I'm proud to announce that our baby girl is here!
Waterborn at home at 8:06pm on Friday July 14
7 lbs., 6 oz
13.5" head circumference
Yes it was a lonnnnng labour, but it was so worth it.
She's absolutely perfect. Adia is loving her, as long as Mommy or Daddy is holding baby -- she's not so sure when Grandma does it.
Pictures will come later, as will a name. Midwife will be back tomorrow to check us and fill out birth certificate, so it'll be then by the latest.
I started having contractions on Tuesday afternoon (July 11). They weren’t very strong, but they were definitely noticeable by the time Adia went to bed. I stayed up almost all night, only falling asleep from 1-3 and then from 5-8. When I woke up at 8, they were completely gone. I wasn’t too worried, because I had a feeling I’d be labouring at night anyway. I went through my day on Wednesday, taking Adia to story time and out to lunch. I also had some bloody show, which I knew meant I’d be in labour sometime in the next 48 hours. Wednesday night the contractions started again, but they were really weak. I woke up Thursday morning with contractions that were 5-7 minutes apart, so I decided to get out of bed and tidy up the house. I got a few things cleaned, and I called my mom to let her know what was going on with me. After a little while, things slowed down, so I called back to let her know. By that time she was already on the road. Charles and Adia got up, and I tried to take a little nap. I laid in bed for 40 minutes, but every 10 minutes or so I would have another contraction. I got maybe 15 minutes of sleep in that time, so I decided just to get out of bed. I sent Charles to work, and I got back to picking things up and doing laundry.
My mom showed up around lunchtime, after getting lost on her way up here. She got to work doing more deep cleaning. After a little while, Adia and I took a nap. My contractions started up again, and they were more uncomfortable. By the time Charles got home, I was thinking the contractions were about 10 minutes apart. Both Charles and mom quickly realized that I was wrong about that. Charles started timing them, but he wouldn’t tell me how far apart they were because he was afraid they’d stall again. We went out to dinner, where I had to stop every so often to deal with contractions. Our waitress caught on pretty quickly, and later mom told me that another family was staring at me with their eyes bugging out every time I’d have a contraction. We walked across the parking lot to the grocery store after dinner, and it got to the point during that shopping trip that I needed to go home.
When we got home, we worked more on cleaning and getting the house ready. I called my doula (Lizzie) and let her know that something was going on. She recommended taking a shower and covering all of the clocks in the house. I was worried a shower would stall things, but it actually seemed to accelerate things. When I got out, I called my midwife (Peggy) and let her know that I would probably be calling her back at some point. It was getting late at this point, so we started trying to get Adia to go to bed. It seemed like she sensed that there was some excitement going on, so we put on a movie to see if she’d fall asleep watching it. I got annoyed that they started it while I was out of the room, so they restarted it. Funnily enough, I quickly decided I wasn’t all that interested in it anyway. Sometime after 11pm, we finally got Adia to bed.
Charles, Mom, and I hung around in the living room talking for a couple of hours. It was getting to the point that I was having problems dealing with the contractions, so I decided to call Lizzie back. I had no idea what time it was, so I didn’t know I was calling her at 1am. She got out of bed, though, and came on over. I was immediately glad I called her, since she walked me through a relaxation exercise that helped so much. She walked with me through the contractions, rubbing my hips and my back, and helping me breathe. This repeated for the next 3.5 hours, with a 30 minute break in there for me to take a little nap. I hated being in the bed through contractions, because I just wanted to be up and moving. I would even bicycle my legs through each contraction, as I just couldn’t be still. A little before 5am, I was starting to get worried about how I could get through this. It was also at that point that the contractions started changing and I went from hot to freezing. I asked Lizzie if I should call Peggy back, just wanting reassurance, since I was feeling like I needed her there. She said yes, so I called Peggy and she said she’d be here as soon as she could. I started noticing that I’d have to pee after every contraction, which was not something I had expected.
Peggy and Julie (the birth assistant) arrived around 2 hours later, which was great, because I was getting nervous waiting for them. Peggy checked me and said that I was really effaced, and she thought that I was 5cm dilated, although I was so soft that she couldn’t really tell. Baby was at 0 station, which made me start crying, because that meant my pelvis could indeed accommodate a baby! I spent the next little while just getting through the contractions. After a few of them, I asked if we could get the pool out and fill it up. It was decided that as far along as I was, it would be a good idea. I got in the pool shortly thereafter, and it was like heaven. I stayed in there for quite awhile, but my contractions just kept slowing down. I got out, and started doing the coping methods I had been using before. Somewhere around this time, I started vocalizing through my contractions which made them so much easier. I was still jumping up and RUNNING through the house with each one. I even had one as I was leaving the bathroom. Instinctually, I just turned the lights off and slammed the bathroom door shut and got through it. (I found out later that Charles had gotten up to come help me, but he turned around and sat back down when he heard the door shut. How’s that for taking a hint? ) Peggy and Julie went out to get lunch for everybody at this point, and I think part of that was to give me some time to progress. I took a nap while they were gone for a little while. When they got back, I was starting to have a lot of pressure and pain in my back. I decided to let Peggy check me, since I figured it couldn’t hurt anymore than the contractions. I was at a stretchy 4cm. I got SO discouraged by this, although I should’ve focused more on the part where she said that baby had dropped even more.
We went for a walk outside, and that was really relaxing. We looked at the plants that were growing along the roadside on our road. I would pause for contractions and yell at trees I was focusing on in the woods. The only awkward part was when I had a contraction in front of a neighbor’s house, but I went for it anyway. When we got home, I was getting more uncomfortable. Peggy had me lay down on the bed with a pillow between my legs. I was NOT happy about that, and after a couple of contractions where I was yelling at Charles and Lizzie that I could not do it and that I just wanted to go to the hospital and have another C-section, I got up and started walking again. After a little while I decided I wanted to go lay down on the bed for a little while. (Where oh where did I get THAT idea?) I dealt through the contractions, and eventually everybody went off and left me alone, which actually helped more. Charles stayed in the room with me, but he didn’t really talk to me. I laid there for about an hour before getting up and deciding to take a shower. Baaaaaad idea. It just made the contractions come on top of each other, and I was already feeling out of control. I said I wanted to get in the tub, so Charles got to work refilling it for me. It was nice to get in there, although it was no longer the heavenly place it was earlier! The contractions were so painful, but it was mostly the pressure in my back and the feeling I needed to poop that were making it so difficult for me to cope. I refused to believe everybody when they told me that it was baby getting ready to make her entrance.
Sometime in the early evening I started feeling the urge to bear down. I said so during a contraction, and Peggy said to go ahead. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to, but after a little while I didn’t have a choice. I kept feeling down there to see if I was pooping in the tub. (Yes, denial.) Eventually I noticed that things got really quiet. Later I found out that I was napping between contractions in the tub. Lizzie and Peggy kept reaching for me every time I would fall asleep, because I kept slipping below the water.
Finally I woke up to a contraction with a really warm jetted feeling in the tub, and I heard everyone say “your water broke!” Peggy checked me to see how close baby was, since I was feeling the need to push. She said baby was about an inch or an inch and a half up!! Things got easy there. I loved knowing I was so close to seeing my baby, so I worked hard at the next contraction, and I was able to feel her head come down. The next contraction I was able to see her hair floating in the water, and that gave me so much encouragement that I was able to push her out on the third one! I got her head out, and asked if I could go ahead and push the rest of her out. They told me to go for it, so I did. Peggy helped me bring her up out of the water and put her on my chest. I was so happy and so proud and so amazed and so relieved all at the same time. She was so quiet, but she was definitely alert. After a couple of minutes, she started fussing, but she calmed at the sound of my voice. We kept her in the tub with me until her cord stopped pulsing. Peggy offered to let Charles cut the cord, but he didn’t want to. I asked if I could, and she gave me the scissors. I was so excited to cut it! We decided it was time for me to get out of the tub and deliver the placenta, so I handed the baby up to Julie who wrapped her up and handed her to Lizzie. I got back to the bed, and after a little work I delivered the placenta. I was having some bleeding problems, so we got me stabilized and brought baby back so I could nurse her. Once I was doing okay and baby had had a snack, Peggy weighed and measured baby on the bed there with me. She checked me again for any tears, and although there were a couple, they were so small that I didn’t need stitches! She said that I had dilated 6cm in 4 hours based on the last check, which was amazing to me, since I didn’t dilate 2cm with Adia.
Everybody got things cleaned up, and I got up and wandered up to sit on the couch with my baby for a little while. Lizzie and Julie left to head home, since they both have little ones. I tandem-nursed my girls together for the first time while Peggy got everything ready to go. We squared away my appointment for Sunday, and then she headed home. The first night was wonderful, and I spent it alone snuggled up with baby. Getting several hours of sleep in a row was so refreshing. I honestly am so glad that I decided to have a homebirth. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, although I wish I hadn’t been so whiny for the last 5 hours or so. It was amazing to have so many people who loved me and who I loved in the room when my baby was born.
She was finally named last night (she was late, so I guess it was okay that it took us a little while too, right?
Her name is Francesca Lenore
And now for photos:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...elcomebaby.jpghttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...rs20060719.jpghttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ma/closeup.jpg