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Calvin Elliot's Homebirth

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Because everything happened relatively quickly, there are no pictures before he was born. But, here is his photo album.

Before Labor Began
Before bed on Wednesday, the 19th, I took some prune juice to help with constipation. It helped with that, but didn't cause any contractions as it had in the past. Thursday evening and Friday morning I had some blood-tinged mucus - a positive sign that labor would probably be starting within a few days.Friday afternoon I had another glass of prune juice, which didn't clean me out this time, I assume because it was so efficient in doing so on Wednesday. That evening, we had sex. I then experienced contractions throughout the night, but was able to sleep through them for the most part. I woke up at 5:30am unable to go back to sleep and by then the contractions had completely stopped.

Labor
Sean and I took a shower at about 8:45am. At that point, the contractions returned and intensified. The warm water really helped, so I stayed in the shower for quite a while. When I was getting out around 9:20am, our midwife, K, called to let us know she was on her way for our 41 week appointment. K arrived and we had our normal appointment. She said the baby was in a good position (had been posterior the week before) and jokingly gave me her permission to go into labor. While I was in the bathroom doing the urine sample, I lost a much larger and bloodier piece of mucus plug into the toilet. I also had a few mild- to medium-strength contractions during the course of the appointmen and K and I agreed that I was in early labor and would probably be giving birth in the next 2-3 days.

After K left, the contractions intensified rather quickly and I got back in the shower to deal with them while Sean went to get some movies for us to watch while I was in early labor. When I got out of the shower, I began listening to a Hypnobabies track and timing contractions on the computer. I got frustrated trying to time them because it was difficult for me to figure out when they started and ended. Because I was so frustrated when he got home from getting movies, Sean asked me to stop timing them for a little while. So, I grabbed my birth beads which was the project I had set aside to work on in early labor, and sat down in the bedroom to string them. I got half of them strung before the contractions became too intense for me to concentrate. I headed to the bathroom for another shower, but waited a while in the bathroom until the Hypnobabies track I was listening to was done. Before I got in the shower, I asked Sean to fill the birth pool. I wasn't quite clear that I wanted to get in it ASAP, so he filled it with all hot water and I had to stay in the shower for quite a while until it was ready for me to get in. The contractions were very intense at this point and in my mind, the birth pool was the only thing that could relieve them. Once Sean told me that the water was the right temperature, I ran from the bathroom to the pool because I couldn't wait another minute.

Birth
Getting in the birth pool did not supply the instant relief I had hoped it would. The contractions were incredibly intense and I needed Sean to apply counterpressure during most of them. After only a half hour or so in the water (and after losing what seemed to be an incredible amount of bloody show), I began to feel the urge to push. I was terrified that I wanted to push so soon because I had never had an internal exam and was fairly certain that I couldn't be dialated much beyond 5 or 6 centimeters. Still when the urge to push was really strong, I pushed along with it. After about an hour in the pool, I asked Sean to call K and have her come back to check my dialation. He hemmed and hawed and put me off for about ten minutes, which really upset me at the time. He was sure I was still in very early labor and thought I was being a bit of a drama queen about the whole thing (though he only said so to me after the fact). I finally convinced him to call her because I figured that's what we were paying her for. If I was still not dialated very far, she could leave and at least I would know where I stood. While we were waiting for her, I was having a really hard time handling the contractions. I told him several times, "I don't want these anymore!" At one point, he gently reminded me to use one of the Hypnobabies tools and I replied angrily that I had been using it earlier and it didn't work. But, I tried it anyway and from then until crowning, the contractions were much easier to deal with and many of them even felt good.

K was at a prenatal appointment fairly close by and arrived in about a half hour (it was some time around 3pm). She came in, put on her gloves, and checked me. Then she said "Oh! You're complete!" I was incredibly relieved to hear this and turned to Sean and said "I told you!" My pushing was a lot more efficient once I knew it was "safe" to push. At a quarter to four, my water broke and I asked if there was any meconium in it. She said there was very light meconium, but nothing to be concerned about. Shortly thereafter, the backup midwife, S, arrived. The baby was already crowning before she arrived, but it was a very long process. Because of how he was coming down and then going back up, K suspected shoulder dystocia. After what seemed like a very long time, his head was born and K checked his neck for a cord. While she did that she felt a fist at his shoulder (the cause of the dystocia) and it grabbed onto her finger. From that point, everything happened very quickly. She started to turn the baby to pull him out and asked S to help her. They had all four of their hands in there to get him out. I couldn't see what happened next because it was all going on behind me, but his cord was so short that it began to tear when he came out and it had to be clamped right away. I stood so they could pass him through my legs and while they were still dealing with the cord, I saw his testicles and announced that it was a boy!

Calvin Elliot was born 12/22/07 at 4:34pm. He weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 20 inches long. His head was 14.75 inches around. We stayed in the pool for a while, but he was getting very cold, so Sean cut the cord and held him while I got in bed and waited for the placenta. It came out about 45 minutes after he was born without incident. We made the decision to give him oral Vitamin K since he had quite of bit of bruising and swelling on his face from being on the perineum for so long. I ended up with two very minor tears/skid marks, which the midwives said were from his shoulders, fists, and four adult hands all in there at once, not from his crowning. The midwives cleaned up, made me a placenta smoothie and some tea, examined me and Calvin, and then eventually left as S had a family holiday celebration to attend and K had two more prenatal visits to make.

Comments about Sean
I really didn't expect my husband to react the way he did at all. He put off everything I asked him to do right up until K announced that I was complete. I realize he was trying his best to help and that he thought I had a long haul ahead of me but at the time it was quite frustrating to not be taken seriously. Also, though he made me breakfast, he never ate himself until K forced him to have an apple. I know his hunger contributed to his nervousness a lot. When he found out I was complete, he said his limbs went numb and he retreated into the bedroom to breathe into a paper bag. I'm really glad he didn't faint, but I'm also glad I didn't need to rely on him while I was in labor. Most of the time (especially after the midwives arrived), he was more of a distraction and I felt like I had to take came of him. This was so unexpected because our usual dynamic is quite the opposite and most of the time he is my rock. I really thought I would be leaning on him and needing him, but aside from counterpressure and when he reminded me to use my Hypnobabies tools, I preferred to have him out of my way. Since the birth, though, he has been fantastic. He has changed every diaper so far, is an expert swaddler, and is much better at non-breast-related means of comfort than I am. Although he wasn't much help during labor, I'm glad he was there and think it is part of the reason he is such a huge help to me now.

Post-Partum Notes
Since the birth, things have gone really well. My milk came in and nursing is going pretty smoothly. Calvin was a little yellow when K came back to check him the next morning, but she determined that it was from meconium staining and not from jaundice. I've had a couple of postpartum BMs and they were not nearly so horrifying as I was led to believe they would be. I got my placenta back from the women who encapsulated it and have started taking those. After all is said and done, and besides a little sleep deprivation, I feel pretty good!
post #2 of 22
Congrats and thanks for sharing!
post #3 of 22
Congratulations : Welcome sweet Calvin!
post #4 of 22
Congratulations!!!!! I'm so glad to hear everything went smoothly.
post #5 of 22
Lovely story!! I'm so glad things went well for you!

Quote:
timing contractions on the computer. I got frustrated trying to time them because it was difficult for me to figure out when they started and ended
I also did that! It was frustrating for me too!
post #6 of 22
Wonderful birth story. I'm so glad that little Calvin (and you... and Sean) are doing so well. I was the same way with dh during labor. I definetly didn't need him, and found him frankly, quite annoying. But to see the love in his eyes when both of the babies arrived, was worth me putting up with his annoying ways.
post #7 of 22
great work! i hope your babymooning is lovely. (i recall you were concerned about ppd so hopefully your smoothie has been theraputic)

p.s. i found defining contractions to be difficult also!
post #8 of 22
Congratulations, Steph! Thanks for sharing your birth story with us.
post #9 of 22
Congratulations, Steph! I am so glad everything went well and that you are holding your sweet little man.

p.s. This is Scarletts mommy
post #10 of 22
Congrats again Steph!
post #11 of 22
Dear Steph, I am so happy that you are FINALLY holding your little one. Those contractions are intense, aren't they? If you are like me, processing the birth may take a little while and then you will realize how triumphant you really are! On the DH dynamic, I guess that's why doulas exist, huh? I was very pleased to see that you insisted on having the MW come when you felt like you needed her. Also interested to hear that Hynobabies worked (at least somewhat). Maybe I'll try that for #2! I feel you on feeling like DH has more comforting tools that you at this point: in my case, the boob was the go-to thing so I didn't need to develop other techniques until DH went back to work. But they came with time and now we each have our own methods.
post #12 of 22
Wonderful story! My labor cranked up about the time yours ended. I think it's cool our boys share a birthday!

Christa
post #13 of 22
Congrats again Steph!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the congratulations! I added a link to some pictures, though unfortunately there aren't any of the birth.
post #15 of 22
great birth story and i LOVE the organization. i might have to snag that when august/sept comes.

as i was reading your story, i was totally feeling "geez! men!" : it's funny to me how they don't necessarily listen when, hello! you're the one feeling/experiencing it! Crazy! silly creatures.

i'm glad you had such an awesome birth (at least, it reads awesome) and that everything is going well post too! calvin's a cutey!
post #16 of 22
Congratulations, and HOORAY for little Calvins, my Calvin is 5 weeks old tomorrow, and I am LOVING the name every time we say it.
post #17 of 22
congrats!!!
post #18 of 22
Congratulations Steph! I enjoyed reading your birth story, thanks for sharing it! I'm so glad that it all went well.
post #19 of 22
I know I'm a bit late, but I just want to say congrats again Steph! I'm sorry that Sean was a little frustrating during the birth. I'm sure the next one ( am I allowed to say that? ) will be much easier on him.

What did your placenta smoothie taste like?

Also... After what seemed like a very long time, his head was born and K checked his neck for a cord. While she did that she felt a fist at her shoulder (the cause of the dystocia) and it grabbed onto her finger.
Is this supposed to be his shoulder? Otherwise I can't understand her position.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwilightJoy View Post
What did your placenta smoothie taste like?
She made it with vegetable juice, so it just tasted like that, with some stringy bits toward the bottom that didn't quite fit through the straw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwilightJoy View Post
Also... After what seemed like a very long time, his head was born and K checked his neck for a cord. While she did that she felt a fist at her shoulder (the cause of the dystocia) and it grabbed onto her finger.
Is this supposed to be his shoulder? Otherwise I can't understand her position.
Yep, it is I'll go back and edit that.
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