So, it has been five days since Matthew joined our family. Want to know how it happened?
This is the point where if you are not interested in birth stories you should go check out some other blog to read.
Go Fug Yourself is always amusing.
If you are a foodie, Chow is fun to read.
Did you miss Big Brother this week? Go check out Television Without Pity then.
Still with me?
When we last left this tale I was having Braxton Hicks contractions for two weeks. My Ultrasound-confirmed due date came and went. My originally estimated due date was right on the horizon. I was getting tired. I was very cranky. I wanted to get this show on the road. Two doses of castor oil didn't do it. I thought I would be pregnant until Christmas.
Sunday morning the contractions started getting more intense. Not regular, but they were getting closer and closer together. I tried not to get my hopes up and continued with my regular routine. I baked an apple pie. The best one I have ever made.
By dinner time the contractions were 5-10 minutes apart so I decided to go for a walk. My neighbour and her daughter walked me all over the neighbourhood. That made the contractions come every 2-3 minutes. I called the midwife, thinking that I could be in real labour. She came and checked me out. I was dilating (2-3 cm). I was effacing (60-70%). I was not in established labour. She left. I got ready for bed. The contractions slowed back down to 5-15 minutes apart. I slept fitfully through the night and at 0600AM decided to go for another walk before the family woke up. I got the contractions to come every 2-3 minutes again.
I called the midwife again. She came by around 0900 and discovered I was a teensy bit more dilated (2-4 cm) and a lot more effaced (70-80%) than the night before, but STILL not in established labour. Since I was progressing, albeit at a snail's pace, we decided to take matters into our own hands. She told me to have a bite to eat, a rest and a walk. After lunch she would come back and break my water and we would have a baby. I called a friend and made arrangements to have Emmett and Charlotte dropped off after lunch. I did laundry, wandered around the house, and found out my contractions were getting stronger and stronger, but nothing I couldn't handle. I knew they weren't lasting long enough to do much good, and they still hadn't established themselves into a regular pattern.
Around 1300 I started taking a homeopathic remedy to regulate my contractions per the midwife's orders.
Around 1400 the midwife came back, found out I was fully effaced, 8-9 cm dilated. I made all that progress just puttering around my house!! At 1430 I laid down on my bed and she broke my water. I did two laps up and down my stairs, having contractions that stopped me in my tracks. I would have to stop and lean on whatever or whoever was close and moan through them. The back up midwife was called and told to hurry. At some point (things get blurry here....) I started pushing a little with each contraction. My midwife noticed me pushing more and more and she hustled me back into my bedroom where we tried to find the best position for me to push in. I ended up standing beside my bed, leaning on it and doing deep squats with each contraction. The pain was unreal. I was fighting the urge to push because it hurt so much to think about. My midwife coached me on and on. After a while my legs started to get tired so the midwife helped me onto the bed where I finished bringing Matthew into the world at 1602.
My boy came out purple and a little floppy--he was given an Apgar score of 7, which is not bad, but not great either. After some vigorous toweling and general jostling around he pinked up and bellowed himself to a 9. I got a shot of oxytocin and a couple of sutures. Richard was waiting outside the door the whole time, and while Matthew was being dried off and checked over he came in and laid down in our bed with me.
I snuggled with him and he held me while I gave Matthew his first meal. After we were cleaned up and tucked in together the midwives cleaned up my room, made tea and we all had a slice of pie together while Matthew's and my postpartum vitals were monitored.
Around 1900 the midwives were gone and it was just the three of us in our quiet house together. My mom picked up Emmett and Charlotte from my friend's house, took them to my Grandma's house and I was given one night alone with my new little boy.
What do I remember the most about the homebirth? How comfortable I was. I got to wear my own ratty t-shirt instead of a hospital gown that ultimately gets in the way. I gave birth in my own bed and was able to snuggle with my new boy and husband right away. That is what I loved the most. We got to connect as a family in our own home. Everything was so relaxed. I loved that we all hung out and ate pie and drank tea and chatted while my vitals were being monitored. Nothing was cold and clinical. I wasn't a patient. I wasn't a chart with a number. I really felt (and still feel) cared for and nurtured by the midwives. Even when things were at the most intense and painful I never got scared. I knew I was in good hands.