Edith was born June 29 after a great (though intense) labor at home. I woke up at 5 am with contractions, laid in bed a while, and by 6:30/7ish it was clear I wasn't going back to sleep. Called the midwives. They told me to eat breakfast and go for a walk. I was by myself as my husband is gone for military training. I could barely bring myself to make toast with jam, and then threw it up. I couldn't make it downstairs to walk outside, so I paced around the apartment. Contractions were maybe 5 minutes apart at this point. I was checking in with the midwives every two hours.
I totally lost track of time, so I had no idea how much time was passing. Contractions kept getting more intense, and I felt best lying down on my side, or on my hands and knees. I filled up the bathtub and sat in there for a while - it was heavenly! But then after a while, things got more intense and I got out. Contractions were 2 minutes apart. Talked to the midwives again. They decided to come on over, and got here at 2 pm, the same time as my doula.
They told me later that they thought I was just having a hard time because I was alone, but they realized when they got here that I was actually in transition. They had just enough time to set up before I started pushing. Other than her head coming out, I don't recall any pain in pushing. It was a relief that the transition contractions were over. I was on my knees in the living room, holding onto the couch. Edith was born at 4:07pm, just two hours after everyone got there.
I'm really happy with my birth. I didn't feel relaxed at all during labor, but looking back, it was just the contractions that were tensing me up; the rest of me was relaxed. The midwives said this totally sped up my labor and made things move along without a hitch.
The days since then, though, have been incredibly rough. Nursing got off to a rough start because she wasn't latching on correctly, which I didn't realize. She really tore up my nipples, and I was in excruciating pain every time she wanted to nurse. I ended up dreading the moment she'd wake up and want to nurse. Unfortunately, the latch issue also meant she wasn't getting enough milk, and lost half a pound by the time she was a week old. (started off at 7 lbs) Even worse, she got jaundice and because she wasn't pooping, her bili levels were nearly at the hospital admission level. Finally, i called a lactation consultant who helped with the latch. Unfortunately, because of all the complications, I had to start supplementing to get her to poop so the bili levels would drop. I have a great pump, but not soon enough. I gave her formula. I tried so hard not to, but I felt so defeated. Maybe she needed it, I don't know. I felt really pressured from my mom, who is staying with me. Maybe she was right, i don't know. I cried the whole time. Prayed I wasn't ruining her new little digestive system.
Fortunately, since then, i've been able to pump enough breastmilk to do all the supplementation. Unfortunately, because she lost so much weight and because of the jaundice, I have to wake her up every 2-3 hours to nurse/feed her, and it is such a struggle to keep her awake the whole time. Scheduled feeding takes a lot of the joy out the time I had hoped would be spent just enjoying my new baby. Dr. appt tomorrow, and I'm hoping he says I can ease off on this regimented feeding routine.
Will add pictures later. Right now I have to wake her up and feed her again.
Edited by inkandpaper - 8/4/12 at 4:31am