“I did it!”
“I stuck it to the man!”
“Welcome to the world Bean”
“I’m finally not pregnant anymore!!”
OK, okay enough goofing around. I know you’ve all been sitting on pins and needles since my last post just waiting for an update.
Here’s her stats and some pictures… I’ll post the birth story below that.
Born: 9/24 at 11:28pm
Weight: 7lbs 4oz
Head: 13 3/4in
Chest: 13 1/2in
Oh and you won’t be able to see from the pictures, but she totally has dark hair just like us and we can’t decide what her eye color is because sometimes it looks blue grey and sometimes it looks green.
Alright, so you know from my last post that I started getting some contractions Tuesday night while we were out to dinner. They were really mild and pretty irregular though. The contractions continued into Wednesday. I’d say I was really in labor though between 4 and 4:30pm. That’s when I called Stephen and told him to come home from work because every few contractions I’d have one that was really hard to breathe through and concentrate on anything else.
So Stephen came home. I actually had him install our car seat as soon as he got there. Pretty silly of us not to already have it installed. I wanted it in there though so that if we did have to do an emergency transfer for some reason we’d be able to transport her with no problems. Plus it gave him something to do so that I didn’t feel like I was being hovered over.
Things continued to get intense and Stephen called our midwife at some point. She checked me at 7pm and I was 3cm, but she could stretch me to 4cm. She said that labor could still take awhile. So she told us to go about doing things normally, sleep when it was bedtime, get something to eat, etc. She left to go do a few errands and told us to keep her posted with my progress and to of course call if my water broke.
After she left we decided to try and go get something to eat. At this point it seriously hurt for me to walk during a contraction. I had one just as we were heading out the door and just sort of flopped down on the floor until it was over. I made it to the car and figured I could handle sitting in there till we could get to a drive thru (I know, so very healthy of us…). Well we barely made it down the street when I could no longer tolerate the car ride. It hurt so bad. We just turned around and headed back to the house. I knew we had a frozen pot pie that Stephen could eat and I had leftover fettucini from the night before.
So Stephen heated up our dinner while I sat on an exercise ball in our livingroom. I was able to eat a few bites, but started to feel a little nauseaus and the contractions were just getting much, much more intense.
I went in our room to labor on our bed for a little while and next thing I knew my water had broken. It was about 8pm at this point. I was just laying there breathing through the contraction when I felt some major pressure, then like a bubble, the bubble popped and hot liquid was all over me. It completely shocked me. It was pretty gross feeling too. Stephen was still in the livingroom eating his dinner and I was just like, “uh, my water broke.”
Stephen called our midwife again and helped me make my way to the bathroom where I had a few more contractions on the toilet (classy I know). Our midwife asked him some questions about the fluid and warned that my contractions would get even more intense now that I’d lost my cushion. Since the water breakage happened on fabric it was kind of hard to tell, but from what we could see it was clear with a couple small chunks of vernix in it.
I switched between laboring in the tub, on the toilet, our bed and on the exercise ball until our midwife got there. I knew I was in transition at some point because I started shaking like crazy and I puked up the few bites of dinner I’d managed to consume earlier.
The most comfortable place at that point was actually the toilet and that was where I was still when our midwife arrived. I had to lean back so she could listen for the heartbeat with the doppler which was really uncomfortable. After that I tried laboring in the tub again, but I just couldn’t get comfortable in there and the water wasn’t really helping much with the contractions. I got out and sat on the birth ball a few minutes where she checked my vitals and listened to the heartbeat again with the doppler. And then I felt like I was going to puke again. There wasn’t much in my stomach so it was mostly just a lot of dry heaving. It totally didn’t phase my midwife though, which was nice.
Oh and so much for my worrying about birth fashion. I couldn’t stand the feeling of anything on me so I wore nothing. I thought it would bother me more because I tend to be pretty modest, but labor was so consuming that I didn’t really even notice.
Anyway, back to the story. I made my way back to the bed because that seemed like the most comfortable place. I’d also started feeling a lot of pressure at that point and like I kind of wanted to push. My midwife checked me at 9:50 and I was already 8cm. So I went from 3cm to 8 in under 3 hours. Technically active labor doesn’t begin until you hit 4cm, so we just went from the time my water broke on that one.
The contractions were so unbelievably painful at this point. I must have screamed “I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!” about a zillion times. Several times it was really hard to remember to breath and I remember one time where I almost felt like there was no way I could take a breath because the contraction was so intense. There really was no turning back at this point though. Even if I had been at the hospital my labor was progressing so fast there’s no way I would have gotten an epidural.
I was still feeling the need to push and sometimes I did a little during some of the contractions. It was like I really couldn’t control my body. My midwife checked me again at 10:40 and I was 9.5cm. She had me switch sides so it would put pressure elsewhere and get that last lip of cervix to go. At 11pm I was fully dilated and really feeling the need to push. I got into a more upright position because laying on my side to push didn’t really seem comfortable. Stephen and our midwife got a bunch of pillows to help with this and Stephen helped prop me up too. I did push a few times once I was fully dilated, but my midwife said my active pushing phase was only about 18 minutes.
The pushing phase was really uncomfortable. It really hurt when she’d slide back after the contraction was over. I wanted to just keep on pushing the whole time so she wouldn’t slide back. I would actually stop though even if I didn’t want to. In between these contractions my legs were shaking and quivering like crazy. I remember kind of yelling, “I just want to stop shaking!” When she really started to crown it burned and burned and burned. They really weren’t kidding about that whole “ring of fire” thing. At one point Stephen got to see her head crowning and a little later my midwife let me touch the top of her head as she was coming out. It was kind of weird. I think it was only a couple pushes after that and she pretty much shot out of me. Almost immediately my midwife handed her off to me and we were covered in towels.
The other midwife arrived about 2 minutes later to help with all the after stuff.
I delivered the placenta a few minutes later and then Stephen cut the cord. Our midwife was really great about getting Stephen involved with stuff.
The other midwife was really great too because she really helped with the nursing part which I really didn’t even know what to do about. I’d spent so much time researching birth and pregnancy that by the time it came to read about breastfeeding I was pretty much over the idea of doing any more research and wanting to just read a novel already (which I did, quite a few actually). She helped coach me to get my latch going. Apparently, I have short nipples so it’s really hard to get Bean to latch on, but we did it and it’s been going pretty good ever since. She also spoon fed me a bowl of Cheerios while I was breastfeeding which was pretty awesome. 🙂
Bean got a good nurse in and then I passed her off to Stephen so the midwives could take a look at the damage. I was still feeling the burning so I figured there was some. I had one first degree tear that it was debatable whether or not I could get stitches. After they gave me all the pros and cons I decided against the stitches and opted for 7 days bedrest instead. There was also another place that the midwives said was more like a gash and really no way to sew up. That part really, really burned. The second midwife took off some time after that.
After that I got into an herby bath to help soothe things. Bean joined me a few minutes later after being weighed by Stephen. She had made a major poopy mess in her receiving blankets so she really needed some cleaning up. We stayed in the bath until the water got pretty tepid. Then Stephen took Bean and my midwife helped get me all cleaned up, dried off and ready for bed.
My midwife did a newborn exam on Bean and she got 9/9 on her Apgar scores. Then Stephen put on her first diaper which she promptly soiled. Then a second diaper and dressed her for bed. Our midwife showed him how to swaddle her and then they handed her to me. We curled up together ready for a good sleep.
My midwife kissed me on my head and said she wished all first time moms could be like me, that I should be very proud and that I was labor pro before she headed off. I think it was about 4am at this point. Finally, we went to bed. Well except that I really couldn’t sleep. I’ve been wired ever since the baby got here. I’ve stayed in bed and tried to rest all day, but I haven’t been able to sleep. So hopefully all this adrenaline wears off soon and I’ll be able to fall asleep. Until then, I’m very happy enjoying my little girl.
I noticed my throat is very sore after all the yelling I did last night. Oh and update about the hives… they went away when labor got intense, but they came back this morning. This time they’re only on my arms though and really responsive to the cream so that’s good.
One more thing… this morning when I was on the phone with my friend telling her the great news, my sneeky OB’s office calls to set up a time for me to come in for my induction today even though we had made it clear that I didn’t want to be induced until Friday. Ugh! I’m so cancelling my 6 week post partum visit with him. That was the last straw!
Thanks everyone for following along on my journey.