Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Birth

Even though the title of my last post was titled Overdue, I wasn't actually overdue yet because it was the day before my due date. I was just assuming I would be overdue since I had no signs baby girl was coming. I was waiting for her to "drop" but she never did. I published that post around supper time and spent the evening watching Sopranos with Andino. (I never saw the series when it originally aired.) While we were watching the show, baby girl started moving like CRAZY! I kept calling Andino over to look at my belly - it looked so misshapen and angular as she moved around, sticking out her knees and elbows like never before. Andino thought it was a sign she was coming, but I was concerned it was a sign she was in distress. I started googling "increased fetal movement at 40 weeks" on my phone but I didn't read anything about it being a sign of impending labour so I was not expecting to start having contractions 2 hours later.

I woke up at 1:30 am with mild contractions. They were 5-6 minutes apart, but were mild enough to make me wonder if it was false labour (I never had any braxton hicks so I thought maybe that's what these contractions were.) I woke Andino up and told him "I think I am having labour pains but I'm not sure so I'm going to take a bath" In our prenatal class, the instructor told us to take a bath when we think we are going into labour. If the contractions stop, it's not the real thing and obviously if they keep going and intensifying then you know to pack your bags. I was only in the bath for 10-15 minutes when I knew this was the real thing, so I got back into bed with Andino and had him start timing the contractions. They were lasting about 45 seconds and were 4-5 minutes apart so we decided to call the midwife. It was 3:30 am when Andino called her and she arrived at 4:30 am. She asked to speak to me when Andino called and she told me later that she didn't rush over because I was laughing on the phone so she thought I was still in early labour. By the time she arrived the contractions had intensified to the point that I was moaning throughout the pains quite loudly. She checked me and I was 6 cm so we decided to head to the hospital.

This was the hardest part of my labour. All I wanted to do was to stay exactly where I was, in exactly the same position (laying on my side) and wait for the baby to come. To say I was happy we live a five minute drive from the hospital would be an understatement. Having to get dressed and get in the car and check in at the hospital and be wheeled down the hall... all while being hit with contraction after contraction was not fun.

We got to the room and I was thinking I wanted the epidural. I kept thinking "I can do this, but why should I when there are pain relief options?" but more than anything I thought "if the contractions hurt this much, how painful will it be to push her out?!" So I told my midwife maybe I wanted the epidural afterall. She checked me again and said I was already 8 cm. She knew I really wanted to have an unmedicated birth and we had discussed during my prenatal visits that if she thought I could do it when the time came, she would encourage me to go without the epidural. So that's exactly what she did, saying "you've come this far, I really think you can do this" (and maybe by that point I had no choice as I'd already gone too far.)

So I laboured for another few hours. Baby was not dropping and my midwife wanted me to go sit on the toilet so the upright position would encourage her to come down, which I did. My waters had still not broken but my midwife couldn't feel them when she checked me, so it was unclear whether they'd broken so slowly I didn't realize it was happening or whether they were still intact. I started getting the urge to push and she kept telling me not to because I still had a lip of cervix and the baby was still high and she didn't want me to get exhausted. Soon, my waters broke on the table and I was allowed to start pushing. The baby was crowning for maybe 5 contractions and then her head came out and with the next contraction her body. She weighed exactly 3 kgs (6 lbs 10 ounces).

I feel happy with the way my labour and delivery happened. It was all pretty steady progression from the first contraction until I had her in my arms 8 hours later. And for anyone on the fence about whether or not to get the epidural, I can tell you (for me at least) that the contractions were way more painful than pushing her out, and once you reach 8 cm, the pain doesn't get any worse. 

Baby Girl turned 1 week old yesterday. She has jaundice (although it is clearing up now) so I have been feeding her like crazy to try to clear it. I hope to find the time to write about our first week as a family, but as you all know, free time is bascially non-existent when you have a newborn! 

Introducing our miracle: 






21 comments:

  1. Love love love the birth story, she's absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to continue to follow along on your journey of parenting your baby girl. Congratulations, Mama!

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  2. Oh my goodness... what a beauty! So glad everything went well with the labor and delivery! :)

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  3. Congrats!! Sounds like a very positive birth story. Enjoy your little girl!!

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  4. Way to go Gypsy Mama!!!! Sounds like you couldn't have had a more perfect natural birth!! Your daughter is so beautiful, I love all the pics. Especially the pic with your pup smelling her cute little head! I cant help but tell you I'm dying to know what you named her... So happy for you and Andino, he looks so happy to be a daddy!

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  5. Congratulations on your perfect little girl!

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  6. Look how amazing you all look! Sounds like everything went pretty textbook for you, I am so happy that you had the natural birth you wanted. Gorgeous mama, baby and family! Congratulations!

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  7. Oh my goodness, she is absolutely beautiful! Beautiful little family! Thank you so much for sharing her with us. This post brings tears to my eyes. I am so incredibly happy for you!

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  8. Oh, she's absolutely precious! Congratulations and thank you for sharing the story of her birth!

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  9. She is absolutely perfect. Congratulations, you two are in for the ride of a life time!! xox

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  10. Congrats! What's her name?

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  11. What a beautiful girl!!! And beautiful mama. Congratulations on your little miracle. Your birth story sounds perfect, and I'm so glad it went as you had hoped. xo

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  12. I am happy to hear that your labour went fairly smoothly, and that you followed your plan without drugs. Good tips for anyone wanting a unmediated labour, it's good your midwife encouraged you. I hear in the heat of active labour that many women have doubts that they can do it, and that's where a support person can be a big help.
    That little girl is so cute! She looks so aware of the world for a little one. Enjoy your time together as best as you can, even if it is 3 am. They really do grow like weeds! I'm so happy for your new family! :)

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  13. The post I've been waiting for! Yay!! She is GORGEOUS. I'm so glad to hear everything went pretty smoothly.

    Now that I heard your story, every time baby girl goes absolutely crazy moving around in there, I think maybe it's about time to happen! I know everyone is different, but seriously, things have been very intense in there. It's like she's turning cartwheels or something. I just had a bad bout today... we shall see...I told work not to count on seeing me Monday. But maybe that's just wishful thinking.

    I think it's amazing that you did it epidural free - that's pretty badass. I've known I wanted an epidural since day one, but if it progresses quickly like that, maybe I won't. It's helpful to know that the pain never got worse after 8 cm. I was talking to my sister, who got an epidural for her first baby at 8 cm, therefore prolonging the birth experience for many, many hours. She says she has always wondered what would have happened if she would have just toughed it out.

    Anyway, I'm very happy for you, your family is beautiful. Can't wait to hear more (and the name?!) when you have time... but for now, enjoy that precious girl.

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  14. What a beautiful, perfect baby!! You look so glowing and happy! I was a complete wreck after just giving birth. Your birth story is so wonderful and just like it should be. I am so, so happy for you!! Take care of yourself and that beautiful little girl and enjoy this time. It goes quickly!

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  15. What a wonderful birth story. What all of us hope for, really. She is beautiful and you look amazing - just glowing and happy. I look like a hot mess in my photos from the newborn days. haha. congrats again :)

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  16. congratulations on your wonderful little girl!! so glad the birth went well for you too.

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  17. Precious precious little bub. What a dream she is. Congrats beautiful.

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  18. She IS here!!!! Congratulations, friend! She is so very, very perfectly beautiful.

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  19. Glad everything went well! All of you look great! :-)

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  20. Aww she is beautiful!! Way to go toughing out the pain; that's awesome!!!

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  21. Such a wonderful birth story. I have also heard that if you can make it to a 7, then the rest goes fast and the pain doesn't intensify. I'm so happy to hear that you stuck it out and were able to deliver naturally!

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