Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Solomon's Birth: Worth the Wait, a TMI post

My body likes to be pregnant and my babies like staying put! I really wanted my body to go into labor on it's own. I didn't want to rush the process or rob myself of the experience. Yet 41 weeks came and went and the midwife said we'd need to do a non stress test and another liver panel if he didn't arrive by Monday (41w3d).
41 Weeks
I figured I'd give it the weekend and see what happened. I was also uncomfortable and growing restless to meet my baby! And in a strange way, the more time that went by the less I wanted to experience a birth again....all the days past 40 just gave my brain too much time to think about the what if's and I was starting to pysch myself out. Baby just needed to come, plain and simple.

On Monday (40w3d) my chiropractor did an adjustment and acupressure. On Saturday (41w1d) my midwife did an internal check (2cm and still high) and stripped my membranes, which irritates the cervix and causes a release of prostaglandins. Saturday night hubs and I gave it the old fashioned try (another way to get prostaglandins). Sunday morning I woke up to a blob of my mucous plug. But it was totally clear so I figured it was a good sign, but didn't mean a whole lot since it wasn't bloody. We took the girls to church and I had contractions during the service, but only very mild and mostly not painful, but yet stronger than Braxton Hicks. It seemed things were very slowly brewing. At 12:40pm on Sunday I drank an almond butter/apricot nectar/2 Tbsp castor oil shake in hopes of getting contractions to pick up more so labor would start. An hour later I was having very crampy contractions. I bounced on my exercise ball and timed them for hours, they were puttering along slowly, about every 5-7 minutes. I snapped a picture at this point, hoping it would be the last of me pregnant-

I emailed my mom and told her it wouldn't be a bad idea for her and my dad to head on over to help with the kids. Craig had been chasing them and trying to keep them busy and out of my hair all day.
My midwife came to set up her stuff and check me at 5:30pm. I was 3cm, very soft, and definitely changed from the day before- but still a ways to go. After that I had Craig grill me a hamburger and then got out my Lansinoh double breast pump and pumped for 1 hour and 20 minutes to try and amp the contractions up. Basically you pump until a contraction starts, then stop during the contraction and then resume. I knew I needed to do it at least 30 min and me being the over achiever I am just kept going. My boobs hurts and the contractions hurt, but I wanted the baby out! Contractions were regular while I pumped, but got pretty sporadic after I stopped. So then Craig and I went for an hour walk and the contractions were very regular, every 2-3 min, and intense the whole time. I walked through them without stopping because I just wanted things to really crank up. We headed home as it was getting dark and I got back on the exercise ball at home. My every 2 1/2 min contractions then spaced out to 5 and even 7 minutes :( I was so mad! I told my mom she could go home if she wanted....I was really pissed to still be pregnant and not in intense labor yet. I told my mom and Craig I was going to lay down since nothing was happening. My mom stayed, thankfully. Around 10:30 I went to bed and then woke up shortly after with very intense contractions. I stayed in bed and talked myself through them (in my head), "I am open, my cervix is opening, I will meet my baby boy soon, etc". I wanted labor to happen so bad and I was trying to stay positive at this point and wish labor into really roaring. By 11pm I thought, "ok, I think we're doing this!" I asked Craig to fill the birthing tub and told him to call the midwife. I got in the tub shortly after that.

Once in the tub the contractions stayed consistent and were very intense. Within 10 minutes I had to vocalize through them, just like I did in Evie's birth. Low moaning sounds- like a cow in labor, I presume. The midwife arrived shortly and checked my blood pressure, temperature, and listened to baby's heart tones. Everything was perfect. My bp was actually 130/60, which was weird....she said I was very relaxed during contractions and that was great. I could still chat and talk with everyone in between contractions at this point, too.
 Pandora was on on my iPad, the lights were off. I was in the zone. The midwife asked if she could check me about 30 minutes after arriving, I think based on my vocalizing she was thinking the birth assistant might not make it in time if she didn't call quick. She checked and I was 8cm! I thought, "wow, I'm in transition? Sweet, he'll be here in like 10 minutes!" Based on his sister's births I figured he'd be out quick. Not so much. The contractions kept coming and got more intense. I could feel the bag of waters bulging and it was driving me crazy. It just would not pop! I could feel it, it was very thick and strong. I tried poking it with a finger nail, but it was Teflon, that puppy was not gonna give! It was a horrible feeling, I hated the bulge. I also figured once it was broken, he'd arrive shortly. This whole time I was basically sitting in the tub but leaning back.
The midwife suggested getting in a squatting position in the tub to see if my water would break. I changed positions and oh man it hurt way worse. All of the sudden I could feel the contractions in my back and it didn't feel very manageable anymore. I think I cried. I tried poking the bag of waters again...nothing. It was very thick. I  pushed during a contraction and felt a small POP...finally it broke! The team eased me back into the sitting/partly reclining position to birth him. The contractions never let up, but I did get at least 45 seconds in between to rest. I wasn't laughing or chatting in between by now, though. Another contraction came and I started pushing. It was hard, intense, and nothing like Evangeline's birth (she flew out with no pushing). By this time I'd been in transition for nearly 2 hours....I was so ready to be done. It took a few more contractions and me screaming like a cave woman- which I have never ever done in labor before- to get him out. His head crowned and then he went back in and totally rotated his body! He had been on my right side, but rotated to my left side. Then another contraction and I pushed his head out. There wasn't much burn, it just felt like a big head and I wanted it out. Then a weird thing, for me, happened. I rested in between contractions while his head was out. Normally once the head is out my babies just plop right out, no big deal. This guy required more pushing and much more effort than I'd had to do before.Craig told me later he was worried because he'd never seen that happen in labor before- a minute rest with the baby's head already birthed in the tub. It's totally normal for probably most women, I'd just never birthed that way before. A final contraction and his body was born at 2:18am on Monday morning at 41weeks3days gestation. I saw him in the water and pulled him up onto my chest. I immediately felt total and absolute love for him. He was perfect. Covered in vernix, dragon lady long finger and toe nails, dark hair matted with vernix, and the yummiest fat rolls. He was moving around on me and lifting his head up and holding it up, something he's done since. He is so strong! He didn't want to breathe at first, so we rubbed him and moved him around and he gurgled a bit and then finally cried.  His cord was long and very thick. It only pulsed a few minutes and then was done and Craig cut it. The placenta came out easily a couple minutes later.

The cocktail of hormones that occurs in a natural, unmedicated birth is absolutely amazing. I've experienced birth both ways and there is a huge difference, for me anyhow, in how I feel about myself and the baby immediately after the baby is born. The body's own oxytocin, the love hormone, is a really special thing. Synthetic versions can actually shut the body down from making it's own.

We were all a little surprised at how chubby he was. The midwife guessed 10lbs, I had no idea, but thought closer to 9. He was 9lb 4 1/2oz, 21" long, with a 36 1/2cm head (his head was a little smaller than both of the girls), 38cm chest. The midwife did his newborn exam and worked on me a bit. I kept bleeding a bit more than we wanted to see so she gave me a shot of Pitocin and massaged my uterus to get it clamp down (ow!). I took a shower while Craig held the baby and then I sat on our bed and nursed him. He latched so well and nursed right away. He was pink and obviously so healthy.
Little chubster only a couple hours old!

He was still nameless, but we were tired and decided we'd sleep and figure it out later in the day. I laid down with him in bed around 6am to sleep for a little bit and Craig slept on the couch so he'd be there when the girls woke up. Around 9am I got up with the baby to nurse him and then went out to the living room so he could meet his sisters. Eliana saw me and went right back to cartoons, she thought I was holding a doll! :) The girls loved him and both held him and said how cute he is.

Craig and I talked through names during the day and kept coming back to the one that had come to mind a week ago. It wasn't on our birth lists and it wasn't one we liked or talked about during the pregnancy. But in my last week of pregnancy I just really liked it. We wanted his middle name to reflect strength. We went back and forth between 3 names, but really felt like only one fit him. Around noon we decided his name: Solomon Pierce Frazier. Solomon means "peace" and Pierce means "rock" or "as strong as a rock".
He is perfect and we love him so much.

No comments:

Post a Comment