Way back in January, we were graced with a life-changing pregnancy test result. Never before had we gotten a positive, and we knew that our lives would never be the same.
Today (October 4), on her due date, Miss Maryanne made her blessed arrival to join our family on the outside. She is perfect, and we cannot stop saying "wow" and reflecting on the journey that brought us to her.
The short and sweet: She's 6lbs 12oz and 18 inches long :) She was born at 9:36pm on her due date. And she's very sweet ;-)
My water broke at 12:30am on October 4. I was a "pop" that literally woke me out of my sleep, and I could not believe the amount of water that I was leaking!!! Not at first, but every time I would lay down or get up, I would totally gush more all over the place. It was incredible!! That was the most surprising thing about labor- I never imagined there would be so much water.
I paged the midwife on call, and she said to get some rest and come into the office at 8am to be checked. I debated whether to really take her advice- shouldn't I stay up and do yoga to encourage the contractions?? But in the end, I decided to rest, and I am pretty glad I did.
We went to the office in the morning to get checked, and the midwife who would be on call all day October 4 saw us. I was at 4cm!! She ordered an NST to make sure Maryanne was doing alright, and said that if she couldn't get the managing doc's approval for us to return home, it was off to the hospital since my water had broken.
The doc gave approval for us to go home and come back in 3 hours!!! This was a huge relief to me. My contractions had been very mild and about 9-10 minutes apart in the wee morning hours, but by 8am, they'd tapered off. The midwife suggested the black sheep of the natural induction methods- castor oil!!! She said even with the potential bathroom side effects, she would rather have those than do pitocin. So Mr. A dropped me off at home, and went to pick up some juice and castor oil. I didn't think it was all that bad of a mixture, to tell the truth- I drank a big glass of 2oz of castor oil with lots of juice at about 11am.
We went back to the office, and I'd progressed to 5-5.5 cm :) I hadn't had any ill effects from castor oil yet, so that was good. Baby's heartbeat was still good, too. The contractions were slightly more intense, but still 5-6 minutes apart. The midwife suggested we go walk our dogs for an hour, and then head to the hospital. So that's what we did!
We checked in here around 2:30pm, and contractions were about 5 minutes apart. (Castor oil note: I did have 3 instances of pretty much 100% big-D. But they were not uncomfortable, and I was sort of glad that there wouldn't be anything left when I started to push!) We walked the halls, bounced on the birthing ball, did some yoga, and watched some Netflix. Mr. A went home and let the dogs out and fed them dinner and arranged with our neighbor for her to let them out again at 8pm. While he was gone, I felt the contractions intensifying (both in duration and interval), and I was very encouraged.
At 6pm, the midwife did an internal check. Only 6cm. MAJOR BUMMER. Since my water had broken at 12:30am, she suggested trying to get the contractions to become closer and more powerful with....duh duh duh duhhhhh...pitocin! I was pretty bummed, and for about 5 minutes, I was sure I was going to cry with every word that came out of my mouth. But, Mr. A encouraged me- we didn't want to be up against a hospital policy of delivering within 24 hours of broken water just because I didn't want some pitocin, and end up with a c-section. The midwife noted that I was already 6cm, so it wouldn't take the max dosage, and that if the baby was in distress, they would cut off the IV. So we agreed.
The pitocin sure did the trick. The contractions got way more intense and right at the 2 minute mark interval that "they" like to see. I was still practicing my yoga breathing and using my aromatherapy oils to manage the discomfort, and Mr. A did an awesome job of keeping a cold washcloth on the back of my neck. At one point, I threw up a few times, but our nurse and midwife were awesome in encouraging me and not letting it derail my focus.
I think around 8pm, I felt pressure in my bottom during contractions, which the midwife said was a great sign that she was moving super low. But she said that the ideal is when the pressure remains even after the contraction. Well, it wasn't exactly remaining, but the urge to poop during each contraction was getting really strong. At about 8:45, I decided I wanted to try changing positions to see if that would help.
Since I was changing positions anyway, my midwife decided to check. 8cm! Wow, was I disappointed. At this point, contractions were obviously the most intense and coming at intervals of 1-2 minutes, and I was sure I was more than ready to push.
But I decided to go ahead with the change of positions anyway. They raised the head of the bed, and I sort of did a kneeling/upright child's pose, hanging over the back of the bed. Contractions were crazy intense in this position, but I remained committed to my birth plan of no pain meds.
Finally at 9:10pm, I couldn't not push anymore. The next contraction I went for gold. The change in positions must have done wonders for my dilation, because my midwife checked me during the contraction and said I was good to go.
When people tell you that pushing the baby out feels like taking a huge bowel movement, they are not kidding!! Every time I went to push, I was sure poop was going to be spewing about, but I think the castor oil had totally cleaned me out thankfully!
I pushed for 20 minutes, and at 9:36pm, she was born. Wow is all I can say. It was a little complicated getting me turned around and sitting down, given the position that I'd been pushing in, but the nurse and midwife and Mr. A all helped me greatly. She cried right away, and her apgar scores were 8 and 9. We did skin to skin while I delivered the placenta and Mr. A cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. We did our best at breastfeeding right away, but she was a little too fussy to calm down to latch.
About 10:30pm, the nurse did her weight and all that other stuff (right in the room with us), and then we held her for some more time. I took a shower and she got her first bath which she hated ;-)
The room I labored and delivered in is also a postpartum room, but they had a sudden influx of patients in labor, so they moved us to a room normally used by c-section patients. We were able to breastfeed 10 minutes on each side!
All in all, we couldnt have been blessed with a better experience. Sure, I wanted to avoid pitocin, but I am thankful I didn't need to be induced with it, only that a little was used to augment what my body was already doing. With Mr. A's help and my prenatal yoga training, I was able to have the pain med-free birth I'd been hoping for, too. And, of course, the biggest thing to be grateful for is our beautiful daughter, who's now in our arms.
Literally. It is 3am, and I've been up for 27 hours, and I did put her in her bassinette for maybe 20 minutes while she slept, but then she started fussing, and I just can't bear to put her down.
We are so thankful for today, the day the Lord has made for us to welcome Maryanne into our family. We know, again, that our lives will never be the same!!!