So, I kind-of owe you all an update! I didn’t really have much to write about the past 6 months – I did a lot of crafting, but it was 95% baby stuff, which isn’t terribly interesting until you have a baby to model everything. I also lost a bit of interest in knitting the last few months of my pregnancy. I still knit on things, but it was more because I felt I should rather than because I wanted to knit. Anyway…on to the more exciting things!
I can’t begin to tell you how enchanted I am by her. Even when (as just now) she just let out a very explosive sounding poop.
Her arrival: I started having contractions at 8:30 p.m. Monday July 28 which lasted throughout the night and grew more frequent. I called my midwife, Dinah, Tuesday morning to talk things over and naturally everything slowed down after that. Wednesday morning things seemed like they were again progressing, but again, after talking to Dinah, everything slowed. She recommended just trying to get some rest (hah!). During a contraction that afternoon (3-ish, I think?) there was a popping sensation and I thought my water broke, but I just wasn’t sure. Dinah said that if things started speeding up then it probably was my water breaking and to just keep monitoring things. Contractions had been not what I expected from the beginning. I felt them primarily through my hips and upper thighs, with shooting pains down the outside of my legs. I was anticipating them being more in the abdomen, so perhaps that is why I didn’t really think things were progressing as much as they actually were. Jamie picked up dinner (I, for some reason, decided that chicken nuggets were a good idea. NOT. I only ate 4), then he took Tee out for a walk. Tuesday I had attempted to go with them, only to get to the end of the street and realize that I couldn’t keep up, so I decided to not even try this evening. Later, Jamie told me that he was half expecting to get back from the walk to find an ambulance whisking me away to the hospital. At 8:30, I decided that perhaps we’d better call Dinah again as contractions were closer together, although still not at the frequency at which they told me to come in (there are 2 midwives at this center – I saw both, Dinah just happened to be the one on-call at this time).
After we talked and she listened to me go through a contraction, she said I could come in and get checked or just wait until contractions were stronger. I decided to go in, expecting her to send me back home. Oh NO! We arrived at the Birth Center at 9:00 and I was fully dilated. I didn’t realize how strong the contractions were and while listening to me on the phone, Dinah couldn’t tell because I was using the relaxation techniques from my Hypnobabies course during each contraction. She hastily called a birth assistant (the one who lived closest) to come in and started prepping the room for me (this meant filling the bath tub).
Getting in the water felt wonderful, but after about 45 minutes, I got frustrated because I couldn’t get a grip on anything (my feet kept slipping around when I was pushing). I moved to sitting on the toilet with my arms and head resting on the back (basically a supported squat). I’m not sure how long I stayed there, but Dinah suggested I move to either squatting or kneeling, so I moved to kneeling, with my head and arms on the toilet seat (lid, with a pillow). Here is where the chicken nuggets proved to be a terrible choice as I threw up a tiny bit and then had the taste stuck in my mouth. Again, not sure how long I was there, but the baby was definitely coming and at 11:11 she made her debut. Her umbilical cord was on the shorter side and not long enough to allow her to be placed on my chest, so I sat on the floor (on top of chux pads and towels) with her resting on my thigh until the cord stopped pulsing and we could cut it.
I look ridiculously excited here. Mostly because I can’t believe that I actually gave birth and that Jamie and I now have a tiny human to keep alive. Also…very thrilled about a cessation of pregnancy heartburn and being able to actually bend in half again.
After checking vitals and some (a lot) of stitches (for me), we were cleared to head home around 3:30 a.m. Victoria came in at 7 lbs, 10 oz and 21 inches long and full head of hair (guess that wives’ tale about heartburn and baby’s hair may be true).
Not the greatest picture in the world, but I love the contrast in Jamie’s height to the itty-bitty-ness of 12-hour-old Victoria.