i am so happy to finally be able to introduce our fourth little babe… mabel elizabeth prouty. she arrived two LONG weeks after her due date, on march 14th, 2013. she weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces & was 21 inches long. i learned an unbelievable amount of patience in that two week wait, my heart goes out to all the overdue mamas out there! i was so grateful, though, to be able to savor some special time with each of my older children then, as now each minute seems some how ten times more full and circus-like with the four!we kept ourselves busy as we waited. here is a variety of iphone photos of our adventures during that time. we planted, we crafted, we explored, we prayed, we laughed, we cuddled, we quilted, we baked, we sang, we cried a little, we did school, we rested…and this was our last night as a family of five after our evening “trying to walk the baby out” walks…and then the day came…i had to go in to be induced as i was at the 2 week overdue mark, after doing my best to let her come on her own, but was happy to find out that i was already having contractions (after having lots of false labor for days prior) and was already dilated to 5 cm when we got to the hospital on the 14th! my biggest goal in this birth was for it to be natural. after being put on bedrest during my previous pregnancies and finding out this baby was perfectly healthy and no bedrest was needed, i decided i could do it without the pain meds. i had also experienced terrible migraines for months following those previous induced births (induced at 39 weeks with cervidil, pitocin and epidural because of IUGR) and wanted to try and see if avoiding the epidural could help avoid those headaches. i wouldn’t say i had a euphoric experience, that pain was no joke, but i went in knowing that there was nothing to be afraid of. donny and i had watched “the business of being born” years prior and had desired that natural birth with no interventions (if you haven’t seen it and are pregnant, watch it now!!!). i had prepared by reading ina may gaskin’s birthing books and visualized waves coming in and going out at the contractions hit. it helped for donny to push on my lower back when they would come and for me to just stay calm and not be afraid. i knew my body would not break. i knew that i was made to birth that baby. i knew i wasn’t getting the pain meds. and it was completely worth it (to be able to walk around just after the delivery and not feel numb or exhausted or tied down was amazing). to quote ina may, “remember this, for it is as true as true gets: your body is not a lemon, you are not a machine, the Creator is not a careless mechanic.” i just tried to focus on the purpose rather than the pain. now, obviously i had three medicated births previously and don’t think i have a very high pain tolerance and am not saying there is any right way to birth. but i will say that i am grateful to have experienced it and would do it again in a heartbeat.
mabel was born at 8:27pm after 6 hours of active labor, pink and very alert & perfect. yay! family of six all together for the first time!and everyone fell in love with her, and we brought her home.our biggest trouble is making sure each sibling gets enough baby cuddles throughout the day. it’s true that life here is crazy but it is sure beautiful.