My Week on The Farm

Robbie and I spent a week at The Farm postpartum and it was incredible. My midwives present at my birth were Deborah, Pamela, Sara and Carrie. My primary midwife, Deborah, came over every day to check on me, monitor Hazel, and just to hang out for a couple of hours. She served us so well while we stayed there. She knitted Hazel a hat and crocheted little booties for her that are adorable, she let us borrow her laptop to watch a movie, and taught me how to use a breast pump, answered my many first-time mom questions, among many other things. The midwives at The Farm are so generous and kind and just overall really wonderful people. If Robbie and I ever have another baby, I wouldn’t hesitate to return to The Farm for my prenatal’s, delivery, and postpartum care. I learned so much that week.. it boosted my self-confidence as a mother that I could actually tackle this thing called motherhood. 

The day after delivery, Hazel started to look a little yellow.. and sure enough she developed some jaundice. The whites of her eyes looked yellow, her little belly was yellow… I called her my little pumpkin. Deborah and Pamela monitored her over the next few days during house visits and recommended we put her in indirect sunlight to burn off the excess bilirubin in her skin. It’s amazing how well something that simple worked. We all kept an eye on her the next 5 days and her colored started to return to normal. We think the reason she had jaundice is because of a blood incompatibility between me and Robbie. I’m O+ and Robbie may be A something.. we tried to find out before her birth but was unsuccessful.

Hazel had also lost some weight the first 3 days to the point where we thought it would be a good idea to supplement with Formula, on top of breastfeeding. [I had a breast reduction when I was 18 so I was prepared that I may not make any milk at all so the fact that I’m making some is awesome] I was more than happy to do this and had already bought some formula from Germany I kind of liked in case something like this happened. Carrie showed and educated me on breastfeeding and gave me some good tips. I’ve been taking some herbal lactation pills recommended by Deborah to increase milk supply which has really been helping, and I’m pumping so that I know for sure Hazel is getting something from me.

I can totally tell that my hormones have crashed since giving birth and I’ve always been very sensitive to hormonal changes. I’ve been taking my placenta pills every day and I feel like they’re helping stabilize things. Sara also made placenta art which is pretty awesome – matches her room perfectly, and will be hanging on the wall as soon as I can find a frame that’ll work ­čÖé

Deborah, Sara and Carrie came over to the house a few days ago to hang out for a minute, and check on Hazel. They weighed her and she’s almost back up to her birth weight! So the breastfeeding, pumping, and formula feeding has been a success!! This regimen has really been beneficial to Hazel so we’ll continue it as long as we need to. Perfect world scenario, I would be making enough breast-milk to sustain her BUT it’s not a perfect world and I’m just thankful and thrilled that I’m making any at all to give her. 

Thank you Deborah, Pamela, Sara and Carrie for a special experience that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

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Hazel’s Here! : Birth Story

February 15th, at 1:30pm, my water broke.

I saw God in so much of my day. I’ve been slowly leaking amniotic fluid for a couple of days but not enough to write home about. Finally on Sunday I got a good sample of it to test and send to my midwife and sure enough, the PH was high enough for her to feel confident that I could go ahead and make my way to The Farm sometime that afternoon. We were due for a “snow storm” that night and into the morning so the timing couldn’t have been better. We had already grocery shopped that morning too. Robbie and I took our time getting ready, packing, etc when my water for real broke. I had no idea how to contain it.. It was surreal. After that, we started to hustle. Got the car packed, was having light┬ácontractions on our way (1 hour drive). When we got to the farm, we got into our birth cabin, got settled in and started walking around to move labor along. Not long after that, I was laying in bed getting really intense contractions while Robbie read a book to me about how to conduct a staff meeting. I had made a playlist for labor and delivery that played the whole time. My labor progressed quickly to the point that when I was checked for the first time I was already fully dilated. The plan was to have a water birth but Hazel was quickly on her way and we didn’t have time. I pushed in 4 different positions and ended up delivering on the birthing stool. It was intense! As soon as her head came out Robbie and I looked at each other with a look that doesn’t have words. I guess shock and amazement could come close to describing it. As soon as her whole body came out, I could feel tears on my shoulder from Robbie. That’s something I’ll never forget. She just looked around and didn’t cry. The only time she cried was when they suctioned her mouth. Baby Hazel was born at 9:59pm: 7 lbs, 19.5 inches long. Labored for 7 hours. Thankfully, I didn’t tear during delivery and I didn’t poop during labor! When Hazel was born, I got to hold her, skin to skin, while I birthed the placenta and waited for the cord to stop pulsing. Robbie cut the cord. After I birthed the placenta I started getting light-headed. I was losing quite a bit of blood so they laid me down on the bed next to Hazel. One of the midwives drew up some Pitocin but after they massaged my uterus the bleeding subsided enough and my blood pressure was normal. I stayed laying down or sitting up most of the remainder of the night.

The snow storm turned out to be mostly an ice storm which equally sucks when driving. We’ll probably stay at the farm for a few more nights while I recover and still have the midwives close for monitoring and follow-up visits. We’ve learned so much from them!
So far Robbie’s changed all of her diapers and has become a master swaddler in 24 hours. I’m doing good just to walk to the bathroom and back to bed right now from being weak but that’ll subside over the next day or so. I’m not in any pain when laying down and only have slight discomfort when going to the bathroom. I’ve got some healing to do. Haha
My placenta is currently being turned into pills by Sara Rosser so i can take them to help elevate any postpartum depression and help stabilize my hormonal balance.
I’m so happy with my birth experience. I was so encouraged the entire time. Robbie and my midwives were amazing. Hazel is a great baby, and we love her very much. If we ever had another baby, I wouldn’t hesitate returning to The Farm.

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The Big Picture

So the past few weeks have been a nesting blur. In 12 days, Robbie and I have put our crib together, painted the walls, decorated, found a white dresser on Craigslist, ordered and washed everything, organized baby shower gifts, disinfected bottles, nipples and pumps, etc etc etc. Why the sense of urgency? I’m due Feb 21st and it’s Feb 13th.
Most of my days the last few weeks have been consumed with beating the clock. I have no idea when labor will start and I want everything to be ready when it happens… But then it hit me. Why don’t I live the rest of my life like this? I should always live my life with that same sense of urgency because I don’t know when my last day is. My time could be up on my way to dinner tonight. I almost felt a bit foolish for the time I had invested in nesting as opposed to how little that reflects my actual life.
Yes, I’m excited and yes I want to be prepared.. But after the baby comes, what will I be that excited about next? I want to dedicate my time wisely because just like waiting on labor, I don’t know when I’ll be out of time on this planet.
I want to live my life with a fierce respect of my time here, and take advantage of opportunities before me and not fall to laziness.
This is the one life I’ve been given, and I want to honor it by using it well.