Isla Faye's Birth Story
This is the story of our second child's birth. January 13, 2015
This is the birth story of my daughter, Isla Faye Murrell...
The morning of January 12th, 2015 I was awoken around 5:30am to a little pop; a sign for me that labor was beginning. I was 39 weeks, 1 day (the same time in my pregnancy that labor had begun with my son.) We had been preparing for Isla's birth for months. Graham's labor (my son) had been very difficult, lasting 40 hours! That experience made me nervous for the arrival of Isla. Her labor would be easier overall, because it was shorter but man it was PAINFUL! My husband and I had decided with Graham's birth that we wanted a natural birthing experience and after many, many hours of research we decided that a home birth with a midwife was the right choice for us. We ultimately decided to pick Rosemary Birthing Home for our prenatal care.
There are some birth photos below, nothing graphic but just a warning that the photos are a picture of my labor experience and are personal in nature.
So, back to Monday, January 12th at 5:30am and that pop. I had learned from Graham's birth that my little pop and leak wasn't my water breaking — your water breaking is a lot more dramatic — so I knew that while labor was beginning we were in EARLY EARLY (or pre) labor...whatever you want to term it. Contractions started from there but were all over the place in terms of length and space in between. We spoke with the midwives and decided to make an appointment to come down to Rosemary in the early afternoon for a check-in. We arrived at 1:45pm, checked the baby and checked to make sure I wasn't leaking. Everything came back normal so we headed home, still having some light contractions. The contractions continued but were very easy to handle and ranged from 4-10 mins apart and from 30-60 seconds in length throughout the day. We decided to have an acupuncturist come to our home, something that helped with Graham's labor, just to keep things moving and hopefully relieve some of the back pains I was experiencing. Having her come was a nice break from the annoyance of contractions that didn't seem to be making progress.
The real turning point in the labor began after I nursed my son before putting him to bed. (For more on breastfeeding older children check out the World Health Organizations recommendations.)
Nursing Graham set everything into motion. Within an hour of getting him in bed the contractions were strong and painful. The timing was still all over the place but I could no longer talk through them. To help manage my pain at this point I was breathing slowly and counting. My husband finished putting Graham to bed and came out to find me crouched in the shower, a sign I was in real pain. Around 11pm I needed more support so we called in the troops. Anna (a student midwife from Rosemary) arrived first, followed shortly by Cheryl Kindred (our doula from Maiden to Mother) and then Ivy (the midwife from Rosemary.) Once I had been evaluated we decided that our birth photographer, Patricia of Sweet Plum Photography should also head over. Everyone made their arrival around midnight or a little after. With this birth I mainly wanted my husband to hold me, rub my back, etc. I wouldn't let him leave me so having extra hands around to get me and him things was a life saver. I fondly remember eating the fresh fruit Cheryl put together for me during Isla's labor, something I wouldn't have let my husband leave me to go do.
Ivy checked me after arriving and I was only 3-4cm dilated, Miss Isla was still very high and upon hearing this I was so disappointed. The fear that another 40 hour labor was in my future was too much to handle and I became, what we lovingly call, an "angry birther." I am not sure if anyone is truly a happy birther but I wasn't in a good place. I was miserable and will be the first to admit it. The pain was so intense, much more so than with Graham's birth. I knew I couldn't handle 40 hours of that, luckily my body knew that also.
I had mentally gotten to the point where I just wanted to go get an epidural, something my husband and I had discussed at length and knew all of the risks. My husband could hear this was the pain talking and not something I really needed or wanted. We both trusted my body at the start of labor but at that moment, when my trust was gone my birth team had to step in and remind me of my strength. I could feel my contractions from my belly button down and at the same time I could feel Isla still up in my ribs, something I hadn't experienced with Graham and didn't like. Cheryl, Ivy, Anna and, more so than anyone, my husband kept telling me how great I was doing and reminding me that progress was being made. Patricia was taking photos and secretly laughing at my "angry birthing technique." Both Cheryl and Patricia had been at my first labor and knew that I went through a period of pure rage with Graham's birth also. At my most frustrated Ivy asked me if I wanted to be checked again, I said yes because I needed to know something positive was happening. This was only a few hours later and I was at 8-9 cm!!! The joy! We moved back into the tub at this point. Ivy asked me to tell her if I felt a pop and on the next contraction my water broke! As soon as that happened my body completely took over, pushing was happening whether I was helping or not. I was screaming through them, luckily Graham was fast asleep and only 15/20 minutes later Isla was born. I flipped from all 4's to sitting back on my husband so I could pull her out of the water.
She was perfection, covered in vernix. Her cry was the most adorable thing I have heard. We relaxed in the tub waiting for my placenta to detach, then moved to the bed where my husband cut Isla's cord. I nursed her for the first time and enjoyed some skin-to-skin. Cheryl made me an omelet, pancakes and another fruit bowl (my requested post-birth meal).
After some time Anna took Isla's measurements and did her newborn exam. She was 9 lbs, 2 oz and 20 inches long. Her head was 14.5 inches and her abdomen was 14 inches. She was born at 3:31am on January 13th, 2015.
Isla, pronounced eye-la, means "island" and is Scottish. Faye means "fairy" and is French. Her name means, "Island Fairy." We didn't pick those names for those reasons but it is very cute so we kept it. Faye has always been a favorite of ours and when we heard Isla, early in our pregnancy we knew it was the perfect name for our little girl.
Everyone departed around 6:30am and we settled in for a few hours of sleep. Our new family of four...