Monday, September 28, 2009

Stella is here

Born Sept. 22 2009
8lbs 1oz
21.5 inches

So, I always heard that you KNOW when you go into labor. I never found out about the truth of that when June was born (since she was induced), so this was a first time experience for me. I thought I had been having wretched prodromal labor for weeks... but when contractions started on Sunday morning around 3am, I knew for sure this was different. I waited for a while and when they got stronger, longer and about 6-8 minutes apart, I decided to call my midwife and let her know. Well, just my luck, there were two other people in labor at that exact moment. I think this subconsciously slowed down my contractions... and stalled my labor. (Which I'm not complaining about because I'm glad that my midwife was able to be there through the whole thing.) While waiting to see what I was going to happen I went for a walk and that made things a little more regular... I had John check my cervix (thank you google!) and he thought I was around a 3... so I just tried to relax and was able to get a little sleep... but it made my contractions irregular and slow down.
Later that night, contractions picked back up to 6-7 minutes apart and I was having a hard time focusing on anything else but the contractions. But, it seems that baby was empathetic and decided to let everyone attempt to get some more rest... thankfully, everyone got a little rest (but me it seemed like.. haha) But John and I did get in some shopping and food (mmm Einstein's bagels).
My midwife came over about mid-afternoon and checked my cervix, it was 3cm but went to 4.5cm during a contraction. She vigorously stripped my membranes hoping to move things along faster. By this time I was getting tired of the irregular contractions and was finding it hard to rest as my contractions were stronger when I was lying down. I tried resting on the birthing ball, and it was great for a while... but my bag of waters was bulging and it made for an incredible amount of pressure. My midwife eventually passed out on the floor in June's room and John passed out on the bed. I attempted to sleep, but it was impossible. My midwife was having a hard time sleeping so she went to try to get a nap at home around 3am. Of course this was when contractions picked up... and her assistant came over around 6am. Around this time, I was exhausted and decided that I wasn't going to be able to focus with June there... so I gave in and called my mom to come get her. My mom brought breakfast and we ate a bit and went for a walk with June in the rain.
I was having a hard time focusing on labor while "entertaining" company so my mom took June to her house. By this time, it was around 10am and my midwife had come back.
She checked me, and I was only at 6cm... and my bag of waters was still bulging incredibly which made for a horrid amount of pressure. She suggested I try to get a last little bit of sleep... but that proved impossible. So, after about an hour of me not sleeping, she broke my water.
Contractions picked up immensely. I was "dancing" with John for about 2 hours and was still only at 7cm. When I didn't think I could take the pain anymore, I opted to get in the tub... against my midwife's wishes because she thought it would slow things down even more. But, the tub helped incredibly. At this time, I was really ready to give up because I was so tired and tired about not progressing fast at all. But, in the water I curled up with John and focused with all of my power to just give in to the pain and relax. I was in the tub for about an hour and only gained an extra half a cm or so. So, I finally got out, but I was once again in the right mindset for this. I almost gave up... I'm glad they didn't let me. I was begging to go to the hospital, even though with the doctor on call, I would have surely ended up with another c-section.
I then attempted to go upstairs to our room... which is really hard in transition, and it took me about 30 minutes to walk a flight of stairs. But, once we got there, I knew things were progressing much faster and I proceeded to "dance" with John, which mostly consisted of me yelling/groaning during contractions and him having to hold me up a lot. Poor John, as the contractions were coming really fast at every 1-2 minutes.
I then got in the shower because I needed to focus on something, anything to get my mind off the pain for a minute. Contractions were still fast and strong, but hot water helped. Although, by this time I was emotionally and physically exhausted.
I stayed in the water until the hot ran out, and then got back out to hang off John and get through the contractions. I then felt like I needed to push, but all I wanted to do was lie down. So, I opted for a birthing position (chin to chest on my back) that I never thought I would use... but I was so tired, it provided me an amazing opportunity to sleep (30 seconds - 1 minute) between contractions. It was exactly what I needed. My midwife kept offering me a myriad of other pushing options... but I really needed the sleep. After about 45min to an hour of contractions/sleeping I could finally feel the baby crowning. John was so freaking amazing... I never expected him to be one that wanted to catch the baby or be right there in the midst of action, but he was. My midwife said with my next push the baby was going to come flying out... so John threw my leg aside and swept in and caught the baby. He put the baby on my chest and said "say hello to Stella". (I was in shock, I really honestly truly thought this was a boy the whole time.) I was incredibly thrilled and happy that I was able to handle everything so much better than I ever anticipated.
John cuddled with me while we dried up the baby and I was shocked to realize that it really is true how much more alert a non-drugged baby is. I thought June was pretty darn alert and everything after her birth, which she was... but Stella was even more so. It was quite a comparison.
Anyway, I opted to let the midwifes and apprentices do the vitals and screening first before I nursed so they could get ready to head home faster... as they had been there for a long time. I also got 2 stitches... but am pleasantly surprised that I didn't tear more.
When I found out that Stella was 8lbs 1oz it only further affirmed my knowledge in knowing that I did the right thing by having her at home, as the doctor that did my c-section for June, told me my failure to progress was due to her not being able to fit through my pelvis... she was 7lbs 1oz... a full pound smaller. So F you doctor. I proved you wrong!

Stella is also nursing like a champ and already in cloth diapers.