born at 40 weeks, 3 days,
on November 18th, 2008
at 6:02 am England time
7 pounds, 1 ounce
20 inches long
26 hours total labor:
21 early labor
3 1/2 active labor
1ish hours transition
this was my 4th birth and my second homebirth, but it was also my "wild card" birth. the pregnancy was completely different than the rest, the labor was different (my LONGEST labor yet), the birth was different....everything about it was so different. many times my biggest downfall was the confusion of trying to compare this birth, what was immediatly happening, to what had happened in my past. This very thing tripped me up many times and almost resulted in me giving up and transferring, i was over thinking instead of just following my body.
At 4am monday morning (Nov 17th, 3 days past duedate) I awoke to contractions coming every 10-20 minutes and lasting 15-20 seconds. They didn't require my full attention and like all the other days/weeks filled with Braxton Hicks, these contractions grew just intense enough i had to breathe, sway, or walk through them but they never got much closer together, or lasted too long. I also couldn't sleep through them. i did have bloody show, and i did lose the "tippy top" part of the plug during this time. This continued for 21 hours.
By midnight the following morning they were gradually growing in intensity. I was so tired, and coming up on having already been awake almost 24 hours and the "hard work" just beginning. Even just sitting upright on the birthball felt like it took too much energy.
an hour later, at 1:00 am on Charlotte's birthday-November 18th- we decided to call the Midwife and give her a "heads up" that the contractions were now coming every 2-5 minutes and lasting 45 seconds-1min20 seconds long. I was also in the "serious" sign post of labor. I had to have my "routine" in coping, or I panicked.
At 2am Midwife Joanna arrived and offered to check my dialation. I refused. I was too afraid I wasn't "that far along" and I couldn't take any disheartening news. I hadn't had the "early labor" confirmation of throwing up yet, (usually happens around 2-3cm's for me)...i'd been incredibly nauseous, but no vomiting yet. (one of the many times i paid too much attention to my "past" birth experiences and didn't take this one for what it was.)
Joanna could tell I was well into active labor and let me know I could get into the birth pool whenever I wanted, even without a dialation check to "confirm". (she's so awesome!) Still, at that point i didn't feel the contracs were so overwhelming that i NEEDED the pool, and chose to just stick with what was working..bouncing on the excercise ball and using the TENs machine.
Around 3:00am I changed my mind and decided to have a cervical check. I was 5-6 cm's. 75% effaced and progressing really well. I was so encouraged! I knew it should go much quicker from this point.
at 4:00am I decided to get into the pool. It was heaven...I'd forgotten how much the intensity of the contractions seem to just melt away at water level.
at 5:00am I was flirting with transition. Last time transition only lasted 20 minutes so I expected us to go quickly...little did I know we'd be in transition for over an hour past that assumption! (Good Lord that was hard!!) We believe her chin was tilted up instead of tucked into her chest (a difficult position), which is what caused transition to drag out, and for me to have a harder time determining when to push.
This was my second homebirth and the first time I EVER seriously considered transferring for pain relief. it never, ever crossed my mind with my son, but this one was so different. transition with him was 20 minutes, not near an hour and a half. i hit the emotional signpost of "i can't do this any more" 4 times! I remember intently looking at our midwife and debating upon saying the words outloud, as i knew once i said them i'd have to mean them. finally i decided not to. i kept thinking of the "moment" of when you meet them for the first time...and i knew if we transferred that "moment" could easily happen in an ambulance to which i would be furious with myself, so i decided to wait a little bit longer, to hold on while i could, maybe in an hour if we hadn't birthed yet...maybe i'd revisit that thought then. it was so hard though. i never envisioned myself as one of those ladies who would thrash about during labor, but i became "that" laboring woman. the contractions felt so different from my sons I couldn't figure out what to do with them and that was the only way i could seem to cope.
nearing 6:00am the contracts were continuous and i think everyone in the room knew i could push except me (lol!..again relying too much on past birth experiences) it took a bit of convincing, but once I did catch on that my body was starting to involuntarily push, I finally recognized how to USE those contractions instead of letting them overwhelm me and she was born very quickly...(Joanna has "3 minutes pushing phase" listed in the birth records!) It didn't take very long for her head to be born and I was trying very patiently to wait for her shoulders to rotate and to "present" one shoulder before the other. Once this happened I just couldn't wait for another contraction to come for the body and began pushing on my own, which of course wasn't enough to make her budge, to which point I began to panic and just wanted her OUT! Joanna unhooked the presented shoulder, babe slipped right out. Both Jo/e's kind of lifted baby to me, although Joanna credits Joe for "delivery" lol. Those first moments were so amazing! Meeting baby, being shocked at how much hair they had (we always birth baldies!), being so relieved it was over, hearing the first cries and squeels...and finally, after 9 months of waiting, checking for gender and learning we had a GIRL! (surprised everyone!!) It was diffinitly worth the wait and such an awesome, awesome moment to have!!!
how we chose her name:
"Charlotte" we just really like. It's french and means, "Pretty little one". The nickname will be "Charlie" although I've been calling her "Sugar" alot lol.
Joe chose the middle name "Rose"...which really surprised me as I mentioned that name to him months ago and he didn't like Rose then. He said "seeing her rosie complection and how her little faced was all scrunched up like a rosebud when she was first born, it just fits!" I liked Rose before for two reasons, 1) it reminds me of my grandmother Helen who adores roses. I remember being a little girl and walking through her rose gardens, her teaching me how to feed them and showing me which were her favorites and why. I miss her intensely. and 2) Charlotte is our little "English Rose"...seems fitting.
first glimpse: seconds after birthhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/91447429@N00/3042396911/
7 pounds, 1 ounce!http://www.flickr.com/photos/91447429@N00/3043238170/
Charlotte 2 days old:http://www.flickr.com/photos/91447429@N00/3045592067/
Charlotte wearing her grandmother's baby bonnet:http://www.flickr.com/photos/91447429@N00/3042400655/
other various pics:http://www.flickr.com/photos/9144742...hoto3042396911