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Pryce Freeman: A birth story

That’s right.  It’s time for me to share with you the wonderful story of my baby boy coming into the world while it’s still somewhat fresh on my mind.  I hope you are prepared for it to get long-winded.  Because it’s the birth of my son and I’ll be danged if I paraphrase just for your reading convenience.  And I mean that with all the love in my heart.  Also be prepared for some tasteful birth pictures.  Having babies does something to a woman.  Modesty is just thrown right out the window.

If you’ve been reading my other posts for a while then you know the saga that was Dottie’s birth story.  If you don’t know, you can read about it here: The PrequelPart IPart II

And just like Dottie’s story, let me start with the background info…

We were living at my parents.  We were hoping to have a home birth.  We wanted that home birth to be in our own home.  We bought a house.  We actually bought a house and 50 acres.  We closed on our house April 8th.  Although we were doing minor repairs, the house was basically move-in ready so we moved the necessities and started sleeping here later that week. My due date was May 1st. About the time that we closed on the house we also learned that our baby was breech.  Breech means no hospital will take the risk of delivering vaginally so you are sort of forced into having a c-section.  And so begins our story…

Stewart_Pryce_newborn_030I was 37 weeks when we learned that the baby was breech.  That’s just about the same time that we learned Dottie was breech when I was pregnant with her.  The odds of a baby turning breech that late in pregnancy are very rare.  The odds of it happening twice, well, I could win some major dough if I gambled with those odds.

So even though we had went through it before and knew what to expect, the long and stressful road to getting a head down baby was scary.  Just like with Dottie, I tried the exercises recommended to encourage the baby to flip on their own but ultimately we had to go to the doctor.  Fortunately I got to go to the same doctor that flipped Dottie so I already had somewhat of a relationship with him and knew how to read the guy.  And I was very confident in his ability to flip this baby.

Once we got an ultrasound to make sure everything was safe for flipping the baby we learned that I had an anterior placenta.  Which means it was connected to the front of my uterus and in order to perform an external version to flip the baby, the doctor would need to push around a lot in the area of my placenta.  So that raised the risk of damaging it or detaching it from my uterus, which would cause an emergency c-section.

But the doctor was very encouraging since this was my second baby and my muscles weren’t quite as tight as before.  He didn’t hesitate to try regardless of the placenta location.

So we scheduled an appointment and I was admitted into labor and delivery where they gave me some minor drugs to relax everything and within three minutes of pushing on my belly the doctor had flipped the baby.  I had been a big stress ball thinking that with the move and all of the other things going on that I would go into labor before we went to get the version.  But God is good and he took care of everything so smoothly and easily.  Now I just have an extra hospital bill.  But that’s pretty irrelevant when I look at my beautiful baby boy.

Stewart_Pryce_newborn_083So the day after the version I was 99% sure that I felt the baby flip back into a breech position.  And when that happened it immediately brought on some very minor contractions.  I tried to take it easy the rest of the day, but we had friends coming over to help us move more stuff.  Even though I didn’t do much, just having company over made for a long day.  And about half way through the day my belly was very lop-sided, tight, and uncomfortable.  And I was still having contractions.

Because of all the activity my midwife came over on Sunday to check babies position and that little booger had flipped again back to head down! I think the confirmation that he was head down eased my mind because by Monday the contractions had pretty much stopped.  So I went about my merry way and we scrambled with house projects that next week trying to get all the animals secured and brought over to the new homestead.

The next weekend Dustin had a craft show to go to out-of-town so Dottie and I stayed here alone.  Hoping nothing would happen.  On Sunday he was done with his show.  We checked a few things off our to do list but tried to take it easy with part of the afternoon and finally take a break and rest.  It seemed that most of the chaos we had the last few weeks was behind us and things were finally starting to slow down a bit before the baby came.  I was a little restless though.  I went to the store to get a few things I knew we needed and I felt like it just couldn’t wait.  I made dinner, and after Dottie went to bed Dustin and I started watching a movie on the couch.

Around 10 pm Sunday night while watching the movie I felt a pop and suddenly, there was warm liquid gushing out of my body that I couldn’t stop.  Dustin grabbed a plastic shower curtain and threw it on the floor so I could get off the couch before I ruined it.  And I rolled onto the curtain and waddled to the bathroom.  It was probably pretty comical to watch.

After showering and cleaning up the mess I called my midwife just to give her a heads up.  It was all very much deja vu since that’s pretty much exactly how Dottie’s birth started.  Watching a movie around 10 at night and my water broke.

IMG_0008I wasn’t having any contractions but since it was my second baby I decided to go to bed just in case things started happening in the middle of the night.  And by the time I got in bed and started to doze off, there they were.  My contractions started around 11:30.  They were about 3-5 minutes apart and fairly strong from the get go.

I dozed off for a little bit but around 12:30 I called the midwife.  She got her stuff and headed my way.  She was concerned I would go too fast.  But I definitely wasn’t getting my hopes up for that.  I was mentally preparing myself for the long haul.

I labored in bed while everyone slept until the midwives arrived.  The noise woke Dottie up and even though everyone else tried to comfort her, she just wanted her mama. The midwives stayed in the living room the rest of the night and just let me do my thing. So I held Dottie in bed and we cuddled for a good hour.  She was so wide awake from all the company that we just stared at each other.  I would take some deep breaths and let out a low moan every once in a while.  She always looked at me a little more intensely during those.  It was the sweetest thing ever and I cherished those last few moments of holding my baby girl.  My only child.  Possibly the last time I could say my only daughter.

Around 3 am my mom showed up and she got Dottie to settle back down in her room.  I’m pretty sure my mom laid on the bedroom floor the rest of the night.  She’s a saint, that woman.  I am so glad she was there.  As soon as Dottie left the room I think my body knew it was time to really let go.  Because within thirty minutes I was hitting transition and I didn’t even know it.

What is transition you may ask? That’s the part of labor where you get all shaky, possibly throw up, and generally hit the peak of your pain threshold.  It’s when you think you can’t do it.  Only this time around I hit transition so much sooner and I had been so distracted by having Dottie there that I didn’t think it was transition yet.  I was still waiting for it to get much much worse.  Don’t get me wrong, it was awful.  And I remember thinking “If I were in the hospital right now and they offered me drugs it would be so hard to say no”.  But I was waiting for it to get worse.  I was waiting to puke my guts up.  I was waiting to get uncontrollably shaky and lose control of my body for a moment.  But it never really happened.  No puking, pain was horrible, and I was only slightly shaky.

IMG_0005After a few more minutes my midwife met me at the bathroom door and said I thought I would hear you pushing on that last contraction.  To which I was caught off guard and thought to myself…  “Push? It’s not time to push.  I’m sure I’ve got like 3 hours left of this until I push.”  And you know what? During my next contraction my body uncontrollably started pushing.  My midwife is one smart lady.

We went back to the bedroom and the midwives came in and started getting things set up.  They thought it was go time.  I pushed for almost two hours with Dottie so I wasn’t in any hurry.  After my next contraction she told me “you may want to take your underwear off if you wanna have a baby”. Ha.  I didn’t realize we were at that stage yet.

So I pushed with each contraction on all fours and within a few minutes she said “Okay.  Baby is crowning.  Do you want to lay down so we can put baby on your stomach when it comes out?”

And I thought to myself “Holy cow! Its coming already? I’m almost done? Lets meet this kid!” But also a few other choice words mixed in there that I won’t repeat.

Anyway I laid somewhat on my side, gripping Dustin’s hand and looking at his face as he watched our sweet baby being born.  He is such an amazing father and husband.  That moment made me fall in love with him so much more.

And then he was here.  Pryce Freeman Stewart at 4:52 am all 8 pounds and 21 inches of him.  They placed him on my stomach but the cord was pretty short so I couldn’t quite get a good look at him.  Also, no one saw the gender.  He came out and they immediately put him on me so for a good 15 seconds no one even knew it was a boy.  But of course it was a boy.  It was my son.  I think I knew it all along.  And now he is here.  And I know him.

IMG_0004He nursed immediately and we laid there staring at each other while the midwives did their thing and Dustin’s mom made me breakfast.  Awe home birth.  Within an hour after he was born I was laying in my own bed eating a tasty greasy breakfast sandwich.  It was perfection. Dottie eventually woke up but she was very hesitant to look at him or me that first day.  The grandma’s took turns holding him and Dustin held him while I took a nice herbal bath.  And then the midwives packed up and left.  Within 5 hours after his birth we were left alone in our own bed to snuggle and take a nice nap.  Just the three of us.

It was beautiful and so completely stress free.  The total opposite of everything I had been feeling the weeks leading up to his birth.

Dottie warmed up to him after a day or two and now she may be more in love than I am.  You know the expression smother you in kisses? Well I have to keep an eye on her because I’m afraid she might literally do it.



I love this family of mine.  I love being a mom.  I love my new baby son.  He is too precious for words.


***Newborn pictures by katiedayphoto***

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1 Comment

  • Reply Kelly Hickman May 22, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Love you all and your beautiful story.

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