Avalon's birth story!!
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January 28th, 2010, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
After about a week of trying to naturally induce labor at home (walks, sex, spicy food, pineapple, birth ball, hands and knees, nipple stimulation, evening primrose oil and finally castor oil) with no luck, I finally gave in and excepted the fact I was probably going to have to transfer to the hospital. The baby was over due and just not moving down far enough to safely break my water at home. My midwife gave me until my appointment on Thursday morning to see if I could get something going, and if not I was going to be transferred and induced in the hospital. Wednesday night I finally stopped fighting it and realized I'd done everything I could do, and it was out of my hands. And then I packed my hospital bag.
As soon as I got done, my midwife called to check in, and I told her I really didn't think anything was happening, but I'd come to peace with the idea of a hospital birth. She kind of sounded funny on the phone and told me if I got four contractions that made me stop and go "Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into", whether they were regular or not, I was to call her right away because she was headed back to her house which is about a 45 minute drive, depending on roads.
Not half an hour later, I had four contractions that really hurt but weren't regular. Told Steve about them, but told him I didn't want to call her because I was pretty sure it was just my mind playing tricks on me, trying to avoid the hospital induction. After watching me have two more, he told me I needed to call. I did, and she turned around and started heading to my house.
Right after that, the contractions picked up and got regular- two minutes apart. I couldn't believe it was so intense so quickly, especially since I thought I still had hours ahead of me. Steve had my MIL in route to get the kids, and in the meantime, my daughter helped get the birth kit ready, and was actually a pretty great help. At this point, I was just pacing around the house moaning, and trying to tune into the music I had going without much luck.
As soon as the kids left, I started feeling pushy. My midwife called to check on me and I told her, and she told me not to because she was still 10 or 15 minutes away. She called my doula and told her to get to my house because she wasn't sure she was going to get there in time.
At that point I got in the shower and let the spray hit my back, and finally settled on sitting on a little stool with the water on my belly and my husband rubbing my back. I was trying not to push, but I couldn't help it- it was the only thing that made anything feel better. It was so intense...
The midwife and doula finally got there and they made me get out so I could be checked, and I was complete. She said I could start seriously pushing whenever I wanted to, which took a bit to get into-- the sensations were so fast and intense that they were scary to me, and my first impulse was to run from them, not charge into it like I needed to. But my body told me what to do, and pretty much took over. It's such a hard thing in birth to be able to surrender to that power.
I started pushing her out, and I swear I could feel individual parts of her body moving through. I was on hands and knees on my living room floor with Steve and my doula up by my head wiping me with cool washcloths and cheering me on, and the midwife behind doing whatever it is that she was doing.
My water finally broke, and I immediately got the ring of fire, and this overwhelming sensation that I was going to split in half from the bum up, so I spent the next couple contractions blowing until it went away. They told me to reach back and touch my baby, and I did-- which was NOT reassuring to me at all! All I could feel was this big thing, which made me more sure I was going to split in half!
The burning finally went away, and the urge to get her out was just so strong- I pushed with everything I had, and her head came out, followed by the shoulders which I remember thinking were more intense than the head and I was surprised by that. One last huuuuge push, and she was out!
I could hear everyone saying "It's a girl!!" and all I could think was "Where? What girl?" We chose to not find out the gender, but everyone around me felt very strongly that it was a boy, so this was a big surprise.
It took me a minute or two to catch my breath before I could even think about turning around to meet my baby- I was just blown away by the speed and intensity of the labor. Just so drained.
But she was perfect and squawking quite nicely, and they helped me get turned around and I held her. She nursed surprisingly soon, and like and old pro- she knows exactly what's up with the boob! Dad cut the cord, and it took a bit for the placenta to come out. I was bleeding just a bit more than the midwife liked, so I was given a massage (not the nice sort) and a bit of cytotec, but the bleeding still kept going and I got the chills for a bit, but after a few glasses of water and a very hot shower, I was just fine. One small skin tear, but nothing that needed stitches.
Earlier, Steve had come home from work with a fever and body aches, which is weird because he never gets sick. He'd held it together pretty well, but after the birth he pretty much collapsed. He tried to help out, but finally just gave up and fell asleep on the couch for a bit. I think the midwife was more concerned about his health for a bit than mine!
After baby was weighed and measured and checked over, midwife and doula got everything cleaned up (my doula even did my dishes!) they got me and Avalon into bed with a plate of lasagna and my instructions, and off we went to sleep. It took me a while to get there, because I was still so blown away by the whole experience.
Avalon Parr Gray is 8lbs, 15.5oz, 21.5 inches long, and was born exactly one hour from the first contraction, 13 minutes after the midwife and doula came through the door. She's perfectly healthy, and nurses like she's been doing it forever. And 9 days past her due date.
I'm still blown away. I was expecting a quick labor, but not that quick! Faster does NOT necessarily mean easier! I would gladly trade for a six or even eight hour labor, where at least I had the chance to emotionally adjust to the idea of being in labor. But, 24 hours later, I'm feeling pretty good. Natural birth really does make recovery easier. On the whole, a whirlwind experience, not peaceful or pretty, but still perfect in it's own way, and totally worth it!! I'm once again blown away by the power of my body, and the humbling power of childbirth altogether....
Mom to 5 year old Caoilainn and 2 year old Rowan. Cianan or Avalon is due 1/13/10. SAHM, student doula and childbirth educator!
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