Birth Story(written the day of her birth, April 20)
Last night I kept waking up from contractions that were so intense I had to immediately flip onto hands and knees and rock my way through them. They were pretty far apart - about 15 to 20 mins - so I fell back asleep in between, assuming it was more of the same old false labour. By 3:00am I couldn't fall back asleep anymore, and started paying attention to the time. Contractions were getting closer together, so at 4:30am I called my sister and had my mom bring her over.
My mom and sister arrived around 5:30am, bearing muffins from Tim Hortons and a jug of apple juice. After a few extremely intense contractions that had me moaning and crawling around, my mom left and Cassidy (my sister) started cleaning the house. Jae got up a few minutes later and helped Cassidy clean, until I was unable to handle the contractions by myself anymore. We did the labour dance together for a while, then Jae moved the birth pool into the living room and started to fill it.
At 7:00am, Lynden woke up. He was in a wonderful mood, and sat on the couch eating breakfast and laughing at me while I had contractions. When I got in the birth pool, he decided that he wanted in too, so Cassidy stripped him down and in he got. It was so awesome having him in the pool with me! He laughed and splashed around, which kept me totally grounded and centred through some pretty difficult contractions. Jae rubbed my back for a few contractions, and when I started moaning while Jae was in the bathroom, Lynden leaned over and patted his hands all over my back just like Daddy had been doing. That, quite possibly, was my favourite part of the entire experience.
After about 45 mins, Lynden was getting a little too rowdy in the pool and started slipping and sliding around and trying to drink the water (ewww!), so Cassidy got him dressed and took him outside to play. I laboured in the pool for a while, then got out to go to the bathroom and spent some time on dry land. By this point, contractions were about 2 mins apart and I was mooing and braying my way through them. I was a little caught off guard - these contractions were stronger than anything I had had in Lynden's labour, and it took a few times for me to get into a groove where I could handle them well.
I got back in the pool at some point and just let my body take over without worrying about breathing or anything else. I wriggled and writhed and rocked back and forth, made all sorts of interesting sounds, and floated in the glorious water in between. Suddenly the thought hit me - "I need a break, I can't do this anymore!" - and I knew my time was getting close. I reached up inside myself and could feel the baby's head bulging in my cervix, still in the bag of waters. A ferocious contraction hit after that, and my legs and arms started shaking like crazy. Jae got into the pool with me, and I leaned on him and squeezed his arms and legs through the rest of my labour.
Before I knew what hit me, I was pushing with everything I had, and felt the need to get out of the water. I was suddenly exhausted, and laid on my side on the couch for a few minutes. POP! SPLOOSH! My water exploded everywhere and I could feel the baby's head start moving down into my vagina. I had a few minutes of rest here without contractions, during which I almost fell asleep, when a pushing contraction hit me like a freight train and I jumped up off the couch. I squatted down and pressed my hands against my labia while Jae applied pressure to my perineum. There was no way I could move enough to get back into the water, so I just squatted there pushing for a few minutes, screaming like a mad woman, until the baby came rushing out. I grabbed her just before she hit the floor and cradled her in my crossed legs. She didn't cry right away, just gurgled and wiggled around as she pinked up. She gave a few little mews as she coughed up fluids, then went back to gurgling and grunting until she started to get cold, at which point she let out a half-assed cry. I held her to my chest and covered her in a towel as the placenta came flying out (less than three whole minutes after baby! - I didn't even feel it coming, and it splattered on the floor, splitting open and spilling blood everywhere like an egg with broken yolk), while Jae squeezed my shoulders and bawled his eyes out with happiness. We looked down and I said, "I got my girl!" and my sister called the midwife. We gave the "oops, she came too fast to call" story, and the midwife came by to check me out.
I had been wavering on whether or not to have the midwife called after the birth, but in the end I'm so glad I did - as it turns out, my sweet babe's incredibly rapid passage down the birth canal left me with a nasty tear deep into the muscle that required lots of stitching. The midwife was impressed with the birth story and left the baby alone completely, just checking me out and foregoing the baby exam. She filled in all the paperwork, gave me a peri-bottle and a stack of postpartum pads, weighed the baby quickly, and left. It was perfect.
Oh, I almost forgot - Lynden and Cassidy had come inside at some point just before I hit the pushing stage. Lynden grinned and clapped his hands as he watched me labour, took a couple up-close looks while I was pushing that made him wrinkle his nose, and watched as his sister slid into the world. He was absolutely enthralled and thrilled when she was born, with the biggest smile on his face. He REALLY didn't like the placenta though - when it hit the ground he started to whine, until I looked up at him and told him everything was ok. He fell in love with his sister right away.
Our sweet baby, Raina Jae, was born at 12:27pm, weighing 7lbs 14oz. She nursed almost immediately, and is now napping in bed with Daddy and Lynden. I just can't get over how perfectly everything went, and how great I feel right now. I am so in love with my family.