Monday, April 27, 2009

I can't believe he's 2!

Time has sure flown. And just as I did on Haviland's birthday, I want to share Bennett's birth story as well.

Simon and I without a doubt knew we wanted more children after Jackson and Haviland and we were so excited to find out we were expecting just two weeks after having relocated from New York to Georgia to be closer to family.

Having had the same midwife for Jackson and Haviland in New York I knew that I would have to start from square one in Georgia. I remember checking into the midwifery program that the Medical College of Georgia had and found that it staffed two midwives. It was a pleasure to meet them both, but I was soon discouraged as I found out that they practiced from more of a medical model of care than a midwifery model of care, but due to no fault of their own since their hands were tied by so much hospital red tape there was not room for them to provide care any other way.

I then started looking into homebirth midwives and found the only local homebirth midwife for over 100 miles away lived only three miles down the road. I remember being so excited and thought I was set! Come to find out, she was pregnant with her 7th child and our due dates were only a month apart so we eventually decided it would be wisest for her to turn me over to her mentor who just happened to live in Atlanta- two hours away!

The transition of care was smooth and I seemed to be so busy that the entire pregnancy flew by. Of course, we were house hunting after renting a house when we moved, so I'm sure that's where much of my focus was.

My due date was April 15, but in typical Graham baby fashion, the date came and went. As I passed the 41 week mark, I made an appointment for a biophysical profile and ultrasound to check on the the baby. The appointment was set for Monday, April 30.

On early Saturday morning the 28th, at 3:30 am I awoke with contractions and decided to wait for an hour to call my midwife to make sure this was "it" since she had a 2 hour drive ahead of her in the middle of the night. I took a shower and remembered to put my contacts in this time so I wouldn't lose my glasses like I did with Haviland's birth.

We called the midwife at 4:30am and she told us she'd be on her way. At this point my contractions were about 4 to 5 minutes apart and I found relief by leaning on the kitchen counter, rocking my hips and breathing very deeply.

I was still preparing for at least an eight hour labor (the length of Haviland's labor) so I remember pacing myself and trying to relax while Jackson and Haviland were still sleeping. At around 6am I tried to distract myself by reading the newspaper but found I could not read more than one story at a time without having to stop for a contraction and even noticed that my hand was leaving a sweaty handprint on the counter so I knew I was beginning to work hard. Since we figured the kids would be up soon, we went ahead and called mom to come over and she arrived by 6:20am. Not five minutes after she arrived, I started feeling tremendous pressure and a constant urge to have a bowel movement even after having just gone.

Simon took one look at me and said, "If you want to labor in the tub, now's the time." I remember thinking "No, it's too soon. I've only been in labor three hours. I'm sure it's too early." Thank goodness he's seen me at this stage two other times and knew what he was talking about. He somehow helped me the five feet from the toilet to the birthing tub that we had set up in our bedroom. It seemed to take about a year to get there.

Sure enough, the minute I settled into the warm water I immediately felt more relaxed but with the next contraction felt the unrelenting need to push and when I did, reached down and felt Bennett's head come out.

Simon o-so-calmly put down the video camera and called the midwife to check on her arrival time. She was 15 minutes away. Like a pro, Simon took instructions over the phone to check for the cord around Bennett's neck and to check his position -whether he was coming face up or down. Here's what Simon recalls:

"I don't remember. I just did what she said. Something with the head and something with the shoulders."

All I remember is pushing with the next contraction and Bennett was born at 7:10am. All 9 lbs. 9 oz. of him without any tearing whatsoever- which I credit to the ability to be able to push slowly as needed from an upright position in the water.

The midwife arrived ten minutes after he was born and was there just in time to do all of the great midwifery things like help me deliver the placenta, clamp the cord, clean up and do all the newborn checks on Bennett.

I was in denial quite some time that the entire labor lasted only 3 1/2 hours. What a blessing and incidently, I'm not looking to top that record this time around! :)

Unlike with Haviland's birth, there aren't any pictures of me in labor since it went so fast, just his first picture after making his arrival.

Bennett, I love you so much and am so very glad that the Lord gave you to our family. You make every single day an adventure and a messy one at that! I pray that it's that very same adventureous and inquisitive spirit you will use to relentlessly seek His word and will in your life - especially when life gets messy!

Happy 2nd Birthday Bennett Bear!!


Ali said...

Happy Birthday!!! I love your stories...and your babies!!!

Made To Organize said...

Happy Birthday Bennett! That is my mother-in-law's maiden name and has always been near the top of our list of boys names. :) What a beautiful picture of your family at the end of the post. Thanks for sharing your birth story. Very cool.

Kelli said...

Wow Kelli! That is great! And I can't believe it's been 2 years either!! Happy Birthday little man!! You are an amazing person Kelli!! God Bless you!!

Danielle said...

Happy Day Buddy! Uhhh 2, he is so big. I'm in denial.

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

Happy Birthday Bennett!

Sara said...

What?! That is NOT Bennett. He has changed so much since Gifton and I sat on your couch and you told us this very birth story. It was great to read it again. Happy Birthday Bennett!

Kasia said...

Bennett was "due" on birthday!

And I am so impressed with Simon!

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