Cross posted in (April DDC, VBAC, Homebirth & Birth stories)
This is way overdue and not as polished as I would like, but if I don't get it out now I may never get it done!
Colleen’s birth story
Wednesday April 28th (40 weeks 6 days)
Lisa came for my weekly appointment, since she was in town doing a newborn exam. I went ahead and let her check me, I wanted to know if anything was going on. I was 50% effaced and about a fingertip dilated. Lisa could touch baby’s head! She said that baby needed to tuck her head better, so she suggested that I find some stairs to walk up and down on. After she left I started having some bloody show and contractions! YEA!!! When Steve got home I told him what Lisa said and spent 30+ minutes walking up and down our stairs while he grilled dinner. Contractions tapered off when we went to bed.
Thursday April 29th (41 weeks)
Had contractions every 7 minutes apart for a few hours, but they were very short. My Mom wanted to go to Wal-Mart so we went, but I wasn’t in the shopping mood and didn’t feel good so I hurried her out as fast as possible. Finally told her I was having contractions, but after I told her they stopped.
Friday April 30th
41 weeks 1 day pregnant. Called Sarah to schedule next weeks appointment. Had a bit of a meltdown and cried that I was going to be pregnant forever. Feeling really stressed since mom was here for 2 weeks already and no baby. Felt like I was wasting her time, even though she was spending time with her grandson! Scheduled next weeks appointment, but Sarah said she really didn’t think we would need it. She, of course, said all the right things and I felt much better after talking to her.
Later that morning I went for a 2 mile walk to relax and clear my head. My legs, especially my thighs had been really sore since walking all those stairs on Wednesday.
After dinner I walked down to the park with Steve and Jack. Shot some hoops for a bit then went down and played on the swings with my boys. My legs were still killing me so when we got home the boys went to the store to buy me some bananas. While they were there they also bought some more Gatorade, a watermelon and some beautiful stargazer lilies which are my favorite. They were so pretty and smelled SO good! We finally got Jack to bed and then I relaxed with Steve for a bit. Ate part of a no-bake cookie and went to bed “early” (11-11:30ish) since Steve had an early morning.
Saturday May 1st
Woke up at 1am with a contraction. Glanced at the clock and went back to sleep. 6 minutes later woke up with another contraction. I was able to doze for an hour or so like this, waking up every 6 minutes with a contraction. Figured this wouldn’t last for long so I tried to rest. At some point I started feeling really sick and started throwing up. This continued on until about 4:20 when Steve woke up to go to the bathroom. When he came back to bed I told him about the contractions and that I was going to call Sarah and that I thought he should start setting up the birth pool and getting everything ready.
I called Sarah at 4:39am and told her what had been going on. I had a pretty big contraction while talking to her and once it was over she said that she would call Lisa (they switch who comes first, it was Lisa’s turn) to come over. I went back to bed and tried to rest while Steve started getting everything set up. I tried really hard not to micromanage him! He was folding laundry and putting it away very nice, and it was really hard for me not to yell at him to just hurry up! About 5 or 5:30 (my best guess at the time!) the contractions started coming closer together and I was very glad that I had already called Sarah. I knew there wasn’t much anyone else could do for me, but I was glad to know that Lisa was on her way. Eventually she got here (about 6am but I had no clue what time it was, since I was trying not to watch the clock.) Lisa came in and we talked a little and I threw up a couple more times. She had me test my ketones (sp?) to see if I was getting dehydrated, which I was. She checked me and I was almost 7cm, but I had a slight anterior lip, so she suggested that I change positions to get baby’s head applied more evenly to my cervix. Lisa stacked pillows on the bed for me to lean on, but I couldn’t get up there before another contraction hit so I got on my knees next to the bed and leaned against it. This worked pretty good, and wasn’t too uncomfortable, I actually stayed like this until it was time to get into the pool. Lisa and Steve tried to get me to eat and drink, but nothing sounded good…except watermelon, which was nice and easy to eat in between contractions. Lisa was quiet and hands off, but it was nice knowing that she was there. She would listen to the baby every ½ hour or so and it was nice to hear that little heart beating away. Steve stayed by my side and would rub or push on my back during each contraction. Jack was awake, but in the other room watching a movie. I guess he helped Steve set up and fill the tub and was wandering around checking on me. I didn’t think to tell Steve to keep an eye on the hot water while filling the pool, so unfortunately the hot water ran out and the tub got too cool because of all the cold water pouring in. So they woke my mom up and she started boiling water (which she found immensely funny! She still tells people of my homebirth and how she had to boil water!)
Eventually Lisa asked to check me again which was hard to do because the contractions were on top of one another. She finally checked me, I think I was at 10 by then, and said that I could get into the tub since they got the water temperature up. I practically ran to the tub between contractions and about dove in! The water was so nice, but not as helpful as I had hoped/thought it would be. Not long after I got into the pool my water broke and the contractions were crazy. I thought to myself “this is why people get epidurals!” Lisa kept telling me not to push, just to breathe the baby down, which was really hard to do! At some point Sarah showed up too (probably before I got in the pool, but I don’t remember her until I was in!) and I just kept breathing. I kept flipping from one side to the other in the pool. For some reason no matter how I turned the floating duck thermometer kept hitting me in the face, well I found out later that Jack kept trying to show it to me and wanted me to play with it!
Finally the urge to push became unbearable and I started pushing. It wasn’t the big relief I thought it would be, but I kept working on it. It was hard pushing in the pool, I really needed something to brace my feet on, so Sarah put her hands down on my feet which really helped. I pushed on my side for a while, then they had me get into more of a sitting position and that’s when I started making progress. Steve held my hand and kept putting cold washcloths on my forehead because it was blazing hot in the house (85+ degrees, no a/c! it broke a week before). He was also getting me drinks and more watermelon in between pushing, he was a busy guy!
Eventually I really felt baby coming down and could touch baby’s head. After a few more pushes her head was born. The cord was around her neck so Lisa and Sarah told me not to push while they tried to unwrap her. I held off as long as I could but couldn’t stop pushing. They unwound baby as she came out and I got to pull her to my chest! She pinked up right away and was looking around, but wasn’t overly interested in breathing. Sarah and Lisa did some suctioning and once the cord stopped pulsing they cut it and took her to give her a little oxygen. She didn’t need much, but she didn’t cry much either, she was a very calm baby. The placenta came out pretty fast after that and then Sarah and Lisa wanted me out of the tub so they could monitor my bleeding. Sarah gave baby to Grammy and she, Lisa and Steve helped me out of the tub and into bed. I asked what time it was, because I had NO clue, and was very surprised to learn that it was about 9:30 am, baby was born at 9am! I was surprised that it was still so early, I had been prepared for a long labor, but was so glad that it was over!
After they got me situated on the bed and watched my bleeding for a bit Sarah and Lisa left the room to give us some family time. Steve, Jack, Baby and I cuddled on the bed and just looked and looked at each other, she was so alert and calm. Jack wanted to sing Happy Birthday to the baby, so we did, it was so sweet. Steve and I decided that this baby was definitely Colleen Makenna. Eventually I tried nursing her and she latched on RIGHT away and started eating like a champ.
After about an hour Sarah and Lisa came in to get me cleaned up and to do Colleen’s newborn exam. After a couple of small stitches it was time to check out my beautiful baby. She was 6 pounds 10 ounces and 19 inches long. Everyone thought she was going to be bigger than that! She did have some bruising on her head so we went ahead and got the Vitamin K shot.
Mom fixed us all breakfast and we ate in bed. Jack loved having a bed picnic with his new baby sister. After we ate Sarah and Lisa cleaned up and left for the day and Colleen and I snuggled in for a nap, while Jack and Steve took one in the other room. After a wonderful nap Steve helped me take a shower and we relaxed the rest of the day.
It was an amazing day and everything went so well. The biggest problem was filling the pool! I never worried about being a VBAC, at one point while I was breathing between pushes I thought “Man, I haven’t worried about my c-section scar at all.” That was the only time I thought of it!
Colleen is now 11 weeks old and over 13 pounds. Not exactly sure how big she is since my midwife’s scale only went to 13 pounds! She is the sweetest little girl and is growing SO fast! Nursing is going great, but I have had mastitis twice!!! YUCK!! Jack is a wonderful big brother and loves his sister SO much. I am a very blessed momma! I am so glad we had a homebirth and I am in love with my midwives!!!