Exactly two weeks before his due date Miles Quinn Brandt made his awesome appearance into the world! He had made the decision to be two weeks early because he couldn’t wait to meet Mom & Dad and all the family who was gathered to celebrate his entrance to the world!
We chose to have a natural birth without the aid of drugs and a goal of having a water birth. With the help of our beyond-all-words (AMAZING!) doula, Carly, we had identified what our preferences were for the birth of our son but we were also prepared to make different choices if the need arose. Well, Miles began testing us almost immediately. Erin’s water broke on Monday, October 14th after we had spent the majority of the day at the birthing center being monitored because she thought her water had broken Sunday morning. After determining that the water had not broken on Sunday, we headed home and Erin’s water really, really broke a few hours later. We learned that only about 15% of women have their water break before labor begins in the epic, gushing way as shown by Hollywood.
The midwives suggested we come in the next morning if contractions did not start that night. We loaded up the car the next morning and moved into the water birthing suite at the Family Birthing Center. Because Erin’s water broke and she hadn’t started contractions we discussed our options with one of the midwives and our doula. We agreed to take a drug called Cytotek to “encourage” labor – it is a stomach ulcer drug that is used off label to induce labor – and it is a gentler, less intense option than Pitosin, which we really wanted to avoid.
We spent the day walking with purpose to encourage contractions, laying on a bed while the nurses monitored the baby and contractions, visiting with family, and waiting. Lots of waiting. Matt’s parents drove down that morning so they could be there for the birth and Erin’s parents, brother, and sister-in-law were hanging out. It was great to be surrounded by our families!
At around 7pm Tuesday evening the contractions started to pick up and while family was out to dinner we started into active labor. Up until this point the midwife and the nurses weren’t convinced we were going to have a baby that night and it was really busy at the birthing center so it was just Carly, our AMAZING doula, and us working to bring this baby into the world. Erin worked through the contractions with focused breathing and growling out low tones, which helped to focus the energy low in the belly – moving Miles closer and closer to joining us!
At about 10:30pm a nurse came into the room to move Erin to the bed so that they could put the monitors on to check on the baby and the contractions. It was during this transition that Miles made his move and once on the bed Erin let everyone know that the baby was coming! Soon the room was full of nurses and a lot of encouragement to do what the body wanted to do but not a lot of encouragement to push because they were hoping to get the midwife there in time to catch the baby.
Our midwife, Amy, arrived about 10 minutes later and Erin pushed – howling with the wolves is the phrase we had talked about previously from the book Birthing From Within – and Erin was using all of her strength and focus to howl and growl and push Miles into the world. It was a beautiful, instinctual, and empowering nine minutes. Yep, Erin pushed for nine minutes and then Miles came crying into the world. He was placed on her belly where the bonding could begin and Mom and Baby could seriously recover. Matt was right there with happy tears!
Five Day Stay
During Miles’ routine nursery visit and check up after he was born they determined that his blood sugar was lower than they would like. He was put on an IV to supplement his glucose level and we spent the next five days waiting for Erin’s milk to really come in and provide the level of glucose Miles needed. It was a very intense time for our new family and we worked hard to support each other and encourage Miles to keep getting stronger!
It is not unusual for babies that are earlier than 40 weeks to have some issues and this was Miles’ hurdle to overcome. We don’t have a specific diagnosis for why his blood sugar was low. Miles didn’t have a lot of brown fat when he was born, which is something babies use to insulate them from the first few days while momma’s milk is coming in. Another theory was that he was stressed out in the womb or during delivery that may have affected his bodies production of glucose or there could have been an issue with the placenta. So lots of theories and no concrete answer.
The best news is that we are home now and learning to be parents of the cutest peanut ever! Matt is thriving as the rock in the family – keeping all the things in motion, soothing Erin and Miles when we cry for unknown reasons (yay hormones!), and sneaking in snuggles whenever possible.
Erin is busy making milk, feeding MQ, feeding herself, and smiling a lot!
Miles is gaining weight and, we think, he’s starting to get his chub on! He’s teaching us so many new things every day. MQ is the love of our lives and we are so proud to be sharing him with the world.
The other member of our family, the fur member, Stella is adjusting really well to having a baby in her palace. She was upset that we left her home with strangers for five days and didn’t know what to make of the sounds that Miles made the first night home but after a couple of days she settled down.
Great Big Piles of Thanks
Thank you to everyone for your congratulations and support! Thanks to the folks who provided and continue to provide physical support through cleaning, cooking, and taking out our trash! Thanks to everyone for your patience while we hunker down and learn to be parents, we will resurface someday.
All the love and hugs too,
Erin, Matt, Miles Quinn (MQ), & Stella