Amelia Turned 3 years old today!! My big girl is growing so fast. She is witty, sweet, smart, spunky and the most social girl I know! Here is Amelia's home birth story.
Due date July 23, 2008
Birth day July 27, 2008 3:40am
My parents flew in from Virginia for the birth and ended up being here for 2 weeks before Amelia decided to make an entrance into the world. For at least two weeks before Amelia's birth I experienced lots of pressure in my bottom and strong Braxton hicks. The pressure would get so strong while walking that I felt like my water would break. I had false labor twice and the last time it lasted most of the night. At one of my last prenatal check ups I had not dilated or effaced any and I was still firm. At my last prenatal check up, which was the Tuesday before I gave birth, I had only softened a little. Needless to say I was discouraged. The baby had been head down and engaged in my pelvis before 36 weeks and with all of the pressure I was having I was sure something would have changed. My Midwife told me not to worry and that she was sure something would happen that weekend. So I walked, bounced on my birth ball, did squats, drank gallons of Raspberry leaf tea and took my birth herbs.
On Saturday, July 26th we went to a flower nursery to get some plants for our 4-plex. I was on my feet most of the day walking and squatting while planting bushes. I felt lots of braxton hicks and pressure throughout the day but paid no attention since it had become the norm for me and was not painful, just annoying. I was able to take a 2 hour nap after the yard work and felt rested.
Around 11:30pm I started to feel some strong contractions. Since I had already taken a shower I didn't feel like taking a bath to see if the contractions would stop so I just laid down and relaxed while counting the contractions. After breathing through about 7 or 8 contractions I felt and heard a "pop, pop". I thought what was that? Was that my waters? Then I decided to go to the bathroom and saw pink bloody show. At that point I knew that there was no waiting around to see if the contractions would go away. I was in labor. I called for Joaquin to come to the bathroom so I could get him to call our Midwife. She asked him some questions for me to answer and then wanted to speak to me. While I was talking to her the pressure was getting stronger and heavier. I was still sitting on the toilet so she told me to go lie down on my left side and count the contractions. She said that when they get to be one minute long and 5 minutes apart to call her back. Joaquin woke my mom and dad while I went to lie down. Joaquin counted my contractions on a contraction counter that he downloaded on his computer. From the beginning of counting my contractions they were 2 minutes long and 3-5 minutes apart!!! Joaquin called her right away. She was on her way from Santa Cruz which was about a 25-30 minute drive away. At that point Joaquin prayed over me and the baby. Her apprentice arrived first since she lived close by and asked me a few questions while we waited for my Midwife. The apprentice was surprised by my descriptions of my labor. I hummed and swayed back and forth which seemed to help me with the contractions. I felt my contractions in my pubic bone with lots of annoying pressure. I felt more and more nausea with each contraction until I finally threw up my dinner. I felt better once I threw up. I started to think, "I don't think I can do it if I have 6 more hours of this". Little did I know that I was transitioning. I skipped a long early labor and went straight to the end! Praise the Lord! My midwife finally got to our house and started setting up for the birth. I told her I felt lots of pressure. Especially when squatting on sitting on the toilet. She said she didn't want to check me just yet because my water had broken and she didn't want to introduce germs if we had a few more hours of labor left. Even though sitting made the pressure worse I went to the bathroom to sit on the toilet because the pressure made me feel like I had to have a bowel movement. I couldn't go so I just sat there and my midwife came in the bathroom to ask how I was. I told her I felt like pushing. She said, "Well maybe I should go ahead and check you". I laid down on the bed and she checked me. I was 6 cm already! She said, "This isn't normal for a first baby. I think I will get to go to church this Sunday". She put a few pillows between my legs while I laid on my left side to keep pressure off of the baby's head so she could come down easy. Within minutes of her checking me I felt a tremendous urge to push. My uterus was making me push down. It was so strong. It felt like it was taking over my body and was making me do crunches. My midwife told me to breathe through it which seemed difficult. She had Joaquin squeeze my hand which helped. She checked me again at that point and said, "I see lots of black hair!" What tha? Amelia was crowning already!! Around 1:30am I started pushing. Once I started to push, all discomfort went away. I could feel the urge to push but it wasn't painful. The only discomfort I felt was of my midwife doing perineal stretching and massaging. I was pushing so hard that I would lose my breath and get so tired. I was fed dextrose tablets (sugar) to give me energy. My mouth felt dry so I kept drinking iced raspberry leaf tea. My midwife said, "You have plenty of room in your pelvis you just have to push down towards your rectum because she is hitting your pubic bone." I always said I wanted to deliver in a squatting position and not on my back but because Amelia's head kept hitting my pubic bone the midwife decided that my back and side would be the best position for pushing. I had my mom on one side and Joaquin on the other helping me hold my legs up because I was so tired. After 2 hours of hard pushing and my mom and midwife praying out loud, Amelia was born. I didn't even feel the "ring of fire" you hear about. No tearing praise the Lord although my midwife said after the fact that she was about to give me an episiotomy right when Amelia's head started coming out because Amelia's heart rate was dropping. She never performs them unless she thinks it is absolutely necessary. I'm glad her head came out when it did! Amelia was born at 3:40am weighing 8lbs and measuring 19in long. When we took Amelia to the pediatrician for a check up at 3 days old Amelia weighed 8.3lbs. That would mean that she gained weight instead of losing ounces which is typical of a baby. The pediatrician said that home birth scales tend to be off a little so Amelia could have been close to 9lbs!
It was amazing despite the hard work. My midwife said she was glad that I had an fast labor because it was a hard birth. She said a lot of women who have 10-20 hour labors have a hard time with 30 minutes of pushing. I asked her if my next baby would be this hard and she said, "oh no, it will be much easier." Thank God. I'm believing in that. Even though it didn't feel like 2 hours of pushing, I don't want that again.
My first thought when I saw Amelia was, "look at that hair! She's here!" The heartburn and acid reflux wasn't in vain. She was laid on my chest screaming and crying. She wanted to make sure we knew she was there. I couldn't believe she was finally here! She looked just like her 36 week ultrasound pictures. The side of her face that was hitting my pubic bone was a little swollen and bruised. I was given a vitamin K shot and blue cohosh to stop the bleeding. I delivered the placenta soon after. While Amelia was being weighed and measured, I was being cleaned up so I could go sit on the toilet. My midwife wanted to me to start clotting which I did quickly. If my midwife was worried I never knew it. She was calm and looked in control. After 25+ years of being a home birth Nurse Midwife she has seen it all and has amazing knowledge. Joaquin was given a lesson on how to swaddle a baby and then he wiped down Amelia's hair. Since I couldn't urinate on my own due to swelling for obvious reasons my midwife used a catheter to help me urinate. My midwife wanted me to eat something so Joaquin made me a yummy sandwich of cheese and mayo (my request) which tasted so good after that hard work. It's the simple things. Around 6:00am Joaquin and I, with our new baby girl, were tucked into our freshly made bed. My midwife helped me get Amelia latched on for the first time. She was such a good nurser from the beginning. My midwife slept on the sofa for a few hours before heading home to get ready for church. I was already awake when she came to check on me before leaving. I think I was living on adrenalin most of that day. My mom and dad made me pancakes and brought them to me in bed. Soreness set in fast. I felt like I was hit by a truck. My arms were sore and I felt like I had no ab muscles left from the two hours of pushing aka "birth crunches". If you want to know how I felt just do crunches for two hours. :) After eating breakfast I took a nice hot shower. That shower felt sooooo good but I felt so weak that I had to get Joaquin to help me dry off and get dressed. He loves me so much! The combination of blood loss and the 2 hours of pushing really caught up with me quickly.
I loved my experience in the end even though I felt a little traumatized by the quickness of it. For 40+ weeks I mentally prepared for the average 6+ hours of laboring and the gradual increasing of contractions that the books tell you about. I was not prepared for a 2 hour, wham, bam thank you ma'am kind of labor but I am thankful for it. I pray that my next birth is as fast as my first. This time I will be more mentally prepared I think.
Excuse these sad phone pictures. I'm too lazy to download the decent ones from our external hard drive. Next birth I want to designate someone to take pictures. I am the picture taker in the family so I didn't get any pictures of me and Amelia after the birth! Makes me sad thinking about it but I know everyone was exhausted after the birth and we weren't thinking straight. lol
|Shortly after the birth|
|warm and cozy|
|Love at first sight.|
|You can see her right eye is puff from the swelling.|
|Puffy little face. I'm glad she is growing into her nose. The Hastings' nose lives on! lol|
|She loved her yawns!|
|I loved starring at her.|
|She was a great nurser from the beginning! My milk came in on the 2nd day. I actually watched it come in within an hour or so. It was crazy! I had Joaquin run to the store to buy a pump because I was so engorged. Ouch!|
|After a few days the swelling was going down in her face.|
|My pretty little doll.|