Ember Linnea was born at 11:13 Sept. 24. She's perfect! 7 lbs 13 oz, 19 3/4 inches long. She was caught by her Daddy after an intense 1:45 of active labour, 10 min before the midwife arrived. We are in love!
**** Her birth story ****
September 24th, DD woke me up about 4:30 AM. I got her settled back down, peed for the 100th time and went back to bed. Around 5 I had a contraction, which was not unusual as the last number of mornings I had had a couple that basically amounted to nothing. This one felt a little different though. I could really feel it starting at the top, then moving down and wrapping around from front to back. Unlike previous mornings, I kept having them, usually lasting from 45 sec to a minute long and 10 to 20 minutes apart. By noon, I was getting a bit frustrated that they didn’t seem to be getting any closer together, despite being fairly strong and uncomfortable. By supper time, they hurt, and I had to work at staying relaxed and breathing through them, but still, they were averaging 10 to 12 minutes apart.
Around 7:30 or so, it was becoming obvious that nothing was happening quickly so we decided not to send my DD home with my parents who had brought over supper, as we figured at the very least we would have lots of time to get her to bed before anything picked up.
While DH attempted to get DD settled for bed, I had a nice warm bath. The contractions really reduced in intensity for a bit, then I was hit with one monster one that lasted, and lasted and lasted, for 3 or 4 minutes with no break at all. In hind sight that may actually have been me hitting transition.
I went to lie down, at a little past 9 PM, with contractions back to around 10 minutes apart, but feeling really strong and tough to deal with. I was beginning to doubt my ability to get through hours more of them, even with the long spacing in between.
By sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 they had picked up to about 5 minutes apart. Shortly after that they got closer together. I found I was most comfortable kneeling on the bed, leaning my head and forearms against the wall, and I started needing to vocalize through them. Making a low, reverberating sound seemed to help keep my face relaxed despite the intensity. I think around 10:30 I started pushing with each contraction, but was in total denial that I was already at the pushing stage. I kept thinking maybe the baby was in a bad position and that was why I was feeling pushy so soon. I think I was pretty far into labour land at this point, and it didn’t occur to me to call the midwife, or even my husband to come help, or let him know how quickly things were going.
After a few more contractions like that, I started feeling like I needed to pee again, so I walked to the bathroom. As soon as I sat on the toilet, I could feel crazy pressure and the urge to push hit me like a freight train. I was totally unable to do anything but push. I was still trying to keep my vocalizations low, but I was making really primal sounds, more like growling than anything else. . Lol. Even then, I still hadn’t quite grasped how quickly things were going. I told DH (who was still trying to put our toddler to bed) to call the midwife and tell her contractions were close together and I was having trouble dealing with them. It probably would have been worth mentioning to her that I was pushing like crazy but I don’t think I’d quite admitted it to myself yet. She said she’d head right over. At that point I remember DH asking if this time was worse than with DD, and I told him it depended on how long we had to go! He got me a wet cloth and some water and tried to hold my hands through a couple contractions, but I needed to grab something solid. With each contraction, I’d grab the toilet seat and push with my entire body whether I wanted to or not. I felt, and heard a “pop” and my water broke with just a tiny little gush of fluid.
I told DH that I thought it was time to fill up the birth pool. He got as far as taking the lid off one bin of supplies before I called him back. I’d reached down to see if I could feel anything, and there was the head, almost crowning. At that point I think I turned into half primal birthing mama and half drill sargent. In the few seconds between contractions I told him to call the midwife, tell her the baby was coming now, get some towels and get in here to catch.
I leaned forward off the toilet, on to my hands and knees, still pushing and trying to keep a hand on the baby’s head which was almost crowning. DH was trying to talk to the midwife, get instructions and get into the right place all at once. The midwife asked him to try and get me to lay down on the floor, but it wasn’t happening. Nothing but pushing was happening at that point. I told DH to put her on speaker phone, he had a baby to catch. With one more push, I could feel the head crowning, the ring of fire for a few seconds, then DH said “I can see eyes!” One more push and the head was out, followed by shoulders, arms and then with a gush of water the rest of the baby slid free. DH commented on how slippery babies are! I managed to turn over onto my back at that point and he placed the baby up on my stomach, as the cord was too short to get any higher. She started breathing and pinking up right away, although she barely cried. She was wide awake and looking around immediately. DH brought a towel to cover the baby and another stack of them that I could use as a pillow. Then, he went to get DD, who had been in her room, patiently waiting the whole time.
DD got to see her new sibling at just a few minutes old.
Our midwife arrived about 10 minutes after the baby did. We realized at that point, we hadn’t even checked to see if we had a boy or girl. I had felt like we were having a boy most of the pregnancy despite not having a preference for either, but nope, it’s a girl! We couldn’t be more thrilled. After a few more minutes DH got to cut the cord so we could move the baby up to my chest. We rested there on the bathroom floor for awhile longer, then I felt a little bit pushy again and delivered the placenta. A few more minutes and we moved to the bed. My new daughter caught on to nursing quickly and had a good little nurse before the midwives came in to check us both out. DD was perfect. 7 lbs 12 ¾ oz, 19 ¾ “ long. I have a small tear, but our midwife thought it would heal well without stitches.
The strangest thing about Ember's birth, is that throughout this pregnancy, whenever I would visualize the birth, if I just let my mind drift, I imagined accidentally UCing in almost exactly the place and position I did, so despite it not being the birth I planned, in some ways, it may have been the birth I wanted. (Although we are now 0 for 2 for not getting to use the birth pool!)
Edited by Carlin - 9/28/12 at 7:08am