Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My first home birth

Pumpkin baby Camryn’s birth story

So I woke up Monday morning my first day of maternity leave and went and walked with my sister for about 20 minutes on the treadmill, then I came home and had an appt with my midwife, Rhoda, she said baby’s head wasn’t engaged yet but that I measured at exactly 40 weeks, my due date was in a few days so that was about right.  Neither of us thought the baby would end up coming the next morning! After Rhoda left then my doula, Ryanne, came for a meeting and she brought her “back up” so that I could meet her in case I went into labor when Ryanne wasn’t available.  That meeting went very well and then after they left I just started cleaning the kitchen, organizing a few things, doing laundry etc. I might have over done a little bit but at the end of pregnancy you get these bursts of energy aka nesting and it just doesn’t stop.  So after that I think I laid down for a little bit and watched tv until Adam and the girls got home.  Then at about 6:30 I went to the bathroom and noticed that I had some bloody show.  This was exciting and I figured I’d be having the baby within the next couple of days.   So then I ate supper and then the girls and I played cards for a while and then watched a little TV.  At about 8:00 the contractions started, not too strong but I took a shower and changed my activity and they kept coming, so we tried laying down and going to sleep, I was able to get a little sleep in between contractions because they were 8 to 15 minutes apart but getting stronger.  I text Rhoda and she told me to let her know when they were 5 minutes apart and lasted a minute for a good hour.  So at about 1:15 they started coming every 5 to 8 minutes and they kept coming faster and lasted longer, so I told Adam maybe he should start setting up the birth pool.  He started getting that all set up and I moved to the couch.  At this point the contractions were getting pretty hard and they brought me to tears each time.


At 2:15 I text Rhoda and Ryanne and they both said they would be on their way.  I then text my mom and sister Jamie and told them to come over.  By the time everyone got there Adam had the pool filled with water and ready to go.  When my doula got there I felt like I wasn’t coping with the contractions very well, they hurt really, really bad at this point.  So she helped me with my breathing and she massaged me during contractions and showed Adam how he could help.  Then Rhoda and Kat (birth assistant) got to our house and Rhoda was really able to help me get through the contractions, she just told me to try to relax and to concentrate on making my body open up.  Rhoda asked if I wanted an internal exam to see how things were going, so she checked me and I was 7 centimeters dilated and she could feel the bag of waters bulging and I was pretty thinned out.  So after that she said it was a good time to get in the water, so I put on my swimsuit top and got in the water.

At this point the contractions were unbearable, I was screaming for it to stop and that I couldn’t do it, it hurt so incredibly bad, I was not prepared for that pain.  Although I had given birth twice before I had always had epidurals and the pain never reached that point.  I think that the labor also went very, very fast and that might have made the contractions even stronger, I seriously felt like my body was going to explode.  So those lasted an hour or two, at this point I had no idea what time it was.  Adam was such a trooper, I’m not sure of everything I said to him but it probably wasn’t the nicest, I also know that I was digging nails into him and abusing him in other ways that I’m sure didn’t feel great, but he just tried to keep me as calm and relaxed as possible, he did a wonderful job!

Then when it became time to push the pain seemed to have lessened and I felt like I got more of a break in between contractions.  I don’t remember seeing much but I do remember hearing everyone tell me I could do it and to try to relax and to keep my breathing slow.  At this point I was so determined to get that baby out and get the pain over with that when Rhoda told me to push, I pushed as hard as I could.  I wanted the baby out and I wanted baby out now!  I heard Rhoda tell my sister that it was time to wake the girls up because the baby was coming and that made me feel great and that I could do this and that it was almost over, at some point during the pushing I felt the bag of waters pop and I was a little worried that would make things hurt worse but everything happened so fast I don’t remember noticing a difference.  I remember hearing her saying 4:53 head crowning.  During most of the time in the pool I was on all fours because I guess that just felt the best and most natural.  But then when it was time for baby to come Rhoda asked me if I could change to a squatting position, I was able to get one leg up and then put my arms around Adam’s neck and got the other leg up.

So after I did that the next push the baby came out at 5:02, I saw that the cord was around her neck so when I caught her in the water I made sure not to bring her up right away until Rhoda was able to get the neck untangled, the cord was wrapped 3 times!  Rhoda didn’t seem concerned at all and because we were in the water it really wasn’t an issue, as long as the baby is under water and the cord is still pulsing the baby is still getting oxygen through my placenta.  Rhoda knew the cord was wrapped and that is why she had me get in the squat position, the cord wasn’t long enough to push her out in the all fours position, so the squatting position worked a lot better.  As soon as she was untangled I was able to look and I said “it’s a girl!!!!” and at that moment I was so incredibly happy, and when I pulled her out of the water I just looked at her and started talking to her and she was looking back at me so alert, it was an incredible moment.  It was totally amazing to meet my precious little baby girl, and she was totally perfect!

I had been worried about the baby and her health since we never had any ultrasounds or anything like that.  But Adam always assured me that she was fine because her hb was always great and she was always moving around in the womb, and he was right!  So Rhoda wants the baby to be with the mom as much as possible so they didn’t take her away from me right away, I held her and got out of the pool so I could deliver the placenta, that was very easy and then after it was delivered and everything with the placenta looked fine, Adam was able to cut the cord, the cord was done pulsing at this point which is very important because all that blood from the placenta needs to be passed over to baby before the cord is cut.
Then I started to nurse the baby, it’s also very important for the baby to feed within her first 30 minutes to establish milk supply and for her to latch on easily, nursing Camryn was by far the easiest of all 3 girls, she latched on immediately and we really had no issues, Emma and Bella were never that easy and I’m sure it had to do with not nursing within the first 30 minutes of life and they were both not as alert because of the epidurals.

After all that they had an herbal bath brewed for me and my baby in my bathtub and I went in there with baby, because of the herbs used baby is able to be submerged in the bath even with her cord stub.  The herbs have healing properties and are really good for healing mom’s bottom and also for making the baby’s cord heal and dry up so that it falls off quicker.  So Camryn and I went into the tub and I continued nursing her.  After our bath we came out to the living room and then Rhoda started her assessments on baby.  She weighed her and she was 7lbs 2oz and 20 ¾ inches long.  Perfect size J  She also did a lot of other assessments on baby to make sure that everything is how it should be and that she is healthy, everything checked out great! We have a perfect little Angel!! J  Oh and Adam had mentioned that after the girls were in the living room that I was able to stay calmer, I didn’t want them to see me in pain and freak them out, but I know that last push when she came out I screamed pretty bad, but they were both happy they got to watch their little sister enter the world.

So I was very happy to have had the water, I think it did help with the pain and if we do ever end up having another baby we would do the exact same thing again.  I also want to mention that I had my placenta encapsulated, I know this might sound gross, but it is totally amazing how awesome I feel.  Basically the placenta is dried out and then ground into vitamin like capsules.  This helps with establishing my milk supply, helps with the “baby blues” and also helps my uterus get down to size quicker, that placenta is so packed with nutrients and vitamins that it is so beneficial to the mom to take the pills.  My mood has been so great since having the baby and my milk is coming in nicely and my cramping stopped after 3 or 4 days, I think having the placenta pills has made a big difference and I would highly recommend it.  Of course if you have a baby in a hospital I guess it’s next to impossible to get your placenta but if you do have the option to keep your placenta I think it is so worth it!  I definitely notice a big difference compared to when I had my other girls.  Ok so that’s the story!!