Kara Esme's Birth Story
Wednesday, October 21st, I'm two days past my due date. Feeling fine, but DP is on paternity leave from work already and we're waiting. This morning, I have an appointment with my OB. Considered not going, just because I didn't want to hear any BS about me being overdue, but decided to go so I could find out what position the baby is in, and possibly get a cervical check to see how effaced/dilated I am. When I get in to see the doc, he does an ultrasound, and I found out baby is posterior at this point, but still head-down and ready to go. He doesn't do a cervical check but does warn me that next week I should "be prepared" to be induced because he doesn't believe in letting pregnancies go past 42 weeks. Of course I have no intention of showing up for an induction, but don't feel like wasting my time arguing with this man, so I get ready to leave. Then he informs me he wants to start doing bi-weekly non-stress tests in the hospital, starting the next day. I'm really not happy about this, because I feel like this intervention could lead to us "needing" more interventions and don't want to start down that slippery slope. I'm pretty upset when I leave the doctor's office. In fact, I can barely talk to DP about it when I get home. I decide that this baby needs to come out, soon, before things get any more complicated. That evening I walk for about an hour, until I'm pretty exhausted. I feel a lot of pressure in my pelvis, but don't think it's contractions. After dinner, I go to the bathroom and realize I've lost my mucus plug! Yay! I keep pacing around the house hoping to keep things going. I took my EPO, drank some RRL tea, and took a really small dose of Castor oil. Around 11:30 pm I am having contractions painful enough I can't go to sleep, even though I try. I get online for a while, still not 100% sure I am in real labor yet. I sit on my birth ball to help open my pelvis. I feel some pain in my back (usually a good sign for me) but I'm not sure if it's from balancing on the ball or from contractions. By 12:30 pm I am hurting and I'm thinking that this is really "it". DP and the kids are already asleep, DP and Caden on the futon and Kai in his room. A little after 1 am, I get on contractionmaster.com and time my contractions - only 20-30 seconds long, about a minute and a half apart. Early labor. Darn. After this I drink some more RRL tea and decide to fill the big tub up. This
uses all the hot water, and I add several pots of boiling water to it in-between contractions. I get in, but it's not nearly hot enough enough to provide pain relief. For the next hour and a half or so, I alternate between pacing and side-lying on the bed. Being up feels so much better but I am so tired, I have to lie down some. I try my back massager and then a heating pad on my back, but the pain just intensifies with counter pressure and the heat's not helping. This worked so well last time I'm really disappointed it's not working this time around. I start to think a glass of wine would be a good thing but of course we don't have any. I sneak past DP and Caden on the futon and steal a shot-glass full of DP's Crown. It doesn't do anything besides make me sleepier, but I did dose a little in-between contractions lying on the bed after that. Around quarter after 3, I get frustrated with lying down because I feel like it's just slowing my labor and prolonging the pain, and I find enough energy to get back up and pace some more. The hot water is back on and I try the shower - but it doesn't help either. So I get out, sit on the toilet, bear down, and my bag of water breaks. I feel for the head, but it's not there. I get up and pace down the hall some more. I start feeling like I need to have a BM, so I go get back on the toilet, but when I try to go, I feel the baby's head moving down. YES! I stand up and check for the cord and I feel a wrinkle of skin under my fingers - I decide it's scalp and not cord. The next contraction comes and I PUSH hard, and then stop when the baby start to crown, thinking, "I need to slow down so I don't tear". I feel the "ring of fire" and stop for a moment, then push her head out. I only hesitate for a second because I know I need to get her shoulders out quickly, so I push hard and fast. She slips into my hands and I lower her to the floor, to get a better grip, and then bring her up to my chest. I kiss her wet head and tell her I love her. She pinks up right away and fusses a little bit. I'm bleeding all over the floor, so I go get in the tub and holler loudly for DP. Of course he doesn't hear me, so, getting pretty ticked off, I climb out of the tub (it's empty at this point), track blood across the carpet and yell for him from door of my bedroom. He comes, finally, and I go get back in the tub. I tell him to get the towels and my camera, and then stop him and ask him to check the time - it's 4:04 am, and I decide she arrived around 4 am. Kara is wrapped in a towel and spitting up some amniotic fluid, so I lean her over to help her get it out, but this makes her mad and she lets me know about it. DP takes a couple pictures and then I get him to warm some towels because I'm afraid she's getting chilled. While he's doing this he calls his mom, even though I asked him not to call anyone until after I delivered the placenta. In the meantime Kai wakes up and comes in to see his sister. I'm contracting so hard I can barely talk to him, so DP tells him to go back to bed and he can see her when he wakes up. He runs and gets back into bed. Then DP's mom gets there and I'm lying in bed half-naked still having awful contractions. Not cool. He gets her to leave for a while so I can have some privacy. Kara's cord is short and has gone white and limp, so we tie and cut it so I can go in the bathroom and try to deliver the placenta. I've nursed Kara and it has not detached yet, so I get DP to give me some Angelica tincture, and since I am still bleeding some, Witch Hazel tincture as well. I shower off, and then sit on the toilet and wait. At some point I realize there is more cord hanging out and I see some membranes. I get in the shower and squat and pass a HUGE placenta plus a blood clot the size of my fist and a couple smaller ones. I'm still bleeding some so I take some Shepherd's purse and about 6 cayenne capsules. I don't feel shaky or woozy, just tired. I also cut out a piece of the placenta with the cord scissors. The membrane is tough and I cut through that first, then I snip out a small chunk of the flesh and hold it in my cheek for a bit. It's rubbery and tasteless, and after a couple minutes I get tired of having it in my mouth and swallow it down. (The hormones in it are supposed to help control postpartum bleeding).I get DP to call my mom and then I get dressed, get back in bed with Kara. I take some Tylenol for the after pains. Chad's mom comes back over and my mom and her check out the baby and take some pictures. Everyone goes home and we go to bed. It was about a 6 hour labor, maybe a little more depending on what you count as labor. Definitely my most intense one so far. I didn't count on my pain relief techniques not helping - I was kicking myself for not ordering that hypnobabies CD! I'm happy with the way everything worked out now, and I'm really glad she's finally "earthside" as my friend Lucia would say! I feel incredibly blessed to have had my second unassisted homebirth. I love being home with my baby and my family and being able to bond in privacy without the interference of hospital protocols and unwanted poking and prodding. It's a little different going unassisted the second time around. After I gave birth to Caden, I felt like Superwoman, this time, it just feels like a normal, natural thing. Wonderful, beautiful, and just another great part of being a mom.
Pictures:Just bornJust born #2UC "cheat sheets" taped to my mirror