Friday, August 23, 2013

Birth, part 1

Warning: Contains some detailed descriptions of natural labor

Last week, I had a surprise. Our newest family addition decided to come early, and dramatically. To give you the full scope of this tale, I've decided to make this into a 2 parter. Otherwise I may never get the story typed up and the new one will be 6 months old before you're able to hear the tale of The Night of Thirteenth of August.

We've been planning on birthing at the Inanna Birth and Women's Center, here in the Denton, since the beginning of this pregnancy. They've been great every step of the way and I'm so glad its only a few minute drive from my house, about seven minutes, with traffic lights.

The incredibly long To Do list I posted last time was nearing completion. We'd gone to one water park, had plans for the big water park, cleaned, healed the chicken and various other things. All that was left was to plant the fall garden and make the bed in the guest room. Upon waking Tuesday morning, Emagene and I took our chosen seeds out to the garden and spent the cooler hours of the day planting, mulching and spreading diatomaceous earth in the garden. The tiny bit of heat that rolled in near noon wore me out and we decided to just play in our hot tub instead of having a solo day at the water park. 

Good thing we stayed home because I started having contractions in the water. Full on, take all your concentration, try not to snap at the unsuspecting preschooler swimming around you, contractions. I got out of the tub after 3 of these rushes to drop my mucus plug off in the toilet. I then decided I should let Pete know what had just happened since Emagene was born 24 hours after the bloody show and second babies typically come faster.  

4:30p - I got back in the tub and reminded Emagene that mommy's belly has to squeeze to get the baby out and while it's practicing I might not be able to answer her questions but instead need to sit still with my eyes closed til my belly stops squeezing. She tried to be respectful as I went through another contraction. When it was over, I asked her to ask the baby when it was going to come. (We'd played this game before and the answer was 5 days. I tried to bargain for 15. That was 10 days before this.)

She put her ear to my belly and said "baby coming now." 
"Now? Not tomorrow or Saturday when Aunt Rachel will be here?"
"Yup, now." She said matter-of-factually and returned to swimming.

After another manageable contraction, I got out of the tub and double checked that everything was packed and Googled how to stop or slow pre-term labor. (A lot of good that really would do since I was 39 and 1; not exactly pre-term.) I spent the rest of the night lounging on the sofa visualizing my uterus staying closed and resisting the urge to get in the bathtub and relax. I avoided this because relaxing in the tub could either stop labor or speed it up. I did not want it to speed up. I did, at least make sure a friend was available to take Emagene should baby have a different plan and try come during the night.

7:00p ish - Pete came home, made dinner, reviewed the When to Call the Midwives protocol, and then cast my belly. Finally. (Which was a good thing since 7 hours later I would be holding a new bundle of... baby. I would say joy, but it was truly a crying bundle of mess.) I continued having mild contractions on and off all evening, far enough apart and manageable enough to stop noticing them.

Anyway- we all showered and went to bed as if nothing was out of the ordinary, this could easily be false labor or another 24 hours before anything interesting happened. The only exception in our nighttime routine was taking a minute while reading baby On the Way to tell Emagene that if the baby decided to come out before Aunt Rachel came to visit that she'd most likely spend the night at her friend's house. 

1:30am - I am awoken with an intense contraction. It's short lived and had me slightly confused as to whether the bacon I had eaten for dinner was given me gas or if it was a contraction. I was so confused that the next rush twenty minutes later sent me to the toilet, just in case. For the next hour or so I kept going back and forth between the bed and the toilet as guided by my ... body?... Hormones?? ... the baby?? i don't know which, but that's what I did. I tried to lay in child's pose and slow things down, but was too uncomfortable (and squished on the bed beside Emagene). 

2:30am - I moved to the foot of the bed where there is more room and tried to fall asleep. As soon as I lay on my side, everything protested and I got back on all fours rocking through the squeeze. I think I must have moaned a little because as I'm coming out of it, Pete sits up and ask how I'm doing. I haven't admitted to myself I'm in labor yet, so I just respond with an "I'm doing OK." He sits and watches me in the dark for a minute while he tries to wake up and remember he duties. Then I have another rush.
"Wow, those are close together." He says. 
"Yeah, but they're short. I think we're supposed to wait until they're 1 minute long and 3-5 minutes apart for about an hour." Another contraction. "When do I admit this is the real thing? When i throw up?" he goes to check the When to Call sheet again. I go to the bathroom.

In the quietness of being alone and tying to calm my mind I remembered watching an interview on More Business of Being Born. The celebrity had said that it is the baby's job to get out and her job to stay out of the way so the baby can do its job. Time to get out of the way.

"Alright, Aoife, you're in charge."

The rushes started intensifying. They came closer together and happened with such purpose that I had trouble keeping my coping techniques up to speed.

3:00a- Pete came into the bathroom to tell me Jen was awake and ready for Emagene and that he was going to put the bags were in the car. I answer him by saying "I think I'm gonna throw up." Since I was sitting on the commode, again, he ran to the kitchen to fetch a bowl and returned just as I turning around and releasing bile.
"I guess it's go time. And thanks for the bowl."

He went to call the midwife on duty. I sat back down to rest and was met by the memory that with E I was 4 cm when I vomited at the hospital. Taking a deep breath, I thought "I still have a while to go tonight."

While Pete's sorting out which midwife to call, I start experiencing shooting, numbing pain in my hip joints, similar to pinched nerves, during contractions. No matter how I adjusted, my legs screamed at me and all I could think was "maybe I can take something for the pain? Take the edge off this. No, they can't do that at the birth enter and ibuprofen is bad for the baby." The sudden inability to cope with a desire to "give up" is a major sign of transition.

 I decide its time to change out of my pajamas and into my birthing clothes.

To Be Continued...

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