Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Beautiful Birth of Baby Pearl

I went to bed last Tuesday thinking I would blog the next morning about the guinea fowl, Pumpkin and Banjo, or my mom and dad's 35th wedding anniversary party. I spent the evening getting all of my favorite pictures ready. Little Pearl Kathryn decided she would be arriving instead. I woke up at four in the morning with contractions every seven minutes and I knew we would be having a baby in the next few days. Here is a picture I took of Oliver kissing my belly the day before I went into labor.

My experience giving birth to Oliver four years ago was pretty traumatic. For the two of you who haven't heard about Oliver's birth, you can read about it here:

Oliver's Birth

I had a miserable surgical birth and I was praying for a normal birth experience this time around. I spent the day at my sister's house in early labor. My contractions were regular and strong, but didn't appear to be getting any worse after 14 hours. My sister decided we should try to move things along, so we went for a walk down her block. I felt a pinch during a contraction and then felt my water breaking all over her neighbor's driveway. We laughed and Kate (my sister) vowed to bring back a hose later. Once my water broke, I knew we were going to be meeting the baby soon. We headed to the hospital where I was hoping to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean section).

My mom met us there and knew I was in active labor when I politely asked for some f****** water. I always hoped I would be "zen" and quiet during labor-a birthing goddess if you will. I was more of a birthing drunk sailor, loud with a foul mouth. No more "fudge crackers" for me, it made it hurt less to just say f***.

We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 PM. The nurse checked me and told me I was three centimeters, then patted me on the knee and left. She was assuming I would be laboring for the next 12 hours or so. Luckily my mom, sister and Glenn were all there to be my support people, because I was left alone by the hospital staff. They were all so helpful during my three and a half hours of active labor, cooling me with cloths, squeezing my hips, staying calm and letting me hang on each of them. I can't imagine how anyone could labor naturally without proper support. When I felt as though I might split down the middle, I insisted the nurses call my midwife. She came in to check and I was six centimeters. An hour later I had to push during a contraction, then thirteen minutes later Pearl arrived.

I thought I would save you from having to see the crowning pictures. It wasn't even close to being orgasmic (thanks Ina May Gaskin for that shred of hope), but it was painfully wonderful. I would do it all over again to meet my daughter in such a peaceful way, surrounded by the love of her family.

Oliver came to meet his little sister at the hospital the next day. You can see how thrilled he is to finally meet her. We were released from the hospital later that afternoon (thanks to our groovy postpartum nurse) and have been enjoying our quiet time at home together as a family.

This morning we had a placenta burial in the garden. My mother/baby blessing gift was an apricot tree to plant over Pearl's placenta. I'm sure next year we will have the best tasting fruit in town.

So, that's it, the perfect birth of our daughter.


  1. What a Beautiful, Beautiful Sharing!
    Welcome to the World Goddess Pearl!
    May you live with Joy and Abundance and Peace Everlasting!

    Thanks for sharing such a wondrous brought tears to my eyes! I can tell Big Brother is very taken with his new Sister!

    Blessings on the Gentle Winds to the Whole Family! :)

  2. What a beautiful story of little Pearl's entrance to the world. Thank you for sharing!

  3. So wonderful! And so what you deserved this time around. You are a birthing goddess! I can't wait to meet Pearl and see Oliver again.... I am seriously thinking about a trip in the Spring. Love you all!

  4. I wish longlife and healty life yourchild,Happy days,besty wishes

  5. What a lucky child to be born into such a great family.


  6. Hey Jess! I'm at the beach and just catching up and see you're a Mommy yet again! Congrats to you, and Glenn and Oliver too! I am sure he'll be an awesome big brother. Good luck to the FOUR of you!

  7. First I went and read Oliver's birth story before reading this one and I cried my eyes out over that. Then I came over and laughed til I cried on this one. I too was a drunken birthing sailor and I am slightly envious of those women that are all zen and peaceful during their labors want to yell at them, "fakers!" lol.

    Congrats! Really makes me want another one sooner than later.

    PS: Love love LOVE the name Pearl.

  8. I am so so so very happy for you all! I wish I could have been there to help, but thrilled that it wasn't necessary :) Now to get to work on her booties; it's hard to knit in warm weather, but we'll have her outfitted for fall.

  9. Congratulations to you and your family, Jess, on the birth of your beautiful baby daughter, Pearl Kathryn (what a pretty name!)

    Thanks for sharing your labor story with us. I did rad Oliver's birth story earlier and I'm so glad it was a much, much better experience for you all this time around.

    I'm so happy for you and I love Oliver's "Big Borther" t-shirt. He's going to make such a good big brother, protecting his little sis from harm.

    Happy, happy, joy-joy (doing the happy dance for you!) Blessings to you!

    with love,
    Doris (and Gizzy)

  10. Thank you to all of you for your kind comments!

  11. Love the pics and the whole story! So so so so happy for all of you and CANNOT WAIT to meet Pearl!!!

  12. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with us!!