I didn't mean to neglect my blog so much in January, but we ended up having quite a month. In the middle of week 37 of my pregnancy, I came down with a case of respiratory influenza -- fever, chills, cough, sore throat, congestion, laryngitis -- the whole shebang. Thankfully my fever didn't last more than a day or so, but I lost my voice and had a bad sore throat for close to two weeks. My voice gradually improved and by the middle of week 39, I felt well enough that I could handle the thought of going through labor! So it was truly an answer to prayer that Rosamund stayed in the womb longer than my other children, to give me plenty of time to recover.
Now I can say I've done it all -- birthing center, homebirth, and hospital birth! Rosamund was my first baby to be born in a hospital and I'm thankful that all went well and I was able to have a natural birth. The laws in our state are not favorable toward homebirths or midwives, so options are limited here. When I became pregnant, I began seeing the only practicing midwife in our area for prenatal care, with plans to give birth at the hospital under her care. However, when I was seven months along, I learned that she was leaving the local practice to work 2-1/2 hours away. We were torn about what to do but eventually decided to continue the local care with a female OB who was sympathetic to my desires for a natural birth.
I still wanted some naturally-minded support at the birth and one morning, God gave me the idea of using a doula, something I have not done before. He even planted a specific person in my mind -- my friend Hannah from church. I didn't know her that well, but I knew that she had attended her sister's birth and supported her in a difficult labor, and that she had had natural hospital births herself. I approached Hannah about it and was delighted to find that she truly has an interest in helping women give birth, as a gifting from the Lord! This was to be one of the biggest blessings of Rosamund's birth. Hannah was so helpful, calm, and encouraging to have with me at the hospital; honestly I'm not sure how I would have gotten through my toughest labor without her support.
I was expecting that my third labor might be the quickest yet, but it wasn't. I woke up at 2:30am with contractions and labored through the night at home. We decided to head for the hospital around 11am and I got checked in about half an hour later. When the nurse gave me an exam, she proclaimed me to be 9cm dilated with a bulging bag of waters! We all thought the birth was imminent, but it ended up taking another three hours of hard labor before she was born. My water just would not break. Eventually, I decided to ask the OB to perform an amniotomy because I knew, based on my past births, that things would go very quickly for me after that. As we were waiting the 45 minutes or so for her to come, Douglas prayed that my water would break soon. When the OB did arrive, I was going through an intense contraction so she waited, instrument in hand, ready to break my bag of waters. Mid-contraction, I felt that familiar gush and an urge to push! One more pushing contraction and our daughter had entered the world. I couldn't believe God's amazing timing!
[Roses for Rosie -- one of a dozen sent to us by a friend after her birth]
I'm used to recovering at home so we decided to stay just 24 hours and then head home. It was nice to have the staff to wait on us, but it was hardly a restful environment to recuperate with lots of nurses in and out, plus construction on the floor above us and outside our window starting promptly at 7am! I'm so thankful for yet another smooth, complication-free birth and a healthy baby. I am recuperating well and enjoying cuddling a newborn again. Edmund and Lavinia love having a sister and we're all adjusting to life as a family of FIVE!