41 WeeksI 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.
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.