Sunday, March 09, 2008

Our new baby, installment #32

Once labor and birth were finished, the reality of being at home really kicked in. The midwife weighed Harrison (7 pounds even) in a sling right by my side. She did her check up of him beside me on the bed. There were no heel pricks. No Hep B vaccines. No sugar water on the tongue. No discussion of circumcision. No incubator. No one saying they were taking him away for a bath.

My husband rummaged through the dark to find the baby something to wear -- no standard issue hospital garb. I jumped in the shower and gingerly got back in bed. My husband made me a sandwich and brought me a big pitcher of water to slake my thirst and we toasted the midwives and Harrison with some champagne and cake, which the midwives ate downstairs to give us time alone.

Harrison was born at 5 minutes past midnight. The midwives stayed to check on us all until close to 4 a.m., when they finally said goodbye, with assurances of a visit later in the day. We were too excited to fall asleep, and stayed in bed marveling at the baby. At 5:30, our 4-year-old came in and did a double take when he saw his new brother in the bed. It was like Christmas morning. He crawled in with us and we all stayed happily together until my parents, grandparents, aunt and cousin arrived with breakfast. It felt so great having them all there at the house, knowing they could stay as long as they wanted. My 85-year-old arthritic grandfather endured a long car ride, and even climbed a big flight of stairs to the bedroom, to see Harrison. He scooped up the baby and there we both cried. My grandfather was the one, throughout the entire decision to have a VBAC at home, to support it vocally. Having served on New Guinea during World War II, he saw many indigenous women give birth there. That exposure made him appreciate, respect and understand the process in ways that my grandmother and mother -- who had never known birth outside a hospital -- could not. I was grateful for his support. And loved that he could be there that morning.

19 comments:

Ashley said...

Just had to say hello and thank you my name is ashley, i have a 20 month old daughter born in a hospital. I loved your book found it so informative, I am very excitedly reading this birth blog of yours, it is just amazing. Thank you thank you for sharing such intimate details.

mamaofquiteafew said...

This, to me, was one of the most magical parts of the homebirth... Getting to fall in love with your baby, uninterrupted.

mommymichael said...

ahh the after birth high. =) especially the non-medicated after birth high!

with my first son, he was born at 10:26pm, the midwives left at 1am, and we didn't go to sleep until 3am or so.

This second time he was born at 3:09pm and by 5pm I had called friends and family, posted pictures in my blog, AND written the birth story.
endorphins and hormones are amazing things. =)

Amanda said...

what an amazing gift from your grandfather.

Pamela said...

just got back from the Trust Birth conference and was THRILLED to see the finale! yay!

Way to go, Tina! Your words are inspiring!

mom said...

This post is from Tina's Grandfather:

"Being a grandfather to six grandchildren, Tina first, and thirteen great grandchildren later, I give my full support to all of their ideas and aspirations. Tina's decision to have Harrison, our twelvth great grandchild at home made sense to me. As I previously blogged, I saw it done in World War II in the Philipines. The simple fact is, that's how it was meant to be.
Climbing the stairs and scooping up Harrison in my arms with tears of joy seemed to be the highlight of my eighty five years. He's a great addition to our beautiful growing family. Love, Papa

mom said...

This post is from Tina's Grandfather:

"Being a grandfather to six grandchildren, Tina first, and thirteen great grandchildren later, I give my full support to all of their ideas and aspirations. Tina's decision to have Harrison, our twelvth great grandchild at home made sense to me. As I previously blogged, I saw it done in World War II in the Philipines. The simple fact is, that's how it was meant to be.
Climbing the stairs and scooping up Harrison in my arms with tears of joy seemed to be the highlight of my eighty five years. He's a great addition to our beautiful growing family. Love, Papa

Sheridan said...

Beautiful! Love Grandpa's comment and love that he gave you full support!

~*Spindelicious Handspun*~ said...

This post was SO beuatiful. I wish every woman could experience birth like that. Thanks so much for sharing your birth story.

Stephanie said...

Congrats! What a peaceful, beautiful way to bring a baby into the world!

CNH said...

My husband's words after the birth of his second son, our first home birth

"It was like nothing was different, but everything had changed."

We woke up, had a baby, ate some lunch, hung out and got to know our new little boy, tucked our children in that night, and then snuggled down with our newborn.

Lauren said...

*Crying* Oh I just love that after-birth high. So beautiful- especially the part about your grandfather.

Boriquita said...

Thank you for sharing the magical parts of your birth...as I am preparing for my VBAC...

Tina Cassidy said...

Boriquita - you go girl! Find yourself a good, supportive midwive!

heather said...

Thank you for (finally) sharing your birth story! I have loved reading every bit of it.

gLobeY said...

Thank you for sharing your HBAC journey with us! I am currently 22 weeks along preparing for my own VBAC journey and it was an inspirational read!

Many many thanks!

dlmr194 said...

I loved reading your hbac story! I picked up your book a couple months ago, just weeks after my empowering hospital vbac. I sat in the Barnes and Noble cafe reading your first birth story to my husband. I then asked him, "Sound familiar?" since my c-section had many similarities. I wish I had a hbac. Unfortunately, it is illegal for any midwife to attend a hbac in my state so finding a willing midwife is difficult. I even thought about asking my parents if I could hbac at their house an hour away in a different state. But my mother is probably a lot like yours that respect! :-) I did have very supportive midwives and an intervention and drug free birth so maybe I can have an hbac next time....

Mama V said...

Amazing. I'm in tears. Thank you!

Anjani said...
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