Lily's Home Waterbirth Story!Lillian Hazel Huffstedtler was born Tuesday, November 26, 2002 at 7:35 pm. She was born at home in a birthing tub, with a midwife attending. She was born into the water, and was lifted out onto my chest as soon as her body was out.
9 lbs 4 oz
21 ¾ inches long
14 ¼ inch head circumference
She is 2 lbs heavier and 2 inches longer than Grace was. Lily was born the day before her due date after 3 hrs 50 minutes of labor. Grace was born 19 days early and weighed 7 lbs 5 oz, 19 ¾ inches long. I was expecting bigger because I went longer with Lily, but I can’t say I was expecting a 9 pounder. The child weighs 12 oz less than our Thanksgiving turkey for goodness sake!
I have been “in labor” for a few weeks, actually. I have had several days of off and on contractions, and cramping and pain in the last 3 weeks, resulting in my walking around at 100% effaced and 4 cm dilated for about 12 days. I never did know when labor would finally set in, but I was prepared for it being fairly quick, since my body had already done a lot of work. Good thing, because I was blindsided!
Active labor began as I was leaving the grocery store with mom, Grace, and the Thanksgiving turkey, among other things . Contractions began at 3:45 or so, after I had been having cramping and Braxton Hicks contractions… the kind that tone the uterus and tighten it, but do not hurt. The started right off the bat at 3 minutes apart and peaking after about 35-45 seconds. I got in the door to the house and called my midwife, and she came over about 45 minutes later. She checked me, the amniotic sac was still intact, and I was dilated to 6 cm or so. I labored on my hands and knees for a while, finding that holding my abdominal muscles tight and arching my back to keep my rear tucked helped alleviate the pain somewhat. Lily had dropped very low already into my pelvis, and my tailbone was what hurt almost as much as my belly! Then I labored on the birthing ball awhile, which helps open your pelvis and sort of has you squatting to sit on it, so it’s good for bringing baby down into position. Sonya was applying counter-pressure to my knees, which helped my tailbone area feel better, and mom was applying a hotpack to my lower back. Then I decided to try and stand through a few contractions, hoping that gravity would help bring baby down more. I stood hanging onto the fridge a while (was bigger than me and could support my weight, I was rocking and swaying my hips and moaning through contractions. Rob, Audrey, Sonya, and my mom finished setting up and filling the birth tub in my kitchen, and I decided to get in. (Audrey is my midwife, Sonya is her friend and the childbirth assistant/doula). Audrey never checked my dilation again, but said later that she suspected I went from 6 to 10 in about a half hour after she got there. She thinks I was probably complete soon after I got in the tub.
I hadn't been in more than about 5 minutes when I started feeling the urge to push, but I tried to hold out for a while... not stopping what my body was doing, but also not pushing. I was on my hands and knees for a while, then I got on my bottom in the tub, and sort of lifted my hips up and swayed through the contractions as I moaned. My body started pushing during contractions, and I just went with it, letting my body push sometimes, and helping it by bearing down other times. Lily was out in about 8 pushes totaling 20 minutes. I would go with the folks that say that while it takes less time to push out a larger baby, the pain is much more severe, because you don't get a break. That baby hits the birth canal, and that ring of fire stays consistent till her shoulders are out! Grace would crown and go back in, and Id get time between contractions to compose myself, but not this time. Lily came like a freight train.
Her name is Lillian Hazel, and she was born after 3 hours and 50 minutes of active labor. She weighs 9 lbs 4 oz and is 21 3/4 inches long. I have the same small tear as I did with Grace, required 2 small stitches. One would think that with such a huge head, I would have fared worse, but I can than the hydrating effect of water on skin for that, probably.
Feel free to ask questions, those are just the basic details of stuff. It was fantastic, quick, intense, and hard work!! She's a little lamb though, so sweet, very quiet, and sleepy, and has already latched on and gotten some good colostrum! She seems very instinctual in her ability to breastfeed.. she is more determined than her big sister was! And Grace’s first reactions the morning after the birth were “The baby come out! She’s CUTE! Can I hold her?” My mom had come from Illinois on Monday, and was in charge of keeping Grace distracted during labor. Mom did great and so did Grace. Grace is a little concerned about Lily crying, and we are trying to explain that Lily can’t use words, so she has to cry, and we have to figure out what her cry might mean. Usually Grace thinks she needs to be held or her diaper needs to be changed. Papa is in love all over again, and I’m sure will have his own version of how things happened. He has been a wonderful support to me, as always.
At our 48 hour post partum checkup, I discovered that I have dislocated/bruised my tailbone. It is pushed to one side and cusing no small amount of discomfort to go along with those lovely after pains! Lily has only lost 6 oz since she was born, and my milk came in after just 48 hours (see, I told you she was a good nurser!!!). Hopefully she won't lose much more.
Her first two nights were pretty fitful for me. She slept pretty well the first night, but I didn't. Then night before last she was up and very gassy. But last night she was only fitful off and on, and I got two stretches of 3 hrs of sleep!!
Jeni, Rob, Gracie Bug, and the WaterLily J