Birth Story DD #3: She’s here!!!

Well, me and my beautiful new daughter are home from the hospital now. We’re both still adjusting to her new life on the outside. I thought I would try to go ahead and get something up, though, to refer friends and family who want to know all the gory details of her arrival. It’s still all so new, though, and we are both so tired I may have to do a follow up post for all the things I forget to say.

Wednesday I went to my regularly scheduled appointment with my midwife. She wanted to go ahead and examine me since I was at 39 weeks. I was only 1 centimeter dilated, 50 % effaced, and the baby wasn’t as low as I thought. My midwife asked if I wanted her to separate the membranes to possibly trigger labor soon, and I agreed. For about 24 hours I had some heavy spotting but I only had about one hour of irregular contractions early in the morning.

Friday morning at about 3:30 in the morning I started feeling contractions again. They were timing about eight minutes apart with a one minute duration. That seemed like such a short interval that I didn’t think it meant much, but I was also having a little more heavy spotting. After an hour and a half of the contractions coming regularly every eight minutes, I went ahead and woke my husband up to go to the hospital. While he got in the shower, I went to the other room to call my mother-in-law and my midwife.

It took us a little longer than we expected to get to the hospital due to early morning traffic; we also stopped by McDonald’s and I tried to nibble on a McGriddle but I didn’t have much appetite. At the hospital my midwife assured me that I would be staying because I had dilated to six centimeters. I was admitted to a labor/delivery room, and my first dose of penicillin was run through my IV for Group B Strep.

For the next two hours I continued with contractions every 8-minutes, and I didn’t dilate at all. I was a little discouraged, but I turned down my midwife’s offer to break my water bag. While I didn’t want an excessively long labor, I didn’t mind giving things more time. Then she suggested I try walking around the room. That made me feel a little dizzy, though. I decided to try doing some exercises on the bed instead: tailor sitting, butterflies, foot rotations, and cat/cow yoga pose. I got a little overwhelmed with exhaustion, though. At that point, my midwife suggested that maybe I should try to rest for a bit, so I closed my eyes and dozed between contractions for about an hour. After my little nap, my contractions were coming a little closer together. I started trying to relax my pelvis and think positive thoughts about my body opening up. When I was checked again, I had dilated up to eight centimeters.

I had three goals for this labor: (1) get to the hospital in time for at least one dose of anti-biotic, (2) make it through transition without biting a pillow and screaming, and (3) not spend hours having unproductive pushing due to a panic attack during transition. The first goal was easily accomplished; I got both recommended doses of anti-biotic in my system. In order to accomplish the second goal I thought a lot about the mind-body connection as demonstrated in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. During contractions I would close my eyes and repeat various mantras to myself silently such as “I can do this. My body was made to do this. I have done this before. This is my body opening up.” Sometimes I would sing songs in my head, pop and religious. Sometimes I focused on prayers. And when I was saying a mantra I would force myself to smile; even though it probably looked like a horribly forced smile I could feel my body relax into the contraction and it made me feel powerful.

As the contractions increased in intensity I started saying things out loud. By the time I was in transition, I was barking my mantras loudly, giving myself and those contractions a stern talking to. I knew that if I let fear of pain in my mind then I would get preoccupied with it and then I really would feel more pain. I also forced my hands and body to unclench even though my body wanted to tighten up in response to intense contractions; I knew it would be counter-productive to tighten up and possibly slow down my labor.

Once I was up to nine centimeters I consented to have my water bag broken. I felt that I had accomplished goal #2, and I knew that the next step of intensity from where I was at would be pushing contractions. I couldn’t have broken my bag knowing that I still had a long way to go. So about a half hour after my bag was broken things started getting really intense. I moved onto my hands and knees, and when I felt the urge to push I buried my face in the mattress and pushed with all my might. My husband told me later that I was pushing something out, but it certainly wasn’t the baby. It was at that point that he understood a comment the midwife had said about hands/knees being the messiest pushing position.

After five or six contractions on my hands and knees with some really protective pushing, my midwife and I agreed that if I flipped on my back the baby would probably be out really fast. As soon as I flipped over, I yelled for help getting my legs up and I pushed with all my might. By the end, I am ashamed to say that I was really screaming, but it was at the very end when the baby was actually coming through. I was a little embarrassed, but I really hoped that no other woman in labor had heard me. I would hate to think I had scared anyone and possibly made their labor more difficult. But goal #3 had been accomplished.

My new baby girl was plopped onto my abdomen and they put a warm blanket over her. She was crying, but as soon as I started talking to her and patting her she settled down quickly. She seemed really content, and I think we both would have been content to stay there forever like that. My husband cut the cord, but then my placenta was taking awhile to come out. The cord left to the placenta had started to sheer away, so the midwife couldn’t use it to guide the placenta out. They went ahead and took the baby to wipe her down so the midwife and I could focus on the placenta, and then she gave me one stitch.

My third dear daughter was born Friday May 9th and 2:43 PM. She weighed 6 lbs. and 14 oz (my biggest baby) and measured 19 inches long. She has a head of beautifully even dark brown hair, just like I had dreamed that she would. She totally has my feet just like her big sisters. And after reviewing the first pictures of the other two, this new baby greatly resembles her oldest sister at birth. She nursed very well immediately and promptly fell to sleep.

Once I was settled in my post-partum room, my husband went home to get the girls, Granny, and my parents who had just arrived from Kentucky. I could hear my girls coming down the hall (the older one’s voice only has one loud volume). My oldest daughter immediately pounced upon her new baby sister wanting to hold her and kiss her and poke her and rub her non-stop. The two-year-old wanted to tickle her chin and say “gutchy-gutchy”, then she pronounced that the baby was cute. Then she was ready to go home. They stayed for about an intense hour in which the oldest was bouncing off the walls and led everyone in singing “Happy Birthday” to her new baby sister.

The baby and I got along well. She started passing meconium and continued to do so pretty non-stop. Once they finally removed my IV it felt good to get up and walk around. The next morning my mother-in-law came to stay with me at the hospital while the rest of the family went to my oldest daughter’s t-ball game. I got a call when the game was almost over that my oldest daughter had made the first homerun for her team; she was rewarded by her coach with a game ball. Then they all came to see us again for another short but intense visit.

On Sunday morning my husband came early. Once the baby and I were checked out and the birth certificate information was turned in, we just had to wait for our picture appointment. They now do studio-style baby pictures in the hospital (can we say “new ways to fleece you for money”), but we managed to limit ourself to six sheets of two poses out of twenty-two. Then we packed up our stuff and got out of there as fast as we could.

So here we are adjusting to life at home. The girls are still pretty wound up over their baby sister; they want to love her to death. My parents are staying in town for a few days to help with the adjustment. I’m going to get this post up immediately, so please excuse any typos and mistakes. Maybe later today I can get hubby to help me add a picture of our new bundle to this post.

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3 Comments on “Birth Story DD #3: She’s here!!!”

  1. Chrystal Says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your new baby daughter. I came over to your site via “Visits to Candyland.” Reading your birth story brought back of a lot of memories for me. I have three daughters (also one son). My oldest turned 29 yesterday. This is a great time of year to have a newborn. Not too hot – not too cold. Enjoy your new little one!!

  2. mel Says:

    Hi, I stopped over here from the 4real forums. Congratulations, great story! She sounds like she’s doing great. Don’t worry about the screaming. Like I said on the forums, I used to do this for a living, and I’ve been in births that would positively make my ears bleed..a little screaming is no biggie. Neither is some poo. 🙂

  3. Laura Witten Says:

    I know for sure I screamed…I think i mentioned to you before that they barely got the epidural in in time. I don’t think i’ll have one next time.

    So…CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m so happy everything went smoothly. Can’t wait to see a picture!

    I knew when you didn’t post for a few days that she was on her way, so can’t say it was a surprise. 🙂

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