Sofia Elisabeth Leitner arrived last Wednesday, right on her due date. We are all healthy and busy figuring out breastfeeding and sleep cycles.
Something for you stats lovers:
Date: Oct 17, 2007
Weight: 8lbs 2 oz/ 3697 g
Length: just over 20 in/ 52 cm
Head: 14 in/ 35 cm
Play by play (warning: pretty detailed):
First signs/sensations (crampy, plug) Saturday Oct 13th, irregular contractions on Sunday, nothing on Monday (frustrated). More regular contractions on Tuesday morning 2:30 a.m., no sleep that night. Contractions continue through the day and we call the midwives around 4 p.m. They check and leave, as it is still too early. I seem to have a shy uterus, as the contractions lessen when they show up. We call the midwives back later that night and they show up around 11 p.m. when they consider the labour active. Contractions are strong with considerable back labour, so that the hip squeeze comes in very handy all of a sudden. Taken Tylenol and Gravol to get some sleep does not work (should have done that on Tuesday morning). Baby is likely posterior and progress is slow. Try different things to turn baby, including lunges which seems to work. Around 6-7cm at 1 a.m., but only around 8 cm at 8:30 a.m. that morning (frustrating). That is after sweeping the membranes and accidentally breaking the water etc. The midwives recommend transferring to the Montford because of the slow progress and to get some pain relief and so we go. Very frustrated, but very willing to look at options at this point. In the hospital, they put on the IV and talk to the ob/gyn. However, we check internally one last time before going ahead with an epidural. The car ride seems to have worked because I am a full cm further dilated ( had we known we could have gone for a ride earlier
. So we decide not to have the epidural after all, especially since it is not that effective in this phase and could make pushing the baby out more difficult. Also the baby's heart rate is great and we don't want that to change by getting the epidural. So on we go and I credit my husband's great support and the midwive's care with making it through this phase at all. Eric was there through every contractions, never wavering. They also called in a fresh midwife to get a different perspective and she brought all kinds of energy with her (she actually had slept the night before). At 1 p.m. we finally were at 10 cm and pushing could start (which was much easier to cope with, especially mentally). And then, there she was. Very strange feeling, by the way, to push a baby out. They had called in a respiratory technician because there had been a slight bit of meconium, but it was all fine and she cried very angrily for a couple of minutes (big bruise on her head, as she head not quite finished turning) before latching on for the first time.
BTW, no tearing at all and I made it through natural child birth. We might try for a homebirth again next time, as they assured me that a second labour (even if posterior) is usually much faster.
It really helped to talk about the birth and the slow progression afterwards, as I had mixed feelings. It was very hard to be told to get an epidural and be willing to take it despite all and then change back to coping without. I think the mindset changes when you pass control to drugs, so that the labour right after turning down the epidural after all became much more difficult to cope with. However, I think I am almost over it and I will talk some more and will be fine. Bonding with my beautiful baby also helps.