Roarke Henry (pr. Almost like roric, more emphasis on the second r sound )
April 27, 2011 at 7:34pm
Roarke's pregnancy had been pretty great, barely any morning sickness, the second tri just flew by, and before I knew it, I was full term. I had switched to having a midwife and a homebirth because of our move at around 24 weeks pregnant, and really liked the laidback care I was getting. Most prenatal appointments we chatted about everything under the sun and then did all the measurements/blood pressure, etc.
I had started labor with Riley at 39 weeks exactly (with both kids, I knew when I ovulated), so I thought perhaps I would go around the same time or a little bit earlier. 38 weeks came and went. At 38w6d, I did have a bout of contractions for a few hours every 2-5 minutes with a backache that was eerily similar to how labor started with Riley, but I went to bed and they stopped completely. Over the next week, I had more contractions that were more intense than Braxton Hicks, but very manageable. When I went in for my 39w appt at 39w6d, I asked if the midwife would strip my membranes depending on how my cervix was.
She checked me and I was at 5cm, 80% effaced and baby was at 0 station with a bulging bag of waters. At that point I was a little frustrated that I wasn't already in labor considering that I was already halfway dilated! The same thing had happened with Riley, though, so apparently that is just my body's way of doing birth. With Riley, it took me 45 hours to go from 4+cm to 7cm, and I was not really relishing such a long labor again - it was very tiring, and I felt like I'd been run over by a Mack truck afterwards.
We had Gymboree that night, and the ladies were surprised I hadn't had Roarke yet. I told them I would be surprised if we made next week's Gymboree, I really didn't want to be pregnant that much longer. It was getting hard to sleep since my hips were so affected by the relaxin - they clicked and popped all night, and laying on my sides made that leg fall asleep. That night I had some more stretching type of contractions, but again, they petered out.
The next morning, I checked my cervix to see if any change had happened, and I did feel more effaced than before. I wasn't sure if I would go into labor that day but I wanted to spend as much time with Riley as I could before Roarke got here. We decided to go to Target and the mall to walk around and take my mind off of things. Right before we left, I found out that my MIL had been telling everyone on FB that our due date was Easter Sunday (the 24th - actual EDD was the 27th, and we had told everyone that we were due in May because when they texted Joe, and he didn't respond right away, they always assumed we were in labor ::) ). I was pretty upset by this, mainly because my MIL had cut off all communication with me and I hadn't talked to her since January at all. It irked me that she was trying to paint a rosy face on it and make it sound like we had a great relationship.
I called my mom on the way to Target and emotionally unloaded on her. I was honestly so upset by this (and irrationally so) that I knew that something had to be going on laborwise. With Riley, I had an emotional breakdown the day I went into labor with her, so apparently that is one of my labor signs. I called up Joe and was almost in tears to him, shaking and whatnot, as I explained how this whole situation affected me and how I needed him to not feed his mom info because it stressed me out. Thankfully, he did a great job of calming me down.
We were walking through Target's toy department at this point, and Riley was having a ball playing with everything. I had been having contractions, and as we walked out of Target, I realized that they were actually sort of consistent at 7-8m apart. I decided walking couldn't hurt, so we headed to the mall. We went into Riley's favorite store, the Disney store, and headed to the playplace, and into the Lego store - anything that caught her fancy. Looking back, I'm really glad I got to have this time with her, it was very special.
We got home around 2:45pm, and Riley wanted to watch a movie and nurse, so we sat down and nursed. I was still having contractions, and after she had been nursing a while, I got a doozy of one. It made me go "huh... maybe I actually AM in labor?". I called the midwife to let her know that the contractions were about 6-8 minutes apart but that I thought I was still in way early labor as it was hours at that point with Riley before they got closer together, and had only been around 3 hours since they started. It was around 3:30pm, and Joe usually left work at 4, so I told the midwife to head on over after rush hour (so around 6:30ish) and that would probably be fine. I hung up with the midwife and had another doozy of a contraction, one that I had to breathe through and Riley decided that banging her foot on my leg was fun right then. I couldn't stand to be touched and it was driving me up the walls!
I called Joe to ask him to come home then instead of in a half hour, and while on the phone with him, had another doozy. I called the midwife back and told her to head on over now rather than later. Fortunately, once I stopped nursing Riley, the contractions were MUCH more manageable, and I started to wonder if they were going to peter out again, and that I had called everyone out for no reason.
Jenny (the midwife's assistant), arrived at 4:00 or so, even before Joe had gotten home! She took my blood pressure, but I had to tell her when I was having contractions because she couldn't tell. They really were very easy, and I could talk through them but it was a little hard to think through them. Joe got home around 4:15. Jenny started setting up things, putting the shower curtain on the bed, etc. etc.
After a little bit, Ellie (the midwife) got there, I want to say around 5? We chatted for a while, and it was getting harder for me to think through the contractions, which were now around 4-5 minutes apart. Ellie asked me if I wanted to get checked, because I was thinking about getting in the jacuzzi tub, and I didn't want to stall out labor. I did, and she said I was a stretchy 7, she could stretch me to an 8 or almost a 9 which surprised the heck out of me - I was having triple peaking contractions at that point with Riley (however, my water had also broken at that point, which really intensifies things for me). I was still talking through contractions!
I decided to get into the tub. It was amazing! Instant relief, for sure. I labored in there for a while with the door closed, texting and surfing DSD, contractions coming about every so often (I honestly couldn't tell you how far apart they were, I never felt like they were overwhelming me, as I would relax in between, and then have a contraction). The midwifes would poke their heads in and see how I was doing and then leave me alone. Around 6:30pm, Ellie asked me if I wanted her to break my waters, as she thought the baby would be born pretty shortly after. I remembered how intense things got after my waters broke with Riley, but also remembered I have bags of steel and could be stuck at whatever dilation I was at for a long while until the bag got weak enough to break on its own. I told her I would think about it - I was still dealing really well with the contractions, and wasn't sure if I was mentally ready to go along for the ride after my waters broke.
Riley was getting a little antsy by this time - she knew I was in the bath and REALLY wanted to get in with me. I told them to let her in and she played in the water for a few contractions. After a bit, I asked if they would check me again and I would decide depending on what I was dilated to if I wanted AROM or not.
It was about 7:25 at this point. I had a contraction, waddled into the room and Ellie checked me - she said I was at 10cm with a bit of a lip on one side. I was shocked! Honestly, I did NOT feel at all like I was in transition beyond being a bit overheated but I did have the water in the tub pretty warm, so I attributed it to that. Riley started freaking out that I had left and DH brought her in to nurse for a little bit to get calmed down. After Riley was done, DH took her back into the bath and I told her to go ahead and break them - by that point I was ready. She broke them and instantly the contractions went from manageable to HOLY CRAP and very menstrual feeling. I was laying on my back, so Ellie told me to roll to my left side to get the lip dilated for a contraction. I rolled over, and grabbed the only thing that I could see, Riley's crib post and hung on for dear life. There was not really a beginning or an end to the contractions - it was just one long contraction. In the middle of the first contraction once she broke my water, I pushed a little to see if it felt better, and it REALLY helped.
After that, I pulled my right leg up and just pushed like crazy, trying to get it all over with. In the middle of this, I feel Ellie with her fingers in me scooping stuff out, I had no idea what she was doing, but it did NOT feel good. I told her to quit it, but kept pushing. I quite dislike the pushing phase, fwiw. It doesn't feel that great to me, I feel out of control and then of course, that big head has to come out of a small hole! Not my idea of fun :-[
So I pushed one long push and he crowned, much to my surprise. Ellie said, "Reach down and touch your baby!" I yelled back at her, "NO!" but then did anyway, and could feel how small I was and how big he was - and then thought oh heck no. I pushed again and his head popped out (and I thought the rest of him as well - Riley came out in one push, head and shoulders/body). I was thinking, thank goodness, I'm done - until I realized that his body was still there!
Apparently he had 2 nuchal hands - both were right up at his chin/mouth. I pushed again and he came out, but not before Ellie could move both hands down, so I tore a little. I asked her later what she was scooping out and I guess there was a ton of blood clots in front of his head. When we looked at the placenta later, it was obvious that it had started abrupting. The cord placement was right near the edge and it was overall fairly small. It is probably a good thing he came out so quickly. He was born at 7:34pm, just 4 minutes after she broke my waters.
I feel amazing - I had no idea that birth could be so fulfilling and incredible! We didn't have a name for Roarke for a while, as 2 days before his birth, we decided the name we had picked we liked better for a girl (River), and the name we picked in its stead (*****), he just didn't look like. So Roarke it is. He is a great nurser, and sleeps like a dream - he actually sleeps better than Riley does, even now.
Riley and Roarke