You can read the first part of Lydia's birth story here and pictures are here.
One reason (among *so* many) that we chose homebirth is how sweet and gentle the time is immediately after giving birth. In the hospital often babies are swept away from their momma quickly to be weighed, measured, looked over, given shots, have their heels pricked, have goop put in their eyes, etc. etc. It's typically chaotic and frantic. This is not how things went for us this time at all.
Right after Lydia was born we sat in the water for a long time together just gazing at each other. She was so wide-eyed and alert. Her cord was very short so I wasn't able to bring her all the way up to my chest, but I held her sort if in my lap/close to my belly and in the water. I got to feel her squishy, sweet little body next to mine. Her little hands and feet were perfect with 10 little fingers and toes. I got to see her color amazingly change from bluish to pink as she took her first breaths. Her umbilical cord continued to pulse and deliver the last of the oxygen rich blood from her placenta. While holding her in my arms, I kissed her daddy and declared, "we did it!" It was the most amazing, gentle, precious first moments we could have asked for.
As her cord was done pulsing, Justin took off his shirt to get ready to hold her skin to skin. He cut her cord and I handed her to him and he brought her to his chest. Their hearts beating close for the first time. He then took her downstairs to see the family.
While they were downstairs, I delivered her placenta, and then got into my own bed where Suzanne looked me over to make sure everything looked okay. I had a small tear that she stitched and then I was able to get into my own shower and clean up a bit, which felt amazing!!
When I was done, I got back into bed and Justin brought Lydia back in so I could get her on my chest and start breastfeeding her. Suzanne told me to lay her face down on my chest and allow her to do the breast crawl. I had seen this done in youtube videos and read about it, but I could not believe how she wiggled herself from the middle of my chest over to my left breast and latched on. All by herself! It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. She was literally like an hour old and knew exactly what to do! She was a voracious sucker and stayed latched on for quite some time. She was a hungry little thing!
After I fed her, Suzanne and Justin weighed, measued, and looked her over right there on the bed next to me. Justin joked that she used a fish scale to see how much Lydia weighed. Suzanne had Justin hold her up and call out how much she weighed. Our little sweetie was a perfect 7 pounds, 15 ounces. Suzanne then measured her at 19 1/2 inches. She and Chloe were almost exactly the same size with Lydia being a couple ounces more.
After Suzanne declared she was just perfect, I fed Lydia from the right breast as Lindsey fed me steak and potatoes (ha!) and Suzanne and Nicole (the birth assistant) finished cleaning up room. When they were finished Suzanne gave me a few instructions for the next 24-48 hours until they would be back, hugged me, and went on their way.
It was starting to get late at this point and all our visitors decided to go home and let us rest. Chloe went to her grandparents house for the night while Justin, Lydia, and I just laid in bed and snuggled the rest of the night. My best friend Andrea slept in Chloe's room for the night in case I needed her and it was so nice to know she was close just in case I needed some extra mommy hands. I had way too much adrenaline to sleep much that night and just laid in bed staring at our sweet little miracle and praising God for her life.
I was never nervous to have Lydia by ourselves. The only time I got a little freaked out was when Lydia was trying to get some of the amniotic fluid out and was gagging a bit. It was never anything to really worry about and we had an aspirator if we needed it, but she cleared it away and was just fine.
Our first hours together as a family were reason enough for me to homebirth again in the future should we be blessed with more babies. It was the most incredible thing to feel such peace and love and gentleness in the room for Lydia's first hours of life.
As a side note: I realize I'm a horrible blogger. I really want to change that for a lot of reasons, but the main one being that I just really want to remember what was going on in our lives when I look back 5, 10, 20 years from now. I often use facebook as my way of telling the world what's going on around here, but I'm realizing that it's just not very easy to go back and see where we've been. So, I'm going to try to start chronically our lives here more often - even if it's just silly Chloe one-liners...which happen at least once daily. :)