I know this is a little unexpected. But I'm going to have my first guest blogger: my husband. During my last two weeks away from regular blogging we had a lot of firsts. Two of the biggest were: (1) my husband's dissertation defense (he's now Dr. Miller - WHOOOOOOOT!) and (2) our 3rd baby's (Brighton's) 1st birthday. I've been wanting to write about both for the last 10 days and it's just been killing me to see each day slip by without my finding the time to etch my thoughts in cyberspace.
So....today's post will be a quick recap of Brighton's birth in celebration of his first birthday. Brighton Lee was born March 27th, 2008. After two prior unnecessary cesarean sections, Brighton came peacefully in a blessed home birth. It was the most amazing, empowering birth and seriously flipped our world upside down as we discovered just how backward we'd previously seen and understood the nature of birth. I've stolen (with permission) this small section from a "note" my husband wrote on facebook a couple months ago to use in lieu of my own "birth" ramblings today. I love it when a man really gets it.
Let's hear it for Lee: the doctor, the daddy, my husband and dearest friend.
We have three children. They are Brayla (5), Brandon (3), and Brighton (10 mos.). We're tired. Moreover, we lost a pregnancy between our first and third children, so Shaye has basically been pregnant or nursing for about six years. She's really tired. In any case, when Shaye was pregnant with Brayla, we did everything you're supposed to do…going to the doctor, listening and trusting the medical establishment, buying the most popular books, etc., etc. Basically we were stupid…we just didn't know it. Rather than depending on a body of collective tradition that would help us understand the very human prospect of childbirth, we trusted an establishment that had mechanized, sterilized, and in many ways dehumanized childbirth. What did we know? We followed the herd. Unfortunately, while that often turns out more or less fine for many (although we still question some of the outcomes of the "way things are done"), for us it resulted in an "emergency" C-Section (we no longer believe it was an emergency, btw…).
We were completely unprepared for the issues resulting from a normal birth, much less a C-Section (and it didn't help that Brayla was born on the first day of my second year in the doctoral program). We did get pregnant only a few months later, but lost that pregnancy. On the next pregnancy, we trusted the wisdom of the medical establishment (and followed the herd) and did a planned C-Section (also, I was due to begin a new job three states away before Brandon's due date). We now regret the planned C-Section for the many outcomes that we believe arose from it, not least of which was the longer recovery for Shaye.
With Brighton, then, we chose to take over our own childbirth experience. We got our hands on books that were not in line with the herd's group think, Shaye did lots of research on childbirth in general but also VBAC's (vaginal birth after cesarean), and we decided to do a home birth with a certified nurse midwife. Unfortunately, since this is not legal in Nebraska, and wasn't at the time in South Dakota, we had to cross two state lines to have this birth in our midwife's home in Wyoming. What a trip (literally and figuratively). And we couldn't be happier with the outcome. We've even become advocates for midwifery and home births (especially Shaye has). And mother and child were healthy and happy from the first day. One other note, it was the coolest thing ever to get to witness and help my wife do this most incredible human thing.
The following shot was taken just moments after she pushed Brighton into the world. Gotta love all the beautiful smiles!
And here's a shot of Brighton on his 1st birthday. What a precious baby boy!
Happy "Birth"day, sweet boy! Mommy and Daddy love you longer and longer...
If you care to see pictures of Brighton's 1st birthday party, you can see them on my mom's blog HERE and if you want to read the entire birth story, you can always find it HERE (best viewed with Internet Explorer).