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The Beauty of Home Birth
The Beauty of Home Birth
A sneak peek into the beauty of home birth as captured by my beautiful friend Caroline of Coeur de La Photography.
The wall hanging in the nursery provides a bit of encouragement for the challenging moments to come.
A little lipstick
In between contractions I managed to put on some makeup and a swipe of lipstick, because…priorities.
The co-sleeper and Baby Clive’s first outfit are ready and waiting for his arrival.
My swollen belly captured for a last time at 40 weeks and 4 days. My boy sure was cozy in there.
I braced myself during contractions by leaning on counters, beds and tables.
Pick your battles
As labor progressed, each contraction felt like a little battle to win. Each time I centered myself and found my breath.
Checking heart tones
A huge benefit of a home birth is the ability to move freely without being hooked up to monitors. The midwives check fetal heart tones often though to make sure that everything is progressing safely.
Looking for comfort
My contractions were getting stronger and I started looking for different ways to ease the discomfort. Taking a shower and sitting on a birthing ball helped a little.
Time to fill the tub
After about 10 hours of labor it was time to fill the tub. My husband accidentally set those oven mitts on fire in the process! We all had a good laugh about that.
The water will soon provide much needed relief.
The water helped me to breathe a sigh of relief for a bit and to get refocused on breathing through the contractions.
Even though the contractions were becoming more challenging we were still able to laugh between them…like at how funny it was that the birthing pool had a cup holder for my smoothie!
During the beginning of labor I was able to handle my contractions pretty well on my own without much encouragement. But at this point I needed a bit of a pep talk from my midwife.
One of my favorite things about having a home birth was the fact that I was able to have support around without feeling overwhelmed with people since they were able to spread out throughout the house. Even our German Shepherd popped in to offer her support at one point.
Some people love the pushing part of labor, but I am not one of them. I became decidedly un-zen during this 4.5 hour portion of labor and I was given plenty of encouragement when I needed it by my husband, our lovely photographer and by my midwives.
It will all be worth it
There were times during labor when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore…times when I actually said out loud that I couldn’t do it anymore. Every part of me wanted to escape my body, but I tried my best to get re-centered and find a calm place…reminding myself that this would all be worth it.
After what seemed like an eternity of pushing, Clive’s head finally came out. I rested a bit while waiting for my next and (hopefully!) last contraction.
He's finally here!
After 19 long hours, Clive Clarke Hartmann was born. He weight 10 pounds 8 ounces and was 23″ long – a big baby combined with a posterior presentation made the birth much longer and more challenging than with my daughter, but he was finally here!
Taking it in
I’m pretty sure the first thing I said was, “Does he have all his fingers and toes?”.
The moments immediately after birth are some of my favorite moments in life. You go from excruciating pain to complete bliss within seconds. It’s crazy and amazing.
Family of four
Even though it was late, the grandparents woke up our daughter Fern so she could come meet her new baby brother and it was the sweetest thing I’ve ever experienced. We’re all so excited to be a family of four now!