I had my first daughter at 19 at a hospital and had to fight tooth and nail to have a natural birth (even then I ended up forced into getting an IV and had to suggest that they give me an internal monitor in order to get them to let me out of bed!). My daughter ended up having meconium aspiration from all of the stress and had to have her cord cut early and 20 minutes of suctioning and oxygen inside the warmer. We were lucky that she didn't end up in the NICU but she had a hard time breastfeeding and the first few months were very difficult - she cried constantly and I still wonder if it had to do with our birth experience.
After that I decided to hold off on having any more babies for a long time. After all, I was still really young and had plenty of time and I was still traumatized from my first experience. I opted for the most reliable form of birth control - an IUD. Fast forward 3 years (shortly after my daughter self weaned) and suddenly I started feeling a familiar type of exhaustion and having spotting. Feeling silly, I went to buy a pregnancy test "just in case" and was shocked when it came out positive. After going to the hospital I found out that I was definitely pregnant and miraculously the IUD was still in place and far from the baby. Still, I was told that there was a good chance of a miscarriage. But I knew right away that our little miracle was here to stay.
I had a very stressful pregnancy, struggling financially to pay our bills and the midwife and feeling like I was completely unprepared to have a new baby. But my husband and daughter were so excited about the new baby and eventually I started to feel more at ease. After I stopped working and the holidays were over with I had a lot of time to relax and spend time with my family and prepare for baby. By the time I got to be 39 weeks I was so anxious to meet her. I started going for long walks and tried my best to be patient, but I was expecting her any day since I had gone into labor with my first on my due date.
Four days before my due date I was still anxious and went with my husband and daughter to the mall to distract myself. Later that night at Target I started feeling weird and flu like and wondered if I was going into labor soon. I went to bed and half woke up in the middle of the night with mild contractions. I had been getting Braxton Hicks for weeks but I could feel these more in my back so I figured things might be getting started. I slept well and woke up around 9:30. When I got up I felt a little gush and found out my water had broken (actually it was just leaking and continued to throughout the day). I got excited and went to make breakfast before calling my midwife. My brother was at home with his friends and I felt a little uncomfortable so I decided to take a shower before getting things ready. After taking a shower my contractions stopped but I continued staying busy, cleaning up the house and hoping they would pick up again.
My husband wanted to take a walk to get exercise and I agreed figuring it might bring my contractions back. I had a few mild ones while we were eating lunch but nothing that really felt significant. At home I got the plastic cover on the bed and inflated the birth pool and eventually my mom came home (I had decided at the last minute to have her there to watch DD even though I wasn't sure that's what I really wanted). We watched TV for a while and I started doing some positions to rotate the baby in case she was posterior like my first had been. I'm not sure if that's what did the trick but around 11pm my contractions started coming more regularly and that's when I told my husband and my mom to take a nap, I figured I still had a while to go.
I had a snack and got one for DD too and we watched TV together. I started feeling restless and wondered what I was going to do while everybody was sleeping. Then around 1am I started getting shaky and having to breath through the contractions, that's when DH got up. I thought I might be starting to transition but it seemed way too soon. 15-30 minutes later I started having to moan through contractions, and debated whether I should call the midwife. Finally I did and regretted it as she asked me to stay on the phone through my next contraction and of course it ended up being much milder since I was talking to her. She thought I was still in pretty early labor but said we could start filling up the birth pool.
Filling the pool was more complicated than we thought it would be and I almost thought it wasn't going to happen. By then I wasn't any help, it took all my concentration just to get through my contractions and try to time them. Thankfully my husband figured it out and I spent the time between contractions trying to test the temperature. Pretty soon I got really shaky and started throwing up and telling DH I couldn't do it anymore. I knew I was close then so I called the midwife and told her my contractions were definitely a minute apart (which is when she wanted me to call back). Pretty soon after that I started feeling like I had to push and after I got up and went to the kitchen to check the water temperature I knew the baby was coming soon. DH was freaking out a little and kept telling me to call the MW and see where she was because she only lives five minutes away but still wasn't there. I did, she said she was getting in the car and to get in the tub. (which had barely filled up on time - there still wasn't much water in it) I had one more contraction standing up and had to squat over the floor and DH said "Are you going to have the baby with your clothes on?", then I got undressed and got into the tub. 2 or 3 contractions later baby was crowning and that's when my midwife got there. I said "the head is out!" and she came over as I pushed the baby out in the next contraction. By then it was 4:02am.
Baby Genevieve was tiny but perfectly healthy. She gave out a little cry and then spent the next 10 minutes looking contentedly at her family. She even latched on and nursed for a few minutes in the tub. My mom came out with DD who was so excited. We waited a long time for the placenta but it didn't come so we moved to the bed. After another 10 or so minutes in bed I had to really focus on getting it out, and I started freaking out a little. It ended up coming out but was very calcified and seemed to have some pieces missing (which I ended up passing later). I'm still a little concerned about that, and curious about why there was so much calcification. DD got to hold the baby and right after that she passed right out on the bed. Then we all slept for most of the day, which was wonderful.
Genevieve is such a calm and happy baby. She sleeps a lot and has been breastfeeding great. I'm so happy to have my little family!
Athena, mommy to Anastasia (1/18/09) and Genevieve (1/22/13)
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