8 lbs, 10 oz
tons of long hair (over an inch long)
Totally drug free labor and delivery, lasting approximately 18 hours. Born in the hospital with assistance from DH and a great doula.
Labor started Sunday evening around 11:30pm, with contractions 1/2 hour apart. They started after a weekend of spicy food, nipple stimulation, sex, and massaging acupressure points. Too hot here for long walks, with record-breaking temps over the weekend. Went to bed and slept in between contractions. By 3am, they were 15 minutes apart. By 4:30am, I could no longer sleep between, so I got up and started timing. Approximately 10-12 an hour. I called the doula at 6:30am, and woke DH at 7:30am. Contractions were then about 12-14 an hour, and I needed DH to give me counter pressure (double-hip squeeze) to deal with back labor. This pattern continued throughout labor. Doula arrived at the house at 9:45 or so, and by 11am, we were on the road to the hospital, an hour away. Because DH could not apply counter-pressure while driving, I wrapped a rebozo around my hips and pulled on the ends whenever I had a contraction. It worked fine except when there were pot-holes in the road.
At the hospital, every staff member seemed surprised that I was not planning to use any drugs. Every single person who came into the room assumed that I was already on pitocin, or had already had an epidural (or would be asking fo rone), or that I was an induction. However, they also told DH and/or doula that I was their "hero." DH said when he went into the hall that I was the only laboring woman making noise, and because I was in a room just off the nurses' station, he could hear them talking about me (not bad things as all - just impressed). This in the hospital that delivers the most babies in the state (about 20 admits came in after me on Monday).
The first nurse drove me nuts because she wanted to ask questions (for the medical history) and otherwise talk through my contractions. I don't think she "got it" that, because I wasn't drugged, I needed to concentrate. I shushed her a couple of times. One time, I flipped her off, but I know she didn't see me. DH reprimanded me and told me to cut it out. (He later told me he talked with her as her shift was ending, and she was one who was very impressed that I was doing this drug free and getting so much support from DH and doula.)
I didn't take advantage of being able to move around a lot. I didn't get in the shower or use the labor ball. I basically felt like lying on one side or the other and mainly got up only when the doula encouraged me to urinate. I was finally fully dilated around 5:30pm. I didn't love pushing. I didn't even like pushing that much. I was, however, allowed to push in and deliver in any position I wanted. I ended up using the birth bar and, for a little bit, the leg holds/stirrups to brace my feet against. OB sat on a small stool at it's lowest level.
Despite the fact that the baby's head ended up being in a smaller percentile rank (10%?), I tore quite badly. Second degree toward the rectum, and the other tear went up through my clitoris. This makes me cry every time I think about it. The repair was quite painful, and I lost a lot of blood. I did get to hold the baby right away, but they had DH take him because my blood pressure was remarkably low. DH watched the repair of the tear, which took quite a while. Baby tried to suckle on his bare chest. I was finally able to hold him again after they gave me oxygen and iv fluids (and I drank lots of my still-frozen grape juice drink boxes from TJs). The IV fluids needed a new line, because the Hep-lock I agreed to had been blown by the first nurse who put it in.
Doula left - and made a run for Ben & Jerry's for us - and returned when we were in our recovery room. I still was dizzy when I got up to use the restroom, so I had to be cathetered. That was the WORST pain. They had to call in a nurse "who used to catheter people for a living."
The baby is a barricuda when it comes to breastfeeding. He's all about the sucking/biting. Not so good at the wide mouth and latch. That's our homework for the next day or so. My milk has come in, so no worries there.
The rest of the hospital stay was rather uneventful. Visits from one family member and our close friends. Lots of hospital traffic. Now that we're home, baby is sleeping. DH is rearranging the bedroom to accommodate the co-sleeper. We're crashing to sleep soon.
Pics when I can figure out how to get them online. DH says he looks like an ancient Mayan.
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.
Collin just so you know you need to open your mouth really wide when you feed. That way you'll have a full belly and it won't hurt mommy.
Again thanks for sharing. :
he was born on DH birthday!!!!!!!
With my clients (who almost all go drug-free) the hospital staff always seem completely SHOCKED that the woman isn't on a pit drip, with an epidural.
mom of (8) (5) (3) and born at home on Christmas day!
When I first started nursing dd1, we were instructed to wait until she opened her mouth really wide and then basically just jam that boobie in there. If you keep having trouble with it, don't hesitate to call a LLL consultant - they are awesome at solving nursing problems!
I hope you are healing up well and that the process is quick! Hopefully the breastfeeding will ease up quickly, too. I seem to have a knack for getting hurt in the first couple of days and then have to take a couple of weeks to recover. Definitely get some help if you need it! Better to avoid the damage in the first place if you can.
Enjoy your babymoon!
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...
Sooooo sorry to hear about the tear - i had a very similar one going past the clitoris as well, and it ended up causing a LOT of problems with my labia. If you find you don't 'heal well' or the tear needs further attention, seek out a gynecological surgeon - someone who does only surgery and is specialized so you can get the top-notch care you deserve. I hope, however, that it isn't an issue and that you heal well.
Best wishes!!!! (and good luck nursing! i've got lots of traumatic experience there as well. use your pinkie finger to 'train' the suck if you need to save your nipple from trauma - a lactation consultant can help, of course...)
Suz, mommy to 2 chess-playing, lightsaber-wielding boys
I'm sorry about the tearing. With a couple of my births, I thought at one point that my clitoris would tear in half, and the idea terrified me. I put my hand on it to provide counterpressure... I don't know if that made a difference, or I was just overreacting to the pain and wasn't close to tearing, but I didn't tear. I hope you heal quickly.
My little guy sometimes does the same thing with the chewing and sucking with his mouth not open wide enough, except that he usually barely has the nipple in his mouth. So it's not painful, just a hassle to get him to open his mouth enough that he can actually nurse. I tap his chin with my finger, and then when he opens his mouth I pull down on his chin to open it wide and then quickly get him latched on.
Mom to DS(14), DS(12), DD(9), DS(6), DS (4), and DS(2)