Thursday, March 27, 2014

A birth story

Violet Caroline's Birth Story - My second home water birth ~ My third girl

This got loooong.  I can't help it.  It was one of the best days of my life and I don't want to forget anything.

Wednesday was a long, hard day.  I was extra tired.  I had cancelled plans with a friend, and totally ditched out on calling my parents- they had wanted to visit the girls.  It's been a long winter and I'd never been so pregnant before, since both girls were born during the 38th week I hadn't expected to go to 40 weeks, let alone 3 days past.  It's funny how different every pregnancy is, even though it's your same body doing the work.  I had just spent 6 weeks terribly sick with a virus or something, and I was finally feeling better and wanted my baby here!!

I had 2 bouts of good, strong, every-3-minute contractions in the week before, but each time they fizzled out at the perfect time to avoid chaos.  One night they stopped when our 2 year old woke up and couldn't stop coughing, and the other time was when my husband had to take a Friday evening to fix a sewer issue and we had nasty water in the basement and 4 loads of yucky laundry to do.  It was disappointing to have them fizzle both times, but in my heart I knew those would have been really bad times to have a baby.  I called my midwife the morning after the first spurt to tell her something was brewing, and she said it was my body getting things positioned right and moving baby lower.

We went Wednesday evening to visit a friend who just had a baby girl.  Her due date was a week after mine and her baby was born a week before mine.  We brought them supper and I joked that holding the baby would give me good baby having vibes.   We went to the mall and walked around after that and I was pretty tired.  It took a lot of work to keep moving, but I really needed to get some cupcakes after thinking about them all day and I knew walking could only help me at this point.

We went home, got the girls to bed, I ate a lot of mini cupcakes, and we went to bed at about midnight, suspecting nothing.

At 4 AM I woke up to a pop and a gush.  My water broke while I was sleeping!  I hobbled to the bathroom to assess the situation and attempt to clean myself up.  I grabbed a towel and came back to our room to tell Bryan what happened.  I may have thrown a tiny fit about it happening this way.  My water broke with my first baby and we went straight to the hospital where they only gave me a few hours for contractions to start, then started me on Pitocin, so I was a little scared of how things would progress.   We just started praying for contractions to come and I read in a few of my books about broken waters, and most of them said labor would start within 24 hours.  I worried about how I'd get through the next day with leaking amniotic fluid. How will I parent like this, How will I cut hair like THIS at work tonight?!

I rested on the couch for awhile and thought about what was to come.  Bryan and I talked about whether or not he should plan on going to work in a few hours, we talked about what needed to happen with the house to get ready- the birth pool needed to be pulled into the living room and filled, and there were toys everywhere.  Life with littles.  <3 p="">
I ended up back in bed shortly after to try to sleep, but by 5:20 I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes.  Some were stronger than others.  I decided to let our midwife, Paulette sleep until 6- then I would call her.  Bryan was not on board with this, he wanted me to call her right away because she lives pretty far away.  I wanted to make sure this was *it* and let her get a little more rest.  At 6:10, I gave her a call and told her my water had broken and contractions were coming every 2 minutes but weren't super painful yet.

She said she wouldn't be able to make it in time because the roads were awful and that I should call her apprentice, Miranda who lives 20ish minutes away. We hung up, I pouted for about 5 minutes, then got a hold of myself.   I had said I wanted this to happen.  I had been telling Bryan for a few months that I would love to have our midwife, but if it means a shorter labor, I would be 110% comfortable with her apprentice who I've grown to be really good friends with.  I just wanted to get it done!

Paulette called me back just a bit later and told me to call Miranda right away, because Miranda would have to go in to work soon and it would be easier for her the sooner we called.  She also said she was planning to come to our town that day anyways, so she would be on her way as soon as the snow plows came through.  She said she'd be praying for me, that she'd be in touch, and that she would come see us as soon as she gets to town.

I called Miranda right away and asked her if she'd like to come catch a baby.  :)  I also told her we were thinking about having her bring her little sister to help out with the girls.  I told her to not come right away because I wasn't sure how far we were in this process and that I'd call her back when we were ready for her to come and to let her know for sure about her sister. I really liked laboring all alone with Bryan during my last labor, so I was holding off on bringing help in too soon.

We went downstairs and talked about it a little more and tried to decide what to do.  I took a quick shower and polished two of my toenails that had chipped polish.  Bryan was like "REALLY?!"   Haha!  We were also trying to decide if we should ask Miranda to bring her sister to help out with our girls.   We REALLY wanted them here for the birth, but we were unsure how a 2 and 4 year old would handle it.  I also was thinking if we had to transfer for some reason, bringing the girls would not be good or convenient and I needed someone here for them..  We had several people offer to come be with them, or take them places, but we knew we needed to wait until we were in these moments to make our choice.

About 20 minutes later, things had picked up considerably and I called her back to ask her to start on her way over and to bring her sister with for the girls.  Somewhere here, our 2 year old woke up.  I gave her kisses and daddy took her back to her bed and got her settled back in.  I was mostly staying in bed now, resting.  The contractions were getting very strong.  I got up and took a few short, hot showers and went to the bathroom a few times.  I tried sitting on the couch for awhile, too.  Laying in bed is what felt the best, so I stayed there most of the time, just breathing and "floating" through the rushes.  I was trying really hard to try to gauge where I was at by comparing it to Hazel's labor, but this time was so much more intense.  I was afraid to make myself think I was further than I actually was and run out of power, but I figured I was getting pretty close.  I was starting to get nauseated around this time and I was also very hungry, but afraid to eat because of the nausea.  I knew what the nausea meant- Transition!!  I was having a hard time believing I could be THAT close to having our baby!

I'm not sure what time Miranda came, but it must have been shortly after 8.  It was perfect timing.  I was in a lot of pain and was still in bed, under a huge soft blanket.  I had just told Bryan a few minutes before that I needed her here soon, I was starting to get a little bit scared- I remember that feeling with Hazel, too.  I was hot, then cold, then hot over and over and Miranda  came and stood next to my bed and was rubbing my leg telling me I was doing a great job and that the hot/cold cycles meant I was getting closer.  I was starting to make noise during the contractions- they were really intense. 

Meanwhile, Bryan cleaned the living room, did a ton of other random little jobs, and pulled the birthing tub to the living room and was filling it and probably praying that we'd have enough hot water!

Olivia woke up and came out of her room and I was the first thing she saw.  I told her to not be scared, that mommy was in labor and she would have another baby sister soon.  She said something like "I wondered if this was happening!"  I got a quick kiss from her and she went downstairs with our helper.   Seeing her excitement gave me an extra boost of bravery.

I wasn't in bed much longer before I told Miranda I needed to be doing something different, and asked if the pool was ready for me.  Bryan had it ready to go in just a few more minutes, so I hobbled out to the living room and got in.  Best. Feeling. Ever.  The warm water brought so much comfort and relief.  Hazel woke up shortly after, got a kiss from mama, and went downstairs to play.  

Not long after I got in the pool I was starting to push involuntarily.  It HURT and I couldn't believe it was happening so soon.  I was kind of trying to hold them back because my head couldn't wrap around the fact that I could be this far already.  Miranda told me to let my body push and she went to the kitchen to get the tools.  She came back and I asked her if she could see anything yet and she said she couldn't.  She got out a pair of gloves, and laid everything out and I was thinking "THIS IS IT!!!"  I noticed tons of white flakes floating in the water and we figured out it was bits of vernix that were coming out with my contractions.  It was pretty cool!

Soon, my noises changed and things were happening.  Bryan said I started making Xena : Warrior Princess noises.  HAHA! Miranda told me that baby was right there and to go ahead and start putting some power into the pushing urges.  I pushed with the next few urges and Miranda just keep encouraging me.  I remember saying "it's on fiiiiiiiiiiiire!!"   Miranda had me stop for a second because the cord was over her shoulders.  She freed it, and Violet was born into the water just a few pushes later at 9:38AM.  I reached down and pulled my beautiful baby to my chest and we started rubbing her back and talking to her-  she pinked up pretty fast.  I was still in shock at how fast the whole labor and birth had gone.   She was so beautiful and she was here, in my arms, after all these months.

When I delivered Hazel, I had trouble in the pushing stage because I couldn't quite get my bearings in the pool.  I didn't know what to hold onto or how to position myself.  This time it just worked so much better for me- It was almost EASY and this baby was a few ounces bigger.  I'm not sure if it's because I was more prepared, if baby was in a better position, or if it's because we forgot to use the pool liner and I had more traction.  The pushing stage this time felt quicker to me, too.  I felt like a rock star!

Bryan ran downstairs to get the girls right away.  It was so much fun to see them react to their new baby sister.  Olivia said "Thank you God for our new baby!"  Paulette called around this time and Miranda got to tell her the news!

We put a few towels over baby to help her stay warm on my chest while I regained my strength to deliver the placenta.  I took off the bra I had been wearing so we could have skin to skin and we tried nursing right away, but Violet wasn't interested yet.  We snuggled for a long time, but it was getting cold.  Once I was strong enough to get up we double checked that the cord had stopped pulsing, then Daddy cut it, and took Violet so I could go to the bathroom and deliver the placenta.

Miranda and I checked that my bleeding was normal, got me cleaned up, dressed, and in bed with Violet where she nursed immediately. I had a hard time getting my other girls to latch, so this was a huge deal to me to nurse right after her birth. I was SO hungry- I ate several bananas and a handful of string cheeses and we talked about how stinking FAST that was!   We weighed her and were shocked when the scale said 8 pounds, 11 ounces!  She didn't look that big to us!  Paulette made it to town a few hours later and came right to our house to check on baby and I-she confirmed everything was great!

The birth was absolutely incredible.  It was fast and hard and just what I needed.  It was perfect for Violet and I.  I'm honored to be the 2nd birth that Miranda has attended on her own.  Bryan and I love homebirth.  It's so nice to be tucked into your own bed afterwards and have all your own things right there.  I loved having our big girls home with us the whole time- knowing they were asleep in the house/playing happily in the basement was so comforting to me- to know they'd get to see her right when she was freshly born. 

1 comment:

  1. <3 Love the pic of you holding her in the tub, looking at the camera like I DID IT!!!!! :)