Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lydia Jane's Birth Story

I finally have some time to sit down and type!  My sweet girl is taking a nap that is not in-arms right now, so I'm jumping at the chance to record the memories I have ♥

This story isn't super graphic, but if you're squeemish at all, this might be one blog post to skip ;)

Tuesday the 10th (at 38.5 weeks pg), I went to my chiropractor for an adjustment.  She specializes in the Webster technique.  She checked the baby's position and confirmed that she was head down and very low in my pelvis and didn't appear to be posterior (just say NO to back labor!).  Later that night, I noticed a marked difference in how I felt and how different the baby's movements were.  I thought I might be heading toward labor, but then the feeling went away.  I decided that since my midwife Pita wouldn't be arriving for another 10 days, I would hold off on any more adjustments until she got here.

The baby had other plans.  On Friday, I started feeling crampy and achy.  I kind of blew it off and focused on finishing up the house cleaning.  I had been working my way through the house over the week, and the last room I had to do was the guest room to prepare for Pita.  By the afternoon, I started losing my mucus plug and realized that things were actually progressing.  So I got on the phone with Pita to see if she would be willing to come sooner since I figured the baby would be coming that weekend.  She was willing, so I got her a flight out on Saturday morning.  She'd be here by 5:30pm.

Dave got home and I let him know what was going on, but I still figured we had another day or so.   As far as the contractions went, only every 5th or 6th one was strong, and those were only happening about once an hour...I was still able to talk through them.  We took the kids to get ice cream and grabbed some pizza for dinner.  I then realized the stronger contractions were only 30-40 minutes apart and I was having trouble walking or acting normal when they would come.  By the time we got home around 9pm, they were becoming more frequent and closer together.  We ate dinner and then Dave and I set up the birth tub and got the kids ready for bed.

 {I took this photo before we left for ice cream, thinking it might be the last chance I got to get a pregnancy photo...excuse my silly expression, it's hard to take a self portrait}


Dave was a little tense realizing that we'd be doing this on our own, but he was able to keep his anxiety to a minimum while he focused on getting everything ready.  I had spent a lot of time preparing for an unassisted birth due to the fact we didn't have a midwife in the area, knowing that if I went into labor before 40 weeks, we would be on our own.  I've never had an early baby, but as this time proved, there's a first time for everything and I'm glad I was prepared.  I showed Dave where all the birth stuff was in the closet and what everything was for.  We started filling the tub around 10:30, but the hoses were all leaky and since my waterbed fill kit hadn't shown up yet from Amazon (it came on Saturday, haha), he had to use a rubbermaid tub and bucket the water from the bathtub to the birth tub.

Then he got the kids to bed, which was a huge mental relief for both of us.  I had talked with them and asked if they wanted to be woke up before she was born and they said they did.  They all went to sleep well except for Ephraim who was obviously aware something was going on, so he struggled to go to sleep.  We tried the couch, our bed, back to the couch, etc....  He was quiet, but just restless and resisted sleeping.  Around 11pm, the contractions really picked up the pace.  They were 2 minutes apart lasting 45sec to 1min, and that's when I realized we were for sure in labor.  I got water boiling on the stove to supplement the lack of hot water coming from the tap, while I chatted with my sister on the phone between surges.

The contractions were all very low and squeezed my hips, lower back and right around the baby's head.  She stayed active and kicking the entire labor, so I never had to worry about how she was handling anything.  That was a real blessing for me, so that I could labor with peace over her welfare.  Around 12:30 I got into the birth tub and we set up Skype so my sister could be there at the birth.  I chatted with her between contractions and she encouraged me.

{Skype photos taken by my sister}
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Dave was able to get Ephraim to bed around 1am and have a little down time before things got serious.  The contractions were painful, but were manageable for me.  The hardest part is that while the water felt better than dry land, there was really no "good" position for me.  Nothing made me feel better, which has never been the case for me.  I ended the Skype session with Amber and told her I would call back when things were more intense.

I kept my liquids to a minimum with small sips of water whenever I would get out of the tub to use the toilet, and I also made the effort to go pee a lot.  Unlike my other births, where I needed to be catheterized in order to empty my bladder after the baby is born, I knew I wouldn't have that option this time, so I was pro-active in preventing an over-full bladder.  Sitting on the toilet would give me constant back to back contractions and gave the the urge to push, so I didn't linger there often.  I knew it wasn't time yet to be that far dilated and was likely due to her very low position in my pelvis.
 
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At 2am, we heard a sound you don't want to hear when you're in the middle of labor...AIR!  The tub had sprung a huge air leak along one of the seams, and no amount of duct tape would save it.  I was unable to help Dave because the contractions were too intense.  I got out and labored on a large chair we have in the bathroom.  In between bailing water from the birth tub into the bathtub, he would support me with a hand to squeeze, or sometimes to help me stand up if the reclined position was unbearable for me.  I started feeling pushy at this point and I kept wondering when transition would hit me.

Around 2:30am, I got up to use the bathroom for the last time before I got in the tub.  I stood leaning against the bathroom counter for a couple of contractions.  They were super intense and I was really struggling with the pain.  I finally needed Dave for pretty much every contraction, and started having him press on my tailbone with one hand when my body would bear down to push.  At one point, the baby stretched out her legs and I got an even more intense need to push...I think she was helping me.  ♥  That's the last movement I remember her making while I was in labor, though she had been super active up until that time.  I believe she entered the birth canal during that contraction.  I had Dave get Amber back on Skype because I knew the baby was coming soon.  When she got on and listened, she realized I was in transition and talked me through what it sounded like I was doing wrong.  I was not coherent enough to recognize I was fighting my body pushing.  It hurt badly, and I was concerned I wasn't dilated enough.  She talked to me about not fighting it and focusing on breathing and not panicking.  I never did get the chills and shakes with this baby during transition, so it was hard for me to recognize how close things were getting.

After a few more contractions I got in the tub because I wanted her to be born in the water.  I checked her head position then and felt the bulging bag of waters, so I knew we were close.  Amber called Pita then to have her on the phone in case we ran into anything unexpected.  Having an unassisted birth is interesting in the mental sense because I could never allow myself to become "out of it".  There was no one else to depend on to get me through this.  I had to be alert.  It's just astonishing to me how your body and emotions are able to cope and adapt to changing circumstances.  In between contractions I was able to communicate and talk through what was going on with my body so that I could get feedback for the next wave.
2 contractions after I checked myself, my water broke.  I never felt it break, but I did feel the membrane outside of my body, which made me a little concerned about what it was since I'd never seen or felt it, haha.  Amber and Pita reassured me that it was just the membrane from the bag of waters.  I checked myself again and felt her head semi high in the canal, so I stood up for 1 contraction to bring her down further.   I started to feel the ring of fire and knew she was descending ever so slowly.  The pain was not relieving and I knew I would tear a bit.  I focused on relaxing my body and started chanting things like "open" and "come down baby" and praying for God to help me.  I kept my tones and voice low so the final descent wasn't rushed or stressed (though it turned out to be way faster than expected).

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For the next contraction I knelt in the water.   I felt so calm and relieved once I felt her coming, and so I leaned back on one leg.  It was a long wave and she went from high up there to all the way out in just 1 push. Dave was shocked she was out already and leaned down to help me catch her and untangle the cord from around her body.  It was around her neck once and across her chest once or twice.  She came out with her mouth open, already indignant and her color was great, so I wasn't worried at all about her.  I focused on keeping her body under the water and not allowing the cord around her neck to get tighter while Dave and I spun and untangled her from the rest of the cord (much easier to do while the baby is still in under water, not yet having taken a breath of air).  We lifted her out of the water together and then I was finally able to bring her up onto my stomach.

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I had no idea she'd come out that quickly, or I'd have given Dave more warning.  Amber wasn't even sure she was here until she saw us pull her up out of the water.

I was so thankful she was here.   I heard Dave catch his breath as I brought her to me, and I knew he was as amazed as I felt at how wonderful the whole thing was.  It couldn't have been better; once we got past the initial part of preparing to welcome her, the fear or concern was gone.  We were able to join as a team to focus on bringing our baby girl into the world in a lovely and peaceful environment, just the two of us (and some very loved computer participants ♥)

Elsa heard the baby cry and came running in.  She took a couple of photos for me and then went to get the boys up.  They said they were too tired though, so they stayed in bed.

After about 30 minutes the placenta delivered.   I did have a small tear, but nothing that won't heal on it's own.  We said goodbye to Pita so she could go back to sleep since she was still flying out that morning to come take care of me and the baby for the postpartum stuff.
Dave then took Lydia (we decided on her name the next day) and I hopped in the shower.  He and Elsa spent some time getting to know her. Once I got out, we cut the cord and then I put her in a diaper and wrapped her up in bed next to me.

{Here we're showing her off to her Auntie before signing off on Skype}
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Dave had to spend some time doing the clean up (what a wonderful and selfless man I married), and then we all crashed for the night.  It was an amazing day and one I'm so happy I got to experience.  I've always wondered what it would be like to have an unassisted birth and now I know.  It was fantastic and I wouldn't change a thing!

Our new baby girl was born (just 1 week after her cousin Simon's outdoor hot tub birth!) at 39 weeks gestation on 5/14 at 2:57am after just 4 hours of active labor.  She weighed 8lbs 5oz, was 21" long, and had a 37.5cm head

It's a week later and she's already back to her birth weight and is thriving.  We are all enjoying her presence in our lives so much.  The kids adore her and get a turn to hold her at least once a day.  She gets tons of hugs and kisses too.  We're so blessed.

Thank you Lord for this precious gift.

11 comments:

  1. What a wonderful birth story! She is so beautiful... just like her mommy ☺ Congratulations to the Roller Family of 7!!!

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  2. Congratulations on the new addition to your family. She's adorable!!

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  3. What a great story and congrats on the new Roller! But I have to say, those 2 words - "unassisted birth" make me shudder. I'm a former OB nurse and spent most of my career in a high-risk pregancy environment. Of course, those patients were very sick and needed intervention but the thought of delivering my own baby? No way. You are much braver than I!

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  4. Well now, you just made me bawl my eyes out. The love and support you got from your sister and husband is just amazing. I can just see Amber staying focused and being firm with you through skype and yet jumping up and down on the inside. And your husband, what a wonderful life partner you have Miranda. I love stories about people working together as a team and accomplishing something so wonderful and beautiful.

    The boys going back to sleep is HILARIOUS! Mom had another baby, so what. Our aunt had hers in the backyard? Whoop-de-doo. lol! And the air sound made me chuckle too. I probably would have called the whole thing off right then.

    Congratulations again to you and your family. What you and your husband and your sister shared (as well as your daughter) is something no one can ever take away from you. What a beautiful story to share with Lydia someday.

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  5. Oh Miranda. You made me bawl!! You told your story so well, I almost felt as though it was me going through it all again.

    WELL DONE. It sounds as though you were just perfect and I'm SOOOOOO glad that it was all so incredibly positive for you.

    Please give Lydia a little Welcome To The World kiss from me!

    Sarahx

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  6. That is just so sweet!!! :-) Congratulations on your newest addition! She is PRECIOUS! I love your birth story as well! Such a neat and unique one to share!

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  7. Miranda! I clearly live under a rock...as I just discovered Lydia's arrival! Congratulations!! What a beautiful experience and a gorgeous girl. ♥

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  8. WOW!!!!
    Congratulations!! I don't even know you, well kinda, blaaa I'm in tears!!!
    She so sweet!!!

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  9. Tears here too. Beautiful birth story and congratulations, Miranda! That last photo is so sweet. I want to nestle up in a basket like that an go to sleep.

    xo,
    Jami

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  10. Wow! What an amazing story!! Thank you so much for sharing it!! You are a strong woman!

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  11. Just read your birth story again, Miranda! I agree that you wrote it so well, I felt like I was there. I hope I would be as calm as you were through it all. And Lydia is so precious! What a wonderful bond you three must have!!

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