Welcome to your lodge! I noticed you needed one. Can't wait to hear about your homebirth.
Sienna 11/2/05 Michael 1/11/09
Yay a Homebirth Mama! Cant wait to follow your story. Congrats on making it this far!
PROUD MUMMY TO CHRISTIAN GABRIEL!
Born at home, 2nd May 2009
Yay, thanks so much!
Okay, I know I haven't been around a ton, so especially the newer members don't know a lot about me. I used to practically live online, and a good bit of that time on this board!
I'll try to keep this semi-brief - I can be awfully wordy!
I'm obviously Kelly. Dh is Michael and we've been married for 9.5 years. I'm 28, he's 31. (Ooh, but I have a birthday coming up in a week!) Five months after we got married, I got pregnant with Aaric.
With Aaric's birth, I was aiming for a natural birth, at first mostly to avoid needles. As I read, though, I agreed that it was also the safest route. However, I lived in an area with not a lot of resources, and the books I was reading were What to Expect and a couple others of about that quality. The childbirth class I attended was the one done at the hospital, and there was little quality information about how to achieve a natural birth. Just stuff like breathing, and focusing on a point on the wall, etc.
My water broke sometime between 4-4:30 am, on my EDD, and we immediately got ready and left for the hospital. When we arrived, it was determined that his head was not yet engaged, and so I'd have to stay in bed to reduce risk of cord prolapse. I started out assertive, letting them know that one of the doctors in the practice had already approved of me going IV-free as long as possible. I was still barely contracting at 8, when the shift change happened. This meant that the doctor who I liked least - the one who always had one hand on the doorknob as he asked if I had any questions before he left - was now on call. He ordered pitocin. That pretty much just ruined it all for me. I said that if I was getting needles anyway, and was getting pitocin which I knew would make things harder, then I may as well get some IV pain meds, too. I'd pretty much just given up on natural birth once I found out who I was dealing with, and that he was saying to give me pit. Stadol actually did little or nothing for the pain. I was in bed on my back or on my left side for the entire day. When I needed to pee, they wouldn't unhook me to let me go to the bathroom - I had my mom and MIL supporting me on each side as I squatted over a bedpan in bed. Which didn't work, I couldn't get anything out like that - who could!? At some point, maybe around 7 cm, one of the few times that the doctor stopped by to check on me, he said that he didn't think I could do it. My mom followed him out of the room for specifics - was he saying I was too small, or that the baby was big, or both? He said that the baby was pretty big and he was pretty sure I'd have to have a c-section, but he'd let me wait it out a little longer and see. Our nurse knew that c-section wasn't a line we'd so easily cross like we did with the pitocin. I was then planning on having around 6 kids, and did not want to start out with a c-section! So, she advocated for us, and at 8 cm, while he was still not engaged in my pelvis at all (so no risk of injuring the cervix) I started pushing. The only way to get out of the c-section, was to physically push him down into my pelvis myself. To get him over my tailbone, she called in another nurse who pushed down on his butt while I was pushing. It took a few tries, but he finally went over it and stayed over it. After 2.5 hours, it was finally time. They called in the doctor. After a few pushes, he asked if I wanted help. I asked what kind of help - was he talking episiotomy? He actually *laughed* and said I wasn't getting out of one of those. So, I asked what then, vacuum or forceps? He said forceps. Feeling totally frustrated with him, I said yes. So, I had a whopper of an episiotomy (don't know for sure how big) and forceps. Finally, at, um, either 7:28 or 7:08 PM (should check those baby books. One is A and one is M), he was finally born. That was July 27, 2000. He was 9 lbs 2.2 oz, 21.25 inches long, and had a 15 inch head. Which explains the lack of descent, but had I been upright at all, he would have moved down more easily. But of course, the risk of cord prolapse was there.
See, told ya I'm wordy!
Okay, so after I had time to reflect, I knew I wanted to do it different the next time. I wanted a CNM, and a NCB-friendly hospital. With Aaric, we were in college, but afterwards, we moved back to our hometown and had our choice of the Atlanta area hospitals. I got pregnant soon after Aaric's first birthday, and found a suitable midwife/ob practice to use. Around that time, I'd gotten more and more active on the BabyCenter NCB debate board, and had learned a ton about the various interventions and risks. I'd come to the point where I thought homebirth sounded cool, but certainly not for me. I drove past the road my hospital was on every day on my commute to work, and as time went by, I felt less and less positive about having to go there while in labor. It was a 30-45 min drive depending on traffic. As I'd crossed off interventions that I wasn't okay with unless absolutely medically necessary, I'd decided that I'd be staying home as long as possible. And who wants to be in the car for 30-45 minutes during transition?? So, finally, one day, I decided I wanted to look at the option of homebirth. DH was not interested. I asked him to please just research it. What exactly was he afraid of? Size? - better positioning would mean easier birthing. We went through his list of concerns like that, researching how midwives handle various things. I started calling around to the local midwives, and was discouraged because so many were just way out of my price range. An online friend who lived nearby was doing the same, and one mw that she called recommended who I now refer to online as "Lulu." Lulu lived in the same city as me - actually, just 5 minutes from me! She was not yet finished with her certification, but had been doing births for 10 years, and her rates were much more reasonable - especially if you were hiring her late in the pregnancy. We met her, and dh felt instantly at ease with her, so Lulu and homebirth it was. I officially stopped going to the CNM practice around 30 weeks, when she didn't press the issue but was very clearly displeased that I'd declined the glucose test. Because of Aaric's size, ACOG standards say that I'm at risk for gest. diabetes. Genetics apparently don't matter - carrying one large baby means that you're at risk for blood sugar issues later. Right, that's logical... So, that meant I'd already had one GTT at 16 weeks anyway, and Lulu and I both felt safe skipping it a second time.
Between 4 and 4:30 am on April 22, 2002, 5 days before my EDD I woke up to stronger, different, contractions. I'd been having tons of BHs since around 32 weeks, and because I use NFP while not pregnant and was familiar with my cervix already, I'd been checking it and knew that I'd also started dilating very slowly around 34 weeks. She was also very low. When I woke up that morning, I knew something was different, and I checked my cervix and found it to be 4 cm, 75% effaced, and felt a slightly bulging amniotic sac with a head maybe a centimeter or two behind it. I waited until around 6 to call Lulu, because my contractions were still the same - not very strong or close together.
I stayed that way for 12 hours. She came over to check on me every once in a while, then would go run errands or check on her kids at home. Around 3pm, I was frustrated with the complete lack of progress, and called her to ask what we should do. I was really hoping she'd want to come break my water. No "luck." She told me to nap. I thought she was insane. I'd been walking around a lot to try to get things going - surely if I napped, it would all stop. So I sat up stubbornly in my rocking chair. And started getting tired as I rocked. And relented and went to my bed "just to lie down, NOT to sleep!" and fell asleep. Around 4, I woke up, having noticeably stronger contractions. I wanted to get into the pool (huge kiddie pool that was in the kitchen. I mean, one of those big, rectangular family size blow up pools. It was hilarious), but knew I shouldn't get in too soon or it could slow things down. So we called her back over. I was 5 cm and the contractions were slowing down, so I got in. A couple hours later, she wanted to check me and we decided to go to the bedroom to do it, and then I didn't have the energy to walk back across the house to the pool, so I stayed on the bed. I was around 7 cm then. A little while later, she'd just checked me, and I was lying on my side, with DH sitting right at my butt... when my water broke. All over him. So funny. I tried to warn him, but it happened just as a contraction was hitting it's peak and I couldn't get the words out! So anyway, after a while, she checked and I was fully dilated, and said I could push at any time. About 5 minutes passed and I just kept on laboring as usual. She checked again and said that the head was only 2 knuckles up, and that if I pushed, she should come quickly. So, to appease Lulu, I got up into a semi-reclined squat (sorta squatting, sorta leaning on pillows, it varied) and attempted to push with each contraction. Except I'm just barely push for a couple seconds and then give up. I'm a wimpy pusher. Twenty minutes later, she was out, though. That was at, again, either 7:08 or 7:28 pm. She was 8 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches, 13 inch head.
So that brings us to Xander. At least this time, I didn't have any research to do on childbirth itself, but we'd moved from GA to NC after DH joined the Army, so I needed to find a midwife. That could be a 10 page novel in itself, so I'll just leave it at: none seemed just right to me, and I wanted Lulu, and we went back and forth on maybe just going to GA in late pregnancy and birthing there. Lulu's dh works for Delta, so she suggested, and it was ultimately decided, that she'd fly up to us once labor started, since she flies for free.
So, I woke up at... guess what time? Sometime between 4 and 4:30 am. I'm predictable. I was 4 cm and around 75% effaced. Since she needed to drive to Atlanta to catch a flight, I went ahead and called Lulu. At 8, we took Aaric to school as usual, and went into town to run some errands. We still needed the attachment to hook the water hose to the sink, and we needed a few groceries. So, I wandered Lowe's and Target while in labor. Meanwhile, the first flight of the day into Fayetteville was overbooked, and the second one was cancelled because of mechanical problems, so Lulu was not in the air yet. There were only 2 flights left, so she decided to try for a Raleigh one instead. She got on the next Raleigh flight, but this meant I needed to scramble to find someone to drive up to the airport (about 1.5 hours away!) to get her. Luckily, I had some very understanding, very homebirth-supportive friends who were able to help out. One lives in Chapel Hill, and drove to the airport to get Lulu, then drove halfway down here, and another friend met them and drove her the rest of the way here. She got here around 5:30 pm.
Luckily, I was still in my early, non-progressing stage. Xander had been spinning the whole pregnancy, so it was no big shocker that he started out anterior when she first checked me, but when she waited for the contraction to end and tried again, he'd turned to posterior again. After a while of sitting around, I wasn't progressing at all, so she sent me out to walk. After a couple hours, I was having lots of back pain, and decided I wanted him turned around before he got any lower. At the same time, our childcare had fallen through, and the kids were SO hyper and distracting. We called over some other friends, but when they got there with their boys, it was even worse - we'd hoped to have the option of having our kids there for the birth, but it was just a madhouse in there. Lulu suggested sending them away, so I did. I then got on all fours, resting my head on my birth ball, with headphones playing music. Within about an hour, he'd spun back around and things were picking up. I was getting up to go to the bathroom every few minutes. At one point, I stood up and started toward the bathroom and noticed that my legs were shaky. I recognized that as transition, but thought there was no way I was THAT far along yet - it wasn't intense enough yet! I went to the bathroom, walked out, called for Lulu to come check me, and my water broke. At least DH stayed dry this time!
So, I told him to finish filling up the pool with hot water, because I did not want to deal with labor without the cushioning of the amniotic sac out of the water. I got in, and things kept going. I kept glancing at the clock, and had been jotting some times down when I'd been on all 4s, and realized that my normal labor pattern, even in transition, is to have fairly wide-spread contractions. They'd be every 10, 4, 8, 5, 3, 7... minutes apart. No real pattern. Just getting longer and stronger. Finally, she checked and I was 10 cm. Dh let her know that I realized with Mikayla that I simply don't feel the urge to push, and would rather just hang out for a while. After about 10 minutes though, with me getting increasingly uncomfortable, she pointed out to me that if I pushed, it would all be over sooner. I don't think either of them realized how much that motivated me. Without telling them, with that next contraction, I gathered my strength and pushed. And once I started that push, I couldn't stop, and he was about to come barrelling out. I yelled for them to get to me (dh now swears he was right there all along. I was on all 4s, and I really thought both of them were in front of me, a few feet away.) Lulu got back there and helped support my perineum and his head came out. As he hung out there for a minute, head out, body in, he was so squirmy. His shoulders, you know, were RIGHT THERE, and wiggling! It was not at all pleasant, and I was screaming. She told me quite firmly to BE QUIET and BREATHE! As I found out later, my constant screaming meant little oxygen, and he was getting a little bluish. So, anyway, I pushed him on out with the next contraction, though really, it was just one big, long, push.
Now, in all her excitement packing her bags, she forgot the scale. But, he was born at 1:something Am on Sept 15th, which was 8 days early. But I always say he was 9 days early, because it's only an hour difference! And yeah, I can't remember the time. You know what they say about 3rd kids... I can't remember the time (I've got the birth record somewhere) and we never knew his birth weight. We estimate that he was 7.5-8 lbs. He was, ah, crap... I want to say he was 20.5 inches, but I can't remember now. And 13 inch head. I need to look that stuff up, I'm such a bad mom! LOL
Okay, so, that brings us to this one. We're still in NC, and this time I just called Lulu from the start and asked if she'd be willing to fly up again, and she said yes. This time, my mom is coming up to watch the kids. She was going to fly, too (Dad's a Northwest retiree, and they merged with Delta, so they fly for free, too!) but my aunt lost her job and hasn't found a new one, so she wants to come too. So, mom and my aunt are driving up. Looking back at all but Aaric's birth, I had a VERY strong feeling that they'd be here "soon" in the last day or two of the pregnancy. However, I'm never willing to actually verbalize it. I can't find where I saved Xander's lodge, but I know when I read it I cracked up at how very obvious it was that I totally knew, but wouldn't say it. So, the plan was that whenever I got that feeling, I'd suck it up and verbalize it to my mom, and she'd come on up. And I may. But we also just decided that if they all waited until my labor actually starts, Lulu could just ride with them, and would be guaranteed to get here within 7 hours, instead of risking it taking much much longer while flying standby.
So, it all depends on what time of day I go into labor. If I start at my usual time, there are only 2 flights a day that could possibly get her here earlier, and then it's only by like a half hour. If I start in the evening instead, she'd definitely be better off driving. So Lulu is just going to keep an eye on how full the flights are, and whenever labor starts, she'll make the final decision on how to get up here, then. I worry a little that she won't make it in time. I hope I get the long, non-progressing early labor again. If I don't, my only real concern is that I'll bleed too much. Dh has caught 2 babies for me so far (both times, it was more like he caught and she assisted), and I'm pretty confident that we can do that part on our own. But neither of us have any experience in how to tell how much blood is "too much." So that's my only real worry.
Once they are all here, Mom and my Aunt will take the boys and go do something fun, and get a motel room for them to stay in overnight and have a place to hang out if the weather is bad. Mikayla will stay here, and in fact, today, I'll be working on making a backup plan for her. Ideally, if we need to send her away urgently, we can send her across the street to our good friends. If it wasn't so urgent and she was just getting in the way, we can always just call mom to come back and get her. And just in case, I'm making multiple back up plans for the boys, too.
So, that's all the backstory. I'm 36w3d now, and actually having far less BHs than usual. My BP keeps thinking about going up too high though, so we're trying to keep that under control with lots of protein. My hands are tingly and the bottoms of my feet itch, so Lulu thinks it's a pinched nerve and I'm going to the chiro on Tuesday. I'm exhausted, and my pelvic joints and tendons and muscles are all stiff, and I feel so, so very done. Especially because of my BP, we're really hoping I don't go much past 37 weeks. I just don't know how long I can keep it in check. I'd rather use natural induction methods than risk out and have to go to the hospital. The birth kit though... well, I procrastinated. It'll be here Tuesday, the day before I hit 37 weeks. So, we pray I hold out until then, or we may be short a few supplies!
So, that's where we're at now. Hoping to last until Wednesday, but ready to go any minute after that! Alright, I know it was long, thanks for reading. I told you, I'm wordy. I looked back up to see if I could edit and make it shorter, but couldn't decided what on earth I'd pull back out! Oh, and this is a boy, and no name yet. We're bad with boy names. There is one we're leaning towards, but we're not committed so I don't wanna say!
wow, that's awesome your mw flies up to you guys. Hope you LO waits until Wed. for you.
Sienna 11/2/05 Michael 1/11/09
Yep, we're very blessed to have our midwife. And she doesn't travel for just anyone, just her extra-special clients! It would be especially nice if I had the baby sometime late this week. She's in nursing school, and I think classes start back up next week. We already know her schedule, and it's not too bad - just a class on Tues and labs on Weds. She's just got this one last class to finish up. So, we're hoping to not mess with her school schedule, and having the baby before she starts would be helpful! It'll work out, even if she has to miss a day of class, that's just not the ideal, of course. I'd like for my body to cooperate with her schedule, though, knowing how much she does for us!
Well, I got my big, huge, grocery shopping trip out of the way. I planned and bought for more days than usual, hoping that I won't have to return again. If the stuff i got lasts 3 weeks, like it very easily could, then I'm quite certain I'll have the baby by then. And then I'll be very very postpartum, and will just send Dh out. If for some reason I'm still pregnant, I'd either send DH out anyway, or go alone and hope all the effort of grocery shopping sent me into labor! I certainly have no expectation of going past 39 weeks, though. I keep hearing mean people say that their 4th was their latest one, and keep telling them to lie to me. So far, in this order, I've given birth ON the EDD, 5 days early, and 8.5 days early. I mean, that looks like a trend, right? Let's keep it up.
I'm actually feeling alright. I whine and complain a lot, but I have nothing beyond the typical late pregnancy complaints. Or, little. I need to call the chiro, I was just thinking my appointment was today, but I see that I posted earlier that it's tomorrow. Hmm.
I'm working on eating a ton of protein to keep my bp and swelling in check. It had gotten a bit higher on Friday, so starting on Saturday I was focusing on the right foods again. It got high on Saturday too, but it can take a few days for protein to help, so I didn't worry. I've now gone 3 days of hitting in my target of 80-100g/day. I'll get dh to check in a little bit and see what it's up to.
I'm having less BH's than I did with the last 2 babies, and hoping that just means that my uterus doesn't feel that it needs to warm up too much this time, and not that labor is still a long ways off.
And while I talk about how he's coming soon, I think some part of me is in denial about how soon it will be. It's flown by, and it seems surreal that it really is almost time - even if it's 3 weeks away, that's not long. We got 3 of the 4 bedrooms completely cleaned yesterday. In our room, I just need to finish sorting through a box of random stuff, and clean off the top of my dresser and closet, but other than that, it's done. And Aaric's room, man, I had it perfect on Friday, but Xander just goes in there every day and dumps out every single toy in the room. There's no way to store the toys out of his reach, and he's starting to sleep in there now, too, so we've got to find a way to teach him not to dump.
So, I need to do the final touches on my room, finish up Aaric's room then vacuum and shampoo that carpet, clean the clutter that accumulates in the hallway and vacuum and shampoo it, and scrub the kids' bathroom, and the upstairs is done. And since we've been focusing up there, the downstairs has gotten out of control, so I need to get that done. We're hoping to have the whole house 100% done by Wednesday. Maybe even tomorrow night. Then, we might be hiring a maid to come in once a week for a few weeks.
I have probably 485 loads of laundry to fold, too.
And now kids are making me crazy, so I'm getting offline for a while. Which is probably for the best anyway, I'm just rambling and procrastinating. I'm SO not motivated today!
Stupid Chiro office is closed from 1-2, and I didn't realize that until 1. I didn't call at noon, assuming they'd be at lunch! So, my appointment is at 2, either today or tomorrow, and I have no way of finding out which. So, I'm driving 20 minutes across town to the office, just to find out. Ugh.
Chiro is great for normalizing blood pressure! There were some studies that came out about a year and a half ago verifying this. And my personal experience does too! I hope it helps your BP and the other too!
hope your appt. was today and you didn't drive there for nothing. Great job with the protein, I have a hard time most days eating 60g.
Sienna 11/2/05 Michael 1/11/09