Harvey’s Home Birth – Part 2

Read Part 1 HereΒ (The day before birth and 1st & 2nd stage of labor, 2:34-6:34am)

This second part of Harvey’s birth story is about the 3rd stage of labor (passing of the placenta) and the check-ups during Harvey’s 1st week of life.

*****

6:34am: Neither of us cried when Harvey was born (we didn’t with Stella either!), but I kept wanting to kiss Charlie and kiss Harvey and just marvel in the fact that this little baby was here and was ours! The first thing I thought was that his lips looked just like Stella’s, and that made me really happy because she has great lips. πŸ™‚ We both thought he looked tiny – smaller than Stella had been (8#2oz) – but Bill & Karen laughed at us and said to check out his arm & leg rolls – they were certain he was a big baby.

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For the next half hour I continued to to sit in the warm water, just holding Harvey in my arms and marveling at his little features. He cried a tiny bit, but not much. It was such a relaxed, peaceful vibe in the room. We were comfortable in the warm water (it was about 98 degrees at that point), and we just hung out and waited for the placenta to detach.

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About 30 minutes later there was suddenly a gush of blood into the tub (I didn’t even notice), and the midwife told me that meant my uterus was contracting and the placenta was detaching, so with the next contraction I should give a little push and see if the placenta would come out. He had me push very slowly to make sure nothing tore and the entire thing would come in one piece. I easily delivered the placenta with my next push, and it was incredible to have Bill show us this organ that has supported our baby for the first 9 months of his life!

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They double bagged the placenta in a ziploc bag because we still hadn’t cut the cord (it was still pulsing), and I handed Harvey over to Charlie. He moved over to the chair in the corner of the room and held Harvey in one arm and the ziploc placenta bag in the other. A multi-tasking Dad already. πŸ™‚

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At that point Bill helped me out of the tub and into out bathroom in order to take a shower and wash off all the blood. I was pretty light headed, but it felt SO good to wash my hair and clean up a bit. A few minutes after that I was scrubbed clean and laying down in the bed, and Charlie handed me the baby. I was ready to cut the cord because I didn’t want to deal with holding the ziploc bag and the cord had finally ceased pulsing, but Charlie had just stepped out of the room to grab Stella. I had sent the photographer up to our bedroom upstairs to grab my pillow, but I had forgotten we had locked the dog in our room, and he barked his butt off at her when she walked in (thus waking Stella up). Since it was 7:15 though, it was easily time for her to get up, so Charlie went to grab her and bring her down to meet her little brother!

Stella was pretty sleepy when they first walked into the room, but she brightened right up when she realized that her baby brother was actually IN the bed with Mommy, and she immediately asked to sit next us. Words cannot describe how amazing it was to sit in that bed with both of my children!

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harvey-8713Our midwife hung around another 45 minutes or so, doing paperwork and a few of the standard mom & newborn checks. When we weighed & measured Harvey, we realized he was actually quite a bit bigger than Stella! He weighed 9#5oz (4220g), was 21.5″ long, and had a head circumference of 14.5″. For comparison sake, Stella was 8#2oz, 21″, 13.25″ head circumference. The coolest part is that even though he was quite a bit bigger, I only had one tiny tear from pushing him out, and that was it. No stitches, no painful recovery, no fear of pooping. Yay! πŸ˜‰

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I had to get a Rhogam shot (thermisol free) since I’m A neg / Rh neg, so we did that quickly, and that was about it for me other than checking my temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. We also had 1 day, 3 day, and 7 day checkups (Bill came to our house for these) during which they checked the firmness of my fundus (I had to massage this intermittently to prevent a “boggy uterus”), temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. This has honestly beenΒ suchΒ an amazingly easy recovery for me physically, and for that I am incredibly grateful! At one week postpartum, my bleeding is almost stopped, I have no perineum soreness or pain, my uterus is shrinking down nicely, and I feel great!

harvey-8588At our 7 day checkup (actually 6.5 days from birth), we did the PKU test on Harvey, and he was a total stud for it. Stella screamed bloody murder for that heel prick, but Harvey pretty much fell asleep! When we weighed him he was up to 4230 grams (10 grams more than birth weight), so he is gaining weight nicely! My milk came in at 48 hours, and he has been a champion at breastfeeding, so things have been going pretty darn smoothly around here.

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Every day this past week I have made a conscious effort to really look around at my life, and though we’re often tired and overwhelmed and constantly working at adjusting to our new family dynamic, we are also beyond happy and know how very blessed we are.

So there’s our story… Harvey’s story.

Welcome to the world, little man.

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33 comments

  1. kaceyqld · · Reply

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your little man! Thanks for sharing your birth story and photographs.

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  2. Amazing!!! πŸ™‚

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  3. I’m over the moon happy for you!! What a wonderful experience. Enjoy your little ones πŸ™‚

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  4. I almost have no words. This is just beautiful! I’ve been so anxious to hear your story and see your photos! I love birth photos!

    I’m so glad to hear you’re doing so well!

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  5. I love the shots of Stella with you guys!!

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  6. Josey I am just so happy for you all. It makes me get emotional! I am also terribly sorry to hear about your aunt. big hugs on that.

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  7. What a fantastic story! I am so glad you had the water birth you dreamed of, and that everything went so well. Congratulations!

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  8. You, lady are a champ! Your birth story was so beautiful and perfect; it brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  9. This story could have just gone on and on for me. What a beautiful entrance into this world. I am so amazed by you Josey. But I know you could do it. I’m so glad everything happened just as perfectly as you had imagined it down to the weekend morning, Stella upstairs, Charlie calling the time. I am even more amazed and happy for how Charlie took charge and was just as much part of Harvey’s birth as you were. It brought tears to my eyes to see the love between you two.

    Beautiful birth, and beautiful family. The photos are priceless. What a lucky little guy to be born into your family!

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    1. LOL, I’m glad you feel that way, because I know I went on and on… πŸ™‚ There are just so many little details that I don’t ever want to forget, so I include every little detail I can think of in my birth stories!

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  10. lparsons15 · · Reply

    Love this story, SO happy he arrived safely and healthy!! Such a beautiful family! Congratulations again!

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  11. mcmissis · · Reply

    The Stella part made me cry a lot!

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  12. Your birth story is beautiful- I am so, so thrilled that you got the experience that you dreamed of. The pictures are priceless- how cool that you have these. Congratulations again on your precious Harvey!

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  13. Man, placentas are just so cool. Love the look on your face checking it out, because, EXACTLY. I can’t wait to plant ours this spring! I also can’t believe Stella slept through the whole thing! What a gal. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Love you guys so much!!! XOXOXOXOXO

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  14. Just a beautiful story. I love reading birth stories and this one is just perfect. So glad you were able to have the birth you wanted and that everything went so smoothly! Enjoy your time off with your family!!!

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  15. Elizabeth · · Reply

    So beautiful

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  16. So glad it went amazing! Congrats on your little man

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  17. kaseypowers · · Reply

    Love love love every word of this (both parts). I totally could have read more πŸ™‚ The photos are amazing.

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  18. Your birth story with Harvey is amazing! It motivates me to at least consider it if I should be lucky enough to experience pregnancy again.

    Also, I love the name Harvey. My first pet of my own was a turtle and his name was Harvey! I had him for 10 years and just took him to the local zoo after E was born.

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  19. What a spectacular birth story! Enormously heartfelt congratulations, Josey! I remember a few mildly frustrated tweets the night before Harvey was born, and lo! Your clever, stunning fellow must have gotten the memo.

    Your birth pictures are incredible. What an awesome job these photographers have, living in these intimate moments with us and capturing them in such a way that instantly recalls the intensity of a moment. So glad you have these pictures to document Harvey’s amazing birth. I’ll say it here again: You look so powerful and beautiful in these pictures. You did it! That picture of you with the wide, elated smile with a fresh Harvey in your arms? The BEST. It sums up birth for me.

    I had a similar experience–feeling more overcome by birthing time with #2 than with #1. I found it so much more challenging to melt into my Hypnobabies headspace with Audie, which felt strange because I’d been there, done that, you know? I actually “gave up” on the hypnosis stuff at the very end and just got lost in my own head, which is kind of the point, but still. I can only think it’s because things went so much faster the second time around? Faster = more intense? Or maybe #1 WAS just as intense, but that memory has been dulled by momnesia? πŸ™‚

    So much love to you guys!

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    1. Yeah, I’ve been trying to decide if #2 was more intense or if I’ve just gotten momnesia about #1. πŸ™‚ My 1st birth was 5 hrs and this one was 4 hrs — but I was pushing 2 hrs the 1st time and only 15 minutes the 2nd time, so I think I spent a lot more time in transition this time around. As soon as I could start pushing I was calm and focused again. Then again, Charlie thinks I was calmer this entire 2nd birth, even though I feel like I wasn’t in the HB headspace as much as I was hoping. Who knows? πŸ™‚ Either way, I really am SO happy with how everything turned out. Birth is such a crazy experience.

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  20. So lovely, thank you so much for sharing!!

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  21. This is just awesome and amazing and perfect. I am so happy for you that everything worked out the way it did. What a story! πŸ™‚ And these photos.. WOW. Amazing. She did such a great job capturing everything. We didn’t cry when Lids was born either. I really thought I would but instead just so much joy and love for that little human. So happy for you for all of this!! πŸ™‚

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  22. What a beautiful homebirth story Josey! I’m so happy that you were able to have this experience with your family and Harvey is just as cute as he wants to be!!

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  23. theurbanjunglegym · · Reply

    Isn’t postpartum recover after #2 sooooooo much better? Thank God something’s easier, at least πŸ™‚

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    1. theurbanjunglegym · · Reply

      And yes, it sounds like a truly lovely birth, exactly like you hoped. I’m glad it went so well!!

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  24. Ack! Sobfest over here! I am absolutely positive I want another one now, and I will be following along closely for tips! Congratulations. You are a rockstar. πŸ™‚

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    1. LOL, I’m glad it helped push you over the edge towards TTC again. πŸ˜‰

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  25. So great that you didn’t tear! That’s amazing. I just assumed I would tear the second time because I tore the first time, so it’s great to hear that that’s not always the case. Again, I love all of these pictures. And I love his name. Just love it.

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    1. Ya, I assumed I would too, but he was over a pound bigger with a 1.5″ larger diameter head, and I had just one tiny tear that didn’t even require one stitch as opposed to 2nd degree tearing with Stella.

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  26. Josey!
    WOW! I’ve been away for almost 11 months and look what happens! Holy guacamole! I’m so impressed by you – but that goes without saying! You are such a strong and blessed woman! I admire you and your journey!
    This birth story moved me beyond tears. Full on cry! My husband even asked if I was okay. I, too, was hoping it never ended. What a dream delivery!
    My next one I’d love to have a home birth, I’m not sure I could convince my husband of that.

    Welcome to the world, Harvey! (I love his name!)

    I’m so happy to be back and following your journey!

    Hugs!

    (Formerly Mrs. Sunnyside Up)

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    1. Thanks, Brandy! I never thought I could convince Charlie into a home birth either, and he is a HUGE fan of it now. Said it was 200x better than the hospital, and we actually had a decent hospital experience.

      Good to see you back!

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