January 11th 2008
9 lbs. 7 oz.
20½ in. long
14.6 in. head circumference
I was expecting my second child. We didn’t know what it would be, I had asked not to be told what gender it was when I had my ultrasound check-up. We had two possible due dates – January 1st or 7th - , depending on whether we went by my last period or the day I ovulated. A. (husband) and I both had the feeling that the baby would be born earlier, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
Christmas came and went, New Year’s, and finally January 7th. Nothing happened. I kept having contractions every now and then, but nothing that looked like it would get things moving any time soon. I tried to push things into motion a little – I ate cinnamon and fresh pineapple, but nothing happened. Then I reached that point where I thought, what the hell, it’ll come out one day
On January 10th, I was watching TV in the evening while A. took a bath. Pretty much right at 9:15 pm I felt the first contraction that made me think, oh, this is it. I kept having contractions anywhere between 8 and 15 minutes apart for a while. When A. came out of the tub, I started getting everything ready. I cleaned out the bathroom, got my birth kit and put everything we might need up so we could reach it easily.
When I finished with this, it was after midnight already and I decided to go to bed and try and catch some sleep. This didn’t last long, I was up again at 3:30 am and had to go use the bathroom. After that, sleep wouldn’t come again. I got in the bath tub and kept drifting off while in it (I must’ve gotten in that tub 10 times and more over time...). Around 7 am I woke up A. I’d brought down the mobile phone earlier so could call him to come up in a worst case scenario, but now I didn’t want to be alone upstairs anymore. L. (older son) slept until 9 am.
I spent the day on the sofa, the tub, the PC from time to time, and on the (closed) toilet. I found that I could deal with contractions best when I sat on something hard – like the lid of the toilet. A. kept trying to call his parents so they could come and pick up L. if we wanted them to, but he didn’t reach them until 12:30 pm.
At that point I’d already passed through transition. I can’t remember much from that phase. I was lying on the sofa and kept drifting off in between contractions, but apart from that, everything blends together in my memory. I had no sense of time passing. And then the contractions just stopped, it was awesome. I asked A. what time it was – 12:15 pm. I must’ve looked pretty dumb, I’d never have thought it was that late already.
I filled up the tub again. All the while the contractions stayed pretty far apart, 5 minutes I’d guess. They had also lessened in intensity. While I was getting in the tub, A. managed to reach his parents. We’d agreed they should come and pick up L., not because he was annoying me or anything but because he needed more attention than we could give him at that point.
A. went downstairs with him to get him dressed while I stayed in the tub, breathing through contractions. This stage was so refreshing. I checked my cervix and while I was feeling around in there I remember thinking, hey, that’s the bag of waters, and there’s the head! It was amazing. I was almost completely dilated at this point.
A.‘s parents arrived at 12:50 pm. L. kissed me goodbye, then A. and I were alone. I can’t really describe the mood. Everything was just... calm. I was completely calm and relaxed, in no way comparable to the tension I’d felt during L.s birth. A. seemed calm as well.
I kept changing position while the contractions intensified again. I pushed occasionally because it relieved some of the pressure. At 1 pm sharp, my waters broke and little specks of vernix swam around in the tub. I reached inside again – there was the face... Curiously, I never had an urge to push, I had to make myself push the baby out. But it was incredible, feeling the head come down. Then I felt the ring of fire as the head passed through the cervix. I pushed again, and again, and there was the head! No cord around the neck, okay, keep going, keep going. And then my baby slid out of me...
I picked it up, out of the water, and took it into my arms. What is it – a boy! He pinked up fast, cried a couple of times and started rooting around for the breast almost immediately.
It was incredible. I
had just birthed my baby. On my own, without outward help, and he was okay, I was okay. I felt great.
Around 1:30, A. called the midwife so she’d come over. She arrived about 15 minutes later and was completely shell-shocked. She checked our son and said he was perfect (except for his hypospadia). All she really did was help me birth the placenta that, as with L.s birth, took its time (1 hour), and fill out the paperwork.
And now there’s four of us.