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The Arrival of Nova Mae

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July 18th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Mana's Avatar Loving My Baby Girl <3
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Minnesota
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(Some details of this first part might be off, since it's hard to remember everything after all that has happened! I posted about this part already anyway, except the very end.)

I started early labor at a little before midnight Tuesday (7/12). Contractions were irregular and not too painful so I didn't think that much of it and tried to just get last minute things done and ready on Wednesday just in case. By Wednesday night around 8 the contractions started getting much more regular and intense. When they were 5-6 minutes apart for about 3 hours, I finally called my midwife, who basically said it's up to me whether or not I wanted to go in to the hospital. I opted to just have her check in every hour. I think it was the 2am call to check in that I decided to go in. They were 4-5 minutes apart and getting more painful so I figured something must be going on! Turns out, not really. 1cm dilated 80% effaced, even after over 24 hours of contractions! So I got sent home with some meds to help me sleep (since the midwife suspected the contractions weren't doing anything since I hadn't really slept since they had started). I got a few hours sleep and went to the clinic at 1:30 to be checked again. I was up to 2 1/2cm, still 80%, and baby was still at -3. Went back home, spent some time in the tub at my midwife's suggestion to help everything relax down there to open up, and then things picked up. By evening, contractions were even stronger and coming every 3-4 minutes, and something about them were just different and I knew this was it. We went back to the hospital around 6pm. This time, I was nearly 4cm and clearly in labor, so Jessie (my midwife) admitted me.

The contractions were getting pretty painful and difficult to just breathe through. My husband was amazing though. Every time a contraction would start, he would put his arms around me and rubbed my back, reminding me to breathe slowly and deeply. It helped so much! I got in the tub, but it didn't help as much as I had hoped. I knew Nova was in an awkward position, not totally facing up but probably facing to the side, and it was causing some horrible back labor. I tried spending a few contractions leaning over the side of the tub, and then on my hands and knees hoping she would turn and face the right way, but those were SO painful! I got checked again, and Nova had dropped to -2 and I was up to about 4 1/2cm. It felt like I had been laboring a long time already though, and I was so disappointed that I hadn't made very much progress, especially since the contractions were coming about every 2 minutes, and with the back labor I was not getting a break in between. I don't remember the exact sequence of events, but a new nurse came in who was clearly a big natural birth advocate. She was wonderful! She made a lot of suggestions to not only try to get the contractions to do more, but also to deal with the pain. I don't even remember her name but I remember her voice during every contraction, low and gentle, reminding me to slow down my breathing, to keep my voice low (not in volume, but in tone). I tried the tub again but it was actually making things worse that time. The waves that I was making were aggravating my back pain, and the water somehow was intensifying the pain. I sat on the birthing ball for a long time instead, rocking from side to side hoping to get opened up between contractions, and leaning forward onto the bed squeezing David's hand during them, and most of the time I was crying. I can't even describe how much pain I was in during each contraction. It was like nothing I could have ever imagined. I'd heard some women compare gallstone attacks to labor and say the attacks are worse, but I would rather go through a hundred attacks than just one of those contractions again. I got checked again and I was up to 5cm... but all that time and all that pain and I had only progress half a centimeter, still -2 still 80% effaced. I stayed in the bed and at the nurse's suggestion tried laying on my side for a contraction. That one I thought I might actually die from the pain. I thought I literally screamed at the peak of it, but David said it wasn't that loud. That was the contraction that ended my resolve for a natural water birth. I got out of bed and told Jessie and the nurse that I couldn't take it anymore, and they asked me what I wanted to do next. I did opt to try the tub one last time, but I only lasted about 3 contractions before I knew I couldn't do it. I asked for an epidural.

I was a little afraid of the epidural, but it was not nearly as bad as I expected. I could barely feel the IV, the local anesthetic, and since I was numb in back I couldn't feel the epidural needle at all. One of the things I was afraid of was the epidural not working, or only working on one side, but luckily it took full effect after only one contraction. I cried because the relief and lack of pain was so incredible after going so long in agony. By this point it was about 6am. David and I both slept, which we both really needed. My midwife checked my cervix every couple hours, and I ended up needing a small amount of Pitocin, and then more epidural since I was starting to feel pain again, but luckily that was enough of both to get me fully dilated and effaced. Pushing was difficult. There was a ton of pressure but I couldn't call it pain exactly. It also felt like it was really slow going, especially since I couldn't always feel a contraction and my midwife wasn't telling me when to push since I could feel that urge. When her head was finally crowning, someone got a mirror so I could watch the end of it. I also felt her head, felt her hair, and knowing that my baby girl was so close to being in my arms gave me a jolt of strength, and every time I pushed I could feel her head moving farther and farther out. I couldn't watch in the mirror much though because I was concentrating so hard on just getting her out. But at one point after a push Jessie told me that her head was out, and she would be born in one more push. I opened my eyes and looked in the mirror and saw my baby's head, full of dark hair. I pushed again, and after a few seconds, the rest of her was out. It was the most indescribably amazing thing I have ever seen, to watch my baby practically explode out of my body. So her name is very fitting! Jessie picked her up and placed her right on my belly. I pulled her up to my chest, barely even noticing the nurses toweling her off, checking her heart, and doing whatever it is they were doing. All I could see or feel at that point was Nova. It was love at first sight, nothing else mattered. It was like the only things in the world at that point were my husband, who I'm pretty sure was crying, and my baby.

I ended up tearing, not my perineum but I tore upwards and to the right, which needed a few stitches, plus a bunch of tiny tears inside that didn't need any. The epidural caused some pain in my lower back that I still have a bit of today. On some level I'm disappointed that I didn't get the water birth I had been hoping for, but I know I made the right choice and did what I had to do to get my baby into the world. And she is worth it!

Nova Mae - 7/15/11 - 8lbs 0oz - 21 inches long

Laboring in the tub:

The last picture of my pregnant belly:

David cutting the cord:

Our first family photo:

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July 18th, 2011, 02:04 PM
Quantum_Leap's Avatar frequent flier
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle area, Washington
Posts: 9,756
She's beautiful! Congratulations!

Thank you to the SSMC makers for my beautiful siggies!

(x2)(x2)(October 2011)
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July 18th, 2011, 03:22 PM
Demetria's Avatar Baby Mia 11-12 1lb 6oz <3
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,045
Thanks for posting! What a wonderful story, sorry you didnt get to labor in the tub the entire time, I know that was a big thing for you. But that epidural was heaven huh?? lol. Nova is absolutely beautiful!!

Somewhere over the RAINBOW

Missing my sweet little boy, RIP Baby Sullivan Parker
1-3-14 18 weeks gestation (measuring 20 weeks at scan)
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July 18th, 2011, 09:57 PM
Jasmine.'s Avatar Mommy to Kay & Kennedy!
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,137
Wonderful birth story! She's a beauty! Congrats!
Thank you Jaidynsmum for my lovely siggy!

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July 20th, 2011, 10:45 AM
Sour Amaretto's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NC
Posts: 8,006
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shes gorgeous! Congrats!!!

Wife to: J
Mommy to:
Minion 1 2*3*05
Minion 2 6*3*08
Minion 3 7*22*11
Minion 4 7*30*12
Minion 5 due 9/20/13
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July 20th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: PA
Posts: 612
Congratulations! She's so cute!
Mommy to Lucius (3) and August (2)
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January 20th, 2012, 02:01 AM
justjaQ's Avatar Platinum Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sterling Heights, MI
Posts: 19,640
congratulations, she's adorable!
msjaQ- 28, pantheist AP detroit mama to:
timothy michael, august 31, 2003, 12:02pm, 8 lb. 4 oz., 21"- 38 wks.
melissa may, april 7, 2006, 1:31pm, 7 lb. 10.5 oz., 19.5"- 36.5 wks
nicholas michael, january 31, 2010, 5:12pm, 5 lb. 11 oz., 18.25"- 37.1 wks
damon michael, january 21, 2012, 1:31am, 6 lb. 14 oz., 20", 38 wks
rainbow baby left me at 6-1/2 weeks on 09.08.12~ never forgotten, sweet child

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