Monday, February 21, 2011

sweet beginnings

Beckett William
Born February 20, 2011 at 7:40pm
9 lbs 6 oz, 20" long
14" head circumference
Apgars 8 and 9
Active Labor of 1 hour, 40 minutes (5 minutes of pushing!)

I woke up yesterday morning (Feb. 20) to some cramping and lower backache and for just a little while I was hopeful labor was on its way. This was the first pregnancy to not only find me reach my due date, but to actually go beyond (okay, so only by 1 day, but hey, give a girl a break LOL!) The cramping went away, I checked my cervix and found it was so high I couldn't tell a thing and Beckett's head was floating so much I could barely feel it. I assumed I was still 3 cm dilated/80% effaced or so, for the second week. Amazing how quick you can feel discouraged.

I spent the day cleaning up, determined to stay on my feet as much as possible, while I tried not to overthink when I'd feel the need to call my former hospital MWs and make an appointment with the only OB that attends VBACs there. I was comfortable going Unassisted only a bit more, when my sense of caution would win out and I'd prefer to be in a hospital.

Matt took the older three kiddos to the children's museum while I stayed home and got the two littles down for a nap and kept on cleaning. Holden had been fighting a cold/sinus infection and was pretty unhappy - he woke up screaming 20 minutes after everyone left, so I took him and laid down with him. He fell back asleep but as I was lying there I felt some pretty low contractions that radiated around my back. I fell asleep and they seemed to go away, though when we both woke up (to Dawson screaming, of course) I had a foggy memory of being woken up a few times by them.

It was about 4pm when I got those two calmed down and set out to start dinner - we were planning a yummy tri tip steak and potato meal, I'd marinated the steak and popped it in the oven and Matt was picking up potatoes on his way home from the museum. At 4:30 he texted to say he'd be home soon and at 4:45 I sat down to use the bathroom and felt and heard a strange knuckle-cracking sensation very low in my pelvis. A small gush of something and I wasn't sure if my membranes had ruptured or I'd just lost whatever remained of my mucus plug. I waited, nothing else happened, so I got up and continued with dinner and playing with Dawson and Holden.

Matt got home with the kids (and the potatoes) and as I started peeling and chopping fluid started pouring out - definitely ruptured membranes! I was excited and relieved, but also a bit nervous. My water had only broken once as a herald of labor - with Parker - and it had been my most painful labor after Cade's pitocin-induced one. I was nervous of how I'd handle a pretty intense and painful homebirth. I checked his heartrate to make sure no cord prolapse and he sounded great. I started feeling cramping and backache immediately so told Matt to start filling the birth pool while I tried to continue with dinner.

Pretty quickly I realized I was not up for sitting down to a nice dinner and Matt realized there was something wrong with the hot water tank reservoir that was only pumping cold water into the pool (even though we had plenty of hot water everywhere else in the house). Okay, awful timing and awful luck - 5 hungry kids and no birth pool! I quickly decided I'd have to attempt to at least labor in our deep soaking tub, though I couldn't imagine having the maneuvering room to push. I asked Matt to bring up all of my supplies and I got hot dogs going for dinner for the kids.

About 6pm as the kids sat down to eat, I started having contractions. Within 20 minutes they were getting difficult to move around through and I'd have to lean over and moan through them. I helped finish up dinner though and got everything in the bathroom set up, continued to check Beckett's heartrate once an hour through a contraction and hoped we'd be able to get the two littles to bed before anything major kicked in.

Matt had just gotten Holden down at 7 when I couldn't stand to be on dry land through the contractions anymore. Dawson got to stay up late LOL. I got into the bathtub and felt immediate relief in the contractions, they slowed and spaced out for a few minutes and they were actually very manageable. Pretty quickly though they got closer together, but they still weren't really painful - there was none of my usual loud whining, I just bit down on a kitchen towel, drank some water and chewed on crushed ice, and moaned and vocalized lightly through them.

About 7:30 I checked my cervix and felt fully effaced, about 6 cm dilated but it was still pretty high - I was trying to mentally prepare for quite a bit more time to bring him down. Transition was always awful for me, I threw up everytime and the pain would get so intense I would be crying to go to the hospital for an epidural - I was trying to remind myself to be patient for that part LOL. But then suddenly 5 minutes later another contraction came on and I felt a little urge to push . I tried to breathe through it, not wanting to swell my cervix with too-early pushing. Then another contraction came very quickly, and my body pushed against my will. I checked again and was shocked to feel his head there and close to crowning. Where the heck did my transition go??? One more contraction after that and I couldn't stop myself from bearing down with everything I had - his head came out pretty easily but after pushing for what seemed like forever it felt like his shoulders wouldn't budge. I couldn't rotate him with my fingers so I lunged on one leg as best I could in the cramped bathtub and pushed as hard as I could and finally he finished rotation and slid out into my hands at 7:40pm.

I was so busy protecting his head (I was worried he'd slam into the side of the tub) that I didn't protect my perineum or upper area as usual, but I was lucky to have no tearing anyways.

Beckett looked so strange, his whole body was perfectly pink but his face was a deep purple - definitely had snug shoulders! He was silent until I blew some puffs of air in his face and rubbed his skin vigorously with a towel. He started screaming crazily and snagged 8 and 9 on his Apgars. We had some misadventures in cord cutting as I'd decided to try the umbilical ring this time, which did not work correctly and so we ended up having to tie up his cord with string - finally found an extra standard clamp a bit later to use. The placenta detached really quickly, less than 15 minutes after he was born, and looked great.

He was SO fussy all night, he nursed for an hour straight and kept stopping and screaming like he thought my milk should've come in last week LOL. I'm still planning to pump exclusively as usual so finally about 10:30 we gave him 1 oz of formula, which he sucked down in a minute and then promptly fell asleep for 5 hours, finally content. He's been much more mellow today, nursing well and sleeping a lot.

It was an unbelievably easy and fast (and low-pain!) labor, I am just a bit sore and his face is pretty beaten up, bleeds in both eyes and light bruising all around his face but we are both doing great overall - it was a perfect note with which to end this chapter in our lives! :)

A few more pics - he looks EXACTLY like Holden did!! So blessed with another gorgeous, healthy boy! ^_^