I'm Cynthia, married to my husband Isaac, with one son, Jacob, who is two and a half. We are very much looking forward to the birth of our second child sometime over the next 2-4 weeks! We will (assuming all goes well) be having a midwife-attended homebirth.
My husband and I met when we were 12. We were in the same band class and youth group. Something about him always stood out at me, but we were both the very quiet, brainy, introvert type, so we didn't talk much. We were friends throughout high school, but the type of friends who sat next to each other reading our own books and never really saying anything. After we graduated, he moved away to university. We kept in touch off and on through email. He came back to town a couple of years later, and at that time we finally started to spend time together and *gasp* talk to each other. We started dating a few months later. He went back to university the following year, so we did the whole long-distance thing for two years while I finished up my schooling (I'm a Certified General Accountant) before heading out there to join him. We were married seven months later, and DS was born two months after that. It's like the midwives used to say...the first one can come at any time; all the rest take nine months.
DS was a natural hospital birth, no interventions. I was actually quite please with the labour and delivery portion of his birth (the post-partum hospital stay, on the other hand...some of those nurses could really use a few people skills). My labour with him was 10 hours long from the first contraction that woke me up. The entire pregnancy (I was seeing a family doctor for prenatal care) had been uneventful, other than being mildly anemic.
The day before he was born, we had done a lot of walking, had a spicy dinner of honey curry chicken (extra curry ), and finished up the evening with some marital fun. I had decided that he should be born the next day (my doctor was talking induction, and my clueless boss kept scheduling me with clients even though I was already past my due date), so these were my attempts at helping him along. I felt fine (as fine as you can feel at 40+ weeks pregnant) when I went to bed that night.
A contraction woke me up at 1:00am. I went to the bathroom to find that I was losing my mucous plug. My bowels were also working on clearing themselves out. :P I set up camp on the floor where I timed my contractions while reading a book and making frequent trips to the bathroom. The contractions were very regular and steadily getting stronger and closer together.
At 4am, my stupid cat tore through the bedroom and woke my husband up. He asked what I was doing on the floor, so I told him quite calmly that I was in labour, but it was fine and he should get some more sleep. Not surprisingly, he didn't think much of that suggestion. He got up and tossed the last few things into the hospital bag. We had a shower, at which time the contractions went from "oh, this isn't so bad" to "ohmygoodness, this hurts!!" It was about 5:30am when we headed to the hospital.
Wouldn't you know it, we had to drive through the middle of a freak April snowstorm, at 5:30 in the morning with very unplowed roads. My husband tells me it was the only part of the labour that I was mean to him. Something about his need to hit every damn pothole along the way, or some such thing...heh. Seriously though, that car ride was the worst part of the entire labour. Would you believe it was actually a factor in making me want a homebirth this time around?? Not the entire reason by any stretch, but it was a consideration - that half hour car ride was awful. *shudder*
Anyway, we finally got to the hospital. Apparently I should have been screaming my head off or something, because they kinda rolled their eyes when I told them I was in labour and sent me off to a back room to be monitored for a while. I was strapped to the machine and told to sit back and not move. Hah. DS was posterior and the back labour was horrid, so sitting back was probably the most painful position possible. I put up with it for 15 of the 30 minutes she wanted, then I said screw it and sat forward. Of course she comes rushing in to give me heck for messing up the straps (whatever, lady), but when I refused to lay back again she gave in and called someone to come check me. Turned out I was 4-5cm and very much in labour. Funny how they stopped rolling their eyes and huffing around the room right away. :P Anyway, they got me all settled into a room.
I was asked what sort of labour I wanted, so I told them I didn't want any pain medications and yes, I wanted to labour in the tub. The nurses on duty were all very excited and supportive because they didn't get a lot of natural labours there. I was GBS+ so I had the first round of abx, then got into the tub with DH, who applied counterpressure to my lower back through the next two hours' worth of contractions. After that I moved to the bed, then followed the nurse's advice and got on my hands and knees and rocked back and forth. This turned DS around almost immediately and everything went very fast after that. My water broke at 8cm, at which point I pretty much went straight to 10 and told the nurse quite strongly that I needed to push NOW. DS was born after half an hour or less of pushing. He was 8lbs 9oz (so much for my doctor's guess of 6-7lbs!) and was perfectly healthy.
As smoothly as the hospital birth went (check in aside), I have to credit nearly all of it to the nurse who was with me the whole time. She prevented the doctor from breaking my water early, she helped refocus me with some quiet words during the pushing stage when everyone else was yelling at me to push, and she stopped the doctor from taking DS away when he was born a bit blue, telling him the heartbeat was fine and handing him to me instead. Because of her, I would never again labour in a hospital without a doula. Her support helped me to focus on labour rather than dealing with pushy doctors. My birth would not have been what it was if it weren't for her.
DS nursed like a champ - and continued to nurse, and nurse, and nurse. By the time he was 18 months old, my post-partum period still hadn't returned, and we had been ready for baby #2 since he was a year old. I slowly started to reduce his nursing sessions at that point. Perhaps not the "best" solution, but I so badly wanted my fertility to return that I hugely resented nursing by that point anyway. Even with the reduction, my pp period still didn't return until he was 21 months old. This baby was conceived two cycles later. I tested positive just before DS's second birthday.
DS continued to nurse until my milk dried up over the summer, at which point he slowly weaned himself (shorter and shorter nursing sessions until he wasn't nursing at all). Part of me was/is sad and part of me was quite ready at that point. He will still, on occasion, ask for "mommy's milk", which now consists of literally half a second on the nipple before letting go and saying all done. I joke to DH that he's really just kissing them goodnight. I am undecided as to whether or not I'm willing to tandem nurse after the baby is born. At this point I don't think I will encourage it, but if he wants to nurse I'll let him try (he doesn't seem to really know how to latch anymore anyway) and we'll go from there.
Anyway. I should probably talk some about THIS baby now! Sorry for the length!!
This pregnancy has also gone quite smoothly. We have moved twice during the pregnancy. We first moved when I was just a few weeks pregnant. I went back to work full time for four months while DH stayed home with Jacob. Since we were only there temporarily, I saw my childhood family doctor for my prenatal care. This typically consisted of an hour long wait followed by a five minute checkup. :P There were no problems with the pregnancy at all. I was tired and had some mild morning sickness, but nothing like I had with my son, where I could barely function for the entire first trimester.
In September, we moved again so that my husband could return to school. I had found a midwife center ahead of time and had a couple phone appts before we moved. The midwives (a team of three) have been great and I'm enjoying the more personal care. Still no real problems. Mild anemia again, a few weeks of low platelets, and another positive GBS test (*sad*), but nothing significant.
I decided I wanted a homebirth this time around. DH was initially unsure, but open to the idea, and he felt better after attending a homebirth info night at our midwives' clinic. I think he still has a reservation or two (amusingly enough, his biggest concern seems to be the potential mess - as though there will be blood everywhere by the time we're done ), but he's been very supportive and helpful and encouraging.
I have a lot of reasons for wanting a homebirth, but I think the biggest is simply that hospitals and doctors are for disease and trauma, of which pregnancy is neither. So long as my pregnancy remains what it is, low-risk, I don't feel the need for medical care. Other reasons include wanting the comfort of our familiar home, avoiding the potential for unnecessary interventions, having DS be involved, and yes, avoiding that dreaded car ride during labour. We have most of our supplies ready to go, and the rest (minor things) will be gathered this week.
My MIL will be coming down to help with DS during the labour. Unfortunately, I'm due on the 12th and she won't be arriving until the evening of the 13th. I'll be keeping my legs tightly crossed until then! We do have a backup caregiver in place, I would just be so disappointed for DS if he didn't have the opportunity to be involved as much as he feels comfortable with. Right now he is so excited about it and can't wait to see the baby be born, but of course if he changes his mind when the time comes, that's okay. That's what MIL will be here for. He's also very excited about the baby in general and talks about him or her (no, we don't know the gender) all the time. He always asks me to "open your tummy!" (pull my shirt up over my belly) so that he can pat the baby. He tells me about 50 times a day that the baby's head is down there, his bum is up here, his legs are over here, etc. For the longest time he was convinced the baby was going to come out of my foot, but fortunately I've finally managed to correct that notion. I only hope his happiness over this baby will last when the baby's actually here, laying on my knee and drinking "his" milk and taking up lots of Mommy's time and attention. I've tried to prepare him for all of those things, and he talks a lot about what he can do with the baby, what we can do together while the baby drinks Mommy's milk, that sort of thing. It's been really neat to watch his understanding of the whole pregnancy/birth/baby thing grow.
So! There was everything you could possibly want to know and much, much more! I'm sorry, being concise has never been my strong point. I'll summarize it all in a second post!
DH - Isaac, student (electrical engineering). Met in '95, started dating in '03, married Feb 07.
DS - Jacob, 2.5yo. Born Apr 07. Natural hospital birth, no interventions, no complications with pregnancy, labour, or delivery. Labour was 10 hours from first contraction that woke me up. Pushing was less than half an hour. Currently looking forward to watching his baby brother or sister be delivered.
Baby #2 - EDD 12/12. Gender unknown. No complications with pregnancy. Seeing a team of midwives. Planning a homebirth.
Support person - MIL. Arriving in town Dec 13. Crossing my legs tightly until then! Will be in charge of DS during the labour and birth.
Great intro! My intro posts are long too I don't blame you for wanting to avoid another car ride like that!
It's so hard to know what a 2-year-old understands about what's going on and what will happen... We're dealing with a bit of that ourselves since Ethan's only a few months younger than Jacob.
I hope you have a fantastic homebirth and I look forward to watching your story unfold!
That is a great intro!
Hope all goes well for your homebirth.
Oh, and I always love to hear about people who choose Team Surprise. I was on Team Surprise for both of my first two babies.
Had another midwife appt this morning. Heartbeat was 150ish, bp was 106/58, and I've gained about 24lbs so far. Baby is still head down and very low. Still posterior, unfortunately, so I'll be scrubbing a lot of floors on my hands and knees trying to change that. DS was posterior as well and the back labour was awful.
Picked up some toys for the baby's Christmas gifts today. Got two Under the Nile dolls (this one from us and this one that DS picked to give to the baby) and one of the Baby Belle Peppa dolls. She or he will likely get one of the bigger Peppa dolls after s/he's born.
Finally got all caught up on your lodge Sounds like your all set to go!! I'm excited to see how your homebirth goes. Your DS sounds like he'll be a great big brother! Do you have a feeling about the gender of this babe? It sounds like a girl to me.....but I don't know anything!
No, no feelings about the gender at all! Some days I'm sure it's a girl and other days I'm just as convinced it's a boy. I'll be thrilled either way! The only thing that makes me think it *might* be a girl is how different this pregnancy was from last time. Last time I was so sick the entire third trimester; this time I was tired and a bit nauseous, but nothing unmanageable. Last time I had all sorts of cravings and aversions (we were vegetarian for a couple months because I couldn't stand even the sight of meat, cooked or not!); this time I haven't really had any cravings or aversions at all. Last time I had crazy swelling and joint pain in my third tri; this time I've had some pain but no swelling at all. Lots of differences like that. The only things the same are the darn GBS+ results and the posterior positioning!!
When we first started talking about the baby, he kept saying he wanted the baby to come out NOW. I explained that the baby needed to grow more, so he went on for quite a while about how the baby need to grow "big arms" before it came out. He loved to feel it kick. Now he's interested in its positioning (head down there, bum up there, etc). We talk about what he can do with the baby (read books, sing, smile, hug, kiss, etc), what he can help with (diapers, helping baby sleep, picking clothes, etc), and what we can do while the baby has mommy's milk (read, sing, play cars, etc).
But it's really hard to correct his expectations on what a newborn can do. He wants to play with the baby and he doesn't understand yet that the baby won't be able to do much for a little while. He's excited about helping the baby learn, though. He has a little 10 month old friend that he plays with - he's sooo great with her, it's adorable - and he takes it very seriously that she doesn't always know the right thing to do (she likes to grab hair and other such very typical baby behaviours) so he tells her very kindly that she shouldn't grab his (very long) hair, to which she replies with the usual baby babble and a tighter fist in his hair, lol. But he's so patient and gentle. I'm hoping he'll be the same way with the baby.
My MIL likes to tease my DH about a comment he made when his baby sister was about a week old - "so, when do we take her back??" That's the part I really don't know if Jacob "gets" yet - the baby will be here for good, taking up lots of the time and attention that he is used to having all to himself, and it won't be able to play cars with him like he thinks it will! So I think he understands a lot, even most, or he seems to based on what he says, but I think some things will come as a big surprise to him.
I'm interested to see how he'll handle the labour and birth. Right now he wants to be there, but I'm not sure how he'll do when things really get going. I've told him it will hurt mommy a bit ("a bit" - HAHA) and mommy might be loud, but that just helps the baby come out and it's okay, and he can be loud with me if he wants to be. I do hope he'll be there, but if he's not comfortable with it, MIL will take him out of the room or out of the house if need be.
It's such a fun age, isn't it? I guess, in hindsight, I'm glad he's a bit older than I had wanted him to be. I wanted them two years apart, no more (he'll be 2 years and 8 months), but I know his understanding 8 months ago would have been way less. His language skills between then and now aren't even comparable, and he's just really matured in general since then (I mean, he's still TWO, but definitely a way different kid than he was 8 months ago). I sort of hate to admit it, considering how long we wanted a second child and how much I stressed over it and the fact that I even started restricting access to the boob in an effort to get my darn fertility back, but I really do think he'll have an easier time adjusting at this age than he would have when he was younger. I hope they're still close enough in age, though, that they'll have a close relationship as they grow. I come from a family of six, some two years apart and some three, and the sets three years apart were nowhere near as close as the ones two years apart. Anyway, it is what it is, and hopefully we'll be able to foster those close relationships between all of our children.
And there I go rambling again. Like I said, being concise is not my strong point!