Whew. I just had a baby :)
The last day I blogged, on Friday, I went to the midwife for a blood pressure check and it was up. They really felt that since I was toeing the line of where they were required to transfer my care to an OB that we needed to think about getting labor going. I was pretty upset, but it came down to this. Did I want to deliver in the birth center with a gentle induction or go through the stress of being transferred last minute to an OB and maybe ending up being induced in a very unfriendly way in the hospital? We decided that we’d rather deliver in the birth center.
Saturday they did another blood pressure check and it was again really on the line of having to transfer me. So after running some bloodwork and tests on my urine, they decided that we needed to go ahead with the castor oil. My midwife was actually out of town and I was seeing the on-call midwife. I was a little nervous about this at first, but I couldn’t have been happier with her care. Even though we’d never met before (she is a homebirth midwife who has her own practice) she took her time with us, gave us wonderful care and attention, and actually, I think, ended up being more our style than my original midwife would have been. We were lucky to be in her care. She checked me and I was 2cm and thinned out, so she massaged my cervix and sent me on my way.
At 3:30pm I took my first dose of castor oil mixed into scrambled eggs. It wasn’t too bad getting it down. I felt nothing happen though. I mean, absolutely nothing. The midwife suggested that I take another dose. I was a little reluctant because I felt like maybe the first dose hadn’t had enough time to work and I didn’t want to overdo it. However at about 7pm I did end up taking the second dose. Still nothing… sure, a few contractions here or there, but nothing serious. No stomach upset, nada. At 9:30pm, the midwife came to our house to give me my dose of antibiotics (for the GBS stuff) and check on me. I had dilated about about 2 more centimeters, so even those mild contractions were working. She then massaged my cervix again and that really kicked it into high gear. My stomach also started reacting to the castor oil which was unpleasant, but did kick everything up. Once she left at about 10pm things didn’t stop. Jason started timing me and it was consistently every 2 minutes and contractions lasting 30-60 seconds. I paced the house and kept loose and relaxed by shaking my hands and my mouth open (someone had told me that if you keep your hands and jaw loose it keeps other parts loose too). After about an hour of these contractions we felt like we needed our backups. Becki came up, and then shortly after I called my Dad to come watch the kids. The contractions were getting a little more uncomfortable so we called the midwife and we decided to head over to the birth center.
We arrived at 12:30am and I kept doing what I was doing…. pacing around and trying to keep loose and distracted. I was checked again and was at 7cm and almost totally thinned out. I can’t tell you how happy that made me. After my last birth where I’d labored and labored and labored and had made no progress for all those hours and then lost my focus and motivation and gave up, I had been worried about that happening again. When I heard that I was practically in transition and had been able to walk and talk through the majority of the labor, that gave me a lot of confidence. My cervix was still tipped a bit back, so they suggested I get into the tub in a froggy pose. So I did that and it felt really nice. Jason would pour water over my back when a contraction came on. The contractions were a lot more painful now, but I still mostly felt calm and able to handle things.
Here’s where my memory gets a little fuzzy though. I felt like I had to use the bathroom. The midwife asks me if its “there is a baby coming out” bathroom feeling or a “castor oil” bathroom feeling. It was a castor oil feeling, so I used the restroom and after coming out things seemed to go pretty fast. I remember getting on the bed on all fours and trying to drape myself over a ball. The contractions were very uncomfortable now and I felt like I couldn’t find the right position. Looking back, I think standing would have been better, but hindsight is 20/20 :) I got very very very hot. I was annoyed and cried. I remember saying I was really scared. The midwife said to me, “You can do this, you’ve done this before” and I started chanting this over and over and it helped a lot. The contractions were really hard at this point and I had the feeling of needing to move around but not being able to find a spot that eased the pain. I know I kept sitting up on my knees when the pain was the worst, and then dropping back to hands and knees when it would pass.
Suddenly, with one big contraction my water broke and it apparently it broke violently and got my midwife wet. I recall her saying she’s never gotten her glasses wet before. Everyone started scrambling to get dry things. Then, and someone else who was there may have to correct me, it seems like the next contraction came right away and I said, “He’s coming!” and I recall the midwives trying to prepare for delivery and suddenly out popped his head. I don’t even remember an urge to push. It was like I felt him descend and then his head was out. The midwife said, “Ok, the cord is around his neck… hold on just a second” but the next contraction was there and he came out. I don’t recall pushing at all, though I did push obviously! To me it seemed to happen so incredibly fast. I couldn’t even believe he was out and I just stayed still for a second and thought “Thank God this is over”. He was a little shocked by his fast exit and so they rubbed him and got him stimulated a little and then handed him through my legs and helped me lie down.
I don’t have a clear memory of much after that. There was clean up, there was a little baby in my arms. He was awake and quiet. None of our babies had been this calm and quiet after birth. He didn’t have goop in his eyes so he could see. It was really nice. His placenta was actually kind of small, but very healthy. I remember Elsa had a huge placenta and this one looked so tiny by comparison.
We ended up staying at the birth center until about 5am. He was nursing by the time we left and I was able to walk and get around. We got home at 5:30, dropped into bed, kids were up at 6:30 and by 7:30 everyone had met everyone else and a new phase of our family life started.
His name is Henry James Horn. Born on 9/5/10. He weighed 7lbs, 5 oz and was 20 inches long (same dimensions as his big brother, just 3/4 inch shorter). From the time contractions were regular to the time he was born was just 4 hours!
Here are some pics… I’ll post more stuff later, but I think this post is waaaaaay long enough as it is :)