Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Downlow

We are home. Miss A is out of town visiting with her Auntie, Uncle and Cousins. I miss her and yet I am relieved to be able to ease into this whole 'new thing'.

So I'm going to attempt to tell the birth story. The tiny one is stirring now so I may rush a bit. It's a relatively short story so it shouldn't take me long to get it out.

I guess I could lengthen it a bit by saying that on Wednesday I did have the second 'sweep' done. My midwife said by cervix was 4-5 and stretchy to 7-8 centimeters (ouch!) I was also given a recipe for a castor oil smoothie to be taken on Thursday morning if I still wasn't in labor. (Thank god I didn't have to go that route...) My midwife was teaching the Aqua Natal class that evening so I went early to swim some laps before hand. She was disappointed to hear that I wasn't having any contractions yet. The class was very enjoyable and I actually felt really great and energetic the whole way through. I went home, did the bedtime routine with Miss A and watched 'So You Think You Can Dance'.

I wasn't really expecting anything to happen. I was dreading yet another 'sweep' planned for the following morning as well as the icky smoothie chaser. My mom was coming over to help out that next morning so I could go for my appointment and to be around when the nasty effects of the smoothie started to kick in. I woke at 3:30 am, groggy and thinking "Ow" then I lay in bed half awake until another "Ow" sensation hit. After another I began checking my watch for duration of the contractions and length of time between. Approximately 10 minutes and pretty strong already. I contemplated waking Peter up but decided against it. I thought as my breathing intensified he may wake up anyway... nope. I just continued to labor this way and 'rest' in between contractions. By 5:00 am I could tell things were getting stronger and closer pretty quickly. I started to consider when I needed to start taking some serious action.

(Taken around 6:00 am)

I woke Peter at around 5:20 and filled him in. While he had a shower I called my mom and asked her to please come over a little earlier than she'd planned to. At 5:50 I paged my midwife, she called back, I filled her in and she told me she'd be at the house in a half hour to assess me. She also gave me her cell phone number in case I needed to meet her at the hospital instead.

Peter had breakfast and loaded everything into the car. My contractions were getting pretty crazy and while I was having one I tried to make sure I was in an 'easy to clean' area in case my water broke. I was kind of preoccupied with the idea that Miss A might wake up with all the commotion. Miraculously she didn't. I think everything would have honestly freaked her out and I would have felt really badly about that.

I was seriously thinking that I might have to call my midwife and ask her to meet us at the hospital but that was right when she arrived.(6:35) She assessed me during a contraction and said you are fully dilated and we need to get to the hospital now. She instructed Peter to 'step on it'. (He loved this by the way, driving fast and being annoyed with the slow drivers and all the traffic.)

We arrived at the hospital.(6:50) I was amazed my water still hadn't broken. We had a bit of a long walk from the parking lot to the hospital, rode the elevator and headed to our room. While I was walking past the nurses desk my midwife filled them in on where I was at. When she explained that I was fully dilated I head a resounding "Holy Crap!" from several of them.

I was so relieved to have arrived in the room - that I wouldn't have the baby at home or in the car or in the elevator. My back was feeling sore so my midwife started to run me a bath. I asked if I could sit on the toilet (what is it with me and the toilet when I'm in labor?) and she told me to go ahead. Then I realized I really wanted to push. She told me to go ahead. I did and my water broke. The next contraction I was thinking "Oh man, I'm going to deliver my baby into the toilet!" I told her I thought I'd better move. She agreed and shared that she'd had someone deliver into a toilet before and it wasn't the greatest thing. I knelt on the bed and leaned against the head of it which was raised. I couldn't control the urge to push and the baby started crowning. My midwife told me to wait until she had her gloves on! I think everyone was shocked about how quickly everything was happening.

Next thing we knew her head was delivered. I heard Peter and my midwife saying how amazing it was. She told me I could just relax and wait until I was ready to push again. I did. She told me to take it easy and Peter kept making sure that I was hearing what she was telling me. I think he was a bit freaked out for me since he had a very good view of what exactly was going on and didn't want me to tear. Her shoulders were the worst bit but they were quick and then she was here! Peter told me she was a girl. I admit I was surprised. I think I was convinced she was a boy.

(My Wonderful Midwife)

And the rest of the details are probably not as interesting. Her cord was very short so passing her through my legs to the front and having me turn around seemed like an acrobatic feat. I cannot describe the joy and utter amazement I felt when I first tried to nurse her and she actually opened her mouth and sucked and did what she was supposed to do! I wish we had a picture of my face it would have been classic.

I don't want to jinx anything by saying much but I can honestly say that she has been absolutely amazing so far. Just a totally different temperament to her sister. I am so incredibly relieved and thankful. I love my A so much but I honestly didn't know if I could do that again. My only complaint is that this girl loves to suck so much that she would stay on all day! This is hilarious in itself since her sister wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with breastfeeding! So strange.

It has been tiring since she is a bit hard to settle down at night, in the sense that when she appears to be all settled in and relaxed and I try to put her to bed she won't go for it because "Hey, I want a nipple in my mouth." But given the choice to have that or a kid who cries all night, refuses to eat and nothing makes her happy, I'll take this. It is comforting to me at least to know that I have the means to soothe her. It was awful to feel so helpless with A. I could just do nothing at all for her and it was a sickening feeling.

Anyway, I guess I had a lot to say after all. (What a surprise!) I have no idea when I'll get to post again. Miss A is coming home tomorrow and I imagine there will be a lot of adjustments going on around here in the next while and not nearly as much free time. Thank you all for your kindness and well wishes. You seriously have no idea how special that is to me.


elizasmom said...

Oh, I LOVE reading birth stories!

It sounds like it was a really positive, empowering experience — yay!

I'm glad you are having an easy baby so far. Several of my good friends have noted that the second baby was way more chill than the first, so I am crossing my fingers that you have the same experience.

Good luck to the big sis as she settles in, and once again congratulations to you all!

beth - total mom haircut said...

Oh, I'm so happy for you - on all counts. The birth sounds like it was amazing, and I totally understand the relief that comes with having, let's just say, a child who is a bit more chill. And A has a SISTER. I think I was convinced you were going to have a boy too - I was going to send you all my boy clothes:) Now what?

Wishing you guys well. And you look gorgeous in those post birth photos, by the way - how did you manage that?! You will never, ever see me post birth. It's not pretty.

this single spark said...

Okay... seriously... how much traffic was there at 6:30am on a Thursday?!? :]

Baby B is flat out gorgeous! Thanks for posting so many pictures and all the details. I don't feel quite so far away.

xo C.

bon said...

Wow! The whole birth story is what I would wish for. And I am SUPER glad to hear that this baby has been so much easier, Pearl was that baby for me... and they make all the difference in how life goes, and your level of sanity in the first few months!

Sheesh... I gotta go, Pearl just pooped in the bathtub and LaLa is loosing her marbles over it!

Elicia said...

That is awesome! I hope to have a birth story even half as good as yours! She is absolutely gorgeous. I hope she continues to be an "easy" baby for you!

Sugarmama said...

Hey, congratulations! I'm so thrilled to hear that you had another little girl baby. Multiple girls are great! Glad your labor went so smoothly, too. Isn't it amazing how different babies can be just from the moment they're born?

So, SO happy for you and Miss A and Peter!

Jenn said...

I don't think labor and delivery could get much better than that! Way to go! It was great seeing you and meeting your new bundle of joy.