Sunday, December 30, 2007

Guess who joined our family on Wednesday, December 19th, 2007?

Introducing: Son3 (Sorry! I have since removed our kids' names from my blog)

Baby Boy 3 came earthside weighing in at a hefty 10 pounds 6 ounces! I thought my husband was reading the scale wrong!
He was 22 inches long. He was born from my body into his dad's bare hands at 6:45 am, after about 3 hours of labor, at home. The only people present at his birth were us, his family. <3>
It was amazing. I am in awe.

And here is where I'll stick my WARNING. There is some boobage showing in a few pictures. And my birth story, since it is a story about birth, contains details of mucous & placentas & blood. So, if you are at work with nosy co-workers peering over your shoulder or are offended or not interested in hearing the details of human birth, I suggest you do not read this post.

And HERE is where I'll stick my DISCLAIMER. My official birth plan throughout my pregnancy was to make a decision once labor began as to whether I thought I would make it all the way to the hospital in time to give birth, as my last labor was only 90 minutes & we barely made it. I educated myself about how to birth at home should we have to. When labor started, I decided to stay at home. So, if you are offended by unassisted homebirths, I suggest you do not read this post.

And so. Anyway....... :)
5 days old (after giving himself a nice facial scratching with his sharp little newborn fingernails he hasn't learned to control):

5 days old, handsome profile:

I have 4 kids!! 12-29-07:

Son2 & new baby brother:

10 days old:

One week old. He's cute even when he's crying (which really isn't all that often):

It's hard for me to tell my birth story without seriously overusing the word "amazing". But I'll try. ;)

Son3 is my fourth baby, and my third son in a row. We discovered I was pregnant while Husband & I were on our honeymoon in Prague in the Czech Republic. I had a fantastic and healthy pregnancy. My due date was Monday, December 24th (today, the day I am writing this :) ), 2007.

Beginning about 9 days before this I started to have some signs that labor was approaching. The first sign? A complete emotional breakdown in the arms of my poor, unsuspecting husband which included my sobbing about some bigger issues, and some not-so-much: "...and you *sob, sniff* didn't say thank you after I called the optometrist for you today *sniffle sob* !!" Husband listened to me & loved me & talked with me for hours, & when I got up to blow my nose I discovered I'd lost my mucous plug (the attractive name for the fantastically large ball of slime that releases when a woman's cervix begins dilating for birth). Wow! Things were happening down there! I started shaking with nervous excitement.

We stayed up late into the night discussing names- we still hadn't decided on any! I was hyper aware of every twinge in my body & I remained so for the next 2 days (Monday & Tuesday).
On Tuesday my "signs" started picking up, I was having some nausea and felt antsy. I paced the house. I called my mom, who was to arrive from California on Thursday, and let her know that I wasn't so sure I was going to make it to Thursday (my mom had been at my previous births & I'd always envisioned her at this one, too). She moved her flight up to Wednesday morning. A few hours after that phone call, things really started picking up.

At 3am on Wednesday the 19th, I climbed out of bed (although I hadn't slept at all) because I suddenly needed to eat an apple. :p While doing so, I noticed from the clock on the computer screen I was sitting in front of that my "stomach cramps" seemed to be coming every 3 minutes. At about 3:30am I woke Husband up & with a smile said, "Uhhh, I think I'm in labor." :)

He stayed in bed to help Son2 get back to/remain asleep, I woke up Daughter & then I got in the bath tub.

Aaaaah, I'd never experienced the luxury of laboring in the water. It was lovely. I was there until about 5am, just hanging out, munching on the red raspberry leaf tea ice cubes I'd made & chatting happily with Daughter. I had made the bathroom shiny clean & had put candles around during a nesting urge just hours before. It was so cozy, even romantic. Sooo peaceful.
But then the water was getting chilly & I was feeling too antsy to just "sit around" anymore. Up until that point my contractions ("ctxs" from here on out) were still 2-3 minutes apart & easy to breath through. Once I got out of the tub & squatted on the bathroom floor, things quickly got more intense.

Husband joined me, spread towels & pads out beneath me, and Daughter woke Son1 up.

And that's when it began to take more than simple panting & repeating birth affirmations in my head to get through each ctx. I started moaning & biting whatever piece of cloth was near. I was loud during each ctx, but calm, peaceful & focused between each one. That was a wonderful thing about this labor- I really felt I got a nice break between every ctx, all the way up until near the end. It was also fascinating being in my own home, in complete control of my own birth & learning exactly how I like best to labor. This was a far cry from the 3 hospital births I'd had previously.

For a long time I sat on my knees on the floor, pulling hard on the ledge of the sink and shoving a bath towel against the pressure in my pelvic floor during each ctx (yes, basically I sat & shoved a towel into my crotch). At some point I got up to try sitting on the (open) toilet. It was here I sat when my water broke and with it released my inner roaring birther. And that's when I woke Son2 up, too. ;)

I squatted back on the floor, my 3 kids all sitting or lying in the doorway, calm. Husband put cold wash cloths on my back & pet & loved me. I'd silently push with all my strength (& then some I think), then ROAR, push, then roar. Now & then Son2 would wander in & copy his dada, petting & rubbing my back. He was very sweet & I never witnessed him a bit scared. He laughed at me a few times and said "monster!" one point, meaning he thought I was being silly & sounded like a monster.

Once I could feel his head in the birth canal my entire being's focus was on getting. him. out. I needed the pain over with!

I ended up roaring our baby out with my right hand & arm gripping the sink, pulling it with all my might with each push, my left hand and arm wrapped around a pillow on the toilet seat that I bit with such strength I could barely chew later, and my head tucked between the 2 next to the roll of toilet paper. :p

Once his head was out, I didn't give Husband time to check for any umbilical cord looped around the neck. I said "Catch it, Husband!" and pushed my baby's body out of mine.

Oh the relief!

Instead of our son coming into the world hearing words of joy from the lips of his mother, he heard me chanting "oh god I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done ...". lol

Husband had caught him from behind me. I looked over my shoulder, hadn't yet seen the baby's face, but did see a big healthy pair of testicles. "It's a boy!!" I announced.

He came out pink, breathing, and making squeaky noises. A big healthy boy. Husband passed him to me under my leg & I held my warm, wet, slimy boy & cried. I leaned back against the wall & awaited the placenta. Once I felt it moving down I tried to get up & squat over our large bowl. That's when I discovered that my legs wouldn't work!

I'd spent most of the past 3 entire hours in a squat or kneeling. My legs had gotten the workout of their lives & wouldn't budge! I handed the baby to Daughter so I could use my arms to prop myself up over the bowl. Since he was still attached to me by his umbilical cord, Daughter had to sit very close to me, pretty much right in my face, all the while trying not to stick her knee in any birth goo while I worked on getting on this bowl. We got a lot of giggles out of it all.

I finally managed to kneel, the placenta passed from me, Husband tied the blue & green embroidery thread I'd braided around the cord, & cut it. And then we were 2 people. <3 p="">   
This was a perfect & amazing birth. During which I did not tear! In the slightest! After birthing a 10 pound baby! I have no idea how I did that. Unfortunately the next couple hours weren't so wonderful.

I'd had a bit of a hemorrhage after my last birth so this time I had educated & prepared myself for the possibility of it happening again this time. I'd been taking alfalfa & drinking red raspberry leaf tea by the bucket load during my 3rd trimester. And I took blue cohosh and then a mixture of hemostatic herbs called Wombstringe after birth. I also swallowed some placenta, latched the baby on (he was a fantastic breastfeeder from the beginning), and I ate & drank. My "afterpains" were intense. As soon as Baby was out of my body, my afterpains began. It felt as if I was still in labor! These frequent, extremely intense ctxs went on for a few hours & I was frustrated. They were distracting me from my new baby & the awesome birth experience I'd just had.

It took me 24 hours to figure it out but DUH, the afterpains were caused by all the herbs I was continuously taking to slow my bleeding, which was heavy. I did hemorrhage after all, and those herbs were doing their job. So they were pains with a purpose, but they sucked for those first hours. Also, the bleeding sucked. I was faint, couldn't stand up without feeling the ear ringy blackness coming, and I was bleeding through my clothes. I was having images of my fabulous birth ending with a trip to the stupid emergency room. I was bummed, & also a bit scared.

Husband was right on top of things and reassured me nonstop. The bleeding did slowly begin to subside & Baby & I went to bed. I was sooooo sleepy I could barely hold my head up.

When I woke up just a couple hours later, my bleeding was normal, my afterpains had greatly lessened, & I felt amazing.

That is when I looked down and examined my new son, all alone, in the bed he'd been conceived in.

And that is when
SLAM. I was in love.
"He is so perfect!" kept repeating in my mind. So perfect. And I was bonded. My perfect new son. I couldn't take my eyes off his face.

And that's where we lay when my mom arrived at 1pm. Baby was still naked & covered in birth fluids and bloody blankets. I was still lying in a puddle of birth blood & had meconium smeared on all my limbs (meconium=a baby's first poo). And did I feel gross? haha Not in the slightest! I was so proud, and so excited to have delivered my son with only my family, and so happy to be in our bed, at home, reveling in post-birth joy. My husband & I made our baby together & we birthed our baby together. I was euphoric.

"I am a bloody birthing Goddess, hear me roar!" <3 p="">

My daughter, AKA my awesome photographer. She took all my birth pictures:
Baby (aka Son3), minutes old:

Son1, helpfully opening up our new digital scale :) :

The braided thread Beloved Husband tied the cord off with. Much cuter than a dumb old plastic cord clamp. ;) :

These were the pictures I took right after waking up a few hours after birth & noticing how perfectly perfect our new son is:

Son2's incessant adjusting-to-my-new-sibling tantrums began quickly (lol) :

My mama who kept me alive & fed for many days after birth, here about 7 hours after the birth:

Notice how I haven't posted pictures of myself? haha. I'm not very photogenic immediately after giving birth. :p But here we are, 3 days after birth:

The past 11 days have been ... challenging. Having never had babies close in age before, I didn't know what to expect. And did not predict how completely insane Son2 would become! He's like this temper tantruming little Tasmanian Devil tornado of screechiness. He's testing his boundaries in every way. And has learned to scream in a pitch so high he nearly breaks glass. It has been rather exhausting at moments. And as much as I looked forward to tandem nursing, that has been super challenging as well! It's been tough to find positions to breastfeed both babies at the same time in that aren't physically painful, & Son2 now acts addicted to breastfeeding. He chants & chants his word for breastfeeding, "boo-ahh" about 4895326 times per day & NEVER leaves my boob voluntarily. And then screams. And I also came down with mastitis (OUCH OUCH & OUCH) 3 days ago & lived in bed for 24 hours with the crazy-chills & 103 degree fever. And on top of everything, I get terribly bored sitting on the couch breastfeeding & recovering from birth while everyone else takes over "my" household chores (control freak much?). But it was the very day I got up, busily cleaned up my house & ran errands that I started bleeding heavily again *and* came down with the mastitis. So I'm banished to the couch again.

BUT. I'm a smart & optimistic person & I know that all this is just a normal adjustment period that we'll all get through & look back on with a smile later in life. ;) And I mean that sincerely. But it's still challenging as all get out sometimes! Oy.


  1. WOW!!! The birth of Draeksley was very AMAZING! Congrats to you and your family

  2. Oh, Aubrey! I laughed and bawled throughout the entire story! Your son's birth is almost exactly how I envision the birth for my baby. I love how rollie pollie cute he is! *sigh*

    How spectacularly wonderful for you and your family!

    With the most heartfelt congratulations,


  3. Awesome birth story! I've been stalking your blog for an update :). I'm so glad your birth was as romantic as it was. And holy moley seeing a pic of him adds so much, he's so big! Good luck with the adjustment time and congrats!

  4. Congratulations! He's absolutely beatiful!!!

  5. Congratulations mama!!! What a wonderful birth. Sounds so right.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I loved it. He is beautiful :) I'm so happy you got the birth you were hoping for.

    I hope you get well very soon. I dealt with the same some weeks after birth, and it was terrible :(

    If you need anything, don't be afraid to ask. I know we don't know each other well, but I'm always up for new friends. Especially ones as awesome as you :)

    Congratulations again!!

    Nicole (unlegal)

  7. Aubrey, congrats on your newest little boy, he is so beautiful, and I like your friend lizzardbits had tears swell up in my eyes reading your story.

    Thank you for sharing, take care!

  8. Draeksly is absolutely beautiful and so is your birth story.

    Congratulations to you and Timothy and extra hugs to Inde and Tazja and Xeowyn for me.

    I can't wait to get my hands on the newest member of the family!


  9. Thank you for sharing the story of your birth! I'm so awed by your birth- and truth telling. I was very anemic after my birth and my midwife told me humans are the only mammals that don't routinely eat some of their placenta after birth, and that if I had eaten some of mine, I might not have had such anemia. So I'm very curious- How did you consume part of your placenta? I'd like to try this my next birth. Blessings this new year to your lovey family... :)

  10. Another blog stalker here! Congrats! I am searching for tissues after reading your birth story. How empowering! peaceful vibes to you and your family.

  11. Congratulations, and welcome Draeksley!

  12. congrats maa! what a beautiful and powerful birth!
    Niamh was roared into the world too.
    placenta isnt as bad as one would think huh?
    mucho love to all.

  13. Congratulations, Aubrey!! I loved reading your birth story, just loved it!

    And your writing style is wickedly entertaining!! :)

  14. Thanks for sharing your birth story - I loved it!! Congratulations!

  15. *krisjean- Thank you!!

    *lizzardbits- Thank you so much. I do hope you end up with a peaceful & wonderful birth yourself <3. I can't WAIT to see your birth announcement!

    *la libertad- Thanks, stalker! :)

    *Wendy- Thank you!

    *slapithigh- Thank you very much. :)

    *Nicole- Thanks for everything! You totally helped me prepare for this birth more than anyone really. :) All your links, the dvd & your own birth story & advice were incredible. You're a UC rockstar! So, um, since YOU'RE so awesome, maybe we could be friends? ;)

    *Donna- Thank you thank you! <3

    *Ann- yay & thanks! I can't wait to see you again!! <3

    *Rachele- I know, isn't it interesting to learn about how other mammals eat their placentas? WE'RE the weird ones! :p Humans need to take more notes from the natural world. After my placenta emerged, my husband chopped off 2 bite sized pieces (maybe like a square inch each?) & I just swallowed them. I've read that if swallowing the warm placenta grosses you out, you can run the piece under cold water or drop it in a cup of ice water first & that can make it more palatable. I also tucked one more bite sized piece beneath my tongue but ended up swallowing it only a minute or so later because I couldn't really talk with it there. Since I still ended up hemorrhaging, I'll do a little more research if/when there's a next time & decide if maybe I should have eaten more (?) or held it under my tongue longer... Thank you for your blessings!

    *3 moons- Thanks so much! I'm so excited to have another blog stalker :p , your blog is fabulous! I'm going to stalk you in return. ;) And yeah, WOW was having a UC empowering. It's kind of mind boggling really.

    *Rich- Thanks so much!

    *Tiffany- hello my fellow roarer. :) I didn't find placenta to be gross at all, & was kind of surprised! Thanks for the love! <3

    *Lee- Heehee, thank you. You make me blushy. :)

    *Marisa- Thank you!

  16. yay! your birth story was awesome!!! :D aaaaaaah I can't wait to go into labor!!!! (mrsrayray from MSC dec 2007 DDC by the way) ... :)

  17. *Rayray- thanks so much. :) And hey, maybe tonight's gonna be your night!! I'm crossing my fingers & toes for ya .

  18. hey aubrey, maybe you remember me from cook park this past summer? anyway, i've been wondering about you (we were in the same ddc at mothering but i miscarried?) and i hope this doesn't seem too weird, but i went poking around online to see if i could find a birth announcement. yay! what a superwoman high that must have been. best birth story i've read in a long old time. congratulations, he is beautiful.

    (and i do love giant baby homebirth stories, i do).

  19. are so brave. I would have been terrified.
    But you and your fine son and children have had something special to share that will be told time and time again.
    He is beautiful boy..

  20. April, of course I remember you! I'm glad you tracked me down here. Thanks for the compliments. :) And yeah, superwoman high is a very good description.
    I hope you guys are doing well. I can't wait for the weather to become decent & park days to start up again!

    sally- thanks! Y'know, the standard UCer's response to "you are so brave" is "well you are brave for birthing in the hospital". :p Honestly though, I do feel purty darn proud of myself. It was really wonderful to share the birth with only my close family.

  21. Misfits onesy giverJanuary 31, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Hey, haven't created a log-in yet, but CONGRATS!! Hope you like the onesy... and thank you for the disclaimer, LOVE the pix but I can't handle the gorey details... (funny, I watch horror movies all the time)

    Happy bday, anniversary and 4 kids and everything else!!!

  22. Hi Misfit onesie giver! Thank you guys so much for the awesome gift. It's way, way cute. I'll totally post a picture of him modeling it. :)
    I'm glad you moseyed over here to my blog. :) I never use my stupid MySpace & keep meaning to delete it.

    So we're without internet for the moment. Both our computers commit suicide. I don't know what the plan is to try to get them fixed. It's such a big fat sucky bummer. My mom-in-law is visiting with her laptop which is what I'm on now.

    Thanks again for the great gift!