Tag Archives: labor

Sprout is here!

Hopefully I’m not too long winded here because everything happened so, so fast!

Here goes. I was feeling a bit down last night. Texted my midwife and was telling her I was having a hard time with all the “what-ifs” because of the past few days. What ifs like, “What if I don’t have my baby by the end of the week?” or “What if something is wrong and that’s why I’m not going into labor?” That was about 9:18pm.

We watched a couple episodes of The West Wing (on DVD) and went to bed.

At 1:40am I woke up to pee. I got to the bathroom and felt a gush before I had a chance. I was kind of confused because with Bean I felt a big bubble and then felt it pop and then felt the gush. This felt more like the fluid had just been sitting in there for awhile and came out.

So I told Stephen that I thought that maybe my water broke, but I wasn’t sure. I told him to call our midwife. He kind of ho-hummed about it. I still wasn’t having contractions.

Got back in bed and another gush. Ran back to the bathroom. Another gush. Yep water definitely broke.

Stephen still hadn’t called our midwife. I was kind of annoyed. I nagged, he called at 1:45am.

By about 2am I was definitely having contractions.

We started timing them.

Called the midwife again. I told Stephen to make up the bed (for a homebirth you make up the bed with two sets of sheets with a giant plastic sheet in between… you get the first set all yucky and then when you pull those and the plastic off you have a nice ready to go made bed).

I decided I wanted to take a bath. Yesterday in the shower I forgot to shampoo my hair and thought I might try to wash my hair too while things were still light. Except then I’d have a contraction and decide I didn’t want to afterall. I stayed in the tub until about 4am. This time the water actually did help me manage the pain for most of my labor a lot better. The key was a folded up towel on the bottom of the tub so that it wasn’t so hard to sit on.

Then I started to feel like I really did not want to be in the tub. I just had a feeling things were about to change and that I wanted out.

Made it to our bed. Contractions got much more intense. I didn’t scream much like last time, but I did have some issues with breathing. I started to hyperventilate a little at some point and felt all tingly all over. Stephen had to really coach me to breathe and I still wasn’t doing that great of a job. I’m pretty sure this was transition.

I know my brother-in-law came at some point during that and picked up our daughter. Stephen wanted to go talk to him, but I needed him so he didn’t. Eric managed to find the keys to our van and everything Bean needed on his own and get out without me basically even knowing he was there. Awesome.

Right around 5am I started feeling the need to push. Did two contractions on my side laying down like this. Then I told Stephen I needed to push. He said I didn’t, but I knew I did. After the first few pushes our midwife arrived. Pushing seemed to take forever this time, but really it was less than an hour. I guess Sprout was slightly transverse at first, but then he turned posterior. He was also much bigger than Bean. The sliding back part after you’ve pushed during a contraction is still the part I hate the most, it is so uncomfortable.

Stephen says he’ll likely not forget the point when Sprout was crowning and I yelled, “Burn! Burn! Burn!” instead of my usual grunt. He said I sounded like a Puritan which hunter. Someone’s been reading a little too much colonial history lately, I think.

Anyway, at 5:49am he was out and up on my chest. For all the worry about being post-due Sprout was born completely covered in that lovely white cottage cheesey vernix stuff. At 41+4 Bean only had a couple of very small chunks. So my midwife is fairly certain he was born right on time.

So here’s a testiment to my husband’s improved Bradley Method coaching skills. Sprout weighed in this morning at a whopping 8lbs 14oz (Bean was 7lbs 4oz), but I managed to only get one tiny little tear and that was because Sprout came out with his hand up by his cheek. Stephen helped me breath correctly and mostly stay calm through almost every single contraction. I couldn’t have done this well without him.

And because pictures make the story here are the first few we have:

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“You’re still pregnant?!”

As each day goes by I still hear my former OB’s voice in my head (the title of this post) when I walked into his office at 41+4 in all my huge, pregnant glory.

That was a very nerve wracking day as I went from station to station at our medical group wondering if I was going to be given a bunch of chemicals and end up with a c-section by the end of the day.

And maybe then, as now, I should just stop viewing my lack of going into labor on my own as this horrible thing that is going to automatically spiral down into a c-section. I know quite a few of my readers have had them for various reasons and it really isn’t the end of the world or life or anything. So I should probably stop thinking of it like that. And many more of my readers have had successful inductions that did not result in c-sections.

But I really, really want another homebirth. It’s just me.

Anyway, I guess that is sort of a tangent from what I originally sat down to write about in this post.

Yesterday we made a quick trip to Bakersfield (as in drove straight there and turned around and came back) to see my midwife. I’m still growing, baby is still growing, baby is still moving, heartrate is good. She thinks the baby feels around 8lbs which has me a bit worried since I tore with Bean and she was only 7lbs 4oz at birth. I was definitely more dilated than last time (though she didn’t give me an exact number) she saw me, so I guess all these false alarms have at least been doing something.

We talked about the due date and those handy wheels OBs and midwives alike use. I guess one version of the wheel is 40 weeks plus 2 days and another version is 40 weeks. And up until 10 years ago you weren’t even considered past due until you actually hit 42 weeks, which explains to me why my mom’s OBs never gave her a hard time about her crazy cycles and when the baby had to be born by or why Stephen’s mom was allowed to go until 42 weeks with him.

Upon reviewing my fertility chart this morning, I had a very gradual temperature shift that occured between April 4 and 9. Using a simple due date calculator, that puts my due dates between December 26 and 31. So, I could just be as little as 41+4 today or I could be as much as 42+2. And then there is the admittedly inaccurate 20 week ultrasound due date of Jan. 7 which would only make me 40+4 (though a review once again of my chart suggests that there is a very slight possibility that this date works).

Anyway, I’m getting restless and nervous that things are not going to go the way I planned (do they ever?). So, I had my midwife strip my membranes yesterday. I’m sure this might sound slightly shocking to some of you since I’ve seemed so against this idea on here. Really, though I’m not against it, especially in a situation like mine where I’m overdue and I’d like to go into labor as naturally as possible.

I just think that patients have rights including consent and the right to be informed about things that are being done to them. When I was pregnant with Bean, I actually went into my OBs office that day planning to ask him to do just that thing, but for one thing he was making me really mad and uncomfortable because of how that appointment went. I felt intimidated like he thought I was the biggest idiot in the world and now here he was going to get to tell me “I told you so,” and as such I didn’t ever get to the point where I felt like I could even ask him anything. Then, under the guise of doing a normal cervical check he went ahead and did it anyway without asking me or telling me and when I mentioned that it was the most painful and uncomfortable and long check I’d experienced the whole pregnancy he LIED and said that he was checking out the shape of my pelvis. Well after yesterday I am now completely sure that he stripped my membranes because that was exactly what it felt like. Furthermore it isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing to go through, it would be nice to be a little prepared for what’s coming so you can breathe or try to think about something else or any of the other coping mechanisms one might use.

End of rant.

So after that yesterday I was really crampy and then I even started having some fairly intense contractions on the way home (last 20 minutes of our car ride was EXCRUCIATING, I seriously don’t know how you ladies make it to the hospital in full on labor, also something needs to be done about the bumpiness of CA-23). They were 4 minutes apart, getting progressively intense and then they just stopped. Again. And my midwife is probably laughing because she said, “I can do this, but I don’t think it will do anything really. If your body is ready, it is ready. We all have our little things that we think starts labor, but I tend to think it is all just coincidence.”

So if I still haven’t had this baby by Wednesday morning she wants me to call my OBs office (that I haven’t seen since November, for some reason I feel really awkward about that phone call even though things ended on very amicable terms with their office even wishing me the “very best” and to “keep in touch”) and get an NST done and see what he thinks.

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Castor oil induction. Big fail.

I wrote this today hoping that it would be the beginning of Sprout’s birth story. Looks like that isn’t going to be the case. Decided the writing shouldn’t go to waste…

In the weeks leading up to Sprout’s birth I had been having a bit of a rough time. I know that probably sounds a bit melodramatic to all of you out there, but I was just really sick of being pregnant.

First, there were five false alarms during the 37 to 38 week period. And then nothing. No activity whatsoever from my uterus. To get your hopes up that two years in a row of being pregnant are going to come to an end and then to have them dashed is just depressing.

Then my due date comes and goes with no activity either.

I was getting sick of this. Not to mention the heartburn, the feeling that my hips were going to fall apart due to that lovely Relaxin hormone, sciatica and back pain in general, feeling like it took a crane to turn over in bed every night, and the insomnia. I spent the last three weeks of my pregnancy up every night from 2:30am to 6:30am. I was just tired. I broke down into overwhelmed tears at least twice a week, whinning that I just didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. Stephen would reassure me that it wouldn’t be much longer and I’d suck it up and stop being a cry baby.

Even though I was too chicken to try it with Bean, I decided that castor oil might be worth a shot this time. I’d had several friends that it had worked for. I looked on a few websites, saw that it had a success rate of 57.7%. Plus, since I’d had infinitely less morning sickness this time around I didn’t have the lingering tummy issues as close at hand in my memory. I asked Morgan a few details about her experience and whether the juice actually helped with the taste and all that just before Christmas.

My original plan had been to do it on my actual due date of Monday, Dec. 28, but I wound up spending the day ridding my bedroom of the mounds of baby clothes that were slowly taking over and organizing the closet in the kids’ room. Tuesday I decided to run all my last minute leftover post-Christmas errands like returning things to the mall and spending gift cards. Wednesday I had no plans. So, I got up and spent the morning eating a good breakfast, making sure I was getting plenty of hydration in preparation and playing with Bean.

Now, I realize that two days past the first of my three due dates (Jan. 6 and 7 were the others) is really within the normal range and due dates are averages and I should have expected to go past my due date considering I was a week and a half late with Bean and probably only went into labor then thanks to my sneaky OB doing the membrane strip without asking me. I knew all that. The crunchy, no-interventions-unless-absolutely-necessary part of me was saying that I was crazy and that the baby would come when it was ready and that I needed to stick to doing the “right” thing. But I was just sick of being pregnant. Two consecutive years of my life had been spent as a baby factory. I was just done.

At 11am I put Bean down for her nap (though she didn’t actually go to sleep until noon) and then got the bottle of castor oil out from under the sink in our bathroom. I came downstairs feeling slightly anxious, but determined to try something to get this show on the road. I figured the worse that could happen were some tummy troubles. Morgan had told me that the juice really did help with the taste and that baking soda was suggested to her to make it fizzy. Instead of trying to figure out my own fizzy concoction I just decided to go with some “natural” orange soda from Trader Joe’s instead. So, in a glass I mixed 2 tbsp castor oil, 1 individual serving size bottle of Orangina and the juice of 1 tangerine for extra orange-y-ness. I stirred the whole thing together and was slightly grossed out by the globs of oil floating on the top.

But I was determined. I was going to do this thing. So I gulped it all down as fast as I could over the sink. It actually didn’t taste much different than Orangina normally does. It was the texture that got me. Drinking thick oil is just sick. But I did it and I didn’t gag it back up like I had expected to. Then I anxiously waited for something to happen.

About 3:30pm the castor oil kicked in and had the intended effect that it is supposed to have on one’s digestive system. I was in the bathroom for about 15 minutes. And then more nothing.

4pm – Was that a contraction? Nope, just Sprout slamming his head up against my cervix. Yeah, pretty sure this stuff didn’t do its job. I am going to be pregnant forever.

5pm – More tummy rumblings. Still no labor though. At least my worst fears about several hours of diarhea and vomitting did not occur. At this point I was just mad that I drank a glass of orange slime for nothing.

6pm – Pretty sure it didn’t work. No contractions whatsoever. I’m making sausages for dinner.

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We are going on false alarm #5 over here…

Since Sunday, I’ve had four more false alarm contractions sessions. It is getting a little annoying.

The second to last time was over 21 hours long. The contractions never really picked up in intensity, but were just annoying and strong enough to keep me from sleeping or napping. I was actually a tiny bit relieved when it was finally over with yesterday because I knew it meant I would finally get to sleep.

So last night we were blessed with pretty much an entire night contraction free and sleep issue free as well (which, those of you who have been through pregnancy know all about that third trimester insomnia). I slept straight through from about 11pm to 5am when my bladder woke me up. I don’t even remember the last time that happened.

Upon relieving my bladder, drinking a little water, rearranging my pillows and climbing back into bed, I was hit with some fairly serious contractions. Much more intense than any of the ones I’d felt in the previous days. I seriously felt like it was impossible to breathe during them. After about three of these guys I woke up Stephen because I thought for sure this was going to be the real deal.

We started timing them and they were more along the lines of what early labor should look like: slightly intense contractions that are about 4-5 minutes apart. The contractions in previous days had always been around 2 minutes apart and were not intense at all, just annoying. They were intense in that I had to concentrate on breathing through them, but still not hard labor.

So little praise to my husband here. He has actually been reading the Bradley childbirth book and it has been like a dream come true. Just in these few false alarm experiences I can tell a HUGE difference between this time around and Bean’s birth.

If you remember from Bean’s birth story, upon arriving home I had him install our carseat. This was mainly because I honestly felt like he would be more of an annoyance to me than help. A few hours later when he was asking me questions like, “What do you want me to do?” and “Do you want to wear a sports bra?” I was definitely annoyed. I was in hard labor and couldn’t really begin to think about what he needed to be doing and didn’t really want to make a decision about whether or not I should be wearing a sports bra when our midwife arrived.

This time has not been like that at all. Stephen totally takes charge of the situation. There are not 50 questions about what to do. He knows what to do and he handles it and gets it done. This morning when I was having trouble breathing while lying down and found that sitting up helped more, instead of letting me sit with no back support on our bed, he ran around the house gathering up pillows to get me propped up and as comfortable as possible. He rolled a towel to stick near my lower back and provide counter pressure during contractions since back massage wouldn’t be easy in my semi-reclined position. He was completely attentive to every body part when a contraction was going on and constantly reminding me to relax my forehead or not clench my hands. He payed attention to my breathing and reminded me to stay calm and take deep breaths. Gave me visualization cues to concentrate on during a contraction.

In short it was awesome. A couple weeks ago Stephen said he has learned way more from the book than he ever did from our childbirth class. The class was useful, but the book just provides way more information about what to do in certain situations and why to practice things like breathing through a contraction standing up in case your wife has to go to the bathroom during labor and has one on the way there, etc. So for all those men out there that say they don’t need to read the book and that they’ll just get enough information from their childbirth class, I offer up this example. Books really do get the information into your head in a different way and a more thorough way, in my opinion. And I think anyone who says that they don’t need to read the book is just being lazy. You have nine months to get the reading done. It really isn’t that much. Be a good coach. Read the book. End of public service announcement for all the husbands who are probably not even reading this.

Anyway, back to my story. After about an hour of timing, my husband called our midwife and based on what we were experiencing, she too thought this sounded like the real deal. So she left Bakersfield fairly early this morning and carefully navigated her way through some soupy valley fog and an hour of LA freeway driving.

Stephen got everything arranged with his sister to watch Bean and got her all packed up and out the door.

By the time my midwife arrived the contractions were around three and half minutes apart, but still around the same intensity level. She did a cervical check which hurt like heck because I had a contraction during it. I was so disappointed when she told me that I was still the same as our visit from over the weekend which was 2cm and my cervix was still posterior. Seriously? All these contractions and intensity and no progress at all? What the heck?

She said we should go for a walk and see if that helped things progress. So we did a couple laps around our apartment complex. During our walk I stopped being able to feel individual contractions because I was experiencing some fairly instense pelvic pressure. When we got back to our apartment, I still had a lot of pressure and was not feeling any contractions. Then as I sat for a bit the pelvic pressure began to subside, but I still was not feeling any contractions. I was starting to get even more disappointed. Not only was this seeming to turn out to not be the real deal, my midwife drove two hours to hang out for nothing for a few hours and my sister-in-law and her family had to get all coordinated and rearranged to watch Bean. Plus this was false alarm NUMBER FIVE. I was starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf.

A few minutes later I got up and walked around our livingroom. I started having some contractions again, but they were really weak and didn’t seem to have any pattern. Stephen was making me some food to eat and by the time I’d finished my meal I wasn’t feeling anything. It was all over.

So completely frustrating.

Because of work schedules and vehicle coordination, my sister-in-law wound up watching Bean the whole day. While it was kind of nice to be baby-free, after about an hour of sewing and hanging out by myself I was pretty much bored and already missing Bean. So I guess if anything this helped me realize that I’m glad we’re no longer DINKS.

Anyway, that’s your second installment of Baby Watch 2009. Stay tuned…

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38 weeks, a false alarm story.

Sunday afternoon on our way home in the car I thought I felt a few contractions. But I was kind of in denial about the whole thing and thought that maybe it was just the way I was sitting or the car ride itself. They were pretty mild.

I was exhausted because Bean decided to wake up at 4:30am and talk to herself until 8am when we finally decided to stop fighting it and get up with her. Her vocabularly recently increased so she’s pretty facinated with her new “words” (mewing like a kitten, barking like a dog, cawing like the crows at our apartment complex, OK, bye bye, no, upstairs, toes, and ew… with OK, ew and the animal sounds being particular favorites… oh and ew comes with a scrunched face to match). So anyway the plan was for me to take a nap when we got home.

Once I was laying in bed with nothing else to really think about I definitely knew that what I was experiencing was contractions, albiet very light ones. I laid there for a few minutes and then decided it might be a good idea to tell Stephen what was going on. So I did. Then of course he went into full manager of the situation mode. Brought the computer upstairs so I could use the Contraction Master site to start timing the contractions. Called our midwife. Started packing up Jillian for a possible overnight (which with her dietary issues is a little more complex than most kids).

They were extremely mild and if I was doing other stuff and not paying attention I would miss them. I tried taking a bath to make them go away, but they were still happening. My midwife said taking a walk and drinking more water might help. So we went to get some lunch and walked around a shopping center for a bit while I drank a whole liter of water. They still were not going away and starting to get a little stronger.

We talked to Stephen’s sister about watching Bean. Stephen also talked to her husband (his boss) about the week ahead work wise. I decided that I really wanted to take a shower because it might be my last chance to do so for a couple days. So I did that. I even shaved my legs because it just seemed important. I had some pretty strong, physically visible contractions in the shower. Got out, blow dried my hair. Still having contractions.

Then I went downstairs and got on the computer to try and distract myself and everything completely stopped. And it has been that way ever since. I’m still kinda pissed about missing my nap yesterday and for going through all that to have it turn out to be nothing. In all it was about 3.5 hours of regular contractions about a minute and a half apart and 15-30 seconds in duration.

So anyway, that’s the latest Baby Watch 2009 update. Figured it was blog worthy.

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Thankful.

Sorry I’ve been a bit absent. Then again it seems the rest of the blog community has as well so I don’t feel so bad.

Usually this happens to me when I get wrapped up in a project or a book. Both are happening right now. Can’t really blog the projects because they are Christmas presents. And I’m sure you’d get sick of me quoting passages from the book I’m reading.

I’ve also been experiencing some “false” labor freakouts since Sunday and so I’ve been technically on bedrest. The best way to make this work with Bean when I am home alone with her is to hole ourselves up in our guestroom with some of her toys where she really can’t get into anything, can’t go running off into places she isn’t allowed and so I don’t have to go up and down the stairs 50 times a day for diaper changes, naps, etc.

So because of that it seems our decision this year not to go anywhere for Thanksgiving was a good one. Though it has made for the most different and quiet Thanksgiving we’ve had since we were dating. I actually wondered if we’d even have a traditional feast at several points or just wind up eating leftovers because nearly every activity starts me feeling like I’m about to go into labor. Not fun.

But I managed to save up most of my energy and pull off a little mini-feast for our three person family.


Herb roasted turkey half breast on a bed of brown and wild rice stuffing.


The feast, clockwise from top: rice stuffing, herb roasted turkey, cheater Trader Joe’s gravy (I’m terrible at making gravy and theirs is pretty good), mashed potatoes, and cranberry orange sauce (not from a can, once you do it homemade you’ll never go back).


This was the first Thanksgiving where it was possible for Bean to eat the food, but she just played with it instead. Gotta love my picky little eater.

So anyway I am thankful for many things today. Among them:
-Not actually going into labor yet. I am hoping to at least make it to 36 weeks (Monday) and even better would be 37 weeks so that I can still have the labor/birth experience I want and have him at home with my midwife. Before Monday and we’ll be making a not-so-fun emergency trip to the hospital.
-My sister, Andrea. She dropped everything she was doing on Tuesday to help me out. She drove down here, purchased some of my homebirth supplies, went grocery shopping for me, helped me do a bunch of laundry, clean, entertained Bean and so much more. And on top of it all she’s 29 weeks pregnant. Seriously, the girl is a superstar.
-My husband. Tuesday after work he went to Target and got the rest of our homebirth supplies, some of which include items that are quite embarassing for him to purchase, I’m sure. He got up this morning with Bean, let me rest and relax pretty much the whole day and has been rocking the deep cleaning of our house and still is as I type this. He is awesome.


The giant to-do list he made today and has nearly completed!

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