June 19th - 2:54 pm
8 lbs 9 oz 21 inches
Born at 40 weeks 4 days
I thought that we were really taking a chance by not having my friend/amazing photographer Heather Armstrong (www.heatherphoto.ca) fly down until my actual due date, June 15th. Even so, that was when we had to have her come, so that's what we did.
At my 40 week appointment, I asked my midwife to go ahead and try to strip my membranes. Typically, I'm all about letting babies come when they're ready, without any interventions at all, but I was in a severe amount of joint pain (genetic disorder) and Heather could only stay until basically the 20th. Even so, I knew that if my body wasn't ready to labor, it wouldn't work anyway. Which it didn't. Which bummed me out.
Heather and I had lots of fun just hanging out, talking, and trying to do anything to put me into labor. We went and did a last minute maternity session, which involved walking around Garden Of The Gods for a couple hours. That still didn't work, so we did a belly cast, which is what put me into labor with the triplets. That didn't work either. Walking down to Walgreens and back didn't work either.
I was having contractions, but had been for a couple of weeks and they weren't all at consistent, so it obviously wasn't actual labor at all.
On Saturday, our neighborhood was hosting a little party with grilled food, a bouncy house, and face painting. Since we didn't have a party for Dakota's birthday (June 18th), due to me being so pregnant, we thought the kids would really enjoy having fun at this thing. We walked down the street to it and I had a few more contractions while we were there that were a bit closer together, but still fairly inconsistent (5 minutes, 13 minutes, 3 minutes, 30 minutes, etc..).
Heather and I went back home and when Jeremy came back with the kids, we decided to walk down to Walgreens again to try to get some more frequent contractions going. As we left, I made a joke to Jeremy that I might call him to tell him I had the baby at Walgreens. He made a worried face and I reassured him that that would never happen, I obviously was nowhere near having a baby.
Heather and I made it to the end of my street (about 4 houses down from mine) before I said there was no way I could make it to Walgreens, as I'd had to stop and breathe through 3 contractions by that point. We decided just to walk around my neighborhood instead. She was timing my contractions and they were starting to be pretty consistent and 2 minutes apart, but still not very long.
When the intensity of them picked up, we walked back home (had only walked around for maybe 15-20 minutes).
While walking around, Heather and I talked about women who have the super short labors and how I didn't envy them at all, since your body simply doesn't have time to process what's going on and a short labor ends up making you feel like you've been hit by a truck. Longer labors let your body realize what's going on and while it can stink to have a longer labor, you're generally not as wiped at the end of it (as long as it's not days of labor, of course). I said I was glad I was one of those women that wouldn't ever have short labors, but I would prefer a shorter one than I had with Dakota (3 days) and with the babies (just over 24 hours).
When I got inside, I had a few contractions that were really getting intense, so Jeremy called the midwife. She got on the phone with me for a minute or so and then said she was going to come over and could leave after seeing me, if I wanted her to. She only lives 3 minutes away, so she was at our house within 10 minutes. Right before she got there, I went to pee and my water broke (startled the crap out of me, LOL).
The midwife got here and got out the pump so we could start blowing up the birth pool and Jeremy started on that in the living room. I was in the bedroom with Heather, as the pump was SO loud and I couldn't handle that during contractions. I had a contraction while the midwife was setting up her stuff and then said I still needed to pee (I never actually did when my water broke, since I was startled).
I went in the bathroom, peed, and then had a contraction. I immediately got the auto-push and felt her crowning. I screeched for Jeremy so that he wouldn't miss her birth like he did Lily's. Everyone bolted into the bathroom and made it just in time for her head to be born. 7 seconds later (two hours from the first consistent contraction and only 15 minutes from the midwife's arrival), she was completely earthside. While she was born on the toilet, I was determined to not have her IN the toilet and was able to stand up so the midwife could catch her.
Then I sat back down on the toilet and was able to snuggle her for a little bit until the placenta came. Her cord was SO short. We had to set the bowl the placenta was in right next to her and even then, it was pulling on her belly. I didn't measure it, but it looked right around a foot long.
Everything I had heard about short labors is very true. I completely feel like I've been hit by a truck. My whole body just aches and I am very very very tired. It was so crazy intense.
After letting Auri nurse for a while, we weighed/measured her and let the midwife do all the physical checks. We were all amazed when she weighed in at 8 lbs 9 oz and 21 inches long. Dakota, my biggest baby thus far, was only 6 lbs 8 oz and 18 3/4 inches long. I had really wanted a fat baby, but she felt so thin when palpating, so no one thought she was actually going to be a chunker.
I am still totally and completely amazed with everything pregnancy and birth. It will never cease to be the most awesome thing to me. I keep staring at her and thinking, "I just had a baby!", lol.
Here are the maternity photos we did the day before I had Auri:
The belly cast and birth photos: (nudity/blood warning)
And then some I took of her:
(just minutes old here)
(two days old in these three)
(8 days old in these three)