Hi everyone! Good news, my son was born early Sunday morning! Here is his birth story--I wrote it as a letter to him. The only things I left out were: 1.) this labor was sooo much easier than my first! the contractions were...i don't want to say easy...but very doable compared to my first go around! 2.) even so, i was very thankful when his head made it's way out...whoa. nothing says relief like that! holy crap! 3.) I did tear but not as bad as with my first.
anyway, here is the story. river is a delight and is so sweet. we are still at the hospital but will check out tomorrow.
I am so excited to tell you about your birth! You were born early this morning, Sunday, November 4th, 2012, at 4:41 AM. You weigh 7 pounds 14 ounces and are 20 inches long. You are incredibly cute. Your hair appears to be light brown and your eyes are dark blue. You make the cutest sounds while you sleep!
Your birth was a wonderful experience for me and your dad. For the last several weeks, my body prepared for labor. I had many contractions and days of cramping. Some days, I thought you would make an early arrival but then the contractions would disappear.
On Wednesday, October 31st, I went to the midwife and she told me I was 3 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and that your head was down low and engaged. She warned that when I started to feel contractions, I needed to leave for the hospital because it could happen very quickly! She also told me you were in a posterior position, meaning your back was lined up with my back. This often leads to a long, painful labor for both mothers and babies. I was very worried you were stuck in this position. The midwife gave me the impression there was little I could do to move you.
On Saturday, November 3rd, I started to have contractions but they were very far apart, about 50 minutes. Your dad and I went to IKEA to buy some things and the contractions became more painful. When we returned home, they stopped and I felt labor could still be a few days away. We went out to an Indian restaurant for dinner and I ordered an eggplant dish, hoping it would help get things moving. When we returned home, I put Leo to bed and your dad and I watched an old Eddie Murphy movie, ?Coming to America?. When I went to bed, I was only feeling mild contractions.
At 1 o?clock, your brother started to cry. I got up from bed quickly and felt a gush of fluid. I walked into your brother?s room, tucked him in and gave him a few kisses. There was not much fluid but it continued to drip. I went back to bed because I was not convinced my water broke.
At 1:45 AM, I felt a hard contraction so I woke up your dad and told him about the possibility that my water broke. I was still unsure what to do. I then felt another contraction about 10 minutes later. I called the midwife and she suggested I drink a few glasses of water and lie on my side. Your dad actually filled up the bathtub for me because warm water can ease contractions. While in the tub, I had two more contractions and they were painful. We then called your grandmother to come to the house in case we had to leave for the hospital.
When I got out of the tub, my contractions were first 5 minutes, then 3 minutes, then two minutes apart and were getting worsel. I was also feeling continual cramping. I then realized it was time to go to the hospital. Part of me still questioned it because I was afraid we would get to the hospital and everything would stop. I didn?t want to alert everyone only to find my contractions fizzled. When your brother was born, my water broke and then I was induced, so I never had this experience before.
Your dad and I left for Mercy hospital around 3 AM. We saw Orion?s belt in the sky, the stars were very bright. We drove through Charles Village and saw many college students walking around and returning from parties. I had some painful contractions during the drive and it was very difficult to sit in the car while enduring a contraction. We then arrived at the hospital and walked in together, holding hands. I had to walk very slowly because I was constantly contracting.
We checked into Labor and Delivery around 3:20. We then had to sit/stand in the waiting area for a while and unfortunately, Rambo III or IV was on the television. I tried to ignore all of the gunfire. It was funny that it was on but it was distracting from the moment. Finally the midwife, Kaitlin, greeted us. Because I had downplayed the contractions so much, she first asked if we should go to triage but I told her the contractions were actually very strong so she brought us to a regular room and we bypassed that step. The room was great and included a huge birthing tub, enough room to seat 3 or 4 people! I was so excited to see it that I almost started crying.
The midwife checked me and I was 7 cm dilated! I was so excited to hear this news! 10 cm is necessary to begin pushing and I was nearly there! I was so happy. She also told me that you moved out of the posterior position! Again, so excited and major relief!
The nurses asked me a lot of questions and then hooked me up to the fetal monitoring system. They said I needed to just be on this for 20 minutes. Your dad rubbed my back while I dealt with the contractions on the bed. Jen, my birthing doula, showed up and also rubbed my back. This was very helpful. We also learned that Kathy, the veteran midwfie, would also be attending the birth because Katilin just started the job. I felt major relief and happiness with this, too.
The 20 minutes of fetal monitoring felt like forever! Forever! I wanted to get off the bed and into the tub so badly. Jen checked the time and alerted the nurses when I reached 20 minutes and asked if I could move around. They said ?no? because you had gone off the monitor and they did not see enough accelarations and decelerations in your heart rate. I stayed on the bed for some time more and used the hands-and-knees position. I was very uncomfortable. My back and hips hurt and I felt a strong need to move around. I asked to go to the bathroom, partly because I needed to go but mainly because I wanted to walk around. I had two large contractions in the bathroom and then returned to the hands-and-knees position on the bed. I felt pressure at this point and told my doula. I also screamed out during these last contractions so I really felt it was time.
The midwives returned. Katilin checked me and I was at 10 cm and ready to push. The nurses and midwives were concerned about you so the fetal monitoring continued. One midwife held a device to me instead of just strapping it on so I was able to change positions on the bed. I first tried pushing on my back and was not very effective. It took me awhile to feel how to push the right way. We then changed positions and you moved down a bit and I was able to put more strength in. I felt like the pushing went on a long time with little progress. I asked a midwife if things were moving and she said ?yes? so I felt better.
Eventually you ventured down the birth canal even further and everyone told me I needed to get you around the pubic bone. I needed to put all of my force into the pushes. Take a deep breath, put my chin down, and push with all my might. ?Push like you are taking the biggest poop in your life!?, the midwives yelled. I tried and tried. To be honest, it probably happened quickly but it felt long and tiring. The sounds I made while pushing you were very primitive. One midwife told me to put less energy into my voice and more into pushing. I couldn?t help it though.
Eventually, they began to see your head! Thank God, I thought! Yes! They see your head. You were crowning. I became very excited. I put all my might it. You still weren?t coming out. Kaitlyn told me, ?Tara, you need to get him out with this push otherwise we are givng you an episiotimy?. I put everything in again and luckily, your head passed through. I felt the rest of your body be pulled out. RELIEF! YESSSSSSSSSSS! River is here!!!!!!!!!!! They put you immediatley on my chest. You were warm and gooey! You did some quiet cries. I instantly loved you and thought you were so cute, even when covered in blood and goop! Ha, ha. I was so happy! YES! You made it out!
The midwives were very concerned about your heart rate but did not tell me this during labor. The umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck and body. This explains why everyone was yelling at me to push harder. They needed to get you out quickly!
Last night was daylight savings time. You were born at 4:41 AM but it felt like 5:41 to us. I feel that it was a very successful and rewarding labor. Everything was beautiful. I was so happy to have you and to have the care of two awesome midwives, a doula, and your dad. Your dad was great during the labor and knew just what to do. He was very supportive.
When I think about your birth, I feel truly blessed. It was a beautiful moment in my life. and couldn?t have gone more sweetly When they wheeled me out of that particular room later in the morning, I almost cried. It was such an important place for both you and I.