I am still digesting the birth but here is a rundown.
I woke up Sunday morning thinking “This is the day” Found my mucous plug first thing. Contractions were different now (I had been having regular BH for a week or two) so I timed a bit and they were 5 minutes apart. I sent Ryan and the girls to church, telling Ryan today was the day. He was so excited.
I puttered around while they were gone, blew up the pool, getting supplies out, cleaning up a bit. But three hours later there was no increase in intensity or timing so I was getting bored.
The whole day went pretty much like that. I would walk around for awhile to try and get things moving then decide things weren’t moving and try to rest a bit. The contractions would be anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes apart. Basically it was a boring day. I was expecting too much and really wish I had relaxed all day. Another big regret is that I was holding back on eating expecting to get hard labor any moment. I was too caught up in comparing this to my last labor, but it turned out a lot different. Followed the same pattern but a lot slower. Anyway, I wish I had eaten more.
The girls were crazy all day, they knew something was up. Ryan finally got them to sleep around 9:30 and joined me. Contractions had picked up in intensity around 6:00 or so and started coming quicker, every 3 minutes or less, when the girls were asleep. I really had to work now. My other “regret” from this UC is having Ryan stay up with me all this time. I wish I had let him sleep till midnight or so . Anyway, I had him hang around but do other things (play his computer game) because I really didn’t want to be watched. He would rub my back as I leaned over various things (birth ball, rocking chair) during contractions. This went on for awhile, hard work but still fun. Then around 2 or 3 things started getting hard. I think I hit transition and stayed there for awhile I think. I was weepy and tired and hungry. It was so difficult.
I was in the water most of this time because it offered a small amount of comfort. Ryan was pouring water down my back during contractions. I leaned over the edge of the tub trying to get my body to just ride with the contractions, vocalizing a lot. During this time I reached up to check my progress frequently. I felt a head
which was sooo exciting for me. I had never felt a baby inside me before through my vagina. That was really neat. But I couldn’t tell what the cervix was doing. I was just waiting and praying for that urge to push. And it came. I don’t know the exact time but I really wanted to push so I did. I was very worried about pushing to soon, swelling up my cervix and making the labor drag out longer, so I held back as long as I could and then pushed with all my might. God that was intense. Felt her crowning after a few pushes(I was in the water still) and then her head was out. I remember feeling a little ear and chubby cheek and getting excited, remembering that there was a baby coming through all the pain.
Her head was out for what seemed like forever. I am guessing it was a minute or so. I tried pushing a couple of times but the shoulders just wouldn’t come out. I was worried about her head out under water so long so I climbed out. I tried semi squatting and on my knees upright because I really wanted to catch her. But finally I just flipped around, put my hands on the edge of the tub and told Ryan to catch. I pushed with all my might because I was getting worried having her halfway out so long and out she came. Ryan “softened her fall” hehehe he says because she was a slippery little noodle. But I flipped over and scooped her up.
These were the scary moments for me. My other two girls were born with eyes wide open but Eden was asleep, limp and unresponsive. This had been my great fear through the pregnancy..my only fear with doing a UC. Giving birth to a dead baby. And here she was limp and lifeless.
I was slightly freaked out I’ll say. I started rubbing and talking to her. I jumped back in the tub with her for some reason, maybe thinking the water would wake her up. Ryan was very calm the whole time which was reassuring. I never thought of calling for help. Her color was good and I knew that the cord was giving her what she needed. I just really needed to see her alive. So I rubbed her and talked to her and she started gurgling. It had probably been about 20 seconds, but it felt like forever, YK? Anyway, I got out of the tub and sat with her on the rocking chair rubbing her more with a towel. She cried a little bit so I felt better and kind of left her alone. I was a little concerned because she was gurgling a bit, but she was clearing it all out just fine.
I squatted over a bowl about 20 minutes after the birth and birthed the placenta. Her cord was so short. We put the placenta on a chair right in front of the rocking chair where I was holding her. I offered her the breast but she was mostly sleeping still. After awhile I handed her off to Ryan so I could go clean up. When I stood up a lot of blood poured out of me. I took some sheperds purse and got in the shower. I cleaned up and got into bed. I got up to use the toilet and lost a heap of clots and blood. I got some black spots in front of my eyes and had to rest for a minute when I stood up from the toilet so I took some more sheperds purse when I got back in bed.
I could go on and on because the after story is just as interesting as the birth...meeting the siblings, breastfeeding, sleeping, lol. But that is basically the story.
This birth seemed so much more painful than my last, but I am thinking now that it was just longer. With my last I was in active labor for about 6 hours. This time I think it was more like 10 hours. Last time I was in transition for about 15 or 20 minutes. This time I think it was a couple of hours. Anyway, I wish I had compared less to my last birth because this one was different.
I was so disapointed in myself during the last hours of birth and just after. I felt like a failure. I hated giving birth, I was ready to get my tubes tied. I thought of all the birth stories I had read of people who had great spiritual experiences and personal growth and that didn’t feel like me. I just know it hurt like hell. My bonding was put on hold a bit too. I felt an immediate connection but the magic of the first few moments wasn’t there because of my fears. I did have that magic a few hours later though, looking her over, admiring every detail. Anyway, I felt kind of down for awhile but as the day went by and I thought things over I realized how succesful I was. I didn’t have a painless birth, but I had my birth the way it was meant to be. I did it without a thought of calling a “professional” in. I had enough faith in my body and my baby to have my UC, though I still have a long way to grow in that area. But I have come so far from my first birth, induced in the hospital and all the other dependence on doctors I had back then. Anyway, I have just seen that the growth and spirituality of birth, for this birth anyway, comes afterward in reflection, and that is ok.
I have a lot to reflect on during my babymoon.
Eden Elizabeth, 9lbs 22 inches, of perfection.
Nursing great, pooping a lot for dad.
Thanks for reading.