My sweet daughter is 1 month old today! I can't believe how fast time is flying. It was a tough adjustment for all of us at first, but things are falling into a routine now and we are all doing well. I wrote up the birth story the first week after she was born, and now I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you. Enjoy!
Friday Nov 25th I had a midwife appt at 40w3d. I had my midwife, Amy, check my cervix and I was 1-2cm dilated, and 75% effaced. After the exam, I felt crampy the rest of the evening.
Woke up to mild contractions 6am Saturday Nov 26th. I started timing them around 8:30am, and they were very sporadic still. I was waiting for the contractions to reach the 5-1-1 rule (5 min apart, lasting 1 min, for 1 hour) before heading into the birth center. Ben & I went for a 45 min walk around 10, pulling Monster in his wagon. I was able to walk & talk through all the contractions, but they picked up frequency to about 7min apart. I continued timing them and they slowly started getting a bit more intense, and they were all lasting at least 1 min, but they never picked up frequency past 7min. At 11:30 we called my grandparents and asked them to pick up Monster.
Then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch with Ben’s family to celebrate my BIL’s birthday. From the time we left for the restaurant, the contractions slowed to anywhere between 10 and 14 min apart. They still got slowly more intense though. Around 2pm, we went to my MIL’s after lunch to have ice cream cake. As I was getting out of our truck, I had my first contraction that couldn’t sit or talk thru. I had to jump out of the truck and lean onto the seat until it passed. From then, the contractions picked up intensity, but no pattern emerged. They got closer together for a while, then stayed at 10min apart for a while, then picked up to about 7min, then back up to 9min, etc. During the evening I started needing to get down and rock on my hands/knees during contractions. Around 8:45, they all of a sudden started coming 4-5 min apart, and the discomfort never fully went away in between them. At 9:20 I decided to call Amy, and we arranged to meet at the birth center at 10pm.
We arrived at the birth center a few minutes before 10. Ben’s sister Alethea, her husband, and Ben’s mom arrived a few minutes later. Amy checked me and I was 4cm dilated, but not fully effaced. Amy gave me some herbal thing (don’t remember what it was called) to help complete effacement. My mom showed up around 10:40 (my stepdad was sick and not able to come). My BIL waited out in the living room, but everyone else was in the birth suite with us. Alethea & I played Backgammon on her Kindle Fire in between contractions. She also took lots of photos (she was the photographer/videographer for the birth). The ctx continued to pick up intensity. I continued to rock on hand/knees. During one of my contractions, I all of a sudden wanted people to sing. I asked for them to sing worship songs. They sang a different song with each contraction – whatever they could think of. In between contractions, somebody would say the name of one, and I let them know whether it was an OK one to sing. I just didn’t want fast-paced, and there were some songs that I just didn’t want the tune. So Ben, my mom, my SIL, and my MIL all sung together with each contraction, and it helped me focus on the getting through the contractions. As the contractions ended, I was able to join in and finish the song with them. The singing was the most peaceful and beautiful experience ever. I just felt so calm during everything.
Around midnight (now Nov 27th) I decided to get in the birthing tub. I was still on my hands and knees, and Ben got in the tub with me and was sitting on the seat behind me. The warm water helped relieve some of the pain and I was able to relax a bit more. Around 12:30 I started to feel pressure with the contractions. It continued to increase, so Amy checked me, and I was “a good 8 or 9”!
I had 3 more contractions, and then the urge to push almost unbearable. However, I was scared to push too early, after my awful tearing with Monster’s birth (3rd degree tearing, in 4 places). At this point I turned around, still on my hands/knees, but leaning against Ben’s lap during contractions instead of the side of the tub. Amy told me that I didn’t have to resist the urge, but to grunt and think about just nudging baby down, not full-on pushing – but little nudges to satisfy the urges I was feeling. The two birthing assistants came in around this time. So I did that for a few contractions, and then during one, I felt a little pop - my water broke. With the next contraction, I had a full on urge to push. Amy said trust my body, and I started pushing!
I only pushed for 15 min after my water broke, and baby was born 1:34am! I was still facing Ben’s lap, so as she came out, Amy was behind me, and pushed her forward, underneath me. Ben reached down and pulled her out from under me.
Ben had decided that the way he wanted the gender announced was with music – he had a “girl” song (Sweet Child of Mine – Guns & Roses) and a “boy” song (Arms Wide Open – Creed) loaded on his phone. At this point I was just waiting for the music to tell me the gender, so I hadn’t actually looked down and saw her yet. Everyone else in the room was still waiting to find out, too. Ben handed her to me, and I held her on my chest, and then I heard the first notes of the song – Sweet Child of Mine! I just started crying, and then looked down at her for the first time. <3 I heard my mom ask “What is it?” and somebody (maybe me? LOL) said “GIRL!” At that point, I glanced over to where MIL, SIL, and my mom were standing, and all 3 of them were just crying. It was so sweet.
We sat in tub just holding her for a while until the cord stopped pulsing, then Ben cut the cord. We stayed in the tub a while longer until time to push out the placenta, which came out easily. Then Ben got out & dried off, and I handed Sweet Pea to him. Then I was helped out & laid on the bed to be checked over. I only had a 1st degree tear internally. I just needed 2 stitches, which took only 5 minutes to do. (And the numbing shots actually worked, unlike with Monster!) I then had my blood pressure/temp/etc taken multiple times over the next half hour or so, while Ben and family were holding Sweet Pea.
Then they handed Sweet Pea back to me to nurse. I nursed her laying down, and I kept dozing off to sleep while she was eating. I guess it had been a long night! Ben laid in bed with us (it’s actually a queen sized bed – no nasty hospital table, lol). About 3:30am she was done nursing and we called Amy into the room to do the full newborn check. Everything was perfect, but her temperature was just a little on the cold side. Oh, and her APGAR scores were 9 and 10. So we got her bundled up well and then laid a heating pad over her to help warm her up. After that, Amy left the center, but the two birth assistants stayed at the center with us. Ben & I decided to take a nap before going home (since it was 4am and we hadn’t slept all night!)
Around 7am, I woke up to use the bathroom, and that was when we went over all the paperwork with the assistants, had the final blood pressure/temperature checks, got her dressed in her going home outfit, and at 7:40 we were in the truck headed home! We got home and crawled into bed, where we slept until 11am, when Sweet Pea woke up to nurse again. I felt absolutely fantastic. After Monster’s birth I could only lay in bed for the first 2 days we were at home, because of the pain from my stitches. This time, I was doing laundry in the afternoon! Around 3, Ben’s family came over and started preparing a big turkey dinner. My parents, aunt, grandparents, and Monster all arrived by 5. We all had a big dinner together and everybody got to meet Sweet Pea. People hung out until about 8:30, and then we all headed to bed.
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