I am copying this from my journal and don't feel like going through to replace everything with "DH" and "DD."
Dan is my husband. Acacia is our 2 year-old daughter.
I was vacuuming sometime between 12-1pm yesterday when my stomach and back started hurting, so I went to lie down. I didn’t think it was labor at all because my contractions were very far apart, at least 10 minutes.
At 1pm I got up to use the bathroom and while I was in there I figured I might as well check my cervix to see if anything had changed. Well, I couldn’t feel in more than an inch, because the bag of waters was right there! Jasmine had been footling breech the night before, so I thought for sure it was a heel since it was so small. I yelled for Dan and asked him to bring me my glasses. He came in and handed me my glasses, and I asked him, “Is that the baby?” He looked, and was, well, surprised. He said “yes,” then he said, “Wait, I think that’s your water. It hasn’t broken yet.”
I had him bring me my phone and told him I’d call him if I needed help with anything. It was 1:14pm when he handed me my phone. The water slowly pushed out and swelled up to be larger than Jasmine’s head is. At that point I popped it because it was getting uncomfortable. Popping it was painful, but I’m sure it would have hurt more to let it swell up larger than it was. I’m glad it happened that way because it allowed me to very gradually stretch before Jasmine was born, and I think it’s the #1 reason I didn’t tear this time.
Things started to get really intense and I could tell I was in transition. I kept feeling to see if I could feel the baby in there, but not yet. I got down on the birthing pad and kept saying to myself “I feel great” kind of hoping to trick my mind/body into believing me. It was very painful. Then came Jasmine. I was noisy this time. Acacia came out slowly and I was able to take time to breathe and relax as she was born, so I was completely silent as Acacia was born. Jasmine came out so suddenly that I was almost screaming. She popped out in about 3 minutes. One push and her head came out, 2nd push and the rest of her came out. Time of birth was 2:05pm.
Dan heard me and came in to see how I was doing, and he got to see her head born. It was weird looking down and seeing a head there, looking around the room. Jasmine was wiggling a lot as she was born and turning her head as far in each direction as she could. I just wanted to be alone so I asked him to go take care of Acacia. I caught Jasmine and then Dan and Acacia came in to see us. In hindsight it would have been nice to get a video, but I was just so uncomfortable and didn’t want to be watched at all.
It’s true that right after birth the pain goes away.
Acacia saw us and the first thing she did was to ask for a towel, which is exactly what I told everyone she would do whenever asked how I thought she would react to the birth. She can’t see two drops of water on the floor without asking for a towel. Then she started saying “baby! baby!” I told Dan she was a girl. He told me congratulations, and that he was going to take Acacia over to the neighbors’ house now.
While Dan was out then I birthed the placenta into a bowl. Jasmine had a really short umbilical cord and a tiny placenta. It kind of hurt my back trying to hold her low enough that the cord wasn’t being pulled tight and breastfeeding her at the same time.
Dan got home and helped me to lie down on the floor with her and got us enough blankets and towels and a pillow so we could be comfortable. Then he went to take a nap, because he hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before.
She started nursing within 10-15 minutes of being born and has a terrific latch. She nursed until 5pm, when she let go and started crying. I thought she needed to be burped, but she just needed to pee. So she peed and then started nursing again. Dan woke up and came to join us. He started feeling the umbilical cord and when he pinched it Jasmine started crying, so we decided it was still too soon to cut since she obviously still felt it. It was really hard to move her at all because of the cord being so short, but we managed to get her in his arms instead of mine, and he held her while I took a short bath and washed off.
At 7pm we cut the cord. Jasmine no longer seemed to notice if we touched it or pinched it, and while I wouldn’t have minded leaving it attached longer, it was just a huge inconvenience needing to keep her constantly within a few inches of the bowl. Then Dan helped me get into bed and lie down with her there.
I was really dizzy and light-headed at that point since I hadn’t eaten all day. Dan put a pizza in the oven and went to get Acacia. After I ate some pizza then I felt back to normal.
Acacia kept pointing at the bathroom, and then at Jasmine and saying “baby!” She didn’t actually see the birth, so she just thinks Jasmine came from the bathroom. Then she inquired about Jasmine nursing a few times. She wasn’t interested at first in touching her at all, but just very curious and watchful. Now she likes to touch her hands and give her kisses. Dan and Acacia went to the office to take a nap, and I took a nap with Jasmine in the bedroom.
Everything is going real well so far. Jasmine is a very easy-going baby, and somehow has a better latch than my two year-old (what a blessing!). She has obvious signs of when she needs to ‘go’ so I think EC will work well for us.
Tandem nursing is way more comfortable than I had anticipated.