Monday, March 31, 2008

Our UC

The birth story (edited April 1 with pictures) Please note that birth isn't something you can really do while dressed, so you'll have to overlook any nakedness.

So I was getting a little antsy about my baby coming. She was born Saturday March 29, 2008 at 6:45pm, this was 42 weeks and 3 days gestation based on my last period and 43 weeks from my ovulation date. I had been having regular contractions all week varying from 3 minutes apart to 10 minutes apart.

Thursday, the 27, a friend from church came over and brought us split pea soup for dinner. We had just gotten up from a nap and had slept through dinner (that was my last "good" sleep. By the time we finished talking with her, I was trying to hide the fact that the contractions had just gotten stronger. It was 10:30. After we ate, I tried to lie down in our bath tub. At about midnight we went to bed. I struggled all night to sleep, but eventually gave up at 4 in the morning.

Friday morning, I realized that we should probably blow up the birthing pool we borrowed. A friend of ours let us borrow a pump and McKay blew up the pool and filled it up with hot water. During this time I was laboring on our birth ball and it felt pretty good. I tried some relaxation techniques that really helped control the contractions, but it didn't work forever.
Once the pool was filled I labored in it and McKay would make hot compresses and press them on my back for the back pain and would boil water. He was doing the work of two people.

At some point I asked for a blessing and I was told that I would receive the inspiration on what to do next. That evening I started losing my mucous plug which was exciting because it meant progress was being made. I continued losing my mucous plug up until Saturday morning. That night I pretty much didn't sleep and about 5 in the morning I was getting frustrated with the lack of progress, and I was feeling like I didn't know what I was doing so I called a friend (J) who was training to be a doula. She had told me that it wouldn't bother her if I called in the middle of the night. I left a message about 5:45. About 20 min later she showed up at my door with some food. I explained to her that I was in labor and what I was feeling. I felt hopeless and that the inspiration I had been promised wasn't coming.

She gave us some food, which I ended up throwing up later that morning. J took over the water boiling so McKay could put pressure on my lower back during the back labor. I had really hard back labor through the afternoon. I threw up gain sometime that afternoon, but we had hidden the clocks so I wouldn't be bothered by the time, so I don't know when.

At some point, probably around 4, I realized that I didn't need McKay to apply pressure during the contractions. That either meant that baby was moving down or had moved down or that labor was going to be stalled. I was getting really tired of the back labor but was beginning to feel pushy. I wasn't sure how dilated I was so I didn't want to push too much. I started vocalizing through contractions. Around 5:30/6 I started pushing with the contractions and could feel which contractions were productive and which weren't. I put my finger up my vagina and felt that the baby was about 4 inches back. I thought I felt the head, it was very smooth. For the next while I would push with the contractions and sometimes without contractions because I was so anxious to see my baby and was finally making progress that I could measure which gave me hope. I started ignoring the fact that I was supposed to wait for contractions and pushed whenever I got antsy. I was holding on to McKay's hands and leaning over the edge of the tub.
The next time I checked how far back the baby was, there was about an inch and a half to go.

McKay moved behind me into the water and I gripped J's hands. In the next few pushes I started feeling something crowning, but the ring of fire was not as strong as I expected. It was only a little bit of a sting. I felt something partly out of my vagina and put my hand down there and felt something really squishy hanging out about an inch. I stood up for McKay so he could see what it was. It was my bag of waters, which had not yet broken (obviously). I knew it was soon, so I gave a few more hard pushes and finally felt the ring of fire. The part that stung the most was up in front, I didn't feel any pain near my perineum. McKay saw the head coming out and I finished pushing it out. I knew at this point that there usually is a lull while the baby turns to get the shoulders through. I kept thinking McKay was pulling on the head and told him to stop. He said he wasn't. I felt the shoulders turn and I helped push them through. Two shoulders and an arm were pushed out, and then there was a slight pause before the rest of baby spilled out. The baby was still in the water sack until the feet came out, at which point it broke. McKay passed the baby to me between my legs and I brought it up out of the water. I noticed she was a girl but didn't say anything yet. J and McKay started to help unwrap the cord which was around her arm. Then it was announced that we had a Margaret. We checked the time and it was 6:45.

J got the camera and started taking pictures.
I started nursing in the pool and then J suggested getting out of the pool and helped me out. I reclined on the couch, nursing our little Margaret. McKay gave me a blessing for the placenta to come quickly. I started noticing after pains of my uterus clamping down as I was nursing. About 15/20 min after the birth, the placenta started coming out and was sitting in my vagina. I scooted towards the edge of the couch and it just fell out into a bowl with a lot of blood clots. Soon after, we grabbed our sterilized meat scissors and a piece of cotton yarn. The cord wasn't pulsing so I tied it off and McKay cut the cord. A little bit later, McKay examined the placenta and it was all there. I asked J at what point she thought I had hit transition. And she said a long time ago I had shown signs that morning but none recently. Either that meant my second stage was really long or didn't really exist. When Margaret was born, she was very pink and started fussing and breathing right away. There was a good amount of vernix on her, which reassured me that she wasn't too overdue and that everything was fine. There was a little stain of meconium on the top of her head, but that was it, and it was barely noticeable. I had just given birth!


I will totally go this route again. McKay was such a help and I was glad that J came so McKay could focus on helping me with the back labor Saturday. Next time I'm going to do more stretching (hips, legs, back) during pregnancy; maybe it'll help me be able to walk better afterwards. The pool was the best thing because by Saturday, the birth ball didn't feel comfortable anymore. After having done it, UC doesn't feel extreme- just natural.

We haven't uploaded the pictures yet- they'll probably show up on our family blog.

28 comments:

  1. Hip-hip hooray! What a wonderful story. You're an inspiration Heather! And I think prenatal stretches, externally and internally (if you get what I mean), might definitely help come next time :)
    I'm glad you had a knowledgeable friend there and such a wonderful/supportive husband (go M)! And I can't wait to see little Margaret! *B

    PS- how are your legs today?

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  2. Congratulations!!! I suspected she came on Saturday, I guess I should have given a guess ;).

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  3. Congratulations, I'm so happy to hear more details, after Sam talked to McKay I asked for info. and I he didn't give me much. Did you weigh and measure her? Does she have hair? Dark or light? I guess I can wait for the pictures but I'm really happy you were able to do it at home and you had McKay and your friends to be such great help.

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  4. Hooray! I've been blog stalking you for ages, and I am so happy to hear that you finally have your Margaret, and that everything worked out the way you had hoped. All your friends on Ravelry are obviously thinking about you, and we have devoted a thread to you and your little girl on the Utah board:)

    Congratulations, mama!

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  5. congratulations again. You make me want to have another one.

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  6. Aww, it sounds like you had a wonderful birth! You give me so much strength when it comes to UC, and I am so proud of you for going through with your convictions! I hope that you are having a wonderful time with Mckay and little Margaret! Congrats, Mama!

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  8. Welcome little one, and great job to both of you parents! I found blessings so useful during my own labor. And what a great birth to have your baby born in the caul!

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  9. I am so happy for you! I can't believe that you are already thinking about having another baby! It took me a while to feel like thinking about another. What a great story.

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  10. So fantastic! A home water birth and a caul! This will be one extra special baby. You are a superstar.

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  11. My sister Bridget sent me a link to your story and it's so inspiring. My sister's and I are very pro home birth and our littlest sister just had a baby (at home) last week.

    You sound like an amazing person.

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  12. Yay! So glad everything turned out alright, and kudos to you for being so strong! I totally admire you! Glad little Margaret is here safe and sound!! :)

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  13. I love the last picture. It is so much more joyous and beautiful than most hospital birth pictures. I can't get the labor and birth out of my head it was so amazing... You were amazing! You guys are a beautiful family. Happy Babymoon to you both.

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  14. I love the pictures. Congratulations!

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  15. Joy Z4:33 PM

    Your pictures are so beautiful! How neat that she was born in the caul. Happy babymooning:)

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  16. Wow. You are so brave. And you look great, despite how tried and tired you appear :)

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  17. oh my gosh, i can't believe you went through all of that with only the help of a doula 'in training'! you are definitely brave! congratulations on the new addition!

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  18. I'm glad she's here safe and sound and well, and welcome to motherhood :) I won't lie and tell you that it's one of the easier jobs in the world, but it's one of the more rewarding.
    I wish you had a picture of her in the caul in the water, though- that would have been amazing. My firstborn was born in the caul as well (midwife-attended HB) and one of my only regrets is that I don't know what he actually looked like with the membranes all around him.

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  19. I found you through Ravelry, congrats Mama!! What a beautiful birth and a beautiful babe. Enjoy your babymoon! :)

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  20. Great job, Heather! You are amazing! I am so glad that J was able to be there for you!

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  21. All I can say is WOW!

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  22. I am the aformentioned (J), I wanted to take moment to point out that I did not rescue Heather or have an affect on the outcome of her birth. I may have made the birth a little easier for Heather's DH. But this birth was all her accomplishment. Also I was not there as her Doula, I was there as her friend. I was not working or managing her birth. Heather needed no savior. I just provided loving vibes. Woman don't actually need anyone or anything to have a good healthy birth. Though somethings might make it more enjoyable, like strawberries. ;)

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  23. I love Sea_Gal's comment! "Heather needed no savior."

    Heather only needed her Savior, Jesus Christ.

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  24. Heather, I am so glad you had such a great birth experience. I have been praying for you for months now.

    She is gorgeous. You are gorgeous and incredible.

    J, while you did not save her, it is always comforting to have an "older sister" around. Just that comfort of another woman is a great thing.

    McKay...way to go! You are AWESOME Man! (we should knit you a sweater with a big A on it).

    Welcome to the world, Margaret.

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  25. Jennifer12:01 PM

    Congratulations, you look so good! So peaceful and beautiful in your watery surroundings. I am surprised the water is not more bloody. Im also surprised that there is no poop in the water. With my luck i would have pooped.

    By the way, i love the international womens day hair clips...where can i get some?

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  26. Betty7:10 PM

    You are a rock to all us homebirthers out there. I just recently delivered my 14th bundle of joy right here in my living room (all other 13 children were present in the room taking everything in). Words can not express the closeness I felt as myself, my child (Zedachia) and my placenta became one...My husband Hans and I recently planted all 14 placentas in our new back yard! 14 placenta trees!!!!

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  27. Beautiful birth story! Home birth is amazing :-)

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  28. Chandra4:01 PM

    Thank you for sharing. My son has the same birthdate. I am also planning a HBAC with my midwife/stepmother. Hopefully it will go as planned. That blessing inspiration sure did come wonderfully!

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