Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Arrival of our new Little Man

Finally I get to tell you about the arrival of our Little Man (who will be referred to as such until he grows into an official nickname). 

The Short Version:
6:00 - Membranes Stripped
7:00 - Membranes Stripped
8:00 - Water Broken & Contractions started
10:30 - Got into the Birth Pool
11:45 - Got out to go potty & labor out of the pool for a while
11: 50-ish - Started Pushing
12:04 - Little Man Born!

This is my wonderful Midwife team: Carmen, Me, the baby, Charlotte the midwife, and Christine
The Long Version:
I had my membranes stripped, first by Christine & then by Charlotte...which produced some cramping, but nothing significant.  I was dilated to about a 3, and 50% effaced with a super soft cervix.  After the stripping I tried side lunges and Christine gave me a great foot massage.
So, at 8:00 p.m. we decided that Charlotte could break my water.  I did have my qualms about doing it, but I trust Charlotte, and she was confident that it would be ok. 
I am SO GLAD that I did.  Here's why:  the sac is actually two layers that are stuck together (like 2 layers of cellophane).  Sometimes (like 1 in 25+ births) the two layers separate and get fluid between them (for a better description go HERE).  That's what happened to me.  In those cases it's common to have false labor, because things don't progress the same.  I had quite a lot of fluid between the layers, and once the outer layer was broken I immediately started having regular contractions.
We decided to not break the second layer until we'd waited to see if things progressed on their own (so technically she didn't break my water, because it was all still sealed up).  For the first hour I had contractions that were about 2-3 minutes apart & became pretty strong.  During that time Charlotte had run to a nearby grocery (with instructions to call if things got serious). 
When she got back she checked me and I hadn't dilated at all.  I had been laboring on all fours, and she suggested laying in a more reclined position, so that the baby's head would apply pressure more directly on my cervix rather than being tilted forward.  So I spent a little more than an hour laboring on my bed.  I actually don't know what progress was made during that time, because I didn't want her to check me and say that it was the same. The contractions during that time were very strong and didn't feel like they ever really went away...which was the same with my first birth.  Finally I said that I didn't care what my dilation was, I was getting into the birth pool (my written birth plan said that I wanted to wait until I was to a 5 before getting in).
I can't say enough about how much I love my birth pool.  That has been the most wonderful part of all three of my births.  I actually relax enough to focus on what the contractions are for & what my body is doing, and I can relax completely between contractions.  This time I relaxed to the point that I fell asleep between them almost every time.  Then I would wake up and watch my belly contract.  The contractions were hard, but with the nap between them it helped to keep things in perspective.
After a while, though, I began to wonder, "how long is this going to go on if I have time to fall asleep between contractions?  Don't they have to get closer together before I can get to transition?!  Is this baby EVER going to come out?"  I said as much to Charlotte, and she suggested that I get out & labor somewhere else for a little while, as well as go to the bathroom.
I did NOT relish the idea of getting out, knowing that the contractions were already as strong as I wanted to feel, but at the same time I felt like the labor was going to be never ending and I wanted it to hurry if I could help it.
I got to my knees (still in the pool), and had a contraction.  I stood up and had a contraction.  I went into the bathroom and had two contractions.  On the second one I wanted to PUSH.
"CHARLOOOOTTE!" I yelled.  She burst into the bathroom, saw me starting to bear down, and quickly told me to get off the toilet because we can't have the baby there!  She helped me back to my bed and checked me.
Five.  Dilated to 5.  But it was actually just a lip of the cervix in the way, which she moved and let me start pushing.  
My Mom and Chick were awoken and came to see the birth. HH came in from another room & started taping it (he'd been in and out through the labor). At first Chick was sleepy, but then she woke up enough to know that the baby was coming out and took it all in stride. When the baby was out she was SO JAZZED. It was really fun to see her reaction.
The pushing lasted about 15 minutes, I think, but it felt like forever.  {Every segment of this birth was reasonably short, but each one felt like forever, actually.  My sense of time gets pretty skewed during labor, I guess}.  
Anyhow, they encouraged me to feel the baby's head as it started to crown, which was the second saving grace of the birth.  I felt it, which was helpful, and then I moved my hand and they suggested that I feel again--I couldn't believe how much progress had been made in a short time and I knew that the baby was almost out.
I should mention that I'd never EXPERIENCED the "ring of fire" so feeling the baby's head helped to negate the burning that I was experiencing and thought would NEVER END.
Anyhow, when the head came out they saw that the cord was wrapped around the neck twice, and it was too tight to slip up over the head, so they did what is called "somersaulting" and slipped it down around the body as they encouraged me to slowly kind of "grunt" the baby out.  They got the cord straightened out without having to cut it early.
The baby pinked up immediately and had a very lusty yell.  A boy.  A beautiful, alert boy.
His stats were:
9 pounds 2 ounces
22 inches long
14 inch head as well as 14 inch chest

I'm glad that we "induced" as we did, because he was big enough & developed enough as it was, and the placenta had a few spots where it was starting to calcify.  His hands were getting dry too.
Some interesting things about the Little Man:

  • He has the longest fingers that I've ever seen on a baby.  They are like spider legs: long and thin. 

  • He definitely has "rooting" down pat, but falls asleep almost as soon as I start to feed him.

  • He is very alert when carried facing outwards.

  • He looks a LOT like Chick did when she was a newborn, and she looks a lot like HH, but with a round face from her mama. We'll have to see how the Little Man turns out....

  • His hair is fair, but MAY be similar to Monkey's.

  • He is LOUD.  He doesn't exactly cry, but rather screams like he's being murdered.

  • He has two big sisters that ADORE him.  He probably won't appreciate them fully.
As for me:
I'm doing well.  I'm still dealing with crampy/contraction-y stuff, but even though I had a couple of stitches, I am in FAR less pain than with either of the others (despite having just delivered a large baby).  I've had enough help and support that I'm well rested and get to just take it easy for the next few days.  I've adjusted to the idea of having a SON, and am excited to make funny little newsie caps and bow ties!


che carina! said...

tanti auguri sorella!! sona cosi felice per te e il tuo tesorino nuovo..baci

Steph said...

Congrats. You are super woman. And I love the picture at the end of the post. You and baby are beautiful. :)

nikko said...

What a beautiful boy! Great job, Paige! :o)

Katie said...

Wow, what a story! Congrats again, and I can't wait to meet him someday!

Annalia said...

You BOTH look beautiful! ...and his fingers looks super-long. Good job.

...and reading about your birth (as wonderful as it all went) makes me want to NOT get pregnant, so thanks. :)

Jeanne said...

Awwww So cute. CONGRATULATIONS!!! and I love love love the last pic in the post.

Heather, Rex, etc. said...

Cool! That was great! You did it again! You look lovely, just lovely!

Kendra said...

Paige this is such a great post! Your little man is very cute. And his big sister's look very proud. I hope you are enjoying your week and getting lots of rest :) kendra

Joy said...

Paige - thank you so much for the update. Your little man is gorgeous!!! I hate the "ring of fire"...I didn't experience until #4, but it STINKS! I totally understand needing to have something to help you push through it. I wish I had thought of feeling the head. Take it easy - enjoy your recovery and that little sweet precious angel man. Much love, Joy.