HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
Rest up and enjoy your babymoon!
June Agnes' Birth Story
8.1 lbs 22 in.
I had been having mild-moderate contractions for a few days. We had called my MIL earlier in the week and planned to have her come for a visit on Thurs. to help out with dd1. Dh and I were praying that June would come Thurs. night since MIL would already be here (it’s a 3 hr. drive) to watch dd1 while we had the baby. On Thurs. I was still having mild contractions…more like Braxton Hix than anything. I wasn’t hopeful that it would be soon. I had a mw appointment that evening. It went well. mw said that the baby had dropped considerably (though you never would have guessed by looking at me…my belly was still very high). While she was checking baby’s positioning, I had a contraction which she noted. We left the appointment feeling upbeat that things were moving along. I started having regular contractions on the way home, though nothing too painful. We had supper and contractions continued, but I didn’t mention anything to dh or MIL since they weren’t really much to speak of yet. While I was putting dd1 to bed (around 8) they started picking up in intensity and I began to time them. By 9:30 they were coming pretty regularly about 8-9 minutes apart…I was hopeful! Dh and MIL got back from a walk around 10 and I said that I thought tonight was the night and we started getting things together to head over to the birth center.
Our plan was to take dd1 with us and she could either sleep in the little waiting room with MIL or watch a movie if she woke up while we were in the back bedrooms having June. At this point ctx were getting REALLY intense and closer together…some were coming one on top of the other. After a 27 hour hard labor with dd1, I couldn’t believe this one could be going this fast. When we got to the birth center, I was in great pain. We had done the Hypnobabies course, but I just couldn’t get into a space to relax enough to leave my body and pain behind. Everything was in my back – radiating around my waist. I know that over time you forget how painful labor is, but I can honestly say that this pain was SO much worse than what I had the first time around.
We got to the birth center at 11:30. Dd1 was still sleeping and we were the only ones there. MIL snuggled down with dd1 on one of the couches. The on call mw was one of our favorites and she was so sweet with us. I labored on the ball for a little while she got things together. She checked me and I was dilated to 5 (yay!!! It took me 25 hours to get past 4 with Dd1). She suggested I get into the tub if I wanted to and that is where I spent the rest of my labor. It felt SO good. The temp was perfect and dh put on the Hypno CD which finally got through to me and I was able to relax through some of the contractions. I don’t think I was in the tub for more than a half hour before I started feeling the urge to push. My first labor ended w/ pitocin and an epidural so I never felt transition and the pushing stage. It both hurt and felt better to push at the same time.
It was at this point that I began to lose my mind. I was I so much pain I think I just left my body. The mws and dh were wonderful. DH got in the tub w/ me and supported me through the pushing and the mws just sat on the edge of the bed and offered support. Finally I got to feel the top of her head and that was so reassuring, though the pain was so intense, I had lost all hope that I could make it through one more contraction. Finally I felt her head come out and then her tiny body slipped out into the water. Dh had been holding me from behind when she emerged and he is still talking about how neat the sensation was to feel her release from my belly. The mw brought her up and right onto my chest. It was like heaven. Due to the complications of a long labor with Dd1, this was a gift I was denied with her. I carried June out of the tub and over to the bed and laid down. She was perfect. Within 10 minutes she was happily suckling away (a place she has more or less stayed since then). It was 1:20 a.m. - I had been in active labor for just under 4 hours. The mws said she was posterior which accounted for her cone head and the tremendous pain. A few minutes later, MIL brought dd1 into the room. We were all still in the tub. Dd1 was so sweet and excited at the arrival of her new sister. I don’t think she really new what was going on at first, but it wasn’t log before she was brimming w/ excitement.
Our plan was to stay at the birth center until morning and then go home. We were so anxious for this after having to spend an entire week at the hospital after dd1’s birth. We had no interest in being transferred over there. Unfortunately, this was to be. Upon inspection and unbeknownst to me (I was in baby heaven and felt no pain), I had a 4th degree rectal tear and would need it to be repaired in the hospital. Luckily, the birth center is right across the street from the hospital. The only hitch was that hospital policy won’t let you leave early like the birth center and since we were “transferring” over there for a 30 minute procedure, the mws said it might be tough to leave. The repair went well and after a bunch of phone calls to our family dr. who fought for our release, they let us leave AMA. We got home 12 hours after giving birth…it was wonderful crawling into our own bed w/ June and dd1 and cozying up as a family far away from the sterile.
The tearing aside, the whole birthing experience this time around took my breath away. It was the birth I wanted w/ dd1 and didn’t get and I am welling over w/ thankfulness at the way things turned out and pride in myself that I was able to do it.