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the advantage of enforced post birth bed rest: lots of time to write the birth story!<br><br>
Here’s how it happened:<br><br>
On Sunday we had dinner with a friend at the Liberty Cafe, where it is rumored that their chicken pot pie is labor inducing, just for the heck of it. Late that night and early the next morning I had a few contractions that were enough to keep me awake, but not exactly painful I was pretty sleepy when I got up, though, starving as usual, and planned to eat some breakfast and go back to sleep. I tried this, but it didn’t really work. I got up around ten and started timing the contractions, since it was starting to seem like they were coming periodically. They were about 15 minutes apart. I proceeded to do the classic early labor tidying of the house, hanging a couple of pictures, cleaning up the living room, doing dishes, washing wool diaper covers, and vacuuming. Vacuuming got interesting, because I’d have to stop and turn off the vacuum every time one came around, which started to be oftener and oftener. Around 2 o’clock they were five minutes apart, so I finally called Dan and told him to come home, still feeling like it was going to be awhile, but just wanting him here.<br><br>
He came quickly, and we did a couple of small projects—he took out the trash, we made a tracing of my shape for posterity on some butcher paper, stuff like that—until the contractions started to require more attention. When the sun went behind Sutro Hill (I dunno, 5?) we started filling the tub. Dan started to ask when we should call Maria, so he went ahead and did that. I called my family and told them i was in labor.<br><br>
Maria arrived around 6, observing a little but mostly staying out of our way except to make suggestions. She checked my dilation, something I didn’t think I would want, but it turned out that i was thinking to myself “three, I’m probably at three” for awhile before she arrived, so i figured i might as well just know. I was at three and a half, 90% effaced, when she checked me; the baby’s head was still at –2 station, behind bulging waters. Contractions were coming at about three minutes apart at that point, but they were short—about thirty seconds each. I got in the tub for awhile, but it was a little hot and seemed to make the contractions not quite as powerful. Maria suggested marching around and going up and down the stairs to encourage descent and faster progress, so Dan and i danced around the living room to some old records for awhile, i paced the hallway, went up and down the stairs, and generally wiggled around until i couldn’t stand to hear another moment of REM. I got back in the tub. Dan was pressing on my back with each contraction by this point, and continued to while i labored in the tub. He brought me water and cold washcloths and kisses. Love him.<br><br>
Things get a little fuzzy here. I got out of the tub to pee, and labored on the toilet for awhile. I wandered around the house. I felt really nauseated, but couldn’t throw up. Maria told me that pushing a little against the bag of waters could break it, if I felt like it, but I really didn’t—made a few attempts to break it, but it hurt a lot and didn’t feel right. She checked me at some point in the tub and I was at 7 or so; I don’t remember what time that was. At some point I was in the hallway, squatting against the banister. At another point I was leaning against the bookcase in the hallway, and Maria was telling me to relax my shoulders. At another I was in the kitchen, dry heaving into the sink. Maria suggested a shower, which was a fine, fine idea. It felt fantastic, and I stayed in there until the hot water ran out, doing an elaborate wiggly thing against the force of the water with my back, and thinking, I could throw up AND have my water break in here, c’mon, c’mon. I pushed a little, I sort of semi-squatted, I tried to just let go of everything, I felt super powerful. But the water didn’t break and I still couldn’t throw up.<br><br>
When I got out, Maria had the strangest suggestion ever: a nap. It sounded amazing, if I could pull it off, so I tried. I lay on my side with a pillow between my knees, and just breathed through everything. It worked beautifully; I actually slept between contractions for awhile—I don’t know how long, but it could have been an hour or so. Once in awhile I’d lose my handle on one and call Dan to press on my sacrum (“back, please!”), but for most of them i was able to just float over the top, breathing up the back of me and down the front of me, like a waterfall. Hooray for yoga.<br><br>
Maria’s assistant, Nancy, arrived around the end of the nap. Maria checked me and pronounced me complete with a hair of cervix, and said that if i felt like pushing to break the bag of waters, I’d be able to push the baby out. Basically, I’d had a three hour transition, but I slept through a good chunk of it. Weird.<br><br>
I sat on the toilet for what seemed like the thirtieth time to once again attempt to break the bag. I pushed past the pain of the next contraction, just trying to GET somewhere, anywhere, and found myself tapped in to an actual urge to push. I went with it for a couple of contractions until getting a really good one and bearing down, determined, until there was an audible POP and a, well, basically a spray that went everywhere. There was some blood and pee in the toilet, mixed with the amniotic fluid, so Maria couldn’t tell whether there was meconium or not—if there was, it was light, but she wanted to be sure.<br><br>
She asked me to squat over a chux for a few pushes so that she could try to tell, but the baby’s head was blocking any more fluid from coming out, and finally i got back into the pool to push the baby out. There was a break of a few minutes after i got in, just floating in there with Dan but also pretty focused on what lay ahead. Finally, contractions. After pushing with a couple of them I could feel the head just inside, a little at first, then more with each one. I wanted to be squatting, but I kept getting hip cramps that way, and Maria wanted me floating with Dan supporting me anyway, so that she could see the baby crowning. I kept moving around, though, and got a really good contraction while kneeling. She asked me to turn over in the middle of it, which I did. The baby’s head was out by the end of that contraction, a few pushes later. Things get a little fuzzy here again. I heard Maria say “no cord”, but I guess the shoulders were stuck because suddenly, there was a crazy urgency and Maria was telling Dan to lift me out of the water and me to PUSH even though there wasn’t a contraction, and she pulled and I pushed and out came the baby, with a sort of thunking feeling and then whoosh. I grabbed her and put her onto my chest; she was sort of blue. Maria got oxygen and I rubbed her back; she grunted a little, then cried. It was a few minutes before I remembered to check the baby’s sex—I felt between her legs and then looked to be sure before telling Dan it was a girl. A girl! We stayed in the tub awhile, waiting for the cord to stop pulsing, but the placenta came most of the way out while we were in there, so Maria clamped and Dan cut the cord, and we got out.<br><br>
The placenta fell out into a bowl, along with lots of blood. I managed to walk to the bedroom, where the real fun began: I had a second degree tear along and slightly past my old episiotomy scar, requiring a lot of stitches. I had lost seven cups of blood, so they were concerned that I would continue bleeding, which meant lots of uterine massage (ow), a pitocin shot, and oral methergine. Hazel had a lot of bruising on her face, so had to have a vitamin K shot, but she didn’t seem to notice. The scariest thing was an egg-sized hematoma on the inside wall of my vagina; if it got any bigger, I would have to transport to the hospital, they said. Happily, it didn’t, and even shrank to half its size by that afternoon. All the post-birth poking and stitching upset me, and when the midwives left around 6, I burst into tears realizing that it was just us, that I would heal, that we were a family, that everything was okay.<br><br>
Now it’s Thursday (thanksgiving!) and we’re doing well; Hazel is a good sleeper and eater; we spend all our time in bed just staring and nursing and sleeping, talking on the phone and receiving the occasional friend to visit. She took to nursing well after the first day. I feel exactly as though I was hit by a big truck, only really happy. She’s just amazing.<br><br>
Oh, the details: she is Hazel Tatjana. She was ten pounds three ounces and 21 inches long at birth, with long fingernails, dark hair and deeply blue, wide-set eyes. We adore her.<br><br>
(i'll send a photo link to the yahoo group.)<br><br>
*jennifer
 

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Great story! thanks for sharing. I saw her pics, she is beautiful. Enjoy your babymoon <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Oh Jennifer! Congrats! I've been thinking about you and wondering if you'd had her yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Enjoy your baby moon! Can't wait to see you over in Life With A Babe.
 

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Sounds like a great birth!! I am loving the home birth stories..they are so much more "normal" to me now. Sophie is loving the hat you sent her ages ago..I feel like they are little soul sisters <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Welcome Hazel Tatjana you beauty you!
 

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Congratulations Jennifer!!<br><br>
Your birth story has so many parallels to mine it's almost eerie. Parts like the yoga breathing technique (I used the same one and found it so helpful) the slight cervical lip, hating the stitches, loving the shower but hating the limited hot water supply, forgetting to check if she was a boy or girl (then when they showed me her genitals I still couldn't quite tell for certain!) and falling asleep in the kiddie pool. These are just a few of the things in common! Wow. Where do you have your pictures posted? You can see mine here: <a href="http://ca.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/yo_gagirl2000/my_photos" target="_blank">Edie Tangerine</a><br><br>
Congratulations again and love, love her name, sweet little Hazel Tatjana (Fairy Princess?)
 

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thanks, you guys!<br><br>
milk is in for real now, and with it some fussiness related to maybe digestion? we had a wakey night last night but we're still pretty blissed out. meg, i'm so glad sophie's getting to wear her hat! take photos! yogagirl, that is neat that our birth stories have so many parallels. i love your photos--i'll pm you with the photo link (shy!).<br><br>
affectionately,<br>
jennifer
 

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Congratulations!<br><br>
I'm not a November mommy, but the title caught my eye - I love the name Tatjana, I have a cat with the name spelled the same way. I wish I had saved it for a daughter!
 
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