I want to write this while its still fresh in my mind. It might be a little messy since I have had a total of 1 1/2 hours of sleep since sometime yesterday morning.
We welcomed our baby girl, Natalie Jadzia (it sounds just like it looks) at 3:31am on March 29th. She weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces and was 22 inches long. I don't have any idea who she looks like. Its not Gwennie for sure. Her hair is brown and I have yet to get a really good look at her eyes.
Am I disappointed that she is SHE? Honestly no. Maybe later I will mourn the boy I will never have. But there was always a part of me that knew she was HER. Besides girls are more fun. All those little dresses? I can not wait to make her some.
All weekend I had been having some bloody show. Just a little spotting and the occasional chunk when I would have a painful contraction. There was never any regularity to the contractions until Sunday night. They were painful enough to wake me up every 30 minutes. When I got out of bed Monday morning I was so exhausted and so ready to meet our baby. But also I was scared because those contractions hurt and I knew they were nothing. I started to despair and posted about my feelings of hopelessness on Facebook. I had so many positive responses it was like an online Blessingway and that helped me out a few times later on.
Pam LM called me because she had something she needed to do Monday morning. She thought I was probably getting ready to go into labor or maybe in early labor (though she never mentioned that, her caution and phone calls clued me in.) After the entire morning and most of the afternoon went by with nothing more than sporadic, painful contractions with no more regularity, she and I decided that she would come over in the evening and we would see what was going on in there, and she'd "rough up my cervix".
I emailed my mom and dad a heads up on what was going on. I also asked for a Father's Blessing. I know I am not an active member of the LDS church, but years of receiving them and the benefits has given me a strong belief in blessings. I knew I would need it to get through the night. I also really wanted my mom and dad to be at the birth, for me, for the girls, for the baby.
My parents arrived before six, and Pam LM and her student Alicia arrived a little after 6. We went upstairs and Pam checked me, I think she said I was 80% effaced and a stretchy 2. That made me sad. I worried that I nothing would come of the cervical man-handling, after that would be either castor oil or artificial rupture of membranes. I wanted to avoid castor oil because I was already suffering from some really gnarly hemorrhoids. After Pam stripped my membranes nothing much seemed to happen for an hour or so. I continued to have my semi-regular contractions.
I am not sure what time I noticed the increase in pain. The "surges" started coming every 2-3 minutes though they were lasting a little bit shorter and I was still sort of talking through them. I lay in our front room with Gwennie while she played with a LeapPad and breathed through them for a while. I also have no idea (though I think it was around 9ish) that I headed upstairs and got into the shower.
For what felt like an eternity I went from the shower's hot stream on my back, to Will putting pressure on my back to sitting on the toilet, to the above crouch. I wasn't comfortable at all and by 1am I really felt like giving up. I asked Pam to check me. I was 100% effaced but still *maybe* 3 cm. I felt discouraged but at that point things were progressing.
I remember thinking that I was still putting my clothes on after the shower, and I was still able to listen to what every one was saying at that point. I was starting to doubt my body's ability to bring the baby out, but there was no going back. I continued my round about coping and was by 2 am making wretched noises, rather like a cow dying. Pam and Alicia kept reminding me to make low sounds, to breath deeply and try not to let the next surge get ahead of me. There were times when I felt my entire body clench up, Pam slowly stroked my back reminding me to let the tension go.
Some time around 2, I felt the surges change. But I was not going to accept that. By 2:40 I was no longer clothed and was laying on the bed moaning in a towel. I didn't know it, but it was almost time to meet our baby.
Pam checked me, and I was a stretchy 8 with a bulging bag of water. She said she could break it, but knew I didn't want her to. I had only meant that I didn't really want to use AROM as a way to start labor. This was totally different and at that point I was all for it. She asked me to try to break the bag myself during the next surge. But nothing happened. She and Alicia set up the chux pads and got out the crochet hook. It didn't take much and with the next few pushes it felt like so much water came out. Luckily for us all it was clear.
I tried pushing on my back on the bed. It felt good at first but over a few surges I felt like jumping up. I ended up on the floor where I had been a few times before. I think I was trying to put my head in the corner because that had helped a few times in the shower.
Someone went to get Rhayn, she wanted to watch this part, though we had sent her to bed to get some sleep hours before. I felt hands on me, as I pushed as hard as I could. It didn't feel like the baby was coming out, and suddenly I felt that pain as (what we late found out was) 14 inches of head filled me. I gave small pushes, trying to be slow as Pam and Will guided the baby out. (I have some great pictures of this thanks to my mom!)
Moments later I heard Pam telling Will that they were checking for cord around the neck as well as hands. (There was no cord that I know of but Pam held the hand in until the head and shoulders were out.)
Then, swoosh, there she was. Will handed me a disgustingly vernix covered fat baby. I heard him say "her". But I did have to check just to make sure. While I was holding my freshly born baby she pooped on me.I held her for a while, laying on the floor. Rhayn was able to cut the cord, just like she wanted.
Alicia helped me into the shower so I could clean up before we weighed Natalie. You could tell she was at least 8 pounds, her cheeks are so perfectly round and squishy. However we were all shocked that she was actually 8 pounds 12 ounces. No wonder I was so uncomfortable. That is 12 ounces bigger than Gwennie. Rhayn was 6 pounds 14 ounces. My mom's biggest chunk-a-lunk was just a few ounces bigger, too. I had to have a few stitches right next to my episiotomy scar from Rhayn. That hurt a lot. Then Pam and Alicia cleaned up a bit and were out of our house just a little after 6. I slept, but barely. Natalie kept gagging on something and it made me too anxious to sleep. Plus it is just hard to sleep after birth. I remember that clearly, when the whole house napped after Gwennie's birth and I was wide awake until 11pm.
I am not allowed to get up and move around too much, so I am resting in bed. I plan to nap a little now and then go back over this later. I am sure it is filled with misspellings and grammatical errors that I will want to fix.