Having Baby Ephraim

Ephraim was born at 4:32 P.M. on April 18 at the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center.  He was 7 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches tall.  He is our tallest at birth so far. He was born in the Jade room, in the jacuzzi tub with candles lit and Kaye Kanne, CDM and Kristin Hock, CDM and Madi Nolan, Student Midwife as the attending Midwives and Shayna was our attending Doula.

I’ve played this day over and over in my mind.  It was perfect.  It was a sunny Juneau day, they are rare.  Kaye called us and wanted know how we were.  We’d been to an appointment on Monday and Tuesday and here it was Wednesday, just 2 days away from having to talk with the hospital about induction.  It is mandatory at 42 weeks.   I’d had lot’s of contractions, even 6-9 minutes apart for 4 hours straight more than once.  But, labor always stopped.  She asked if we wanted to come in and she could check me and discuss our options.

We ate breakfast and headed to the birth center.  We got there about 10:00 A.M. Kaye checked me and I was still 5 cm and fully effaced and softened.  After she gave me a good stretch then we discussed our options.  She said she wouldn’t break my water but she recommended that we take a walk and use the breast pump (breast stimulation causes your body to produce oxytocin, the hormone that induces labor) then if I was still not in labor she could give us herbs (black and blue cohosh).  She asked if we were more comfortable there or back at the motel?  “Definitely here.” Was our answer. She was fine with us staying and said she would go get the birthing room ready.

Right after she left I was going to get dressed and I told Jeremy that I thought my water had broken.  So, he went to get Kaye for assistance.  She came back and had me check the fluid to see if it was amniotic fluid and it was, it was rather obvious by this point.  It was a slow leak at first but a consistent one.  She said we could still go for a walk and even suggested it.  After I was ready we gathered our 4 children and went exploring.  Right out back of the birth center is a beautiful waterfall.  We hiked up river of the water fall.  The farther you go up the more water falls you see as the river goes up into the canyon.

Salmon Creek Waterfall
Out back of The Birth Center

We hiked up far enough to get to the second waterfall and stood and watched as two dipper birds flew along the pool of water then dipped into the water and swam along the bottom.  They were so much fun to watch.

At some point along the hike our daughter, Virginia got the message to go up and thought we meant to go up to higher ground, not up the river to the waterfall.  We had lost Virginia and I saw her up above the waterfall.  So Jeremy and Jasper took off after her and I started back to the Birth Center with Asa and Sherrad.

By the time we got back I still wasn’t having many contractions.  One of the children asked me why I wasn’t in a lot of pain?

We found Virginia after we had arrived but Jeremy had already gone back in looking for her.  My pants were wet so we went back to the birth center and Asa waited for Jeremy.

The Juneau Family Health and Birth Center Family Room

Once inside the children hung out in the family room and waited for Shayna to come.

I went into the Jade Birthing room and pumped.  That got the contractions established and going.

Kaye kindly offered to let Jeremy take her car to get me some clean clothes.  So, he did.

Jasper at Twin Lakes Park

The kids spent there time making a museum for the many rocks with fools gold in it and then they went down to the Twin Lakes Park.  They had a blast!

Kaye timed the contractions after pumping and they were 7 minutes apart.  Still not active labor but she admitted us at 2:30 anyway.

While the kids were at the park Jeremy and I went outside and looked at the waterfall.  While there the contractions became strong enough that I often teared up during them.  Jeremy sang to me and rubbed my back.  The experience couldn’t have been any better.  Kaye came out to check on us and I told her I was feeling weak.  I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.  She had offered to get us lunch but we had declined.  She got me apple juice with an energy mix in it.  It tasted great and I felt much better.  She also brought me toast and offered eggs.  Jeremy wanted to make sure we made it back inside in time but I wanted to be outside as long as possible.  The kids came back at 4:00 P.M. We watched them come up the hill and then they ran over to talk to us.  I was in between contractions, which was nice and we were able to talk for a few minutes.  The kids just wanted to get inside to get a drink.  Jasper was tired so Shayna was going to put him down for a nap.

Jade Birthing Room tub

Right after they went inside I knew that we needed to go in or I would have the baby outside.  So we made our way inside and Kaye checked me.  7 cm. She started the tub and I got in.  I just laid there and relaxed.  I think I even went to sleep for a brief moment in between contractions.  Jeremy rubbed my hand.  I wanted to respond but I couldn’t, but having his support and knowing he was there was such a comfort.

Kaye could tell I was close to pushing so she told Kristen and Madi to be at the door and ready.  Right before I started pushing I said, “Make it stop.”  I said it half joking knowing there was nothing anyone could do and I also knew I was about to push.  At 4:26 I started pushing.  Kaye jumped up and said, “Are you pushing.” I didn’t respond but she ran to the door to get the 2 midwives.  On the 2nd push she checked me and said that I had a little bit of cervix in the way.  She would move it out of the way on the next push.  Our children were at the door waiting to come in .  On the 3rd contraction Kaye moved the cervix and out came baby.  Much quicker than was expected.    The children and Shayna barely made it through the door in time.

For the next three hours we stayed at the birth center.  After the placenta was delivered they had me get out of the tub so it could be cleaned and filled again this time with herbs to start the healing process.  We also put baby in too to clean him up.  They took the babies weight and height and did the apgar test.  He was not 42 weeks, he was 40 weeks.  Due to the fact that that my cycle is longer than the average 28 days the due date was wrong.   Then we all got ready and went back to the motel.

Everything was perfect!  So perfect that the first thingt Jasper asked the next morning is, “Can we have a baby again today?”

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