Leo (3 1/2) with Malcolm the cat
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.
Mommy to three gorgeous girls
at 6 weeks 22/10/09
That is awesome that you have such a good relationship with your MW. Sounds like it was a great appt!
Chase-13, Trey-11, Layton-9, Zander-5, McKay-3, Declan-1, Keely born 9/6/2012
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 .
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?
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?).
Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012
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!