We just got home from the hospital all of 30mins ago but I really wanted to take a moment & post. Do you guys remember how I was taking castor oil & blue & black cohosh the other night (Friday night) ? Well, IT WORKED. Within hours I was in labor.
And guess what??? Y'know how I predicted my ENTIRE pregnancy that I was carrying a girl?? I WAS WRONG!!
We had a BOY. I was *shocked*, I laughed when he came out.
Xeowyn ("ZAY-oh-win") Eli Weston, our BOY
, was born at 5:40am, Saturday, November 26 after only 2.5 hours of labor. He was 8lbs 13oz & is perfect.
I can't wait to write my birth story, post pictures, & catch up on everybody elses births & the weekly thread! But Mr Chicken Legs is sleeping right now for once, & I'd better go join him (I haven't slept nearly at all since Thurs. night).
I am full of tears. I can't even tell you how excited I am that this is the moment that I get to post my birth announcement in our fabulous Nov DDC.
I'll be back to catch up with all of you. UPDATE: Birth story!
My birth story begins Monday evening, 5 days before Xeowyn's birth. I began having every pre & early labor symptom in the book, minus my membranes rupturing. I began anticipating labor any moment! And then hours started dragging, & then the days started dragging & then my due date passed. On Friday night my impatience got to me & I decided to try taking castor oil & herbal blue & black cohosh tinctures. I honestly wasn't expecting them to work & was more concerned that they would just make me feel ill & regretful. WELL... several hours after taking 2oz of castor oil, & drinking 8 drops of each tincture in warm water every 30mins, I was having irregular contractions. I didn't pay much attention as they weren't unlike every Braxton Hicks contraction I'd been experiencing *constantly* since my 1st trimester.
We were up late that night because DP's mom had flown into town & gotten to our house at 1am. We stayed up chatting. At 3am I noticed that I did seem to be having a lot of contractions & that maybe I should pay attention to them. I began jotting down the times of my contractions at 3:30am. They were coming every 2-3 minutes so I thought, "This wouldn't be real labor, the cx are much too close, I'll take a shower & they'll probably fizzle out, like always."
I got in the shower at about 3:50am. My cxs suddenly intensified a LOT. I had previously told DP that I'd wait to go to the hospital until I knew for sure it was labor because the pains would be regular AND strong enough to make me cry. When I was standing in the shower talking to DP, I started gripping the windowsill, & CRIED! I told DP I was still having a hard time grasping that I might *actually* be in labor & was hesitant to have him call my mom & midwife for fear my cxs would "fizzle out & I'd just be bothering them at 4am". It's so funny to me now, looking back, because Xeowyn crowned 1.5 hours later.
Finally, after yet another intense cx 2mins after the first, I told him to call my mom. Then I told him to tell her to hurry!
At 4am my cx were STRONG. And all I wanted to do through each one was squat & moan. I'd squat & moan through a cx, then jump up & get my jacket or bag, squat for another one, then jump up & start walking down our stairs..squat for another one on the staircase... then dart up & into the van. DP & I & my 14 yr old DD got to the hospital at about 4:45am. I got out with my DD & she walked me up to L&D while DP parked the van. My DD was so awesome, so supportive, so grown up! Every time I had to squat & moan, she'd be there coaching me through it. I squatted & moaned at the potted plants outside the hospital doors, in the lobby (thank goodness it was 4am & there weren't a million people lingering around staring at me) & then in the elevator. My cxs were about 1min apart, & I was still smiling between them. I got a good giggle when the elevator doors opened to a few people waiting to get on, & there I was on the floor just about to deliver a baby. I said something like "just a minute please!" Haha. I kept being asked if I wanted a wheelchair but I knew that I needed to squat or kneel on the floor through every cx & that a wheelchair just wouldn't work.
My DD & I were brought to my delivery room & were joined by DP, my mom & my 7 yr old DS, my younger brother who was in town just hoping to get to be at my birth, my mom's boyfriend, and my midwife (just after our baby's arrival we were also joined by DP's mom). I checked into the hospital at 9 centimeters dilated!! It was somewhere around 4:50am.
Within minutes of getting into my gown I felt ready to push. So I did! It was amazing, everything was going so fast! The contractions were excruciating & I roared & yelled & grunted through them. I was very vocal, but the good vocal, the primal animal mama roaring her baby out kind of vocal. Soon the cxs blended together & I was just overwhelmed by the need to push. I remained squatting on the floor through part of my remaining 40 or so minutes of labor, crouched near the end of the bed, holding DP's hand, my mom's hand, yelling "OH OH OHgrunnnnt", thrashing my forehead into the bed's mattress, biting the mattress. My mom offered me a pillow for my knees, & eventually the midwife suggested I get on the bed, otherwise I'm quite sure I could have delivered my boy right there onto the hard hospital floor at the foot of the bed.
I remember a moment, between pushes, 10cms dilated, at the foot of the bed, looking up at my 7 yr old son who was lounging on the couch not 10 ft away & asking him if he was tired or if he wanted to eat some of the yummy chocolate bar I had packed in our bag. And I was smiling! Soon after I was roaring again. So many surreal moments!
I made it up onto the mattress & requested the squatting bar be put up over the bed. Three days later & my entire chest & arms are still aching from the powerful pulling I did on that bar! I pulled at the bar, held DP's hand, squatted on one knee, & pushed my baby down. I started to feel the burn of his head & pushed some more. Somehow I ended up laying back on the bed where he was born from my body after SUCH powerful pushing. Wow, I was definitely in another world at that point, the world where I felt my entire being consumed by pain & the desire, the NEED, to make it end at any cost. I gripped at the bed, at my mom's hand, and pushed like only someone who has birthed a baby from their body knows. He came so fast! All the squatting is what I think helped. My last son I worked on pushing out for over 2 hours, on my back, this boy took mere minutes.
One thought that helped keep me focused over & over was how excited I was to finally learn the gender of our baby. And instead of letting myself think or say negative things like "I can't" or "It hurts!" I tried to always think the words "It's good!", because I knew it was. This was the moment we'd been dreaming of for so long, & I'd be holding my new baby in just moments. I'm really so proud of myself. I feel so much more satisfied with this birth than my other two. Third time's a charm a guess.
My memory is fuzzy as to exactly when my water broke, but it did it on its own while I was mid-squat or lean on the bed. I felt a gush & looked down to see my waters splashing all over my foot. My DD later told me she jumped when they broke. I continued to labor in the slippery, wet, mucousy, bloody puddle on my birthing bed.
During all three of my births now I've had this strange habit of wanting to lay on my side & close my legs as my baby is crowning & birthing. All of the pictures from my kids births include scenes of my legs being held apart by nurses & coaches. A strange urge that is! My coaches & attendants kept reminding me to relax my legs but it just couldn't bring myself to do it for more than a second. Thankfully they all had muscular arms!
When Xeowyn emerged from me, he was followed instantly by his placenta, & it was announced that he was a boy. A boy!! I laughed. "It's a boy??!" I had predicted that I was carrying a girl since weeks after conception. He was a girl in all my dreams! I dreamt in very early pregnancy that we'd had a girl & named her Xeowyn (& that is in fact where his name came from, my dream). My intuition was so wrong!
I held & stroked my warm, soft, heavy, thick BOY on my belly & marveled at my new son. It was 5:40am, Saturday, November 26th 2005. My labor lasted a total of 2.5 hours, just 1.5 hours after I realized that this was *actually* labor. I did not have an episiotomy or tear, a first for me! What a difference that has made in my recovery!!
When my water broke, our midwife noticed what she thought was meconium in the fluid & mentioned that it could be linked to the herbal cohosh tincture I had drank. She said she never recommends cohosh for that reason. Since there had been mec in the water, he was taken off my belly for a minute or two & examined at the warmer. He was found to be just fine & scored a perfect on his APGAR.
He was weighed & found to be the exact same weight as my previous son at birth! Eight lbs., 13oz. What are the odds of that? I remained in shock by the fact that we'd had a boy for several hours.
I did experience some pretty heavy bleeding afterwards, & nearly fainted at my 1st attempt to get up from the bed. I was given an injection of Pitocin to speed my uterus' contracting & calm the bleeding. Normally the hormones released when they baby nurses help calm the uterus & the bleeding, but Xeowyn wasn't interested for the 1st 4 hours. After THAT though, whoa did the afterpains begin & my heavy bleeding then began lessening. It was scary for those hours though, I'd never seen so much of my own blood.
We spent 36 hours in the hospital, marveling, awe struck. He is perfect. And now, three days after his birth, we are all home, marveling & awe struck. We are so lucky, so blessed, so grateful. We decided to have a baby, conceived that very cycle, I had a wonderful healthy pregnancy, a powerful, drug & intervention-free, perfect childbirth, & now we get to gaze at the perfect tiny new person we created together. And I thought my life was a fairy tale BEFORE...
I am blissed out.
Pictures of Xeowyn today, at 3 days old, held by his dad (who cannot stop marveling himself at his new title of "Dad") & a not-so great pic of me & my kids but its the first picture of me & my THREE KIDS