Welcome to your lodge!!! Looking forward to seeing another of your homebirth journeys:-)
welcome to your lodge! I am excited to follow you again!
Welcome to your lodge, Sarah!
Welcome to your lodge!
YAY! Welcome to your lodge!!
Oh my! This means I'd better organize travel plans SOON! :eek:
Congrats on your lodge, can't wait to follow your journey!
Welcome to your lodge!!
Oh my goodness!!!! It's lodge time!
So many people welcoming me already, and I feel that I haven't even been here all that much this time around...
I'll try to get something written up during some breaks today, in the meantime, if there's anything in particular you want to hear, ask away!
Yayyyy welcome to your lodge!!
Welcome Sarah! I'm looking forward to following your journey. I read Ivy's birth story and I really loved it. I hope your birth goes smoothly this time and that DSS is able to attend more fully this time.
Lodge #1 is #40 page 4
Lodge #2 is #76 page 8Lodge #3...right here!
DSIL and DGS have a bet going on: DGS says it is a boy, DSIL says a girl. $5 is at stake!
Not so very brief backgrounder:
DH (Wayne) and I met in October 2005, after I finally took a job that a friend of mine had been trying to get me to apply for for over a year. At the time, DH had just moved out of his ex-wife’s house, (he’d been living in the basement suite for about a year), and was working through a divorce. I was in a cruddy relationship for years. Neither of us, however, were looking for anything relationship-wise.
That first day at work (my first working for a government agency), a happy guy named Wayne who I had never seen before appeared in my office door at lunch time and basically hauled me over to the lunch room. It turned out that there was a daily lunchtime euchre game, and today they were needing a fourth player. I’d never played before, but was happily surprised to find out that this new place of employment was a close-knit group, and supported actually taking a lunch break instead of working through it (as I was used to from being a graduate student and working in consulting). From that day on, I played cards at lunch. It was a great break, and Wayne and I just completely clicked.
I had moved out to Edmonton two years previously, and didn’t have very many friends. DH started hanging out after work and talk about various things that interested us. I helped him work through various things he was dealing with with his ex. We talked about everything under the sun. I always biked to work, but it turned into a tradition that he would give me a ride home with my bike, because we were usually in the middle of a conversation, and he had to pick up his son at daycare after school.
On our last day of work before Christmas, my friend who had got me the job, Wayne and I had planned to go out and do some field work. I was all set to spend the last day of work outside instead of in a room with no windows. My friend cancelled at the last minute. Neither Wayne nor I were in no frame of mind to spend the day inside. Wayne decided that he was going to go install a garage door at his mom’s house (her Christmas present). He’d already ordered it, and as it turns out, another co-worker of ours used to work installing garage doors. We decided that we’d all skip work that day and install the garage door instead. I was just thrilled to be able to help out some friends, and have always enjoyed working on projects. We had a great day, and his mom got a brand new garage door, with remote!
My BF at the time was only around for ½ the year (he was doing research in the Yukon all summer), and expected me to stay home and work. He was jealous of my BFF, because I could talk to her about things I couldn’t talk to him about (I found this out later). He was most offended and angry when I found some friends who he had not met and didn’t “approve” of (we talked about things like feelings and philosophized about the meaning of life, Truth). He didn’t like that I had a government job, because that wasn’t “real science”. I was supposed to be a BIOLOGIST.
When I got home that night, I was all excited about my day, and having friends to hang out with. My BF and I went over to our friend’s house for dinner (the one who got me the job), and I was chatting about how nice it was to be able to hang out with different people, and funny thing that happened while we were putting the door together (the old door landed on my head at one point), and how they had a different model that the store sold to people to install themselves, as opposed to the ones that they installed…
My BF was getting more and more angry. I couldn’t figure out why – until he exploded “Wayne, Wayne, Wayne… all you ever talk about is Wayne… If you like him so much, why don’t you go be with him?”
I was stunned. It hadn’t occurred to me. Wayne was a great friend that I could talk to about anything, but be with him??? Seriously?
And then the gears started turning…
Over the next couple months, I realized what a rotten relationship I had got into, and despite trying to work things out for a little while, I realized that my BF was right. I didn’t want to be in a relationship with him, and Wayne and I were much better matched to each other.
At the same time, Wayne was going through similar thoughts. He had been holding out hopes with his ex, hoping that they could work through and resolve various things, but decided that he was actually much happier and better off without her.
Wayne and I spent several months helping each other work through our various relationship issues – not stepping over the bounds of good friends, but knowing that if we did, there would likely be no going back. Come the end of March, my BF and I split up for good – he was supposed to move out and go back to the Yukon (that’s another story not worth talking about), and I was going to take care of his dog for the summer. Come mid-April, Wayne finally got the paperwork back from finalizing his divorce. And at the end of April, we got together…
By mid May, we knew that there was no point in denying that we were perfect for each other. We were already joking about “wouldn’t it be funny if we were married before my BF returned from the Yukon”. DH proposed to me on my birthday (June 19), when we went for a walk after the music festival that he works security for. We jumped into a peat bog (naked) to celebrate, and got a couple leeches. It then decided to hail on us – which we decided was nature’s confetti! We decided to get married on Labour Day weekend.
I would include a wedding picture, but I don’t have access to any from here. Maybe Gardenbug can post one?
Here’s a picture of our brief honeymoon (with DSS). We spent 4 days paddling down the river that goes through our city. We started upstream, paddled through town, and then were picked up by friends at a city just downstream.
What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing! I love the "when you know you just know" aspects of how couples met/got together.
Gardenbug! Post pictures!
What a beautiful story! I haven't been a member here all that long so I haven't gotten to know you or your journeys but I am very much looking forward to being here for this one!!!
The wedding...a perfect warm fall day!
Later, cake before the barn dancing began.
The honeymoon with the little guy. (then age 7)
Oooooo I LOVE the pictures!!! And the story Waiting patiently for more
I just got back from a chiropractor appointment. She says that my pelvis is all out of whack making 1 leg about 1.5 inches longer than the other. I was asked 3 times by different people how many kids I had and their ages, and all three times started crying (stupid hormones). (For those who don’t know, DS died at 14months). One lady responded with “I’m sorry. We lost one of our children as well. I don’t wish that anyone would have to go through that.” - which was actually some consolation.
Anyway, it seems I’m a much more balanced person now (hehe…), and that should probably help baby get in a better position as well. I will try for another appointment early next week to try and maintain some of my balance…
I also have a MW appointment on Wednesday at 5pm. I’m guessing that the following one will be a home visit, because our MW wants to make sure that the student MW knows where I live – especially since she went to the wrong house the first time she tried to find it!
welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge Sarah!! Can't wait to follow you on another wonderful birth journey!!
Welcome to you lodge and I just loved your intro!
Hey Sarah, welcome to your lodge
I liked reading your "how we met" story, very sweet! The chiro that you're seeing, is it the one I recommended? Hope it helps - it really did help me (and baby's positioning) a lot. And yay for the MW home visit, that is an exciting one, well for me it was. It makes it seem all the more real, because you know in a matter of days or weeks, they'll be back to your home again, and that time, you'll actually get to wind up with a baby to snuggle. Your midwife is Barbara, right? She was mine too, loved her.
I loved your intro - what a great story about how you and DH met.
great "how we met" story. it's funny how love works
Hey Sarah, welcome to your lodge I liked reading your "how we met" story, very sweet! The chiro that you're seeing, is it the one I recommended? Hope it helps - it really did help me (and baby's positioning) a lot.
I liked reading your "how we met" story, very sweet! The chiro that you're seeing, is it the one I recommended? Hope it helps - it really did help me (and baby's positioning) a lot.
Yes - it is! She was great yesterday... What's weird is that I know I was all twisted up in knots beforehand, but I wasn't feeling much pain. I guess I was used to it. Last night I took DD to the park a couple blocks from our house for a little while, and simply pushing her on the swing (she LOVES it!) and walking there and back was making my lower back kill! I think it’s just because all the muscles and bones aren’t used to being in a (more) correct position… I have had practically no pubic symphasis pain since the appointment, however, which is a happy trade! I will be going back next week, and that will hopefully get things a bit more stable too.
Another thing that really helped is that DD, who has had a terrible stuffy nose so she can’t sleep at night, managed to sleep pretty much through last night – so both DH and I got some pretty good sleep. I hope she keeps getting better so that we can get our bed back too!
Later today I will try to post my first birth story (linked by Gardenbug previously). Maybe I’ll even try to fix some typos!
I’m also looking forward to seeing our photos from our family photo shoot that we had taken a week or so ago. The photographer estimated that she would have at least some of them posted on her web page tomorrow or Thursday - she was away last week and couldn't do it. I’m pretty excited to see what comes out. I really liked the photos that she had in her blogs from other people. It also happens that she is a member of the acclaimed “Barbara Scriver Fan Club” (Barb is my MW), and had both her kids with Barb… She gives a special discount to people who know Barb!
As for baby, I realize that I never mentioned this before, but baby was head down at my last appointment, though I couldn’t tell you any more than that about position. I swear that s/he moves around constantly… On the other hand, just like both others, baby is very low and I can feel the head most of a finger’s length inside… I get the feeling that this one will be early – but that’s what I thought for Ivy, who came on her due date, so I’m ready to wait all until whatever the due date is… That’s a question too!
Oh! my photos are up!!!! Not all of them by any means - we will get those on a CD, but here a a couple that you can see!!!
Date: Aug 24
Beautiful pictures! You are such a wonderful family full of love!
What awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing. I really do love your "how we met" story. The best part is when your BF at the time tells you to go be with Wayne. Love it!
Those pictures are priceless and I love her commentary on them!!! You look stunning!
beautiful pictures. I especially love the one of your belly with everyone else's hands on your belly.
Sarah, those pictures are gorgeous! I love how it was a whole family shoot! And I loved your inclusion of the lion too.
Love your pictures, TFS! I especially love the one with the poppies in the forground and the one of everyone's hands on your belly.
Welcome to your lodge!!! I love, love, love your pictures!
Thanks ALL! I love the photos too - I can't wait to see the rest of them!
I know I haven’t posted my birth story from Reed’s which I planned to do yesterday, but I did post the photos which I planned to put up today or tomorrow. So maybe later today I’ll get to Reed’s birth story. In the meantime, I’m going to do a summary of Elimination Communication (EC) and the more extreme Diaper Free.
A little bit on EC:
Before Reed was born, DH and I had the typical discussion of diapering, i.e. shall we use cloth or disposable? Being the researcher, I figured out that cost-wise, they are about the same if you start out with new cloth diapers for each kid. If you have more than one, generally you come out ahead with cloth. Also, that kids tend to toilet train sooner with cloth, so that would decrease the cost as well. However, hauling around poopy cloth diapers, and us losing them because we’re both prone to that sort of thing, is definitely a consideration. I was veering towards cloth, and DH was veering towards cloth, but having some disposables on hand for going out. They are just so convenient. Plus you can fit a couple in your pocket instead of carrying a diaper bag.
About that time, our MW asked if we had ever heard of “Diaper Free”. It is a book written by Ingrid Bauer (now a web group called http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/ with many other yahoo and other groups) who decided that she was going to take the approach that babies are born knowing when they have to pee or poop, and she was going to avoid using diapers altogether. My MW was so enthralled that she wanted to have another baby (she had 5) just to try it out.
DH and I were instantly on board. DH was more intrigued because he’d spent time in India and no babies wore diapers there – and there were never any accidents either. This must be what they did there! Being more of a wildlife type, it made complete sense to me because animal babies don’t pee/poop in their nest or den, so why would humans (supposedly so much more evolved, ahem! LOL ) be any different?
So, when Reed was born, whenever he cried, the first thing we would do was take him to the sink and hold him over it. 90% of the time, he would pee and poop! Then I would feed him. It was amazing! He KNEW he had to go. He would tell us! And he was only hours old! I would never believe another person who said that babies don’t know whether they have to eliminate or not.
Fast forward a bit, and I can tell you that the same thing happened for signing. They say to start signing at 6-8 months because that’s when babies can really understand… well at about 1 month, DH and I started signing the sign for ‘toilet’ before I took Reed to the toilet. At 3 months, Reed signed to us that he needed to go to the toilet!
Do babies know when they need to eliminate? Do they know how to communicate? I was starting to think that books are silly about the timing of development in babies – especially regarding toileting.
I even showed my family doctor – and he was just pleased as punch. He’d never heard about it before, but he started telling all his pregnant moms about it. Not that he thought they should all do EC for the toilet training reasons, but because the bond of understanding and communication between baby and mom was hugely improved from those that were constantly in diapers that were changed at the caregiver’s convenience.
In any case, with Reed, EC was easy, except for a few times when he went through a short phase of non-communication (usually related to learning something like crawling or sitting or something). We had about 30-40 poopy diapers in his life (he passed at 14.5 months) – mostly when he was sick. He was pretty much dry at home, though he would consistently get 1 wet diaper a day at the dayhome – where he started when he was 1yo.
When Ivy was born, it was a no-brainer to do EC with her. Ivy, however, was completely different. As much as she peed and pooped when we took her to the sink, she had an attitude. She would refuse, sometimes, before 6mo. She absolutely refused after 6 months – unless she was nursing at the same time. It wasn’t that she didn’t know that she had to go, it’s that she didn’t WANT to. We tried to persist gently, but it became a fight, with little benefit. We decided to stop, except for the rare occasion – more to remind her (and us) that she knew that she had to go. Finally, at about 14mo, we went on holiday and just completely gave up for a month. We put her in disposable diapers for 3 weeks. We came home and didn’t even bother trying for another week. Both DH and I figured that she would just decide one day that she was going to pee in the potty or toilet instead of in her diaper. It would have to be her choice, though. Not ours.
Then IT happened. I don’t know what it was. I noticed, however, that for two days at the day home that we had not received any poopy diapers. That night I put her on the toilet insert – and she smiled, clapped, and peed! She did the same the next morning!
It’s now been almost a month since we came home, and she has been peeing almost every time we put her on the potty. For the past 3 nights she’s even pooped!
The frequency of washing diapers (and their filthiness) is decreasing! It’s wonderful. It’s also great timing since baby should be here in a couple weeks. I'm sure we will probably have some setbacks, but for now, it's WONDERFUL! And it's amazing how just a couple positive experiences makes EVERYONE want to help her. She understands so much that if you tell her to go to the bathroom and you'll be right there, that she'll do it! Dry diaper and all! And then she goes to the bedroom and grabs a clean diaper (even if her previous one was still clean)!
NOTE: Lots of people believe that EC means to go without a diaper, and lots of messes to clean up. As much as we’ve done that on occasion, both Reed and Ivy were in diapers about 99% of the time. The difference is that we would try to keep the diaper clean. We would anticipate when they needed to eliminate, and prevent them from soiling the diaper, rather than cleaning them and the diaper AFTER they peed. It can be time consuming, frustrating, gratifying, astounding, and any number of other adjectives. I was amazed when at 2 months old, Reed held his poop voluntarily (I never thought he would) for about an hour! I had been caught in traffic and figured he would poop in his diaper and I’d just change him when I got home. Nope, when I went to change his poopy diaper he was dry! But he let loose almost as soon as I took it off (in the sink we were using as a toilet). Of course, there can be many misses, but I can also tell you that knowing that baby’s cry is “I have to pee/poop” is a completely different level of communication than I ever expected with a new born!
And yes, we will be doing our best to EC this little one too!
I need to sneak this picture in here!
Thanks for the EC summary. I printed it out for DF to read. I'm interested in trying it, since I'm planning on being primarily a SAHM.
Neat! There is tons about EC. My biggest pieces of advice for anyone trying it are:
1) You can start anytime, though I have only started at birth - before a baby can learn that to ignore the elimination signals.
2) Babies can do it with only a certain person - i.e not everyone has to be on board... though it has helped us to have both DH and I do it.
3) You can do it in only certain places. We generally do it just at home and at the day home (Ivy and Reed started at 1yo at the day home and I simply asked them to take them to the toilet with the big kids whenever anyone had to go). When we go out we generally use disposables.
4) Do EC in conjunction with hand signing.
5) If you are having trouble, try some diaper-free time in a safe place (hardwood floor, lino, tiles, or garden) and try to re-learn baby's cues.
6) DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF! I totally stressed out when Reed would take an EC "holiday". It wasn't worth the stress. With Ivy, I simply told myself "I'll try again in a couple days. I know she hasn't forgotten, she just doesn't want to". Lo and behold, even after a couple months, she hadn't forgotten. I think she's just so busy that she didn't want to do something else.
Check here for video of three month old Reed signing "toilet". (Entry #3)http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/showthread.php?t=467945
Your summary of your EC experiences was great. DH & I plan on trying it (at least part of the time) because it just makes so much sense to us.
I just came home from going out to dinner (Indian) after our midwife appointment. Barb (MW) was very talkative today, so our 1h appointment took about 1h20m...
Baby is head down and engaged - completely. She said head was 0/5 - no movement! I gained another 7 lbs - which makes 30lbs this pregnancy, which she said was "nothing". We decided against testing for GBS. I don't remember the reasons, but I opted for the same thing last time and I had researched it well... So likely the same applies now!
Baby has a heartbeat - which was 124. My BP was fine at 108/70. I'm exhausted. She said we could do another hemoglobin check, but I just figure I should get back to taking iron regularly just to be sure I'm not low...
Then I asked her a couple questions. The first was why she did an internal check while I was pushing last time. She took her notes out, and said "oh, because you'd been pushing for a little while and baby wasn't there yet, which for a 2nd baby usually means that there's something in the way still. Then I told you to roll over and she was born 2 minutes later. Why? You didn't like that?"
So we talked about how, no, I didn't like it, but if it was something that made sense and was necessary, that I would do it. I would just prefer to be told, very briefly, why. i.e. "Do you mind if I do a quick internal check? I think something might be stopping baby from coming down", or, ideally "roll over to see if we can get baby in a different position. If that doesn't work, can I do an internal check? I think something might be stopping baby from coming down."
Anyway, that's all, really.
I am glad you had a great appt and think it is wonderful that you have such a good relationship with your mw to be able to discuss why she checked you in labour.
That is awesome that you have such a good relationship with your MW. Sounds like it was a great appt!
It sounds like you have a great relationship with your midwife! That's great.
Just getting caught up! Welcome to your lodge!
I love your how we met story! What's wrong with a gov't job?! I know plenty of newby Biologists who would kill for a gov't job (or a job period)! The gov't does "real" science too! That being said, I'll gladly hide from the job market in grad school for awhile :wink:.
I love love love your photos! SO much love and whimsy. I may steal some inspiration for our upcoming shoot.
I've been reading up on EC and it immediately made sense to me. DH is intrigued as well. Our LO will have to start daycare at 3 months (not sure how many hours per day yet). Do you think it will stick if we're only doing it part time while at home?
What's wrong with a gov't job?! I know plenty of newby Biologists who would kill for a gov't job (or a job period)! The gov't does "real" science too! That being said, I'll gladly hide from the job market in grad school for awhile :wink:.
Ugh! The politics! Ugh!
Actually, the people are what’s most important and when working for the Feds it was a great group. Now I’m with the Province and it was great for a while, and then something has changed… I don’t know exactly what (something high level I suspect), and now everyone is super stressed breathing down each other’s necks. I don’t do well in this kind of atmosphere, especially when I’m achy and exhausted to begin with. On top of that, I rarely get to go out in the field, mostly reading binders from companies about how they want to tear up the ground to get the oil/gravel/limestone out, and they only want to do the minimal necessary to “maintain biodiversity”. Ugh. And then with the economic market right now, and the fact that our province’s money comes from oil and gas, we have basically been told that we can’t “get in the way or businesss”, i.e. who really cares about the Threatened caribou/Species at Risk., especially if there’s oil underneath their habitat? I t takes forever toget anything done, and then if you actually get somewhere, it seems like you get pushed back to square 1 a couple years later because you have a new minister who doesn’t know the history or how anything works, and decides that they can make it work ‘better’ (for who?).
Steal away… I am getting anxious to see the rest of them!
OH for sure! I know there are a bunch of places that won’t take cloth diapers and such, and they probably won’t take your LO to the bathroom either – they’d have to learn to hold him and such. On the other hand, we only do EC at home, or if we happen upon a bathroom, and the most important thing, really, is that the baby understands their own signals of when they have to eliminate. Baby will very quickly learn that at day care no one will listen to them (sill because it would be faster to take them to the toilet and do a simple wipe or rinse under the tap than clean a poopy diaper, but what can you do?). However, they will also quickly realize that the rules at home haven’t changed and that mommy and daddy are listening to them. I think that any amount – even if it’s only at night, or only first thing in the morning/last thing at night greatly eases the transition to the toilet because it means that they don’t have to re-learn what that feeling of “having to pee” or “having to poop” is.
As promised... Reed's birth story (from my 2007 lodge):
On Sunday June 17 (Father’s Day!), I woke up at 1:15am feeling wet. I was surprised because my due date is July 3, but not overly surprised because for some reason even though I knew that first births are generally 41wk3d, and that my mom’s two kids were born at 42 and 41wks, I felt that this birth was going to be early.
Anyway, since I woke up feeling wet, I automatically thought – hey, my water broke! I got up carefully wondering if I was just imagining it, and if I was going to get the whole bed soaked – and I hadn’t even got a mattress pad and the mattress is only a couple months old! So I noticed that I dribbled slightly on the bed (not much), and a bit down my leg as I went to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet for a little while, wondering if I would leak more, and wondering if it could possibly be my water since I had no contractions. After about 5 minutes of sitting there staring at the wall wondering, I got back into bed, poked Wayne and said “um… I just wet the bed, I think my water just broke.” He opened one eye and half-heartedly said, “No it didn’t.” Next thing I knew, he was snoring again!
I lay in bed for about 20 minutes before I got a contraction. It was just the same as any of the others I felt in the previous week and not enough for me to even notice if it was actually doing something. I kept an eye on the clock and counted the time between contractions until 3am. They averaged 7-15 minutes apart, but none of them seemed serious – none of them even hurt as much as any period cramps, and they didn’t last very long (30s-1min).
At 3am I was bored. I nudged Wayne and told him that I thought that I was actually in early labour. I got a snore in response. I figured one of us might as well sleep and if it wasn’t me, it might as well be him! I got up and ate some crumpets with butter and jam, and did a load of dishes in the dishwasher. I then went back to bed and watched the clock on and off until about 5am when I fell asleep for a couple hours. At some point I contemplated calling my parents (2 hours different in Ontario), but decided that many people can be in this type of labour for several days so I’d wait until a more reasonable hour. Since I didn’t feel birth was close, I decided to wait until 8am to call the midwife, unless contractions changed dramatically.
At 7am, I woke up again. Wayne and I talked some. He decided that he was cancelling his work trip he was supposed to be gone for from Monday – Friday. We got up, then I called the MW to tell her where things were at. I was told at that point by Geri (MW) to go lie down and take it easy, and to sleep. She’d told me to call at the first signs of labour because at my last appointment I’d told her that when I’d checked myself a few days earlier and that I could feel the head only 2 knuckles in (but no cervix), and my mom had a very fast 1st labor. I then called my parents to tell them that baby was probably not going to wait until June 25th their planned arrival time. Instead of going back to bed, I decided to eat breakfast since it could be a long time before labor would be over, and if I had no energy that wouldn’t be a good idea.
As I was just about to sit down and eat breakfast, the doorbell rang so answered it in my bathrobe. It was Wayne’s ex-wife showing up with SS (8yo), because their agreement has SS with Wayne on father’s day. I’d forgotten SS (and his mom) were coming. Furthermore, SS showed up with his buddy (7yo) who had slept over at his mom’s house the previous night. I wasn’t expecting to see Wayne’s ex-wife, and while I was talking to her I was a little worried my water would break in the front hall! Meanwhile, Wayne called our friends who were to be our support group for the birth if my parents couldn’t make it. Jack and Connie are great friends of ours, and have been just as excited as we are, if not moreso, about the baby! Connie refused to believe that I was in labour, after all, my due date was still 2wk2d away. Also, she knows that Wayne is always joking and Connie wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth. I assured her that there was no lying, and if they didn’t have other important plans for the day that they should keep their phone lines open for us!
Wayne told me again that I should go lie down for a while. I ignored him.
Before I could lie down, I went and posted on pg.org, then started a loaf of bread in the breadmaker, and then gave Wayne instructions on how to make cream of chicken soup for a post birth meal (even though it was on the can!). He decided that if he cooked up some chicken and added it to the soup that it would taste way better.
At 9:30am, I decided to start timing contractions again. They varied from 3 minutes to 15 minutes apart, and .5 to 1.5min in length but still didn’t feel like anything serious. I could talk through them (I’d had 3 while talking to my parents on the phone), and they were inconsistent in timing. The kids were running around yelling and screaming. Wayne told them to be quiet. I told him that the next kid who was too loud I would kill. He laughed.
At around 10:30am I went to take a nap. Geri called to see how things were going and I talked to her for a few minutes. She asked if Wayne wanted to go pick up a birthing pool on the other side of town (her husband was out of town and she had her 10yo son that she was trying place somewhere so she could come at a moment’s notice). We decided not to get the birthing pool and to use our hot tub instead. It was already set up and had just had the water changed ‘in case’ it was needed. Geri told us to check that the temperature was right - at 100f. I passed on the message to Wayne then fell asleep and woke up around 12:30pm to kids screaming. I lay in bed debating which kid I was going to tell off, and how I would do it. (So cranky ). I debated hanging them by their toe nails but decided it would require too much energy now and explaining later. I timed my contraction and again they were about 15 minutes apart. Deciding it would be a long day, and I didn’t want to be dehydrated, I decided to get up and eat some lunch, and find Wayne to tell off the kids.
He then found some instant vermicelli soup (did I mention I was thirsty?) for us to eat which I thought would be good because it was mostly liquid and I didn’t feel like chewing. As I sat waiting for the noodles to soften, the kids were again yelling, and I got one of the strongest contractions that I’d had so far. Wayne went downstairs to tell the kids to be quiet (yet again). Within the time it took for the soup to finish hydrating the noodles, and taking about 3 bites, I had a couple contractions that were 3-4 minutes apart and serious enough that I had to breathe through them while leaning on the counter and rocking my hips. I couldn’t stay sitting on the stools. All of a sudden I had no interest in food whatsoever.
Wayne convinced me to go back to bed and try to rest. I went upstairs and lay down.
Lying down was the most painful thing I had done to date. As soon as I lay down, I got a really intense contraction that practically paralyzed me. There was no relief or way for me to consciously put myself in any position to try to alleviate the pain. I just writhed on the bed for a minute until it subsided enough for me to think. I tried to stand up and rock/circle my hips a bit but the contraction was subsiding fast enough that I had no idea whether it helped or not. I decided I’d try the same thing for the next contraction, but if it didn’t help I’d try going on all fours on the bed. The next contraction came quickly and nothing helped. I felt I needed to pee so I went and sat on the on-suite toilet. As soon as I sat down, another contraction hit. Sitting and leaning forward was worse than lying down!
Now, although the contractions were painful and preventing me from thinking, I was fine in between. Recovery time between contractions, however, was quickly becoming significantly shorter. I had no idea how far apart contractions were, because I could no longer remember time, even when I remembered to check the clock in the bedroom – and once I was in the bathroom, I had no access to the clock. I remember having a couple long bowel movements – but they weren’t exactly the diarrhoea that people had described. I figured I still had a long ways to go.
After 3 painful contractions, I discovered that if I leaned back on the toilet and braced one hand on the wall to my right, and the other on the counter to my left, that I felt like the contraction was actually doing something other than causing pain (I wouldn’t say it was comfortable!). After a couple contractions like this I realized that I should contact the midwife (Geri). I called to Wayne (who I knew was busy cleaning up the house, making sure supplies were organized, dealing with SS and friend, making SS and friend lunch, cooking chicken, and making cream of chicken soup – all at once). He didn’t hear me (surprised?) for several contractions. I finally decided that I had to find him and waddled to the top of the steps where I told him to call Geri and then come find me. He called.
I remember sitting on the toilet for a while noticing that sometimes a contraction started before the previous one ever completely finished. Also, I started feeling extremely light-headed – like I would pass out from heat. Other times I’ve felt like that I would jump in a cold shower and I would instantly feel better, but I didn’t think I could make it to the shower let alone stand in it for any length of time. I cuold see why people would opt for pain medication even when they had the strongest views against it.
Wayne, knowing that he should be listening for me, came when I called him. I asked for a cold wet washcloth to cool off my shoulders. He gave me one and sat with me (on his knees because the on suite bathroom is tiny!) through the next contraction. He wiped my shoulders and face with the washcloth periodically and it felt SO MUCH better. I didn’t feel as much like I was going to pass out, and the coolness helped me recover faster. Once the contraction was over, he ran to the kitchen to check on the soup, kids, their pasta lunch, then ran back. I don’t know how he did it, but he did that for the next 3-4 contractions. He missed one and felt bad. I was more worried that he would pop out his knee (he’s got a bad knee) while he kneeled on the floor next to me, holding my left hand (or more like me squeezing the blood out of it), and wiping my forehead and shoulders with his left.
At some point I decided that I wanted to go over to the hot tub in the back yard to see if that would help the pain, but didn’t know if I could make it there between contractions. I also wanted Wayne to have some warning so he could tell off the kids, turn off the stove, call Jack and Connie to get their butts over and help out. Plus, I had this fear that if someone wasn’t with me while I was in the hot tub (and I wanted it to be Wayne) I might get a mouthful of water and choke, so I didn’t want to be there alone. And why the heck was SS’s friend still here? Oh yeah, his mom was moving today and she was on her way from across town to pick him up. (They were moving 7 houses down from us and it would, of course, be easier for them if he wasn’t underfoot.)
After 2 more contractions, and Wayne running around like a madman, I decided I was ready to journey to the hot tub. It’s really not that far away, but it sure seemed like it that day! Just as I got to the tub, another contraction hit (looking back on it, walking definitely sped things up for me – not that I needed it!). I checked the time as I walked through the kitchen but can’t remember the time (1:47pm? 1:57pm? Wayne called Geri at 1:37pm according to her notes).
I got in the tub and remember thinking that all the hype about water easing pain was definitely overrated. I wanted to be able to hold/brace myself yet float and there was no way to do that. I also wanted a pillow on which to rest my head and there was no way to do that at all. After floating and writhing through a couple contractions (Wayne running in and out of the house and watching through the kitchen window while he was in the house finishing feeding the kids) I found I could rest my head on one of the drink/coasters which alleviated my fear of choking and drowning while in the midst of a contraction. For the first time, and many times after, I was so glad to be free of any wires/IVs. They would surely have come tangled and come off while I was moving around, and I would have had to really focus on something else instead of just letting labour progress.
Connie and Jack arrived soon after and told the screaming kids to be quiet and go play out front/down the street. They cleaned up the kitchen (we’re still locating some stuff they “put away”!). Jack asked Wayne if there was anything they could do and Wayne asked him to turn on one of the back yard fountains and the music. Of all the things to worry about, I only cared that the music was OFF. I wanted the birds and fountain and that was ALL! Then, Jack took one look at Wayne (kneeling outside the hot tub and holding my hands/arms) and asked if he wanted a chair. It hadn’t occurred to him until then! I don’t know how long I stayed in the ‘supported float’. I remember at one point that I asked Wayne if Geri has arrived yet and she hadn’t. She lives 45minutes away - in good traffic.
At some point I realized I was lying/floating on my side on some of the seats with my head still on the drink holder. It was much more comfortable. I then realized that since I had been in the hot tub I hadn’t felt overheated to the point of passing out and wondered how that worked since it was significantly warmer in the hot tub than the bathroom/bedroom! Wayne was still next to me holding an arm, or just being with me.
I remember how grateful I was that he was there. Not only would he stop me from drowning, but he would periodically hold my arms and breathe deeply and slowly on my face to remind me to breathe through some of the particularly long and painful contractions. I remember thinking how it would have been useless and annoying for him to tell me to breathe, but this way it not only helped keep my face cool but also made me feel we were going through it together.
Geri got there at some point and I vaguely understood that she was bustling around getting Jack and Connie to warm blankets in the oven, make ginger compresses, make the bed in the sun room (covered deck), put the umbrella over me to keep the sun off, and myriad other things. She then came over to get a pulse on the baby, blood pressure on me, and my temperature. They had a hard time getting a pulse on the baby, and ended up getting a cord pulse that was 12? I think. Good enough. They tried to get a temperature on me but couldn’t because my contractions were too close together to hold a thermometer in my mouth. I just wanted them to leave me alone and wondered if I could deal with any pokings and proddings if I had been in a hospital. I think someone might have lost a head if I had been in a hospital. How do people deal with that? The only reason I let them is because I knew that Geri was supposed to have them, but I didn’t even cooperate very well then!
Soon after that, I asked Wayne to get in the water with me. Between contractions, he raced to the sunroom and got his bathing suite on (didn’t have time to take his shirt off), and then climbed in. I don’t know quite what position we were in, but I somehow rested my head on his shoulder, and I think we were loosely hugging each other while I was semi-squatting.
Soon after that I remember feeling of bearing down. Geri was in the sunroom preparing things. At first it wasn’t strong enough to react to, so I didn’t. Then I remember being amazed that anyone would have to tell anyone to push, or even if they did if it would help. It just happened. I remember Wayne telling me not to push and I was completely confused. I was not doing it voluntarily. His asking me not to push was like asking me to stop my heart beating. My reaction was “How?”. Geri then told him not to tell me that (Fewf!!). A few contraction later, I felt the head was crowning, but when I stopped, it would go right back up. Along with the crowning came the pain that felt like I was on the verge of tearing – probably my biggest fear of the whole pregnancy. I felt the head, and I told Wayne to reach down and feel it, but I don’t know if he could (reach from his position that is). At about that point Geri said that she could see the head. She got Wayne to move me so that I was leaning backwards against him so she could access the baby coming out. She pulled her pants off and jumped in the tub. On the next push, the head came out. Geri told me to push on the next contraction, but I didn’t get one for about a minute! She was getting a bit worried, I could tell, but I couldn’t figure out how to push on my own. I finally got a small contraction and managed to push the rest of the baby out. He was laid instantly on my chest, underwater except for his head, which was wrapped in a wet towel (warm from the hot tub). We just lay there, baby on top of me, on top of Wayne for a while. Neither Wayne nor I was concerned that baby wasn’t breathing because his umbilical cord was still attached.
Geri, it seems, was concerned. She tugged slightly on the cord to see if the placenta was still attached. No action there. She then used a bulb to try to stimulate breathing. No luck. Baby was perfectly happy to lie on my chest looking at the world. It was almost as if he didn’t realize he wasn’t in utero anymore! After 2 minutes Geri gave baby a breath (artificial respiration style). At that moment, the second midwife showed up, was told he was born 2 minutes ago and hadn’t breathed yet, and gave him another breath. He started breathing then, and they gave him some oxygen for very brief time (30 seconds?). I’m told he turned pink instantly, though I never noticed his colour myself. He was then returned to my chest. All that took about 1 minute, I think. We also found out it was a boy – a big surprise because I was certain it was a girl. At that point I also realized that Jack and Connie’s 10yo son Dax had been quietly next to the hot tub for the labour and birth. I didn’t think a 10yo could be so quiet and still for so long, especially after the screaming 7 and 8 yo all morning.
Somewhere in the time between the birth and baby’s first breath, SS showed up, put his bathing suit on, and got in the tub with us. We stayed there together for about ½ hour, all of us mesmerized by the new baby. After about 15 minutes, we decided to cut the cord. Wayne couldn’t reach from his position, SS was terrified he’d hurt me and his new baby brother, so I cut it. It never occurred to me until a couple days later that I could have moved to let Wayne cut the cord. He probably would have liked that.
The placenta took its time to come out. Geri told me to push it out with the next contraction, but I didn’t get any contractions for about 20 minutes. Then, with some slight tugging from Geri and a weak contraction from me, it came out – intact.
Half an hour after the birth, Jack and Connie left (right on time for a meeting they had). MW#2 left shortly after. I had one very small tear that wasn’t hardly worth mentioning let alone stitching.
Baby Johnston (we had no names picked out for a boy – we still had 2 weeks!) weighed 6lb 0oz, was 49cm long, and had Apgars of 6, 10, and 10. His name is Reed Aslan Johnston.
My water broke at 1:15am, active labour started about 1:30pm, and Reed was born at 3:52pm, in our backyard hot tub to the sound of birds and a fountain. The pushing phase lasted 7 minutes.
Unfortunately Gardenbug and my father didn’t make it out in time for the birth.
Gardenbug made it to our house at 10:30pm that evening, and my father the following evening at the same time.
What a great birth story - thanks for sharing! I love the thought of giving birth listening to the sounds of the fountains and birds!
Great birth story! It makes me want to live in the country - the sounds seem so comforting.