The lightning fast birth of Evelyn Rose
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August 26th, 2013, 09:35 PM
Learning to walk in faith
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near the land of cream cheese
Saturday, August 24th started out as I expected it to. My dh and I had plans to do some cooking (for those who don't know, we've had this crazily extensive freezer cooking plan for post-birth and we had one meal that kept getting put off for random reasons - missing ingredients, dh traveling for work, etc) and to finish up a couple of minor tasks in the baby's room, and then plans to relax with a movie and an picnic-style dinner date (one of our favourite at-home dates), to celebrate what we assumed could be one of our last weekends before we welcomed our baby girl (and also because feeding the freezer tends to leave you too worn out to cook a meal for that day
I had been feeling some mild, period-like cramps for about a week, but they were never distinct enough to time because I could never determine a start or finish. I didn't even notice BH contractions unless I happened to touch my stomach during one. I had been losing tiny pieces of mucuous plug for a couple of weeks too, but I'd lost bigger ones earlier on so I didn't think much of it. My midwife doesn't do cervical checks before 39 weeks, so I had absolutely no idea how effaced or dilated I was, and I was acutely aware that baby E *could* come any time, but I'm a first timer and I wasn't having any definitive signs of impending labor so I was expecting to go all the way to my EDD if not a little over.
We got through most of our plans, made a trip to the grocery store and settled in with a James Bond movie. A little ways into it, I started feeling some cramping. After a few minutes, I realized that I could determine a start and a finish to them, which was hugely exciting to me. They still felt like period cramps so I didn't think they meant anything besides my BH contactions were getting a little stronger as I went further along. I timed them for fun (15-25 seconds and between 2 and 7 minutes apart) and they lasted for about an hour and a half before i drank a huge glass of ice water to calm them a little after 10 pm. They stopped, we finished our movie and tidied up.
Around midnight, I had hopped on Facebook and JM and was chatting with some of our DDC ladies. Somewhere during that hour, the cramping started up again but I was in the middle of a couple of conversations and one heated thread
so I didn't pay much attention to it besides to grab more water. Dh and I both headed up to bed close to 1:00 am. I noticed while I was going to the restroom that there were tiny amounts of pink on the toilet paper, sometimes with mucous and sometimes without. As the cramping was still going on, and was noticeable but still what I would consider mild, I wondered if we might end up meeting Evelyn in the next week or so. When I went pee for the second time before bed, between rounds of Temple Run, I saw a bit of clear, stretchy fluid streaked with pink on the toilet paper, I remember telling dh that it might be within the next couple of days.
Try within the next couple of HOURS.
I came back to bed and laid on my side, and on a whim started timing the cramps again. I was under instruction from my midwife to call her if I was having contractions that were 4-5 minutes apart, around 1 minute long for 1 hour. She had said that that meant if I made it 45 minutes and had a break that was 6 or 7 minutes, I would have to start over. The cramps were ranging from 40 seconds to 1:15, between 3 and 6 minutes apart. I figured that was still too irregular to worry about calling and was still convinced they were BH. They were getting stronger, though, strong enough to take my breath away and to keep me from sleeping, so after a few more I decided to try taking a bath to see if it would settle them. I told dh I wouldn't be offended he went to sleep, grabbed my phone and ran the water.
Around 2:00 am, I was climbing into the tub and starting to worry that this could be the real thing. That worried me because, even if you included the mild cramping earlier on in the evening, I hadn't been feeling them for very long and it made me think that I could just be in very early labor and dealing with the contractions really poorly. I was frantically talking to some of our DDC ladies on Facebook, keeping them posted about what was going on and about how nervous I was. After initially climbing into the tub, I had a 12 minute break between contractions, which were all at least one minute in length by this point. The 12 minute break brought me back to what my midwife had said, though, so I still didn't think to call her and still thought maybe the bath was slowing things down.
It quickly became obvious that that wasn't the case when the contractions resumed being 3-4 minutes apart. They would sometimes dip below a minute in length too, which made me think they were still too irregular to be genuine labor. More than one DDC friend told me, though, that previous labors for them had progressed pretty quickly and that I should listen to what my body was telling me. I remember saying that the contractions felt really intense but I also felt like, as a FTM, I had no frame of reference. At one point, I jumped out of the bath and ran to the toilet because I had to throw up.
Shortly after that, dh knocked on the door and checked on me. I told him that the bath wasn't helping and after looking at my contraction timer app and having the same concerns about irrgularity that I was having, he said that he would help me back to bed to rest for awhile. This was around 3:00 am. He left to go grab a bucket to put next to the bed in case I was sick again and I grabbed a towel. Really, I should have clued in at this point, because the contractions, though not totally regular, were coming 2-3 minutes apart already and lasting 1:10-1:25 or so. While standing with my towel, another hit me and I dropped to my knees, leaned over the tub and threw up the rest of my stomach contents. It was absolutely disgusting and my dear, sweet husband told me not to worry about it and cleaned it up after he half carried me to the bed.
I climbed in... and immediately felt the urge to go to the bathroom. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure I was hitting transition at this point. I made my way to the toilet, and sat there. There wasn't much in my system to come out, but every time I tried to stand up I was met with an overwhelming urge to sit back down. Dh stood in the bathroom with me, and let me cling to his legs while I whimpered through a few contractions. I made it back to the bed twice, each time after deciding there was absolutely nothing in my bowels and it was pointless to keep sitting on the toilet trying to push, before promptly getting right back up and going back to the restroom...
And that's when I realized, "Oh, ****. I'm having an insatiable urge to push. Maybe it's time to call the midwife."
Dh grabbed me some water and helped me back to the bedroom one more time, starting to realize that this may be the real deal but still not convinced it was time to call (we had stopped timing contractions in the craziness), and I stopped at the edge of the bed, knelt down and said, "Something is running down my legs." He froze and asked if I meant, like, poop or pee or...
"I'm pretty sure that was my water breaking."
He put a towel under me and kept kneeling over the side of the bed through contractions that I was starting to moan through instead of whimper, still feeling like I needed to push with each one. I reached down and saw red, stretchy mucous all over my hand. I told him that we needed to call the midwife, like, now, and he obliged.
My call record says that we called her at 3:18 am - so less than 30 minutes after getting out of the tub, this is where we were. Thankfully, we had packed a bag and some food, so after she spent a couple of minutes asking dh questions, listening to me vocalizing through contractions in the background and telling us to get to the birth center ASAP, it didn't take long to get things together. Dh threw clothes on, grabbed me a t-shirt and a pair of his boxers and some pj pants to put on (the pj pants never made it on) and we were in the car within minutes.
The birth center is, thankfully, less than 10 miles from our house. It sometimes takes forever to get there because the roads are badly designed and there's often traffic, but that isn't a problem at 3:35 in the morning. I made a joke or two about traffic to distract myself from the, "NO SERIOUSLY I NEED TO PUSH THIS BABY OUT NOW" contractions while dh held my hand and talked me through each one.
We pulled up to the birth center around 3:50 am, and one of the midwives met us outside. I walked up the stairs and into the birthing room, threw off the boxer shorts and climbed on the bed so that I could be checked. S, the younger of the two mdiwives, took one look and said, "You ARE ready to go - I can actually see the baby's head already." I nodded, laid back and got ready to finally push with everything I had. Dh stood on one side of me, S stood directly in front of me and the senior midwife, B, stood on the other side with the doppler. I felt her crown after the second push. I was vocalizing REALLY loudly by this point, but taking deep breaths and smiling at dh between contractions. It must have been kind of crazy to watch.
It took 4 or 5 pushes total, and I was screaming, "It hurts!" by the end (that ring of fire... no joke) but she slipped out... and was beautiful.
They placed her on my chest, with a head full of hair, covered in vernix, and crying immediately. The placenta came out not long after, and Evelyn Rose's official delivery time was 4:10 am.
I did tear - just one, but it was internal and sort of went around my vagina so it was complex to stitch up. I'm still pretty sore, but such is life, I guess. Evie was alert from the moment she arrived, weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 21 inches long. The birth center keeps you for 4 hours post-birth so I was stitched up, we started working on nursing and we ate some food (poor dh had to run and get something - we forgot the food bag on the way out the door), and then he and Evie dozed for awhile before we went back home while I went over some forms with the mw, learned how to check my uterus' position and stared at this little baby who, 12 hours ago, I had no idea I would be meeting so soon.
We've been doing well at home. Dh and I are exhausted... and over the moon, in love with this little girl. I have to brag on dh - he's been amazing, taking care of the cooking and the cleaning and bringing me lots of water and snacks, and even more amazing with Evie. She's a Daddy's girl already.
We're keeping an eye on my blood pressure because it's slightly elevated, but I otherwise seem to be healing well, E is nursing and pooping (well, meconium poops, until tonight when she made her first part-meconium part-colostrum poop) and we're starting to settle into life with our new LO.
*Excitedly expecting baby girl number two!
Thank you to Babydoll213 for my fabulous siggie!
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