I better type this down before I forget it!
Since spilling the beans after our planned UC birth of our first DS (we hadn't been planning on another kid) after he was born, I couldn't hide the fact that we were going to do it again with the second one. For some weird reason so many people were saying how 'brave' I was. No. I'd have to be brave to go to the hospital. One of the few things in life that terrify me is that. Though I'd go if it was absolutely necessary.
I didn't think I was in 'labor', or as they say in the CD's I was listening to, "having birthing waves". I had been visualizing the birth happening at night, that way DS would be asleep...and hopefully not wake up. The night before, I was woken up by cramping, but I was able to go back to sleep. That night DH was exhausted and was due to go into work at 3 AM, and had laid down around 10:00 pm. I had spent the day cleaning the floor in the kitchen and anything else in the vicinity and also using the pump that came with the exercise ball to blow up the birthing pool, which took several hours. I didn't think the baby would be showing up for another week or two, but I guess that nesting instinct thang was telling me to get everything ready. I had even made a strong batch of red raspberry leaf/lady's mantle tea that evening as usual and filled up all the pots on the stove with water, figuring I could always water plants with them later (our water pressure isn't so good in the kitchen).
About 10:30 I tried to go to bed, as I was having some cramping, but figured those were those pesky B/H contractions everyone talks about, as they weren't bad. Annoying, yes, but not real painful. I turned out the light and laid down, but for some weird reason, I suddenly got a terrified feeling and could not sleep. I started thinking about the first birth and started worrying this would be just like the first one. I thought to myself, "maybe I should go to the hospital", but then the rational part of my brain said, "Hey, there is absolutely no guarantee that if you go there that you won't be in pain". I calmed down more when I thought about it. I paced around in the dark, debating whether to wake DH or not, and then went downstairs to wake him up. I remember looking at the clock after I woke him up, saying, "I'm not sure if this is it, because it doesn't feel like it did the first time." With the first baby, I could barely even walk, even during the early stage. We finally decided that we may as well fill up the pool, as we could always drain it if it was a false alarm.
I went and got the supplies, and DH started filling up the birth pool at a little past 11:00. I put the first stage birthing CD in for the hypnobabies program and got the exercise ball, sat on it and immediately got back off, it felt very uncomfortable. I tried leaning on it but it didn't feel right either, so I figured best not to use it. I mostly walked around while the pool filled up or leaned on the kitchen counter, wondering if this was really 'it' or not. I'm so glad I had DH turn up the thermostat for the hot water tank that night, as we usually keep it on the lowest setting of 125 degrees. I did not want cold water, lol!
DH kept track of my 'birthing waves' the whole time. At first they were not regular at all. I'd have little ones and then some 'big' ones, but they were all over the place. I had wondered all through the last month about the babe's position, but I figured it was head down because the hiccups were always very low. She even got hiccups during labor! I was very conscious about not sitting back during my last 2 months, as I did not want a posterior baby. I used towels when I had to drive or ride in a car so I wouldn't slump back in the bucket seats.
I should have figured that this was the real thing, as I kept having to go into the bathroom to poop. It was like Montezuma's revenge.
Once the pool was filled up, I got in, it was SOOO nice!! Especially the padded floor, which was not an option in the bathtub for my first birth. I made sure to finish drinking my tea, which I had drank early on when the tub was filling up. I tried to use the light switch suggestions that the CD tells you to for 'discomfort', but it wasn't really working for me. What did help was the one suggestion for your partner to grab your shoulder and say 'peace'. I told DH to grab my shoulder VERY HARD, because it seemed to take my mind off of the 'birthing waves'. He wasn't grabbing it hard enough for my tastes, but it did help. I concentrated on the CD and visualized my cervix opening easily. I checked 2 times to see if it was progressing and could feel the head, so at least it wasn't a breech baby! I used the floor to bounce around a little, which also helped. The water from the stove heated things up, the heat really helped make me feel better too, I just wish the birth pool had been deeper, as the hot water on my back felt so great and countered any discomfort I was having.
I was actually glad DH was there this time, as my first birth I could not stand him just sitting there watching for some reason.
During the whole time, I was able to talk during my birthing waves, I didn't swear one bit. I was even aware of what was going on, unlike the first time.
DH was keeping track of the waves, and when I last asked him, he said that they were about a minute apart or less. Though they weren't painless by any stretch of the imagination, they were so much easier to take than my first baby. I tried to remain calm the whole time, which was easier to do in the warm water. Time seemed to go very quickly for me. I kept listening to the CD, and making DH grab my shoulder as much as he could. He said he couldn't grab it hard because his hands hurt. Hey, that's nothing compared to what is hurting me now, lol! Sometime during the birthing, I asked him to get some water on the stove for tea and start brewing some witch hazel leaf for me and add some shepherd's purse tincture, as these would help minimize any bleeding, as I did bleed a lot after my first birth.
Transition was VERY short, thankfully! The first 'tidal wave' that hit I knew that I was in transition. Knowing that is a mixed blessing, you know that it's going to not be comfy, but you also know you are in the home stretch. The first one nothing happened, I didn't have to push because I didn't need to push, my muscles down there were on autopilot and steroids and it felt like a car had rammed me. I actually wasn't as panicky this time, probably because by the time the second one hit, I felt the amniotic sac explode, it was really weird to have that happen under water, then the third time I could feel the head pop out. Another two pushes and the rest of her arrived. Boy, she is LOUD, ha!
We let the cord go limp and then tied it off and cut it. I didn't really want to do the lotus birth. By now DS had woken up and DH went to get him to show him his new sister. He was actually happy to see her, ha ha! He kept saying 'baby' and smiling at her.
I wanted to get out of the now murky water, but had DH take a couple of pictures. Since it was a UC birth we didn't have anyone else to take pictures, and as I'm usually the photographer/videographer, that's why there weren't any of the birth, lol! We dried the baby off and DH took her in the bedroom so I could take a shower. Remembering last time, I knew that my placenta would take awhile to come out, the first time it took 9 hours, and got 'hung up' by a membrane. I drank the witch hazel leaf tea while I was in the shower, it actually tasted pretty good and did stem the bleeding amazingly well. I was amazed at how I didn't feel weak this time, I got up and out by myself and didn't feel shaky at all. No hormone fluctuations either.
Once I got out of the shower, I figured I would skip trying to expel the placenta right away as I was not bleeding much, so I laid down to nurse. I woke up 3 hours later and sat on the toilet and just rocked back and forth. I started getting after pains which I thought were just the placenta detaching, but it came out and I still had the after pains. They bite! I should have looked up about what herb to take for that, but I didn't think I'd have them. Silly me. The placenta looked so much smaller than I remembered the first one, are boys placentas usually bigger? I've no idea! My memory can be faulty at times. It just seemed so much smaller to me. I took the towels that we had used and put them in the tub, filled it with some water and put the rest of the hydrogen peroxide in it to get rid of the blood. It really works!
Baby nursed with absolutely no problems, she was born with a full head of hair too! I think she looks like DH already, but he's not convinced. Went and got a crotchsicle, as I did have some pain down there.
Once I got settled in and DS was asleep, DH and I went to sleep about 5 am. What a great birth!
I did things sort of differently this time around, as it was good to know what to anticipate. With our first baby, out of the million things I read up on, the one thing I did not
research was pain management! This time I made sure to, and it really helped. Since I like to stack the deck in my favor, I basically did everything I could to guarantee a more comfortable birth. I drank red raspberry leaf tea, but in addition drank lady's mantle tea, which I believe helped immensely. I also took magnesium oxide, which I read helps with blood flow to the uterus. Raw milk yogurt helped me avoid most of the morning sickness (I got lazy and stopped drinking it for a few days, and that made the morning sickness return). The birthing tub helped a LOT, as did the hypnobabies CD's I listened to, as did visualizing the birth and thinking happy thoughts. I also think the raw milk helped, as I read somewhere that having good levels of calcium in your body can help with pain. I had also changed my diet completely for the past few years since I read the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. I believe that my better diet also helped me have an easier birth this time around.
Differences or similarities between first and second birth:
First one had to use bathtub, second one, birth pool!
First one, took just RRL tea to shorten labor time, otherwise no pain management, second one took red raspberry leaf tea and lady's mantle, after birth took strong infusion of witch hazel leaf (not
bark) and some shepherds purse tincture (5 drops). Reallly helped to cut down on bleeding!
First one, didn't look into pain management, second one had birth ball, birthing tub, hypnobabies CD's, herbs and also improved diet really did wonders.
First one, baby was born in 7 1/2 hours, second one born in less than 4 hours.
First one, I swore like a drunken sailor, other than screaming I could not talk at all. Second one, didn't swear once, I was lucid and could speak after any birthing waves.
First one, did prenatal 'care', second one, I thought, well I'm going to reject every single test they want me to do, so why bother? I don't trust ultrasound after reading more about it (Thank you Gloria Lemay for cluing me in!!), and the other ones are pretty much a waste of my time. I don't have any health issues and am in tune with my body.
First baby was barely over 5 lbs, second one is 7 lbs.
First one, baby was left intact, second one, baby is also left intact!
Weight, 7 lbs
Length, 18 1/2 inches
Leo, barely on the cusp of Virgo
Born in the year of the Tiger
Here are some pictures for those who are interested.
Me and babe in the tub:http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x...o/100_2732.jpg
Sonya Lynn, one day old:http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x...8OneDayOld.jpg
People and places I'd like to thank for helping me have another great birth: MDC (of course) and many of the posters who had helped give me great information or guide me to great information, Spinningbabies, hypnobabies and Keri for making a great CD, MountainRoseHerbs for their great herbs, the people who sold me the labassine birthing tub, the wisdom I learned from Sally Fallon and her book Nourishing Traditions really helped prepare me for a good pregnancy, Gloria Lemay for giving me the real story on what is going on with ultrasound and prenatal 'care'.