In my last post, I described a little of the prenatal care, as well as labor and delivery. Well, all except the actual delivery.
This, as every mom knows, is the fun part! At this point (in my own personal experiences) the room is filled with all the necessary people: Daddy, siblings, midwife, asssistant, Granny, and Aunt. Granny is there to video record the process (tastefully) and Auntie is there to take photos.
Daddy has been physical and moral support through the process.
I always have excruciating back labor, so Randy is very helpful with constant massage.
Now Daddy gets to prepare to catch the baby. This is the choice of the family, and we always like having Daddy be the first to touch the baby before it's handed over to Mom. As soon as baby appears, Daddy holds out his arms to receive him/her. Baby is then swiftly placed on Mom's chest or tummy and covered with a warm towel. A tiny hat is also placed on baby's head. The midwife will promptly suction baby's nose and mouth to remove any fluids. By this point, baby is usually howling!
Nicholas, just moments after birth. His face was kind of smushy for a day or so!
Mom is free to hold and admire baby for as long as she likes, and even begin nursing if desired. She is encouraged to nurse within the first 1/2 hour. (I think with every birth I ask the onlookers to check and see what the gender is. Is it what we thought all this time???) Mom is pretty weak from the birthing process, so lifting the baby off her chest to examine baby's bottom is a bit much right this minute!
Nathan, just after his birth. He looked much cleaner and prettier!
Within a few minutes, the placenta is delivered and it's time to cut the cord. This is also Daddy's job. Baby is kept wrapped up in warm towels during this time, while family stands around admiring and aching to hold the tiny little thing.
Just minutes after Nicholas was born, my grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great aunt came by to see the new baby. My great-great aunt, who never had children, said that was the newest baby she had ever seen!
After nursing, it's time for Mom and baby to take a warm herbal bath (prepared by Grandad. Grandad has 10 grandchildren, 9 of whom were all born the same way, so he's a pro at the herbal bath.)
First, mom soaks for awhile, then baby is brought in to enjoy the water, too. Mom gets to spend more time just gazing at the little sweetie, and then she and baby move back to bed.
Now it's time to weigh and measure the baby, as well as have the midwife examine him/her. Again, everyone stands around to watch and admire.
Pam, the midwife, weighs Nicholas. This is the way all of my babies have had their first weigh-in. Everyone likes to guess the weight, and see who will be right. (Nicholas was 8 lbs 14 oz.)
Nathan gets his exam by the midwife's assistant.
Once all the measuring and examining are finished, baby gets diapered and dressed.
My mom dresses Nathan as my sister watches.
Now, Mom is brought a meal to replenish her strength. Usually, a meal is provided for the midwives and anyone else who is hungry.
After the meal, it's time for Mom to rest. Baby will usually be passed around to different family members to cuddle while Mom sleeps. If it's late at night, most everyone will sleep! Within about 2 hours of the birth, after some instruction for the next 2 days, the midwives are gone. Tomorrow, we will likely have a few visitors!
Nathan is dressed, bundled, and ready for his first nap.
If you're looking for pictures of my girls at birth, you'll be disappointed. They were born before digital cameras, so I don't have their photos in the computer. Maybe I'll scan them sometime and update these posts with some girly-pink pictures!
Stay tuned for Part 3, when I will describe a few details about pain management, baby exam, and postpartum care.