We were on our 2 year anniversary in July of 2009 when we found out I was pregnant with Miranda, our first born. We knew about Rosemary Birthing Home by then having researched about a year ago when Ken and I decided we wanted to have a midwife when we were to have children. There is so much about the pregnancy that was new, interesting and wonderful…..but this post is about Miranda’s birth.
So fast forward to March of 2010. At about 204 lbs and 9 lunar months pregnant, I was very ready for this baby to come! We did not have any ultrasounds so we did not know if it was a boy or girl at this point. What I did know was that it was one active baby and we found out later has Daddy’s metabolism and so much energy that she has not napped since she was about two and half or three. So that means I started having sleep deprivation before the baby was even born! I will post more on that another time.
My actual due date was March 25th. But my labor started on the 23rd at about 12:30 that morning. By this time we had been through all of the Birth Education Classes that are “required” at Rosemary Birthing Home. Because of that, I knew to let my husband sleep. But I started timing the contractions which were about 10 minutes apart. They felt much stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions that I had been having the last month or so. I just knew that this was it—I was having my baby!
By about 4:30am or so I could not contain my excitement any more and sort of woke Ken to tell him. He immediately prayed over me, the baby and the birth ahead. We checked in with our midwife. After we verified that all was well, Ken then went to work. We did not know how long early labor would take for us. We decided that I would call him when I felt I needed him. I then called my mother who came right over. I did not want to labor alone. When my contractions got to about 7 minutes apart at about 10am, I checked in with the midwife again. This was about 10 hours into my labor and it was verified that I was still in early labor. Around noon it seemed to me that the intensity of the contractions increased and they were about 5 minutes apart. My midwife decided it was time to come and I also called Ken to come home.
The midwife was in town and was at our house within 20 minutes at the most. Ken was coming from Tampa so he did not arrive until about 1:15pm. He came to be right in front of me as I was going through my first active labor contraction. These contractions had pain and incredible intensity and were 4 minutes apart. Sometime after this, because we had decided to have a water birth, we filled our birthing pool (which was an actual kiddie pool). I went in with my husband to continue my labor.
By the time I was at 2 minutes apart I was fully dilated (10 cm) and it was about 5pm and 14 ½ hours into my labor. That is when I felt my body start pushing the baby out. I was rejoicing! I was more than ready to be done and have my baby in my arms. But that did not take place for another 5 and ½ hours. I would push and feel the baby come down and then seemed to move back up. Or the baby would start moving it’s little head in circles which I really don’t know how to describe. I felt like giving up but didn’t know how. I had so much encouragement during these hours, it was amazing. And my husband and I stayed forehead to forehead the whole time.
I finally gave a push that had the baby crowning. There really aren’t any words for describing this completely. But it is called the “Ring of Fire”.The next push shot the baby all the way out (like a canon) and then we were holding her. But we didn’t know it was a her yet. During the pushing sometime someone had turned the light in room off and had the hall light and bathroom light on the other side on. We were also given a towel to wrap the baby in. So Ken cut the cord as soon as it was done pulsing and I sort of “felt” for the gender.I put my hand under the towel and touched the cord. Thinking I felt boy parts I said, “It’s a boy!” Well, obviously everyone went onto the social media and announced this to the world. And then the midwife said, “Are you sure?”
So we moved the towel aside and all looked and well—yep, it was a she! Miranda! She spent her first few minutes in the world as a boy. So the family went back onto all the social media to correct the mistaken gender. Meanwhile, the midwife found a “true knot” in the umbilical cord which we didn’t know about because we had no ultrasounds. But there were no complications in the pregnancy or the birth. When the midwife checked Miranda out, she was perfect, clinically speaking. Of course, to us she was just perfect—period. 🙂
Miranda’s labor was a total of 22 hours. She was born at 10:36pm. She weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz., and was 21 3/4 inches long. She had a head of soft, black hair and actually looked up at us through the water when we saw her for the first time. It was the first time she saw us, too (although technically speaking she couldn’t really see us yet). She almost immediately tried to lift her head when we held her on our shoulder for the first time. She never ever liked being held that way; she always wanted to see what was going on.
As a summery of her life from then to now is practically impossible. So much has happened. Being our oldest Ken and I must remind ourselves that she is not the standard to hold to for the progress of our other two. She potty trained by the time she was 2 and it was accomplished in 3 days with about a week or two of still wearing diapers at night. Solid food was introduced at about 6 months and we made our own to feed her for the most part. She breastfed until the age of almost 3. My Breastfeeding Story includes my whole journey with all three of my children.
Now at 5 and ½ she seems extremely advanced to me. Ken and I have researched and spoken to many other families as well as our pediatrician and found that, for the most part, girls just develop much more quickly than boys. So she is our analytical artist with a seemingly photographic memory who loves going to the library and making friends. She is somewhere between a tomboy and a girly girl. I say this because she will absolutely have a princess tea party but still play Star Wars given the opportunity. Play with Barbie dolls and climb trees. She enjoys
her ballet class but she enjoys her sports as well.
We just started homeschooling her in Kindergarten. She is breezing through it, of course!
I am proud to say that I believe she is a very well-rounded child!
Look for our son’s, Kaelan’s, birth story coming soon.