'*'~'*'~'*'Katherine's (kaype) Birth Lodge'*'~'*'~'*'

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MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276
'*'~'*'~'*'Katherine's (kaype) Birth Lodge'*'~'*'~'*'

Welcome to your lodge! I'm excited to share your journey!

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

Welcome!!

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

thanks, ladies!

well, by way of introduction, i'm katherine and dh is michael. we both turned 30 earlier this summer (i'm 26 days older, a fact he rarely lets me forget :lol:). we have one son, judah, who is 21 months. he's not super verbal yet, so it's hard to know how much he understand, though we talk about the baby a lot. he isn't going to know what hit him when we actually keep the baby Wink

i really can't believe it's already 36 weeks. in some respects, this pregnancy has really flown by. we want our children to be close in age, and michael really wanted me to get pregnant about four months after judah was born. fortunately, i was breastfeeding and my body didn't allow for that possibility Wink but, i started running again just over a year ago and was finally able to lose all the baby weight from judah, so i decided i was ready to have another.

after a couple months of poor timing (michael was out of town when i ovulated, etc), we got pregnant again, much quicker than with judah. the funny thing is that i ran a marathon (26.2 miles) when i was about three weeks along, but didn't have a clue obviously. all of my friends were completely amazed, but it was something i'd trained months for, and really, how many women have signs or symptoms when they're only three weeks?

we found out i was pregnant a few days before christmas, so we were able to tell all our family in person, which was really fun (we didn't get to do that with judah). my family was astonished, but my sister-in-law made up for their shock when she cried tears of joy. it was fun to be with them all while i was still feeling really great.

overall, this pregnancy has been really easy. i had some minor m/s for about six weeks, but nothing horrific, mostly just feeling "car sick" for most of the day. i've been really tired, but attribute that to chasing a toddler (and, an escape mechanism for cleaning... :lol:) other than that, it's been easy-breezy.

we're planning to birth at a free-standing birth center about 15 minutes from our home, the same place judah was born. its staffed by two CNMs and a handful of clinical staff/birth attendants and i'm really glad we have this option again. judah's birth was so amazing, and the care the staff gave so great, that we feel blessed to be in this situation again. though i'm really intrigued by homebirths, at this point in our lives, i can't imagine giving birth at our home (we live in a two bedroom apartment) and this old victorian home is in some ways much more comfortable -- and spacious and i won't be tripping over any of judah's trucks Lol

i stumbled back into pregnancy.org and this forum when i began to realize that i needed to remember the positive aspects of NCB over the potential pain (i was beginning to feel really anxious). y'all have encouraged me as you've told your stories and supported each other. i'm thankful to have such strong ladies to walk with me in this birth! so, thanks!

batgirlandrobin's picture
Joined: 11/07/05
Posts: 163

What a great intro!!! Welcome to your lodge!! I can't wait to meet your LO and read your birth story experience!!!!

Joined: 03/06/09
Posts: 1054

Welcome to your lodge! Sounds like you have an amazing birthing center.
Was Judah born near his EDD or did he decide to make a late arrival?

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219
judah's birth story

"countrygirl83" wrote:

Was Judah born near his EDD or did he decide to make a late arrival?

he was born at exactly 41 weeks. when we decided to allow the mw to break my water, she made a bet with my husband about whether judah would be born before midnight. everyone thought michael would win, but he lost, by 45 minutes... Lol

i actually had a pretty standard, by-the-books labor, it just wasn't as long as the average first-time mom. here's his birth story, though it's kind of long (i tried to edit it down for y'all):

Sunday, October 21, Michael and I were watching the Ken Burns WWII special on PBS. As I laid on the love seat, I realized that every ten minutes or so, my tummy was tightening, like my bicep would when I make a fist. It would get really hard for about 45 seconds. I paid attention to the clock for about an hour and then told Michael about my discovery. [I hadn't had ANY bh contractions until this point.] We timed them for another hour as we watch the documentary and then proceeded to pack all of our bags for the birth center (which we had yet to do). We finally made it to bed around 1am. I slept really well.

On Monday when I woke up around 7:30, I was still feeling these “tightenings” every ten minutes or so. By the next day, since things weren’t progressing super quickly (or even at all necessarily), Michael went to class. I had my weekly appointment with midwife CB and was planning to pick Michael up from campus. During the morning, I noticed that the “discomfort” that went with the tightenings was starting to be more noticeable than the tightening itself. I don’t get bad period cramps, and these early contractions were by now more painful than menstrual cramps. I had three contractions on the way to meet Michael, a 15-20 minute drive.

Our appointment went great. For the first time, I had actually made progress, which really encouraged me even though I know it doesn’t mean much. I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. As I was 40w 6d, mw CB offered to sweep my membranes and get things moving. At this point, I was pretty sure I was going to start active labor that day (though I didn’t say that because I was afraid of being wrong) and we declined. We were still content, we said, to wait it out and see what happened.

Michael and I left our appointment, sold his car, went to the grocery and headed home. I took a bath, we both took naps, and when I woke up around 4:30, I was definitely approaching active labor. I began to realize that these contractions were about five minutes apart and 30 second long. And, they were really uncomfortable. By dinner time, the contractions were 3-5 minutes and 40-50 seconds.

Around 6pm, I called CB. She told me to take a hot bath, continue timing the contractions and call her in 45 minutes. Even relaxing in the bath, I could tell my contractions were lengthening. Michael sat on the floor and timed them for me. We called CB, who thought it’d be good to check me, and we agreed to meet at the birth center at 8pm. Everything felt so surreal. I could hardly believe that we were actually approaching the birth of our son!

As Michael scurried to get everything together, I rocked on the birth ball. The contractions were requiring a lot of focus during them, but I was talkative and able to help him between them. I had several contractions on the way to the birth center and one big one as we were walking up the steps. CB watched from the doorway and I remember her saying, “Well, that’s a good sign!” We went upstairs where she checked me – 4cms and 100% effaced! Active labor for sure.

I labored I in the tub for awhile, maybe an hour. Michael sat on the floor and talked to me. I was really surprised at how easily I could engage between contractions. I really expected to be much more “in the zone” throughout the entire labor.

After awhile in the tub, I decided I wanted to get out. It wasn’t yet 10pm. CB checked me again – 6cm. By 11pm, I was 7cm and my bag of waters was bulging. CB felt it would be a good idea to go ahead and break my water. Michael and I agreed. I remember the gush and thinking it wasn’t as much as I’d expected. They encouraged me to walk around the room a few times. I made it twice when I decided I needed to squat more. I hated squatting, but knew my body needed to do it.

Around this point, I was no longer able to “synthesize” what was happening between contractions. I quickly felt the urge to push which CB and B encouraged me to do -- ultimately, I pushed for about 1.5 hours.

The rest happened so fast. He started to crown and they showed me a mirror, though at that point I really didn’t care about what was happening, I was just ready to be done. From crowning to being on my chest was about five minutes. Before I knew it, I had a whimpering baby boy on my chest. It was 12:46am.

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

Welcome! Great intro and the birth story of your son is great also. Smile

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I enjoyed reading your intro and your DS's birth story. Your birth center sounds like a great place, and I wish there were more places like that.

Joined: 03/06/09
Posts: 1054

Lovely birth story! That is great that you were able to do so well with your first baby.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Ah, welcome! I'm sorry I'm so late in the game here. Your last birth sounds like a dream, let's just hope #2 isn't too much faster:)

tanismom's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 717

Welcome to your lodge! What a lovely birth story! I'm wishing you an equally beautiful and peaceful experience this time!
Looking forward to sharing this journey with you, Katherine!

strawberryshortk86's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 126

Welcome, I just finished reading your Intro and Birth story. Wow a marathon while pregnant...that is a story you need to tell your LO.

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

today i'm 37 weeks! this has so flown by, i can't believe it. is that normal for BTDT moms?

this has been an up and down week for us emotionally. tuesday, i had a great appointment with my midwife. the other mw delivered judah, and i really connect with her. i never really felt like i hit it off with this mw, though. but, tuesday was totally different.

some of our closest friends almost lost their daughter to GBS meningitis three years ago (even though my friend tested GBS-), so we will have the abx regardless of whether i'm + or -...just a personal decision after seeing how GBS can affect a babe and continuing to see all they still go through as a result. well, my mw's twins contracted GBS when they were 3 weeks old, and hearing her say, "i totally support your desire to have the abx regardless..." is what allowed us to have such a great conversation about other things, too. i left on cloud nine.

she also thinks baby cheerio is a girl (!). [our last name starts with a k, so we called judah special k...decided to continue the cereal theme with this one.] i've always had it in my head that this babe is a boy, but cheerio is on the smaller side (judah was not) and has a faster heartrate (mid-150s). so, it's obviously not definite, but i'm starting to get excited about pink and purple. i always thought i wanted another boy first (we hope to have several more children and definitely hope for at least one girl), and i'm surprised at how quickly i'm getting excited about girlie things.

and, i actually lost a pound over the last two weeks (!). total weight gain so far is 26lbs. hoping to stay under 30. with judah, i gained 33.

so, that was the "up" for the week.

the down...

michael graduated from grad school in may and has been looking for a job. he had a promising phone interview last week. we were really excited about the job and the location and pretty much everything about it. we found out wednesday that they selected another candidate to continue the process. we were really disappointed and discouraged. we've been in this process for three months now and it's getting tiring. i'm so ready for it to be done and to know where we're going to move.

my last day of work (i work part-time for a non-profit) is next thursday (one week!). at that point, we will be unemployed with a baby on the way. i know God will provide, but it's still a little scary at times. mostly, my mama instinct just wants to know where we're moving so i can get settled and take care of my babies, you know?

okay, that's a long update... we have a fun weekend planned with much relaxation and fun time with friends. hope y'all do too!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Glad to hear the appointment went well, it's always nice to know your going to click with someone who could be there at your most vonerable moments. My prayers will be with you and your DH and your work situations. That is a very stressfull thing, we just went through about 6 weeks of not real job and it was not the best though it was a good lesson for us on saveing when we have excess:) Enjoy your weekend and take advantage of the last bit of time you have with just Judah.

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

Loved reading your birth story, the birth center sounds so peaceful! I'm glad you clicked with the midwife, I have switched providers twice during this pregnancy (OB-midwife-different OB) and I liked my midwife, but it took some time to really feel comfortable, and when I had to switch I really clicked with my second OB, which helped me know we'd made the right choice.

Sorry to hear about the job situation, we're in a similar position but I've already thread-jacked enough :razz: Hope your DH finds something soon!

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I'm sorry to hear about your friends' loss. I'm glad you feel good about your midwife. I know a little how you feel about finishing grad school and not having a job with a baby on the way. My DH also have almost the exact same thing happen with a good phone interview and then hearing they were moving ahead with another candidate--it is actually the same company that did hire him--they just had to find him a position at one of their other locations. I hope your DH finds a job soon!

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

we had a nice weekend. friday, we took judah to the mall and walked/browsed. i was looking for a short cotton nightgown for labor, but didn't find anything i liked that seemed cheap enough. judah does a good job riding in his stroller, though at the end we had to bribe him with a dum-dum sucker! Lol

saturday, we went to this old amusement park with some of our friends. we'd never been there, but several of our friends went as kids. they had mostly kiddie rides and a few adult rides (tilt-a-whirl, swings). it wasn't super hot (we're in texas...) and we had a great time. took a picnic lunch and just got to hang out.

yesterday evening, i got a huge spurt of energy and decided it was time to NEST! our apartment was pretty disorganized, so i sorted a bunch of clothes given to us for judah, organized the kitchen, folded/stuffed cloth diapers, cleaned up clothes in our bedroom and started packing my bag for the birth center. michael teased me and said he'd know labor was pending if i decided to clean the bathroom...well, this morning, that's exactly what i did! Lol i've actually felt a little crampy both yesterday evening and this evening, and have probably had some bh contrax (though sometimes it's hard to tell if it's just cheerio moving in a weird way...).

so, as a second-time mom, is it more likely that i'll just drop into labor or gradually go into labor? anyone have any thoughts? i'm sure each woman is different, i just wondered if there is a kind of general pattern. with judah, i started pre-labor tuesday morning and he was born by 1am. so, it was definitely quick and not drawn out for weeks.

i'm kind of dreading the thought that i could start feeling contractions now but that birth might not happen for another two weeks. that does not sound fun to me!

but, on a more exciting note, i only have two days of work left (wed and thurs)! i've still got a good bit to do, but i'm excited. these last two days, while busy, should be fun Smile

tanismom's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 717

Sounds like a fun weekend! and productive too, how rare is that?!

I have no advice for you re: labor patterns, except that there are none! I hope you don't have 2 weeks of labor contractions! Hope when it comes, it's quick and easy. Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Gosh I hope everything is ok, it's been days since you updated us! If we don't hear from you tomorrow I'm going to have to do some searching!

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

Your weekend does sound fun, I'm curious what amusement park you went to since we're in the same area? We may have to do a meetup sometime after the babies get here!

And I agree with Vanessa, where are the recent updates? Did cleaning the bathroom actually end up working??

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

sorry for going so long without an update -- last week was my last week of work (!) and it ended up being crazier than i anticipated. i kept meaning to come post and it just didn't happen.

we had a great weekend. my sister recently got engaged, so we went dress shopping saturday and sunday. though we live near each other, without any other family nearby, we don't get to spend much un-interrupted time together. it was really fun!

saturday, i woke up having mild irregular cramps for about an hour before i got out of bed. i was hopeful that it might lead to something, but as soon as i got up, it stopped.

same thing sunday. i woke up at 4am to time-able contractions. they were verrrrry mild (10 secs) but definite. in fact, we almost decided to skip church simply because i wasn't sure i'd be comfortable sitting for an hour. but, again, as soon as i got in the shower, everything stopped.

today, i was about to change judah's diaper and felt a very definite "stream." it left a large wet spot in my underwear and i thought there was a good possibility i had a leak in my water. i'd NEVER felt anything like that before, even with pregnancy incontinence Wink since we're so close to the birth center, i called and went in "just in case."

by the time i got there, i realized it was probably nothing. and, it was. but, it was good to know. she did my exam for the week, including the first IE of this pregnancy and i was kind of bummed to hear i might be a finger-tip dialated, if that, still posterier and soft. but, cheerio is good, my BP is great and i'd lost a pound after gaining four (!) last week.

sound like no baby in the next couple days for us. my sister is out of town wednesday until sat. morning and i really want her to be at the birth, so hopefully cheerio can wait at least that long.

that's us. hope y'all had a great weekend, too! now that i don't have to worry about work, i'll do better about updating my lodge Biggrin

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

"OperaDiva" wrote:

I'm curious what amusement park you went to since we're in the same area?

we went to sandy lake park. we were with a group from our sunday school class and all of us have toddlers. michael and i had never been there, but our friends who grew up in the area went a bunch growing up. michael and i thought i'd be fun for a family reunion, but it's not really an adult amusement park. it seemed most of the rides were kiddie rides.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Woo, so glad your ok! Sounds like a nice weekend, and I hope little one plays by the rules and waits for your sister to get back! Have a great first week off from work, a break will be nice I'm sure:)

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Woo, so glad your ok! Sounds like a nice weekend, and I hope little one plays by the rules and waits for your sister to get back! Have a great first week off from work, a break will be nice I'm sure:)

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

"kaype" wrote:

we went to sandy lake park. we were with a group from our sunday school class and all of us have toddlers. michael and i had never been there, but our friends who grew up in the area went a bunch growing up. michael and i thought i'd be fun for a family reunion, but it's not really an adult amusement park. it seemed most of the rides were kiddie rides.

I wondered if that might be it, there is a band/choir festival there every year that I considered taking my middle school students to, but it ended up not happening with my budget issues.

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

so, this afternoon i just finished cleaning up all of my work stuff to turn in tomorrow. my co-workers are throwing a "good-bye" party for me tomorrow and i get to turn in my iphone (:cry:) and my computer then. i office from home and have lots of files, etc. that have to go back to the main office. i'm so glad to get to be a stay-at-home mom, especially as michael is still looking for a job, but it's still bitter-sweet to say goodbye, kwim?

michael had a phone interview for a job today in the area. we've not really anticipated that to be an option, but we could easily get excited about it. he should know if they'll want a second interview by the end of next week.

his degree is in theology and we plan for him to be a pastor, so that means phone interviews, interviews with the committees, interviews with other pastors...it's not a fast process. such a waiting game!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

How exciteing that your hubby got an interview!! I hope it all pans out for you, it would be nice not to have a big move with a bitty babe! Are you feeling good? I'm sure it's hard to say goodbye to your work family, they do become a big part of life.

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

I hope the job works out for your DH!

Sounds like labor isn't far away for you at all, take it easy and keep us updated on how you're doing!

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I hope your DH gets the job! I'll pray for you guys!

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

thanks, guys, for the prayers about dh's job. we definitely appreciate it!

i think i might be losing a little mucus plug (which i now understand is pretty gross...). so, we'll see if things pick up over the next couple days. michael and i have a bet as far as when cheerio will come. i say before 11:59pm on our due date and he says after. this makes me hopeful that i'll win Biggrin

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

"graysonsmom" wrote:

\ Are you feeling good? I'm sure it's hard to say goodbye to your work family, they do become a big part of life.

i am feeling pretty good -- both emotionally and physically. the party today wasn't as hard as i thought it would be. our organization is small and very much like a family, so i'm thankful that it wasn't too teary. our team is 10 people and it's very hard feeling out-of-the-loop with them. otherwise, i think the transition to being home will be easy.

i feel good physically as well. i'm ready for cheerio to arrive, but i'm comfortable enough (most days! Lol to continue to wait. i feel pretty lucky with that.

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

Wow, only 5 days from your due date now!! Are you still feeling pretty good? Anything interesting starting to happen yet?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sorry I didn't chime back in here, but I felt great for my entire 3rd pregnancy! I was nervous he was going to REALLY late as my edd approached and I still felt great, but he was my earliest Smile How's your weekend going?

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

Another lodge I'm behind in! Welcome hun! I'm off to catch up here as well Smile

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

thanks for the welcome, chimmy!

we had a good weekend, vanessa. saturday was busy, but friday and sunday were restful. i think we took judah to the pool all three days, and that makes for a relaxing hour or so for me. i love floating in the water!

"OperaDiva" wrote:

Wow, only 5 days from your due date now!! Are you still feeling pretty good? Anything interesting starting to happen yet?

ahhh... i've had some contractions in the early morning before getting up, but nothing that's been super crazy. on friday, i had 20-30 second contractions every 5-7 minutes all afternoon. and then, as we were getting ready to meet friends for dinner, it all stopped. i know some of you (jessica Lol have dealt with a lot more than that, but it's emotionally wearing to think it's going to turn into something but the not. at least, for me Smile

other wise, i'm feeling pretty good. i have days that i'm achier than others, but usually feel well. today, everything between my hips aches, but i have a lot of energy and generally feel well.

i have an appointment tomorrow, and i know she'll want to check me, so we'll see how things go. otherwise, it should be uneventful, but i'll let you know!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I just got all caught up on your lodge. Sounds like things may slowly be happening. Any new news on the interview process for your DH?

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

"mystical" wrote:

I just got all caught up on your lodge. Sounds like things may slowly be happening. Any new news on the interview process for your DH?

no serious news on the interview front, though he had a great conversation with a pastor this afternoon and the role sounds like a great fit for him. he has some other churches interested in him, but the economy is causing everyone to move pretty slowly.

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

Any news from your appointment today?

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

i had my 39+ appointment today, just shy of 40 weeks. crazy...

BP and babe's HTs are good. i didn't gain any weight, which made me happy -- i don't need to gain more Smile

the rest of the appointment was interesting. i declined to be checked, which she allowed. however, she doesn't want me to go past 41 weeks. several things she's said over the last month have made me think they've had some difficult births since judah's birth, which has influenced her desire to not go too late with this babe. i never was encouraged to be super proactive to encourage labor with judah.

so, she offered to check and "massage" me, but let me decline. however, i have an appointment for monday morning (where she will stretch/sweep me) and a NST for the afternoon. i'll be 40w4d.

i'm really torn for several reasons. first, michael and my sister both have a part time job tutoring that will start next week and, if i'm going to encourage cheerio to come, i'd prefer to do it this week. BUT, i really feel like it's best for me and babe if cheerio decided to come on his/her own. i want to exercise caution and care for this child, but don't want to jump to anything...not that a sweep is necessarily jumping Smile

michael and i have discussed going in thursday or friday for the sweep to see if we can have the babe this weekend. or, just waiting until monday. (also, he doesn't want to have to pay for the NST if we don't have to, so that plays into it ;)).

anyway, what would you do? any thoughts or suggestions?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

WELLL... We had decided that my mw would try and help us get things going the day after my edd, but Isaac came all on his own that day:) You never know, I wouldn't stress about it much as cheerio will actually only come when its time! Glad to hear your doing well, and I hope your spirts stay up for this last bit, your doing a great job!

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

vanessa, thanks so much for the reminder. it really encouraged me when i read it last night.

as it turns out, sophia isabelle was born this morning at 5:40am, after a mere three hours of active labor. she weighs 7lbs 14oz and is 20.5 inches.

she has a craaaaazy birth story, but it will take me a little while to write it up, even though it was so short! i'll post some photos, too, in the next day or two.

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

Wow, congratulations and WTTW Sophia! Can't wait to hear the crazy birth story and see pictures!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I can't wait to hear it and see your family:)

cmljll's picture
Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 1409

CONGRATS!!! Can't wait to see pics and hear all about it!

Joined: 03/06/09
Posts: 1054

Yay for a fast labor and WTTW Sophia! Congratulations!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Hope all is well hun, just checking on you!

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Congratulations on the your birth. WTTW baby Sophia!

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

so, adjusting to two children has been a little crazier than i though Smile but, here's her story. and, if i can remember how to do it, i'll post a few photos.

The Birth Story of Sophia Isabelle
Aug. 25-26, 2009

With Sophia, unlike Judah, I began having very mild, random contractions about 10 days before she was born. Several times, I would contract for about an hour early each morning before getting up, and once contracted all afternoon. These contractions were noticeable, but never painful, probably just strong Braxton hicks.

On Tuesday, Aug. 25, I had my 39w5d appointment. I declined an internal exam, but talked with our midwife about making sure I wasn’t pregnant at 41 weeks. She felt like it was crucial for me to have the baby before then. So, she schedule me for an appointment the following Monday to “stir things up” and included an appointment for an NST with their consulting physician. I was disappointed to have to look at these steps, but wanted to make sure we were doing the best for our baby.

That evening, my sister Suzanne and her fiancé Jerry came over for dinner. We had a great time and Judah loved playing with Jerry. Our home was filled with laughter. They didn’t stay long, but at some point during dinner, I began having contractions that were short, but very uncomfortable. I didn’t mention it to Suzanne, who was planning to be at the birth, because I didn’t want to jinx myself, but told Michael as soon as they left.

After cleaning up, we laid down to watch a movie, Babbette’s Feast. During the movie, I timed contractions. They were lasting about 30 seconds, but were only 10 minutes apart. After the movie, we packed the rest of our bags for the birth center and went to bed around 11pm.

I fell asleep quickly after realizing the contractions had spaced out to 20 minutes apart. I was bummed because I thought labor was fizzling. I figured I’d wake up in the morning, like normal, and we’d go on about our life. In fact, Michael had planned a “fun day” for our family. Despite being disappointed about labor dying down, I was looking forward to spending the next afternoon with my “men.”

I woke up suddenly at 2:33am. I might have been having a contraction, but what I realized was that I had to go to the bathroom. As I left the bathroom, I had a really strong contraction that had me leaning on the sink and breathing deeply. I woke up Michael to help me keep track of the time. I had another contraction 10 minutes later that was equally as strong. And then, they started coming five minutes apart, lasting 30-40 seconds.

During this time, Michael decided to take several trips to our car with our bags – we had a lot since Judah was going with us to the birth center and would likely still be asleep. At the time, I didn’t think his trips were necessary, but I’m so glad now that we didn’t have to worry about everything when we were ready to leave.

We timed contractions for an hour – I tried to lie down, but spent most of that time on my birth ball. After an hour at 4am, we called our midwife C. We chatted for awhile, she listened to me through a couple contractions. Since she wasn’t the midwife to deliver Judah, she asked about how long I’d pushed with him. Because I’d had a lip of cervix, I ended up pushing about 1.5 hours, which is what I told her. However, once that lip was gone, I pushed about three times, which is the information she wanted.

If I had known to tell her that, the story might not have been as exciting.

At that point, my contractions were very painful, but I only felt them low in my uterus. C wanted us to call back when the contractions were higher and longer – she told me that would probably be an hour or two. She also recommended I take a bath.

I was thrilled with the prospect of a hot bath, so that’s what I did. Michael grabbed a chair and sat with me in the bathroom timing the length of contractions. I wasn’t as comfortable in the tub as I’d remembered being with Judah (looking back, I’m sure I was much farther along in labor at this point than I was when I took a bath in labor with Judah) and so, I didn’t stay in the bath long. I got dressed, and leaned against the ball instead. At this point, I kept wondering, sometimes out loud, why we didn’t choose to go to the hospital so I could have an epidural. I also wanted to be at the birth center instead of at home – labor felt much more intense than I remembered and I wanted the support of our birth team.

Around 4:30 or 4:45, I started to feel really panicky during contractions. I also told Michael I thought I might throw up. I had to hold his hand or touch him during each contraction so that I stayed “grounded” and focused through the pain. Still, I was only feeling contractions low and they were varying between 45 and 60 seconds, but not consistent. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure this was transition (the panicky feeling especially makes me think that). However, Michael didn’t think to be looking for it already and I didn’t have enough cognitive awareness to recognize it myself.

We called C at 5am. She asked if I was ready, and said I was. She told me she was dressed and would meet us at the center. We had farther to drive than she did, so I never thought to call her when things picked up. I also should have told her initially I was feeling a lot of pressure in my bottom and that I was feeling panicky. However, for some reason, those things didn’t cross my mind. I just wanted to get to the center.

Michael finished gathering a few things while I rocked on the ball. At some point about five or ten minutes after I talked to C, right as he was getting Judah up, things changed for me – I needed to push. I looked at him abruptly and said, We need to leave NOW.

We practically ran out the door. I remember Michael asking me to grab Judah’s small backpack (which I normally carry when he carries Judah) and I couldn’t. We live on the fourth floor and had to walk down a long hall to the elevator and then back down another hall to our car. I had about three contractions during that time, including one in the elevator; Michael says they were about two minutes apart. The entire time, I knew we had to hurry and tried to convey that to Michael without yelling at him.

The drive to the birth center, which is 15 minutes, was excruciating; I felt every bump and every pothole. With every contraction, I tried to breathe deeply and to not push, but they were awful. Like many women say, it really felt like a freight train moving through my body and I could do little to stop it, especially while seated in the passenger’s seat! While driving, Michael called both sets of parents and my sisters – including Suzanne who was meeting us at the center. The whole ride, I was encouraging him to run red lights, which he did, and get there as fast as he could.

Right before we got to the center, I had a contraction that required me to push. At that point, my water also broke. Fortunately, it didn’t gush yet. As Michael stopped the car, I jumped out and almost ran up the stairs to the porch. He later told me he thought I was going to get sick. I was surprised to find the house dark and the door locked. I couldn’t figure out why C hadn’t turned on the lights, which is now funny to me.

I kept telling Michael, This baby is coming, this baby is coming. I think he knew things were serious when we got in the car, but it obviously wasn’t until then that either of us thought we might have an unassisted birth. I was scared to be just the two of us, but knew I couldn’t NOT push. I pulled my pants to my knees and knelt and leaned on a bench on the porch. Michael considered calling 911 because we were only three blocks from a major hospital, but called C instead (the time stamp on his cell phone was 5:38am; we'd been on the porch just a minute or two). She was four blocks away and sped toward us. At that point, I asked Michael to help me take my pants all the way off. I felt the baby’s head and knew I couldn’t stop her from being born. It makes me laugh now to remember that all I kept saying, over and over, was this baby is coming.

Because it wasn’t even 5:40am, it was still dark, but dawn was approaching. All of a sudden, C was on the porch with us. She told us that when she got to the porch, the baby’s head was almost out; she could almost feel the ears. She and Michael helped me to sit back and with one more half push, Sophia was born. C later told us that Sophia had her cord around her neck fairly tightly; I’m so thankful C made it in time to catch her. In that moment, neither of us would have thought to look for that. We estimated her time of birth to be 5:40am, based on the time Michael called C.

As a funny side note, when I jumped out of the car, Michael wasn’t sure what to do with Judah. So, he rolled down the window and left him in the back seat, buckled into his car seat. C didn’t realize he was there and told us she thought his cries were from a cat in heat.

Because of our location, C ran inside to grab supplies while Michael and I tried to get Sophia to cry (she did finally whimper). We immediately cut the cord so we could be moved. C gave the baby to Michael and helped me inside without making a mess. This was the point where Michael was most scared – he was left with the baby, whose face was bruised from being born so quickly and with her cord around her neck, and C was tending to me. We later talked to her about it and she said she wasn’t at all concerned for the baby because she had made noise and breathed. Her main concern at that point was getting all of us inside so she could see and assess Sophia from there.

Suzanne also arrived right after Sophia was born. C had her run inside before us to strip the comforter and pillows off the bed. Then, she got Judah from the car and set him up in his pack ‘n play. C did have to warm Sophie and suction her mouth, but she still apgar-ed at 9s, despite her completely bruised face. Fortunately, the bruising faded quickly and was almost gone by the time we left the birth center, six hours after birth.

A lot of my mom friends with two children told me how it wasn’t “love at first sight” with their second child. Michael and I can relate to that: though we loved Sophie before she was born, we weren’t in love with her the moment we met her because we didn't know her. But it only took a day before we were head-over-heels for this little girl. She’s our little lady.

kaype's picture
Joined: 02/08/07
Posts: 219

here you go!

getting weighed

k,j&s

family of four

daddy & sophie

holding sophie

my favorite:
dressed and ready to go

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

What a great story- sorry it was so exciting! Glad you didn't have an unassisted last push!

Those are fab pictures. Your daughter is gorgeous.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

WOW!! That is some birth story! I don't know how I would have handeled something like that. It's great that C got there at just the right moment and that your little lady had help with the cord. Hope your healing is going well, and that you adjust quickly....it does get easier I promise!

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