Friday, March 26, 2010

The Arrival

I've been MIA for a while because the kid arrived! So, first, I'll share our story:

4 weeks old

On Valentine's day, I started having contractions at 9am. Will had gone to work early that morning, so I kept it to myself. I told Will at noon and he came home at 2pm. The contractions were irregular, but pretty strong and went all day. Finally at about 9pm (yep that's 12 hours) they were very strong and lasting 1-2 minutes, 3-5 mins apart. Kept going that way and we called the midwife at 11. She got here before midnight and checked me, but I wasn't really dilating yet. Meanwhile, the baby still hadn't dropped. I was so exhausted. She suggested taking a bath (I did) and trying to sleep. She thought it would be a few hours and I would be going strong. I slept poorly from 1-3 and woke up completely disheartened. I was exhausted, but the contractions were lessening. Labor stalled out at around 4 and I slept until 7. Completely gone. I had labored for 15 or so hours and it just went away. I was so upset.

On February 18, I woke up at 3am to use the bathroom and said "either I just peed myself or my water broke". Well, I was pretty sure it was the water, but I knew I needed sleep, so Will and I went back to bed....and stared at the ceiling. We finally got back to sleep by 6 or so and Will called into work. We were so excited, but I wasn't really having any contractions. At 9 I called my midwife and was only having random irregular contractions despite little gushes of fluid throughout the day, so she told me to maybe go on a walk to get things started. I stalled and stalled all day, so she came over to check the baby and me. Everything was good, and she wasn't really convinced my water had broken. She said it could still be urine due to the pressure on my bladder, but that she still thought it would be tonight. Meanwhile, the baby was perfectly poised and ready to come out-in the best position he had been in all 3rd trimester.

By 5:30pm I was having regular strong contractions every 5 minutes. They kept getting stronger, longer, closer together--you know the drill. Bouncing on the birth ball was awesome at this point. I was still feeling really upbeat and coping well. I called the midwife and asked her to come around 9 or 10. At that point, I was at 6cm and had a bulging bag of water! water before? Well, contractions continued about 2 mins apart all night. I took a bath to relax at 4am and slept between contractions.

Fetal heart tone check

Will, the midwife apprentice, and I went on a walk at 5am to hopefully get things going more. After that didn't do much, I asked her to check me again and we talked about maybe breaking the water bag if it looked favorable. I was at 7cm at 6:30am (and 13 hours or so) and the water bag was still bulgy. I said, just go ahead--I want my baby. The bag was so thick, the amnio hook just about couldn't get it open--no wonder I wasn't really getting anywhere!! Water broke and the pressure was relieved and it felt amazing until transition hit me like a freight train. It was really rough, but my labor support was amazing. Will was my rock-and the midwives (the apprentice also works as a doula and was amazing) were so wonderful.

By 7:30 I was pushing and it felt great. On all fours, the toilet, etc. The birth stool that I thought I wanted felt terrible and I still can't understand why I didn't like it. After 1 or so hours of pushing, I was getting so exhausted, they suggested I lie back on the bed and pull my legs back as I push--finally, some progress! I could see the top of his head peek out with a mirror and it was unbelievable. But, his head was having a terrible time getting out. My midwife was trying to help him along by doing some technique stretching around his head with his fingers and I really thought she was going to kill me. It hurt terribly, but I just kept pushing. They pulled my bottom off the bed after almost 3 hours, and that allowed just enough extra room to help things along better.

Suddenly, during a hard push I felt relief and they said "his head is out!". I immediately pushed again as hard as possible and his little body shot right out. His cord was short, but they put him on my belly so it wouldn't stretch too far. He had other plans. He started crawling up to my chest immediately, and raised is head up and looked over at Will. I cannot describe the feeling of seeing his face for the first time. He was really here-and he was beautiful!

Just born

Aengus Cade was born at 10:26am on February 19, 2010. He was 6lb 13oz and 19.5in at birth. He immediately started nursing perfectly and had already gained a pound by his 2 week appointment.

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