Saturday, August 29, 2015

The tale of our OP home water birth baby (AKA baby #3)

I have been MIA for a while I know... but its all with good reason. We had our newest little one August 19th 2015. So here is his birth story and some pictures as well..... baby #3 was truly a different birth that is for sure, as you will see...

It all started the day before with a visit to our midwife Kaleen, from Tree of Life Birth Center. I was 39 weeks 3 days and so so ready for this baby to come. I had been trying to walk him out, since running was off the table. Spicy food, pressure points, chiropractor visits to make sure he was in line. Yet... nothing... I would get some strong contractions but nothing that stayed. This was my longest pregnancy too and my 5 foot 3inch frame was getting tired of the extra 30lbs I had put on. The other boys came at 38 weeks 6 days and 38 weeks 1 day, so to me this was torture. His head was hitting my pubic bone and I knew it! Every step was like a bowling ball hitting my pubic bone and it was getting to me, I. Had. Enough. So when we went on the Tuesday to visit Kaleen she asked if I wanted to be checked. I told her "Normally I say wait and the baby will come when he is ready, but yes go for it!"
Very quickly she started to chuckle "His head is RIGHT THERE! +1 station and 3cm." "Oh good!!" I said, "So anything we can do to speed this up?" She offered to sweep the membranes a little, this was not painful so I don't think it was as bad as everyone makes it sound. But she just did a little sweep and told me to go home rest and call her when it was time.

So we went home, and waited.... and waited.... and waited.... she send me a text that night around 6pm "Anything?". "Nope nothing significant" I replied, More waiting. I sent a text to a friend that had just had her baby a few days before and had her midwife do the same thing. "How long till you went into labor after you saw your midwife?" "about 3 hrs" she said. Here I am 6hrs later and nothing!!! Come on baby!!!

After dinner at my parents we went home, by the time we were going to bed I was getting uncomfortable and had some lower back pain. But nothing that made me think I was in real labor. So I was tossing and turning all night, but deep down I knew this was the beginnings of labor but I wasn't ready yet. My sister had to drive 2hrs to get here, it was 1 AM and I wanted to just sleep, nothing seemed lined up for this baby to come tonight. So I got my headphones, sat on the couch and listened some relaxing magazine articles and fell asleep. I woke up at 3am still with the back pain, and just tried to lay down or sleep on the couch recliner and wait to see what happened. Thankfully I fell back asleep till 6:30AM and woke up knowing this was it. It was a feeling of relief and excitement and joy that we would finally meet this baby, and soon. Bring it on!!

I told my husband that this was it and we are a go! He called my dad who he was going to work with that day and told him change of plans, baby is coming. I called my sister who for once in her life had a dead battery on her phone. Timing huh? So once I called her hubby's phone I told her "you may want to head on out here, this seems to be happening". They thankfully had bags packed weeks ago so they headed over on their 2hr trip. My labors before had a good record of being quick! So the need for speed was a real thing for them!!

The next phone call was to my midwife, who thankfully lived only 10-15 minutes away. She quickly dropped her kids off at school and came over. Once she got here I was sitting on an exercise ball to help the labor not come on as quickly, the moment I stood up or walked around all I could do was stop and focus on the pressure. So sitting it was. Kaleen checked for baby's position while I sat there. "I feel legs and knees, I think this is an OP baby" she said. OP means his back is against my back and not butt sticking out towards the front, the whole pregnancy he was in 'perfect position' with butt out and now you go and change?? She assured me he will come out either way so no need to worry about it. I quickly got on hands and knees to see if gravity would bring him around. But in looking back I think it was to late, I was in full on labor, he was in position and head was beyond engaged. But can't blame a girl for trying :)

My other boys were in 'butt out' position the for their birth, so with baby #3 he decided to be different. But it also explains why I was  having back pain! Back labor! Hello!!

My hubby got the tub blown up and ready before the midwife got here and once she was here I could hear the water going in while I labored on the ball in the living room. Once my mom and dad got here I was just getting in the tub. My sister was stuck in traffic! The major highway was shut down! Of all the days!!!! I tried not to let it bother me and just went into labor mode. Mind you this whole time I was talking and fine between contractions and was starting to doubt myself if this was really it. It was not that bad at all! I was eating, drinking, laughing and talking, like it was no big deal! There came a point though that a 'serious get down to business' hat came on and this was a go. My sister finally got there in time for me to really push.

With the last 2 labors I was able to 'breathe' the baby down and out. No real big pushing till maybe the last bit with the head. So I was doing the same thing for this one... but nothing was happening. I changed to hands and knees, tried again... nothing. Squatting... nothing. What is going on?? I remember asking at one point "Can you see the head yet?" "No, not yet." My midwife replied. What?!?! 

Thank goodness I had a history with my midwife and she knew me and how I normally labor and deliver. This one was going to be different, a tougher baby, and she knew it. After my unsuccessful changing of positions and nothing happening. She suggested I lean back on my hubby and pull my knees to my chest. That sounded so uncomfortable! But if it got him out and going then lets try it. His head needed to go under my pubic bone, all this time I had felt him hitting it but not going under. So he needed some direction on where to go. Once I got into the new position he was coming! My bag of waters were bulging and to get things moving my midwife offered to pop them with her fingers. Pop! All the fluid was clean! Good lets keep going. 

The pushing I had to do was the hardest I've ever had. I had those horrible thoughts run through my head 'He is not coming out' 'You will need to be transferred' ... I told all those negative thoughts to jump off a bridge!! Instead I told myself "you have done this before, you can do it again" "Your body was made to do this" "Trust your instincts". And I'm glad I listened to my positive thoughts! The crazy pushes and intense pressure was like nothing I'd had before. But I knew it was worth it. 

He came out facing up! OP baby for sure! It was head, forehead, face, and then he shot out facing up the whole way. Never turned or moved from that position at all! The crazy part was that with OP babies the widest part of their head it was comes out first, not the top crown of the head like most babies. I have a history of big kids too, he was no different, 14.5 inch head, 14 in chest, 9lbs and 22 inches long. This was NOT a small baby. No wonder he was a tough guy to get out! An hour of pushing total, but he came in 30min from the bag of waters being broken. 4 hours of labor total. My longest labor and longest pushing phase too. 

He came out crying and alert too! A beautiful baby boy covered in vernix and a nice little indentation on his forehead of where he kept hitting my pubic bone. It went away quickly though. We are so happy he is here and healthy :) He latched on right away and hasn't stopped eating since. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What does real labor feel like?

We are getting closer, as I write this I am 39 weeks and 1 day. The longest I've been pregnant yet! My others came at 38 weeks 1 day and 38 weeks 6 days, so this feels like eternity to me!

So that question all first time moms have "What does real labor feel like?". Recently I was able to be a 'doula' (I'm not certified so I use that term loosely) for a good friend's labor and delivery. She was first time mom and we had that "what does labor feel like?" chat. Granted, everyone is different and every person's pain tolerance level is different. So what I felt may not be the same for you. But I hope my experiences can at least give you a good basis.

With our first I Googled that question, read every book I could on it and STILL in the throws of labor I wasn't sure it was the real thing. I learned very quickly my pain tolerance level is high! Woo hoo!!
With baby #1 I woke up to annoying back pains and put a heating pad on it and when back to sleep. Woke up an hour later and just couldn't get comfortable, took a hot shower and realized that when the ache went into my legs that this just may be it. But that wonderful break you get in between kept teasing me and making me think it was just more 'practice' contractions. Ether way I woke up the hubby and said "maybe call the midwife I think I might.... (pause for 1 min to give into contraction) in labor". Once he saw that he called her and woke her up, since it was 1A.M. We made our way to the birthing center, I walked in like it was no big deal and apologized to her up and down for dragging her out of bed. Stopping along the way to lean on the couch to have a contraction. She looked at me not sure if it was real or not, but said we would go and 'check'.

Once I settled into the big bed they had there she 'checked' me and started laughing. "You are complete! 10cm!! How did you not know!?!" We both had a good laugh about that.

So there you have it! Pains that went into my legs and ones that made me stop mid sentence and think of nothing else.

Baby #2
Again I doubt myself to much, this one was similar. We were out doing shopping for a friend's bridal shower and needed to run to Target too. While at the first store I had to stop the cart while we were shopping and give in to the feeling. But we kept going, I was not totally sure this was it and don't like to be thought of as a drama queen. So I told my husband "just keep looking for the dish towels they want then we can head out". Little did I know the 'head out' phrase was literal.

We got in the car to go to Target, only a 3 min drive, and once we got there I told my husband "you run in and I will wait here with little man in his car seat". In that short time it took him to get bananas and come back it suddenly hit me THIS WAS IT! I called him on his phone and told him "get back here we need to go home! NOW!". The intensity went from 'ok I can bear it'..... to... 'holy cow I am going to give birth in the car!' In only a few minutes too. By the time we got home the midwife was on her way and that tub needed to be set up in record time. That is a birth story for another time....

So baby #2, the hunching over on the cart to deal with the intense contractions and then the sudden ramp up in the intensity.

With baby #3 this is all yet to be determined, this one has given me those silly 'practice contractions' or Braxton Hicks for months now. The pressure has been there for weeks, so I am at a loss. My only thought is that they will get intense enough where I can't think of anything else. But we will see....

Friday, August 7, 2015

Preparing for a Home Birth

Home birth.... 2 words that when put together scare people still to this day. Why? We can all thank TV and Movies for that! Those horrible images of women screaming and cursing at who ever is in the room, doctors and nurses all at the other end of the woman poking and prodding and shouting at her to "PUSH" while she is laying on her back and feet at strapped to torture devices to keep her in optimal position so the doctor doesn't have to bend over. Poor doctor, we need to cater to him or her.....

Yeah I'd be scared to!! Maybe is a form of birth control for people? So when I tell people we are planning our 2nd home birth and 3rd out of hospital birth they give me the "Have fun with that (insert eye roll)" or the "What is wrong with you?" speech. I used to try to explain to them its not what you think, I'm not going to the woods with the wild animals to give birth. We WILL have a midwife there and she brings modern medical equipment. But by baby #3 I've changed my approach to "What do you think a home birth looks like?"

The answers can vary from people that are right spot on, to the out there ideas of chanting and incense with no help at all just the mom squatting in the woods next to a deer. Riiiight.....
From there I can better explain to them what really goes on!!!

 I like the comparison that Ina May Gaskin uses in in one of her books. Would you rather... have a bowl in the middle of the floor, be told to poop in there in front of a room of people, most who you don't know and have them all yelling at you to "POOP!!!" and do it quickly or else!! Or... would you rather have the privacy of your own home to do as you please, when and how you want, with the audience of your choice and with low or no lights and go when you feel ready. You tell me....

We are now at the safe zone of 37 weeks or more where a home birth is good to go! With that we also have to have some things on hand. Some items are needed other are just a personal preference. Also by baby #2 I realized its not so much the birth items you need as much as its the POST birth items!

So here a few my favorites:

  •  Coconut Water with Pineapple 
    great for during the birth for keeping electrolytes up and its just good an refreshing too! And After baby too its great to have while you are nursing.

  • Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera 
Its a life saver for post baby recovery!! Put some on a large over night pad and put it in the freezer, you have.... Padcicle! The greatest comfort to a recovering bottom.

  • Arnica

A great thing!!! You can use it with no affects to you or the baby. Its great for post birth with bruising and helping the uterus to contract down and help you not be in as much pain. Win win!!

  • Vitamin C

Keep those electrolytes up!! Its great for drinking while in labor to replenish lots electrolytes and keep energy up. I drink it now too even before the baby comes.