Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I know I'm a little late (almost 8 weeks!) but my life is very full right now! We are so blessed, and are happily settling into life as a family of four! This includes, but is not limited to, selling a car and getting a van, being nervous to leave my house with the 2 of them by myself, and a whole slew of other adventures!
My birth was such an amazing and beautiful experience. I was blessed to be able to labor and deliver at our new, local birth center, The Carolina Community Maternity Center with an amazing team of midwives! After several weeks of on again, off again "labor" I was beginning to think that I really was going to be pregnant forever!! It was hard, but I just tried to remember that God knew Emery's perfect birth date and time, and I just needed to rest in that fact! That day ended up being 5 days after my due date!
At about 4:30am on June 17, I woke up for my normal middle of the night bathroom trip. When I went back to bed, I had no problem going back to sleep, but kept waking up every few minutes. It took me several times to realize that I was having contractions! I finally got out of bed between 5:30 and 6 to try and see if this was the real thing or if I was having another false alarm! From the very beginning, these were different than the other contractions I'd been having. Not necessarily more painful, just different. The only way I could deal with them, even this early was to be on my hands and knees, kneeling in the floor, or squatting. They were concentrated below my belly button and between my hip bones, but were very intense! Bobby was hesitant to stay home from work since we'd done this all once before, just for labor to peter out and waste a day off. He decided to call in "late" and reevaluate once we got a little farther into the morning.
At around 11, I decided that it was time for Macie to go to Cookie's house so that the house would be quieter. I had an appointment scheduled with my midwife, Lisa, at 2 that day anyway, so our plan was to just keep the appointment and hopefully be staying at the birth center to have a baby! I labored at home until it was time to go, and we packed up and headed to the birth center. Lisa checked me, and I was a stretchy 2-3cm (hooray!! I'd had NO progress up until then!) so we decided to stay! We hung out and walked around the parking lot, and I did a lot of squatting and rocking back and forth to try and handle the contractions. They were still about 5-10 minutes apart at this time. We decided to eat some dinner at around 5 so that I could have some good energy for the labor, and I got some delicious plantains (I'd been craving them my entire pregnancy!), and had a good dinner while Lisa and Pam were running home to get their things for the night.
At about 7:30 Davina came out to start taking pictures! It started to get a little harder then, but my contractions were still not getting into a predictable pattern. At one point, Lisa gave me a dose of Blue and Black cohosh to see if that would get them going a little better. We walked laps around the building, and did some lunges and squats. At this point, we were all hoping that she would be born by about 10.
By about 9, Lisa started talking about getting the pool set up. I still wasn't sure about using the pool at this point, because with Macie, the water slowed my labor down almost to the point of stopping, so I was hesitant to have that happen again. Eventually, Lisa convinced me that my labor wasn't going to stop, and I got in the water. It was wonderful!! At this point, I really started vocalizing through my contractions, which I didn't do with Macie. Its amazing how freeing it was to labor with no one else around. I labored in the pool for a while, and at some point, Pam (the apprentice!) got me out of the water to eat some cantaloupe. I ate, and then I really started to struggle, and felt like I was nearing transition. I stripped down and got back into the water. My contractions were closer and harder to handle, but I still never felt like I got into a predictable pattern, and I wasn't feeling the urge to push. At around 11 or so, Lisa urged me to get out of the pool and try to have a contraction or 2 on the toilet.
I sat down, and, oh man, that was hard! I managed to pee, and then almost instantly felt her head moving down! I was crying at this point, saying that there was no way I could get back up and into the pool. Lisa and Bobby helped me up, though, and I did manage to get back in the water. After 1, maybe 2 contractions, I felt my bag of waters bulge...it felt like a water balloon filling up then bursting, then promptly followed by Emery crowning. All at once. It was crazy! Pam was behind me (I was kneeling in the water at this point), and said that she felt a cord, so she and Lisa started to get the cord from around her neck (it was wrapped twice). We learned afterward that there was a little urgency there, as she was losing color. After they freed the cord, then her shoulder got a little stuck, but with Lisa's help, and some good pushing, we got her out. Lisa pushed her forward in the water and between my legs....she floated right up to me where I lifted her out of the water and onto my chest! It was the most amazing and beautiful experience!
Afterward we rested in the pool to allow her cord to stop pulsing before we cut the cord. In about 20 minutes, the water was cooling off, so we decided that even though the cord was still pulsing a little, that Bobby should cut it, so that we could get out and stay warm. As Bobby was cutting the cord, I noticed a true knot about 15 inches down from her belly. We are so blessed that with all of the potential issues, she arrived safely and quickly! From the time that my water broke to her birth was only about 3 and a half minutes!
We moved to the bed for nursing, cleaning up, and delivering the placenta! Everything was so wonderful, and exactly what I wanted!
Davina was there with us through all of it, documenting everything! The sneak peeks are here!
Part 1 (labor)
Part 2 (delivery)
Part 3 (bonding)