JAKE-my 21-month old son
KAILEY-my sister-in-law, the photographer
Tuesday evening: The Family and I went to eat at a local rich Italian restaurant, Villa Gargano. We had eaten there when I was pregnant with Jake and my water had broken 23 hours later. We were hoping for the same effect.
In the afternoon, I started having more contractions. They were pretty irregular, spaced out, but a little painful. I'd had plenty of these the past few days but was wanting it to be regular. I was ready. I got a tip from a mama online from a message board that Target always gave her strong, painful contractions... so I decided, what the heck, I'll try it out.
Jake and I were at Target from 6:15 to around 7, where I had several strong contractions. We played with all the car seats in the kids' section and then I put him in a carrier and walked around a little more. When I got too tired, I went home.
When I got home, Kris managed the miracle of getting Jake to sleep... but couldn't put him down. So, at about 8:30, when I realized Kris hadn't eaten since Gargano's (6pm the night before!), I went to Wendy's for him. I had one contraction in the drive-thru and one in the car when I was almost home. I also had one as I was walking in the door. They were about 4 minutes apart at this point, but I was still pretty upbeat between them, folding laundry and printing Bible verses to help me focus.
Kris's mom (Dawn) came at about 10:30 so Kris could go to work, and after he left, Jake woke up. I tried rocking him back to sleep, with several very painful contractions (back labor? In a recliner?), but wasn't successful. Eventually he went to Dawn and I was able to sneak out and get in the tub.
I was in the tub alone (with iTunes) from about 11:45 to 2, when Kris came home from work. Once he arrived, I was able to stop worrying about calling him too late and things got pretty serious. I stayed in the tub a little longer, maybe until 3, when I had to get out and go to the bathroom. Those toilet contractions were killer, but when I was done, I absolutely did NOT want to get back in the tub. Here I was doing everything to plan for a water birth, and the thought repulsed me.
So we moved to the bedroom and I sat on a towel, on the birth ball, burying my face in the bed. After awhile, I couldn't do this anymore either. I was tired, and wanted to lie down and go to sleep (I know...). So I piled up a ton of pillows and laid into them with contractions.
They were coming every 2 minutes or less at this point, and while I wasn't panicking, I was in a freakish amount of pain during contractions. My low, deep moaning was getting higher-pitched at the peaks of contractions, and I felt like I was losing control. I made the same pillow-pile up on my bed and got up there, since my knees were hurting from the floor. Kris was still providing great lower-back counter pressure, and awesome back massage between contractions (to make up for all the massages I gave him while *I* was pregnant!).
This is the point in labor that I printed all those Bible verses for, but I just couldn't think of any of them. The only thing I could think about was the header on a blog I read frequently: "Run with endurance the race that lies before us." Hebrews 12:1. That's exactly how it felt, and it was absolutely perfect.
I think I passed full dilation on the bed, but I lost my "primal instinct" for a few minutes and tried to think too much. I had felt the baby moving down during contractions (and my belly was visibly lower) so I tried to check my cervix to see if I could feel a head (and maybe some cervical lip that would mean I needed to wait on pushing). Well, what I felt didn't feel anything like head. It felt very squishy and smooth, like a butt. I thought to myself, he was head down early in labor, did he turn in the tub? And I immediately stopped "test-pushing" because I remembered that you needed to make SURE you're fully dilated if you deliver a breech. But after awhile I couldn't help it anymore. I was screaming and roaring VERY loudly through contractions, and I HAD to push. I had to do SOMEthing. I was hoping for that awesome relief that everyone talks about, but I didn't feel it. In fact, pushing was much more intense and painful than with Jake's delivery. Again, my over-analyzing brain said it was because baby was breech, which would be harder work (yes, I was still thinking 100% coherently the entire time).
During one push, I actually stopped scream/roaring long enough to do a good, silent, focused push. And it felt very good and very right, so I immediately yelled to Kris to lay down the sheet (the other shower curtain, on the floor). I pushed really hard on the bed again and felt water go everywhere. I wasn't sure whether it was urine or amniotic fludid (even in labor, haha!) but the mattress was protected, so whatever (in hindsight, you'll see, it was urine. I'd had to pee but could NOT get up and go... heck, I guess that's one way to sterilize an area, right? LOL).
As soon as the liner was down, I crawled onto the floor and got on my hands and knees, with my head on the mattress. I pushed like crazy for 3 contractions, each time yelling at Kris to push on my back, and to hold the hot wash cloth on my perineum (to avoid tears). After a few pushes, I could feel him crowning, and heard the amniotic sac literally explode under me (remember what I thought was butt? It was a bulging bag of waters). It was the coolest sound and feeling! I kept asking Kris if his head was out yet, and he kept saying no, no, just a little more. The contraction stopped with him out to his nose, and I said oh NO, I cannot sit here like this. The "ring of fire" had been burning for way too long! So I gave another big push and he was born to his neck, which (as you can see from pictures of his wide neck) was hardly any relief. Thankfully, another contraction started just then and I pushed the rest of his body out. It was huge... it didn't just slide out like most babies! Feeling his body rotate to the side for his shoulders was a totally bizarre and amazing moment... being consciously aware of every single detail of the delivery was absolutely miraculous. I knew what was happening at every second, and knew exactly what to do.
I sat back right away and held him, just staring at him for a few minutes.
Of course... I wasn't sitting on the liner. I was half-on, half-off, so when the placenta seperated (indicated by a gush of blood), it went all over the white carpet... in our rental... but anyway, I handed Mikah to Kris, and managed to deliver the placenta ON the liner, but of course, not in the huge blue dish that we'd bought specifically for the purpose. I did inspect it to make sure it was all there (it was) and then it was put aside until we needed it again.
The first thing I wanted to do after getting some snuggling in was rinse off in the shower. I knew I was bleeding a lot, and I managed to make our entire bedroom carpet between the bed & bath, as well as our entire bathroom, look like a bad horror movie. I felt a little faint in the shower and had Kris get me a few large chunks of placenta, which seemed to help a good bit. I went to bed, nursed Mikah for a few minutes until he didn't want to anymore, and then Kris took him to meet the family that had stopped to visit. I woke up about 2 hours later and had to pee, but when I got up I lost a TON of blood (like, a scary bit). I managed to walk to the bathroom before having to lie down on the tile and have Kris get me some Shepherd's Purse (to contract the uterus and stop hemorrhage) and Rescue Remedy (to calm me the heck down--it worked too). After a few minutes I felt decent again, and was able to pee and get back in bed. The next time I had to get up was just fine and I haven't had any issues since. I really think it was because Mikah didn't nurse much the first hour, and also because I took a very warm shower right after he was born. Also, I had taken some ContractEase that first hour after the birth for the afterpains, which obviously doesn't help with the uterus clamping down. But after those first few hours I was just fine, Mikah was nursing more often, and Kris made me a placenta smoothie (which was very good and tasted nothing like placenta).
Mikah Donovan Wallace
19.5 inches long
13.5 inch head circumference
14.25 inch chest... told you it hurt!
Born July 10, 2008 at 4:20am, into Daddy's hands. We asked for a God-assisted, unhindered homebirth, and we got it!
He's a short, chubby baby... total opposite of Jake, who was super-long and skinny!
Sunny : gun toting, retired breastfeeding, car seat loving, guitar playing, home birthing and schooling mama to Jakob (10.06), Mikah (07.08) and Korah (07.11).
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).