I have been reading here for my entire pregnancy but somehow never made the leap to introducing myself or posting. So I feel as though I know all of you and have cheered you on in your pregnancies and births =)
This is my 4th baby, my first was born 15 years ago! I also have a 12 year old and a 5 year old, so all my babies are spaced apart. The other three were born at 42 weeks, all induced in some form or another. All were big babies, right around 10lbs.
This pregnancy was a breeze, I felt fantastic and loved being pregnant for (probably) the last time. Because I am now over 40, my midwife wanted me to do non stress tests starting at 39 weeks to check on baby. Despite the fact that my last birth was a fabulous homebirth, after a very low intervention pregnancy, I was completely at peace with doing whatever my midwife suggested to keep this wee babe safe and sound. I think this baby's lesson to me was/is about letting go and accepting with grace what comes my way =)
Last week at 39 weeks, we discovered that baby was breech. I went to the hospital the next day for a version and they discovered that he had flipped again and was vertex. He just couldn't seem to get comfy and was still pretty high and moving quite a bit. I really wanted him to settle in my pelvis, but for whatever reason he stayed high and very active. There were also heartrate variables when I did my non stress tests, and the midwife thought that probably the cord was around his neck. For that reason and the fact that we suspected another big baby, we decided to get things moving at 40 weeks rather than wait until 42 weeks.
Last Tuesday (40 weeks and 1 day) my midwife gave me a very "enthusiastic" exam! She also moved my cervix forward as it was still posterior. Lets just say that was quite an experience - ouch! I want to add here that my midwife is amazing. She has been a midwife for 50 years and both her mother and grandmother were the village midwives back in China. I am a doula and have attended a couple of her births, she truly has magic hands when it comes to deliveries!
I went home and felt pretty uncomfortable and crampy for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I couldn't get comfortable and was pretty crabby. I took a couple of showers and a bath but my back continued to ache and I felt sore. I assumed it was from the cervical exam and that things would settle down overnight.
I slept pretty well, up for the bathroom a couple of times and felt more pressure than I had previously, but the night was quite uneventful. I woke at 5:30 feeling a "trickle" and headed to the bathroom where my water broke quite spectacularly! I was standing over a white towel that I had spread out and it was obvious that there was some meconium in the water. I took a shower, got myself ready and at around 6:00 woke up my husband. I wasn't feeling any contractions at this point, just more achiness and pressure.
I decided I would head to the hospital and he would stay with the kids until our friend arrived to take over. I didn't feel any rush, but with the meconium and the fact that I was GBS positive this pregnancy (for the first time!) I decided I should head in. I woke the kids and told them what was going on, drank some kefir and had a cup of tea and headed to the hospital.
~ a note for anyone who needs a warning. This birth story is honest and raw and includes real pain and real emotions.....and it all ends beautifully! ~
I arrived around 7:00 and they put me in triage They confirmed that I was having contractions, that my water had broken and that I was staying. They moved me over to a delivery room at around 8:00. By 8:30 they had started the antibiotics and done all the paperwork and contractions were picking up at that point but were manageable. Someone told me that my midwife had been contacted and would be in by noon. I texted my husband and told him that I thought he should head over.
By 8:35, just 5 minutes later, things were in full swing - lol! I told someone to call my midwife and tell her that noon was going to be a bit late, and that I needed her! The contractions were intense and I didn't feel I was coping well. It surprised me how fierce they were all of a sudden. At 9:00 the nurse checked me and I was 9cms! My midwife appeared and was concerned that baby was posterior and still wasn't coming down well. She checked me around 9:30 and said I was complete except for a small lip. At this point I was not coping at all with the pain, it was insane, and was mostly in my lower back. I was panicking whenever I felt another contraction coming...all in all it was pretty tough. My midwife decided she wanted to try to turn the baby as he came down, she could feel that he was still posterior and was presenting with the side of his head first during each contraction. She had me flat on my back for the contractions, which was very, very hard, and counterintuitive when it comes to birthing! His head was hitting my pubic bone and she needed him off the bone so she could turn him....which I understand now, but fought like crazy at the time.
I started pushing at around 9:45 and pushed until 10:48 when he was born. I know an hour of pushing isn't that long, but I never pushed for more than 15 minutes with the others, and the pushing stage was always painless with them, This was an hour of the hardest, most difficult work I have ever done birthing a babe. I truly wasn't sure that I could do it. Poor baby was struggling a bit as well and his heartrate was a bit wobbly.
He was born at 10:48, just two hours after I texted my husband to come, so it was all fast and furious! Birth is so intense and all consuming. There is nothing in the world like that feeling of a new, wet, warm baby being plopped on your chest.....such joy, relief, love and amazement!
Our boy weighed in at 11lbs 2oz and 23 inches! thank goodness we didn't wait another week! He was so bruised and swollen from the delivery. He actually had scrapes on his head from hitting my pubic bone. Amazingly I had just one small stitch and am recovering really well. My husband took some video of the actual birth, which I am not sure I can watch quite yet!
We came home on Thursday and have been enjoying our babymoon since then. All in all Jude is a super mellow babe, sleeps and eats really well and is happy to hang out as long as he is in someone's arms, lol. His big sisters are thrilled with him and are great helpers (they are 15 and 12) and his big brother (5) is enthusiastic and happy to have another boy in the family!
I will add photos of my big boy when i get a sec. He is beautiful and so, so sweet. Now, at 6 days old all his bruising and swelling has gone and he looks great!
A huge congratulations to all the mamas who have had their babies, and much love to those still waiting.