Hi everyone! Sunshine Annabel was born at home on Monday! It was such a fast birth. 7 hours from the time my water broke until she was born in the birth pool. She's enormous too! 9 lbs 12 oz and 19 3/4 inches. She 's a great baby and we are enjoying every second with her! Because she was so big and came out so quickly I have a terrible 2nd degree tear and I've really been struggling with the pain. Did anyone else have this?
At 6:30 AM I went to get up to go to the bathroom and got a little gush of fluid but wasn’t sure if it was my water breaking or not. I had a few cramps and figured it probably was but I was still feeling pretty ok. I had some more contractions and with each one more fluid came out. I called the doula, Stephanie, at about 7:30 to let her know what was going on and she said she would be over as soon as she got her son and herself ready. I told her to take her time because I thought I had plenty. She arrived at about 8:30 and did some “birth chores”, putting the sheets on the bed and helping Drew inflate the birth pool and put the liner on. By then I was having contractions that I couldn’t talk through but was chatting and ok in between. Vanessa (my BFF) had taken Orion to the playground but it was raining that morning so they only stayed for a few minutes then headed to the aquarium. I was still having contractions that we slowly getting stronger and while I was on the ball I was talking with Stephanie about what I might experience when the baby comes. I told her I was feeling scared but excited and she was so calm and loving with me. She made me some Emergen-C and made sure at the end of each contraction I took a deep oxygenating breath. We labored together for an hour or so like that and then things started to pick up.
At 11:00, Stephanie suggested we call the midwives to let them know how I was doing. I called and Darynee told me that they could come if I wanted them to and they would set up and check the baby and if it wasn’t quite time they could go grab lunch or something but she couldn’t check my cervix because my water had broken. I assumed she wasn’t going to want to check me but I wanted to hear the baby so I told her that I wanted them to come and she said they would see me soon. At that point I was laying on my side in bed trying to relax and rest a bit in between contractions but during them, I was pretty vocal and about noon, Stephanie noticed I my contractions were getting much stronger and told Drew he should start filling the tub.
Darynee and Gabby arrived at 12:30 and Sophia got there soon after and by the time they arrived the tub was pretty much full but too hot. They added some cold water and by 1:00 it was ready for me to get in. I got in and pretty much immediately the contractions became extremely strong and I was really struggling to stay on top of them. I was on my knees in the tub and leaning on the side. Drew and Stephanie were talking me through them and Stephanie was making sure I took sips of Emergen-C and bites of applesauce to keep my strength up because no one was really sure how far along I was. They assumed I was transitioning because I kept saying I was nauseated but I didn’t want to throw up. At this point I could still somewhat talk between contractions but all I could really focus on was preparing for the next one.
Vanessa and Orion came home about noon and were hanging out in the living room but Orion was having hard time hearing me being so loud and Vanessa took him into his room and they made up a car racing game that they played for about an hour! Shocking attention span for a 2 ½ year old! She said when they were in his room they couldn’t hear me at all which surprised me.
At this point I really had lost all sense of time but after a little while in the tub I started getting really scared that I had no idea how long this was going to go on and I thought I was for sure not going to be able to do this thing I had planned for months and months. I was saying I can’t do it anymore and it hurt so badly. I even felt like I couldn’t breathe at one point but Stephanie told me to focus on her and to breathe very deeply. I was very loud at this point and could feel my throat drying and becoming hoarse so Gabby gave me a spoonful of honey and Darynee told me to use a lower voice and focus my energy into getting the baby down. Everyone was so supportive and telling me I was doing the exact right thing and to keep breathing. Darynee told me if I felt like I needed to push I should and I knew this was when I had to be brave and just do it. There was so little time between contractions at this point and Darynee finally said she wanted to see if she could feel the baby’s head. So she checked and said that the baby’s head was a fingertip away and I should feel it. I reached down and sure enough felt the baby’s head with my finger.
Then it happened…I told myself I just have to get this baby out and I WAS going to do it. I pushed and the head just came out. No crowning, no mirror to see her coming out, not even Drew or Stephanie who were right next to me actually saw it come out. Darynee just says “Oh, there’s a head!”. And she rushed over to catch the rest of the baby that came out in the next 2 pushes. When they saw the head they called to Vanessa and Orion to come to our room because the baby was coming but by the time they got to our room she was out! That’s how fast it happened! Darynee held her while everyone else helped me turn around. She handed me the baby and all I could say was “Are you ok baby?!” and they said yes the baby was crying and ok. I can’t remember if I delivered the placenta then looked to see if it was a girl or a boy or the other way around. I was so exhausted and I looked and said “It’s a girl!” but then I thought to myself “Wait, is it really a girl or have we been so convinced it’s a girl this whole time I just said that!” So I said to Drew “It IS a girl right?!” and he said yes! She was born at 2:06 in the afternoon on the first day of spring. The clouds cleared and the sun came out shortly before she did. Everyone also said that she looked like a pretty good sized baby. They helped me get my top off so we could have some skin to skin contact and the baby could try to nurse and to my shock and amazement, SHE DID! The kid nursed like she had been doing it for months!
We sat in the pool for a few minutes then Darynee told me I needed to head over to the bed. They helped me up and it was hard to walk and I felt weak but I got into bed. Orion got on the bed and looked at the baby and he was so cute and gentle. I waited for Vanessa to come back into the room to announce that her name was Sunshine Annabel. We really liked the name Sunshine and gave her the middle name of Annabel because her Auntie Vanessa’s middle name was Ann and we would love it if our little girl has the same good qualities her Auntie Vanessa does. They did the newborn exam and weighed Sunshine. She was 9 lbs 12 ozs and 19 ¾ inches long. I was totally shocked she was so huge! Orion started to get antsy so Vanessa took him to Java Mama and he had fun playing there until about 5 pm. I showered and then while we rested for a little bit there was activity going on in the room but I couldn’t tell really what was going on. All I could do was look at this new baby. The midwives wanted me to eat something and I asked for some tortellini. Stephanie made it for me and then fed me while I laid in bed and held my baby. Darynee said she wanted me to try to pee before but I couldn’t so she examined me and found I had a second degree tear. She stitched me up and then I did pee. It was easier now that I was numbed up down there from the stitches.
I was relieved that I was all done being poked and prodded and could finally rest. Then Darynee asked me if I saw the placenta because it was pretty awesome. I hadn’t and was really excited to see what had kept my baby alive for the past 9 months. Sophia got the placenta and showed us the side that Sunshine had been on and the side that was attached to my uterus. She also showed said the cord was very long and thick and had a velamentous cord insertion. (Darynee also said that Sunshine’s cord was around her neck once but she removed it quickly and it wasn’t a problem.) All the midwives and the doula couldn’t stop talking about what a great placenta it was! They couldn’t get over how large, thick and colorful it was. The amniotic sac was actually still attached and they said usually the sac began to disintegrate during birth and just came out in pieces so it was unusual that the placenta could be lifted by the amniotic sac which Sophia showed us she could do. I said it must have been because of all of the oranges I ate as they advised me to do because I had been concerned about my water breaking before I was in labor which is what happened with Orion. Sophia made a print of the placenta and asked us if we were interested in encapsulating the placenta. I had heard of this but wasn’t sure I would do it but Darynee recommended it because they thought it would be very beneficial for me. We decided to do it and felt that it couldn’t hurt. Stephanie said she felt like she really benefited from it as well.
After that, the midwives checked our vitals again and gave us post partum instructions. Stephanie went to the store to get a few things we needed and when she came back made me a bagel with some fruit that I ate while Gabby explained what we should be doing for the next couple of days and weeks in terms of recovery. Then it was time to say goodbye to everyone. I was so grateful for everyone who was there and supporting me through the amazing journey I had taken. Everyone was so thrilled that I had a successful HBAC and I think everyone was proud of themselves for being part of it.
DS born October 15th, 2008
Our amazing HBAC DD born March 21th, 2011
I'm so sorry about your tear and the pain! I don't have any experience with it.
Wow! Almost 10 pounds! Congratulations on your HBAC! That's awesome! I hope you heal quickly and enjoy your babymoon.
Congrats on your sweet baby girl! Love her name btw. I had a 2nd degree tear with my first. I would say to just keep the pain meds coming and do whatever else they recommend to encourage healing (sitz baths? ice packs?) because in my experience if you can really give yourself the breaks/time you need to tend to your own needs you will heal better/faster. Hang in there it DOES get better.
Congrats! I had a 2nd degree tear, too. It is killing me! I've been trying to ice it as much as possible and keep up with the pain medication, but it's hard to ignore when sitting on it, walking around, bouncing the baby around, etc, makes it so much worse. I've spent a couple of nights sleeping on a Chux pad with no bottoms on and that helps sort of air everything out. I've also been soaking in the bath everyday, but I'm starting to feel like the hot water is making it more swollen.
Adrienne - Loving my DH, our daughter Harper (3/2011), our son Ezra (4/2013), and maybe a baby?? (Jan 2016)
I'm so sorry about the tear. I hope you can heal quickly.
Congratulations! Love the name I had an episiotomy that sucked with my first and I'd say don't push yourself at all and give your body plenty of rest and time to heal. Ice packs and sitz baths. Enjoy your new little one
Thanks so much for the support, ladies. I've really been trying to take it easy and use the herbs the MWs gave me. It's slow going but going. Sunshine is so sweet and nursing and sleeping really well so that makes things a little easier. I just with my DS was a little less of a handfull!
I was seriously so shocked at how big she was! Women in my family do not have babies that big and DS was two whole pounds smaller! And I gained the same amount of weight and measured totally on target.
I hope you all are enjoying your new LOs and getting plenty of rest and good care.
DS born October 15th, 2008
Our amazing HBAC DD born March 21th, 2011
Congratulations! I'm so sorry about the tear -- hopefully it will feel better soon. Enjoy snuggling with your new little girl!
Congratulations! Love her name.
Sorry about your tear, hope that it's already feeling better. I had a tiny tear, so nothing like yours, but I used witch hazel after peeing and mine felt better within a day or two. It was also suggested to soak pads in it and then freeze them. I didn't try this though, so can't comment on how it worked.
Congratulations! Welcome Sunshine!
I wonder if the Earth Mama Angel baby bottom balm and spray would be helpful? I'm using them just for general swelling and like them. I'm not sure if they're all right on tears though. take it easy.
I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.