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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Birth Story Part 2: Thursday's Child

Thursday. 2 am. A mere three hours of rest! I woke up to contractions like crazy. For about an hour, I had them every 4-6 minutes. Of course, I panicked. Not wanting to be having a baby before the midwife arrived, I called K at about 3:15. Apparently, she had jerked awake several minutes before as though she were expecting my call. She answered before the second ring! I told her what was going on and that I thought it was time she come (especially with a two hour drive ahead of her).

I showered (wonderful!) and then wandered around a bit while poor Nate tried to get a little shuteye. After the phone call, of course, my contractions slowed (a harbinger of the rest of the day, perhaps?). I worried that I was making her come to early or that I was just overanxious. I got Nate to turn on a movie for me. I wanted a musical for whatever reason. My Fair Lady started as I sat on the exercise ball and used the heating pad on my back during contractions. I moved so that my knees were on the floor and I leaned over the ball. Nate laughed at me as I was singing "Wouldn't it Be Loverly". We also made the final name choice watching the movie, though I hadn't really noticed that a character in the movie had the name we picked. It was really coincidental.

K and C arrived at about 5:45. I wanted her to check me. I was worried that I wasn't too far along. I was at a 5 with a very soft and reactive cervix. It was encouraging. I went from a 5 to complete in just a couple hours with Cordelia so I hoped it wouldn't be too long.

We hung out and discussed musicals and how my sister and I would annoy my brothers endlessly with our songs when we were kids. Baby was sounding great and though I was a bit tired I was feeling like things were moving along, despite not having textbook contractions. They prepped the room and got everything ready while I labored.

Cordelia woke up briefly and Nate took her back to bed, where he slept a bit too. I tried reaching my sister so she could come over and take the girls to her house, if needed. I took another shower and tried to do different things to pass the time and get away from the pain a bit.

Around noon (I really don't recall, though!), K, checked my progress and there was a cervical lip left and the baby just wasn't quite getting it. He was also posterior which was not ideal. He still sounded perfect and seemed perfectly content in there as he kicked around. K encouraged me to try to get my water to break by sitting on the toilet. Instead, I tossed my cookies. K then said I could try being on my hands and knees to get the baby to move into another position. I tired very quickly of this. My body was just feeling quite done with labor. So baby stayed posterior for the time being.

By then, the girls were awake and going a bit nuts. Finally, we were able to reach my sister and she came and took the girls. Cordelia, my little protector through the whole pregnancy was not excited about leaving me.

By about 2 pm I was feeling pretty discouraged. It had already been longer than my other labors and I didn't feel very close at all. K suggested that she could hold back my cervix while I was bearing down during a contraction so that his head could move past. I wasn't certain I wanted to do this. I just wanted it to be over. At this point, I was really just beside myself. I just wanted my baby in my arms and for the pain to be over. This was probably my lowest point during labor. I was feeling very afraid and fragile.

Since my water had not broken yet, I took a bath. When I am pregnant, baths are my best friend. It was probably the best thing I could have done. It recharged me and I even got a little rest. I thought I might be able to get the baby to rotate a bit (I had gotten him to turn from a breech position in the bath several weeks prior. I prayed and asked God to get me through this.

I got out and indeed, he had rotated! We did what K suggested and after a couple times, it worked. Baby was moving past the cervix, bit by bit.

As 4 pm loomed, we discussed breaking my water. I was not overly excited about this because last time things went all to hell after my water broke. I wasn't about to have anything happen because I made that choice. Even knowing that women have AROM all the time to no ill effect didn't convince me. Eventually, I decided to do it. I just wanted it to be over. That was the "convincer".

After the membrane was ruptured, things of course, became more intense. I could not run away from the intensity. I was very slowly getting the urge to push, but I was so tired I barely made it through some contractions. Finally, at around 5, I had the urge to push. I could feel the baby moving down. And when my body decides to push, it really decides to push. It really just takes over. It took 3, maybe, pushes to deliver his head. I needed a moment to recover so I could deliver the rest of him. It all happened so quickly I couldn't believe it. Nate got to catch him and he was handed to me. He looked great, just perfect. He cried a little but mostly just wanted to look around. I commented that he didn't look like he was 9 pounds, but my midwives assured me he was at least that.

Frederick James had arrived at 5:08 in the afternoon, right before sunset. I was hit by the massive hormone rush. I did it! He was here! He was alive and he was mine. All 10 pounds and nearly 23 inches of him.

I delivered the afterbirth, though it took more of me than I expected, things got cleaned up, we were fed and then we just enjoyed our little guy. The newborn evaluation was done when he was a couple hours old and he was just perfect.

My sister and my brother-in-law returned with the girls. Cordelia had fallen asleep, so she didn't meet him until midnight that night! Cecily was a bit shy and seemed almost in awe that the baby was really out!

It was just beautiful. I still don't think I am totally down from that high. It was an incredible experience.

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6 remarks:

Mneme March 17, 2011 at 11:22 AM  

Congratulations a million times over! Freddie is such a gorgeous boy, and so big! You must be supermommy to have been carrying him around :)

I am so happy to hear that the birth went well.

Cristin March 17, 2011 at 2:14 PM  

Reading your birth story made me cry. I'm so happy things went well and that you got the experience you wanted. My baby is also posterior right now (yes, right now at 41 weeks and a day... still pregnant) and this gives me hope that she will turn during labor. Hopefully. Watching "My Fair Lady" during labor is totally something I would do too. Nicely done. I'm really happy for your family.

Annie March 17, 2011 at 2:41 PM  

Congratulations! He is adorable!

Sarah March 17, 2011 at 4:37 PM  

Kathryn, I'm so, so happy for you guys! Happy that Freddie's here and you're both healthy and well. Thanks for sharing your birthing story! It's sweet and perfect, even with the waiting and the apprehension. I think that's pretty normal, especially given what you'd been through with Phineas. I'm so glad everything went smoothly for you and that your beautiful baby boy is here! Congrats to you and Nate and your girls. Love you tons!

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say March 17, 2011 at 8:09 PM  

Congrats! Thank you for sharing your birth story with all of us. As I'm anticipating my baby's arrival in April/May, I've been re-reading birth stories in one of Ina May Gaskin's book to help give me strength and courage for my own hopeful home birth. Reading your story helps too!

Kathryn March 18, 2011 at 7:25 PM  

Thank you for the comments!

Cristin, have you seen the spinning babies website?

BLBA, Best of luck on your upcoming delivery. :) I read a lot of birth stories before this birth to help me prepare.

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