Monday, December 13, 2010
The Birth Story
So, I started having braxton hicks (false contractions) on Wednesday (Dec 1st) evening. I didn't have these at all with G's birth, so I thought it might be labour. However, they went away, only to return every evening for the next 3 nights. They were really irregular and didn't get worse, so I knew it wasn't labour.
On Saturday, my mom was due to arrive here in St. John's. Her flight was delayed from the 4:30pm to 12:30am. I went to bed at 10, then got up to greet my mom at 1am, thinking that the light contractions I felt were just more braxton hicks. With my mom settled in the living room, I went back to bed, only to find that I had trouble settling, as the contractions started to get more intense.
[a slight digression] Actually, from here on out, I should mention that I didn't actually call them contractions. In (the wonderful) Ina May Gaskin's book on childbirth, she mentions that calling them rushes or waves can help in how we feel them. Contractions is a very medical and loaded term, and makes us think of pain. So, Paul and I were calling them rushes for most of the time I was in labour. [end of digression]
I drifted in and out of sleep, but had a hard time staying asleep, so by 5:30am, I got up and got into the bathtub. Paul was awake by this time and we spent some time timing the rushes and talking about how amazing it was that I was actually in labour - on my due date, and with perfect timing so my mom could take care of G for the maximum amount of time. By 7am, we had breakfast and called our doula and by 8:30 when she arrived, I was ready to go to the hospital, since I started feeling pressure.
I was checked at Triage in the hospital and was 5cm dilated. The doctor asked me about dealing with pain and when I mentioned I wanted to be as natural as possible, he was really supportive. We were sent immediately to a room, where I got in the bath again (yay for water!) and progressed fairly quickly to 8cm.
I mentioned early on that I was feeling pressure that might be to push, so the nurse kept asking me over and over if I wanted to push. It was frustrating. I finally, with the courage of my doula, had to just tell her to back off and that I would let her know when it was time to push.
Getting from 9 to 10cm dialted took me about an hour and it was the toughest part of my labour. The rushes were extremely intense and I could not find a position that would help. But, I took a short rest, laying down between contractions, which rejuvenated me to push. Pushing was a very different experience then my first birth. With G it had been a relief, but with M it was tougher. After about half an hour of pushing, little M had arrived at 1 in the afternoon on Dec 5th, her due date. She was perfect and beautiful (in that wrinkly, slimy newborn way) and both Paul and I cried. She weighed just 2oz more then her sister did.
I am so happy I got to have my natural birth again, and so amazed at the perfect timing of her arrival.
Coming next... the post-partum hospital stay (which was not nearly as good).