Please keep in mind that my sense of time is very skewed.. I didn’t look at a clock after I woke my mom up. Who knows if any lengths of time I say are legit or not, lol!
Friday, May 15th, 2009
I had a midwife appointment that afternoon and was feeling like this baby was never going to be born. My due date was in 2 days and everyone had been saying I was huge and he’d come out any day for like 3 weeks. 3 weeks is a long time for a gigantic preggo mama and the idea of two more is just... ugh. Yeah.
Anyways, at my appointment I asked Jennifer to check me for the first time. She did, and I was at least 50% effaced and 2 cm dilated.. I was also easily stretchable to 4 cm. I know dilation/effacement doesn’t really have much to do with when you’ll go into labor, but it did make me feel better. The baby’s heart rate was low when I laid on my back, so they told me not to lay on my back (which I wasn’t doing anyways) and to do kick counts 2x a day. For the rest of the day I was having contractions on and off, but they were the same as all the other days when I had contractions.
Ronan was with his dad for an overnight, so that afternoon I decided to go to Joanns’ to pick up a few things. (I got five 1/2 yds of cotton knits that were on sale, marking pencils, a new smaller rotary cutter, safety pins, and a watercolor set.) On my way home I got the brilliant idea to stop and pick up a bottle of Evil, the wine that Pete and I loved last summer, to give to him after the babe was born. You should see the looks you get when you walk into a liquor store that pregnant, lol! They didn’t have any Evil, and weren’t going to be getting any back in stock anytime soon. Sigh. So much for good intentions.
I got home around 6 and Pete wasn’t there. I figured either he was running late from work or he’d gone down to his parents’ house. My parents offered to get me dinner, so we all had Okinawa (ohmygosh, amazing Japanese & Chinese food!!) mmmm... it was amazing. At dinner I told my mom that I’d decided (although Pete didn’t know yet) that I wanted some Miso soup (from Okinawa) after the baby was born. She laughed and saved some of hers so we wouldn’t have to buy more. I figured it was a sweet gesture but the soup would probably go bad before I had this baby.
Around 8 pm I decided to walk down to Pete’s parents’ house to see if he was there.. I was assuming he was, but was starting to worry because I still hadn’t heard from him. I got down there and had a moment of panic because his car wasn’t outside, but then they told he he had just left to take his sister for ice cream. I went in and we chatted for a bit.. Pete joined us for a few minutes and then we went home.
Pete decided to go out for a bit and at the last minute I reminded him to grab my cell phone so I could get a hold of him if I needed to. After he left I told myself I couldn’t be a bum all day so I should pull out the diaper making supplies and use my new marking pencils and rotary cutter. I decided to work on some small pocket diapers since I don’t have many fitteds but we have a ton of prefolds. As I was cutting/snapping/pinning the diapers I was having some strongish contractions but I figured it was from the effort of snapping and just kept going. After ~30-45 minutes of noticing the contractions being strong I decided it wouldn’t hurt to call Pete and ask him to come home. I called and he was already on his way - woohoo! It was around 11pm.
Me working on diapers: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3657/...2120b994fc.jpg
I told myself after I finished getting the 3rd diaper ready to sew (with FOE!) I’d stop because these contractions were starting to get annoying. Annoying because they were strong and there was no way this baby was coming any time soon.. he was going to wait for June. (Ha!) Pete got home and helped me through a contraction. I wanted to shower but I kept saying I need to at least finish getting the snaps on this diaper. I got a few snaps on.. had a contraction. Waited a bit.. got a few snaps on.. had a contraction. Said ARGHH, got the last few snaps on, and cleaned up the supplies. Pete was semi-attempting to time the contractions, but he figured it wasn’t labor after the first two were like 8 minutes apart.
I really wanted to shower. I’d just showered that morning, but was feeling yucky and figured the shower would help these snap-induced contractions to go away. As I was getting out of the shower I told Pete to call our midwife Jennifer and tell her, “I don’t care how far apart these contractions are, she wants to know about them.” He talked to her a bit and eventually handed the phone to me. She offered to either come now or wait a bit and come. I told her I didn’t care which.. that between contractions I felt like an idiot for bothering anyone because there was no way I was in labor but during contractions I was feeling like we needed to get things set NOW. She asked me something else but I had to tell her to hold on and called for Pete to come grab the phone because I was having a contraction. She decided they’d come now and told Pete they’d be here in about 45 minutes. I decided that instead of putting my pajamas back on I’d put on a short black dress because it was loser on my belly.
Pete started working on setting up the birth pool, I was (between contractions) moving all the birth supplies from their hiding spot to the kitchen so it would all be out for Jennifer and Grace. I was also picking up a few things, moving the flowers from the kitchen table to the living room.. things like that. I decided to tell my mom they were coming around 12:30 so she didn’t panic when she heard cars in the driveway. I also asked her and my dad to keep Riley (our dog) in their house. I was planning to wash the dishes when I got back home but had another contraction and decided to pile them all in one sink instead.
My mom came over and was helping Pete work on setting up the birth pool. I made myself a bowl of orange sherbet but it was too sweet so I threw it in the freezer and ate a bowl of instant oatmeal instead. We just kept slowly getting things set. The kitchen was completely rearranged.. we moved the table to the other side of the room and put the birth pool where the table had been.
Me laboring while others set things up: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2089/...fc7b93a0ee.jpg
Jennifer and Grace got here around 12:45ish. They went to work setting things up in the kitchen and listened to the baby’s heartbeat.. he sounded good. I was using the wide doorway from the hall to the kitchen as my base for contractions. I’d put my butt on the wall behind me, put my head on Pete’s shoulder and my arms around his neck.. although sometimes I used my left hand to hold my belly up. Pete would run his fingers up and down my right arm, which helped a lot. My mom was still helping fill the pool, as well as finding/fetching things for Jennifer & Grace.
I was still wandering the house.. I’d find something to do in the kitchen, or sit on the futon, or go in the bedroom where it was darker.. I wanted darker. When I was between contractions I was still feeling like an idiot for having everyone set up for the birth.. during them I thought I’d better be in labor or I’d be REALLY pissed off. Sometimes I’d chat with people between contractions, sometimes I just wanted to be somewhere quiet. Somewhere in here I remember hearing that the hot water heater had run out of hot water so they were going to boil some water on the stove to keep filling the tub. Pete also took some belly pictures so we’d have them if this was the real thing. (Belly pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uberkni...7607330721335/ ) Poor Pete.. he was working so hard to get everything set and he had to keep stopping what he was doing every few minutes to help me through a contraction. Any time I apologized to him for it he scolded me.. helping me is where he wanted to be. Also in this time my mom called Alle for me and left her a message saying to come over if she wanted.
Eventually they got the pool filled. I remember thinking, “Thank God.. that took long enough.” To be honest I have no idea how long it took.. I didn’t want to look at a clock and see I’d only been in labor a short time and still had a long way to go. I decided to go pee before getting into the pool so I wouldn’t have to get out right away and I had another contraction in the bathroom while peeing.. that one sucked cause I was sort of stuck on the toilet.
Then I got in the pool. Ohhhh yeah. It was amazing. Seriously.. amazing. Wow. I tried sitting on the little seat in it but that felt weird. I ended up facing the wall with my head on the top, my knees spread and my feet together under myself. Pete was holding one of my hands and pouring water down my back with the other during contractions. At one point between contractions I asked Grace if they’d decided if I was in labor or not. She laughed and said they were all set up and ready to catch a baby - what did I think? I just laughed, but in my head I was thinking I was actually in labor.. things were getting more intense, they weren’t fading or going away. The edge of the pool was wet (with my sweat? drool? something..) so I asked for a towel which Pete put there to keep my face dry. At another point I was hungry. I debated between 3 contractions what I wanted to eat and eventually asked my mom to get me crackers from her house. She brought them.. but I never ate them. Grace checked the babe’s heartbeat again and all was still good.
Jennifer and Grace asked me if I’d peed lately and told me I could pee in the water.. I tried and there was no way I could bring myself to pee in the water. I got out of the pool (oh how that sucked) and went to try to pee in the toilet.. yeah that wasn’t happening either. No. Way. I wanted to cry when I told them I couldn’t pee but they said it was fine and helped me back to the pool.
The seat part of the pool was really bugging me. It kept being where I wanted my knee, so eventually I asked Pete if we could slide down to another part of the tub. He said sure, so we slid over to where he could sit on our bench. I changed position (I think Grace asked if I wanted to?) This time I had my back against the wall of the pool and my feet.. I think under me? I think? I know Pete asked if I wanted his arms under my armpits to hold me up and I said if I said yes with the next contraction to try.. The contraction came, I said yes.. then I said No! then I said YESS! We stayed like that for quite a while.
At some point I started making noise during the contractions. I wasn’t really thinking about it, just that the making noise felt a little better. I remember bouncing and rocking a bit during contractions too. The feeling of the top of the water changing where it was on my body helped for some reason. I was starting to sweat a lot, so sometimes Pete would put a cold wet washcloth on my face.. that felt amazing. He would dab my face.. he was being so gentle, but I was getting a little annoyed with him because I wanted to feel the cold and have it wipe my face clean. Sometimes he’d put it on the back of my neck too.. that felt great.
The music that had been on (a Dave Matthews & Tim Renyolds concert) had stopped and they were going to turn it back on but I said,”No” then “quiet” or something like that. The music hadn’t been bothering me but for some reason the idea of it coming back on and intruding on the quiet was overwhelming to me.
During contractions I’d find the energy to say one or two words here and there. Between contractions I knew I had the energy and could talk or say whatever but I didn’t want to break the calm before another contraction came on. Sometimes I’d say, “Nonononononooo” when I felt one coming on.. sometimes I’d tell Pete I couldn’t do this, or I didn’t want to do this anymore. I know I said I just wanted to go to sleep and that I was so tired quite a few times. Every time I said something like that someone would answer that I could do this and they knew that it was intense but I was doing a great job. Having that affirmation really helped.
I distinctly remember asking Pete for his strength at one point. It was between contractions and I was just begging him to lend me his strength.. give me all of his strength cause I was so tired and I couldn’t do this without him. He was amazing and said of course and held me that much tighter. I felt so close to him.. almost like we were one person. If he stopped touching me at all I felt completely lost and panicked. I’d flail around with my hand until I found him and had him touching me again.
Occasionally Jennifer or Grace would ask me if I felt more pressure.. I wasn’t sure how to answer them.. yes there was a ton of pressure.. but it wasn’t quite like I needed to push? I couldn’t figure out what they were asking. I was starting to be really vocal with contractions. I found if I made my voice fill my head with a specific pitch I could feel it bouncing in my ears and it helped with the contractions. No idea why, but I wasn’t going to argue. I’d feel myself needing to take a breath and get upset because I was going to have to stop making that noise for a second.
I know my mom asked if they’d know if/when my water broke since I was in the water and someone (Jennifer?) telling her yes - I’d feel it and usually they could see it in the water too. Sometime after that in the middle of a contraction I felt my water break.. wow that was weird. Like a balloon exploded inside of me and it all came gushing out. I said, “water!!” and Pete asked if I wanted water and I said something like ‘“no, my water!” and Jennifer said something about yes, my water broke. I was happy someone figured it out because I couldn’t find a way to tell them with more words. As soon as my water broke I started feeling a lot more pressure and like I was almost pushing a bit with contractions. Someone (Jennifer?) asked me if I was feeling pushy and I said yes, so she checked me and said she didn’t feel any cervix so I could push if that’s what I wanted to do. I was really stinking loud when I was pushing. It was making my throat hurt. I wasn’t quite sure of where I needed to be pushing.. it was odd. Someone (Grace?) put her hand somewhere and told me to push to where she was touching me, which helped a little. I’d push and feel like I was making some progress and then the contraction would be over and I’d feel him staying where I’d pushed him to.. staying.. staying.. then all of a sudden I’d tighten up down there and he’d slurp back inside me. OHHH It was so freaking frustrating. Jennifer or Grace told me to channel all the energy I was using with the sound downward to help my baby come out so I did with the next contraction, and it did seem to help a little. I switched to being silent while pushing.
Jennifer checked me again (she asked if I wanted her to and I said yes) and said she could feel him and asked me if I wanted to feel him. I reached down and.. YES I could feel him!! But ARGHHH he was a full freaking finger inside of me. Oh that made me so mad. I was annoyed and frustrated and tired and the idea that he was still that far inside of me (and that anytime I got him further out he slurped back in) just pissed me off royally. I was thinking, “Screw this. He doesn’t want to come out? FINE. I’m tired. I’m hot. I’m all sweaty. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m NOT pushing.” ... so I didn’t. The next contraction I felt pushy but I said NO and didn’t push.. and it was ok. Wow. It really was ok. I rested while waiting for the next contraction and started thinking in my head, “Just go to sleep.” The next contraction came, and I kept thinking “Just go to sleep. It will go away, just go to sleep.” I was focusing completely on the feeling of Pete’s head resting on my head and thinking those words over and over and over in my head through that whole contraction and.. Wow. It went away. I’d done it again.. I’d completely refused to push, and it was ok. I quickly decided that if it ever wasn’t ok Jennifer or Grace would tell me, and until then I wasn’t doing it.
I floated in the water and refused to push for quite a while. Maybe an hour? Occasionally someone would talk and I’d say, “Sh.” Poor Pete tried to move his head once or twice and I grabbed him and pulled him back super fast/strong.. I’m glad I didn’t break his neck or something. After a bit between contractions I told everyone I was still having contractions, I was just refusing to push and the answer was, “Ok, that’s perfectly fine. Do what you need to do.” Ahh. Good. I didn’t have to push. A bit later someone else asked me something.. I don’t remember what.. but I do remember my answer. I said, “He’s coming. I can feel him.. he’s coming. I’m just refusing to push.”
It’s not like I wasn’t feeling the contractions. They were awful. Every fiber in me was aching to push with all my might and make it feel the tiniest bit better, but I was.not.doing.it. If I had to I’d scream, “Nooooooo,” in my head until I could get back into the place where I was where I didn’t push. I wanted to stay like that forever.. but I knew I couldn’t. I’d resigned myself to the fact that, yes.. I was in labor, and yes, I was going to have to push this baby out.. but if I could just have a little respite.. a little tiny break right now.. it was better.
Eventually something tiny made me lose my focus for just a split second.. but I couldn’t get it back. I started panicking.. oh no.. I was actually going to have to push again. No no no no no.. but no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it back. I flipped to my hands and knees. I was pushing again and WOW did it feel different. I could feel him there. I could feel exactly where to push. I pushed as hard as I could and I could feel him moving. It’s an amazing feeling and the only way to describe it is like a head (or ball or something) is on it’s way out of you.
I pushed so hard with contractions.. and I felt him there inside of me.. but he was still inside of me! I started getting upset.. I looked Pete in the eyes and said, “I’m scared. I’m so scared.” I was so tired and I wanted to break down sobbing. Jennifer came over and gave me a homeopathic remedy. I didn’t know what it was at the time.. after she told me it was a remedy for fear. Whatever it was, it helped. I felt him crowning. Um.. wow. Yeah. I didn’t feel that with Ronan. Ring of fire is right!! Then.. the contraction went away.. and he was still there.. still fire-ing. I tried to push not with a contraction but Jennifer/Grace told me to wait. to just hold him there. UGH.. mmhmm.. okay. I’ll just hold him there where I feel like I’m about to rip into a million pieces. OW. For the next few contractions I pushed, he crowned, and I could feel him moving out just a tiny tiny bit. I was pushing as hard as I could and finally (!!) I felt something give and his head slid out. Now that’s a weird feeling.. a baby half in and half out. Someone told me his hand was up by his head and that was why it was so difficult to get his head out.
With the next contraction I pushed as hard as I could..... and he didn’t come out. I panicked for a split second.. why was he still half inside me?? Then I felt another contraction coming and heard someone saying... something? You’re baby is almost here ? Maybe? Anyways.. I pushed as hard as I could again.. still no baby. Jennifer and Grace had me flip to my back.. that’s a really difficult thing to do with a baby half out of you. I figured it was to help whatever was going on that was keeping my baby inside me. I don’t know how many pushes it took.. it did feel like I was burning a bit again.. finally I felt him moving.. just a little.. then swoosh! Peter Michael slithered out of me and into the world.
Someone handed him to me (my eyes were closed in a ‘ohmygoodness, holy crap, um.. wow’ kind of way) and I hugged him to me. I looked at him.. he was perfect. Wide eyes, just looking at the world. Peter Mike took his time taking his first breath, but eventually he did, then cried for us. Ohhh.. that sound. Wow. After he cried for a second (enough to make all of us happy that he was breathing fine) he went back to quietly looking at the world. I was switching off between looking at him and closing my eyes in ‘thank goodness that’s over and he’s here’ glee. I said to Pete, “I did it!! I actually did it!!”
Seconds after being born: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2466/...4130dd3f10.jpg
I sat in the pool with Peter Mike in my arms for about half an hour.. just looking at him and smiling and laughing. My parents were taking lots of pictures.. it was great. I started having contractions again and decided I wanted to hand Peter Mike to Pete, so we decided it was time to cut the cord. Grace and Jennifer got the cord clamped and then Pete cut it. He was adorable.. He seemed like he wasn’t squeezing enough and then all of a sudden he cut it like halfway. Pete got this panicked look on his face for half a second when he saw the blood, but then went ahead and cut it the rest of the way. They gathered some blankets and Peter Mike was taken from the water and handed to his daddy. The look on Pete’s face... he was madly head over heels in love with his boy.
Pete holding Peter Mike: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2008/...0098ddd919.jpg
This is how he was born, with his hand on his cheek: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2095/...8a5bb9664e.jpg
Peter Mike: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3652/...12c91dba6c.jpg
Nap time, 2 days old: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2440/...43d8e9245d.jpg
4 days old: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2446/...dd3ddacd65.jpg
Kerry, loving wife to Pete, mama to DD (14) DS1 (9) DS2 (3) & Expecting someone new Jan 2013
(My #3 came out with both hands up by her head. Smallest baby, most painful birth. YOUCH!)
Stay-at-home mama married to my best friend of 10+ years. Aspiring midwife loving parenting our beautiful Julian, born 5/24/09. Expecting a second bean in late July 2012!
Congrats, girlie!! Welcome baby Peter!
Yarn-aholic Mom to 2 cutest little girls. Dec 06 and May 09 Looking for time to and . Will always remember my missing babies too