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Friday, July 2, 2010

Squeaker, Squeaks, Pip: A Home Birth Story


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We woke to a stress-free day as we had just pulled off, the night before, the surprise party of the century for The Chief's parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  It was awesome.  Grandma cried and cried when she realized ALL her loved ones (even Marti in FL via telephone!) were there to honor her (and Grandpa, of course, but somehow he had become wise to the surprise before it happened).  And then she cried some more as she looked through the photo album that The Chief's sister spearheaded and we all contributed to - over 100 pages of family memories and tributes.  It was fabulous.

My mom flew into the San Diego airport at about noon and my dad arrived at our home in the evening via a rather circuitous route.  He flew into the Long Beach airport and proceeded to the Newport Beach Temple and then the Redlands Temple in order to do some temple work and check off a couple more temples from his "never-visited" list.  Apparently, he and my brother, Daniel, are in a competition to see who can visit the most temples around the world.  My dad is winning . . . for now.  Funny thing is, neither my mom nor I knew that my dad had plans to visit the Redlands Temple.  I only knew about the Newport Beach Temple.  So when his flight landed in Long Beach at about 11am and he still wasn't at our home in San Diego by 8pm, we started to think he'd dropped off the face of the world.  He has no cell phone.  It wasn't until my mom talked to Daniel on the phone that we discovered he'd gone to Redlands as well.  Go figure the son in DC would know more than the daughter or wife wringing their hands in speculation and worry.  Pshaw!  I do have to say, though, that all was forgiven and forgotten amidst giggles as he pulled into the driveway that evening in only half a car.  He had rented a Smart Car and had to literally unfold himself as he emerged.

About an hour after my dad arrived, I had a sudden (very sudden) attack of stomach cramps and immediately dropped to the cold tile floor.  This is my go-to when I'm nauseated.  I don't like to be hot when I feel ill.  I knew this was a battle between poop and throw up and prayed with all my might that the former might prevail.  It did.  With a vengeance.  All I could think as my body vacated itself was, "Hey Dad.  Welcome to San Diego."

In the Interim

We waited.  And prayed that Pip would come soon.  I got impatient and a little depressed as my "due date" came and went.

Thursday, June 24 to Friday, June 25, 2010
In the Wee Hours of the Morning

Braxton Hicks contractions were coming with strength and frequency, but no pain.  With not a blip of action on the horizon, we hunkered down in the evening to a game of Rummikub.  While Mom cross-stitched and watched Hannity on FOX, The Chief, Dad, and I fought the good fight with our little, colored tiles.  As we played, I noted that contractions were increasing in frequency and often had a bit of cramp to them.  The Chief whipped out my iPhone and started timing.  Sure enough, things were happening.  Or so I thought.  We kept tracking contractions until bed time, excited at what we were seeing.  They were five minutes or so apart and lasting around 50-60 seconds.  I knew that could stall out, though, so I decided to test my body and went to bed.

At about 2:00am, I woke up experiencing painful and regular contractions.  It felt similar (though a little less painful) to the way I felt when laboring with Bugga before we went to the hospital.  Because the frequency and duration of the contractions was aligned with my midwife's (Jamin) criteria for her inclusion in the process, I decided to call her.  She asked a few questions and sounded a bit doubtful about my "labor," then asked me point blank, "Does Liz need Jamin?"  Now, in my defense, I'd never done this before.  I didn't know how fast things would progress.  At that moment, no, I didn't need Jamin.  I was doing okay.  But how was I to know if I would or wouldn't need her 15 minutes down the road or 10 hours down the road?  So, I answered, "Yes."  And she came.

She brought an assistant because my other midwife, La Shel, was already on her summer vacation.  The assistant was relegated to the couch to catch a few winks while Jamin set up in our bedroom.  I asked her to check my cervix, something she said she wouldn't ever do unless I requested it.  She agreed, but reiterated that she needed to set up first.  So I waited.  And wandered.  And contracted.  And listened to my midwife's random commentary with increasing trepidation.  She said we had too much stuff in our room and in my brain I revolted with any number of reasonable defenses such as "We live in San Diego, not Rancho Santa Fe (home of the ridiculously wealthy elite of San Diego County)" and "You saw our room at your home visit and didn't mention anything of the sort then!"  I kept my mouth shut, though, and raged on in my head.  I was a bit emotionally fragile.  I apologized over and over again for waking her up in the middle of the night and at one point she joked rather callously, "Yeah, I like the mom's who let me sleep through the night."  I felt like crying.  I didn't feel loved by my midwife.  I felt like I was a huge disappointment.  When she was finally all set up, Jamin checked me, "hmmm-ing" and "uh-huh-ing" as she worked her fingers around my cervix.  And the first words out of her mouth were, "Oh honey, this is not a laboring cervix.  You are dilated to about 2 centimeters and not really effaced at all."  My heart sank.  Guilt draped itself over me like a thick, stifling, scratchy wool blanket as I felt my inconvenience.  I had awakened my midwife in the middle of the night for nothing.  My mom and dad had gotten up and dressed in preparation for the birth.  It was Bugga all over again when I was sent home from the hospital only to return the next morning to give birth to my little guy.  When would I learn?!  And then disappointment followed hot on the heels of guilt.  I wasn't having a baby tonight and Jamin said it could even be another week before he would decide to make his debut.  Where was my sandy hole when I needed to stick my head in it and hide?!

Jamin left.  The Chief and I talked with my parents for a few minutes.  Then we all went to bed.  And I cried.  And the next day when we woke up, I was as depressed as ever.  I shared my concerns about our midwife with The Chief.  He tried to assure me that her presence, no matter the circumstances, is exactly what we paid for - whether false alarm or not.  He agreed that she was a tad bit more business-like than compassionate and I expressed my desire to find a different midwife next time, one more loving and less militaristic.  I was jealously envisioning an elderly, matronly type who would coo at me and sympathize with me.

{False Alarm. Looking a bit too chipper, I guess.}

Friday, June 25, 2010

In an effort to get my mind off of Squeaks' non-arrival, the troops rallied around to distract me.  The Chief and I talked.  I cried some more and expressed all my frustrations with the way things unfolded the night before.  The Chief was wonderfully attentive and supportive.  I slept.  When I awoke and went to the bathroom, my spirits lifted a little at the sight of my mucous plug.  I've never been so happy to see a big glob of mucous!  It meant that at least something was happening down there.  In order to suppress my hopes a bit and wrap myself in a cushion of protective realism, I continued about the day as if birth was months away instead of two days tardy.  My dad and I took the boys to see Toy Story 3 at the theaters.  Then in the evening, The Chief, my dad, and I took the boys to the park.  As the sun set and my dad monitored the boys, The Chief and I set out up a hilly trail that originates at the park.  It was quite the challenge for me as I felt my heaviness and my feet ached with the excessive weight my frame was being asked to bear up the incline.  We hiked just a short distance and turned to watch the sun set behind the encroaching marine layer, then took off back down to the park to rescue my dad from sentry duty.  He and I walked around the park a couple of times and then we all went home.

My mom had spent her day cleaning and cooking and the dinner was a heavenly creamy potato soup.  I ate two bowls before I felt sated.  Just before bed, I experienced a repeat of Tuesday night's nausea fiasco.  Only this time everything came up instead of heading down south.  I vomited and vomited and vomited onto our bathroom floor while The Chief held my head and stroked my hair back from the acidic puddle growing under me.  My mom rubbed peppermint on my belly to help calm my stomach.  It was a horrible experience.  My body didn't stop retching until every ounce of anything was expelled.  Around midnight I was finally able crawl into bed, exhausted and shaky.  I don't recall having any trouble falling asleep.  Not one bit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010
In the Wee Hours of the Morning (Remix)

I woke up at 2:00am.  Again.  What is it with me and the 2 o'clock hour?  That must be when my stars align or some such hocus pocus as that.  At any rate, I woke up with seriously painful contractions.  I hopped in the shower and hummed my way through a few contractions.  But I got too hot and lightheaded to stay in there for long.  So I got out and wandered around the house by myself for a while, breathing through each contraction and feeling proud of myself for staying so calm.  I was determined not to call Jamin this time until I felt like I had to push!  But it didn't take long for my confidence and independence to be brutally dashed upon the rocks of true, active labor pain.  At about 2:30am, I woke up The Chief.  He got out my iPhone to time contractions while I draped myself over my exercise ball.  I felt like the iPhone contraction-tracker was obsolete.  I knew what was happening.  My humming quickly turned into moaning and the racket I was putting up awakened my parents who again dressed themselves and gathered round.  As my noises increased in volume, I pleaded with The Chief to call the midwife.  He refused, remembering my depression after waking up our midwife in the middle of the night just 24 hours previous.  I got mad.  Really mad.  And snippity.

The Chief expressed a desire to shower before Jamin came and I barked at him that if that's what he wanted, he'd better get right to it . . . NOW!  So he dashed to the shower and I groaned through some more contractions with my parents looking on and giving me encouragement.  I remembered Jamin saying the night before that I needed to keep my pelvic bone rotated forward in whatever position I was favoring so that I wouldn't collapse the birthing pathways but keep them wide open for baby.  But I found that following this admonition resulted in infinitely more painful contractions for my back than if I just bowed my lower back and stuck my rear in the air.  So, in childish defiance, I did things my way.  That is, I did things my way until The Chief called Jamin at 3:50am and she showed up to take control.  And here is where I repent of every negative thought I ever had or expressed about Jamin.  She was perfect.  She was exactly, EXACTLY, what I needed in a midwife.  I am convinced I would have died (no, not literally) with my matronly vision-of-a-midwife.  Jamin immediately had me tuck in my rear to open everything up.  She directed me to a lower-pitched moan to keep everything soft and relaxed (ha!).  And she checked me.  At 4am, I was dilated to seven centimeters.  And I couldn't have cared less.  All I could think about was the pain.  Pain.  Pain.  PAIN!  I won't sugar coat natural birth in order to advocate it.  It was excruciating.  Rewarding?  Yes.  Absolutely.  But that word doesn't appear anywhere in the brainwaves during active labor.  Not even a shadow of that word lurks in the annals of the laboring brain.

{Jamin setting up for Pip's arrival.}

Sometime following Jamin's arrival (she came alone this time because her assistant had food poisoning), she helped The Chief and me discover a labor position that alleviated my back pain during contractions somewhat.  Standing, he would hold my wrists and lean back while I squatted and leaned back as well.  We pulled against each other for the duration of the contraction, with me moaning and whimpering, sometimes swaying side to side.  After a spell, we moved our operation to the steamy shower and continued to employ this counterbalance method in our cramped quarters.  Poor Chief was sweating buckets while I began to get lightheaded.  So Jamin called us out of there, toweled me down, and had me marching in place, stomping my feet into the ground with gusto, in between contractions.  She said this would help baby to descend.  Another few contractions went by with me squatting during each one.  Buddha came in to join the party after being awakened by my wailing.  He took one quick look at the proceedings, plopped on the floor with his hands over his ears and remained there until Pip's arrival.

When I had marched in place for a few contractions, Jamin had me climb onto the bed and recline on my left side.  The Chief hitched up and held my right leg during contractions and when the back pain threatened to unravel whatever control I had over my mind, he would press his huge, warm hand firmly into the small of my back until each contraction eased away.  At some point, Jamin broke my water, recognizing that the increased pain in my contractions was due to a bulging sack of water protruding into my vagina and disallowing the baby's head to descend and put pressure on my cervix to open it up completely.  I was terrified of having my water broken.  I remember with Bugga's birth that they broke my water after I showed up at the hospital, but before I had my epidural.  The pain immediately went from tolerable to unbearable.  I was not looking forward to a similar transition with Pip's birth, especially not when I was already at unbearable and couldn't fathom where the pain would go from there after my water broke.  As it turned out, breaking my water didn't change the intensity of my contractions much.  Or if it did, it was gradual enough that I didn't notice any drastic difference.  It was weird to be able to feel everything going on in my nether regions.  During both of my previous deliveries, I was medicated with an epidural.  When my water was broken, all I felt was warmth or heat, nothing else.  This time around, I could feel everything that was coming out.  It was insane.  I felt like a ton of water came out when Jamin broke my bag of waters, but The Chief says it was only a fraction of the flood that followed Squeaker's emergence.

While on the bed, I began to have strong inclinations to push.  After contractions I would gag and splutter up water as my body tried to prepare itself for birth.  I'm grateful now that I had already thrown up all of my mom's yummy soup so that I wouldn't have to be dealing with that, too, during labor.  Jamin checked my cervix and said I was at a 9+, with just a little lip of cervix belligerently blocking the way of Squeak's head.  I groaned out loud, saying this was just exactly what happened with Buddha.  His birth ended in a c-section.  She allayed my fears by encouraging me to breathe through the next few contractions, denying my urge to push in order to give my cervix more time to completely open.  If I pushed, I would risk inflaming that little lip and things would go downhill from there.  When she could see that I wasn't managing the "no pushing" thing very well, Jamin placed her fingers into my vagina and held that lip of cervix back while I pushed Pip's head past the cervical opening.  I cannot even begin to explain what a relief it was to be able to push with wild abandon after that.

The Chief says that I panicked during labor only one and a half times.  I think both of those times were when I was feeling that urge to push and Jamin was telling me not to.  Oh how I wanted to push!  I kept begging her, pleading with her, asking her over and over, "Can I push yet?!!!!"  I even tried telling her, "I'm going to push now!"  She brought me back from the brink of insanity by making me look into her eyes and breathe out hard and moan deeply.  She kept reminding me that I was safe, that this was birth, that the pain I was experiencing was exactly what I wanted to be feeling in order for baby to get out.  I kept wanting to embrace the positions that alleviated the pain.  My contractions followed a "more intense, less intense, more intense, less intense" pattern and I whined that I wanted more of the less intense contractions.  She promptly informed me otherwise, "No you don't, sweetie.  You want the hard, painful contractions.  Assume the position that hurts the worst and go with it.  Embrace it.  That is what will get baby out."  But no matter how often she said it, my body just couldn't reconcile with that.  This was survival here.  I needed relief.

At any rate, the time to push came and when it did, I was elated.  I pushed with everything I had.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  Jamin didn't even really have to encourage me to push.  She just cheered me on.  I kept asking how much longer and she would say "soon."  But "soon" is relative in the world of labor and delivery.  I have a friend who pushed for three hours and know of others who didn't have to push for long at all.  So I got more specific with my questioning.  Which I think annoyed Jamin who was basically telling me to shut up and quit analyzing the whole process, but I couldn't help myself.  I had to know.  I needed to know this wasn't going to be a marathon pushing session.  I asked the room in general if they could see his head yet.  I don't recall getting a definitive answer.  But I tell you what, it was very apparent when their "soon's" and "not-too-long-now's" were genuine.  I could hear their excitement and was energized by it.

Then I was informed that they could see his head.  At that point, I felt that "burning ring of fire" as crowning is frequently described.  But it was like being stung by a bee after having your guts ripped out by a shark; it was nothing.  Nothing, that is, until Jamin told me to stop pushing.  She told me that we needed to slow things down in order for me not to tear.  Don't push?  YEAH RIGHT!  At that point, all my fears about tearing were non-existent.  All I could think was that I just HAD to push.  I had to.  I couldn't help myself; tearing be damned.  She would try to talk me through contractions with breathing and moaning.  But it was no use.  I would start out fine, but as my contraction peaked I'd be pushing whether I wanted to or not - though in truth, I wanted to.  I really, really wanted to.

Pretty soon Pip's head popped out and my mom said, "It's over, Elizabeth.  His head's out."  Then Jamin said, "It's not over, Liz!"  And I could feel her down there wrenching and twisting baby boy.  The Chief was liberally pouring olive oil all over my nether regions.  I was pushing with all I had, bearing down with my chin on my chest, willing my body with every ounce of strength and will power I possessed to expel my beloved little man.  And then . . . relief.  Blessed, amazing, wonderful, fabulous relief.  With the shoulders finally through, "the cork" came out and my balloon deflated.  Jamin swept Pip from my vagina to my chest in one swoop, checked his umbilical cord to make sure it was still pulsing, called for the time (6:29am), and she and The Chief rapidly gathered towels under me for the flood that was raging after Pip's arrival.

Squeaks was a deep purple and my mom asked Jamin why he wasn't crying, but Jamin appeared confident and just kept rubbing him and blowing at his face until he began to bleat.  I was babbling incoherently, holding my wonderfully slimy little bundle, looking around at everyone and declaring "I did it!  We did it!  It's over!"  I had pushed for 15 minutes.  Active labor, from the time I woke up until he was born, was only four and a half hours.  The release of pressure in my abdomen and vagina was wonderful.  Having my baby there and safe was wonderful.  Feeling the admiration of those who witnessed Pip's birth was wonderful.  Life was beautiful in that moment and I was at home, surrounded by people I love, uninterrupted by bright lights, frequent blood pressure checks, and beeping machines.

The placenta soon followed its former occupant, but was also a bit belligerent about emerging.  The Chief and Jamin had to help me up to squat over a bowl.  Jamin wanted to make sure that the placenta was not still attached to the uterus and when she discovered it was, she asked me if I could feel any more contractions.  No.  I couldn't.  After the gut-wrenching contractions of the last 15 minutes, I couldn't really feel a thing.  So she had me cough instead, and eventually I coughed out my baby's placenta.  A much easier process, for the record, than squeezing a bony baby out through the same route.  :D

At 26 minutes after birth, I placed Pip next to my breast to begin nursing and got momentarily distracted by the conversation going on around me.  When I looked back down, ready to help him latch on, there he was already happily sucking away correctly and effortlessly.  He had worked his way to my nipple and figured out breastfeeding without my help.  I was dumbfounded . . . and more than just a little proud.

At some point during the labor, right around 6am, Bugga had wandered in and joined Buddha on the floor.  He didn't stay there, though.  A couple of times he tried to come and ask me questions, but all the adults ran tender interference and made sure he was fine.  He didn't seem phased by my labor and delivery.  Just curious.  Neither of the boys actually saw Pip arrive.  A little while after delivery, Buddha came to the side of my bed and quietly asked me if I was happy now.  He says he just wanted to know.  And just now, while writing this novel, I asked him if he thought I was unhappy before Pip came out and what made him think that.  He replied, "Yes, because of the moaning!  I heard you say, 'It really hurts!'"  I chuckled and informed him that it did really hurt and that I wasn't happy then, but that all that pain is necessary for baby to come out.  It's normal, healthy pain that the body deals with in a normal, healthy, natural way - endorphins.  And thank heaven for them!  I should also mention that my mom did a fabulous job of filling in for Jamin's missing assistant.  She climbed on the bed with me and let me squeeze her hand to death and rip her arm off during contractions.  She also made sure I had a cool washcloth on my head and she would swab my lips and mouth with an ice cube every now and then.  I am so, so glad she agreed to come even though she initially approached the event with misgivings.  My dad, bless his heart, filmed the entire delivery (the pushing part, anyway) for us with our little camera.  He's a trooper.

Now, let's talk profundities.  I have often read and heard natural labor and delivery described as any number of profound experiences.  Some women feel a deep connection with generations of women past who labored and delivered naturally at home.  I didn't.  Others have an out-of-body experience as they go "somewhere else" to deal with the pain.  Not me.  Still others describe labor as walking a tight-rope stretched directly across the gaping maws of hell, and delivery as the heaven after the hell.  I don't.

In reality, this experience, for me, was very much like my ectopic pregnancy experience: pain and no pain.  That's what it came down to.  I was in excruciating pain with my back on fire and my vagina stretched to tearing.  And then suddenly all that was gone.  Just gone.  And the relief was palpable, tangible, wonderfully present.  I could have gulped it down.  Opposition in all things.  I had to know the pain to know the relief from the lack thereof.  It wasn't profound; it just was.  And therein lies my greatest epiphany.  I never once felt as though I was doing something so extraordinary as to merit responses of awe or derision or concern from friends or family.  Not once.  I felt completely safe and normal delivering at home.  Normal.  How odd that while the rest of our big, wide world also views this process as normal (with more home births and midwife-attended births and a much, much better infant and mother mortality rate than the US), here in one of the most wealthy and advanced nations, we seem to view pregnant mothers as sick people in need of rescuing.  That wasn't how I felt at all while delivering at home.  I felt . . . excuse the cliche . . . empowered.  Like I was taking back something that had been stolen from me.  And that something was normal.  I took back normal.




{Pip was blessed the same day he was born. It made it easier to have both his grandpas there to help with the blessing.}

{Pip's first bath. He wasn't a fan until I ditched the little seat and submerged his body.}

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pip is now almost a week old.  He was born at 6:29am on the 26th, weighed 8lbs 14oz, was 21 inches tall, and has a full head of dark hair similar to Bugga's when he was born.  His umbilical cord has fallen off and he's been circumcised.  He is more alert lately, the puffiness gone from his eyes, and his bruising on his forehead has calmed.  As Buddha noted today, he's already changed so much.  And there's the rub.  I just went through this epic journey to get my baby here and as soon as he emerges he starts growing up.  I didn't feel this with the other two, but this time around I feel like begging him to stop growing!  I am definitely cherishing every moment with him - even the wakeful nights and fussy diaper changes.

{Squeaks with his Granny.}

And that, my friends, is my home birth story, for what it's worth to the world at large.  My best friend asked me a day or two after Pip's birth, "So, would you do it again?"  At that point I answered honestly: No.  The memory of the pain was still too raw, too daunting.  But as that memory has dimmed (as God brilliantly designed us), I've realized that I really have no other choice.  I couldn't possibly, in good conscience, choose to deliver any other way knowing what I now know about the nature of giving birth and the consequences of this event - good or bad - on the baby.  And having done it once now, I know I can do it again.  That enabling knowledge alone gives me the courage to face another normal delivery at home.

About the nicknames:

After crying himself hoarse the first night of his life (I think my colostrum just didn't suffice for our beefy baby boy), every one of Pip's crying jags thereafter began with a squeak.  He still squeaks.  It is the cutest sound ever.  Squeaker and Squeaks are self-explanatory, but Pip evolved from Pipsqueak (a rather inaccurate nickname due to his hefty heft).

Pip's First Photo Shoot:

The following sequence happened in a matter of seconds and we never did recover enough to take any more pictures.  He's a gusty little fellow.





{Daddy's favorite thing to do with his newborn babes. Here he is watching the World Cup with Pip.}


Melissa said...

You are amazing Liz!! Way to go and thanks for sharing all the details. I love to hear stories of births, especially ones at home. What a trooper! I especially love how you didn't sugar coat it. I'm glad everything went well and you have a healthy and very sweet little boy. You will love having three boys. Way to go!!

Daniel said...

That was intense! During the first half you had me convinced that I never want to get married and have to go through something like that, and I'm not even the one who does the birthing. The second half was beautiful, especially the pictures of your awesome, little (but growing) family. Well done, Lizzie! What a fantastic support crew you had too.

Vee said...

Man, oh man, oh man! I'm exhausted! That was quite a ride. I feel like a just gave birth again. I'm so glad that you and Mr. Squeaks are doing well. He's a cutie, as usual, and so are you!

Sara said...

What a beautiful birth story! I love it, I'm so, so grateful that you went through it and brought that adorable little nephew of mine to the earth in a (quick!) perfect labor at home. You are THE WOMAN! And I love how honest you are about it- I wish I could write like that. Plus, Elizabeth, he is so cute! My favorite pictures are the ones with you and Dan, and the awesome open mouth screeching with the baby hat on....you can tell he's got a great personality. Can't wait to meet him. haha Daniel- you are lucky you're not the "birther". Although Jarem goes through and feels all the pregnancy and birth stuff along with me- poor guy. :) Go birth and world cup!

Sara said...

Elizabeth- I want that paragraph- "in reality...I took back normal". Can you email it to me so I can give it to our midwife? She will love it! Thanks...

Megan said...

Amazing Liz, that is what I am going to start calling you. Thank you so much for sharing this... I feel stronger just hearing your story. I can't wait to meet him! More pics and stories... when you feel up to it.

Erin said...

beautiful baby! oh i miss having a newborn!

Scott and Karin said...

BIG SIGH! I'm glad that everything went so well for you and that both you and baby are doing well. He is beautiful! Just like his momma!

Brooklet said...

He is beautiful! I love the picture of him sleeping with the hat on- so peaceful! And then he starts crying- also very cute!

I can't imagine going through all that naturally- you really have to be something tough to want to try that. And I liked the way you described it- as being pain and then the lack thereof.

He is so handsome! Enjoy the cuddle time, and world cup!

Tiffany J said...

Wow! You are brave. I could never do it...or maybe just don't want to attempt it. I am happy things went well (and fast!). He is adorable! He looks HUGE to me for a newborn. Way to go!!

Lisa said...

Wow Liz! What an amazing birth experience! You are one strong women. Pip is such a sweet baby. I love his chubby cheeks.

Kari said...

I love it! I don't love that it had to be so painful for you, but I love that it seemed so normal to you. That was the best part for me, that I felt so completely comfortable and natural having my baby in my home. So so so happy for you! He is such an adorable little boy and I love that your parents were able to be there and that you had so much love and support through everything. There really is nothing that compares with bringing a child into the world. So amazing. Congrats to you all!

Kari said...

He has the same birthday as me too :) That makes him even cuter

Heather said...

Congratulations! He's so cute. And yes each one seems to grow up faster than the next and then suddenly your baby is one and walking all over!! Treasure it:) Let me know if you need any help or want me to take the boys for the day!

La said...

Congrats Bagel fam! He is a sweetie.

Also, can I get your midwife's info? or a website? just curious, not announcing anything.

LeAnn said...

Congrats Liz!

I think giving birth without meds is one of the best things I ever did.

I'm glad you got the chance and that you would do it again. I think it's something to be truly proud of.

He's a cute little guy.

lindsey said...

I have told anyone who will listen about my amazing friend and what she has done. Your strength, which I knew you had, is so inspiring. You have done something so incredible and I am just so happy for you and The Chief and your handsome little bagels. Sending you so much love! You all have been such wonderful friends to me and my family and I just want you all to keep on being blessed the way you deserve to be. XOXO!