Six weeks ago, my baby finally decided it was time to join the outside world, and my life has (duh) been turned upside down. If ANYONE reading this is a single parent, let me take this moment to say that you are officially one strong, kick-ass person -- because I cannot imagine doing this alone. And the thing is... I've had it relatively easy!
The homebirth went really well. My midwife and I did end up deciding to use some natural induction methods -- herbs for two days and then, unfortunately, a dose of castor oil. Let me tell you... if I'm offered a choice between castor oil or pitocin next time, I will take the pitocin. That's how awful the castor oil made me feel. But it also did the trick! I was having some mild contractions (7 minutes apart, very easy to handle) the morning I took the castor oil. After the castor oil, my body quickly ramped into high gear with contractions 2 minutes apart and a minute long -- for FIVE HOURS. Normally, contractions like that mean that it's transition time and you're about to push. Not me. I labored like that from 2 cm to 5 cm, which took 5 hours. But then I guess my body and the baby decided that enough was enough, because an hour and a half later I was at 10cm, my water broke in the most dramatic way possible (my midwife had been, at that moment, looking for more herbs to help speed labor because she thought it was taking a while. Nope), and I was ready to push! Now, I have to say this: I thought the contractions were bad before pushing, but HOLY SHIIIIT. Pushing my baby out basically required me to ignore my will to live. But I did do it, and you know what?
I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'm not saying I'm ready for another kid. But if/when that time comes, I am absolutely doing another homebirth. It was such a positive, empowering, terrifying-but-sooooo-worthwhi
le experience, and I can't begin to describe how glad I am to have made that choice.
Josephine Linda was born at 9:54 pm on October 3rd, weighing 7lbs, 7oz and measuring 20 1/2 inches. She was also born perfect.
I recovered from the labor really well, too, although the first two weeks were incredibly difficult for me. Physically, I was doing great -- I chalk that up to my uncomplicated labor, staying active and well-nourished all during the pregnancy, and having a lot of help from my hubby and mom-in-law. But emotionally, I was a mess. The post-partum depression was overwhelming. I cried every single day (some days, up to 4 or 5 times) for 10 days straight, skipped a day, then cried another 5 days in a row. I thought I'd never be happy or well-rested again.
But you know... it all seemed to click into place after that. I figured out how to get stuff done around the house with Jo around; I get out of the house for a walk or me-time or errand almost every day (basically, unless the weather sucks); I have friends over and my family has visited. I'm figuring out what being a mom looks like for me. And I like it!! Jo is starting to smile, enjoy cuddles, and hit some milestones like following objects with her gaze. She's a great sleeper, usually. She sleeps for 3-5 hours at a time, which is AWESOME. I actually average 7 hours+ per night. She's pretty advanced on that front.
It's SO COOL to watch this little girl grow before my eyes! I cannot believe how much I love her.
My baby is the best baby ever. Sorry not sorry! And even if you don't believe me, you have to agree: she is super cute and beautiful (and seriously, THE BEST BABY).
I can't believe I MADE this!
Miles and Jo, Day 1:
Tickle time, 1 Week Old:
Getting dressed for our first shopping trip, 2 weeks old (and stricken with Baby Acne):
Happy Halloween -- 4 Weeks old:
Taking a scrapbook-worthy 1 Month "Birthday" Picture:
And just this morning, after 4 hours of fussing and keeping me awake (from 3 to 7). She's lucky she's so dang cute!