Henry’s Birth Story

This is my fourth birth. My first and second were your typical hospital births with an epidural obtained at around 6-7 cm and my third was a homebirth. We thought about having a homebirth again, but the state of NC makes that difficult, so we chose a hospital birth and hired a doula. Warning: This birth story has some grossness to it (words like toilet and poop, for example).

39 weeks 3 Days

I was due with Henry on June 18th and I had started having signs that labor would be soon the week before. On the 14th I was having contractions all day. Although they were far apart and sporadic, I was hoping they would turn into real labor. After Jason got home from work that afternoon we decided to go for a walk (pic) to see if that would help move things along. My contractions were around 6-7 minutes apart after dinner and I managed to get some sleep around 10p.

I woke up at 3am with harder contractions that were still manageable. I don’t fall back asleep easily, so I spent the next hour or so timing them and they began to get closer together and stronger until they were the expected 3-5 minutes apart. I called the doula asking her to come over. I was still managing fine, but wasn’t sure what the next hour would be like and that’s how long it takes for her to get to our house. My last labor was 25 hours, so neither Jason or I were in a real hurry. I stayed in bed while Jason got the car ready with the bags and the carseat and everything. I was doing well when all of a sudden I felt what can only be described as the baby falling down a ladder. It wasn’t smooth and it really hurt and felt more like a tearing than a “pop”, but the sudden gush told me, yes, my water had broken! This was at 5:15am.

I stood up quickly, felt a small gush and ran to the bathroom. It soaked my pj bottoms and just kept coming! lol I sat on the toilet and asked Jason to get me new pj bottoms. I put on a pad and started freaking. I have only ever had my water break spontaneously once before, with Nora, and I was at 6 cm and already in the hospital. Lorelei’s bag was broken by the midwife when I was pushing and Noah’s around 5 cm by the nurse. It’s quite exciting and scary to have it break at home! I called the doula and she talked me down a bit and met us at the house and then followed us to the hospital. That ride to the hospital was not fun. Lots of curves equals a ton of hard contractions!

Laboring with Doula

We got there right before a shift change. I changed into a nightgown and sat on the birthing ball while the nurses did their thing and we gave them our Birth Preferences. They informed me that my least favorite doctor was on call and although we were low intervention he was high and would pressure us into what he called “appropriate care”. Not good news, but we didn’t have much choice being that we live in a small town. We got settled and then it was time for the nurse to check my cervix. I stood next to the bed, having contractions, really not wanting to get into the bed, but knowing it needed to be done. I pulled off my pj bottoms and out spilled about a gallon of water. Seriously, the weirdest feeling ever to have liquid spilling out of you that is not pee and having no control over it whatsoever.

At 7:40a or so, I got into the bed and was checked. 2 cm! That is it! Are you kidding me!? That was probably my worst fear come true. I wanted to be at 6 cm at the very least by the time we got to the hospital! Not to mention the fact that I was in a lot of pain for 2 cm. I thought, “give me the epidural”. I did not want to go through another 12 hours of these hard contractions at the hospital. I had discussed with Jason and Kelley (the doula) beforehand that I would request the epidural at some point, but that I didn’t really want it. Of course I wanted it, but with the epidural comes a lot of interventions that I definitely didn’t want coupled with the fact that the epidural makes me loopy and out of it and I really wanted to be present to meet my baby.

I was really upset that I wasn’t very far along, but Jason and Kelley did a great job at convincing me to try a few other things first. I figured out also that the bed makes you feel helpless. At least it made me feel that way, so once I was in that bed this whole labor thing felt hopeless and endless and I lost all stamina. I was happy to get out of it. I got out and walked a bit while the doctor came in to meet us and basically held his tongue. You could totally tell that he really wanted me to be monitored more often and have an iv, just in case and all that good stuff, but we were explicit in what we wanted and didn’t want (and respectful about it) and he went along with it without much fight. I say “much” because I had to be checked by him again, less than an hour later at 8:30a and have a quick ultrasound to make sure baby was head down and endure some condescension, but in the end that was only a few minutes and he left us alone after that. (A horrific few minutes back on the stupid bed, but worth the extra precaution for him to leave us alone.) When he checked me I was at 3 cm and 50% effaced, so I was moving right along.

I still wanted that epidural, but the next stop was the tub. I am not a waterbirth fan and I am not especially excited by the tub, but you gotta keep moving positions in labor and doing different things, so into the tub I went. It was blissfully warm and I was exhausted by this point since it was around 9a and I had been laboring since 3a on less than five hours of sleep. The awesome thing about the water was it allowed me to relax enough to doze between contractions. I stayed in there for about an hour and then became restless. I decided to get out and wanted to be checked because the pain was even more intense.

Our agreement (that I had made in my mind) was if after the tub I hadn’t progressed, then I was justified in getting the epidural. I was checked by the nurse and was at a 5-6 100% effaced at 10:15a. I had progressed, but omg it was so painful. I requested the epidural more assertively at this time. The nurse replied that usually in a 3rd or 4th labor you efface first and then rapidly dilate. She didn’t think it would be much longer. Rapid, in my mind, could still mean hours and I didn’t know if I could handle anymore. She also said that I was required to have an entire bag of iv fluids before getting the epidural which would take about an hour. I said start her up! The contractions were so intense and incredibly painful. She left to get the iv stuff ready and I realized I needed to go potty.

Like. Potty. To the bathroom we went. I kicked out Jason, but the doula sat with me and with every contraction, coming every minute it seemed like (every two in reality) it would force poop out of my body. What a new experience! /sarcasm The contractions were crazy intense, one right on top of the other. I was shaking with each one and they never fully felt like they went away.

I kept waiting to be done because I had to get the iv started in order to get the epidural, but as long as I was sitting on the toilet I couldn’t get the iv and as long as I was pooping with each contraction I couldn’t get off the toilet! Truthfully, I didn’t want the iv either, so perhaps my body was my advocate as well because after 40 minutes or so I was saying, “Are you sure I’m not complete?” “I feel like I’m ready to push.” No sooner had I said that, my body literally took over with the next contraction and I was pushing…on the toilet! The nurse and doula picked me up (yes, I quickly wiped) and brought me to the bed and I began to push with each contraction whether I liked it or not. This was at 11a.

Euphoric Relief

I was not looking forward to this portion of labor. Pushing with no drugs is HARD. You must overcome the pain, push into the pain and go against everything your brain is telling you to do in order to get that baby out. Thank God the doula was right there, in my face (Jason next to her) telling me to push through the burning and cheering me on. I remembered pushing forever with Lorelei and I was determined to get this baby out as quickly as possible, so four pushes later he was out. Well, mostly out. His shoulder got stuck a little, so the very last stage of pushing him out was a little more dramatic and painful, but I did manage to keep pushing and out he came with no perineal tearing. Yay! So glad to be done, so glad to see my baby!

Henry just born

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end. We waited a bit for the cord to stop pulsing and cut it, pushed out the lovely placenta, but they quickly determined that I was bleeding “a little more than the doctor liked”. I refused pitocin as a routine injection, but I needed it now and another shot of something else, and a final shot of something else in my thighs all while two nurses are pushing firmly on my belly like their kneading bread dough to get my uterus to firm up and the doctor is literally swabbing my cervix repeatedly with dry gauze on what looks like a kabob stick to find a possible tear up there. Such fun! /more sarcasm. Again, the doula was right there holding my hand through this ordeal supporting me calmly and positively while Jason was with the baby and our pediatrician.

After that (which didn’t last as long as it seemed) I held Henry and we nursed a little bit and was given room to breathe and enjoy him while recovering. There was no rush. They eventually weighed and measured him and moved us to our room. I had done it. I had the natural birth in the hospital that I wanted. Maybe it wasn’t done as serenely and beautifully as I had pictured, but all the important things got done and our son was here and perfect. Our stay was pretty typical after that and we went home the next day. I had to stay in the hospital longer than I wanted to because of the excessive bleeding, but I am thankful for medical advancements and living in the 21st century!

Henry Conner

Henry Conner
June 15, 2013
11:21 am
7 lbs 14 oz
20 3/4 in

37 Weeks

37 Weeks

Technically I’m full term according to my doctor and my preggo apps, but I’m not “due” until June 18th. With my three children before I’ve gone into labor within a week of my due date, a few days before with Noah to a few days after with Lorelei, so I’m thinking this guy will fall into that category or not…I’ve also learned that babies do what they want!

We’re getting down to packing our bags and preparing for the hospital stay (which I hope to be as short as possible). I’ve picked out a couple of outfits for the baby trying to imagine what he’ll look like in them. We have our list of names we like and have decided on circumcision, but will wait a week or so before traumatizing him further after the delivery.

I am having the usual braxton hicks and doing my meditation from Mindful Birthing, switching back and forth in my mind between being totally ready (let’s do this!) to totally freaked (I’ve changed my mind!). All normal and part of the process. I thought it’d be fun if my water broke to signal the onset of labor. We haven’t done that yet! Mostly I’m just ready to meet the little boy I’ve been carrying around for months. He doesn’t get the hiccups as often, but he does practice breathing, which you can watch and feel on my tummy and he’s definitely getting squished in there.

We’re finishing up the last few projects around the house which includes a glider we found at a yard sale months ago. I’m also gonna need a side table to hold drinks, my phone, ointment and burp cloths. It’s all coming back to me now. :o) It could be anytime, but I hope my next post will be about his arrival and not about being 40 weeks. We shall see.

37 weeks

33 Weeks

33 Weeks

33 Weeks! Less than two months to go and the baby is the size of a pineapple (according to my pregnancy app). He is supposedly about 5 lbs and around 17 inches and when he stretches I can feel his feet under my ribs and a hand under my hip. He’s been upside down for a while now which I am happy to know since Lorelei took her sweet time to turn around.

I am still struggling with my iron which means I am oh-so-tired and frequently nap during an episode of Dora for Lorelei and sometimes need to lay down for a few when Jason gets home from work. Thankfully, he’s cool with that and will cook a simple dinner once in a while. Things are getting kinda crazy it being the end of the school year for Nora with field trips and her ballet recital coming up and my doctor’s appointments which are now every two weeks and will soon become weekly appointments. Lorelei was sick all this week, so we went to a couple of doctor appointments for her as well. Not to mention Nora’s skintest! I’m ready to get back to peaceful mountain living.

We are meeting with the Doula on Monday morning to discuss the labor and to meet her, of course. I was freaking out a bit a week or two ago because after a doctor’s appt I realized that having a doctor is so different from having a midwife, but after talking with the Doula that evening and confirming that she is still available and setting up a time to meet I immediately calmed down and knew that everything would be okay. Woman’s got skillz, yo. You can tell that she’s a go with the flow kinda gal and I am so not and truly need that energy for birth. Some days I’m still in denial that we are actually having a baby and other days I’m excited to meet him. We are continuing to add names to the list, but haven’t settled on one. We’ll probably decide when we meet him just as we did with Lorelei. Not too much longer…

30 weeks

I’m well into my third trimester and feeling it. The belly is big enough to bump things and my maternity jeans don’t fit. I’m also tired, but that is due in part to my low iron. The baby moves a lot and does cute things like get hiccups that you can feel if you put your hand on my belly. I’m getting excited about meeting him!

I have also begun to feel a sense of urgency, maybe that’s what the whole nesting things is about. Everything needs to get done as soon as possible! Everything includes all of our projects, getting the essentials for the baby, decisions made about Summertime visitation with Nora and Noah. Even though I know that we still have over two months until this baby comes I also know that I’m tired. If I’m this tired and feel this huge and awkward now, then it’s only gonna get worse. The most pressing thing, for me, is our bedroom. (I posted here about our bedroom makeover.) Perhaps it is because I am not doing a nursery with this little one or because I know a lot of time is spent in the bedroom at first or because the list includes painting and staining, but I really want it completed before the baby gets here.

With that in mind I set about a few projects this past weekend. We were given a dresser from a friend moving out of state that is perfect for the girl’s room. It is much larger than the one they have now and prettier too. I painted it purple! On Saturday Jason and I started to work on the wall in our bedroom. We were playing around with stenciling it instead of planking it, but at one point I just said stop. It’s a lot of work for something I knew would be temporary. On Sunday I took the plunge and got the planks and began staining them. I normally push through projects. I get focused and determined (unless it is super creative and then I come back to it a time or two) and finish it no matter what. I could not finish the planks. I really wanted to, but my body wouldn’t let me and I’m trying to listen to it more and be mindful of my limitations. I’ve been reading Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert Bradley. I skimmed this book with my last pregnancy, and focused on Ina May’s stuff and documentaries. The book is actually really good and covers a lot of topics, not just labor. There is a chapter for the Dad’s about what each trimester will bring. The third trimester talks about my energy level and it is spot on. Resting for ten out of 60 minutes is a good idea, not staying in the same position (sitting or standing) for long stretches (or leaning over planks in my case) is also a good idea. With that information, I shook hands with reality and left the planks half done. It is totally bugging me, but since I could barely walk Monday from the bending and leaning I did all weekend, it will have to wait. Today is Wednesday and I’m feeling much better, so hopefully I’ll finish them this weekend.

Not only are my physical limitations spurning me on to get things done, but so are my values. That first year with the baby is for the baby (IMHO). They are a needy lot and I’ve learned that trying to balance their needs with my wants just doesn’t work for me and I’m okay with that. That’s why I know that these projects need to be done now otherwise they won’t get done for a while (like a year or two). I’m looking forward to that time, though, remembering fondly that first year with Lorelei. Only 10 more weeks to go!

24 Weeks

24 Weeks

I am 24 weeks (well 25 now) preggo with a baby boy. We are so excited! Everything is going smoothly. My iron is a little low, but nothing compared to what it was with Nora and Lorelei. That was my first clue this was a boy. ;o) Other than that, I’m tired most days, but running around after a two year old will do that to you, preggo or not.

We have a few names on the list, but we’re pretty sure the middle name will either be Conrad or Henry. Both are family names. Conrad is a bit radical, but that’s Jason’s middle name, so it has grown on me.

I’ve started getting a little antsy about getting a few things done around the house before the baby arrives. With us getting snow every other weekend, the motivation level is low because most things require being outside at some point and it’s really cold. The snow never sticks around, though, so I am grateful for that. I know it didn’t stay cold this long last year, so it has been an adjustment and I am definitely ready for Spring! I’m down to three pairs of pants that technically still fit, but I’m sick to death of wearing them. In this pic I’m wearing tights on a snow-filled morning out of complete defiance of this weather.

The baby is moving around a lot more and has established a pattern of movement. He was head down at my last appointment (but may not stay that way), so I don’t have to worry like I did with Lorelei who stubbornly waited until about 37 weeks to get in position. He moves more often and is a bit more forceful with his kicks, so I’m thinking his personality will be more high energy. He doesn’t like it when you push on my belly (he shoves back), so I don’t think he will be as submissive as Lorelei. lol A little bit of spunk, perhaps? It’s fun to imagine how he will be and what he will look like, that’s the fun part of being pregnant. He will be our last, so I’m trying to soak in the moments. 15 weeks to go!

One Chick’s Homebirth Experience

Here is how I psyched myself up for a homebirth: “Well, I got to 7 centimeters with my first child and the epidural wore off for the climactic ending with my second, so it’s like I’ve experienced the beginning and the end, just not together. I can do this.”

Not to mention all of the benefits: Free to move around during the contractions and not being constantly monitored or strapped to the bed. Able to drink and eat (encouraged even) during labor. No IV or pressure/temptation of the epidural which would then lead to the use of pitocin. And the big one- the confidence in yourself as a woman doing what God made you to do without the use of modern medical interventions.

Here’s my story:
My baby was breech for an extended period, taking her sweet time to turn, that should have been my first clue. She was also posterior for much of the pregnancy. Because this was my third baby I expected to do what I’ve always done, which is have contractions that lead to labor. With Noah those contractions were mild and lasted for days, but once in labor it only lasted 12 hours. Pretty much the same with Nora minus the days of contractions. With this child I had a false labor, contractions that could have turned into labor, but didn’t. Very sad to hear that there has been no dilation after hours of anticipatory contractions… That was a week early I think, and I didn’t have contractions like those again until a week late. My first child was 4 days early, my second on time and this one a week late, again, should have paid attention to that, but hindsight is 20/20 right?

My In-Laws had come down for the birth around my due date the 23rd and thankfully stuck around until I started having contractions on the 27th. We had some clues that labor would start soon and after a trip with my MIL to Target they began with earnest. It was around 2pm on a Sunday. They were unpleasant. I had thought that I would want my MIL in the room with me to help during labor if only for Jason’s relief, but once the contractions started, I only wanted to be alone and with Jason. A surprise to me.

Jason and I were on the ball. He had drinks ready for me, the birth kit out, the mattress prepared with Dexter like plastic sheeting and was very supportive as the contractions grew stronger, but after 5-6 hours we were getting curious as to how far along labor was. I had debated about whether or not to be checked. I knew that if the number wasn’t what I expected or hoped, then I would be discouraged, but by then we had more company and we needed the information. My midwife checked me and there was NO DILATION. All of my fabulous contractions were thinning out the cervix while my baby stayed posterior. Until she turned and put pressure on the cervix correctly, we wouldn’t progress. To say I was discouraged was an understatement. I don’t proclaim to be tough and at that point I broke down. I was tired, in a lot of pain and scared. I would have to endure the contractions (most likely all night long) knowing that I had not started dilating and those first few centimeters take the longest. I talked with my midwife, wailed about how unfair it felt and went to bed embarrassed that once again we weren’t progressing and I could not produce this baby for our family. (I know all of this sounds absurd in the light of day, but it’s labor, emotions are high).

Jason stoic in his support said, “Babe we are in this together” and promptly fell asleep. I was left to my own misery. I was able to sleep a little between contractions, which stretched from 2-3 min to prob 10 min apart, but about 2am I could no longer endure them. Crying, I woke up Jason. “I can’t do this”, “It hurts so much” “I’m so tired”. I was reduced to the women with bad hair in the 90’s videos about child birth we had watched previous to our own experience. He told me yes, I could, and was right there (awake) with me through each contraction. He held me, talked to me, and helped me turn over every so often to get the baby in the correct position. By 7am, I was really done. We had talked about the line in the sand. If this labor was going to be a ridiculous 30 hour labor then I had no problem going to the hospital and getting an epidural. Luckily my midwife was onboard with that, no shame in getting pain relief. We didn’t actually think it would come to that though. At this point it was Monday morning. The kids needed to get ready, be fed breakfast. Noah needed walking down to the bus stop and Nora needed to be driven to school. Thankfully his parents were there to help out because I’m not sure what I would have done had Jason left me for any period of time. While he was talking to his parents, I was packing to go to the hospital. I told him when he returned that I was done, 18 hours was enough for me. I no longer cared about anything other than relief and I had this fear that the midwife would come and check me and I would only be at 2 centimeters! After his mom came in and talked to me I figured that it would still be best to have the midwife come check, either way.

We called and she came quickly. It is a good thing that Jason had torn apart the carseat and Charley had taken the Jeep to take Nora to school or I would have insisted we leave immediately. As it was I had to either wait for Charley to return or wait for the Midwife (or both). Each would take an hour. When she got there she checked me and low and behold I was at 6 centimeters. This is as far as I have gotten naturally, so it is no wonder I was scared (and in pain). How much worse was it going to get? I knew, as irrational as I felt, that I didn’t really WANT to go to the hospital and that even if I went, by the time I did get pain relief I would be pushing her out and then I’d be stuck at the hospital. So we stayed home.

I drank fruit juice and water, made sure I was peeing once an hour. Food was out of the question at this point. I rocked on the Yoga Ball and found different positions for the next few hours that would bring relief until it didn’t matter what position I was in it was nothing but pain and pressure. I had asked the midwife about the contractions way earlier. Information is control, you know… She told me that the intensity would stay the same, but they would be longer and stronger until they would bowl over each other in preparation for pushing. Well, I was there. I think (now that I can) that I was scared (as always actually) of pushing. The baby doesn’t fit through that hole, she is forced through that hole and it ain’t pleasant.

With my first two children and their accompanied epidurals, I pushed for 30 min at the most. I knew exactly what I was doing even though I couldn’t feel a thing with Noah and not everything with Nora. With this child I now totally understand what it means to push through contractions. I felt the pressure to push, but I resisted and breathed through the contractions for a while (this is all in hindsight). I knew this was as intense as it would get and let me tell you, sharp back pain, not going away, rolling over me again and again. I was very vocal throughout this process, but at 10 centimeters dilated I was crying out. The midwife suggested low almost growling vocals. I remember seeing this on the videos. I was high-pitched almost sobbing with the pain. I was checked to make sure we were at 10 centimeters (I think because I was wavering, otherwise I would have been given the freedom to say it was time) and started to push. When the contraction would start I would panic a little and push a little. Most of the contraction was wasted on this half commitment. Now my midwife is a beautiful Zen woman who has always been gentle and suggestive, allowing me to navigate the pregnancy and labor, but after almost two hours of pushing, she had to get firm. She told me I could have had the baby out 30 minutes ago! It was up to me to decide to commit to pushing the pain to the side (sidenote: I thought that “bearing down” and pushing would feel good, but IT DID NOT!) and pushing the baby out. I could feel everything. Let me say that again…I could feel EVERYTHING! I felt her ease through the birth canal and widen my vagina and ease out with the ring of fire. TMI, but I wanted to paint a clear picture. Once her head was out the midwife slowed me down and I was refusing! Thankfully, She got me to listen and finally the baby was out with only a superficial tear or two (surprisingly because this turned out to be my biggest baby). All throughout this inner struggle, Jason was there encouraging me, holding me, my total constant. When the baby was finally coming out he was so excited. I felt like I was pushing out a present for him!

I wish I could say my first thoughts were, “oh my baby”, but really it was like, “oh thank God it’s over”. lol That was the first few seconds, THEN I could focus on the baby who was purple and really clean and still attached for probably ten minutes to the cord and to me. That was a new experience! Once the cord stopped pulsing and the placenta was out Jason did cut the cord. I don’t think he enjoyed it, but it was done right in front of us on my belly next to the baby, so I got to watch that part. I thought it was equally interesting as well as gross. The midwife took the placenta into the shower (walk-in) to examine it, to make sure it was complete and intact. She said it was heart shaped and I so wanted a picture, but Jason refused and it isn’t like I could have gotten up to get it myself! Then Jason was holding the baby and I got to see the love of my life hold our baby girl for the first time.

We went through breastfeeding a bit and getting cleaned up and all of the medical make-sure-I’m-not-gonna-die stuff and I was given food and a quick rinse in the shower. I felt like I had run a marathon, but instead of 26 miles it was 25 hours of labor. I was exhausted. Lorelei was born on 2/28/11 weighing 8 lbs 3 oz. Now that is has been a few days I can reflect on the experience and notice a few good things.

I got to be with Lorelei from the time she was born and for the next few days. No one bothered us or took her away for tests. I think there is a bond there now that I haven’t felt with my other two. I got to know her and was given the time to adjust to this radical transition in life. I know more about me. Since self-knowledge is important to me and to the decisions I make that effect me and my family, this is really valuable. My courage was validated. After “trying” to go natural twice before I finally did it, no matter how I got there. Instead of feeling brave or boastful, I feel humbled for having gone through this experience. My weakness throughout the process only strengthened my and my husband’s relationship. I didn’t have to seem strong for him which ironically gave me strength to continue. I’m very glad I stayed home. Will I do it again? Probably. Time will have passed and I will once again psyche myself up. All truly benefited from the decision to birth at home, at least in my situation. What’s a day of labor, right? :o)

Some pics:

Knitting through the early contractions

Starting to really hurt. Using the yoga ball, massage roller, and baby bump app to time contractions
She's here.
First exam
Marianne, our midwife and us exhausted, but happy
Lorelei Rose Greb

No Baby

I only write to say that there is no baby yet. This is a first for me. Noah was early and Nora was on time. I have not gone over my due date before and let me tell you, it ain’t fun.

I’m uncomfortable, yes, but really I just want to see her! I want to hold her and get this party started you know? I look forward to being on the road back to wearing regular clothes and breathing again. :o) The In-Laws are here patiently waiting for this little one to arrive and I can’t help but feel guilty that they are here and she is not! Aaagh! What makes it worse is I am having contractions, but they fizzle out after a few hours. Sigh.

If I did not have a midwife, we would prob be looking at the date we would be getting induced. I’m actually grateful for this. I don’t want to be induced. I know she’ll come when she’s ready and no amount of walking, castor oil or home remedies will get her here any faster. That doesn’t stop the suggestions though! lol

To keep my sanity I have been knitting like crazy. I finished booties and a hat for the baby girl and another larger hat for Nora. I am now working on a new project while my uterus contracts in vain and I fervently pray that they will turn into active labor! Come on! :o)

False/Practice/Crap Labor

I’ve had BH contractions for months now. The annoying tightness that lasts about 30 seconds tops and makes me exhausted even though I’m usually laying in bed or sitting on the couch when they are happening. They are usually sporadic and way far apart too. This morning was different.

I woke up to pee about 2am. Baby girl was rolling around (or so it feels like) refusing to settle and I was having the usual BH, so I lay awake for a while. Around 330a or so they started coming harder, longer and more consistently, so I began to pay attention and time them. They weren’t easy to ignore like I usually do and go back to sleep. They continued like that through me waking up Jason to tell him I might be in labor, dropping off Nora and going to the chiro and also Wal-mart to get the last few things we’ll need for the birth and the baby right away. I dozed a bit in the car and crashed when we got home from picking up Nora from school. When I woke up an hour later, the contractions were still present, but back to the minor sporadic annoyance.

We had the midwife come check and though there is softening going on and a tiny bit of dilation, it wasn’t yet time to alert the family to come on down.

It is not fun to not know when your body is gonna shoot out a kid. It feels like such a heavy responsibility to predict or guess that “it’s time”. I kinda forgot about this part. I think I had hopes that when the time came that labor would be real labor and we wouldn’t do the contractions-for-fun thing. I guess I was wrong.

The midwife calls a third baby (especially one almost five years later) a crap-shoot because you never know what they are gonna do. It could be like the first, second, or completely different from both. With Noah it was four exhausting days of contractions. With Nora labor was labor, but it hurt right away and took two hours longer than Noah. 4 days early with Noah and on my due date with Nora. This kid could go two weeks late for all we know! What the cragnog!?

I was very sad after the midwife left and the emptiness of not being in labor and the sudden realization that I could do the same thing I did with Noah was enough to send me back to bed. I don’t mind the waiting, especially since I’m not due for another week, but omg if I go the week with nightly rounds of contractions… Well, I’ll just go the week, nothing I can do about it, but the actual labor without the lovely drugs will be even more difficult than I imagine. *whine

You can probably tell that I’m still working through it. lol I’ve learned a lot about me this pregnancy. Depression and I often have a staring contest daring each to blink first. I think I spent most of my life being naive and avoiding feeling pain and loss or anything negative, choosing instead to inflict it on others in the name of “have to”. So, I’ve been learning to be sad when I am sad, work through it and give myself permission to come around to a healthy attitude. This basically sucks and isn’t easy. Thankfully I have a very understanding husband.

So that was my day. The day before was spent knocking myself out to get the house clean and organized. I’m so ready. :o)

Baby Shower!

I am just about 38 weeks. The baby could come any time now and my body is DUN. My friend Misty visited this past weekend as well as my sister-in-laws Sheena and Amber for my baby shower. I was a little nervous, only because of the tradition of being stared at as I open each and every present in front of everyone. The rest of the time was wonderful. Misty read a beautiful poem and I was able to sit and visit with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Here I am opening gifts from my very kind and generous guests. :o)

Clockwise from top left:
The spread including a yummy cake and beautiful tulips!
Gift from Jason’s mom, complete with cute little bug footies. :o)
Gnome hat knit by Misty, so adorable, can’t wait for pictures!
The giraffe toy was Jason’s contribution to the gift registry. lol

I hope everyone had as lovely an afternoon as I did. Thanks to everyone who came (some in spirit!). It is always fun to get together with good friends. :o)

Labor Love

Monday afternoon was spent with the midwife going over what to expect for our homebirth. Jason was here with me and we discussed things like, signs of labor, the afterbirth, who will be here for the birth and what their roles will be. I discovered that my midwife will bring an assistant with her for the last stage of delivery. She kept saying “we” when she talked about delivery and I always assumed that it was a “we, midwives” sort of thing, but Jason asked for clarification during our discussion which lead to this news (good to know!). There were a lot of technical questions asked as well and I was glad Jason was able to take the time from work to be here for my appt. It is getting close to the time of delivery and all too real.

On Tuesday morning something seemed, “off”. Usually the baby wakes me up around 6am running around like a hamster in my belly, but she hadn’t done that and when I got out of bed to get ready around 8am she still hadn’t really stirred. I began poking and prodding her and she began to move, but very slowly when normally she pushes right back immediately. This was highly unusual and I told Jason so.

I was worried, so we called the midwife and decided to go up to the hospital. I would so much rather be safe than sorry. The midwife picked up on the third try and I told her what was going on. She was already at the hospital (she’s an RN in Labor and Delivery) and said she would let the triage nurse know we were coming. She didn’t sound nervous, cause she’s amazing, and Jason and I dropped Nora off at school and proceeded to the hospital.

She still wasn’t moving a whole lot when we got there, but slowly improved. The nurses were very nice and the doctor was efficient and knowledgeable as well. They strapped me in and I got a glimpse of what it would be like if we were delivering at the hospital. The heart and contraction monitors were uncomfortable and annoying. Jason had about 3-4 emergencies going on at the office (which means he was glued to his phone) while we were being monitored and I was so cold. The only way to endure that and contractions is to have a really short labor or an epidural. I could just see Jason glued to his phone while I am zoned out on drugs waiting to reach 10 cm. I look forward to a different tale.

The baby perked up and the doctor did an ultrasound to check on her. She had good fluid levels, breathing, heartrate etc. From my fall on Saturday there was no abruption of the placenta and the cord was tucked to the side where it should be. It was great to see the baby and really put my mind at ease that everything was okay. Jason handled things well, between trying to figure out the monitor and how everything works while holding my hand and trying not to freak. He did voice concerns about the actual birth after our little scare, but I think when the time comes he will do well.

I also found out that the baby is still posterior. That’s not good. That means that labor will be horrific and painful, so I am doing a downward dog pose in hopes that the baby will flip. She’s still head down thankfully and she can be delivered posterior, but it ain’t fun. There is still time. She is also measuring small which is a surprise to me. Jason is large; very tall, large head, broad shoulders. I figured our child would be as well, but she is measuring at 32 weeks and I am 36 weeks. I think this is good for two reasons; I really didn’t want an amazonian girl and delivering a huge child at home is doable, but maybe next time, k?

Because I wasn’t able to take my iron until around lunchtime, I was useless all day and in bed around 7pm. Thank God for Floradix. I’m not sure how I would have gotten through this pregnancy without it. Today is a little better. Jason will be happy to see that I was able to do laundry. :o) It is very comical how ridiculously hard it is to do mundane tasks with an extra 30 or so pounds around your middle. lol I’m also not able to do as much with the kids in the afternoons, but thankfully, living out in the boonies has taught them to amuse themselves with play-doh, coloring, and playing in our redneck backyard. I’m still trying to imagine doing all of these tasks with a newborn attached to me, but I’ll find out what it is like soon enough!