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Our ray of fair sunlight has arrived! Fiona Eileen's birth story...

1744 Views 12 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mom2tig99Nroo03
Our home seems very full all of a sudden. A few feet away, our nearly two day old daughter, Fiona Eileen, slumbers next to her father (a tummy full of mama milk). Downstairs, our nearly two and a half year old daughter, Ella Kathleen, slumbers next to her grandmother. And here I am, now the mother of two red headed daughters, awake with new mother adrenaline. I will type this story as quickly as I can and then return to bed in this very full home.

From the beginning of this pregnancy, we have been preparing for this birth. Our doula commented last night that the same day I told her of our new pregnancy, I also started listing the tea blends I was drinking, the organic foods I would be eating, the ways in which I was trying to be the healthiest mama possible. Bill and I also started to prepare Ella for her new role in the family - as she would call herself, she was soon to be the 'big sister butterfly'.

The first signs of labor came last weekend on my 31st birthday. We went for a day hike at Frontenac State Park, and before we left I went to the bathroom and saw that I had lost some of my mucus plug. The following Monday, we had a prenatal. I was already 1+ cm dilated and 50-60% effaced. This was music to our ears since my body had never had the chance to progress like this naturally with Ella's birth.

Thursday we had another prenatal. In just a few days, I had dilated to 2+ cm and 75-80% effaced. When on the monitor, we saw that I was having strong contractions about 6 minutes apart. I couldn't feel them - just a flushed sort of feeling before each one appeared on the monitor - but they were happening. We knew labor would be soon. Since 'soon' could mean a few hours to a few more days, I set my mind ahead a week so that I wouldn't be too impatient for labor to start.

On Saturday, we took another hike - this time around Pike Island at Fort Snelling State Park. That night I had new contractions - these hurt and were a few minutes apart. I got into the tub and tried to relax. Soon, the contractions slowed and I was able to get back to sleep. I was secretly hoping the baby would be born on Saturday, my Grandmother Davis' birthday, but the sun rose the next day and still no baby. So, Sunday morning we went out to breakfast, ran a couple errands, then spent the rest of the day trying to relax.

Sunday night I woke with stronger contractions. At 11pm, I could no longer stand being in bed. I needed to get up, so I got on the birth ball while Bill timed the contractions and pressed herbal heat packs against my back. By 2am, the contractions were stronger and closer together - about 4-6 minutes apart. We called our doula, Sarah, who advised getting in the tub. If it was the real thing, they would get stronger and closer together; if it was early labor, they would calm down and we could get some much needed rest. Almost as soon as I got in the water, the contractions intensified and clustered closer together. We called Sarah back and she was on her way. We also alerted Uncle Mike and Grandma Kathy too so that someone would be with Ella when we needed to leave for the hospital.

By the time Sarah arrived, I wanted to go. She advised relaxing as much as we could at home, working through the contractions in our own space, and heading to the hospital later. I rested as much as I could, with Bill and Sarah close by. At about 4:30am, Ella woke up and came into our room. I sat on the birth ball, resting against the bed with a pile of pillows. Ella curled up on the bed with her head next to mine. Ella touched my hair and gave me hugs and kisses during contractions. No anesthesia could be more effective than the loving touch of a child.

A little before 5am, I needed to go to the bathroom. Emptying my bladder made new space for the baby to descend. My 'want' to go to the hospital quickly changed to a NEED to go. Uncle Mike, who had been resting downstairs, stayed with Ella as we headed off to Fairview Riverside. The ride in the car was no fun at all, but soon we were there and settled into our birthing room. The nurse checked my cervix and I was already at 6 cm.

We were happy to learn that the m midwife on call was one of our favorites - John (the one male midwife in the practice). He was happy to see us, since he knew how badly we had wanted a completely natural labor and to avoid interventions this time around. Here we were in labor and progressing well. They did a non-stress test to see how the baby was doing. Everything looked great, so the nurses and John gave us some privacy in which to labor for a while. We set up the bedroom lamp from home, turned off all the other lights, and put on some relaxing native flute music. I got in the shower on the birth ball, a stream of water running over my belly, warm blankets over my shoulders. Bill sat with me, rubbing my back and shoulders. Sarah brought us some clary sage essential oil (which smells wonderful, and also helps stimulate contractions).

The contractions intensified. I tried to accept each contraction as a gift and rejoiced as each one ended...knowing it was one less I would have to experience. As I would inhale, I imagined that I was pulling the pain out of my body with each breath, wrapping it up in white tissue paper, and then blowing it away with each exhalation.

When I got out of the shower, the bed was raised so that I could lean against it during the contractions. I did this for a few minutes, and before I knew it, I had an uncontrollable urge to PUSH. We lowered the bed so I could lay down. I wanted to push, but I also wanted a nap! I kept thinking 'I'm only at 6cm!' but it had been over an hour already and when John came into check on us, I was past 9cm. I could push when I felt ready. It was just a few minutes before 7am. I had somehow skipped over 'transition', the most painful part of labor. I was very ready to push!

I tried on my side for a while, but felt I needed to move. The head of the bed was raised as far up as it could go so that I could kneel on the bed, resting my head against some pillows. Bill and Sarah sat on each side of the bed, holding my hands and caressing my hair. Sarah gave me some amazing advice - wait through the first part of the push, breathe, then give in and push as long and as hard as possible through the rest of the contraction. I growled through the pushes, making noises I didn't know I could make. With each push I would squat back and could feel the baby move lower. I changed positions again to semi-seated squat. After a few pushes, the bag of waters broke (a baby born with the waters is supposed to have good luck throughout life).

How could it be going so fast? I had pushed for nearly 4 hours with Ella...but this time, in just a few pushes, I could already feel the stinging heat of the baby's head crowning. We had brought a ginger compress to use on my perineum to avoid tearing, but there was no time. Luckily, my contractions were such that the baby crowned for a good minute or two, stretching everything out. When the next urge to push came, the head came through. The rest of the waters gushed out, the baby did a little twist, and then...

At 7:19am, Monday, September 29th, Fiona Eileen Connell was born. Our daughter remained nameless for her first day in arms, just like as her sister did. As with Ella, in my heart this new little person was beyond having an earthly name. Finally though, we decided on Fiona which is Gaelic for 'fair', and Eileen (after my aunt), which is Gaelic for 'sunlight'. We welcome our little ray of fair sunlight - Fiona Eileen Connell.

(She was 8 lbs, 14.5 oz; 20 1/4 inches - just an ounce lighter and 3/4 inch shorter than her older sister. She has lots of strawberry blonde hair...and might have brown eyes. They are still newborn blue, but very dark with what looks like flecks of brown).
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How beautiful, Mamar!! Thanks so much for sharing!
I sat on the birth ball, resting against the bed with a pile of pillows. Ella curled up on the bed with her head next to mine. Ella touched my hair and gave me hugs and kisses during contractions. No anesthesia could be more effective than the loving touch of a child.
This made me totally bawl. Your story is so beautiful. And I love the photo of the three of you. I cannot wait to meet her! Your food is ready mama, hope I can do as well for you as you did for me. Love you oodles!
Congratulations Mamarsupial!! I LOVED reading your birthstory - Welcome Fiona Eileen - I love the name. I am so happy you were able to have the type of birth you had desired.

Enjoy your new family

What a beautiful, heartfelt story did such a wonderful job...enjoy this time with your precious daughters.

BTW I love the name Fiona Eileen
Oh, bawling bawling bawling!

Love to you all

Major girl lust over here....

If Q said "mini me" I wonder what Fish will say when he hears of the new feminine form...

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Autumn--I can't tell you how happy I am for you. I read your birth story with a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes. I'm so glad that we were able to talk to each other throughout our pregnancies and that you now have your absolutely beautiful baby girl. She is just gorgeous! I'm so glad that your birth went so well.

Welcome to the world, precious Fiona!
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mamarsupial! that RULES , sounds like you did a GREAT job. I like the name as well
What a beautiful story! I sounds like your labor was amazing.

Welcome to the world, little girl.

I, too, am in tears after reading your story.
yep, i'm crying too, what a beautiful story

congradulations to you autumn, you're awesome!!

btw, fiona is beautiful
What a wonderful story--it sounds like a perfect birth experience. How cool! Congratulations on your little Fiona!
beautiful share that birth can be done in a hospital

thanks for sharing
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that was beautiful!

congrats to you!
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