daughter! I'm sure I don't have words to explain what my heart holds on such a day. I stand in awe. -Amen


Danielle said...

Chills K-Happy Birthday sweet Haviland. Merry Christmas!

Ali said...

That made me cry. We love you all!

Related Posts with Thumbnails