Monday, May 4, 2009

Tommy Gunnar

On Saturday, May 2nd, Tommy Gunnar McAllister was born. The day was very long and didn't exactly go according to schedule, as you will see. But I'll tell you the story from the beginning and I'll start you out with a picture, cause I know that's all you really want to see anyway.
On Saturday morning Sam woke Christa and I up to tell us we needed to fill up the birth pool because Mom was in labor. We were both really excited because this was going to be the first birth either of us was going attend. Maggie and Walter were woken up, fed breakfast, and sent to Nana's house along with the boys.

Sam, Christa and I started to fill up the birth pool. Mom had made a list of things for us to do when she went into labor, things like "Get banana bread out of the freezer", "Make Raspberry Leaf tea" and "Gather receiving blankets" so we began to make sure we had done everything on the list. We closed all the blinds (there was a really bad rain and wind storm going on) and lit candles around the birth pool so that Mom could feel relaxed while she labored.

Mom's labor progressed through out the afternoon. She labored much of the time standing up because when she sat down it stopped. Around 4:00 Mom got in the birth pool. Her water broke a little after 4:30 and at 4: 41 Tommy Gunnar was born. He was born posterior, which means he was born with his face towards Mom's front rather than her back, which is somewhat unusual. Sam caught him, brought him up out of the water and handed him to Mom.

I didn't know he was going to be so blue or so covered in vernix, but so he was and Mom tells me this is totally normal. It seemed like it took a long time for him to cry, but I watched the birth video later and it wasn't actually than long at all. I guess it just seemed like it at the time. I took pictures throughout the whole of the birth and I'll share some with you, though not all of them, of course ;)

Tommy and Mommy.

Mom and Sam laughing about something or other.
We brought Maggie and Walter over and let them get in the birth pool with Mama and Tommy.
Maggie wanted to hold Tommy. "Can I hold him, pease?" she asked over and over. So we let her.
Papa holding Tommy right after we weighed him. He was nine pounds on the button.I had the camera in my hands most of the time but obviously I relinquished it in favor of a baby. Tommy seemed so small after handling Maggie and Walter so often.

At this point Nana brought dinner over (Mexican lasagna) and we prepared to all eat a meal together. This is where things started to not go quite how we had planned. Mom started hemorrhaging. After you have a baby your uterus is supposed to clamp down and stop bleeding. Mom's was clamping down, but it wasn't stopping the bleeding and we realized we needed to get her to a hospital.

The EMTs were called and everyone but Christa, Sam, Tommy and I were sent back over to Nana's. Waiting for the ambulance to arrive was kind of scary. The volunteer fire department ambulance arrived first because we live so far out in the country that is takes a little while for the ambulance from town to arrive. We knew everyone there, of course because our family is very involved with the Mapleton Volunteer Fire Department as Rainor is on it and Sam was on it for many years before serving on the board of directors. But they didn't have a pitocin shot (what Mom really needed) because they don't carry drugs like that with them.

The other ambulance finally arrived and started and IV and pitocin. Mom was a really good sport about the whole thing, even though they had to put the IV in twice. She even cracked jokes about someone filming her being carried out on a stretcher and putting it on youtube. They wanted to life flight Mom to Eugene (an hour away) but the weather was so bad that no helicopters could come to Mapleton, so Mom was going to have to go in the ambulance. Sam was loathe to leave Tommy but he went with Mom in the ambulance.

Rainor, Tommy and I loaded up and headed to Eugene as soon as the ambulance left so that Mom and Tommy wouldn't have to be separated any longer than necessary. While we were on our way to Eugene Sam called to let Rainor and I know that Mom was stable and doing ok. Tommy did so well with the car ride, even though it was kind of bumpy and the weather was bad. He didn't fuss hardly at all, actually, and when he did I talked and sang to him and he calmed right down.

When we got to the hospital we couldn't take Tommy in to see Mom yet, so we went over to the Sniders home while we waited to hear from Sam. The Sniders were so cool about everything. After awhile Sam called to let us know we could bring Tommy over to Mom, so we did, and Mom was discharged soon afterwards. We finally got back home around 2:00 AM. Christa and Daniel had put Maggie and Walter to bed and everything was as it should be.

The next day we proceeded with our party that had been interrupted!
Christa Joy did great both through the birth and afterwards when we needed to tend to Mom. She and I remained cool and level headed throughout everything. I think we'll make good midwives ;)

The cake that I decorated for Tommy's birthday.Mom made the cake and stuck it in the freezer. We pulled it out when she went into labor. It was SO yummy.
Mother and child.

We are all doing fine now, so no need to be worried. I shall probably post more pictures in the coming days!


  1. Beautiful pictures, so neat to hear a birth story from a sister's point of view.

    If you don't mind me asking, did they not allow Tommy to go in the ambulance with Mom? Also, did you guys try and stop hemorrhage (pressure, shepard's purse, etc) and that didn't work?

    Thank you for sharing

  2. So happy for you all and I'm so glad your mom had extra midwives in training around! God certainly had plans to use you for special service to your mom on Saturday.. Tommy is adorable! Thanks for sharing the pictures..:)

    Mrs. P

  3. Congratulations! :)

  4. Yay! Praise God He took care of you all during that whole ordeal! :D

  5. What a chunky baby boy. He is beautiful. I love the pic of Walter in the birth pool. How sweet.
    Glad all is well.

  6. What a neat family experience. Welcome to the world Tommy! He is one blessed kid to have such an awesome family.

    Way to go for holding it together and knowing what to do about the hemorrhaging. I'm glad that you and Rainor could watch over Tommy and get him to your mom ASAP and that Christa could help your Nana with the younger kids.

    Tell your mom & Sam congratulations from the Carters. :o)

  7. Oh wow. I'm so glad Tommy is here and everyone is safe and everything is good now. That sounds like an amazing adventure.

  8. Congratulations! He's just adorable- I can't wait to see him in person:)

  9. Hi, I'm Emma. My mom knows your mom on the CMOMB forum and she sent me a link to your blog.

    That's so awesome! We do home births also, and it's alwasy so exciting! I'm the oldest of six (soon to be seven) kids, but I've only actually been in the room once during my mom's birth. I was seven and I got really freaked out. *_*

    Well, I just thought I would say hi.:)

    -Emma Jett

  10. What a beautiful new born baby :) That actually makes my heart swell.

  11. Wonderful. Those were some beautiful pictures, and it was nice to hear the whole story from your perspective. Congratulations on attending your first birth. :)

    I'm so glad your mom is recovering now. She looked so pale in one of those photos. It's good that she has two grown daughters to look after her, because I'm sure she's going to need lots of support for a while.

    It must have been hard for them both to be separated for all that time, but it was heartwarming to read about how you soothed him by talking and singing while waiting to reunite them both.

    Blessings to you all,


  12. I keep coming back to look at the pictures. I had to chuckle...In one of the last pictures of Tommy, he is so chunky looking that the diaper he is wearing looks like a bikini diaper!

  13. I found this on a Birth Revolution.

    Did your teenage daughter write this account? She did excellent. What a great sister and daughter.

    You are blessed.

    Handsome boy and beautiful children.


Muse with me. Please?