The Home Water-Birth of Dahlia Marie
Dahlia Marie is our little "drama" queen! She really knows how to play tricks on her mommy! After 2 bouts of false labor, she finally decided to come at the last minute before 2011 was over- our New Yearís Eve baby!
On Saturday, Christmas Eve, the day before my due date, I started having contractions about 7 minutes apart around 1pm. The night before, I had been having contractions on and off, which really hindered my ability to get a good night's rest. Friday morning, I nested like crazy, cleaning the whole house thinking baby would be here soon. DH was feeling sick like he might have the flu, which made me even more anxious. Between all the cleaning, I tried to feed us all good, nutrient dense foods and supplements to ward off the sickies. By 1pm, the contractions had returned with regularity. I went on a walk, and they got stronger and closer together. I decided to call the midwives and tell them to come at 4:30pm. DH took DD to a relative's house just in case, and the midwives arrived around 5:30pm, by which time the contractions were now coming 5 minutes apart. They were not really painful though, and since I had back labor with DD, I wasn't sure if this was just what regular labor contractions felt like. I decided to be checked to see how far along I was since DH was trying to decide whether or not to miss the Christmas Eve Worship service he needed to lead. They checked me and I was just 1-2cm, so he left and my sister who was there with us stayed and hung out with me while we waited for him to get back. During this time my contractions did not get any closer together and they varied in intensity.
When DH got back, the midwives went out for a Chinese dinner and me, my sister and DH took another long walk. It was kinda pretty walking around after dark on Christmas Eve, looking at all the lights. I had quite a few intense contractions while walking, and by the time I got back I sat on the stability ball to work through them. They were coming 2 minutes apart and were pretty intense. I was so worn out by time point I decided to try and lay down on the bed for a while. During this time about 10pm, the midwives came back and checked me again to see if any progress had been made. I was still the same 1-2cm. I pretty much knew it was not going to happen that night and we sent them home. I then took a long hot shower and cried. I was more upset over not having our DD home with us than anything- it was the first time she had ever been away at night and we did not want to wake her up just to bring her back home.
The next few days came and went without any contractions. On Tuesday, I was feeling crampy in the evening, but nothing like I had on Saturday. DH and I went to bed, made love and contractions started coming soon after around 9:30pm. I had to really work through these contractions which were much different from the ones I had on Saturday. It was eerily reminiscent of my DD's labor and birth, so we called the midwives over at around 10:45pm and they got here shortly before midnight. We had been timing the contractions to be 4 minutes apart and lasting around a minute each. My sister also came soon after since she was going to take care of DD if she woke up. Unfortunately, she also brought her dog, which I didn't expect, and I got upset. The stress slowed the contractions down considerably. I was checked and found to be 4-5cm, 80% effaced and -2 station. Because the contractions were slowing, the midwives suggested I take a shower and see if that stopped them. I did and it seemed at that point they were slowing. My body was extremely tired by now and all I wanted was sleep. I think my body knew this, and everything stopped by 2am and we sent everyone home once again. I still had very irregular contractions all throughout the night before they stopped completely in the morning. I was so sore the next day, disappointed, and thinking the baby would never come.
Friday morning, I decided to go get adjusted one last time at my chiropractor. I was so stiff and sore from the stress the past week had brought on me. I felt so much better after seeing him, thinking that the next time labor started I would probably stay in labor. We then went out to eat at a Mexican joint for lunch so I could eat some spicy foods.
Saturday morning, New Year's Eve, I really needed to get my mind off things now that I was nearly a week overdue. We went hiking at a nearby nature preserve and I flew down the trail, hiking with gusto. This was so abnormal for me since I normally take my time climbing hills! I didn't really think too much of it though. Later that afternoon, DH and I made love (for like the millionth time that week, haha!) and then went out shopping at Lowes. At Lowes, I started having contractions that were pretty strong, but I didn't want to get my hopes up so I didn't think too much of them. They were coming every 10 minutes so nothing to get excited over. We went home, made dinner, and I started timing them around 6:30pm and they were coming 6-7 minutes apart. I made the call to alert one of the midwives, but did not tell them to come yet. We put DD to bed, and I took a shower to see if that would stop the contractions. Shortly before the shower, I had a very small amount of "bloody show" which was really just pink twinged mucus, and not much of it. The shower seemed to intensify the contractions, and I was moaning and trying to get through each one. At 8:15, I had DH summon the midwives. He then worked on getting arrangements for DD while I worked through the contractions on my stability ball. I had to visualize myself getting through each one, like riding a wave. By the time the midwives arrived, I was having them very close together. Moving around seemed to intensify them so I stayed on my ball. Despite the intensity and pain of each contraction, I was able to get through them with visualization and chanting "I can do this" over and over. I held on tight to DH's hands through each one, and everyone was very encouraging throughout, telling me how great of a job I was doing. Around 11, I decided to be checked to see my progress, since things were really picking up. I was starting to feel nauseated and getting chills. I was checked and found to be 8cm. I remember asking if I was going through transition and they told me I was. A few of the contractions became horrible at that point and someone suggested I get in the shower for a bit to see if that might help. I got in, and was relieved to feel the hot water. I couldn't really stand at that point, so I dropped to my hands and knees. We decided to fill up the tub for better relief, which helped a bit. The contractions were so intense at this point I was afraid I would not get through them. I tried as hard as possible to remain as controlled and relaxed as I could, but a few of them I sorta lost it and everyone tried to bring me back down. I knew this baby needed to get out and now. I could not stand this a minute longer! I tried to get out of the tub and make my way to the bed, but as I stood up, I felt like I needed to push right there. I decided to stay in the tub. The uncontrollable urge to push came over me and after the first push, one of the midwives put my hand down to feel that the baby's head had crowned. I remember being freaked out and said "I don't want to feel it!" but it was actually very encouraging to know baby was close. I think my water broke sometime before that happened as well. The last 4 minutes or so of pushing were agonizing, I was screaming partly in fear of it lasting forever. But within 3 more pushes, baby shot out like a rocket. I couldn't believe it! She made a wimper as soon as she was lifted out of the water and placed on my chest. I was in shock! I thought she should be crying more, but everyone was saying how gentle her birth was, she had no reason to cry! She was so warm on my chest, with the blankets all around her. After a minute, I had DH look to see if it was a boy or a girl, and I was thrilled when we saw she was indeed a baby girl! (everyone was saying it was going to be a boy but I thought girl from the start!). She came into this world at 11:37pm on New Years Eve- just in time for that 2011 tax deduction, haha! She weighed 7lbs 4oz and was 19 inches long.
Afterwards, I got out of the tub and dried off, and got in our own bed and snuggled with our baby girl. She took to nursing right away, and probably would have crawled up my chest if I had let her! I was a little distracted during the nursing session though from my after pains, which I knew would be bad (as a side note, can I say how unfair after pains are? I seem to have them pretty bad compared to most moms, boo!). I also was afraid I had tore really bad since I was also having some pain. However, later, one of the midwives checked me for tears and was surprised to tell me I was completely in tact! I wasnít even swollen or bruised! I was so happy to hear this since I tore with DD1. The pain I was feeling was just because I had a natural delivery- hello just pushed a baby out, haha- and was normal. After nursing for a while, it had pretty much subsided though. I was, and still am, in awe of the fact that I could immediately go to the bathroom without any problems or pain! This has been wonderful!
After nursing and bonding for a while, I took a shower, and put on some clean clothes. About this time, I got to cut Dahliaís umbillical cord and the midwives bagged up the placenta. After looking at the placenta, they said it was very healthy and had no signs of aging whatsoever. Even though Dahlia was technically a week late, she seemed to have been born right on time!
I really could not have asked for things to go any better than they did for our first homebirth! Total time spent in active labor was just over 3 hours. I went from 7cm to pushing in less than 30 minutes and then only pushed for just 4 minutes. I didnít have any back labor either, which I was trying very hard to avoid this time around.
My recovery has been going very well, and Dahlia is doing great. She is a such a little bundle of joy and we never get tired of just watching her!
Re: The Home Water-Birth of Dahlia Marie
What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations!
Re: The Home Water-Birth of Dahlia Marie
What a great birth!! Congrats!!
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