YAY!! Welcome to your lodge!!
YAY!! Welcome to your lodge!!
MIA? You around?
Oh goodness, I had no idea I get a lodge! Thank you so much, and each of you for the kind welcomes. :)
I am due on August 15th. We are planning a midwife-attended homebirth. My MIL arrives on the 9th to care for the boys, so I'm hoping baby will wait until after then. Otherwise, I'm feeling pretty ready!
Brief rundown of my first two births, and then I'll post their full birth stories after:
DS1 (Jacob, now 5 years old) - Natural hospital birth. Laboured 5 hours at home and 5 hours at the hospital. All back labour until he turned anterior at the very end. Half hour of pushing. He was 8lbs 9oz.
DS2 (Luke, now 2.5 years old) - Planned to have a homebirth with midwife, but it ended up being an unassisted childbirth because he came so quickly. Went into the bathroom to get ready for bed; three contractions later, I had a baby in my arms instead. He was 8lbs 11oz. Midwife had instructed DH to phone 911, so the paramedics and firefighters arrived as well (the midwife was the last to arrive). Managed to convince the paramedics I wasn't going with them and they transferred care over to my midwife when she arrived.
Mystery Baby #3 - Unknown gender, planned homebirth with midwife. No complications so far. We'll see how it goes! :)
Monday, April 16, 2007
1:30am - contractions start, mucous plug coming out in clumps
2:30am - start timing contractions
4:00am - contractions 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 30-45 seconds
5:30am - arrive at hospital
6:30am - admitted to L&D, 4-5cm dilated
7:00am - 5cm dilated
9:30am - 7cm dilated
10:00am - 9cm dilated, water breaks
10:30am - 10cm dilated, start pushing
11:03am - Jacob arrives!
I hadn't been trying any methods of natural induction prior to my due date. But in the days leading up to his due date, my boss started to act as though I'd be there forever, and my doctor started talking about medically inducing me only 10 days past my EDD. Between the two of them, I was getting seriously annoyed. So I decided I wanted the baby to come the weekend he was due - as soon as his due date hit, I figured it was safe to get him moving.
We spent Sunday afternoon walking around the mall near our home. Sunday dinner was a recipe I found for honey curry chicken - with a bit of extra curry. Sunday evening...well, who hasn't been told that nipple stimulation, orgasm, and semen are all useful in moving things along?
Blame whatever you like, the contractions started at 1:30am. I couldn't get back to sleep through them, so I set up camp on the bedroom floor and timed my contractions while reading a book. My mucous plug was really coming out now, after a couple days of light bleeding. At 4am, the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting for 30-45 seconds, so I figured it was a good time to wake up the soon-to-be-daddy and tell him I was in labour.
Turned out to be good timing, since the contractions got a lot worse soon after. We showered, packed our hospital bags, and called my co-worker to let him know we were headed to the hospital. There was a big snow storm at the time, so the drive took longer than usual. The drive was awful, since I couldn't get into a comfortable position during the contractions. I was so relieved when we finally got there at 5:30am.
The next hour was spent sitting in the assessment room waiting for the nurses to realize that I wasn't lying when I said I was in labour. I had to sit ("and lean back!") in a chair while they monitored the heart rate and contractions. It hurt so bad to sit back. After a good fifteen minutes of this, I couldn't take it anymore. They had plenty enough tape, I was leaning forward. Sure enough, a nurse bustled in soon after to give me trouble for messing up the monitors. I refused to sit back, so she gave up and sent the resident doctor in.
Finally, after several "be back in a few minutes", I was checked internally at 6:30am. I was 4 or 5 cm dialated with paper thin sacs. The cranky you're-not-really-in-labour nurse suddenly became the cheerful let's-get-you-admitted nurse. Yes, let's.
I was set up in L&D and hooked up to the IV to receive antibiotics for my GBS. I was now fully 5 cm dialated. I had to stay in bed for the IV, but moved to the hot tub as soon as it was done. The tub felt so much better as most of the pain was in my back. Isaac joined me in the tub and applied pressure to my back through each contraction. It really helped. I wasn't exactly exciting company or anything by this point, but I was still doing okay. Then the new shift's nurse came in and told me she had to check the baby's heartrate - at this point, I started full out crying. After sitting in the chair being monitored, I dreaded having anyone come at me with the doppler for the rest of the labour.
I stayed in the tub for a couple hours, then wanted to lay down in bed for a while. The back labour was still really bad, so the nurse told me she wanted me to try going on my hands and knees and rocking the baby into a better position. It seemed to work well enough, or at least made things more bearable. She was a great nurse, honestly, though at the time I just wanted all these people to stop coming at me with all their questions and dopplers, expecting answers and movement as I moaned through my contractions. Isaac was great, though - very encouraging, but still staying back and fairly quiet for the most part. I just wanted Isaac there holding my hand and everyone else to stay out of my face.
I lose track of time at this point, but I think it was around 9:30am that I was checked again. I was 7 cm with bulging sacs. The doctor made to break those sacs when the wonderful wonderful nurse stopped him. She reminded him that I was having a natural child birth and that it would be plain and simple mean to break my water at that point, as it would make the contractions much worse. She asked him to wait until 8 cm.
I was getting pretty out of it at this point. I would moan through each contraction, trying very hard to breath properly, then basically pass out in between. Poor Isaac was getting a bit worried. I don't remember much except that it felt like the contractions were coming almost constantly and that everything was moving far too quickly - I had envisioned a much longer labour, with breaks in between the contractions to recover, maybe even say a word or two to my husband. But no.
Shortly after 10:00am, the nurse checked me again. I was now 9 cm with very bulging sacs. She said she'd call the doctor to break my water, but then she checked me again and, to use her words, "tickled the baby's head" during my next contraction. Nice warm gush of fluid and my waters were broken. I was relieved, as it took a lot of pressure off down there - it had been getting pretty uncomfortable.
I think it was around this time that I was offered laughing gas. I hadn't wanted any sort of pain medication, so Isaac waited until I said yes, I'll take the gas. The nurse wanted me to take it to help control my breathing. It definitely helped that way. Deep breath in, long moan out, deep breath in, long moan out. I didn't like the fact that I started to feel numb after a few breaths, so I usually took it away from my face at that point. But the last of the contractions were really bad, so I pretty much just sucked that gas back like there was no tomorrow.
After that things really started moving. The doctor arrived, took a look at me, and said he'd be back later. He was still in the room, though, when I said (loudly) that I needed to push. The nurse said it wasn't time yet, but I told her I needed to push, now. I had been fairly quiet through labour thus far, but that all ended immediately. She asked my husband if I'd been that way before (she was a new nurse, filling in while the other one was on break), and my husband assured her that no, this was very very different. So she checked me again and sure enough I was 10 cm and the doctor had just walked out of the room. She started moving a lot faster at that point.
Suddenly everyone was back. The old nurse, the new nurse, the doctor, the resident doctor, the med student, and possibly one or two other nurses, I really didn't care at the time. They told me to start pushing.
Here is where I'm rather disappointed with my "technical performance", if you will. I sucked at pushing. It hurt, everything was moving way too fast, and I didn't want to push. I recall thinking that if I just refused to push, they would have no choice but to cut me open and pull Baby out. Not exactly rational, I know. That's the thing with the laughing gas - it helped me stay in control through the worst of the contractions, but then I was feeling pretty disoriented and out of control for the delivery. But if I hadn't used it, then I wouldn't have been very much in control during the last contractions, but perhaps I'd have been more focused during delivery. Hard to say whether I made the best choice there, but I used it and that's that.
The baby's head was now part way out. I hadn't even realized until my husband was suddenly on his back on the floor. The sight of the head didn't go over well with him. The nurses had him lie down. I remember just being annoyed that I didn't have his hand anymore, and that everyone was rushing to help him and I didn't know what to do. Poor man. Fortunately, he was up again shortly and was fine for the rest of the delivery.
I, however, was less fine. I was attempting to push a kid through a very small hole. The doctors were getting more insistent that I keep pushing, as I was doing a pretty bad job of it at that point. I knew it, but I couldn't seem to convince myself to suck it up and do better. They had me feel his head and told me that he'd be out in another push or two, but a few pushes later and he was still in the same spot. Then the nurse who had been there through my labour (and came back early from her break to be there for the delivery) leaned over and quietly told me that my baby's heartrate was dropping and staying down and I needed to push the baby out, for Baby's sake. Everyone else was just randomly yelling at me to push ("push through your contractions!" - but I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction anymore!), but she just told me this quietly and directly. It was much appreciated. A few proper pushes and Baby was there, 11:03 am.
Less than 10 hours of labour, start to finish. It moved so much faster than I'd expected, I felt like I couldn't keep up, but the nurse and Isaac were both great at keeping me focused and assuring me I was doing well.
Baby was so blue when he came out, and so quiet. The doctor tried to take him away, but the same wonderful nurse told him not to, that the baby had a good heartbeat and would start crying right away. I was still just trying to find out whether it was a boy or girl - when I could finally string together enough words to ask, Isaac told me it was a boy. Isaac says that he started flailing his arms and making faces as soon they started touching him. He was nice and healthy.
They laid him on my chest and left us alone for a couple minutes. I pushed the placenta out when they told me to, but otherwise just laid there looking at our son until they took him to be weighed and such. 8 lbs 9 oz - a fair bit more than six or seven lbs like my doctor said! The doctors and nurses kept commenting on how he was such a big baby, and how rarely they have natural child births these days.
Once I had him back, the nurse asked how I was feeling. I wasn't sure what to say - very happy because he was here, relieved that the labour and delivery was over, absolutely exhausted, or incredibly sore.
My vagina. It hurt. It burned. But! I hadn't torn at all! I was so relieved. No stitches were needed. I wanted to hug the doctors for helping him come out without tearing me.
I was given Tylenol and Motrin while the baby was given his tests and eye ointment. They brought him back to me to feed. The little man breastfed from each side - he had no problems latching on. He looked so content to lay there feeding away.
I showered (which felt pointless, as I just kept bleeding), went to the washroom (the nurses insisted that I pee), and was moved to the maternity ward, our swaddled son in my arms. A couple days later, the three of us were back at home, everyone happy and healthy.
Luke Henry Karl
Saturday, December 19, 2009
A week overdue, I was feeling frustrated and impatient that day. I had thought I was in labour two days earlier, having weak but steady ctx all evening, but they disappeared overnight and came only sporadically on Friday and Saturday. There was nothing strong or regular about them. Because the baby had been alternating between OP and ROA, I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees trying to get him turned the right way. I also spent a lot of time walking with my MIL, who was in town to take care of our 2.5 year old son Jacob during our planned homebirth.
After playing a game with Isaac and MIL, we started preparing to go to bed at 10:30 that night. As we sat there talking for a little while, I had a few strong ctx, strong enough that MIL noticed, as I had a hard time carrying on the conversation through them. I thought it might be labour starting but wasn’t certain as they felt very unusual; also, by this point I didn’t want to get my hopes up until I was sure it was the real thing.
I felt an increasing desire to use the bathroom, which was one of the signs I had been waiting for. After one particularly strong ctx, I asked Isaac to help me to the bathroom and told him I would call him when I was done. It was approximately 11:15pm. At the time, I intended to let my body clear its bowels and then settle in with my laptop to time the ctx and begin to focus on labour. I knew it was definitely labour when, as soon as the door was closed, a hot flash hit and I peeled off all of my clothes.
It was a relief to use the bathroom, but I was still on the toilet when another ctx hit, even stronger than the last. I started to get nervous at the thought of several hours of labour with such painful ctx – it was nothing like I remembered with my first labour. I was just preparing to get off the toilet and find a place to settle in to labour when another ctx came and, after an intense pressure, my water broke in a big gush. It was both a relief (physically) and a disappointment (emotionally). My water hadn’t broken during my last labour until right at the end, so having it break at (what I thought was) the start of labour wasn’t my ideal, as I had tested GBS+ and would have preferred my waters stay intact for as long as possible.
I called Isaac to tell him my water had broken and he should call the midwife. It was 11:25pm. As he began to do that, another ctx came, even stronger than the last. Everything is a bit of a blur from this point on. I knew I needed to move now because I wasn’t going to be able to move soon if they were hurting this bad already. I yelled for my MIL to come, fast. She rushed in and asked if I wanted to move to the bedroom. I managed to get out “no…tub!”, as I still didn’t realize the baby was coming and I wanted to labour in the tub. She started to fill it when suddenly I felt the baby descend through the birth canal. I reached down and felt the head crowning. I yelled that the baby was coming. Poor MIL was trying to figure out what to do and Isaac was on the phone with the midwife. The head didn’t stop, it just kept coming, so (not wanting to give birth right there on the toilet!) I managed to get myself onto the floor on my knees, leaning on the tub with one hand and holding the head with the other. MIL shoved a towel underneath me. I was most definitely “vocalizing”, to put it mildly, and recall reminding myself to keep my voice deep rather than high. The rest of the head came out quickly. All of that happened within the span of one ctx.
By this point, the midwife had told Isaac to hang up and phone 911. He was talking with them as the head emerged. I let go of the head and leaned on the tub to rest before the next ctx came. It came almost immediately and the rest of the body was delivered into my MIL’s waiting hands. I don’t recall pushing at all with either of the ctx. It felt like my body and gravity did all of the work. She laid him on the towel and I rested on the edge of the tub, exhausted and relieved and shocked. It was, as best as we can estimate, 11:37pm.
After catching my breath, I looked back and the first thing I saw was that our little baby was most definitely a boy! I brought him up between my legs and just held him. Isaac came in to see and to let me know the paramedics were on the way. I replied less than positively to that, but calmed down when he got the deer-in-the-headlights look and said the midwife had told him to, poor guy. (In hindsight, of course, it was the obvious and wise thing to do, but at the time all I could think was that we were fine and I didn’t want paramedics there.) We admired our new son together. My MIL came in next. I thanked her over and over, and she thanked God over and over. Now that he was here and everything seemed fine, there was such a sense of awe and relief and shock.
The paramedics arrived at this point, finding me still on my knees facing the tub with my back to the door, clutching the baby and trying to get my mind around the fact that I had just given birth. The huge paramedic maneuvered his way into our small bathroom and started talking to me. This man deserves a medal for having to deal with me, as I wasn’t at my most cooperative at this point. He wanted me to lay down, which sounded incredibly unappealing to me, as the bathroom floor was cold and hard and covered in blood and water from the birth. I didn’t want to lay down, I was perfectly comfortable where I was. He wanted the baby lower than the placenta, which seemed impossible to me at the time, since I didn’t want to just lay the baby on the floor. I’m not sure what all happened in the couple minutes after he arrived. I know I was repeatedly covered with a towel, which kept falling off, and he kept trying to move me when I didn’t want to be moved. At one point he stepped out to get something and I quietly delivered the placenta, still on my knees and still holding the baby. I told him the placenta was here and I was ready for him now.
He came in and started trying to move me again, but I was tangled in the cord and didn’t know where exactly he wanted me in the first place. Finally I told him to stop. I asked him to please just tell me what he wanted me to do and I would do it, just stop trying to move me and stop trying to take the baby. He said he wanted me to sit back. This was still really unappealing to me, but I felt bad for being so difficult when he was just trying to do his job so I figured I should make an effort to be more cooperative. I got myself untangled and allowed him to help me sit back on the floor. He clamped and cut the cord. The poor guy, his hands were shaking so hard as he clamped and cut. He checked to make sure the placenta was whole (it was) and placed it in a plastic bag. He tried again to take the baby, but I told him no, I wanted my husband to take him. (I feel mean about that now, but at the time I just wanted Isaac to be the first one besides me to hold the baby.) I called Isaac and handed him his son.
I was shaking a lot, as expected, and the paramedic had them bring me warm towels from the dryer. He told me then that I needed to get up so they could get me to the hospital. I said I didn’t want or need to go, and the second paramedic stepped in to reassure me that there was no rush and maybe I could go lie down on my bed for a few minutes so they could check everything out. I didn’t know whether to believe him or whether he was just trying to get me to stand up. Isaac tells me that no, the second paramedic really was okay with not transferring, since we had been planning a homebirth anyway, while the first paramedic was quite adamant that I be transferred. I asked where my midwife was and Isaac assured me she was on the way.
I did allow them to help me stand up. The second paramedic wanted me to move to the bed, but I was covered in blood and really didn’t want to spread that all around. The first paramedic kept offering me a pad, which felt to me a bit like offering a bandage to close up a surgery site. There was a lot more blood than that little thing was going to take care of. I asked the second paramedic if I could shower first. I laugh about the ridiculousness of that request now, but at the time it seemed entirely logical – I was a mess and I wanted to rinse off before moving to my nice clean bedroom. He said no, I couldn’t have a shower, so I handed him the bag of blue chux pads I’d had ready for the homebirth. He put a couple of them on the bed while I grabbed a towel and wiped myself off as best I could, then finally accepted the continually offered pad from the first paramedic. We moved to the bed and I was handed the baby and encouraged to continue to try to latch him (he had been trying to latch in the bathroom but hadn’t quite managed it yet). He latched on right away this time. The paramedic took my blood pressure and asked me some questions.
My midwife arrived around this point and started checking us over. She talked to the paramedics and they agreed to leave me in her care, since we had been planning a homebirth anyway. I thanked them repeatedly, appreciating both their care and their patience with me. Isaac went with them to sign all the release forms on our behalf. It felt very important to me at the time to convince everyone that the unassisted birth truly had been unexpected. The paramedics, the midwife, MIL – even my husband carefully asked later that evening if I had known the baby was about to be born when I’d gone into the washroom. But no, I hadn’t the slightest idea that after only a handful of hard ctx that had started less than an hour ago, my water would break and the baby would be completely delivered two ctx later.
I didn’t see them, but four firemen followed my midwife in the door. Jacob was pretty much over the moon at this point. He had woken up sometime when all the “the baby is coming!!!” yelling and chaos started. MIL and Isaac had taken turns watching him while the other helped me. He was pretty much occupied, though, when first the ambulance came, then the firetruck (“Are they going to climb up in the ladder??”), and then four firemen in uniform. He was wearing his firetruck pajamas that night. One of the firemen pointed that out to him; I recall hearing that, but I didn’t realize at the time that there were four firemen crowded in our little entrance way, talking with my very excited little boy. He kept telling them, “my name is Jacob, and there is a firetruck outside!” They all left as soon as it was determined that I would not be transferred. They had come because we have a very steep set of stairs, sharp turn, and narrow walkway, none of which would have made a transfer easy.
Once the firemen and paramedics left, everything settled down. We made our phone calls to family to share the news. The baby and I were both doing well. The baby’s temperature was a bit low but warmed up quickly after some skin-to-skin contact. He weighed 8.5 lbs. I hadn’t torn at all. I was finally able to have that shower I’d asked for earlier, which felt wonderful. The midwife was impressed with the “efficiency” of my body – the fast delivery, the lack of tearing, the quick delivery of the placenta, and the way my uterus had clamped right up and the bleeding had already slowed down.
The midwife left after two hours. I couldn’t believe it had already been that long. We were all too keyed up to sleep. Jacob laid down on our floor and played with cars, MIL went to bed but didn’t sleep at all, and Isaac and I spent some time on our computers and watched a bit of a show before turning out the lights sometime around 4am. Our new little boy dozed on my lap, nursing off and on and being thoroughly admired and marveled over.
I was surprised at how little pain I felt afterwards. My stomach has been uncomfortable any time I stand up since then, but otherwise I’ve been feeling great. I had been so sore after Jacob’s birth and I expected to feel the same way this time – but then again, nothing at all has been the same this time, not the pregnancy, not the labour, and most definitely not the delivery!
It took us several hours and many discussions, but we finally settled on the name, Luke Henry Karl S________. Luke was a name we both liked, Isaac in particular, and comes from the apostle Luke. It was originally a name we had been considering as the middle name, but my husband so rarely has definite opinions on something that I agreed to let it be his first name since he liked it so much. Henry is both my dad and my granddad’s middle name. Karl is a masculine form of Karen, my MIL’s name, as she was the one who caught him when he was born and it felt right to honour that as part of his name. Coincidentally, it is also a form of Charles, my FIL’s middle name.
We were so grateful that everything turned out well with the unexpected unassisted delivery. Although we had been planning a homebirth, we very much intended to have our midwife be there for it. Thinking back on the “what if’s”, many thanks have been given to God for the safe arrival of our son. At the same time, it was so affirming to us to have witnessed my body and instinct take over and achieve what is today typically viewed as a medical procedure. Everything happened as it should and with no need for any sort of intervention or active management. Even so, I appreciate that medical management is available when needed and will always be grateful that it wasn’t necessary for us and that our son arrived healthy and safe.
Glad you made it over to your lodge! Those were two very exciting birth stories...especially the second one. Wow!! I can't believe it all happened like that, and so glad that you and DS2 were both okay with that unnassisted birth. Excited to read your birth story when you have your next little one. :)
I'm very glad that you found your lodge! Welcome!
Wow - Luke's birth was very quick indeed! In some ways the quickness is a relief, in others, the resulting hooplah would be nice to avoid! Good thing that it was a planned home birth otherwise it could have been a real panic!
Hope there's no panic this time.
Welcome to your lodge! I loved your birth stories. What a whirlwind they must have been in their own ways! Can't wait to see how this new baby's birth story turns out. Your EDD is right around the corner!
What a story! Your second birth is so similar to my second birth and I can really relate to all you went through, it brought some tears to my eyes and a big smile to my face. I know when I had my unplanned/unassisted homebirth I felt a calm that I know only could have came from God being with me, it's amazing how awesome our bodies are.
Today was my last midwife appointment before my "official" due date. It was uneventful, as usual (which really is the best kind!). Good BP, good heartbeat, and good position (which was very exciting, since my other two were posterior until right before delivery).
My blood work from last week came back showing that my iron levels were much improved, which was also good to hear. My iron levels had fallen drastically for a while; I've never felt so poorly with any of my pregnancies, not even my can't-even-look-at-food first trimester with DS1.
My next midwife appt is booked for the following Thursday. We'll see whether or not I need it! Not feeling anything yet, just trying to keep myself busy so I don't get too impatient.