My second sweet daughter arrived at 6:08PM August 23 weighing in at 8 pounds 8 ounces, 20 1/4 inches long after 12 hours of "early labor" and 3 hours of "active labor". She is a such a mellow little sweetie. We had a fantastic home water birth, the labor was so very different then my induced labor with DD. I felt like pushing hurt a lot more though. She is 1 pound and 6 ounces bigger then her sister. Although I didn't have any tears (didn't with my other DD either.)
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers yesterday.
I woke up around 2AM on August 23rd to use the bathroom. I had been experiencing some contractions and had overall been sleeping very poorly. When I went to the bathroom there was a good bit of bloody mucus. I was excited that something could really be happening. I told Jon but then decided to go back to bed knowing that it could be hours or days before anything “real” started to happen.
When I got in bed I continued to have contractions, probably every 5 minutes apart or so. They were painful enough to keep me from sleeping but I could still talk and be in a good mood. After laying in bed for about an hour I decided I just wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep. Jon and I got up and did some chores around the house. Around 4:30 AM Caroline woke up and wanted a snack. I tried to get her back to sleep but it wasn’t working. I was conflicted about how to proceed because I was still having the contractions 3-5 minutes apart but I was feeling pretty good. Caroline, however, was so excited to go to my friend Katie’s house and I was a little scared active labor could come on really fast so I decided to go ahead and call Katie at 5AM, hoping one day she would forgive me. We also decided to call the midwife just to give her a heads up. Katie came to pick up Caroline. The midwife said to call back in 30 minutes and give her an update.
Things continued to be the same. We called the midwife back, she said she was going to come but I said I didn’t really think it was time yet. She said to page her whenever we wanted her to come.
The rest of the morning went on with these mildly painful contractions anywhere from 2-10 minutes apart. Around 8AM Jon and I went for a 1.5-mile walk. It was really nice to spend that time together. It seemed like the walk sort of made the labor more erratic. We just continued to hang out at home, doing chores and watching TV. Around 11AM I asked Jon to call the midwife again to see if she could come check on me. I didn’t feel like “it was time” but I just wanted an idea of what was going on. I was starting to feel really conflicted if this was going to be the day or not. The midwife came around 12 PM. She checked me, I was 2 cm dilated, 75% effaced and baby was at -1 station. She said I was basically at the point where I could have the baby in a few hours or in a few days. She suggested we keep Caroline with her caregiver and just enjoy the day to ourselves, to stop timing contractions and just do the things we feel like doing. Her advice made me feel good because part of me felt like I “should” be going for an outrageously long walk or climbing stairs or some other things I actually didn’t feel like doing. She encouraged us to call her at anytime if we wanted her company.
So we set about eating some lunch, watching some TV. At some point I didn’t really feel like watching TV anymore and just wanted to lie down and try to rest. So I did. But I was still having the contractions and I really could not fall asleep. I did relax though. After about an hour I started to feel like they were getting a bit more intense. I went to the bathroom. I decided they were more painful then before. Then around 3PM I started to feel like I was going to throw up and told Jon to call the midwife, I was ready for her to be here. Then I threw up and had other “clearing out” mechanisms in play as well. I had been texting with my cousin Rebecca throughout the day and updated her, she sent me a text that saying, “You’re in it girl!” First I laughed because it sounded so cheesy and then I started to bawl because it was the truth. I was so overjoyed that I was going to meet my baby today, I had been holding on inside that this baby was going to be another 42 weeker. I had been trying really hard to be at peace with that but inside I was really depressed about the possible reality. When the midwife came I was sitting on the bathroom floor crying, she came up so quietly and gently, rubbing my back telling me I was doing hard and important work. Her presence was so peaceful to me.
I continued to labor, mostly on the bathroom floor, on hands and knees with my head resting on the edge of the bathtub on pool noodle, using deep “ooo” moans to get through the contractions. I seriously had to pee between every contraction. I would walk a little circuit around the house and come back to the bathroom to get through the contraction. At some point I was no longer able to walk a full circle around the house without having a contraction. This means they were coming pretty quickly as I wasn’t even walking around the whole house and my whole house is 660sq feet. The midwifes would come and check on the baby with the Doppler frequently, her heart rate was always good. The midwifes and Jon would rub my lower back with arnica oil during the contractions and that was amazing. I was so surprised how good I felt in between the contractions. My labor with Caroline had been induced and after a certain point there just were no breaks. As I was laboring the midwifes and Jon were setting up the birth tub.
At 5:05 the midwife checked me and I was 6 cm dilated, 90% effaced, baby at 0 station with a small bulge in the water bag. Jon and I were both so overjoyed. It had been such a disappointment at Caroline’s birth when after hours and hours of hard labor I had progressed ½ of a cm. I think we were both afraid that would happen again. The midwife said I could “definitely” get into the tub whenever I wanted. So at 5:10 I got into the tub, it felt amazing. The contractions were still intense but the water helped take some pressure off and give me some other freedom of movement I had lost. I started to feel a little pushy with the contractions after a while. According to the midwifes notes I really started to push around 5:45 pm. At 5:56 the water broke. At 6:05 the 2nd bag broke. Pushing was really intense this time, much more painful then I remember it being with Caroline. I was being very vocal. At one point the midwife used a little mirror and flashlight to look at the babys head crowning, probably checking for the cord around the neck as well. Of course in my state of mind at the time all I could say was “I don’t want to see!” and the midwifes said “Well we do!” This makes me laugh now. I didn’t mind that they were looking, I just thought if they were doing it for me I would just let them know I didn’t wish to see. I could feel it all just fine. The last push was a dozy, I started to really lose it but the midwife said “It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok there is the baby!” She was born at 6:08 PM, covered in vernix! She was a little blue, so they gave her some blood from the cord and a little puff of oxygen. Then she was all good. APGARs 5 and 9. At some point I had told Jon to call my Mom and sister. They made it just in time for the birth. It was really awesome to share the moment with them.
The midwifes helped move me to my bed (so glorious to get into my own bed!) I had very minimal bleeding, I delivered the placenta at 6:27 PM. It looked perfectly healthy and intact. I had no tears, the midwifes said my lady parts didn’t even look like I had just had a baby! The rest of the evening was just joyous, having family around and just being at home with our new sweet girl.
Around 7PM Katie brought Caroline home. I think she had had an overwhelming day and was tired. She just wanted to sit with her Daddy and take a look at the baby. Wasn’t interested in holding her yet. But after having some time to adjust she was marveling over how cute her baby sister was and how tiny her toes were. And wanted to hold her.
The midwifes left just before 9, I rested with Lucy for a while and Jon did bedtime routine with Caroline. Then one of my most favorite parts of the whole day is that I was able to go sit with Caroline for a few minutes while she fell asleep for the night, that time is really precious to both of us and it was such a peaceful way to close out the night as our new founded family of four.
Edited by JennaW - 8/25/11 at 2:15pm