Thursday, January 5, 2017

Finally Getting Our Ingrid Elisabeth

Our Ingrid Elisabeth Toler joined us on December 18 at 9:20 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs. 12 oz. and measuring 22 inches long. 

Her name is a special one, deriving from her paternal grandmother and deceased maternal aunt. It is one that her parents knew long before they conceived the first time, and have tried to give it to both of her older siblings before they found out Gideon was a boy and Esther was—well, Esther. We are thrilled she is finally here!  Her birth story is recorded below.  [Warning: men, this may not be your best read...]

Like her older sister, Ingrid Elisabeth was born at home with midwives attending. I had a fairly long pre/early labor that lasted seven days (!), with a couple of false alarms. Do not feel sorry for me - it was all fairly mild but for those false alarms.  I think my pride was hurt for crying wolf more than anything else!  (You would have thought I knew what I was doing with it being my third...)  Every day was the same thing: really benign contractions beginning mid-morning and building up till bedtime when they would inexplicably stop.  I presume at this point our little Ingy just got tired and gave up the fight so she and I could both get a good night's sleep!

Finally, on day five I learned from my older sister that her body did the same thing with her younger children.  That helped me relax about everything, but I still was nervous about venturing too far from home, thinking that having done as much work as it had, my body could kick things into high gear at any moment and I wouldn't have a chance to birth the way I wanted.

However, next time (heaven willing), I'll know better.  My body just takes a lo-o-ong time to get labor going.  With the kids gone for the weekend, and having completed the last of the very last projects on my back-up to-do list, by Sunday morning on the 18th I had relaxed enough that little Ingy decided to make her appearance.  

Contractions started at 1:30 a.m., and were strong enough to sort of wake me up, but I was able to sleep in-between. They gently continued throughout the morning while I quasi-slept, then Lance and I watched funny DVDs and just relaxed, I took a bath, I played the piano and sang a bit, then the doula showed up around 4:00 p.m. and Lance got a break.  At that point I finally needed to hold someone's hand through each contraction, and did a few hypnobirthing exercises with the doula.  Around 5:00 p.m. the midwife showed up and began assembling the birth pool.  I paced the floor with Lance and sang Primary songs in-between contractions for a couple of hours till I felt the contractions were quite strong and I needed to get into the birth pool.  I did and labored hard for two hours with Lance providing physical comfort and breathing through the contractions with me and my mom on the phone verbally walking me through each one.  I was able to zone out, or down, at this point and finally get in a good hypnobirthing zone - something I've wanted for the previous two labors but was unable to achieve. Throughout, though I wasn't able to verbalize much, I felt really grateful that I had the exact amount of support I needed to labor at that advanced stage calmly and peacefully. 

At 9:25 p.m. or so, I had dilated to a 6-7, then had three fairly strong transition contractions. I had stood up when the last contraction came, and it was at once transition, crowning, and there was a baby all within a few seconds.  It caught all of us by surprise, and the midwife didn't realize what was happening until she heard me panting (the kind of breathing one is suppose to do to prevent tearing) - I was so deep into hypnobirthing, that I didn't utter the normal laboring mother cry to which she had become accustomed - and had to run and dive to catch the baby!  I sort of caught the baby, too, with one hand, the other still holding the phone with my mom on it so it didn't fall into the water!  Ingrid came out, like Esther, in the sack, my water having never broken.

We were lucky I had stood up before that last contraction, as the umbilical cord was extremely short.  Had I not, the midwives could have snapped the cord pulling her out of the water or I would have had to stand up, delaying her exit from the water (all fine considering she was passing from water to water). 

In all, despite its very slow beginning, it was about as perfect a labor as I could have hoped for.  I was able to alternate between active laboring tactics and hypnobirthing, and was able to go deeply into hypnobirthing when it really mattered.  I was so very grateful for the support I had - husband, mom, midwife (plus a lovely student), and doula, especially Lance and my mom.  They knew exactly what I needed.  That and our sweet baby, who politely allowed me to labor throughout the day rather than night and then slept all night so I could recover!   

These two are so cute with their baby sister. They want to hold her or interact first thing on waking or coming home. Their exuberance far outweighs their need for extra attention. I'm much relieved!

And because you can never have too many pictures of your newborn...

Two days old.

Christmas Day

Getting the jaundice out with sun baths.

Small Wonders:
- "My conversation is driving me crazy.  Logan and Truman are like, 'What are you doing?' and I was like 'You are driving me crazy!'
-  When I told G to stop annoying Esther, he plaintively asked, "Can I annoy you?"
-  Me: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good..." [pause waiting to see if G had paid attention to the children's version of A Christmas Carol] G: "future!"
- G started Primary at church with the big kids.  I asked him how it was and what songs he learned, and he said "I don't want to talk about it."
- "I'm doing the pooping dance." Then danced his way to the potty.
* Esther-isms
- "I like your outfit"
- "That's scary"

We had a full (mini) cast! for the Christmas Eve Luke 2 reading...

Don't know how Santa fit her down the chimney without waking her...

Grateful E has her own baby doll.  She'll often mimic doing whatever I am with her dolly. 

While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads...

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