Sunday, October 29, 2006
My Baby Turns 2 !!!!!!
Willow had a birthday on Friday October 13th. She is now 2 years old! She had a wonderful day of treats and fun. The play kitchen set from Granny and Grandpa were a huge hit. She had been "cooking" and "baking" just like Daddy ever since.
I thought it would be nice to share her birth story to celebrate this day. So here it is!
THE HOMEBIRTH OF WILLOW CERRIDWEN
It's a girl!
Willow’s birth was so different than my other’s. It’s so true when people tell you that it’s different each time. At least it was for me. My son Niki's birth almost 8 years ago was fairly quick and easy. So was Willow’s and yet it was different in so many ways!
Willow was low in my pelvis a month before her birth and completely engaged a couple of weeks before she was born. I don’t recall that feeling until the birth of my other children.
Of course time has a way of making you forget certain details!
I had tons of braxton hicks contractions, especially throughout the last month of pregnancy. A couple of weeks before the birth I would have series of braxton hicks contractions that were perfectly timed. I would get them every night and they would be gone by morning. They didn’t hurt at all, but I was amazed by the amount of downward pressure I would feel with each one! I definitely had that pregnant lady waddle!
A few days before she was born the evening contractions began to get more uncomfortable. I would feel them all the way around to my back and the peak began to feel a bit painful. They would wake me from my sleep as well! The day before the birth I had good strong contractions half the night. I kept the kids home from school thinking that this must be it! I mean I’ve been through all this before so I know what’s what! Well by 9:00am the contractions were pretty much gone. I would get some occasionally through the day, but nothing regular. I was so surprised by this prelabour. I didn’t have anything like that with my son and I figured that it would be the same or even shorter this time around. But now it seemed like I couldn’t even get going. I was so ready to finally meet my baby and I was getting pretty tired and moody.
I had planned from the beginning that the kids should be there for the birth, but I began to realize that the idea of having the kids there was making me feel a bit inhibited. I had shown them birth videos and talked about birth sounds and such, and they seemed very comfortable with the idea. But I guess I wasn’t. I didn’t want them to worry about me. (Even though they probably wouldn’t have been worried.) And I needed to be free to be loud and uninhibited. I began to think my body was reacting to these feelings and I thought it might be waiting for the kids to go to bed that night.
Well, as soon as they were in bed I was contracting again. I got a nice hot bath going, scented with essential oils and listened to soothing music. It was great and really helped me relax. And get into the sensations. I’m sure that going into labour you just have to be in the right space in your head sometimes. It seemed to be the case for me.
After awhile I came out and sat with my hubby and tried to watch a movie with him. The surges were only coming every 10 to 20 minutes, but they were sharp at the peaks and made it hard to really enjoy the movie. I decided to go to bed and see if I could get some sleep. I still wasn’t convinced anything was really happening since it was the same drill as the night before. I spent another night waking up with each surge, but I could still sleep in between. They still seemed like really early contractions by how irregular they were. They were still anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes apart. Sometimes there would be a half hour of no pains. Other times there would be just a few minutes. I had felt this pattern with the births of my other kids. I was surprised how strong they felt though since they were so short and usually pretty far apart. Since I was trying to sleep I would wake at the peak of each contraction. It was a little harder to deal with the sensations since I wouldn’t be prepared for them. But I still managed to fall asleep between each one. I was so tired from the previous nights of surges!
I got up at 6:00 am so that I could rest on the couch. It helped to be sitting up! Made them way more manageable. I dozed on and off for another hour with only a couple of surges. I still couldn’t decide if it was going to happen that day or not. I decided to send the kids to school since keeping them home the day before had not worked out at all. I made their lunches, packed their backpacks and went to wake them up. I had to stop every once in a while for a contraction. They were still pretty irregular. Occasionally one would be pretty strong and I would need to stop for it. But I only had a couple like that as hubby and I got the kids fed, dressed and off to school. I told them that we might have the baby that day but then again we might not. They’d already heard that one a few times by then so I’m sure they didn’t take it too seriously, hee-hee!
Once they left I headed straight for the tub again but I didn’t stay in long because it felt just too hot in there. Instead I went back to my nest on the couch and got comfy, I tried to knit but couldn’t get into that at all.
Have I mentioned how wonderful hubby was yet? I should!!! He was so great! He brought me drinks whenever I asked. Got me my soothing music. Tempted me with his yummy baked treats and rubbed my back and belly whenever I looked uncomfortable. There was so much that we didn’t get to do when our other children were born. Our first had been at the hospital. We got there very early and had had almost every intervention you can think of other than a c-sec. We were pretty scared, not well prepared and just did what we were told. Our next birth was also at a hospital, but we were very well prepared that time. It was a great birth, but since Peter had to spend all of my active and transition part of labour driving us to the hospital, it wasn’t exactly what he had hoped for I’m sure. And since I arrived ready to push, he was pretty much shoved aside in the bustle to get ready. This time we were alone, relaxed and this may sound odd but it was very romantic. His love and support made that day so special. I got to see how gentle and caring he really is.
By 9:30 am we decided that the baby would probably be born that day, but probably not for a while. We put the waterproof cover on the bed and an old sheet on top and got cozy. Contractions were pretty short, but they were definitely getting strong. I had to breath slowly and deeply through many of them and after awhile I started to shake at the peak. Going to the bathroom at this point was not too fun partly because I had to go downstairs each time and also because each time I went, the contractions were so strong and it would turn out that I didn’t really need to go that much after all. I checked my cervix and thought I was probably completely effaced but probably only 3 cm (though I was only guessing) I was disappointed since the contractions felt strong and I was feeling that constant need to go to the bathroom. I felt so much further than 3 cm!
I suppose at that point I should have stayed up on my feet, but it felt so much nicer to sit in bed resting against Peter while he rubbed my lower back. I was definitely shaking at the peak of contrax and they were about 5-6 minutes apart by 10:00 am. I started thinking that even though I had a long way to go in dilation that it might go very fast soon. There was so much energy and pressure!
Peter paged our midwife and talked to Sue. She is a student midwife and I was really glad she was going to be there as I felt we had really hit it off. She asked to talk to me and of course that made my contrax stop! It’s amazing what a connection there is between brain and body. It's happened to me every time. I get stage fright! Sue understood though and still wanted to check since she knew how fast things went once I hit active labour with my son’s birth. She said she would come out at noon. I thought that sounded great.
It didn’t take long after I got off the phone for the surges to start again. Peter and I stayed in bed and continued as we had been before. Sue and Sandy arrived at about 11:30am. Sue checked my dilation and found me to be between 3-4 cm. I was surprised that my guess was so close but a little worried that the contractions were so strong without being more effective. I still felt that under the right circumstances I would go really fast!
It was exciting watching them take out the little blankets and clothes and wrapping them in a heating pad so that they would be nice and warm once our baby arrived! We talked and we all felt very strongly that I was going to have a speedy birth once active labour picked up. I had this odd instinctual feeling that once my water broke we would be in for a wild ride and so I actually asked if my water could be broken! I know that might seem like a strange request for a natural birth, but it was something I just knew was right. Normally I wouldn’t have picked that route. In fact, my water was artificially broken with my daughter Josi's birth and that was the first intervention that led to many others. But it was like I knew that this was the boost I needed and wanted. I just knew that it was going to be okay this time. The water bag was bulging with each contraction at this point. I said let's go for it. We got ready for a short, intense ride!
On the next contraction Sandy broke the bag. It was around noon. They helped me up and I went downstairs for a short walk and to use the bathroom again. They gave Peter and I privacy and he held me up through the next few contractions. They were suddenly very long, strong and fast! I tried the bathroom again and thought I really needed to go. I pushed just a couple of times before I realized what this was. I couldn’t really believe it though since it had been only 20 minutes since my water broke! I told Peter that I thought it wouldn’t be long now and so he helped me back upstairs. Sue checked the baby’s heart rate and had me lay down for a quick look at my cervix. Fully dilated! Wow! Lying on my back was unbearable, as was sitting, leaning back on my stack of pillows. I got up on my knees and Sandy brought over a chair for me to lean on. I told her I was feeling a huge amount of bowel pressure. I knew the baby was starting to move through my cervix then. Sandy was on the phone with a 3rd midwife who was lost on our back roads.
I asked Peter to sit in the chair I was leaning on so I could hang onto him rather than an empty chair. Then my body began to push! There was nothing I could do to stop or add to that power. It was the most intense sensation! I thought I might explode! I grabbed onto Peter, buried my face in his lap (hey, no jokes!) and just screamed and hollored my head off. I couldn’t not yell! There was so much sensation, power and energy blasting through me it had to go somewhere and boy did it ever. It hurt like hell, but yelling honestly helped me deal with it.
The baby was coming out fast! I was worried that I would tear and tried to tell the midwives that but I could only say ‘I can’t go slow. I have to go fast!’ Having midwives was such a different experience. They never told me what to do. I loved that. Being ordered about during pushing is the most annoying thing. People telling you when to push and when not to push as if it’s a moment you can control. They just spoke very quietly to each other while I clung to Peter and yelled. I could barely tell they were there! So wonderful! Another wonderful thing was having Peter to hang on to. We had wanted to have him catch this baby. But I really needed him in front of me for me to cling to and get comfort from rather than have him behind me looking at my bum with the midwives while I faced an empty chair.
As the head began to show I reached down to feel it. I did that with my son's birth and really loved that part. One difference - I was all smiles while Niki was coming out. This time I was still hollering but I started feeling that excitement too. It was very intense. The burning wasn’t too bad but the pressure was so strong. It felt like I might blow up into a million pieces. The head crowned and came out in one contraction and I yelled to Peter that the baby was coming out. I felt relief for a moment, but pushing out the shoulders and chest was still pretty hard. Once the head was out I kept my hands on her and as soon as her shoulders and chest were out she slid into my hands. I scooped her up and went straight from yells of pain to whooping with laughter. I started yelling ‘That was amazing! That was amazing!’ I saw she was a girl and told Peter. I love that moment after the birth! All 3 times have been incredible no matter what kind of birth it was.
From the time that I made my way back upstairs to the birth only 7 minutes had passed!
I had gone from 4 cm to birth in 27 minutes!
I felt so high and amazed by the experience. We had done it again. There was this whole new person that wasn’t here before. She was whole and perfect and we just loved her right away. Peter cut the cord, a first for him since he had always felt too overwhelmed with our hospital births. I chose active management for the third stage since I have a mild bleeding disorder. I got a pitocin shot and the placenta came out whole and huge! A quick check of me and baby and then the midwives went quietly downstairs and let Peter and I have a private time with our new baby. I felt so much love for Peter and our baby and Josi and Niki though they had missed the birth after all. I felt that they could have handled it, but in the end I needed to feel completely relaxed and uninhibited to let that birth power carry me away.
Later we discovered she was 9 pounds. And that she was born with her hand up over her head. No wonder it was so intense! I didn’t tear though and I think being up on my knees helped quite a bit. The midwives checked us over again in an hour, tidied up a bit, hugged us, thanked us for such a nice easy birth and left just as quietly as they arrived.
By then it was only an hour until the kids would be home from school so we decided not to pick them up early, but surprise them instead. I greeted them at the door when the bus came, just like I always do. Peter was with the baby in the living room. They came in telling me about their day just like they always do until I showed them how squashy my belly was. They looked at me in such a funny confused way! Then I brought them to the living room to meet their brand new sister. They were so surprised and happy, Josi was a tiny bit disappointed at missing the birth, but was still completely happy. It’s wonderful having older kids because you always have hands willing to hold baby when you need them. They are wonderful with their new sister and love her so much!
Life is good!