Rose has arrived! (long birth story)First, congratulations to all of you mamas...what fantastic stories!
Our daughter Rose Alexis Elayne (yup two middle names) was born on 12/11/02 at 1:59 PM at home. She was 8 lbs. even 21" long.
I had prodromal labor on Sunday the 8th, with contractions every 4-5 minutes lasting a minute or so. Unfortunately they petered out by 6 AM on the 9th. My doula and midwife went home. On Tuesday morning, I woke up and felt a small gush of fluid...as a midwife I knew it might have only been a pocket of fluid, but we decided to use castor oil to get things rolling. Boy, did it! By 12:30 I was really in labor and laughed about the prodromal episode on Sunday...
I labored with little progress through the day had cryosurgery 10 years ago and had some scar tissue on my cervix (we referred to it as the stubborn spot). My midwife rubbed the stubborn spot and slowly I dilated. It was unbelievably frustrating and I felt myself losing confidence. By early the next morning I was about 5 cm and we discussed breaking my water...I was feeling desperate (and exhausted!) and I agreed that it was a good idea. After the bag was broken (the baby was very low) I progressed to 6 cm and hung up again. We rubbed some more and got to 7: things began to move.
I was walking around my house breathing with contractions. It was bearable as long as I was moving, but I was really tired. I got to 9 cm and began to have an uncontrollable urge to push, try as hard as I did to resist. I was swelling my cervix (yes, despite all things to the contrary i was, and had actually regressed to8 cm!) I lay down on my bed to try to take some of the pressure off. It didn't work...but the funniest moment of the entire process was the midwife's asst. and the doula trying to direct my breathing by blowing with me (blow the feather off your forhead!) I had the very lucid thought that the assistant was going to hyperventilate, pass out and fall off the bed!
The midwife checked and I was down to a small posterior and a fat anterior cervical lip, so she held them back and let me push...what a relief! I pushed well and the baby began to crown...I will never forget the midwife grabbing my hand and placing it on the baby's head...what a moment!
The baby's head came to the chin and stopped. I knew we were in trouble when the midwife told me to get on my hands and knees and push. I pushed, she pulled and then had me flip over again. suddenly, the baby was out almost all at once. I sat up, and realized that 1) the baby (we didn't know what sex she was) wasn't responsive, and 2) her cord had broken. I asked for hemostats and clamped both ends of the cord and began to assist in rescusitation. The baby's eyes were open and I could see that she "wasn't home". We used stimulation, suction and free oxygen and she began to come around. I watched her eyes light up as her soul caught up with her body...at the same time the midwife said "we have a heart beat, we're okay" and then she began to cry. The whole group of us (I had two friends, my hubby, plus the birth team) yelled with relief. If I live to be a million, I'll never forget it. Nobody had said what sex the baby was, so I looked and shouted it's a girl! her one minute apgar was a 1, her 3 minute was a 6 and her 5 minute was an 8...by 10 minutes, she was a 10.
The challenges weren't over yet. After 10 minutes or so, I felt a gush and believed that my placenta had let go. My midwife gave some gentle cord traction, and the weakened cord snapped (inside me). We knew that I could hemmorhage if we didn't get the placenta out. After a quick discussion, we manually removed the placenta...OUCH! it was an odd shape and had an attached lobe...very unusual. After all was said and done, though, I had normal blood loss and the baby was fantastic. She nursed within 20 minutes of the birth and considering all the craziness, I was fine. It was a wild experience for me both as a first time mama and a midwife.
Rose has gained beautifully (she's now over 11 lbs) and life as a mama is pretty great (if somewhat sleep deprived.)
Thanks for reading this!