Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Drayken Giovanni!

I am filled with joy to be able to deliver this type of birth story to my readers. As I've stated time and time again, I have been uncertain about homebirth and whether or not I was quite "up to the challenge" for a second go around! Somehow I found the strength to carry on and fight against my doubts though. And boy am I glad that I did.

All day long on Saturday I'd felt a little different. From an upset stomach to feeling as if I might just jump right out of my skin, I knew that the birth day couldn't be too far off. Friday night and all day Saturday I'd experienced the loss of my mucous plug and a "bloody show". But still no contractions really to speak of. So Saturday, despite everyone's exhaustion, we went out to a special story time at Barnes and Noble and then on an endless search for some syrup dispenser bottle for the Captain to use when making his ridiculous chocolate.

After a long walk through Old Time Pottery, I had to break it to the kids that we were NOT going to make it to Center for the Arts for free game night. We were going to have to go home and I had to rest. I was just simply pooped. So we all came home and the kids moaned and groaned while the Captain and I made two awesome pizzas with artichoke hearts, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, goat and soy cheeses, veggie "chicken" and "pepperoni", onions, and fresh garlic on, of course, a fresh Trader Joe's garlic and herb crust!

I ate and ate and never seemed to really get full (which is why I later treated myself to some Soy Delicious Chocolate Sorbet and Purely Decadent Coconut Milk plain coconut "ice cream" topped with vegan chocolate sauce). The Captain went out for a while (the kids were insane!) to just get away for a little while and I put the kids to bed by reading them four stories and then turning on "Full House". I started having a few contractions and kept having to use the rest room. At some point, I headed to bed. I think that I fell asleep at around 10:00 but at 10:30, the contractions woke me up. So I got up and walked around and then sat in the living room talking to a few people online. I was pretty confused and disoriented because I barely remember any of that. I hated to call my midwife if, in fact, this wasn't the real thing. But this just felt different. There was a lot of moisture! I didn't know what to think. I talked to a friend or two for a little while and then felt a small gush... I just knew that my water had started to break. But, of course, I knew that my water was breaking for weeks, right? Anyway, I told Courtney that I had to go (on Facebook chat) and ran to the bedroom with the phone. I told Michael to call my midwife (Daphne) and I headed to the bathroom to turn on the bathtub. The combination of so much moisture and so much pain... it seemed logical to get in the tub! At about that moment, my water most certainly broke. Everywhere. All over the floor.

This was it.

Then I was handed the phone... my midwife wanted to talk to me. I had no interest in talking (I hate the phone on a normal day) but it seems she just wanted to be sure by listening to me "talk or not talk" through the contractions. I was unable to talk through the contractions. I gave the phone back to Michael and she was on her way.

I stayed in the tub for two hours. My midwife showed up, my friend Anna showed up, and still the kids remained asleep. Score! After a while, I needed to get out of the tub. They helped me into a night gown and we made our way to the living room. I tried drinking a Spirutein smoothie. I forced down an Emergen C. We talked a bit. The contractions started to come more and more often... and were becoming more intense. I felt a bit sick to my stomach. I became shaky. Sitting on the toilet was not fun. At this point, my midwife suggests that I get back in the tub and I can't help but agree. The birthing assistant (midwife in training) (Heather) showed up at some point and I was glad to see her. Just one more sweet supportive person to join the party! I was only in the tub for a few moments when Heather checked me and announced that the baby's head was "right there" and I was at an 8... but that it could go really fast. And boy did it. Within two contractions, I felt the need to push. I never fully felt the need to push when I was giving birth to the donut. I understood finally what I had been reading for years about how you would just know. I needed to push. They helped me turn over on my knees and I did a few pushes that way. And then I had to turn back over. My sweet hubby got into the tub behind me and helped hold me up while I pushed. I did a few little wimpy pushes and then suddenly I was able to push hard enough to get his head out. There he was! I was pretty exhausted at this point but I knew that if I pushed hard enough, it would be over and I could go to sleep. That is literally what got me through those last few pushes. I just wanted to be done. So, I pushed him out and it felt totally different in the water. Immediately after he came out, I felt exhilarated. It was an amazing high! And his smell... amazing. I wish that I could bottle that smell! Unlike after having the Donut, I didn't immediately feel contractions so I had to wait a little while to deliver the placenta. I had asked someone to go get He-Man because he was already awake and waiting for baby brother to be born. He came into the bathroom, oohed and ahhed over how cute he was and then immediately said that he had to go wake up sister. Donut was not thrilled about being woken but once she finally understood what was going on, she was excited. He-Man was obsessed with the placenta (called everything but that) and kept wanting to see it. When it finally came out, I'm not even sure if he looked at it! "They" took care of it!

I felt much better than I expected to after the delivery. Hubby was able to help me get a shower and I got dressed and into bed. It was then that the little guy decided he needed to nurse and he ate... and ate... and then ate some more. What a blessing! We knew then that he was going to be a champion nurser and that was at least one thing I'd not have to worry about. The kids and I got to watch him have his new born exam and we learned that he was 21 inches long and 7lbs 11oz. He scored an 8 on the first apgar and a 10 on the second one.

After the midwives left, my friend Anna stayed with me while hubby took the older siblings over to their grandparents' house. When I woke back up, he was home and ready to nap with me. We had a very peaceful and restful day and the baby slept very well. For this I was terribly thankful.

Our first night was pretty easy. Adjusting to having another baby is so strange and surreal in a lot of ways. We've received an outpouring of love from friends and family. Offers of food, help, and prayers are so appreciated at a time like this. I suppose the hardest part is having to help two other small children adjust to mommy's need to rest, baby's need to rest, and the fact that they can't "play" with baby and must be very careful with him. I can already tell that they are going to be awesome older siblings and that "Playdough boy" (the Donut has decided that he smells like Playdough) will be well loved and protected. I can't wait to see their relationships develop. Sibling love is something that fascinates me as I missed out on it!

Why the name change?

We have decided to make this our last baby. We are open to adoption but we've decided that for us, this is the last pregnancy. This was a hard decision about which we were both prayerful. But I feel a great deal of peace about it. Once that decision was made, I realized that this would be my last chance to name my child after my mother. So, I suggested to the Captain adding the name Giovanni. My mom's name was Joan Yvonne. Giovanni means the same thing as John and, therefore, Joan. Plus, the names share "von". Seemed perfect. He was open to dropping Indygo and adding Giovanni as the middle name. And there you have it. Our baby's name means "Lord of the Dragons" and "God is Gracious". And it's a tribute to both of our mothers (my mother-in-law's middle name is Jean) and a dear family friend, Jon. I'm happy with it. The only problem is that the kids keep calling him Baby Indy. So, that might be his nick name I suppose!


  1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing your amazing birthing story! I pray strength and rest for you and many blessing over your gorgeous new baby and beautiful family! :)

  2. I have so been looking forward to hearing your story, Mandy. Thanks for sharing! Drayken is beautiful and i love that name. I am so happy for you all!! God bless you.

  3. HOORAY! you are awesome. it seems that lots of people have offered food/meals, and you can count on me for the same sometime in the future. xoxo, katie

  4. Congratulations!!!!

    What a beautiful birth.

    Beautiful baby and a beautiful family.

  5. hah, aww. it's cute they still call him indy.

    you have such a glow about you in that last picture :)

  6. What a beautiful story! I am so glad it went so well for you, I know how much you needed that! Can't wait to give you a hug and hold that little cutie pie!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful story and I am stoked that you have the energy to write already! God bless your beautiful family! I hope that nursing pillow comes in handy for you. He looks so healthy! :o) -Amy

  8. Rejoicing with you on your latest gift from God! I enjoyed reading your birth story and hope you all continue to do well

    pat(from Amanda's crunchy moms meeting)

  9. Hooray! I'm so glad it went so beautifully.

  10. Congratulations, Mandy! I'm so glad it went well for you! You and the baby look beautiful!!

  11. ooh. thanks so much for sharing. it sounds like a lovely birth.

    peace and rest to you all.

  12. congrats and many blessings!!! : )

  13. Congratulations Mandy! Drayken is beautiful!

  14. he is absolutely beautiful, I love his name. Congratulations girl!

  15. Thank you sooo much, everyone! I appreciate all of the kind comments so very much. xxoo

  16. Congratulations! That is an awesome birth story! I am so happy that you went through with it, and that it was a great experience! I wouldn't change a thing about a home birth! Let me know if you need anything! Especially complimentary pictures of that beautiful baby boy!

  17. What a beautiful baby, and a beautiful birth story.
    I love his sweet peaceful smile.
    Congratulations to all of you!


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