Thursday, June 17, 2010
As you may know last week I was sick. I spent a few hours every day last week laying on my bed doing relaxation techniques to attempt to calm down my very irritated stomach and uterus. I felt crampy often and had a few times with contractions as close as 3 minutes for up to 2 hours. I was finally feeling better...it was a new week.
Monday I had gone househunting with my husband. After my midwife appointment we had decided to look at neighborhoods and commutes. It can be hard to tell what traffic is really like and what neighborhoods feel like without driving around.
So Tuesday when I woke up I was ready to clean up the kitchen, but my stomach wasn't. I felt really crampy and was very worried I was returning to last week's adventures. I knew I was having contractions but they weren't very strong and I figured my back pain was too much time spent in the car the day before (don't I sound clueless...how many signs did I need?). We had agreed to go with the missionaries at 10:30 to talk with a woman and her friend who have recently decided to come back to church and look for a closer relationship with Christ. By 10 I decided we should just go and maybe the distraction would be good..Ashley just lives 5 minutes away.
As we bounced down the driveway I remember thinking UGH I don't like being in the car during contractions-wondering again if I would have to deal with contractions and cramps all day, if they would go away or if this was labor. The time at Ashley's was wonderful. I did have a few hard contractions...but really not that many. I remember thinking how glad I was that I came and how glad that this didn't look like this was labor or was continuing.
The missionaries had asked me to translate (ASL) for a 1:00pm appointment and Chris had offered to make them sandwiches (it was noon). I wanted to go lay down and Chris ran to the store quickly to grab some bread. From the minute we got back in the car after the appointment my "cramps" came back. They seemed pretty close to me, so when Chris came home I called him in to discuss...he took one look at my face and said "Are you timing these "cramps"? No I said sheepishly...though I had been using relaxation techniques and reciting my hymn to myself (When faith endures-thanks Becca, it is the perfect hymn for a laboring woman!). I timed the next two contractions-2 minutes apart and more than 1 minute long...um closer than I thought. Chris called the midwife (at 12:41pm) to tell her she better come, Kalani got the children ready (they walked around the block to a friend's and the missionaries were left to finish eating and leave (one left his scriptures!). Oh. in the getting the children ready time, Ben (age 6) walked into my room and said "congratulations on having your baby today, Mommy!" "Thanks, Son," I said trying to smile.
For the next fifteen minutes I needed Chris through contractions-to do counter pressure, sing until he got my music going; while he still needed to make the bed up, get things ready and reread his "what to do if the baby comes before the midwife" paper. He was running around like crazy...with me calling him back every other minute to help me through a contraction. He called Diana (the midwife) back at 1:01pm to see where she was...she said she was about 15 minutes away. At that point Chris felt he would be delivering the baby. I was thinking..okay at most 10 more contractions until diana's here. I intended to count contractions, but was too preoccupied. Chris could see the baby coming down and my water broke at 1:03. Chris could see the baby's head. I was dying at this point (especially my back). Chris reminded me to pant not push, and he prepared for delivery. I didn't realize what he was doing and didn't think I was that close, even though I did want to push. As I was panting the baby descended and with a few smaller pushes and Chris' well placed hands to slow her arrival a bit Hannah came out right into her daddy's hands. "It's a girl!" he said as I rolled over in shock. It was so hard to wrap my mind around her being there! She was covered with vernex and very healthy looking-her feet and hands were purply, but other than that she looked great.
Chris called diana...who was about 7 minutes away. We wrapped the baby up, suctioned her mouth a bit...she cried a teency bit and well, but was really rather calm.
Now that is the delivery but the after delivery was SO markedly different from a hospital birth...just amazing. Diana came, checked everyone over (no tearing or ripping of any kind thanks to Chris's hands and reminders to pant!). Diana cut the cord and once the placenta was ready we delivered that easily-there was no hurry about either event. Diana's assistant Cindy started cleaning everything up, got me water (I had been SO thirsty, but couldn't imagine actually drinking) and started an herb bath. I nursed the baby-for my first delivery I wasn't shaking cold after birth-I was completely comfortable. That bath was fabulous! I felt so clean afterward (a feeling I never have in the hospital), and it was so relaxing to clean the baby myself-with Diana's help. The vernix didn't need to be cleaned up, it soaked right into her skin!-I never knew that-normally they scrub the baby clean.
We all went back to my nice clean bed and weighed the baby-
I was completely shocked at her weight (10#5oz and 23 inches long). Diana thought she was big, but I just hadn't felt that much of a difference-pain is pain and it's not like she was slow to push out. I dressed her and snuggled in.
Chris called the children home (they had been gone only 2 hours!) Natalie and Raymond RAN home and were so excited to see the baby. They loved her up, then handed her off as more children came home. Abi was more concerned about her new coloring book than the baby (she has since decided otherwise and calls the baby "nannah"). After short turns everyone was sent out so mommy and Hannah could rest and we reminded everyone that the first little while was mommy's babymoon.
Later Ben came back in and said "When are we going to have more kids?" "WHAT?" I ask incredulously "I mean more boy kids to play with!" he says....oh...I see. Yikes! Here's hoping our new neighborhood has lots of little boys!
Sorry so long for such a short story!