We are so happy to share that our Baby B is here! He arrived on January 30th, and so far we’ve had a great transition to being a family of four. Little B is the sweetest big sister, and it’s been such a joy to watch her with her baby brother. She and I made a quick trip to the grocery store the other night while Papa B hung out with Baby B at home. After we got in the truck to head home, she told me, “I go see baby brother.” Today, after she woke up from her nap, she heard him crying as Papa B changed his diaper in the other room and told me, “Baby brother crying. I go check on him.” It just makes my heart melt.
We planned a home birth this time around (Little B was born at a fantastic birth center in Minnesota), and it was a truly awesome experience. I had a 30+ hour labor with Little B, and this one clocked in under six hours. A blink of an eye by comparison. Frankly, Papa B and I were both taken by surprise as how rapidly things progressed. I had been texting with my midwife throughout the evening to keep her posted on how things were going. Our other midwife had left on a trip the day before, and the apprentice was also out of town for a few days, so she called an apprentice from Kasilof to help. We had our weekly appointment the day before I went into labor, and during that appointment our midwife had mentioned that everyone was out of town, so if baby could wait until Wednesday, that would be great. I joked with her afterwards that was all Baby B needed to hear to decide he was ready to go.
Thankfully, the apprentice made it down in time from Kasilof, which is about an hour and fifteen minutes north of Homer. With Little B, I labored at home through transition. My contractions with her were never closer than five minutes apart, so we didn’t head up to the birth center until my body started feeling the urge to push. At that point, we drove 20 minutes to the birth center, contractions slowed down a bit, and Little B arrived two hours later. We had plenty of time. This time around, the bulk of labor happened over the course of about an hour and a half. I didn’t feel like I needed the midwife here right away, expecting that I had at least a few hours ahead of me. My water hadn’t broken yet, etc. But after an hour and a half of increasingly intense contractions, I knew I was in the transition phase and asked Papa B to call the midwife and have her come over. While he did that, I thought I’d use the restroom quick. Thank goodness she lives under a half of a mile away, because eight minutes after he called her, Baby B was here. She literally walked in and caught him. I think both Papa B and I felt a bit panicked in the few minutes it took for her to arrive, mainly because we weren’t expecting it to happen as fast as it did. But ultimately, it was a great experience. Thankfully, Little B slept through the most intense part of labor. She woke up right after Baby B was born, and probably thought, “What the heck? I go to sleep for a few hours and wake up to a new person!?” 🙂 She was so excited, though, buzzing around the house, watching the midwives check vitals, and checking out her new sibling. She said several times, “Baby Brother showed up!” 😀
I can’t get over how much easier the entire labor/birth was this time around, and that’s made the post-partum recovery stage that much easier (phew!). The first few weeks with a newborn are tiring enough without starting things off exhausted from a long labor. I’m thankful for two easy, healthy pregnancies and two births that were (as much as possible) on my own terms. Most importantly, though, I’m grateful for my two healthy loves.