Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 8th, 2010

I have a lot of blog posts built up in a pile in my head...like the time I made tortellini, or the blackberry freezer jam adventure, or the weed pile we call our garden (but it's bearing fruit - yay!).

And if I didn't get to them before, they may be lost for all eternity due to the events of June 8th.

This is the story of our Chloe Rae's entrance into the world.
If you would rather just hear an overview minus the gory details, then you may want to stop reading now and message me.
But hey, I'm refraining from posting the pictures of the birth, so it's not as "bad" as it could be. ;-)

39 Weeks Gestation - June 7th-8th
11:30 AM - Had a great checkup with the midwife, except for one puzzling aspect - she couldn't feel Baby's head down low, so she couldn't say with certainty that Baby was head-down even though her heartbeat was heard most clearly down low. We decided to meet with her partner for a second opinion on Thursday evening just to be sure...

That afternoon was busy - I went to Kroger, updating the cashiers on the way out ("not for another week!"), went over to the garden at Micah's parents to pick some things and visited with them before going to pick up Micah from work.

Around 7:30 PM, Micah and I were eating pizza for supper in our room with the laptop propped in front of us watching the final episode of 24. I ate a couple pieces and felt like I was having gas pains. They came and went, and I was still hungry, so I ate two more pieces, then began to realize that my uterus was tightening up with each "gas pain." I figured I was having Braxton Hicks and that they would calm down once I went to bed. Chloe had hiccups after I finished eating, and they were very low, so I had this gut feeling her head was down where it was supposed to be. We went to bed around 9 and I got up several times to try and go to the bathroom thinking it would help with what I still considered mostly gas pain - I was in denial that this was really labor.

I slept pretty well until about 2:30 AM, then after that trip to the bathroom, walking around the house, drinking some milk, and taking a warm shower (all in hopes they would stop so I could get some sleep), I realized that there was definitely a pattern and not a lot of time between each contraction (which at this point just felt like bad menstrual cramps). I woke Micah up around 3 AM since I couldn't handle trying to relax with each contraction by myself anymore. He opened a contraction tracker online and after working through them for a while, realized they were 5 minutes apart lasting 60 seconds, so we called the midwife around 4 AM to let her know what was happening. She said to keep her updated, told me everything sounded good and that I was doing well, and to call her back in a couple hours, or if something changed drastically.

At this point I still hadn't come to terms with this really being labor. I had no previous signs of going into labor (such as bloody show, body "clearing out", etc.), my water hadn't broken, and I thought I would feel more pressure from her head pushing on my cervix than I was feeling. Micah got the birth pool filled and ready between contractions, but things went so fast I never ended up using it.

As time went on, it all melts together for me. It became increasingly harder to relax through contractions - I began to feel faint, nauseous, and like I had to go to the bathroom with every contraction. I went back and forth between the bed and toilet every couple of contractions, and Micah was right there with me letting me lean on him, giving me a sip of water after each contraction, and helping me relax. I liked being at the toilet because I could attempt to relax completely and not worry about peeing on the bed or something, but wouldn't stay there long because of feeling faint. I threw up several times when the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and when in transition.

Micah talked to our midwife at 7 AM and told her contractions were 2 minutes apart. She left for our house at that point, and then my contractions started doing weird things like double-peaking, coming one on top of the other, and being really short and really long - so apparently I was in transition. I was also thinking "I can't do this 6 more hours if it's going to be this intense," but apparently didn't express it to Micah.

Around 7:30 or so, my body started bearing down at the peak of two contractions in a row. I was waiting for the uncontrollable urge to push, which came with the following contraction. The urges gradually increased and the pain of the contractions decreased until there was no pain and I just felt the pressure of her head moving through the birth canal. I planned to push in a classic squat or something along those lines, but ended up back on the bed leaning against Micah almost in a reclining half-squat. It was a random position that felt good at the moment, so I went with it.

When our midwife arrived at 7:45, she did a quick internal check to make sure the head was coming first (which she was pretty much already sure of due to the location of my contractions), and I was encouraged by how close Chloe was to crowning. As she crowned, I felt pain again, and it got very intense. Around this time the midwife began to realize that Chloe was being born "in caul" and encouraged me to reach down and feel her head between contractions. I could feel her hair and the top of her squished little head through the bag of waters, which was really neat. Long past the time I thought I might split open, sweet relief came when Chloe's head was born. Our midwife broke the bag of waters at Chloe's mouth and removed it from her face, then pulled the cord over her head that was loosely wrapped once around her neck. I expected her body to slide out with ease in the next contraction, but, as we found out later, Chloe's chest was a half centimeter bigger than her head - and I sure felt that half centimeter!

Chloe was born and placed on my belly at 8:17 AM. She had a good amount of vernix on her and her face was a bit puffy from her trip out, but she had no molding of her little head. We admired her for a minute, then looked to see if she was a boy or girl, and realized her name was to be Chloe Rae.

The placenta wasn't far behind her, and after delivering it, the cord was clamped and Micah cut it. We spent the next three hours cuddling and loving our new little baby while our midwives checked our vitals 4 or 5 times and cleaned up the mess I'd made. I had a tear that was just barely 2nd degree, so they put a couple stitches in the muscle to help with healing. Micah lifted Chloe in the midwife's "bag scale," and she weighed 7lbs, 8 oz. Around 11:15 AM Micah called each of our parents to tell them of Chloe's arrival, and over the course of the afternoon we called, emailed, and FB'd family and friends.
At our 24 hour visit with the midwife we measured Chloe, and she was 19.5 inches long.
The Lord blessed us in so many ways through the whole experience of pregnancy and birth. We are thankful to Him for allowing the events of our peaceful home birth to occur in a way that was better than we could have hoped, and entrusting us with the blessing of this sweet, new little life.