Saturday, November 1, 2014

Taylor Vachele Higbee

We are so excited to welcome our sweet little Taylor into our family. She is the sweetest little baby and I can't express how grateful we are for her safe arrival and her amazing birth!

Here is the short story of her birth:
 I started into labor just after 2:00 am on October 19th. Taylor was born at 6:04 am!! The labor was short and everything went great! I couldn't be happier with how things went. She weighed 7lb, 7 oz and was 20 inches long.
Here is the long story of her birth for those who like details :)
Taylor was "due" on October 15th. I knew she wouldn't be born early but I was hoping for sometime between the 16th - 18th. On the night of the 18th, when she hadn't come, I resigned myself to the fact that she would be coming late!  So I gave myself  a little pep talk and geared up for another week of pregnancy. I went to bed early, with no thoughts of labor.
Just after 2:00 am, a strong contraction disrupted my dreams. I was half asleep and half awake, trying to figure out what was going on. Then I felt a second contraction about 5 minutes later. It was SO strong! So powerful! I got up immediately and went into the kitchen to rub some essential oils on my back where I could feel the back labor coming on strong. Then I went back to my room, ready to crawl in bed and go back to sleep. But another contraction hit me so strongly again. I woke Nate up in the middle of my contraction and told him I might be in labor. I felt so confused because this was only my third contraction but they were so strong!! I felt like I was in shock. I was shaking and shivering. I was even a little panicked. How could it be coming on so strong? Nate called our midwife and she seemed to think we had good reason to get headed to the birthing center. That also took me by surprise, I thought she would want me to wait for a while and make sure I was really in labor. I kept saying to Nate that maybe we should wait and that I wasn't sure if this was the real thing. He finally said to me, "Tami, I know what it looks like when you are in labor. We are going." I was grateful he was there with a calm head and able to make the call for us.
I began to calm down at this time and remember how to handle the contractions better. Nate called our sister in law to come ever and stay with the kids and I called my mom at about 2:50 am to tell her we were headed over. We gathered all our stuff and headed out. I was previously worried about the car ride but it wasn't bad at all. I only had one contraction in the car and there was no traffic or other cars on the road at all. We arrived at the birthing center, together with our midwife, Richelle, just after 3:00 am. Her and Nate started to get everything set up while I just worked though the contractions on hands and knees and then rested my head on the seat of the couch in between. I felt in control, confident and so excited at this point. Around 3:30, Richelle had me lay on the bed and she checked me. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was dilated to a 6!!
They got the birthing tub all filled up and I got into my cute swim skirt. Climbing into that warm water felt so good and relaxing. I loved every second of being in there! I remembered about doing the wash for group B strep and I had to get out to do that. It wasn't great to have to be on my back for a few contractions but Richelle pushed on my knees and it made it bearable. I was still at a 6 at this point but more effaced. It was during this time that Richelle's assistant, Shanlee, got there.  After waiting 10 minutes, I was able to get back in the water.
My Mom got there about 4:15. It was so good to have her there. She was pretty excited. My sister, Tausha, got there about 4:45. I would just sit in the tub and relax and talk and even snack a little. When I would feel a contraction come on I would roll over to hands and knees and someone was almost always behind me pushing on my back. That helped so much with the back labor. In between contractions I felt great and almost like I needed to entertain everyone there. The lights were dim, calm music was on, everyone was calm but excited. It was perfect.
Around 5:30 my contractions started to feel different and more powerful. I started to really make some noise at this point. I remember my throat hurting a little, I felt like a growling mama bear! I stayed on hands and knees from time point on, that just felt the best. The tub perfectly supported my knees out to the side a little and the water helped me to feel light and more relaxed. I kept saying how much I loved the water tub!!
I began to really feel my baby moving down after this. It was amazing to be so present and to really feel it all. With my other births, I was so out of it at the end. I was so much more aware and present this time. As she started to move down more and more, the stretching sensation was incredible!  I remember saying, "I must be in transition, because I am so done doing this!!" Things got more and more intense. I panicked a little and got really loud for a while. I am grateful my mom was right by my side, and she helped me to calm down! I took some deep breaths and pulled myself together (at least in part ;)  
Richelle helped me so much in the pushing phase to do some small pushes and little coughs that helped move the baby down gently. I felt my water break and that was amazing. Not long after that my baby was crowning. They had me reach down and feel her head. That was incredible! I knew she was so close. I didn't really have to do a lot of hard pushing. I just did slow gentle pushes and just let my body to most of the work. Then I felt her head come out. I waited a little and then pushed her body out at 6:04 am! It was incredible! I was on hands and knees when she came out and my midwife gently pushed her under to me and I picked my baby up out of the water and held her onto my chest. It was the most amazing and incredible feeling in the world!!
She wasn't breathing right at first and that scared my mom and sister a lot but Richelle was so calm about it and reassured me that there was nothing to worry about since she was still getting oxygen from the cord. Richelle did a few breaths for her and soon she started to take her first breaths of air. I was able to just hold her there, in the water, on my chest for quite a while. She was pretty blue at the beginning and covered in vernix.  She began to pink up and she just laid there, totally relaxed and calm. It was so amazingly beautiful!
I stayed there in the water for about 30 - 40 after she was born. My placenta came out around 6:30. They put it in a little metal tin and it just floated in the water there by me! I got out of the tub around 6:45. They moved me over to the bed. The cord hadn't stopped pulsing yet, so they put it in a little grocery sack and Nate carried it and the baby over to the bed. I nursed her for the first time and it took a while for her to latch on but she finally did it. After that the cord had stopped pulsing and my mom actually got to cut the cord. That was pretty cool. She weighed in at 7lb 7oz and measured 20 inches long.
This birth was so amazing and so healing for me in so many ways. I literally spent years and countless hours preparing for and hoping for a birthing experience just like this. It went better than I could have hoped for. I had only the tiniest little tear and didn't bleed too much. Considering the bad tears and blood loss I had with the other deliveries, this was a miracle for me (but one that I worked hard for!)! It was all so beautiful and so amazing! I am so in love with my beautiful angel girl!