Tuesday, May 7, 2013

There's Another Person in My House! (Birth Story - and some [not gross] pictures)

I can't believe it!  After the longest pregnancy I've ever had - okay, I found out I was expecting VERY early and I almost went to my due date (just one day shy) - our baby girl was born!  I haven't yet decided what her internet name will be...  hmmm.

We had a wonderful home birth - my second, in fact.  I started timing contractions around 3 a.m. on April 8.  [NOTE:  Yes, it's been almost a month and I'm just now getting around to blogging my birth story.  Cut me a little slack... I have five children now INCLUDING a newborn!]  Until around 7 in the morning, my contractions were 15 minutes apart, but I could tell they were the real thing.  I'd been having the warm-up contractions for a couple of days before, but these were different.  Instead of just squeezing the lower part of my belly, these contractions were radiating from behind - in my behind! - and into my hips and thighs.  For me, THOSE are the real thing!

Around 7 a.m., they started coming a wee bit closer: 10-12 minutes.  My husband wanted me to call my midwife, but I didn't want to bother her just yet given the timing.  (By the way, I used a wonderful FREE app called Contraction Master!)  I did send her a text and we chatted that way for a few minutes.  She told me to keep her updated when things started moving a bit faster.  In the mean time, my husband HAD to go to court.  I told him to go ahead since I felt it might be a while.  In my opinion, I have notoriously long labors, especially considering the number of children I've had; no quick babies for this girl!  Maybe...

My mom came and stayed with me and the children until my husband could return, which he did around 11:30.  Not much had changed, until about an hour later...

Closer contractions, getting more painful...  So I called my midwife.  She and her assistant arrived within 45 minutes.  My mom and husband rounded up the kids and herded them out the door.  I missed kissing and hugging my (then) baby boy, Chaucer.  When my midwife walked into the house, I was sprawled on top of my birthing ball sobbing.  She asked why I was crying and I told her that I didn't get to kiss Chaucer good-bye.  Casey, my oldest, ran outside to get him for me.  He came in, I kissed my baby boy, and he was gone.  My oh-so-wise midwife told me he will look huge when I see him again.  "I know," I sobbed.

I labored on my bed for a while.  My husband kept coming back to tell me everyone was outside.  At one point, he came back and told me how nice it was outside and invited me to join everyone.  So I did!  I rolled my birthing ball and took a blanket outside.  Laboring outside on a warm April day in the South with a cool breeze on my face... pure BLISS!

Things weren't picking up much, so my midwife and her assistant took a break and went into town for a little while with instructions to us to call if things changed.  And they did!  Right after they left.  My husband kept asking me if I needed to call her back.  "I can't think," was the only response I could give.  I was in such a fog - I understood what was being asked but I felt I couldn't give a rational answer.  I was NOT lucid!  Eventually, I did have my husband call.  They were back in a flash - and by then I was really feeling things moving along!

I came back inside and went to my bed.  My midwife, the assistant, my husband, and Casey helped get the birthing tub filled up for me.  (Oh!  Did I mention my 10 year old daughter stayed?  I did all manner of prepping her for the birth - from "The Talk" to watching birth videos including "The Business of Being Born."  She was as ready as she could be!)  Once I was in my tub, the fog lifted, albeit briefly.

All throughout my labor, my right thigh was KILLING me!  With every contraction, I asked my husband to squeeze my leg where the pain was radiating.  That helped some.  The water helped a great deal...until I had to go to the restroom.  (I had to ask my midwife what to do!)  My midwife had me get out of the tub.  I walked to the master bathroom (staring longingly at my bed as I passed it by - that was a very long walk to my bathroom, not because of the distance, but due to the contractions).  After I finished in the bathroom, I knew I couldn't make it back to my tub.  I collapsed on my bed, had a couple of contractions, then my water broke.  THAT'S when I needed to push.  So I did!  I've never pushed a baby out so fast!  3 or 4 pushes in 10 minutes and I had a baby girl!  (So, according to my midwife, it only took 3 hours of active labor, instead of the 15 hours I was counting from contractions beginning to birth.)  By the way, the reason my thigh was hurting so much is because the little girl was born with her fist coming out right beside her head!  Ouch!

Casey saw her little sister before my husband and I did!  My midwife said Casey's eyes were HUGE!  Funny thing about our littlest girl...she didn't cry!  She was just calm as a cucumber.  And purple, too!  And given that combination, I was concerned, but my midwife didn't seem to be.  Casey got to cut the cord, and everyone and the bed got cleaned up.  Then, we were able to begin enjoying the newest family member!

And what a joy she's been the four weeks we've had her!

Welcome Baby Girl!  (We'll come up with something to call you online, I promise!)

[By the way, my wonderful midwife can be found at:  Journey of Life Midwifery Services ]