He was born at 7:22 am this morning. 6/11/08 I am so glad!
It was the most empowering birth for me yet!
I didn't call anyone all night. It was just me and my two littlest ones at home till about 7 am this morning! The CTX just stayed 10 minutes apart most of the night and got to be about 5 minutes apart around 6 am.
He was postierior and I was laboring in my tub with horrible back pains.
I was having to blow through pushes waiting on the midwifes assistant to get here. Midwife was to far away! And when she finally arrived I went ahead and blew through a couple of more. SHe checked me and I was complete! YAY!
I waited on the STBX to get there as he was a couple of minutes away. I tried pushing a couple of times in a sitting position and nothing was progressing. I got this huge overwelming urge to flip over and push and boy did I ever!!! I always wondered where women got the power to move like that in labor and now I know it is just THERE! I got on all fours and then leaned back and put one knee up and pushed like He** I delivered him myself. I felt so powerful during the last three pushes. LIke a lioness roaring (that was my mental image!) It was like they were the only three pushes that really counted anyways.
I have since learned that I used the classic UC position and I have spent the last two weeks thinking about a UC I have dreamed about delivering this child by myself several times and I guess I just did it on pure instinct.
I delivered my placenta alone and had someone help me get it into the bowl where we let it float in the water for about 30 minutes afterward. We then wrapped it up and carried it around for the next hour or so and then we let our oldest cut the cord.
I had quite a bit of bleeding at one point about 45-55 minutes after birth. I was already cleaned dressed and in bed. Midwife was right by my side and gave me some shepard purse tincture and we massaged my uterus a little more and man I improved quickly
Homebirthing, somewhat crunchy, single mom of ~5~.
Contractions started at 3am on June 19. Called mw around 430 just to let her know that *maybe* I was in labor, but hopefully just a false start. At 730 my doula arrived at the home at which point labor was pretty active. Soon after my mw showed up, I was 8cm.
Moved to the bedroom to get in the tub. YUMMY!! Thats when my contractions spread apart and the weightlessness felt SOO NICE!
I was pushing for what felt like way too long, though. So MW (Sue) asked me to get out of the tub when I could so she could examine me. Got out, got examined, we found out there was some tissue in the way and I had to hop onto the bed and push with a LEG UP in the air! Oh goodness... as if I wasnt tired enough *sigh*. So, that got her "unstuck" and then
Got that outta the way, then I got to flip over and I pushed her out, hands and knees was the best position for me. Turned out her arm was covering her face, thats why it took forever to push and why I ended up tearing. Sue said that if she had been arms down we would have had her in the living room with no time to fill up the tub. Wouldn't that be something?
So.. anyways, I pushed out her head. The rest of her came flying out on the next push. I plopped down on the bed and they handed her right to me and started crying!!! AH! Love at first sight!
Her cord stopped pulsing, so DH did the honors and cut the cord. They stitched me up. My Doula (Meadow) made me a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich with pears -per my request, with a side of OJ and yogurt to get something back in me and then they gave me, dh and dd some alone time. It was so nice.
They came back for the NB exam. 6lbs, 12oz, 20" long. 10 fingers 10 toes and a bright eyed baby girl. It was so so lovely :
- -Yep... thats me
6 lbs. 10 oz., 21.5"
Born at home at 11:57 pm on June 27, 2008
Tons of dark hair
I may add more once I get a better time line from my doula.
My guess date was July 13th, 2008, but I just had a feeling my baby would come on June 27th. My babies tend to come early. Originally I was thinking my baby would come at the beginning of July, but after a Hypnobabies script one day I felt strongly that it would be June 27th.
I slipped on the ice in February, landed on my back, and broke my elbow. I didn’t realize until the middle of June that my pelvis must have been injured during my fall. My baby was presenting posterior and the positioning exercises I was doing weren’t working to rotate her. I went to an excellent chiropractor who determined exactly what was off in my pelvis. We began treatment. After two visits my baby turned around to an anterior position, which was heartening. She turned back posterior, however, the Wednesday before she was born. I had another chiropractic appointment that day and hoped it would work to help her move again.
I had pressure waves on an off starting the morning of Thursday, June 26th. My husband, Matt, decided to work from home in case things picked up. I took a nap in the morning. We realized there were a few more things we needed for the birth so I went shopping for those things. When I came home things had pretty much stopped. I was a little disappointed, but figured I’d just rest some more.
At five the waves started again and were more intense, but irregular. I wondered what position my baby was in, but was confused about what I was feeling. I called my doula and midwife who arrived around 8 pm. My birthing waves were 3-5 minutes apart lasting about a minute.
I was feeling back pressure so I got in the birthing tub, which helped. Time is very fuzzy, but I ended up getting out after awhile to walk around and use positions that would help my baby rotate and descend since none of us could figure out what position she was in. I walked up and down the stairs and up and down my upstairs hallway. I stopped and leaned over the railing during my pressure waves, focusing on releasing my belly. It felt good to sway back and forth. My doula was very helpful in giving me lots of affirmations and hypnosis suggestions. I used my Hypnobabies Peace cue a lot, which released anesthesia to where I needed it in my body. My waves were very intense and I remember commenting to her something like “I don’t know why anyone would choose to do this without hypnosis.”
I got back in the tub and out again a few more times. I don’t really know how many. At 11 pm I decided that I could probably sleep, so everybody went downstairs while I rested. I dozed for an hour or so and then got up to be more active again. I listened to my Hypnobabies Fear Release script while I rested. It might have been at this point that we did the stair walking, I really don’t remember.
At 4 am I felt like I could sleep again so I lay down. I woke up with the sun streaming in through the window. I remember feeling pretty annoyed and frustrated that it was morning and my baby still wasn’t here. My pressure waves had stopped while I slept and I felt a lot of baby movement. The waves started again once I woke up. My midwife felt my belly and it seemed that my baby had gone all the way from what we thought was LOT or LOA (back near my left side) to ROP (back near my right side). That was discouraging, too. My chiropractor had given me her cell phone number so I called her. She told my doula some specific exercises for me to do to help my pelvis and my baby’s rotation. My midwife went home. My doula stayed for another hour or so while we did the exercises. At around 8:30 the waves stopped all together, even though I was 6 cm open. My doula tucked me in and told me that she was leaving but that she wanted me to call her as soon as anything changed.
At 11:30 or so I woke up. I took a shower and decided that I was hungry and wanted to go eat at my favorite restaurant. I felt like I needed a change of scene and a distraction from the total lack of anything happening. My husband’s brother and his wife had stayed the night to be with our other kids, which was very helpful, and they stayed all day Friday to help out, too. During lunch Matt and I talked about how if we were having a hospital birth I’d very likely be on pitocin or have my water broken or a c-section for “failure to progress”. I was very glad that wasn’t happening, even though I was not exactly happy about being stalled at 6 cm.
I rested in the afternoon and had a good cry to release my frustrations. At 6 my waves started again in earnest. I felt my belly and was happily surprised to find a solid little back lying along my left side. I called my doula and my midwife. Since I was feeling a bit like a watched pot we decided to have them leave their homes at 7:30 so I wouldn’t have to think about calling them again.
I was feeling a lot of back pressure even though my baby was now in a good position. I think this was due to my pelvic injury. The tub helped so much. I alternated between listening to my Hypnobabies Birth Guide, Birthing Day Affirmations, and a playlist I created with songs by artists such as the Beatles, Cat Stevens, Eva Cassidy, and Simon and Garfunkel.
I don’t know what time it was, but my midwife checked me and I was 7 cm, which was encouraging. My cervix was posterior, though, so I got out and did more of the exercises my chiropractor recommended with the hopes that my cervix would move forward. After awhile things started to slow down and space out again.
My midwife, doula, husband, and I had a conversation about the benefits and risks of breaking my water. I knew there was a reasonable chance that breaking my water would get things moving again, which was quite an appealing thought since I was more than ready to meet my baby. I was also worried that my baby would again turn back into a posterior position, which I really didn’t want her to do, and that it would be less likely for her to move positions once the water was gone. I knew there was a chance that it would do nothing, which could potentially lead us to the hospital for pitocin. I knew that breaking my water increased the chance of infection and opened a very small potential for a cord prolapse, but since my baby was quite low I wasn’t concerned about this. I mulled things over for awhile and then decided that I wanted to try it.
I knew that my waves would probably be more intense after my midwife broke my water, so I listened to my Hypnobabies Deepening CD first. After it was over I sat on the birth stool with Matt behind me and used my Peace cue while my midwife broke my water. It was clear and I got back in the tub. I waited there and kind of bounced around in various positions. Nothing was happening. I got out and swayed my hips around. I had a good pressure wave standing in my bathroom. I felt my baby move down a bit, which was encouraging. I decided that I needed to walk around, so I walked up and down the stairs. I had a few pressure waves, but I could tell they weren’t exactly what I needed in order to finish dilating.
I sat on the birth stool again with my husband behind me so my midwife could hold my cervix forward. After a few minutes of this I felt dizzy and wanted to lie down. I might have gotten dizzy because I was breathing a little quickly due to saying my Peace cue so many times. I lay down on the bed and took deep breaths. That’s when I had a very long and very strong pressure wave. That was good news. I got back in the tub.
My waves were much more intense now and I was feeling pretty much constant pressure in my back. I had Matt press on my back, which felt so much better. Occasionally he would remove his hands because they got tired and I would immediately call for him to put them back. After the birth he said that it was very tiring, but that he figured I was exerting much more effort than he was.
I mainly alternated between a squat and kneeling/frog position and I was really helpful to be in the water since I could change positions so easily. I felt pressure as my baby moved down more. I experimented with pushing to see if that felt better. I wasn’t sure. I reached inside and felt that there was still some cervix in the way. After a few more waves with it not moving, I asked my midwife to hold it forward while I pushed through. She did and this was probably the most difficult part of the birth for me. I breathed as much anesthesia as I could there to my cervix while I pushed. I felt my baby’s head slip through my cervix and it was a relief.
I pushed in a squat for a bit but my legs felt like they were about to cramp so I switched back to a frog position. I felt my baby’s head move down my birth path and I reached down to touch it with my hand. I was confused by the texture, but didn’t open my eyes to look. I provided my own perineal support as I pushed her head out. With previous babies, once the head was out the body pretty much followed immediately. With this baby, I actually had to push her body out. Clara Helen was born at 11:57 pm on June 27th, 2008.
Once she was out, my midwife passed her between my legs and I pulled her to my chest. She was wrapped up pretty well in her cord and my midwife helped untangle her. I held her on my chest and talked to her. She was pretty quiet and a bit blue so my midwife had us get out of the tub so she could work on the baby and help get her breathing better. After a few minutes she pinked up and was breathing much better. She stayed right by me the entire time, which I thought was great. I talked to her and touched her while my midwife worked on her. I remember with my first baby, who was born in a hospital, that they took her to the other side of the room where I couldn’t even see her. I much prefer my babies to stay right with me.
Matt got a turn holding Clara while I took a shower. Afterward I lay down in bed and nursed Clara for awhile before we did the newborn exam and found out how much she weighed. She was 6 lbs. 10 oz., 21.5” long. She has very thick, dark hair that was so coated in vernix that it felt somewhat spiky. That was the strange texture I was feeling previously.
I feel very grateful for the wonderful support I had throughout this rather long and unusual birthing time. My older two daughters (8 and 6) also helped out by putting cool wash cloths on my face and neck, bringing me water and food, and placing their hands on my shoulder (a Hypnobabies deepening technique).
My oldest three all wanted to be woken up for the actual birth. My oldest woke up and stayed awake for awhile after the birth. My second oldest blearily watched the birth and then said she was going back to bed. My third oldest (3) came in, told me she was tired, and then went back to bed. She doesn’t remember it at all.
My fourth daughter (21.5 months) didn’t meet her new sister until the next morning. She has been ahhing over and kissing and hugging Clara ever since. She doesn’t get upset about me not holding her. She gets upset that I’m not letting her hold the baby. I suppose that’s better than sibling rivalry although I am a bit nervous about how much and how rough the love is that she’s wanting to give.
Overall things went well and we are happy to have her here!
Homeschooling Mom of 5 dds
Planning my fifth natural birth using Hypnobabies for baby boy coming in June 2012!
Had a MW appt on the Wednesday before, and she couldn't tell by palpation if he was head up or down. He'd been head down the whole time and it didn't feel different to me, but she'd mentioned that she'd missed a breech position recently and wanted to do a vaginal exam. So I agreed. My cervix was high and it did pinch a bit to be checked. He was definitely head down. She showed my with her fingers how dilated I was, it looked like maybe 2 cm to me. But she mentioned that labor would be pretty fast, saying that I was very effaced. I was concerned about knowing this information, I didn't want to focus on having a quick labor if that were not the case, YKWIM?
So Friday morning I wake up to a HUGE yellow mucus plug. I'm still scheduled to work the weekend, and want to in case nothing happens for a week or more. (Only get 12 weeks off, whether before baby or after) Let me just say that I'm not that mama that is dying to have the baby....I really don't mind being pregnant and I feel anxious and apprehensive about labor. So I chalk it up to the vaginal exam and tell myself it will be at least another week.
Saturday and Sunday I go to work. I work evening shift (3-1130) as an ICU RN. My fear is that I'm going to go into labor as I come home from a crazy shift. I make it through the weekend, continuing to lose more mucus and having BH contractions for the first time in the pregnancy.
Monday, DH, DD and I run errands (he's a teacher and finished school on Friday! Awesome timing!). The BH continue, but I'm denying that's what they are and pretend it's the baby stretching. Monday night I fall asleep with DD @ 8. DH comes to bed with us at 11....by 1130, I'm back out of bed to do a few things around the house. The tightening continues!
Around 2am, I decide to go to bed. About 230, I'm still awake, still feeling the tightening. This time there is a bit of menstrual crampiness to them. I figure I'd better get to sleep now! I finally give it up to myself that I'm going to be laboring in the near future and that I will survive. I think that talking to myself and baby and accepting it made things much easier. Kind of a fear-release technique.
I wake up at 545, and can tell the contractions are regular but I'm not timing them. I can still lay in bed, so I do and try to rest. DH wakes up at 645 and I ask him not to go anywhere (he'd been planning on taking off for awhile that morning to get the dogs some exercise). DD starts to stir and DH goes downstairs. The contractions are a bit painful to be in bed through now. I tell her that mommy's belly is starting to hurt, but that's normal because the baby's going to be coming today! She just says, "Yeah" in a breathless, excited kind of way. I will always hold that picture in my head; DD all rosy cheeked from freshly waking, with the biggest smile you can imagine...just knowing that her baby brother is coming! At this point I get up and DH takes DD down for breakfast.
I try cleaning up the bedroom, definitely feeling the contractions now! DH and DD come back up after eating and I go to call my mom to alert her. I tell her not to worry about coming yet, maybe go to work and I'd let her know. It's 720 am.
I get a shower, and DH finishes cleaning up the bedroom. I can't even tell him how grateful I am for that!!! It's 8 am and I call my mom and tell her maybe she should come now. She says something to the fact that she's training a new girl and that maybe she should just go in for a few hours!! I was like, uh no, you need to come now. She asks if I've called the MW, which I haven't. I decide now's the time. We've been timing contractions and they're only lasting 30 seconds, but coming every 1.5 minutes. (BTW, contractionmaster.com is awesome! But they really need to get rid of the red flashing timer with the contractions...it was really distracting and I'd have to turn away from it!)
My MW has been alerted, says to just let her know what I need. Maybe call when they're lasting longer.
Mom shows up at 830 and takes DD downstairs. She cleaned the whole house! I knew I could count on my mom!
I labored with DH upstairs for the next hour and a half. I mainly stood in the window, or sat on the birth ball looking out the window. DH put the fan on me, which was heaven. Standing up through contractions was a bit more intense, and I switched back and forth between the two. I dealt with each contraction by leaning over the stair rail and/or swaying my hips and rocking the ball.
We called the MW a little before 10 and asked them to come. At this point, if I was standing, I felt a little instinctual pushy feeling at the end of each contraction. There's not much you can do about that feeling, but I didn't give in to it. I did a lot of vocalizing, a lot of Oooooooo-ing. I concentrated on what would happen when the MWs got there, how dilated I might be. 3 more contractions and they might be here. No? OK, maybe 5 more contractions. I can do that. I really have no idea how long it took. I seemed like a long time. I think it takes them about 20-30 mins to get here.
They come in and start setting up all there equipment. I keep thinking, man I can't wait for someone to check me and tell me where I'm at! (funny how you think you need someone else to tell you what your body can tell you itself.) The pushy feelings at the end of contractions are getting intenser. But I'm worried that I'm not very far along....I've not had any transition type feelings. No vomiting, no "OMG I can't do this!" In fact, when I'm between contractions, I'm yelling at the dogs to quit barking outside, or talking with DH (not chit-chat, mind you, but conversing nonetheless) My MW says, OK do you believe that it won't take so long this time? (DD's labor was 28 hour hospital birth). I even joke with her assistant that I'm not a morning person AT ALL and I can't believe this is happening so early! She remarks that she can't believe how talkative and jokey I am! Apparently, her and the MW already know what I haven't let myself believe. She tells me that it sounds like I'm pushing a little, and that means that it's OK to do it. They continue setting up, DH takes a box downstairs. AT this time I slip away to our tiny bathroom.
I sit down on the toilet which has caused a really intense pushy feeling throughout the whole labor. But I was intent on keeping my bladder empty. Nothing happens, and a contraction starts so I stand up. DH has found me by now and is with me. As I stand, my water breaks. It's stained with meconium. I say, "It's greeeeeeeeeeennnnnnn" through a contraction. (DH laughed at me today, saying it sounded so funny how I said it. Kind of Bob Dylan-sih) My MW assistant checks and says it's not dark, there's no particles, there's no worry. I labor standing at the sink and the pushing feeling intensifies. It scares me a bit, it really is a strange feeling. Between contractions I say, "this sucks" DH says well, I don't really know and my MW assistant says "I do and yes it does." This makes me feel better.
Pushing feelings intensify and I let a huge scream out, directed right out the window. My mw asst. helps me focus by telling me to take small breaths, do small pushes. DH later told me it was the craziest scream he's ever heard. He said there'd be no way to replicate it. I sit back on the toilet, and she asks if this is where I want to have the baby. I realize I can't go anywhere even if I want to. She tells me that I'll have to stand up or move over to actually birth the baby. We laugh a little about him being born in the toilet. After the next contraction, she wants to hold her hand at my perinuem. This is not comfortable at all! So I try to stand up, and I feel the babe slide back up a little, which was too much to handle! I promptly sit back down. Through the next contraction I ask if I can reach down and I do. I say something along the lines of "What the hell is that?" Baby's head was crowning, but my tissues were still there so it felt really strange. After this contraction, I stand.
MW assistant says she can see his hair when I stand. I have one foot propped up on the heater vent, and continue leaning at the sink . One more contraction and he's out in one smooth motion!!!!! She catches him and I immediately take hold of him and sit back on the toilet. My MW comes in and they do very light suctioning and he begins to cry! It's a wonderful noise. He's born at 10:54 am, just a 5 hours after being awoken with contractions!!!!
DH runs down to get my mom and DD. DH brings DD right into the bathroom, where she proceeds to meet and love on her new baby brother. We snap a few photos, then I'm ready to get into bed. They line the floor with chux and I walk into my bed, holding my new son. 7 minutes later, I deliver the placenta. There is a bit of bleeding not controlled with uterine massage, so I get a shot of pitocin.
Probably an hour later, we do the newborn assessment. He's 7lbs, 10 oz. 20 3/4 inches long. His head is 14 inches, and he's perfect in every way!
An hour or so later, there is still bleeding. Not bad, but the MWs don't feel comfortable leaving it as is. I get another shot of pitocin. Then DH holds our son and I get a shower.
Arond 2 pm, DD is tired from no nap, so she comes into bed with DS and I. Everyone is too excited to sleep (except DS!) so we go downstairs to eat. We do get that nap later on, though!
We named him John after DH's father who passed away here in the house where our son was born. DH was just 14.
Our middle name choice is still up in the air. MW says we have up to a year to file the birth certificate.....that doesn't help us any!
A few hours old
3 days old
Her pregnancy had been an uneventful one, and the easiest one of all four of mine. We were planning to have our first homebirth, and I anticipated labor to go much quicker without the interventions hospitals are known for. My other labors had been 12, 14, and 17 hours respectively (the first one being the shortest, the last one being the longest, go figure).
I had been having a lot of BH contractions during the last weeks, that were picking up in both frequency and intensity. At my 37 week appt., my midwife let me know that I was dilated to 2cm. I watched for other signs that labor would begin soon, like losing my mucous plug, but there was nothing. I was disappointed, thinking I would likely be 40 weeks by the time of delivery. I decided I needed the time to get everything ready anyway, and planned to use every day that I would still be pregnant to check things off my to-do list. I was going to be done, or mostly done, by the holiday weekend.
We went to bed like we always do on Monday night. At 3:45am Tuesday morning (July 1st), I felt my water breaking. This is how my labors start. My midwife had instructed me to lay on my left side if that happened, since my baby's head was not engaged yet at my last appt. I asked dh to gather our homebirth supplies, and clean up the house before the midwives arrived. He had not done what he had promised to do in terms of cleaning, thinking there was plenty of time left for all that. Sigh. I called my midwife and let her know that my water had broken, but that I was not feeling any contractions yet, and that there was plenty of time for her to come to our house. I had wanted to be alone for the early labor anyway. She told me they would be coming (two midwives, they work together) to check me, and then go away again to have breakfast somewhere else. Fine. They arrived shortly afterwards, and checked me. I was having mild contractions by then, but didn't bother to time them. It was obvious I was in labor anyway. I had not dilated further than those 2cm, and the midwife could not feel the baby at all. She asked her partner to check, and she could just barely feel the baby, but wasn't sure what her presenting parts were. They had checked the fetal heartbeat and it was fine. They tried to push the baby down, but that didn't really work either. She was still really high up and far from being engaged.
My midwife talked to me and dh then, and told us that it would not be safe to pursue a homebirth in this situation. She said I would need an ultrasound to make sure the baby was in a vertex position, and even then since my water had broken, there was the danger of cord prolapse. So, we drove to the hospital instead.
Since I was not progressing well on my own, and the baby's head was still way high up in there, we knew that I would be getting pitocin. The Dr. there also did not want me to move around during labor. I knew then that it would be impossible for me to deal with the unnatural pain of pitocin-induced contractions, plus being flat on my back the entire time, so I asked for an epidural. My midwife agreed that this made the most sense. I screamed during the procedure, as it feels really awful to have one put in place. I had been given IV fluids ahead of time to help keep my blood pressure stable since epidurals are known for causing a drop in blood pressure. Well, apparently that didn't help me any, because my blood pressure took a nosedive. This made me feel extremely nauseous, and my baby was also not "happy" about it. She was having some "decels" during that time. Not wanting to deal with the continuous nausea, I asked for an anti-nausea drug. This helped. Eventually my blood pressure normalized again, and baby recovered as well. After 20 min. of baby doing fine in there, they started the pitocin. Baby had more decels then, but eventually recovered. They were then able to increase the pitocin in small, but steady, increments.
Labor still progressed rather slowly. However, her head started to come down slowly. Oh, and yes, I did have that ultrasound when I was first admitted, and she was vertex.
One of the midwives stayed with me the entire time. That was nice. The hospital staff was also mostly nice to me. My labor lasted 19 hours from start to finish, but I never felt any pain thanks to the epidural. At one point a pressure gauge was inserted to more accurately measure the strength of contractions. The most I ever felt was pressure. The nurse offered to give me more medicine into the epidural space, but I declined. I wanted to at least feel something, since this was labor after all. My entire pregnancy I had been anticipating this birth thinking I was not going to have any pain relief at all, and preparing myself mentally for having an all-natural homebirth. To then go through labor without so much as a twinge, felt really odd to me. We were basically just waiting for me to be dilated all the way.
Eventually, my midwife asked me if I was feeling any differently. I had been dozing. I told her that there was new pressure now, like I needed to have a bowel movement, and that I'd had this now for the last 5 contractions or so. She laughed and wondered why I hadn't said anything, and got a nurse to check me. Sure enough, I was 10 cm, and it was time to push. With my other labors, I had felt a definite urge to push. This just seemed like pressure to me, so I guess I didn't think it qualified.
The Dr. came in, and I started to push. My baby wasn't tolerating this stage very well either. She had more decels, and the Dr. got a vacuum-looking thing out, and dh warned me I better give pushing my all. So I did, and my baby was born without having to be suctioned out! I had a small tear and needed 2 stitches. I actually did feel some pain when I pushed her out, and was grateful for that pain. It seems wrong to birth without any pain, at least to me. She wasn't breathing well, and so I was not able to hold her right away. Also, her hands and feet were very purple, so they needed to check her out some more. I'd love to know what her Apgar score was, I forgot to ask. Eventually they put her naked body on my chest, for skin-to-skin contact. Her arms and legs were beginning to become purple also. The skin-to-skin helped, and she finally cried also.
We had left my mother-in-law in charge of the kids at home, and our oldest daughter wasn't feeling well. MIL is not the kind of person who enjoys babysitting, so we were very conscious of being needed at home. At the same time, I wanted dh to stay with me. So we asked to be discharged early, and left when Zoe was 25 hours old.
All in all, it was not a bad experience. I'm glad that my midwives put my baby's safety ahead of everything else. I am, of course, disappointed that I didn't get my homebirth. This is our last baby. Dh and I talked about this, and we feel pretty certain that even if we did get pregnant again, we would not be able to have a homebirth. The midwife had told me that starting your labor with your water breaking is not ideal at all, and then I tend to have long labors. Without the pitocin, it would have taken much longer, and the midwife also transfers to the hospital when a woman is in labor too long. So, I guess that means I can't have a homebirth. Which is not a nice thought.
My arm is all bruised up still where the IVs went in. One bruise measures an impressive 5-inch diameter.
Zoe is doing really well. She is able to regulate her body temperature much better now, and she is really getting the hang of nursing. She weighed 6 pounds and 12 ounces at birth, and was down to 6 pounds and 3 ounces a couple of days later. She is so tiny and we are currently using preemie diapers on her. Even those are a bit big for her.
I'm still feeling a lot of soreness and am a bit nervous because dh is going back to work tomorrow. Not counting the holiday weekend, he took a total of 3 days off for the birth. That's not much, and I'm trying not to be bitter about it.
Thanks for reading!
(His EDD was July 7, 2008)
On Saturday June 28 around 12:20, we were all in the playroom and I felt a trickle, I thought I had either just peed or my waters had broken. I checked and it didn't smell, so I thought waters, but I thought it would gush out not trickle (with O I had AROM during labor and with C my waters broke as I was pushing, right before her birth) I wiped and saw what seemed a bit of a mucous plug. I texted my midwife and she said to take a rest and take my temperature every so often. I had an acupuncturist and chiro app at 1pm, so I went and got my treatments. The acu. put 3 little balls on my uterus point and pain pressure points in my ears to be pressed during labor.
Next we went grocery store, there I felt 'funny' (weak/nauseous/strange) and then ok, and then funny again...my mom said maybe it's contractions...but I didn't have any cx, just some pressure. We got home around 3pm, and I started feeling some pains, I still wasn't sure it was cx! (Funny, my 3rd labor! ) By 3:30pm, everytime I had a contraction, I'd get a trickle of water and by then it had turned pink. I texted my midwife and she said it was my cervix opening, she'd be getting ready. I finally thought "this is it!" (totally unexpected! O came 1 day before his edd and Caroline 1 day after! this was 9 days before EDD!), we sent the driver (we live in the Phils and have a driver ) to get the midwives at 4:20, it was pouring down rain (it's rainy season here - think tropical downpour!) I got in the bathtub (and shaved my armpits! for pix later! ) The cx went from 7 minutes apart to 3 minutes very quickly, but they were very short, lasting less than 1 minute. It took the driver 1 hr 40m to get to the midwives (it usually takes 1hr-1hr 15m), he got there at 6pm. By then I was in full blown labor. Michael (dh)and I (in between cx) blew up the baby pool and filled it up with water. I got in when the cx were very, very strong. I had no idea how close I was, but from my physical signs, Michael knew the midwives wouldn't make it.
I think I had very intense, fast and furious labor from 6pm until 6:45pm, that's when I felt the 'ring of fire' and knew baby was coming ... within the next couple of cx, the urge to push came. I probably pushed a couple of times with Michael behind me holding me from under my arms, then I told him to get in the pool and see what was happening. On my next push, he saw the head, which went right back in and he told me "The head is right there, give a good push the next time!" I did and the head came out, he said "the head is out!" and I screamed "Just pull it out then!" he informed me that I needed to push too! So on the next push, I gave it my all and his shoulders and rest of the body came out. Michael got him from under water and gave him to me, he had his cord around his neck once, so I slipped that off and we just kind of stared at him. He was covered in vernix! It was then we decided to look and see what we had...a boy!! It was 7pm.
I just held him as Michael took pix and then went to find my mom. She came in and then the midwives, it was about 7:10pm. We waited till the cord had stopped pulsating to cut it. Then I got out of the tub to deliver the placenta.
So from start to finish, labor was only about 6.5 hrs totally with only the last couple being very intense. (Owen's was 23 hrs and Caroline's was 15 hrs)
Afterwards we just snuggled in bed for a while and put him to the breast, no trouble latching on (in between screams, he wasn't a happy camper!). Later on we weighed him (8.4) and measured him (almost 22 inches), I showered and washed my hair and then they stitched me up as I had torn a bit (just 3 stitches). I had dinner and then went to bed. (but I couldn't sleep from the excitement!)
3 hours later, still no signs of labor and I was now only 3cm dialated : so I was put on an oxytocin drip and was BAM! directly into full labor with long painful contractions with less than a minute's break in between. The ctx were so intense that immediately I wasn't aware of what was going on around me during one, I was in so much pain. I was on constant fetal monitoring and asked not to move around too much, but couldn't stop myself leaping off the bed each time. Painful drips (2 on each arm) meant that I couldn't move or bend my arms or use my hands. I managed to stick it out with breathing etc for 4 hours, at which point they told me I was only back at 4cm and dialating much slower than they wanted. The drip had been increased in intensity constantly throughout this time and I was pretty much out of my mind in constant pain with barely a break. They upped the drip even more and I couldn't cope, didn't know what I was doing but ripped out 4 drips, bled everywhere, went pretty much nuts. Dh begged me to have an epi after 6 hours and I agreed. The epi only worked on one side so I was left in agony without anything else to try. I still wasn't dialating fast enough.
12 hours into labour, I was 6cm dialated and hadn't progressed in 3 hours. My heartrate and blood pressure dropped really fast and my temperature shot up, and the baby's heartrate also shot up to over 200bpm. I wasn't really aware of what was going on around me, just constant pain that nobody could make go away. Several people examined me and decided that not only was sepsis setting in but baby was stuck and had been stuck awhile. I was vaguely aware of a doctor informing me that a c section was important for the baby and me, I just wanted her out and safe and to not be in pain anymore. I was in surgery very fast with a spinal tap which was utter BLISS. It only seemed like a few seconds before I heard Beebs and saw her lifted up above the curtain and into DH's arms. I was hooked up to all kinds of stuff but she was sat on me briefly but long enough to say Hi.
We were both really sick afterwards and on several different antibiotics. It was two days before I could get out of bed, and Beebs got worse for a couple of days, very floppy and lifeless with a high temperature. She wouldn't feed and barely woke. They did all kinds of tests inc. a lumbar puncture, and I sat in bed and cried a lot. She started perking up around day 4 but feeding was all over the place - she'd lost a lot of weight and my pro-bfeeding hospital put her on a 3-hour feeding schedule which she HATED as she wanted to sleep more than feed. We were in a crowded public ward for a week, trying to feed, fighting with kindly nurses who kept trying to help correct my latch and left me with bleeding nipples, and crying nearly all the time as I just wanted to get her well and get her home. Eventually she'd lost so much of her birthweight that I had to agree to formula feeding as the stress had completely dried up the small supply I'd had. I kept pumping and trying to bf but was just left in pain and in tears with a furiously hungry baby. Other new mothers on the ward would shout over to me at night to give her a bottle so they could all sleep. My stitches would pull and bleed when I tried to sit up enough to bf, and my wound ended up opening up 2 inches at one end.
We eventually got home 2 days ago after a week and a half in hospital. Beebs is recovered, I'm still on anti-biotics, painkillers and iron pills. A few bottles of formula meant that she put on enough weight for them. First thing I did was throw out their stupid feeding schedule and start feeding on demand, plus throw out the bottles and start cup feeding if Beebs needed supplementing after a boobie feed. She's now pretty much bfeeding exclusively with an occasional cup feed of EBM. I haven't seen our community midwife yet, which should be very soon on a daily basis, and if she's lost weight they'll try to stick us both in hospital again, so I'm hoping they stay away long enough for the bfeeding to settle in properly. Due to our national health service, I'd be on fragile ground to refuse treatment or hospitalisation but plan to do so if necessary.
So basically, the complete nightmare birth I was dreading from the moment my GD was diagnosed. Couldn't have gone much worse, except I now have a gorgeous baby who is trying to help me type this with her heel, so all of the above doesn't matter in the slightest.
Beatrice Elisabeth Dampier Lastname: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3042/...487c88.jpg?v=0
Riley Ann Lastname
July 3rd, 2008
Online Birth Announcement:
So Tuesday, July 1st, the OB called and wanted me to come in for the 39w appt. (I hadn't made an appt. for this week yet, I normally go in on Thursdays) and since we had to go grocery shopping and be in town anyway, I told them I'd be in.
I had been contracting harder and having more backaches with them as soon as I woke up that morning around 9 but it was bearable, and I wasn't sure I was even in labor at that point. My mom and I went out to lunch and then over to the OB appt. at around 3. By that time, my back was really starting to ache with the (what I thought were BH but probably contractions) and my blood pressure was higher when they checked. The OB checked my cervix and then stripped my membranes without me asking (SO not happy about that!) and I was at 4+, 80%, -1 according to her. After she stripped them, my lower back REALLY started to hurt and the contractions picked way up.
We went grocery shopping after and by the time we got to the register I was having to stop walking through some of them and concentrate. I think they were roughly 5-10 min. apart at that point. They continued all through the night barring about 2 hours in the early morning when I was sleeping on a heating pad in a papasan chair and just was dead asleep. I could have been having them then too, I just was too asleep to care.
I got up around 9 am Wednesday morning and they picked right back up and increased in intensity - about 5 minutes apart. By noon, I emailed Joe (my DH) and let him know I was *possibly* in labor but not to come home, it wasn't serious at that point. My mom filled my fishy pool for me, but I didn't want to get in until I was sure I was progressing. I think around 3ish the pool was ready, maybe a bit later because Joe got home around 4:30 and I was in it then. I checked myself and definitely felt softer and more open than before, between 5 and 6 somewhere. I walked around outside and got in the pool off and on from 4:30 on until 11 and the contractions got harder and harder to manage. Actually - at 7:30 or so I ate a few bites of steak fajita while in the pool, so they weren't too horrible at that point, but still 3-5 minutes apart.
At 10:30/11ish pm my water started trickling. I thought it had totally broken at that point, but little did I know Riley Ann had an Olympic sized pool in there! I thought I just peed myself because I was in the birth pool at that point, but then I realized there was bits of vernix in the water. Yay! Something was happening!
In between 11 and 2 it gets kind of fuzzy for me - the contractions were extremely intense, and although I have a high pain tolerance, I was getting so tired at that point that I was having trouble staying mentally on top of them enough to breathe through them. I tried to check myself, and it seemed like the baby's head was right on the tailbone and couldn't come down more. I couldn't tell how open I was because most of my cervix was still behind her head - the opening was pretty posterior still I guess. I thought I had gotten stuck in transition as the contractions were long and very close together. I started throwing up between 1 and 2 am, and was semi-comatose in between them. I had literally no energy left then and couldn't mentally stay on top of the contractions, and I knew I would have none left for pushing. I did try pushing a little with them to see if I would get an urge to push but no cigar. It did help a little to take my mind off of things though. By 2am Thursday morning, the hospital started looking really nice, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY didn't want the 45 minute drive into it on country roads. That was pretty much the only thing holding me back at that point.
At around 2:30am, my mom and Joe asked me what I wanted to do and I told them to make a decision, I didn't care. Joe said, "We're going in then!" Thank God, because I really don't think I could have done it without the epidural. I was too tense and too tired to relax enough to open up all the way, let alone push a baby out. The ride into the hospital was surprisingly not that bad and only took 20 minutes (thanks to all the green lights we hit!). As soon as I got out of the car at the ER exit, my water exploded and filled the extra heavy pad I was wearing and started running down my legs. There was no doubt about it at that point! The contractions had changed patterns to 3 at a time, and then 3 minutes in between, I guess that is triple peaking? I was probably almost in transition at that point, but my mental state was SO much better since I felt like I was doing something productive.
By the time they got me in the room, the nurse checked and I was at 7 (I think I closed up a bit because I was tense and she was pretty rough). Right before the epi went in, I was shaking and the contractions felt a bit different - I was probably in transition, and looking back had I known that, I could have gone without the epidural. I was parched this whole time and kept asking for water and they would only give me ice chips until I mentioned I was hypoglycemic and my blood sugar was low. They begrudgingly gave me some
apple juice, but I had to fight for it. They finally got an epi started at 4 am and immediately I felt like a new person. I went from 7-9cm laughing and joking between 4 and 6 am and then was complete by 7:30. Honestly, I was probably complete before then, because I was feeling like I could push closer to 6:45 but at that point I wanted to rest more. My waters were gushing out the entire time we were in the hospital - I had no idea there was that much fluid in there! I started pushing a little after 8 and that was NOT fun. I had her out in 5 contractions, about 20 minutes, but the last 3 contractions, she
was sitting with her head right there crowning. I breathed through the 4th contraction so my perineum could stretch and the OB was doing perineal massage. He also gave me a shot of lidocaine at the very bottom, which was nice. The nurse kept telling me to hold for 10 seconds and push, and I just pushed the way I felt comfortable. By the time I got to the 5th contraction, I was like GET HER OUT!!! and gave a huge push and her head came out and I gave a little half hearted one and the rest of her came out. I honestly thought I was going to have to push for a LOT longer. I was expecting 1-2 hours. I did have a nick up top, and a 2 deg. tear below with 8 stitches, but her head was almost 14 inches around, so I figure I got off easy, especially with as fast as she came out!
We did the delayed cord clamping and it was a good thing, because her lungs didn't get squeezed enough with the amount of amniotic fluid I had (she had NO accelerations and no decels of her heart the entire time) and then she came out too fast to get squeezed in the birth canal. She was pinkish when she came out and got bluer and bluer and wasn't breathing at all. All of a sudden she coughed out all this mucous, and I got really worried then because I held my finger undr her nose and she still wasn't breathing. I told the nurse she wasn't breathing and they cut the cord and took her in the side room to be bulb suctioned. Fortunately, they didn't have to tube suction her.
While she was in being suctioned, I delivered the placenta - I think he applied some traction on it though, but not much, because I had a palm sized piece of retained placenta. The doc reached in and got it and there was a huge gush of blood and this is where things get fuzzy for me. I remember telling the doctor that my ears were ringing and then that my vision was getting fuzzy and I needed juice because my blood sugar was low and then I just blacked out. My mom came into the room right then and yelled "What did you do to her??" and got me some juice (thank you mom!). I remember hearing that my
blood pressure was 80/30, and kept asking for juice. Apparently I had a vagal response due to the shock of losing so much fluid at once - I didn't have a postpartum hemmorhage, but it was close. I guess a PPH is 500cc or more and I lost around 450cc. They laid me down on the bed and my mom gave me the juice and I immediately started feeling better.
The doc finished stitching me up - I had a second degree tear at the bottom and a nick at the top - he had wanted to cut an episiotomy but I wasn't going to let that happen. I'm glad in retrospect because I probably would have torn worse if he had. I ended up with 8 stitches and so far they are healing well. I finally got to see my baby again after all that - Joe had been in with her and I am so happy he was. My mom got some great pictures of him with her during that time that are just priceless - you can tell he just fell in love with his daughter right then.
We spent the rest of the day resting and having visitors and ended up going home on July 4th - it was the best July 4th ever!
At 9:51 on June 23, we welcomed Miss Cadence Leia into our family. She weighed 7 pounds 1 1/2 ounces, was 19 inches long, and is perfect in every way possible.
I think the week+ of prodromal labor helped. I started having contractions around 8 last night. They came on REALLY fast and furious. By 10, after bouncing on my exercise ball for about an hour, I called dh. He came home and we came to the hospital. I was having contractions that were spacing between right on top of each other to 3 minutes.
We got to the hospital and checked in at 11:30. I was 1-2cm dilated. The Dr. offered to break my water and I accepted. It was just to the point where I had had enough. Even after a sleeping pill Saturday night and a day of pretty much laying around bed, I was still contracting. There's no saying if I would have continued on my own quickly, but the AROM definitely helped! The contractions were WAY more painful than when I had the Pitocin with the other kids. Seriously. At 4am, I was only about 3. By 5, I had gotten to 5. I got to 6 and then the contractions were excruciating. I kind of stalled. I had a really bad bout of throwing up and having other things come out the other end, which pushed me to around 8. But the pain was unbearable. I asked for a half dose of Nubain at like 8:30. I had the goal of doing this fully unmedicated, but I just couldn't. I was so tired and they hurt SOOOO bad. It helped me relax a bit and get some rest. The doctor came in, declared that I was ready, and they broke the bed down very quickly. It was about 4 pushes and she was OUT! I hogged her for quite some time. My placenta came out pretty quick with just a couple pushes. At that point, I didn't realize it but I was hemorrhaging. My OB was a bit nervous and ended up giving me a cytotek? suppository. She said that helped it stop right away. (she told me this later). I tore a little bit, but I barely felt the stitches since I was finally holding my baby.
My dd got to cut the cord (she stayed in the hospital with us last night, sleeping in the couch bed, but when things got super intense this morning I had my mom take her to the waiting room. They ran over there as soon as she was out to get her.) ds is so happy it's a girl baby.
She has a tremendous appetite and nursed 3 times before noon! I'm sure she's going to love it when she's getting more than just a few drops of colostrum from the boobs. She snorts and yells when she's wanting to be nursed, and she really didn't care for her bath. But the "sunbathing" afterward was pretty acceptable and now she's been sleeping for a couple hours. It was nice for me to be able to get some rest finally.
I always kind of wondered if I could love the third with the enthusiasm that I love the first 2. And, not knowing what she was made it hard to bond. The second they threw her on my chest (good thing I was paying attention, I barely knew she was out before they heaved her on up and I got to see for myself that she was very much a girl) I was in instant love. There is this new place in my heart that seems to have come out of nowhere to fit her right in. And seeing my other kids with her...it's pure bliss.
Here's a few pictures from in the hospital:
We are in the middle of a big move. The plan has been to move in to our new place and then stay at my sister’s while we waited for baby to make her appearance. The town we are moving to is about 4 hours away (including a 2 hour ferry ride) so we were a bit nervous about doing the move so close to my EDD but I was fairly sure that I’d go pretty close to 40 weeks. The plan was to be out of town for three days over July 1 (when we would get access to our rental) and then hightail it back to my sister’s place. At that point the plan was to cook and fill the freezer and generally get ready for baby since we’d mostly been focusing on the move up until then.
Dh’s twin brother flew in to help us move and we spent the week relaxing together in anticipation of a busy weekend packing. Thursday we had our home visit with the midwives. I was 37w1d and had been feeling great all week and told the mw that I felt like I had at least another couple of weeks to go. She ok’d us to head out of town on Monday.
Our little miss had other plans. This is from the weekly thread from the first week of June:
I had my first baby dream this week. I dreamt I had a baby girl at 37 weeks. The labor was super fast and the baby had some breathing issues and needed some resucitation which was a bit scary but came out ok. The worst part of the dream was that the midwives called in some of the other very influential, active midwives in the community and they gave us heck for not being more prepared! I guess I have some subconscious fears about going early and not being ready!!
I tried to call dh and heard the cell phone ringing beside me – he’d forgotten it. I went in the house and told my sister that my water had broken and that I might need her to drive to the building store and find dh if he wasn’t back soon. We were all expecting labor to go quickly but I hadn’t had any contractions yet. My sister laughed at me for my bad timing. I called the mw and found out that the one on call was not one of the two who had been at ds’s birth. So I also called my other mw at home and let her know what was up. My sister and I started frantically cleaning, threw in laundry, vaccuming, moving piles of crap.
Dh got home and was busy doing something when I caught him in the yard and told him my water had broken. He said “what does that mean?” I said, “We’re having a baby today.” That stopped him. We hugged and laughed. So he and BIL joined in the panic to get ready. We finally got the bed made and the room vacuumed about the time contractions were taking my concentration. I went to lay down. Dh continued with laundry and BIL and my sister started filling the pool.
My sister’s kids and my ds were running wild in the yard and we hadn’t managed to find a quiet time to tell them what was going on. A friend came and took my nieces and nephew to the park and my sister watched ds. Around 6:30 my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart so we called the mw again and told her we’d be needing her soon but would let her know. Not much later the contractions were getting pretty furious so we called her back and she arrived about 7pm. I desperately wanted to get in the pool but they were still filling it. We’d run out of hot water so they were boiling water on my sister’s stove and the neighbor’s stove.
The mw set up all her stuff, helped me go to the bathroom, checked my vitals and then checked my cervix – 7cm. Contractions were right up on top of each other. Ds came in and helped me through a couple of contractions, cradling my head in his arms and saying over and over “I’ve got you Mama. I’ve got you.” It was the sweetest thing ever. And then he ran out again. Mw told me to warn her if I felt pushy so she could call in the second mw. Within a couple of contractions I was getting the edge of a pushy feeling deep in the contraction but was worried to go with it as I was only a 7. She explained that I should just listen to my body and she called the other mw (who had been at ds’s birth). She lives close by and arrived within a few minutes. She asked me how I was doing and I said that I didn’t want to do this right now. She assured me that that was totally normal. I had been struggling through the whole labor with feeling like I wasn’t ready to do it and I was trying very hard to relax but I knew I was fighting that pushy feeling. I asked again about the pool and was told it wasn’t ready. The mw were whispering amongst themselves and dh told me later that they were saying that there was no way I’d make it anyway, as soon as I stood up the baby would be born.
The mw convinced me that I should get off my side and onto my knees and it took a contraction to get into the new position, up on the bed with my arms around dh, facing him on my knees, belly supported by pillows. The next contraction was incredibly pushy and I just surrendered to it and PUSHED. I felt that breaking in two feeling ever so briefly and suddenly the head was coming and I was roaring and gripping dh’s shirt. I was totally surprised. I hadn’t known I was so close. I felt the head was out and the contraction was going on and on and I just kept pushing. My mw was telling me to blow, blow, blow if I could…and I tried but the contraction continued to intensify and I pushed again and out came the shoulders and the rest of her body just slipped free.
They passed the baby through my legs for me to take but I was supporting myself on my hands and had the shakes so I couldn’t take her. Dh held her and they helped to turn around so that I could hold her. And we discovered that she was a girl as we had been hoping!!
It was 8:13 and my sister had just gotten back with ds. The mw went out to get him to cut the cord and was informed that the pool was finally full. “Too late,” she said, “the baby is here.” The cord stopped pulsing and ds cut the cord and then I pushed out the placenta and bawled my head off because that meant I got to stay home!! (With ds I had to transfer to hospital for retained placenta). It was a huge emotional release of a worry that I had been holding in for almost three years.
I showered and climbed into bed and nursed baby for about an hour. Dh made me boiled baby potatoes with butter and sour cream and fresh dill from the garden and cherry tomatoes. Friends and neighbors popped their heads in to say hello. Mw did her paperwork and checked us all over. I had a small tear but we left it unsutured on condition of taking it easy over the next few days. Ds and my nieces went swimming in the birth pool in the living room. Dh told me that the mw had made a comment about how unprepared we were. The third thing from my dream to come true.
By 11:30 everyone was in bed and sleeping peacefully except for me…too wound up and excited about my new daughter to sleep a wink.
It took me at least a day or two to really fall in love with her. At first I was really just in shock at what had happened. I had been expecting to be pregnant for another 3 weeks and my labor was so fast that I barely had time to process what was happening before I was holding my baby. I’m mourning the early loss of my pregnancy right now and feeling more than a little jealous when I see pregnant women. But every day Noa looks more like her big brother and that has really helped me to love her. She is beautiful and wondrous. Her big brother adores her and is very protective but I do feel a strain on our relationship…it is subtly changed and I am occasionally very saddened by that. I am doing my best to connect with him between nursing sessions and so far things are going smoothly.
Noa is a little jaundiced and not yet back at her birthweight so we are sticking around at my sister’s for another few days. Hope to pick up with the move again by the weekend. All in all, she was the smartest of all of us and came at just the right time!!
first family photo
cutting the cord
Rain & Noa
Overall the birth was great, everything I had planned except the epidural happened. No episiotomies, no AROM, no pitocin. I was one happy mother.
Nursing has been rough and it is a struggle with him. One of my nipples is inverted and the other is flat which makes it hard on him to nurse. He will only take one boob, so I have started pumping and keep offering him the breast.
Sawyer Patrick made his entrance July 8th 2008 at 4:06 am
Before we even got to Castle Rock, only about 10-15 minutes into our drive home I started getting some back pains... which is pretty normal considering that I had just been checked and even more normal (for me at least) because I had my membranes stripped. I mentioned it to the moms and they acknowledged it and we went on with our conversation. So, this was about 7:45 or 8:00 I think. Mom, Logan and I dropped Laurie off at her house and we went to Taco Time to eat dinner. While at dinner, I mentioned to my mom that I was having a lot of cramping, in my back and in the front like menstrual cramps. She asked me if they were contractions, and I immediately said "No, just pain" and then once I took a minute, I realized that the pain was coming and leaving in waves like contractions. This excited me even more than just the pain, which, I keep calling it pain, but I want to just mention that it was completely bearable. We ate dinner, and I tried talking my mom into taking a walk with me, but she wasn't going for it, so I was a little bummed. We finished dinner and then went back to my house where my moms car was... she left and I looked at my "to do if in labor list" and marked some stuff off... I unlocked the doors, turned on the porch light, emptied the washer and dryer, that kind of stuff. I think I might have did something on my MySpace, and maybe posted some stuff on Mothering, but I don't really recall. I do remember calling Laurie (who was in the room when I was checked and Laura told me when to take the PN6) to ask her if she understood that I was to take them if I was cramping. We agreed that that was what Laura had said, so I took one at 9 o'clock. I then called Josh. I called him to tell him that I thought I just might be in labor, and could he maybe come home a little earlier than he was scheduled... he wasn't going for it until I told him about the appointment and about how I was cramping pretty good, and that they were pretty consistantly 3 minutes apart. He said to call him back at 10ish, and he'd have more news of when he'd be able to come home. I called him at like 9:40 because being alone was just really killing me and I told him that I was going to get gas and then come pick him up. (He had ridden his bike to work, and it would have been an extra 20 minutes without him if I didn't just pick him and the bike up.) On my way to his work, I called Laura to see when we should call. I knew that with first time babies, you call when you can't "walk, talk or breathe through the contraction," but I didn't know if it was the same for second timers... you know, because it's supposed to be faster the second time. She told me the same thing as she did when I was asking this question of her when I was pregnant with Logan, but added, "Just whenever you feel like you need me." Which was funny to me because when I was in labor with Logan I never did feel like I needed her... I was so unsure of being in labor that I didn't even want Josh to call her. (And for those of you who don't know... I was at 8cm when she finally did get to our house) Anyway, I picked up Josh and told him what she said, and that I thought that we should just go by how he felt because I didn't think I had an accurate meter when it came to when she should come. And I never had any contractions with Logan where I truly couldn't walk, talk or breathe so I didn't feel like we could use that either. So, we went to get Logan some "coffee" (hot chocolate) because he'd been asking for it all day long and then went to the grocery store to pick up some orange juice and some toilet paper. We came home and then I think Josh and I played a game of "Hate and Discontent" while Logie watched a movie. Josh won the game... probably the best win he's ever had, and I told him that he couldn't really be that excited since I was maybe in labor, and he pretty much just took advantage of that. The contractions stayed steady through all of this, but really didn't seem to be progressing... especially not the way that I was hoping for them to. They still were so bearable that I could talk, and walk, and do anything I needed to without even having to concentrate that hard. It was just like menstrual cramps, or maybe diarrhea cramps. I was a little dissapointed. We went for a walk, and I squatted with each contraction, but by the end of the 8 block walk, I was even in a bad mood because they still were so mild. This was not how I wanted my labor to go... I wanted to know that I was in labor, and be thankful for the pains. But since I was dealing with them so easily, I was really afraid I was having another bout of false labor, and it was really pissing me off. We came home and decided to try and lay down. If it was false labor, I might as well go to sleep, and if it wasn't, maybe it would get moving while I was sleeping... or attempting it. I took another PN6 before I laid down. I did fall asleep, for about an hour. I woke up, went pee, and came back to the bed where I laid and timed the contractions. They were still consistantly 3 minutes apart and lasting a minute to a minute and a half. I took this as a good sign, but since I was still able to easily lay in bed, I was aggravated with the lack of pain and intensity. Around 2:10ish Laura called to check on me. She said that she was wondering what was going on since I called her at 10, and so I explained everything to her, and how I was afraid that it wasn't the real thing because they were so easy to deal with and because they weren't building in intensity as fast as I remembered them doing with Logan. She asked if there was much bleeding, and I told her that I was excited because there had been a TON of bloody mucus-looking stuff, which I took as a very good sign. She said to call her if anything changed from what was going on now and I said that I would. I was completely sure that she was at home thinking, "Wow, Melissa is so overreacting, this is nothing, and I can't believe that I woke up to waste my time on her." I was even more aggravated, but the contractions were enough to keep me awake, so I woke Josh and told him that I thought we should start preparing the house just in case. We moved some stuff around so that there would be room for the birthing tub and I made sure that the PN6 was upstairs, along with the camera, new tape for the camcorder, a bottle of water to keep drinking on, etc. I made Josh and I both a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and we decided that things were staying the same enough that we maybe could start filling the birthing tub. We sat on Logans bed while we watched it fill and ate our sandwiches. While Josh did stuff around the house that I couldn't really help with, I laid on Logans bed (he was in our room on one of the recliners sleeping) and watched the tub fill up and timed my contractions. They were getting a bit more painful, but I could still easily walk, talk and breathe through them... very easily, really. I soon realized that my hair was more than driving me crazy, so I called my mom (this was 3:15ish) and told her that I don't know what else she could do to kill time, but I really wanted her to come and braid my hair. (I know, this is completely ridiculous, but I wanted my mom here, and I had a reason for her... even if it was ridiculous and childish, I had a reason.) At 3:28 Laura called and asked how things were going. I told her that I was pretty sure that I was really in labor, because they had changed a bit, but nothing really too exciting... but I was pretty sure. She said then, "Well good, because I'm parking outside your back door." I totally panicked! I told her that I would be right down to get her, and threw my phone at Josh and told him to hurry up and call my mom, Laura was here and I knew she was here to break my water. I was so upset because I just knew that I wasn't far enough along in labor for her to be here, and that once she was here I would feel like there was a little clock ticking... I didn't want that feeling, and I didn't want her to have to wait all day for something to happen. Too late now though, she was outside my back door. I ran down the stairs, and welcomed into our home... which by the way, was not in the shape that I was wanting it to be when she came. I was planning on coming down to tidy up after the tub was full. While taking her up the stairs I had another contraction, but didn't miss a beat... I walked up the stairs and talked her ear off about how the evening had progressed. (This is the exact reason why I didn't want her to be at the house already... the pains were still so easy to deal with!) She told me that she had come because she was worried about the blood that I talked about, and didn't want to say anything on the phone to worry me. She said that when she talked to me I seemed way too relaxed and she was afraid that we were going to wait too long to call her. (She lives 35 minutes from our house) In my head, I was like, "She's going to be so irritated when she realizes we weren't being too relaxed..." She checked me, and informed me I was at 8 cm! She told me that when I was having the next contraction, she wanted to break my water, was that okay? Josh and I both stalled, and so when I told her I was having one, she did it. Holy cow did that feel good! I don't remember there being such an intense release of pressure when she did it with Logan, but wow, it felt good this time!!! We showed her Lelahs nursery Josh took one last standing picture of me pregnant and then I got into the birthing tub. She broke my water at 3:40 am on July 9th by the way. She had told us that things would progress fast once she did that, so Josh called his mom and sister so they could get moving. I thought that the contractions would get pretty unbearable once she broke my water, which is why I didn't say anything about if I was okay with her breaking my water or not, but they surprisingly weren't bad. I mean, they were a lot more like "real" contractions, but I could still talk through them. I joked with Laurie, Joni, my mom, Josh and Laura through them, I walked to the bathroom through them, I was happy through them. It was really quite amazing. Nothing like my contractions with Logan. What also amazed me was that they spaced out. I thought that once she broke my water they would get closer together, but they actually spaced out to closer to 6 minutes apart instead of the 3 that I had been experiencing all night. Laura laid on the bed while everyone stood around visiting, it was really nice. Soon they started to get more intense, and everyone but Laura and Josh left the room. They still weren't awful, they just took more concentration to get through, and I appreciated the time between them a lot more than I had been up until now. Laurie and my mom wanted coffee, and they realized that we had no creamer, so my mom ran to the store and Laurie and Joni just hung out downstairs. Around 5 o'clock the contractions started getting really intense. I had Josh doing counterpressure on my back (which is what totally saved me with laboring with Logan) and when that didn't cut it I had him do the acupressure thing on the bottom of my foot. I don't know if the acupressure helped or if it was just how easy it was to concentrate on the pressure on my foot, but it helped a ton. I remembered reading in "Spiritual Midwifery" about keeping your eyes open and concentrating on one thing... a lot of the birthing stories in that book talked of concentrating on the same thing every contraction. I didn't do that. I concentrated on something different each one. Some of the things I concentrated on were the latch on the window, the bubbles coming from one of the fish on the pools mouth, a chip in the paint, etc. Random things... it was funny though, I never shared with Josh what I was doing, so he was constantly getting in my line of site. It wasn't a big deal though, I would just find something else. Around 5:45 Laura asked me to push with a contraction... it was awful. It was so awful! I told her I didn't want to do that again, and she told me that I had a lip of cervix that she could easily push out of the way and that the baby was so low, I would have her in no time if I just pushed. I didn't want to though. She said that was fine, and that we could just wait. After a few more contractions she checked me again and said the lip was gone and had me push at her hand... again, I didn't like it. She told us that the babies head was so close that it would be out with two or three contractions and me pushing. This is when we decided to call Laurie, Joni and my mom to come upstairs. They came upstairs and with the next contraction Laura had me push again. This is where reality and what I thought was reality really part ways. I was SURE that she was stretching me to the outer edges of the pool... and I BEGGED her to stop... "PLEASE STOP, IT HURTS SO BAD!!!" Josh just said to her, "Laura???" and Laura said to him, "She's got to push Josh, the head is right there." Apparently Josh thought she was the cause of the absolute torture I was feeling also, but after watching the video she was doing nothing but supporting my perineum and it was the babys head that was causing all the pain. For some reason neither Josh nor I believed her. Anyway, she told us again, after the contraction that it was right there, and told Josh to get into the tub if he was going to catch the baby. I was pretty sure she was lying, but didn't have the energy to question what the hell was going on and mention how utterly miserable I was feeling, and that I felt like there was a giant, 20 lb. watermelon pushing to get out. She told me that I needed to push through the pain and that the baby would come out. I didn't believe her again. (I do need to mention here that I don't understand any of these thoughts. There aren't many people in this world that I respect and admire as much as I do Laura, so it makes absolutely no sense to me...) Josh got in the tub as he was told and I sat through I think two or three contractions. My mom questioned Laura about it, something like, "Is she hiding her contractions again?" and Laura, being the ever-wonderful and patient person she is said to my mom, "No, she's not hiding them, she's just waiting for a strong enough one to push with." In my head I was thinking, "I'm glad she believes that because I'm not pushing ever again!" About then another contraction started and I had no choice... my uterus was pushing even if I had made the decision not to... and it hurt a hell of a lot more to let it push her head against the birth canal while I just sat there than it did when I had something to concentrate on... like pushing. So I pushed. Laura must have known from what I looked like down there because she started showering me with praise and telling me that the head was right there and that it was crowning (????... again, I didn't believe her... it just felt like a whole hell of a lot of pressure to me) and all the sudden, "The head is out!" Holy cow, I couldn't believe it... she told me then to take a deep breath and push again and the body would come... I remember thinking, "A deep breath!?!?... screw that, I'm pushing!" I pushed again, and out came her body. "Oh my God! That feels so good!" is what I said about that, while everyone else was oohing and awing over my beautiful baby girl. I sat there, on my knees, draped over the side of the pool for what felt like forever while I listened to her crying (which I did care about... even if it didn't seem like it after my last outloud comment) and about how she looked... everyone kept talking about her hair and how much there was, I wanted to see her so bad, but I just couldn't move. I was like on sensory overload down there or something. It felt like I sat there just listening for an eternity, but I don't think it was even a minute before they started talking about how to get her around to me. I then decided I didn't want to hold my baby for the first time on my hands and knees, so I started to move to sit on my bottom. She was beautiful! Her head was soooo full of black hair I could hardly believe it, and she was COVERED in vernix. I felt so much more with it then I did with Logan... so much more thankful that she was there, and crying, and that she was letting the world know that she wasn't happy to have joined us. She was born at 6:10am on July 9, 2008, after I say, three pushes. I don't think the other ones really counted because the three were the only ones that I really gave my all. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing, and while waiting, Lelah didn't miss a second to fill with her loud cries... and Aunt Joni and Grandma Laurie didn't miss a second to fill with pictures. It was wonderful... really really wonderful. Once the cord stopped pulsing, Laura clamped it and Josh cut it... Laura handed her to Josh and started trying to get my placenta to come out... it came out in one push, and again, it felt like such a relief! Soon after the placenta was delivered Laura weighed her and she was 9 lbs! She measured 22 inches long... just like Logan, and she was still crying through all of this. This is funny to me because she's so mellow now... and Logan was so quiet when he was born, and has since those first moments after birth been one really loud boy.
I have to say that the laboring was easier than I could have ever dreamed of. I really feel that I only labored hard for an hour, and the fact that I pushed her out in three pushes is absolutely amazing to me. I'm not half as sore as I was after Logan, and I didn't pass out even once... compared to the four times I did with Logan. I feel wonderful, she's beautiful, and I'm so happy with everything.
Guess I'd better write something out before I forget!
So at 3:15 I was sitting at the computer and I felt what seemed like the PING of water breaking, but without the water. And then I had 6 contractions over the next hour while playing Tetris.
I think I called my husband to give him the heads up around 4:30 or so. And I called my midwife who said they were at another birth nearby.
He got back a little after 5 I guess, and he called the other midwife and said "It's time!" : and she had no idea who he was or anything, it was so funny, so I said "give me the phone" and told her the deal and she said my midwife would head over.
I think she arrived around 5:30, set stuff up, and I was having really painful contractions very soon and yelling "ow! ow! OW!" etc.
I pushed on my left side, screaming like a madperson, it reeeeaally hurt. And all the water that never came out when my "water broke" came gushing out with each push. I was clawing at my husband's shirt with one hand and holding on to the bedside table with the other. AJ and Nate were imitating me from the bottom of the stairs, it was pretty funny actually. And Ryan came upstairs just as I was pushing her out. He got to see her emerge still in her amniotic sac (my midwife says being born that way means she's going to be a midwife sup: ). The midwife unwrapped the cord from her neck before I pushed the rest of her out at 6:38pm.
I lay there with the baby on me for a while, too exhausted to even open my eyes, but when I did I couldn't see anything but a blanket and hat and a little bit of her back peeking out. I had Ryan and AJ tell us if it was a boy or a girl...and at first they didn't know, and I asked "does it have a penis?" and they said "yes", and so I looked (my husband was on the opposite side and couldn't see, so he really didn't know) and I had him come around so that he could see that they had no clue what they were saying. Then Ryan said "It's a girl just like I always wanted!" and then AJ burst into tears because he never likes Ryan to be "right" about anything.
The placenta came out quickly. I hardly bled at all. No tears, but I was really sore and could still feel the burning sensation which lasted a while. Ryan and I cut the cord (I had never done it before).
Nate came up and looked at Maia with his pouty expression a few times, but then found the "baby's flag" (blankie) and gave it to her which was really cute. But it was getting pretty late, and the midwife did what she had to do and went back to the other birth still in progress. Ryan & AJ fell asleep quickly, which upset Nate and he was trying to climb out of his crib which he has never done. I went in to see him and asked him if he wanted various things like "a big hug" and he said "no thank you...crying" and he just stood with his back to me gazing out his window crying, repeating that. So I told him I'd leave him alone and I went to the bathroom and he laid down and went to sleep.
Maia seems to be keeping to the same schedule she had prior to birth...she had a few active periods, mainly one in the evening, then didn't budge all night. So she nursed and nursed and looked around a lot until almost 11pm, when I realized that she wasn't crying when she woke up because she wanted to be nursed, in fact it was the opposite--she just wanted to be left alone to sleep! So I admit I let my newborn sleep from 11pm-5:30am : . She woke up between 12:30-1:30 a few times spitting up bubbly saliva and colostrum, but just wanted to be patted briefly or shushed to go back to sleep. Then she woke up at her "usual" time and nursed and stayed awake for a few hours this morning.
5 days old:
9 # 7oz
the longer version:
I went in to the hospital on Tuesday night with David, we were starting to induce the baby the day after my due date. Tuesday night was pretty easy, I dilated to 4 cm by midnight and started some light contractions. My water broke around 8 on wednesday morning, I was disapointed to learn i was still only 4 (maybe 5) cm dilated and by that point the contractions were coming about every 3 minutes by then. I did a pretty good job handling them, I got up and changed positions frequently and was able to breathe or moan through them. At about 4 in the afternoon i was STILL 4 (maybe 5) cm dilated and it didn't look like she was going anywhere. We decided to start a tiny bit of Pitocin to get things rolling. The nurse hooked it up to my heplock and immediately a BIG contraction started, but it did not stop, the nurse was watching the monitor and turned to look at me (i was sobbing at this point) she realized the contraction had not stopped so she just reached over to my IV and unhooked the pit. my contraction stopped almost immediately. I got back into bed and we decided to try pit one more time and an even smaller dose, the same thing happened again, I went into a hyper contraction that did not stop until the pitocin was stopped. The baby's heart rate was doing okay at this point, it wasn't dropping low but it also wasn't reacting as well as it should. We all knew things weren't going well at this time so I started on some oxygen by a mask and my IV fluids were put on wide open (my arm got so cold so fast!) The OB came in about then and started talking about a c-section, I knew it was time but i was so disappointed and just cried and cried even as i agreed that labor was going no where (20 hours at 4 cm dilated) and the baby needed to come. Everything went into high speed then, the anestesiologist came in (luckily I knew him) and talked about the spinal he would have to do. David was great through all of this, stayed calm even though i know from the time they started the pit he was very scared. They wheeled me into the OR and started the spinal (after 2 tries and alot of digging!) and layed me down on the table. David came in fully gowned up as they put up the divider. They did alot of checking to make sure i was numb. Being numb like that and awake was so odd. David said I asked him if they were cutting yet and he looked and told me they were already digging inside of me. Sometime around here they started saying in stuff about her looking like a big baby and being really wedged in there. Then i remember hearing her cry and saying, I know that voice! they held her up around the curtain so I could see her, she was purple as heck but screaming loudly. Then David and the pediatrition came around with her all bundled up and i got to kiss her head before they took her to the nursery, her apgars were 8 and 9. The putting me back together again took almost an hour then i was taken to recovery. I only had to be in recovery for about 30 minutes, the spinal wore off quickly and easily. They brought me back to my room and a couple minutes later David came in with Maggie! I couldn't believe how big she was 9 pounds 7 ounces, she looked so chubby to me! She started nursing right then, very easily and hasn't stopped since. I got up and started walking within an hour of returning from recovery and I think that really helped my recovery and we were able to be discharged 36 hours after she was born. We are at home now and doing great!
My mw offered to start a pitocin drip with a very small dose, just to get things going. I decided to try that, and she set it up at about 4pm, by 6pm I was having regular contractions which were strong but manageable. I then got in the pool, which was heaven. By around 7pm I started to have the urge to push, but waited till my body took over pushing by itself and at 7:42 she was born, all round it was a very gentle relaxed birth and I felt I was in control the whole time. The contractions were uncomfortable, but not really painful. I had DH and the doula rubbing my back in the pool through contractions and in between them I was chatting to everyone. I decided to turn and float on my back for the actual birth. My mw even laughed that I was giving DH instructions how to turn on the flash on the camera between contractions (this was somewhere after her head was born and I was waiting for the next one to push her body out).
All round it was a very relaxed birth, even though I would have preferred to avoid anything non natural – like the pitocin, I realize that at the time it was the right thing for me. The MW used a very small dose compared to what is usually given at the hospital and it was just enough to kick start things without making labour unbearable. Storm was born in a very relaxed way and it the most placid and calm baby and is already nursing like a champ! I had one tiny nick not requiring any stitches and apart from the wobbly stomach feel like my old self again.
Margaret Alexandra was born at 1:08 am on July 15th - her due date! She was 7lbs 14oz, 20" long and totally perfect.
So I was having "mild" contractions at home the afternoon of the 14th, maybe 4-8 minutes apart. Honestly, I was timing them badly because I was doing other stuff, like making LJ posts and putting sheets on the cradle mattress. Suffice to say, they were uncomfortable but I was so functional that I couldn't believe it was real labour, so I just sorta wandered around the house.
Just before DH went to class I let him know I was having contractions and that he should "keep his phone on vibrate" just in case. This freaked him out and he suggested I call my mother and go over to their place, so that if it turned into "real" labour I wasn't alone and could get a ride to the hospital. This was reasonable - I was actually thinking it was an excuse for a free dinner - so I made the call and my mum headed over here around 5:30pm.
Now I figured, well, I've got everyone freaked out, I'd better make it worthwhile. So I walked around a lot and sat on all fours for a while, just to see if maybe that would get things moving. Instantly my ctx became 3-4 minutes apart. Some were even really intense! But if I sat down and relaxed they chilled out, so I still wasn't convinced this was labour. Similarly, when my mum showed up and I got into the car, my ctx vanished almost completely. She suggested we drive by the hospital on the way to her house, but when we actually got there I was so relaxed that she didn't think it was worth paying for parking when it seemed pretty clear that nothing would happen for hours, maybe days. I wavered on it and finally decided, you know, we're here. I'll pay for parking or whatev. I wanted someone to look at me and at least tell me something would happen soon.
The nurses at the hospital were just as skeptical. I felt so silly walking in there all calmly and saying "Oh, um, yah, when I was at home I had some ctx..." They asked me if this was my first baby and I said yes and they practically rolled their eyes at me. But they hooked me up to a monitor and called the ob/gyn on duty to check me out anyway. Turned out it was the guy I saw a few weeks ago. Anyway.
Time passes and I sit there calmly waiting. I'm having ctx but I am very zen about them - just stopped talking, breathe and wait patiently. When Dr. Daly finally arrived and checked me, my cervix was "very thin" and I was dilated 5cm. "Congratulations," he said, "You're in labour." Everyone, especially me and my mum, looked shocked and they admitted me.
I knew in advance that I'd need an iv for an antibiotic drip because I'd tested positive for GBS. So, fine. They asked me if I wanted anesthetics and I told them I'd like to try to go it without them. My sisters and DH showed up and we basically sat around the delivery room talking and hanging out while I got periodically visited by nurses. That was when I found out that Dr. Daly wanted to strip my membranes (break my water manually) to make sure my amniotic fluid was clear and healthy and that we wouldn't need any further specialists. I wasn't thrilled about this, but there you go.
As it turned out, it was a "good" idea. Having your membranes stripped is exactly as painful as everyone says. It triggered insane ctx. And, my amniotic fluid was all yellowy-green, meaning a some point during the pregnancy the baby had been "in distress". So I lay there writhing and gushing and they put a fetal monitor on baby's scalp, and arranged for a respiratory specialist ti be present at delivery. I was now hooked up to three machines - the iv, a fetal monitor which came out of my whoo-hoo and the belly-band ctx monitor. At this point I was so immobile and uncomfortable anyway I asked for an epidural. I got one 45 mins. later, which meant I also got to have a catheter put in. Five wires!
This just totally reversed labour if you ask me. I couldn't feel any pain, couldn't sit in a position that made me feel like baby was anything but comfy and content and it reduced labour to a waiting game. We joked and talked and waited. After a while they checked me and I was still only 5cm dilated (but fully effaced, which I guess was something). According to the monitor my ctx were regular and strong... they just didn't seem to be doing much. Finally I insisted on being turned over and allowed to sit up some. Almost instantly I felt baby shift and started having crazy painful ctx - despite the epidural. I got kinda worried when the ctx wouldn't stop - it was one long ow for minutes and minutes. I called the nurse and she was equally baffled. More nurses arrived and they said I should be disconnected from the picotin - and were shocked to discover I wasn't on any. They turned up the epi instead. :/
Well the pain and contracting continued so the nurse opted to turn me back onto my other side since it was more comfy. I joked that maybe the baby was coming - after all I was having the "poo pressure" they told me to watch for. She reminded me that barely 45 mins earlier the baby was really high and only 5cm dilated. Another nurse in attendance checked for me to prove it but instead was like "baby's head is right here". Dr. Daly was quickly summoned for delivery - I was totally dilated and there was just a little cervical lip to go.
It was about midnight now. My mum (who had gone home) called in to check in and my sister told her that I hadn't progressed much and it would be a while. Well, three seconds later she phoned her back and was like "never mind - COME NOW." When she showed up I was about to start pushing, and DH needed to leave the delivery room. He had been really good up until then but it was all just a little too much. He looked greener than me. :/ Mum and my youngest sister stayed for the delivery.
Didn't take much pushing! I pushed like an olympic medalist - maybe a half hour worth? After Maggie was born and the placenta was delivered I saw Dr. Daly whip out the thread and needle and I was like "Oh, did I rip?" and he told me they'd done an episiotomy. That pissed me off - I didn't want one and nobody asked me. But I guess Mags was presenting an anterior shoulder and I'd already ripped like crazy and they needed to. Sewing me up took forever... later I found out I looked like a real warzone, with the 1st degree tear and the episiotomy. Again, I wish I hadn't had the epi 'cause maybe I could have known to push more carefully. Oh well.
Maggie instantly took my breast (well, as soon as I was sewn up) and has barely left my arms since! I couldn't walk at all after delivery and needed help for everything in the first day... even now I'm not especially mobile. So visitors have to come here! But I feel awesome anyway. Shot through with adrenaline and totally sleep deprived.
Need food now. Healing + milk machine = not a lot of energy...
Born 7/16/08 at 1:48am, 42 weeks
7 pounds and 2.6 ounces
20 inches long
Labor induced with pitocin but no pain medication used
The Long Story
I went to the acupuncturist on Monday in hopes of getting labor started. The appointment went great and I was feeling some mild contractions upon leaving. We went to my parents house for dinner and while I was there I had one strong contraction but nobody was around to witness it but I wanted to leave because I didn't want to be "watched".
On Tuesday morning around 1:00 am I was awoken with some contractions. Around 2:20 am I had some bloody show and loss of mucous plug. I stayed up for a while longer with some inconsistent contractions and then decided it would be a good idea to get some sleep. Went to sleep around 4:40 am woke up around 6:30 am. I decided to just try and take it easy Tuesday, let my body rest before labor got started. I did have some contractions here and there but nothing regular or very painful.
We had a midwife appointment at 3:00 pm. Before we left Jon asked "Should we put our stuff in the car just in case?" and even though I was philosophically against the idea (because I wasn't planning on being induced simply for the fact that I was post dates) my instinct told me we should put everything in the car for some reason. When we went to our midwife appointment my blood pressure was high, like 158/90, around there and I was spilling protein in my urine (3). So the CNM came in and said "I know you don't want to be induced but at this point we really need to." She checked me and I was a "stretchy 2.5 cm and about 70% effaced". She also stripped my membranes (OUCH!). I was bummed about being induced but I felt like we at least had a medical indication so DH and I headed over to L & D. Jon called our doula, Wendy, and she said she was on her way.
When I got to L & D I was really happy to see the CNM I had had my NST with on Saturday, Shavan. There was another CNM there named Annie whom I had never met before but I liked her. However, I was really bummed out to learn that the midwife I had had the NST with on Thursday, Stephanie, was coming on at 8pm when Annie left. But I talked to Shavan and she was like look, you will probably have your baby in the morning and I will be back by then, also I know you had a bad experience with Stephanie but she really is a very competent CNM. I decided there was no reason to go into this thing with more stress then necessary and made a decision to let what happened with Stephanie go. Annie asked me if I knew what to expect with the induction, I told her and she said "Wow, you really know your stuff."
So we got admitted. I was actually really calm and at peace. The nurse who got me all set up, Tracy, was very kind and did a good job getting the I.V. set up. She told me from my reaction from the IV that she thought I was going to do great. This may have been BS but it made me feel good. She asked if I had a birth plan. I got it out and we went over it. She didn't blink an eye at the things we were declining and went ahead and got me all the refusal forms I would need to get it out of the way. Sometime during all this Wendy showed up. I was so glad to have her there.
Shavan came in before they started the pit and let me know that the OB wanted to do magnesium sulfate because of the level of protein in my urine but that she had requested that they at least wait until they had my labs back. I asked her about the magnesium sulfate, what it was like. She admitted that it was not pleasant and that is why she wanted them to hold off because she wanted to try and make my birth as close to what I had wanted given the situation. She told me I was going to do great and that she was leaving now and she would see me in the morning.
Once the pit was started everything was going pretty well. No bad reactions. The contractions were very similar to the ones I had been feeling earlier. I was sitting on my birthing ball a lot or standing. Wendy and I were chatting about different things. Around 7 pm Wendy brought up dinner and decided to run down to the cafeteria to check out the options. When she came back she said that the cafeteria closed at 7 pm so she had just grabbed what she could which was a muffin, some cottage cheese and some random slices of meat. I thought the cottage cheese sounded good so I had that. I told Jon he should go get food for him and Wendy because it was going to be a long night and they needed to eat. I told him if he was going to do it, he needed to do it now while I was still handling everything so well without help. He went to In and Out to get him and Wendy some food.
By the time he got back the contractions had gotten more painful and required my attention. But I wanted him and Wendy to eat and not focus on me, I could still handle the contractions myself. I was so happy they listened to me. This was about 8pm. Around this time Annie came in to let me know that my labs looked great and we did not need to do the magnesium sulfate. Also, interestingly, the urine sample sent to the lab didn't have any protein in it...
Sorry this is getting so long! Basically from 8:00pm to 10:30 pm the contractions kept getting stronger, longer and closer together. I was vocalizing through them and breathing out of them. Around 11:00 I asked to be checked. Things were very painful and I needed to know where I was at. The nurse told me the midwife was at a delivery right now and then she had another one so that it would be about 30 minutes. That seemed like a long time but I knew time was going by fast and that I could handle it. Well it turned out it was about an hour and still no check. At this point I had just gotten a new nurse who was VERY chipper, so not in the mood for that. So I reminded her that I wanted to be checked. She said it was going to be about 30 minutes, I let her know that I had asked an hour ago and 30 minutes was too long at this point. Magically she was able to get the midwife within 5 minutes. So the midwife came in to check me which of course was a long process because I didn't want to be checked during a contraction, she wanted me on the bed to check me, plus the talking about it before hand. Finally when I got checked she said "Okay you are 3.5 cm and 100% effaced". I was so disappointed. I said "I want an epidural, I can't handle this for hours more." She said "Hold on, let me tell you what I felt. At first when I checked you I thought you were like a 10 because you are very thinned out and stretchy. I can feel the babies head and the bag of waters. What if we got you off the pit, off the monitor so you could move and get in the shower. I would put a small leak in your water and we could see how that goes. You can have the epidural if you want but I don't think that is what you really want." This sounded good to me. I just really needed a change of scenery so to speak. So we did that. If I had any bad feelings towards Stephanie before they were gone now.
I was so happy to be off the pit. Jon started the shower and that was like heaven. But I was noticing that the contractions were getting more intense and I didn't have a break. It was just one big contraction with more intense points. In my mind I was begging for an epidural. I was in so much pain. Finally, after about 50 minutes of this, with a very clear state of mind I told Jon and Wendy I wanted an epidural. I was sure about it. I would not be able to keep up with this type of pain for much longer. It was unbearable. They took me seriously. They went and got the nurse. She came in and said "How's it going honey?" Me: "Get me an epidural now.". I was on the toilet at this time. I knew I had to get back on the IV for the epidural so I walked into the room and an intense point in this hour long contraction came that was my breaking point. I got on the floor on a chux pad, hands and knees and just started screaming. It was so painful. I felt like I was never going to make it. At this point Wendy came over and said something to me, in a firm but loving voice. I think something about how I was doing so well but I needed to keep it together. Those weren't her words. Whatever she said was perfect but that was the point.
So then something changed. When the next intense point came my body started to push. And it felt so much better to do that then what had been happening. But for some reason I didn't say anything to anyone. I think in my mind I thought that it was impossible that it was time to push and I didn't want to give my hopes up or something. So then after one or two contractions like this the nurse asked "Do you feel like pushing?" I told her yes, she said "Are you pushing?" I told her yes. She told me not to push. I asked her how the hell I was supposed to do that. Wendy calmly informed me to try to pant or grunt. The nurse checked me and said "Yep, its time to push." She called the CNM and though I couldn't see it, I could hear the CNM and nurses scurrying into the room, setting up the bed. Remember I am still on the floor at this time on hands and knees.
The CNM asked me if I could get on the bed because delivering the baby on to the hospital floor was not a great idea. I said I could. I got on the bed in a side laying position. And then I heard the most magical words. The CNM said "Okay, when the next contraction comes, you just do whatever your body tells you to." So I pushed and it hurt. On the next contraction I could see the head and Wendy told me to feel the babies head and told Jon to feel it too. Then the CNM told me, "Okay on the next contraction I want you to keep pushing even when you don't want to anymore to help get the babies head up further." I took her advice and was screaming through the pushing. After that contraction the CNM told me "Okay on the next contraction, I am going to tell you to hold the pushing after a little while so I can support your perineum, to prevent tearing." She was using oil and warm compresses. So that was the next contraction. Then on the next contraction I pushed out the head and shoulders and she was out! I was screaming my head off during this. As Jon so lovingly puts it "It was the most f'ed up sound I had ever heard in my whole life." I had started pushing at 1:30 am and she was born at 1:48 am. They handed her right to me. The cord was wrapped around her neck one time, which had been causing some decels during pushing. They suctioned her a little bit. They waited until the cord stopped pulsating and then had Jon cut the cord. She was screaming at us. I was smiling and happy, Jon was crying and happy.
The placenta was delivered shortly after that. Then they were pressing on my uterus to get out stuff. Holy crap that hurts.
I had one small "skid mark" near the urethra.
Caroline was nursing within 30 minutes of birth and did beautifully.
I am feeling great but just focusing on resting, snuggling with baby and nursing.
My birth wasn't exactly how I envisioned it but I am far from disappointed. I feel very empowered. All the nurses were impressed by my birth and recovery. The nurse at my birth (the chipper one) turned out to be awesome. She told me that she had never seen someone birth naturally on pitocin and that she was so impressed by me. She also told me that she used cloth diapers on both her kids and said "Well I bet you'll just have a home birth next time, huh?" And I said "YEP!"
If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
And what you really want to see:
I was 41weeks 1day pregnant on Wednesday July 9th. I had been dialated to about 4-5cm for several days, about 75% effaced and baby was low in my pelvis. I was starting to feel discouraged and a little panicy about being “over due”. We weren’t 100% sure of my due date as I had been having irregular cycles prior to conceiving. My “best guess” for her due date was 7/1/08. The first ultrasound dated us at 6/29/08 but my midwife and I agreed to use the July date anyway.
I decided to start trying natural ways of encouraging baby to make her arrival (walking, nipple stimulation etc) earlier in the week to no avail. I even bit the bullet and tried castor oil – which I promptly threw back up. After talking to my midwife and doula we decided that it would probably be best to break my water and get things moving. We went to the midwife’s office at about noon on Thursday the 10th to check on the baby and see how she was doing – perfect of course. We made the decision that we’d take the girls out to lunch and when we got home, we’d call Toni (my midwife) to come out to the house and she’d break my water there and we’d get things going.
On the way to the restraunt I started to have mild regular contractions! As soon as we got home I called my mom to come over and help keep my girls entertained as well as my doula, Patti, and Toni. The contractions continued all afternoon and when Toni arrived and checked me I was dialated to about a 6-7 and basicly completely effaced. We went ahead and broke my water, which took hardly anything – it was ready to burst!
The contractions started to pick up a little and we got the pool filling. Once it was ready I hopped in for a while. The contractions started to pick up and feel uncomfortable but they were totally manageable. After a bit Patti suggested I get out and try and use the restroom and then sit on the birth ball for a while to help my pelvis open up. I could tell that the baby was moving down because I started to get a sharp pain in my back with every contraction. HARD counter pressure from my support people on my sacrum (lower back) was the only thing that made this manageable.
After a bit of sitting on the ball Toni wanted to check me again. I was dialated to about an 8 at this point. Lying on the bed was excruciating because there was no way for anyone to push on my back and the pain was very intense. The contractions themselves were still very manageable, even at this point. But the pain in my back was getting much more intense. I moved to stradeling a chair in hopes of getting that last bit of cervix out of the way. Toni encouraged me to push a little with contractions as well. Sitting on the chair allowed my support people to really get to my back which was the only thing that provided much relief. They applied hot wash cloths to my back and put a cold one on my forehead. That helped a little, but really only the HARD pressure took the edge off. I am very thankful though because even though the contractions and back pain we’re extremely intense, I almost always had a nice break in between where I was able to breath and recover.
At this point the back pain was getting almost unbearable, even with the counter pressure. I asked to get back in the water and did. I was disappointed that the water didn’t help as much as I had hoped it would, in fact they seemed even stronger. I had one really strong contraction where the pain shot all the way up my spine. Feeling very overwhelmed, I said that we HAD TO DO SOMETHING about the pain in my back. Toni was getting a syringe ready with saline solution to inject which was supposed to give some relief. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to push. (No time for that injection after all…) Toni checked me again and with a little push I was able to get the last bit of cervix out of the way. With the next contraction I pushed out her head, then her body with the one after that. She was literally born 2 minutes after I reached 10cm.
Through out my labor my girls came in and out of our bedroom where we were set up. They were both so sweet and loving and tried really really hard to be good. Most of the time they spent playing games with my mom out in the living room. When everyone realized that I was so close to delivering, they called them in and they were able to watch their new little sister enter the world.
Touching her head during that last contraction gave me the strength to push out her body. I lifted her up out of the water and into my arms. She cried a little – I’m sure the stress of being born so fast (5 hours from when my water broke) was a little scary for her too. We stayed in the pool for a while and everyone got to come over and say hi and kiss her little head. My oldest daughter, Bridgitt, brought over the Build-A-Bear that they had made for her and showed it to her. It was all so so sweet.
After the cord stopped pulsing, we clamped it off and my husband cut it. Her cord was 38 inches long! Almost twice the “average” cord length! She weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. She was born at 10:36pm on July 10th 2008.
It was an extremely intense birth but I’m so happy with the way it turned out. I really could have done with out all that back pain though!! Baby Meridith is doing very well. It amazes me how something can be so big and yet still so small at the same time :
Cari Family Business Owner Married to my HS Sweet-Heart Michael
Mama to Bridgitt (12/99) Rheannon (05/04) and Meridith (07/08)
and Griffin April 2, 2013
At my 40 week appt on Wed. (7/9/08) I had my mw check me to see if I was dialated. She was barely able to get a finger in and said I was barely one cm. I was half effaced and soft. So we were thinking it could still be a week or so.
During the early morning hours of July 11th (40w4d), I was getting up to go to the bathroom every hour (as usual) and was feeling some pressure in my back. I thought I had to poo so I tried, but couldn't and became annoyed that I might be constipated.
Then around 7am I had a contraction with the pressure and thought this was like all the other times where I'd contract and it be nothing. But this contraction felt a little different. In addition to the pressure in my back, I was feeling pressure in my abdomen as well with the ctx. So I told my dh this felt different and he said I should time the ctx. Well, after 15 min, I still hadn't had another one so I was frustrated that once again it was a false alarm. Around 8am I called my friend b/c I was still having constant pressure and had a weird feeling this was different. I told her I thought about calling my mw and she said she thought I should since I had been feeling pressure throughout the morning.
I called my mw around 8:15am and told her I didn't know if this was it. I wasn't really having ctx, but the constant pressure was making me wonder if this might be real. So she said she'd be over in a little while. She was going to take a shower and then stop by. She lives about 30-45 min away.
My husband was feeding our children breakfast and I had a major ctx hit me out of nowhere that lasted 2 min. It really hurt. Then I had another one and I told him I really thought this was it and to call my mom to come get our children so I could have his help. This was around 8:30am. The ctx kept coming and were getting more intense each time.
Around 9am I got in my bathtub to help me cope. It felt wonderful! I started moaning thru them and got that "I don't know if I can do this" feeling. I still didn't believe I was close since I had a 16 hour labor with my daughter and it had only been about 30 min from the time I thought this might be it. My husband was trying to hurry and get the kids stuff ready for my mom when my mw got here between 9:15-9:30am.
She was bringing her stuff in when she heard me moan thru a ctx and she stopped and asked if I felt like pushing. I said no, but they were really coming fast and very intense! I said I feel a ton of pressure. So she asked if she could check me before she finished getting her stuff in and I said yes. I wanted to know I wasn't just at 3-4cm. She told me I was 7cm and at +2 station. I was so shocked I was so close. She told me that in a few minutes we'd have a our baby.
My mom arrived a few minutes later and kept my ds and dd in the playroom so my dh could be with me. My dh got in the back of the tub on the ledge and put counter pressure on my back. I started feeling pushy and my mw checked me and I was complete. My dh was supporting me from behind so I could push. I pushed for a total of 4 pushes and at 10:08am he was born in the water! My husband was going to catch him, but since I needed him behind me my mw caught him. As soon as she put him on my chest, my dh said it's a boy!! I looked down and thru my tears I saw my sweet, beautiful boy! I will never forget that moment.
He weighed 7lbs 7oz and 19 1/4 in. He latched right on and has been nursing well. He is a very calm, sweet baby.
My labor was less than 2 hours, but very intense. I had a minor tear needing 2 stitches, but other than that everything was perfect He is eating every 1 1/2 hrs and doesn't want to be out of our arms. We are loving every minute with him and his siblings adore him!
I went for my appt. and she worked on me for over an hour, I thought well even if it doesn't work, I have never been so relaxed in my life! So it wasn't going to be a total waste. The lady told me that it took almost an hour to feel the "points" start to pulse, so we talked and she thought I could try accupunture the next morning. So I went ahead and made an appt. at a different place for accupuncture. I left and felt kind of down because I didn't feel like anything was happening.
I got home at about 5:30pm to a house full of people!(All family but STILL! UGH! I just wanted to go relax because the the reflexologist told me I needed to relax (my kids had been driving me crazy!) if I wanted to go into labor. So my dh made me go into the bedroom and lay down with the lights off while I listed to some relaxing music and he made dinner and kept the kids out of the room. At about 6:00pm or so I started to feel "something" and I thought no these are just the same old cntrxs I've been feeling. But I told dh that something *might* be going on. At 7:30pm they were still coming but not consistent at all but I thought I should give my mom a heads up also. We live right next door to each other and I was birthing at her house. Plus that is were everyone was and I thought for sure they would be gone by now. So I had dh go over there and try to get rid of everyone without letting them know what was going on.
By 7:45pm they were getting pretty strong and I was stressing out because there were still people at my mom's and the girls weren't in bed yet! I couldn't relax. I called the m/w to give her a heads up and she said it just sounded like early labor because they were so sporadic and didn't last very long. She told me to go take a warm bath and call her back in an hour. So I took a warm shower and I had 3 cntrx that were 2 mins. apart and then only 2 more that were 12+mins. apart. I called her back and told her that they were getting really painful but they still weren't regular, she told me to just go to bed as she was going to do and get some rest and that she would be expecting me to call in the middle of the night. She asked me if I was alright with that and I said yes, so I hung up and tried to lay down, well immediately I had a HUGE, EXTEMELY painful contraction and knew that either something was wrong or that's just the way this labor was going to be. So I called her back and told her I just had a contraction that left my legs shaking and I would really like her to come NOW! So she agreed happily to come and check things out.
Meanwhile my mom and dh were scrambling to fill the pool and make the bed.
By this time it hurt to sit on the toilet but I had to pee so I got back in the shower to pee. Dh was filling the pool and then the m/w's showed up and I got into my gown I wanted to wear and asked her to check me. I was 6-7 cm's, this was at about 8:30 I believe. I wasn't having to moan thru them yet but they were quite intense, I just had to breathe and concentrate and relax. She told me to go ahead and get into the pool if I wanted.
I got in and it felt SOOOO good when I first got in but something just didn't feel right I tried laying back but it just felt like my stomach was in my throat and then I tried laboring hanging over the side of the pool. By this time I was having to moan thru them but still able to put on a smile in between. I labored in the pool for about an hour.
I got out and got onto the bed and I was getting quite vocal thru them but still able to be happy between. This went on for about 2 hrs. finally I started to feel really tired and wondered why it was taking so long. I was comparing (which I knew was wrong) it to my last labor where I went from 3cm's to 10cm's in a little less than an hour. I asked her to check me again and i was a stretchy 9cm's with a BBOW. It was about 11:30pm. I was getting to the point where I didn't know how much longer I could go on like this. Finally at about midnight the m/w asked if I was starting to feel pushy because she noticed I was getting a little grunty. I told her I didn't know, when in all honesty I think I was afraid to push. I even told my m/w that, that happened with dd2, I was afraid for the first few pushes and then I got the hang of it.
So I tried pushing but it hurt SOOOO bad, not like it was with dd2 where it was a relief. I almost begged her break my water but I knew that just like with dd2 I would rather it break during pushing because of the GBS. So I pushed a few times and my water burst all over her! I even warned her that she would get soaked, so she better move to the side. Then I said, oh thank goodness!! I remember it being so much easier with dd2 once my water broke. But it didn't get easier....I was screaming. I was getting cramps in my hips and just coudn't get on top of it. I was worried at one point about the neighbors because I was REALLY loud. I was screaming no, and I can't do this over and over again. I would push and feel his head move down and then it would go right back up. I kept asking how much of his head they could see. I would feel myself start to stretch and then he would slip back in again. Finally I was so fed up with getting 1 step ahead and 2 back that I just pushed (and screamed) like crazy, I didn't think I could stretch anymore and then heard her say push again! He was only out to his forehead. So I pushed again and he came out to his nose, so I pushed again and out came the rest of his head. Then I got a break from the cntrx....they had been one right on top of the other.
So I rested for a few seconds and she said ok, just one more time and he will be here.
So I pushed like crazy and he didn't budge. I saw the student m/w look and my m/w and she said ok, you need to push for your baby! I pushed again and he wouldn't come out. I was sitting up, so she had me lay flat and reached in to see what was going on with his shoulders and told me to PUSH! She unhooked his shoulder and out it came and then I had to push again and out came the other, he was born at 12:20am on the 11th. She put him right up on my belly and he was blue (his 1 min. apgar was only a 6). I was scared but he was crying so I wasn't totally panicked. He was a big boy.
He laid on my stomach until the cord stop pulsing(which was quite a while) and my mom cut the cord...dh has a queasy stomach. Then once again my placenta was being stubborn. So she gave me a shot of pitocin but i was still bleeding pretty good. So she gave me another...finally she had me stand and squat and gently "pulled" while I pushed and it FINALLY came out. It felt huge!
She checked me for tears...NONE!! WHOO HOO!
Then she weighed and measured him...
14 3/4" head
14 3/4" chest
14 1/2" stomach
He latched right on, he's a hungry little boy! He is also a strong little thing, he was lifting his head up off my shoulder while I was trying to burp him and he was only a couple hours old. His poor face was bruised and purple for a few days.
The birth was nothing like I thought it would be, mainly because none of us knew he was going to be that big. It was truly the hardest thing I have done so far in my life. But I still couldn't be happier about the way it went.
The girls just adore him. He is kind of a fussy baby but other than that he is good.
My dh got his son, my Dad got his first grandson. We couldn't be happier.
After what seemed like FOREVER, Lilly June made her way into the world in a fast and furious way.
I awoke from a nap at 3:45pm to an empty house. All day the house had been empty and I kept thinking it’d be such a great time to go into labor – when I could be all alone and focus. My mom had taken Alexander to a cook out at my aunt’s and Pete had gone to a bookstore with a friend. The house was so quiet and peaceful.
I had to go to the bathroom, and as I finished I had a good strong contraction. After months of contractions that led nowhere, I was highly skeptical, so I decided to take a shower at 4:05 and see if they kept coming. In the 20 minutes I was in the shower I had 6 or 7 contractions, and thought that perhaps I should call Pete to come home. While I was on the phone with him, I decided that I should probably call the midwives, just in case.
I called Paige and told her that I thought it might be real this time. We were on the phone and the contractions were coming every 2 minutes and were quite intense, but I was still concerned that it was going to peeter out again. Paige assured me that even if it was a false alarm that it’d be OK. (She later told me that she was nervous that she wasn’t going to make it in time.)
By the time Pete got home around 5:30 I was feeling more confident. The contractions were coming on top of each other and I was having really intense pain in my low back. He immediately set to work on filling the birth pool. The midwives arrived around 5:45 and starting setting up as fast as they could. I vaguely recall asking Paige if this was really it this time, and she smiled and asked me what I thought. I promptly vomited and knew that it was time to have a baby.
I went through transition with sweating, shaking and vomiting as the contractions were coming constantly. Paige suggested I get in the water and I was concerned it’d be too hot. She asked me to give it a shot and reminded me that I could always get right back out if I wanted, so I stepped in around 6:10. I slid into the water and it felt like a shot of morphine. Instant relief. I finally had a break from the contractions for a few minutes. I laid on my side with my head on the tub wall and had a few contractions in the water. At 6:25 I had a powerful contraction and announced that I was pushing. Pushing was not an option at that point and I pushed with more ferocity than I’ve ever known. At 6:34, Lilly June was born into the world, with her long cord looped twice around her neck. She was bright eyed and scanned the room with incredible awareness. It was dark, quiet and beautiful. She just looked and looked at everyone and everything for several minutes until we decided to move into the bedroom to wait for the cord to stop pulsing and to birth the placenta.
She laid on my chest for her first hour of life without interruption, all the while, wide eyed and inquisitive. After all our waiting, her birth was absolutely perfect. I didn’t tear at all and haven’t had a bit of swelling. I feel phenomenal physically and absolutely overjoyed emotionally. While I am not at all good at being pregnant, I remember why I chose to do this again – I LOVE giving birth and I love being a mom.
When we got back to my house the other midwife had arrived. I thought she was jumping the gun because I didn't feel like I was having a baby anytime soon! Labor was definitely picking up though, they wanted me to eat a little something to keep my strength up for later, so I did een though I wasn't really hungry. The midwives, DH and DD all ate some pizza they ordered, and by then I was walking around, restless in between contractions. After they were done I played with DD and joked around with the midwives for a while, all in between laboring.
Soon it was DD's bedtime and DH got her to sleep very easily. I had called the doula knowing she had about an hour's trip to the house and she arrived just after this. I was having to concentrate and breathe through contractions at this point, and the midwives were so encouraging whenever I had a good strong one. I started to use some of my Hypnobabies cues, like "peace" and "open, open, open"- really concentrating on relaxing through each one which helped me so much.
The midwives told DH to start filling up the birth tub (again, I thought this was really funny because I felt that "real" labor was hours away). I sat on my birth ball for a while and my doula did some counterpressure on my back with a cool vibrating massager thingy. In between contractions I felt great and we all talked about birthy stuff- so much fun!
The pool was ready very quickly and the midwives said I could get in if I wanted. It was sounding good so we moved upstairs- where DH had created such a nice atmosphere with candles and music. I loved being in the water- it took the edge off the contractions which were coming faster and more intense now. I experimented with some different positions in the pool and started to feel a lot of rectal/vaginal pressure. I went to the bathroom to see if I had to go but I didn't- I came back into the pool and the midwife said the pressure I was feeling was probably baby's head. I reached inside and sure enough there it was- there was not much cervix around it at all either! She checked me and I was at about 8 cm, and that was when I really started feeling transition-y- I started getting a little shaky and during the contractions I felt like I couldn't do this much longer.
The midwife wanted me to do some contractions on the toilet to help bring the baby down.... that position was just awful for me (I think I told the MW she was evil- hee hee hee) but within two contractions, my water broke with a whoosh (into the toilet! how convenient!) They had gone downstairs to give DH and I some privacy so I went to the top of the stairs and said "Hey guys, my water broke. By the way, it was clear". Then I pretty much ran into the pool and knelt in it leaning on the side.
Everyone came into the room and all of a sudden with the next contraction I had that incredible urge to bear down. I yelled that I was pushing- I was making these crazy roaring sounds that I didn't know I was capable of- my animal side totally took over. The midwives reassured me it was fine to push and to go with my body. I could feel the baby's head right there and I turned over into sort of a sitting/crab position, because I wanted to be able to catch, and it just felt right anyway. There was pretty much no break in between the contractions now- I was trying to push slowly and breathe the baby out, but he had other ideas! With a couple of crazy pushes the whole head was out, and I had a break in between where I could feel the rest of the body moving inside me. On the next contraction the body was out, and I pulled my sweet baby out of the water!
The baby was beautiful and perfect, and cried right away and turned pink. DH checked to see the gender- it was a boy as I thought all along! I told him, "It's OK, Mommy's here. I'm your mommy! Beautiful baby boy!" Everyone said he looked pretty big, but he looked so tiny to me.
There was a fair amount of blood in the pool and the placenta was not out yet, so everyone helped me out of the pool onto the bed. Henry latched on right away and nursed for a full hour. Finally the placenta came out after the midwife gave me an herbal tincture. I hung out nursing and snuggling with Henry while everyone cleaned up. After an hour or so DH cut the cord and they did a newborn exam, and I needed a few stitches as a result of the fast birth. Eventually all was done and DH, Henry and I snuggled to sleep, and Henry nursed on and off all night. Miraculously, DD slept through the entire birth in the next room!
In the morning we called our parents to tell them the good news. DD woke up and DH brought her in and she said, "Baby!" She is still adjusting to being the big sister but is generally doing great with him. I really loved having my baby at home. It was such a joyous and empowering experience.
Born July 13, 2008 at 11:47 pm
8 lb., 7 oz.
July 2, 2008
I woke up and looked at the clock at 4:44 am (I think I'd been having some ctx before that, though, but didn't wake up fully). I started paying attention to the time of the ctx...they were about every 12-15 minutes, and I felt them down low in the front and in my back, but nothing at the top of my uterus, so I didn't know if it was really labor. I woke dh up at about 5:45 to tell him I was getting in the shower to see if they stopped. I had a few in the shower, and they were getting pretty painful. At about 7, I called my parents to have them get on their way to our house to get our older kids (it's a 45min. drive). Then I called my MW to tell her I was in labor, since I knew she was going to be heading to a visit that was an hour in the other direction.
I labored at home on the ball or in the rocking chair. Every time I got up to move around or go pee, the ctx got faster and stronger. By 9 when my parents arrived, I needed DH to get me through them...they were still just low and in the back--very different from my other labors. No breaking water, no bloody show, no mucous plug, just lots of diarrhea. (TMI, I know).
At about 10, I called my MW to ask when she thought I should head to the birth center...we decided we would leave about a half hour later (I didn't want to get there too early and have things slow down.) We left at about 10:45 for the 45 minute drive to the birth center. The ctx picked up on the drive and were coming every 4-5 minutes by the time we got there.
I labored on the couch for a bit, drank some water, went to the bathroom, labored on the floor on hands and knees so dh could do some counter pressure. Then I got changed and into the tub. It was HEAVEN!
I don't know what time it was then, but I got a little repreive in teh ctx at that point. Then they started coming really fast and furious. I was having a really hard time staying on top of them (I don't know if I did at all, actually). DH was great, my mom was giving me cold cloths and my MW was so supportive, too. I was in transition, but thought i had a long way to go, according to my previous labors. I was feeling really nauseous.
Then all of a sudden, I felt Lucy move down and had an immediate urge to push. My waters had never broken, and the bag was bulging out, with her head right behind it. I used my own hand to keep her from coming out too fast. It was just a few pushes, maybe 4 or 5, and her head was out, quickly followed by her whole body. I remember feeling her shoulders turn and pushing her out. It was amazing! She came out with the bag of waters over her head like a veil, and the cord around her neck. She was a little blue, but pinked up really fast. DH caught her and I got her right away! She was born at 1:44pm, exactly 9 hours from when I woke up that morning.
Our kids came in to see her for a minute, then they left and I got out of the tub, sat on the birthing stool and pushed out the placenta.
Then I got into bed and nursed her right away. She was quiet and alert and just perfect.
It was such a peaceful and wonderful birth. For our first out-of-hospital birth, it was amazing! I wouldn't do it any other way again! We were home by dinner time and had wonderful bonding time for 2 days while our older kids were at grandma's.
Lucy Joy weighed 7lbs. 4oz, was 20in. long, and has beautiful black hair and blue eyes. She's just perfect.
I just wanted to post a bit about Bodie's arrival.
We went in on thursday night as planned. I was around 1cm 50% effaced. got everything going and started pit around 11pm. I labored all night long having 2-3 min apart contractions, on the ball, standing up. She checked me several times of course, and no change. My pit was increased every 30 mins. During this time the pain got worse and worse and since I wasn't changing I assumed it was because my body just couldn't relax. So I asked for the epidural around 7am, contractions were still very strong and I even cried during a few of them. Epi worked for all of 2-3 hours, so I got to 2cm and agreed to let her break my water. Labored for 5 more hours or so and still no change (2cm that's it) Epi only working on one side of my body. The pain was so bad on the other side that it was all I could do to breath thru them. I did get to 3 cm, but stayed that way for another 7 hours. they checked me about every 2 hours and never once did they say I had dilated at all. The Dr. came in around 6 pm and said there were so many decels in his heart, my ctx were still 3 mins apart and weak, and I had not dilated so it was up to me. Labor for up to 12 more hours or have a C-section. I told her that I was in so much pain, and the decels were scaring me. I don't know what I'd do if something happen to him. So I told her we could do the section now, almost 24 hours into labor. I cried all the way to the OR, and they preped me for it. Bodie just couldn't stand the labor and I wasn't dilating on the max amount of pit. I've been induced 4 other times and by 24 hours it's baby time. Started the C-section and discovered that i was seconds away from uterine rupture and my uterus had 2 deep cuts at the top of it. This could have caused him to come out of my uterus along with the placenta and Bodie would have not survived this for sure. The Dr. was so amazed by seeing this rupture looking design on my uterus that she was telling DH to look at it and the other Dr.s in the practice said they wanted to see pictures of it even. Sorry for the long story, he's here and safe and that's what matters. He did nurse with in an hour of coming out, and his apgars were 8/9 which is great considering he was a C/S baby. It was advised that if we do have more children I should NOT labor at all because my uterus had to be sewn (sp?) in so many different places. We came home yesterday evening from the hospital and are trying to recover from the unexpected.
We are in love with him, he is perfect. He's at 6lbs 2ozs now (as of today) and is a little jaundiced, but doing wonderfully. I'll try to add photos to my flickr very soon.
Tenk ~ happily married with lots of kids
July 13, 2008
On July 11th I woke up with a few contractions. They were pretty consistant but not too painful. I had a blood pressure check at the birth center anyway that day so I called and let them know about my contractions. Jewell was on call that day so she said she'd check me out anyway. My blood pressure was good- 130/88. I was 3cm dialated and she could feel pressure from Noah's head on my cervix during contractions. So, we went home and I contracted all afternoon. By that night the contractions fizzled out totally.
Saturday the 12th I felt nothing all day. I did cleaning and laundry all day, took a short nap while reading. I told Mike that I was going to read as much as I could until Noah was born... who knew it'd only be one chapter? After dinner I started with contractions at 8:15pm. They were irregular and light but real. Everyone was calling us that day checking up on us. At 10pm I came downstairs to watch Graham Norton on BBC America with Mike. By 10:40 I told him I was going to take a bath and see how my contractions were. I get in and at 11pm my contractions become consistant and 2 minutes apart. After my bath I laid down to check them out that way. Still 2 minutes and light. I paged Mike on the intercom downstairs to let him know. I said it didn't feel urgent but that I might tell Steph to come spend the night. Mike felt a little urgent about 2 minutes apart. So, I called Steph and said, "Why don't you just hang here tonight?"
Before Steph could get here I ended up calling the answering service for the birth center. I talked to the midwife oncall, Jenny, and actually said, "I'm in labor." I was praying I didn't wake her for nothing! She told me to meet her at the birth center at 1:30.
We beat Jenny there by about 5 minutes. She puts us in a room and checks me, I'm 6cm! I'm actually in labor! I didn't think I'd ever in my life go into labor on my own. I'm 6cm, but she's not convinced that Noah is head down. I had felt for a long time that he was breech, but that thought hadn't crossed my mind in weeks. Jenny called Leigh Ann, who was the backup midwife that night, to come check me as a second opinion. Leigh Ann got there in about 25 minutes and she felt Noah's orientation from my abdomen and said, "Wow, that's no preemie!" She checked me... and checked me... and checked me. Said he felt head down to her. Then Jenny checked me... and checked me... and checked me. They appologized to which I replied, "Sure, they won't use forceps here but they will use their hands!" They both thought that was hilarious.
Not so hilarious was the fact that they were only 95% certain that Noah was head down. Jenny made some calls to try and get us in quickly at UNC for an ultrasound. She was afraid I'd have to be triaged and admitted for one, then have to wait around to be released. We drove over to UNC and the whole time I keep saying, "As long as my water doesn't break we're okay, I go fast after my water breaks." Mike drops Jenny and I off at the front of the hospital and we go up to L&D... where they are in the middle of admitting 7 women into triage. The lady in the wheelchair infront of my doesn' look like she is in labor at all and here I am standing behind her praying my water doesn't break.
Finally one nurse says to Jenny, "You're just hear for a quick ultrasound, right?" And they put us back in a recovery room for that. Mike still hadn't made it up to L&D. They put me in a bed that's WAY uncomfy to lie in and an OB comes in and Mike with them. They do a quick scan and yay, he's head down! The OB says, "How big of a baby were you planning on?" and Jenny said, "She's already had a nine pounder." Then we were on our way back to the birth center.
Its 3:30am and we got back without my water breaking and I use the bathroom while Jenny fills the birthing tub for me. Its heavenly. I float for awhile. Then I turn on my side. The pressure builds and somewhere around 4am I go to use the bathroom again one last time. I make it there fine, sit down, and hear/feel a crack/pop. I wait... no water comes out. I'm in PAIN and I can't relax to use the bathroom. I have to fight terrible pain to get back to the tub. I get back in and the pain is unreal. I tell Mike that I have to be in transition because I want an epidural now. They don't do any pain meds at the birth center so that's the only time I thought about or mentioned pain medicine. I was really just trying to make myself think I was in transition so it wouldn't be much longer. I guess Jenny could hear that something was different and the nurse showed up just then. They both came in the room and watched how I managed these new contractions. I mentioned they were like 45 seconds apart. Mike timed just one set to check, from peak to peak it was a minute and 10 seconds apart. After that set my contractions started having 3 peaks to them. I started moaning. Jenny checked me and said I was a 9 and could slowly start to push as I felt my body bearing down. I pushed hesitantly because I knew I wasn't complete yet. Then my body started to bear down. I was so uncomfortable I got out of the tub. Mike and Fran, the nurse, dried me off. I got over to the bed when another contraction hit. The nurse was trying to get me into bed and I had to wait it out. It actually wasn't bad leaning over the bed, I should have done that longer in hindsight. I got on the bed and it was party time.
I started screaming during contractions. I could feel myself tensing up when I'd feel one start again. I'd yell, "Oooh noooo." I gripped the bed so hard that I pulled a muscle and 4 days later its still bothering me. Mike massaged it out for me because I couldn't move it. I pushed on my right side but needed something to push against so they had me roll to the left and push against Mike. Our foreheads were together and I was pulling my right leg back at the same time. It was much easier to have leverage. I pushed a few times and felt Noah drop into the birth canal. I think I gave everyone the play-by-play of what I felt. It helped me to do something besides scream. I continued to feel Noah drop and could feel him start to crown and I said, "Oooh it burns!" I thought it was kinda painful until we got to the part where he was moving under my pelvic bone. Oooooh, then the burning was like I spent a little long out in the sun. The pelvic pain was like the Amtrak was making its way through my pelvis and it wasn't going to wait for it to open up.
I seriously thought my pelvis was going to have to break to get Noah through it. I said stuff like, "Why does he have to be so big?" or "Why does he have to have a head?" Then Jenny told me to feel him crowning. It made me happy that it was almost over, but sad that it was going to get more painful. Then all of a sudden my body started pushing much more intensely and I wasn't in control. That was fine with me, its hard work. Noah's head was half way out when my body stopped pushing and I wasn't having a contraction. Jenny told me to let him sit there and I said, "NOOOO IT HURTS!" It felt like my pelvic bone was being ripped apart. But I couldn't push so I HAD to wait. Finally I got the urge again and pushed so hard that I felt his head come out. They had me flip on my back real fast and I pushed his body out.
HOLY MOSES it felt like Noah AND his ark had exited my body. He was so big. I think I said, "BABIES!!! ... I feel SO much better now." I could breathe. They gave me a shot of pitocin in my leg.
Then came the placenta, it was huge. So huge I had to actively push it out. What a cruel joke after having pushed out a baby. The placenta came out, and so did the animals two by two. Jenny just kept saying, "that baby is big, he must be 2 feet long!"
I had no tears, needed no stitches. They cleaned everything up while I held warm Noah to me. I cleaned him up with the towel he was in. Jenny couldn't wait to see how much he weighed so she pulled in the scale. I guess he was 9 pounds 5 ounces, Fran guessed the same. Jenny weighed him- she had to slide over to the double digits and said, "I knew it!"- 10 pounds 7 ounces. She half heartedly measured him at 21.5" but she didn't stretch him at all and he had his feet pulled way back.
Mike and I called our families with the news: a 10.5 pound baby born without any pain medication.
The flood is over, you can now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
July 20/08 @9:45pm