Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kate Elizabeth
(Few-details-spared birth story):

Birth Photos Here

I had in my mind that I would have the baby Thursday or Friday. Thursday morning I was able to run some errands, stocking up on things I wanted to have on hand when the baby arrived.

After getting home I began doing reflexology, acupressure, & nipple stimulation, all things that can really get labor going. I knew if the baby was ready than it could work but I knew that if it wasn't time the contractions I caused would just fizzle out (like they did the previous week). Later in the afternoon I remembered to take some evening primrose oil, which can also help start labor, & I drank some red raspberry leaf tea to get it going, too.

Around 4:30 I was noticing that contractions were feeling different, more of a pulling down below rather than just tight in my belly. Around 5:30 we left for Ray's mom's for a very late birthday dinner for Ray. While driving I was able to notice that the contractions were definitely consistent & getting stronger.

While at his moms the contractions progressively got stronger. I was relaxing through them on the sofa. For dinner we had delicious burgers & they picked up french fries from Sonny's. A huge mistake on my part was really overindulging in the fries. The overly full belly made me feel sick & made the contractions worse.

At 7 I went to the restroom & had a lot of bloody show so I knew this was the real deal. I came out & told Ray & asked if we could please have the cake soon so I could go home. I also had Ray start timing the contractions.

We left for home around 7:45 & I called my midwife, Bea, to let her know the contractions were around 4 minutes apart & around 40 second long. She told me they needed to get to at least a minute long.

We made it home around 8, Ray put Addison to bed, & I went to lay in our bed. The contractions were so much more intense this time around! Like I said, being so full made them a lot worse too, I felt so sick! Around 9 I started timing the contractions again. I had Grey's Anatomy on & Ray was on the computer. (I'm the kind of person who really likes to be left alone when I'm in labor but I think Ray really wanted to be able to do something for me as he'd come in & ask if there was anything he could do) I called Bea again to let her know the contractions were now a minute or more long.

Ray filled up the tub for me & right after I got in my midwife arrived around 10:00. I got out so she could check me. I didn't have any guesses as to how far along I was, I didn't want to be disappointed, but Ray guessed 6 cm. I was at 7 & my bag of waters was right there!

I think I tried laboring in the tub again but it just didn't feel as good as it did with Addison. I also threw up all of the fries that had tasted so delicious just a few hours earlier.

Laboring in the tub, around 7-8cm. Ray commented a few days later that he forgets that the contractions hurt because I'm so calm through them - I took that as a compliment!

Ray & Bea made up the bed in case I ended up having the baby out of the tub. Unfortunately, this meant putting down the vinyl shower shower curtains to protect the mattress. Due to my sensitivities to chemicals I can't breathe well around vinyl so there would be no more laboring on the bed for me.

I actually felt pretty comfortable laboring on the rug on the tile floor in the bathroom. Bea sat on the floor just outside the bathroom & Ray was sitting in a beach chair he'd brought into the bathroom. Sometimes during contractions I'd move around on my hands & knees, other times I'd just sit & relax. My midwife commented that after contractions I'd smile at her. I think I was smiling because I knew each contraction brought me a little closer to having the baby.

Between contractions I felt exhausted & really just want to lie down but I never did. I did ask them to turn on Leno around 11:30 because "he makes me laugh."

I was starting to have horrible rectal pressure during contractions & having the inward feeling of "how can I do this?" because it felt so intense. With each contraction I tensed up a bit because I felt like I'd use the bathroom everywhere if I didn't. I should've said something because I know this meant I was about ready to push. I think around midnight I asked Bea to check me again & I was at 10 cm with just a bit of an anterior lip!

My bag of waters was still intact & we could've left it that way but then I could've been pushing for an hour just to get the waters out. Instead, I asked Bea to break them for me. She told me if I wanted to have my baby in the tub that she'd better break my water in the tub.

So, I got in the tub, widthwise, she broke my water, & I felt such a relief for a few moments as that pressure was relieved. Ray had disappeared & he came back with the tripod to videotape the birth. Bea told Ray that if he wanted to catch the baby then he'd better get over there! Then, I decided to push a bit but my thighs cramped up. So, I changed positions so I was laying the length of the tub. I then threw up again, which is still better than the four times when I was in labor with Addison.

I started to push & immediately felt a lot of pressure & some burning. I reached down & felt the babies head & wasn't sure what I felt at first because it was very soft - it was all of her hair! Addison was practically bald so I wasn't expecting that. I pushed again & her head was out, I think I even saw it rotate to the side. I was pushing so hard that in between when I opened my eyes I was seeing sparkly diamonds. I only pushed 3-4 times & Kate was out! It felt so different than when I had Addison. With Addison I pushed for about 30 minutes whereas Kate was right there & I wasn't expecting to feel so much pressure & burning so soon! Kate was born just 14 minutes after we broke my water!

Poor Ray, he wanted to catch the baby but, just like the first time, I reached down & pulled her to my chest as I pushed her out. I don't mean to take that moment away from him, I think its just instinctual for me to automatically lift the baby to my chest.

It felt so surreal! It didn't take me long to check to make sure she was a girl. I tried to nurse her right away but she wasn't interested yet. Her cord pulsed for awhile & then Ray cut it. We drained the tub & I delivered the placenta - it was a lot less blood than last time, too, hardly anything! I counted the start of my labor as 5:30 so from the beginning to delivering the placenta I was only in labor for 7 hours and 15 minutes! (34 hours less than my labor with Addison!)

I quickly got up, showered off, & then went to my bed. Kate nursed about 30 minutes after she was born & Ray's mom arrived for her first visit. By about 2:30-3am Bea left & we settled into our bed.

It was again totally amazing - I think I officially love giving birth! It's such a huge rush for me & such an incredible experience. I'm so thankful everything went so well again.

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