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Ari's birth story (well the salient bits anyway)...

I've copied and pasted this from another blog I do for a forum - so, if it seems a bit "third person" that's why, LOL...

There are so many more things to say about this birth, but I'll get to those things later, LOL...






He's three and a half days old now, and snuggled down in his rocker next to me. He's been asleep for most of today, as he did yesterday, so tonight will probably be a very wakeful night, as last night was! It's funny how we forget the depths of dispair that can be felt at 3.30am on the third night post partum, when your milk has just come in and your hormones are wild and woolly and your baby is only going to sleep with a nipple in his mouth, but then only as long as you are sitting bolt upright...

Then the next day (today), you doze for a couple of hours with him on your chest at lunch time and suddenly, everything is ok again...

Oh, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, here is Tiny's (that's his nickname, you'll see why) birthstory.

A birth story often starts with the pregnancy itself. This was my fourth pregnancy (that went to term, I have two angels), and in so many ways this one was so incredibly different that I often found myself wondering if our lovely sonographer couldn't just be wrong about her tentative boy diagnosis at 18 weeks...

For one thing, I gained weight this pregnancy. I've NEVER gained weight before, in fact, I've always lost between 6 and 11kgs!!! This time I put on 12kg. My thighs copped the brunt of the fat assault and I have many, many months of exercise ahead of me, I can tell you...

I ate better this pregnancy, no binging on thick shakes and potato chips and curries, and yet I gained and worse still my blood pressure was borderline high (most often at 130/90)...

I took so many supplements and potions for the BP to stop it rising any further, I felt like an athlete (albeit, fat one) in training.

Bubs, however, felt small.

This didn't concern me, really, because my other three had all been "very healthy" weights, and I'd actually liked that each of them got smaller in turn; 10lb (4.5kg), 9lb (4.1kg) and 8lb 12 oz (3.9kg)... I was hoping this one might be a petite 8lb 2-3oz baby...

The SPD wasn't as bad this time, and the reflux didn't start until much later, but boy when it did, it kick in HARD and I ended up on Zantac 24 for a month before the birth. Another noticeable difference was the frequency and intensity of BH. I had a lot prelabour type contractions for 6 weeks prior to giving birth, and actually thought this one might come early (my others were 42 weeks, 40+4,. and 41+5)...

But no, week 41 came and no baby with it...

Then the REAL prelabour started...

For three days, I had contractions of a minute or more in duration every 20-45 minutes. On the first day, I will say they had a little bit of bite, enough to know they weren't just BH, on the second day, that biting turn to mild pain...

On the third day, I started to think that the pain was becoming not unlike the pain of the labour right before Buddha was actually born, and I started to wonder why the contractions just would not move closer than every twenty minutes or more - maybe something was amiss and this was some form of stalled labour?

I was up through the night on Sunday the 26th, timing the contractions on the laptop. The evening before, I'd tried some nipple stimulation, on the advice of my midwife, to see if they could bring the contractions closer together, and it did, but they also lost some of their strength, and as soon as I stopped the stimulation, the contractions stopped altogether as well. I was so disappointed.

So, through the night I worked on standing up and doing pelvic circles to see if I could encourage this baby to move down a bit and put some helpful pressure on my cervix.

I start doing this at about 4am, and at that stage the contractions were about 27 minutes apart, I could feel they were starting to intensify which confused me because they were still ages apart. An hour later they'd moved closer to about 17 minutes apart though, and I was beginning to feel hopeful that I might have my baby that day.

By 6am, when Dh got up to get the boys ready for school, they were around 11-13 minutes apart, and I said I might actually give my close friend and doula a call and see if she'd come over and help me decide if this was real labour or not.

I was tentative about calling her because for the past couple of days, whenever I'd allowed myself to think I might be in labour, it had stopped, and even just talking to people about on msn had considerably slowed contractions...

I waited until 6.30 to call my first doula and she said she'd get the wheels rolling wrt to finding someone to watch her son after her dh left for work at 9.30am, and then she'd be around by about 8am, to make sure I wasn't on my own when Dh took the big boys to school.

I then called my second doula who lived further away and she said she'd be over as soon as she'd dropped her children off at care and school. I asked when that would be thinking that maybe if things progressed as they were and with the pain level I was already feeling - starting to not be able to talk during contractions - she might be scraping in if she got her later than 10.30 am...

She said she'd be here by 9.30am.

At 7.10am, I rang my MW, and said I thought this might be it. She asked if she had time for a shower, and I told her absolutely and that she could probably have a quick breakfast too and that I just hoped labour wouldn't stop now that I'd called her!

I pottered around the house, I'd already laid down protective plastic on the bedroom floor with an old quilt cover for comfort on top the night before. So, I made sure the laptop was set up for timing contractions in the bedroom. Got myself a fresh bottle of water with Bach flower remedies in it, LOL. Heated a heat pack because the contractions were rather painful by now, and then basically concentrated on pelvic circling and breathing my way through the next few contractions.

By the time the boys were ready to go to school, and my first doula had turned up, the contractions were down to about 6-7 minutes apart. When my doula walked in and they didn't start to peter out, and then my midwife showed up and they were still holding steady at 6-7 minutes, I decided, this was definitely labour - whoo hoo!! It was 8am, and I sent the boys on their ways. I'd told Dave to take Bryn as well, and not to rush home, to take him to the park or something as I didn't really want Bryn distracting me during labour, and I was hoping it might all be done with by lunch time.

Dave didn't like that idea much. He insisted on dropping the boys off and then coming home just to "touch base" before taking Bryn out for a day of distracting fun.

So, my MW set up her kit in the loungeroom - those things you have just in case, but obviously hope never have to be actually used.

I was most comfortable in the bedroom during contractions, and so would wander in there, have a contraction and then come out and have a short chat with my doula and midwife, before wandering back into the bedroom. When my midwfie found out I was timing contractions she gently suggested that that was probalby no longer necessary, hehehe, so I moved the laptop back into the loungeroom, and also organised for my to sms those women who had been at my blessingway, so they could light their candles and send positive energy Cheesy...

It was about 8.30am by this stage - I know this because I saw the thread started by another close friend on another forum when she got that sms, LOL... I'm not sure how close the contractions were at this stage, but they were close enough that I came out and told my doula and midwife that I'd prefer they came into the bedroom so I didn't have to keep coming out to chat, hahaha!...

So, we all moved into the bedroom...

My doula had been at Buddha's birth so was not at all surprised that between contractions I was laughing and chatting awy. I think my MW found this all a bit foreign though because she was rather quiet. At one stage she told me to let her know when the next contraction was coming because she'd like to hear the baby's heartbeat right after.

Bubs heartbeat came in loud and clear, and that 5 seconds of hands on monitoring was literally the only time my midwife did anything "midwifey" until after bubs was born.

About four contractions or so after my doula and midwife joined me in the bedroom, I felt a slight pushing urge at the end of a contraction. I mentioned this to my midwife, and she asked if I usually stood to birth, I told her I prefer to be on my knees. She said when I felt babies head coming I should put my hand down to feel my perineum and she'd then know birth was imminent.

Another couple of contractions and the pushing urge was a little stronger, but not urgent like with my other births. I got down on my knees, and with the next contraction bore down. Then there was a slightly longer break before the next contraction and my midwife mentioned that sometimes the urge to push can come a little before full dilation - there was no instruction in this comment, she didn't tell me not to push or to push harder, it was just a comment, but it allowed me to just relax into that small pause and not question it...

During the pause, I heard a car door slam on street outside. I knew this was my second doula - who is like a sister to me - and I was happy she was going to be able to make it to this birth. As her footsteps approached the front door I told the other women that J was here, and my first doula went to let her in and told her the birth would be soon because I was feeling the urge to push.

Then another contraction hit, and I felt that burning sensation we'd all rather forget. I reach down, indicating that bubs was coming, and the contraction subsided, but a new contraction was on top of it, and I pushed hard, and felt the babies head.

I guess, at that moment I wanted the head out and despite really not wanting to tear, I push with everything I had. I expected the head to come out, but what I didn't expect was for it to feel so small, and for the body to slide right out after it!!!

I was a little disoriented for a split second, wondering if I'd just imagined it or not, but realising the birth was suddenly DONE! My baby was here!

I reached down onto the floor between my knees expecting to find feet, but found a head instead - my MW had turned him over just as he came out so I could pick him right up.

He was TINY!

My other babies had been 10lb, 9lb and 8lb 12oz, but even I knew there was no way this little one was going to be in their league!

Immediately, I could see he looked just like his middle brother blue. It was quite dim in the room (the curtains were closed) but I was fairly certain Tiny didn't share his brother Blue's golden hair colour, other than that (and their size difference) they were identical!

I sat down on the floor and cuddled my baby as my team wrapped us both in towels. He was alert, and we just looked at each other for bit, I didn't attempt to feeding him yet as he seemed so calm, no crying other than the first wail of life.

About 10 minutes later I birthed the placenta and my MW showed me the two sides of the placenta, mine and his - I'd never looked at my placenta before because I'm easily grossed out, but it was actually ok, if not a little fascinating. I decided to let my MW keep the placenta to plant in her garden as we rent (she feels throwing placentas into the bin is irresponsible when homebirthing because if found during the rubbish collection the discarded placenta can lead to the misunderstanding that a baby has been abandoned somewhere)... I'm so happy my MW has our son's placenta because in Icelandic culture (my maternal family heritage) the placenta is called "fylgja", which means follower and is believed to be the protector of the baby during pregnancy and should therefore be honoured after the birth, not just thrown away...

After this we moved into the loungeroom, where I introduced Tiny to the breast. He latched on like pro, and was the first of my four to be able to stay latched on without any support from me whatsoever!

Tiny was born at 9.02am, two minutes after my second doula showed up and an hour after my first doula and my midwife showed up. The student midwife and the trainee independent midwife arrived about 30 minutes after he was born. I had some sweet tea and we all sat around and chatted while my MW filled in the necessary forms and my doulas tidied up the bedroom and put the towels in the washer.

At about 10.15, I see Dave crossing the front porch with Buddha and telling him they need to be very quiet. He tells me he felt a lot of trepidation coming to the front door because it was so quiet and he wasn't sure what he'd find inside.

My first doula went to the door to meet him and told him his fourth son was an hour old already and Dh nearly fainted with surprise. "No, you're JOKING" he exclaimed!

So, then Buddha got to meet his little brother.

Tiny was weighed and everyone gasped when he tipped the scale at a mere 2.75kg (including the terry nappy he was wrapped in, LOL)... His head was 32cm, and he was a longish 52cm...

Then my MW gave me the once over to make sure everything was intact and doing what it should be doing after the birth. She was happy to report no tearing, and possible slight grazing, which she said I should be able to confirm once I'd wee'd (and yes, there was slight grazing, rofl!)...

And that was that.

I climbed into bed for about 30 minutes, but was too jazzed to actually sleep - despite not having slept much in the previous 48 hours, so I spent most of the rest of the day sitting the loungeroom admiring my newest little boy and chatting to my friends and Dh...

All in all, the labour was put down as being about 2.5 hours long. For me it was really only 1.5hours from when I felt sure I was actually having a baby and not just prelabour, rofl...

Comments

cherie said…
oh sif!!that is wonderful birth story . im sitting here crying..im so glad everything went well
xoxo cherie
Kate said…
Oh Sif you are magnificent :D Wonderful wonderful birth story and I can't wait to meet Tiny.

And after your bigger bubbas, how nice to have an ever baby too, if a little surprising!

YK he weighs about half Tom atm LOL!!

Big love to you all.
katef said…
oh just wonderful amazing delicious story!!!! So excited for you all...
Clel said…
How fantastic that after all your worry about a cast of thousands, that it was so private!

So the million (OK, 2000) dollar question - was it 'worth' it? Feel free to answer elsewhere ;)

Glad it was all so easy for ya, love xx

PS. Ya gonna put some pics on the blog or what??
Sif said…
Hmmm, what kind of pics, birth pics? Just waiting to receive some, though it was a dark room and a fast birth so by all accounts there is much speed blur on the few photos the Js managed to catch, hehehe! I haven't seen any yet, myself...

Was it worth it, hell yeah!

In fact, I was saying to Jayne yesterday that had I only been able to see the birth as it turned out back in January, I could have saved myself a helluva lot of second guessing and self doubt.

Was it "better" than my other births? In term of "a birth", no, not at all, it was on par with Bryn's birth wrt to intimacy, joy, satisfaction, naturalness... Honestly, I didn't buy myself a better birth for having been at home. But it was a fantastic birth, and the ties between the world of this birth, and my private life and experience of it are so much stronger than with my other births that it feels as if Ari's birth was a family affair, that everyone involved was family, no strangers - that was the big difference, and money actually can't buy that, in fact, the money would get in the way of that feeling, so the money - for me now - is actually just about making it possible for my mw to support her family, not about her doing a job for me...

(that said, I should point out that I see my mw all the time, and will continue to see her - not as my mw - in my intermediate social circle, this is not the sort of relationship many women have with their mw, I know)
Pagan Rach said…
Beautiful :)
Just wonderful Sif.
Congratulations and blessings!
Amanda O. said…
What a story Sif, I'm so happy for you all! :D (Again, some more, still... *smile*)
Joy Johnston said…
What a wonderful record you have made here Sif. Having just been introduced to your blog, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your stories.

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