Happy New Year mamas!!!
I've missed you all--feel like it's been forever since I've been able to get on here. Congrats, congrats, congrats on all the new babies!!! Seems like it's been a busy week.
Okay, so finally sitting down and writing up my Christmas birth story. Sorry so long. Feel free to skip to the end for pics if you don't want to read through all of this!
Christmas Eve: After a morning phone call with his mom, dh announces that he's talked to his parents and since I still haven't had baby and we don't want to drive the hour and a half to their house (which I had no intention of doing), they'll be coming to our house the next day, on Christmas, along with his brother and sister. Somehow he thinks this will come as good news to me, especially when he says his mom is bringing dinner. Hello, I'm nine months pregnant, have been having contractions on and off for days, and now I'm going to have a house full of in-laws tomorrow? Oh yeah, I'm thrilled. I had seen the first hints of blood that morning in the bathroom, and had been generally uncomfortable, but I put it out of my mind and, after some cleaning and gift wrapping, ran out the door around 5pm to get some food and beverages and various things I'd need with a house full of company. Started really feeling the ctx around 5:30 maybe, but they were still a good 15 minutes apart, and as I had not been dilated or effaced at all at last appt, I ignored and continued to do my shopping.
By 7pm when I got home, I felt fairly certain I wouldn't be hosting any company the next day, as baby was on the way. I informed dh, who acted annoyed (a whole other story--made me CRAZY!) and I went upstairs to take a shower to see if ctx continued. I hadn't been timing but would say they were about 6 minutes apart, more or less, and getting more intense. I had to focus and breathe through them at this point.
By the time I got out of the loooong shower I decided to take, they seemed to be coming more closely, and I had dh time a few. 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes. (never totally consistent the first time either.) Okay, calling the mw, as I planned a water birth in hospital and because I was GBS + by state law I had to get an antibiotic before the baby came, plus hospital I choose to deliver in is about 35 - 40 minute drive from my house. There's a hospital within walking distance of me, but no way would I ever want to birth there, and no home birth practitioners in my area. So anyway, it's about 8:30pm, and mw asks my thoughts on when we should go to hospital. I tell her I'll plan to be there at 10:30, will call before then if anything changes, and she agrees to have them prep one of the “natural childbirth” (queen family bed instead of hospital bed, large room with sitting area for family, Jacuzzi in center) rooms for me. Then I set about taking my time, packing last minute items, posting to mdc and letting the fact that Christmas would never quite be the same sink in. I stared out the window at a beautiful Christmas sky full of stars and what seemed at that moment to be the biggest, clearest full moon I had ever seen. Decided then and there that Eden’s middle name(s), which we had been struggling over, would be Claire Noelle, because the concept of a clear/bright Christmas night seemed appropriate.
Arrived at the hospital at 10:30, secretly second-guessing myself that perhaps I was wrong and they would send me home, since my first started with membrane rupture before any labor started, and this time my water had not broken. Nurse checked me and I was “a good 3” and was contracting every 2 – 3 minutes. There was some talk that I should “walk around” (fine with me, I wanted to move at this point) and that she would check me at 2am and call my mw at that time with the results. I chuckled to myself and told my husband “that will be happening before 2.” My first labor was pretty quick, and even though in this case my water hadn’t ruptured I could tell I was going to progress quickly now that I was down the path. I walked around for a while, with strong ctx the whole time, and got to the point where I wanted to get in the tub, but the nurse wanted me to wait (annoying). I started to fight but needed to focus so compromised on the shower for a while before telling dh I had definitely progressed and that he needed to tell the nurse I was getting in the tub whether she liked it or not. She was welcome to check me first if she’d like, but she should call my mw now. By now my sister had also arrived, my MIL (who didn’t want to witness the birth or anything related to it) had picked up dd#1 to take her back to their house and my parents were there but in a family waiting room as I had told them they could witness the actual birth but I couldn’t handle anyone other than dh and my sister in there while I labored.
I got in the tub around 12:45, after nurse had checked me and told me I was “5 and very stretchy” and she was calling my midwife. Put on the headphones, retreated completely into my “zone,” and now had to endure the IV penicillin while focusing on meeting my baby. At least I could do that from the tub, which felt so good and somehow was the safe place I needed—close to my support people but a cocoon unto myself, if that makes sense. I knew things were going quickly at this point, and found my rhythm through a combination of sitting in front of the jets, kicking one leg back and forth in the tub and some slow breathing. Seemed to work well, and I felt so much more confident in this labor than the first one. Calm and controlled. For now…
About 1:45 I got up to go to the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet I knew I was going through transition, and started into what seemed to be one non-stop contraction. I started to stand up and was unable to avoid pushing. I looked down to see a lot of blood and mucous coming out and then as I sat back down on the toilet, unable to walk at that point, my water burst with a HUGE pop and gush. The commotion and my moans brought everyone running, and after confirming that baby was not yet showing (mw joked she didn’t want me to have baby in toilet as this is not what they meant by a waterbirth), mw and dh managed to get me back to the tub. It was 2am.
From here on out things were incredibly intense. So much for my plan to be peaceful and composed—I was jerking and writhing in the water and roaring and pushing with all my might. After a little while we realized she was stuck behind my pubic bone and having trouble rotating. I maneuvered myself onto my left side in the tub to push and was finally able to feel her clear the bone. Another push and a roar and her head emerged. Another couple of contractions spent trying to get those shoulders out, and the midwife rotated her to try to get her into a position I could deliver. (I’ve had this issue before, with my first. Babies seem to have plenty of room in there at that point between my hip bones and like to get square. Thus some decent tearing with my first when I just kind of panicked and pushed through this even though I could feel it wasn’t right. Was trying to avoid this time.) When I still couldn’t get her out quickly after the rotation, mw had me flip onto hands and knees. From this position I could deliver her pretty easily, and flipped back over excitedly to take her into my arms. She was born at 2:29, 4 hours after we had arrived at the hospital.
Baby seemed a bit in shock for a moment and was a little floppy, which freaked me out. Had to have only been a couple of seconds, but seemed like an eternity to me, and then she started coughing up fluid and crying robustly, and her color turned a nice pink. She was beautiful!!!! It was then I noticed how BIG she was! 9 lbs, 13 oz and 22 inches long. My first was 8lbs, 2oz, and I thought that was big! My husband and I are both tall (I’m 5’10”, he’s 6’4”) and while my family has small babies, his family has a history of huge babies, so I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked. Still, glad I didn’t know that number ahead of time—it was better not to know. Amazingly, only one small stitch needed this time, over an old scar.
We found out the next morning that baby was coombs positive (I’m blood type O, she was blood type A) and between that and a decent-sized cephalohemotoma and some facial bruising from being stuck behind my pubic bone, she ended up being very jaundiced. I had planned on an early release from the hospital, but as her bilirubin counts were above 14 and rising at 24 hours old they made us stay in the hospital with her under the lights for an extra day. That was SO frustrating, because I just wanted to hold her and while I got to take her out to nurse (wrapped in bili blanket) I spent a lot of time having to stare at her in this strange sci-fi looking bili bed in my room. They let us leave on Thursday morning the 27th, but she had to have her blood checked daily. Unfortunately, even with home bili blanket care, her bilirubin levels elevated quickly after we left and she ended up being readmitted on Saturday. They let me stay there round the clock with her, but as I hate hospitals and didn’t even want to be there in the first place, being readmitted was SO tough, not only on me but on dh and dd#1 as well. (Poor dd#1—talk about Christmas being sort of overshadowed this year. Oh well, she’s young, she’s fine. A lot of changes for her, but that’s to be expected.)
So anyway that’s the story. Baby still looks pretty jaundiced, and needs to see the ped tomorrow morning. She should be old enough that we don’t have any further problems with this, but I’m definitely nervous about avoiding any re-admission and would appreciate any little prayers from you other mamas that she stays home at this point! Eden is a sweet, laid-back (though that could be the jaundice), cuddly baby and I am madly, madly in love with my sweet girl. What a Christmas present!
On a side note, had to fight the “no I won’t supplement, my breastmilk will be fine for her” battle with a few nurses and my family pediatrician over the early jaundice, especially before my milk came in, but that’s a whole other story. For that and a few other reasons it looks like we’re looking for a new pediatrician when this all settles….
Dh has apparently had too much time on his hands, because he’s got the site below set up already (though not very polished or organized—needs a lot of pruning down and some captions would be nice, plus I’m debating about what to do with some more graphic but really amazing photos of the birth). Anyway, it’s got a gazillion pictures, if you’d like to see her. http://edenclaire.com