John Peter

John Peter

Baby boy John Peter

Born June 23, 2013 at 9:33am

8 pounds, 6 ounces.

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So many of you have been patiently awaiting the news of our baby's birth. I thank you for your prayers, your good thoughts, and your love over these past weeks.

the whole crew, out of focus and all.

Our baby's birth was not what we expected. A few days before he was born, we learned that he had turned breech. I spent the next few days doing inversions, going to the chiropractor and acupuncturist, burning my toes with moxibustion, visualizing the baby turning, praying. My midwife contacted an OB who delivers breech babies vaginally in a hospital, and he agreed to take me on as a patient. (In our state, breech babies are not allowed to be born at home under the care of midwives, and even if they were, my midwife and I agreed that it wasn't something we'd want to do for a number of reasons.)

Early that Sunday morning, when my labor began, at first slowly, we called my midwife and she rushed to our house to check baby's position. When we realized that the baby was still breech -- and not just breech, but a footling presentation (the most dangerous breech presentation, one that no doctor or midwife with any common sense would deliver vaginally), we made a change of plans and hurriedly decided to head to a different hospital -- one closer to home, and where my midwife has good relationships with the OBs and nurses -- for a c-section. My mom had spent the night at our house the night before as a back-up because my husband had a late gig, so we were able to just leave for the hospital right away without worrying about our older children.

We brought nothing with us. We just left. (Later I texted my mom a list of things we needed at the hospital -- the first thing being my neti pot. Don't leave home without it!) My labor got pretty hard on the way there, and my water broke in a huge gush as we were walking into the hospital. I won't go into all the details of the c-section here, except to say that it was a surreal experience, one that I will no doubt need to process further over time, but I was very at peace with the decision from the moment we had to make it. I knew it was the best, and the only choice. I felt my care was good, and our reception from the labor and delivery team was amazing (and nothing like some of the homebirth transfer horror stories I've heard over the years).

When they lifted the baby up over the screen and my husband stood to see him, he turned and choked, "It's a boy!" and it was a beautiful moment, even laying on the table half numb. 

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The next nine days. Those were the hardest days of my life. Our baby was born healthy. He perhaps needed a little extra help in the very beginning. This is all very hard to understand, harder to write. After going over it again and again with my mom, who is a neonatal nurse practitioner at another hospital, my midwives, the OBs who did my surgery, and our own pediatrician who has carefully read and reread John's hospital discharge summary, it seems that one intervention led to another, and over the course of those next nine days, our healthy baby became a sick baby. He had three IVs, hundreds of heel sticks and blood draws, oxygen, and more. 


Recovery from a c-section is one thing. Dealing with fear, horrific anxiety attacks, elevated blood pressure, depression, paranoia, and grief over a situation with my child that I perceived to be spiraling out of control was completely indescribable. I don't really want to say any more about this experience because it is over and we really want to put it behind us. I got through it with the help of my very supportive family, a tight circle of friends, my midwives (I've known my primary midwife for eight years and she's been with me for the births of three of my children -- I love and trust her deeply), and our priest. It was finally his visit on Sunday night that gave me the courage -- just hours after a particularly depressing moment of feeling that I wasn't courageous enough to deal with this situation -- to confront my child's caregivers and pin them down on what was really going on with my baby. 24 hours later, we were driving home from the hospital. 

This wasn't the way I envisioned beginning our life with this baby of ours. But it was the beginning that we got. Now that we're home, we're starting to get to know him a little more, this sweet, cuddly, blessed baby boy of ours. So much love and hope and healing are in store for our family. 


Welcome, precious baby John.