The Peaceful Central Arkansas Home-birth of Felix
Updated: Dec 23, 2019
Here is sweet baby Felix's birth story as told by his awesome warrior mama!
If you know me, you probably know how much I hate having my photo taken. So having my photo taken while giving birth seems like something I would absolutely hate. And I was worried that it would be. But I love them so much. I’ve looked at all the photos so many times in the past month. I originally intended them to be just for me. I didn’t plan on sharing more than just a few fresh little baby pictures. But then I saw them <3
I think a lot of people think that women who choose home-births do it because they want bragging rights. I’ve heard the phrase, "you don’t get a trophy at the end for having a natural birth". I can’t speak for everyone but I certainly didn’t want a trophy. I didn’t want bragging rights. I wanted to be an active participant in my own birth experience. That’s something I didn’t get with O's birth in the hospital; O's birth wasn’t something I did, it was something that happened to me. I didn’t get a lot of say. In fact several things happened without my consent and one thing happened that I explicitly did not consent to. I had no desire for that to happen again.
After four pregnancy losses and a traumatic first birth, my body has let me down a lot over the past five years. I needed to know that my body could do what it was designed to do. And it did. Ladies, our bodies are incredible. Birth is incredible. Home births are incredible. Hospital births are incredible. Cesareans are incredible. Growing, birthing and nurturing a baby is absolutely incredible. [But birthing is not the only amazing thing women can do. I love having babies and being a mom but I have nothing but respect for women who don’t choose that for themselves. Basically, all women are unbelievably amazing.] End rant.
But let me tell you, just because I didn’t want an epidural doesn’t mean I didn’t want an epidural, you know? At about 11 pm, I think I would have given just about anything for some relief. But even when I was overwhelmed, my team kept me on track and helped me through the pain.
Labor sucks. It’s hard, it hurts like crazy, and I was so ready for it to be over. But pushing? Pushing is awesome. I distinctly remember smiling while pushing. I mean, yeah, the ring of fire is terrible and I said, “I can’t do this,” or “this really hurts” for those last few pushes, but even then, after hours and hours of contractions, finally feeling like you’re doing something feels incredible.
I especially love the previous photo. Two midwives, doing nothing. Just waiting patiently for me to do what I needed to do. <3 When I was concerned about how slowly I was dilating, Paula (https://www.arkansasblossoms.com/) told me to rest and take a nap (during which I dilated from a 3 to 7-8). When I said I wasn’t sure if I could do it during the ring of fire, they both assured me “you ARE doing it.” When I was having trouble keeping my vocalizations low-pitched to help with pushing, Deb (http://armidwife.com/) didn’t get frustrated or continuously remind me, she just made the noises she wanted me to make and let me match her pitch. The experience of having midwives for this birth was such an amazing experience. The care that Paula and Deb provided was nothing like having an OB. Not that there aren’t fantastic OBs out there because there definitely are! But having a midwife is such a more personal experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
After he was born, [my husband] and I took a while to get to know our little boy. We had picked Felix as a boy name pretty early on and when we saw him, it fit perfectly. Felix means happy or lucky…It’s also a small reference to Harry Potter (Felix Felicis)…All throughout my pregnancy, so many people told me they hoped I was having a girl. I think most people thought I secretly wanted a girl. But I never did. I always wanted a boy. I would never have been disappointed if he had been a girl, but if I could have picked, I would have chosen another boy with no hesitation. In fact, if we’d had a girl, she would have been nameless for a few days because we never really picked a girl’s name. We had a few options but nothing I was 100% happy with. So luckily he was a boy! After some cuddles and breastfeeding, it was time for measurements.
He weighed 6 lbs, 14 oz (our wedding anniversary is 6/14/14!) and was 19&3/4 inches long. Even though it was the middle of the night, Grandma and Grandpa came right over. We told them when it was time to come over but still didn’t tell them the gender so they were surprised when they walked in.
My entire birth team was absolutely amazing, don’t get me wrong. But [my BFF] was beyond incredible. She came early to give me IV antibiotics so we didn’t have to worry about not getting two doses in before Felix was born. She stayed for several more hours, cleaned up my room (like she’s been doing since we were seventeen), went home to put her own kids in bed, and then came back. When I wanted to get in the pool but it was too cold, she started pulling out pots and heating up water on the stove (although in the end, Felix was too patient and we never got the pool warm enough). She made sure my midwife had warm water for compresses. She supported me in anyway she could. After he was born, she cooked breakfast for everyone. And when it was all over, she sat on my bed and told me how strong and brave and amazing I was. If you don’t have a [BFF] in your life, I highly recommend finding one.
After all the excitement died down, everyone started to head home and we started the next chapter of our life as parents of two wonderful boys.
Again, Thank you so much to Brittany…[my husband] and I love these photos so freaking much and I can’t recommend her enough. I also just highly recommend having birth photos taken, even if its a weird concept to you. Brittany told me she’s never had a client who didn’t like the way she looked in her birth photos. And how could you? I don’t know how you could worry about a zit or double chin when you look at photos of yourself giving birth. I was worried that it would be weird or awkward or I would feel self conscious during the whole experience but Brittany is so incredible and professional and I honestly forgot she was there for the majority of it. Some of the photos I look at and wonder how she took them because I literally didn’t know the was there at that moment!
OBVIOUSLY, I was all verklempt when I read K's precious birth story. It was such a peaceful and loving atmosphere - and as always I was so honored to have been invited to document their new little human's journey earthside. Thank you, K and C, for trusting me. You guys are AWESOME-SAUCE <3