Birth story - Lauryn
We knew from the moment we found out I was pregnant again that we wanted to have this one at home. I had a friend who used a local midwife, so we interviewed her and warmed to her immediately. She is a wonderful Christian woman who is such a comfort to have around, and knows her stuff, too.
My entire pregnancy was very different with this one. I have never been so sick in my life. So many things were different that I really thought this one was a boy. Physically it was a hard pregnancy. I had alot of sciatic nerve pain that hindered my mobility, and I gained alot of weight.
As my due date (Nov 13, my dad's birthday) approached, the pregnancy insomnia hit with a vengeance. By the 13th, I had been running on about 3 hours of sleep a night for a few nights already, so my mom came down early. With all the other babies, she came when we called announcing the birth, but she knew I needed help even earlier this time. So for the next week, I still couldn't get to sleep before 3-4 am, but she took care of the kids in the mornings so I could sleep in a little. We would also get out and go walking at the mall or Super Target, to get some exercise and keep me distracted. As that week went by, I thought I was going crazy. I knew this baby was big, and I was beginning to worry that she would NEVER COME OUT.
Kelly had already taken the week of Thanksgiving off, so on Monday (Nov 22) he went with me to my midwife appointment. I was 9 days late at this point. I hadn't had her do an internal exam up till now, but that day I asked her to strip my membranes and see if there was some reason she could discern as to why the baby was still in utero . When she checked me, she scared me a little because she put her head down on the back of her other hand. "I think if you just coughed, Tami, you'd push this baby right out." What did she mean by that? "You're already dilated to a 7!" There were no membranes to strip, I was so far dilated. I was completely effaced, and the baby was right there. Really low.
The "problem" was that the baby was turned a little funny. She was head down, but her shoulders were at a weird angle. She said that might be why she was so late, but there was no way to know for sure. She showed me some exercises to do to encourage the baby to turn face down, but felt like I would go into labor soon.
I went home and did the exercises. When I went to bed I prayed to go into labor soon. I woke up the next morning at 7:45, and immediately felt disappointed. All the other non-induced labors had begun at 1 or 2 am, so if I slept all night I just assumed that I would not be having a baby that day. But just a second or two later I had a doozy of a contraction. After it passed I got up and put my contacts in, and went out into the kitchen. My mom just about had breakfast ready, and I was hungry. I wasn't sure if if that contraction had meant anything (after all I had been having alot of contractions for a month now - that's how I was so far dilated). About 8, I had another one, but I still wasn't sure. So I kept eating my eggs and muffins. Then I had one at 8:10, and 8:15. That last one was serious. That's when I got up from the table and told Kelly to call Janet, the midwife.
I went back into our room to start getting it ready while Kelly called Janet and someone from church to let them know I was finally in labor. About 10-15 minutes later the midwife's assistant arrives. In the meantime Kelly and I are changing the bed linen, clearing off bathroom counters, and getting a couple of last minute things ready (in between contractions). It was so much less hurried than trying to get the kids somewhere and then going to the hospital.
Becky, the assistant, hadn't been there long when I had a contraction that felt very different. And then my water broke. (Thank goodness we weren't in our car driving to the hospital!) At this point I'm thinking Janet isn't going to make it in time. However, she arrived a little bit later, and I was still pregnant. She examined me and I was complete, so anytime I felt like pushing I could go ahead.
The problem was that because of the baby's awkward shoulder position, I was having my first real taste of back labor. And I was having a more difficult time coping with it that I usually have in labor. I was trying my usual positions, and they weren't helping. I hadn't really prepared for a back labor, and it kinda took me by surprise. Finally, I did something I never thought I would do - asked them to fill up the bath tub.
I had never wanted a water birth, even though many women do. But at this point the labor was so intense and the back pain was like nothing I, a mother of almost 5, had ever experienced. But it took forever to get the tub full enough. Or so it seemed at the time. As soon as they said it was good to go, I walked over between contractions and sank into our garden tub. It did almost instantly take away the back pain. That's the bad thing about back labor - the pain doesn't really subside between contractions, so you don't get the break like you normally would between them. However about two contractions after I got in I finally felt pushy.
What I didn't realize when I asked to get into the tub was that, because of the way our bathroom is set up, there is no way for the midwife and Kelly to both be in position so to speak to deliver. So our plans for Kelly to deliver the baby again were spoiled. But by that point I didn't care. The baby finally did move into the right position, but only as she was being born, and that was also not an experience I'd care to repeat. And I thought I would never get the shoulders out. And I was a little freaked out about the baby being in the water and me not able to get the shoulders to be born. That's the only time I ever remember screaming during labor. Janet got in my face and told me to put the effort I was using to scream into getting the shoulders out. Finally, the baby was born.
When Janet brought her up and laid her in my arms, we could tell immediately that this one big baby! We could also see that the baby was not the boy I had thought, but was another girl. I remember Kelly went out our bedroom door to call up to my mom - who had been keeping the girls busy upstairs - "It's a girl, and she's BIG!" I was exhausted. This was the first delivery I didn't get that rush of adrenaline and ecstasy after the baby was born. I was too drained. The labor was very short, but it was also the most intense and painful thing I had ever been through. I was also relieved that it was over.
I was soon back in the bed, and the baby was being checked over. When they weighed her, she was 10 lbs 10 oz! and 23 inches long. That's over 2 inches longer than any of the others. She really looked like a one month old baby. After weighing her, Kelly tried to put a newborn sized diaper on her, but it wouldn't even close around her. We all laughed at the ridiculous sight of this little bitty diaper on this huge baby. Fortunately I had already bought some size 1 diapers, or we would have been in a bad spot!
Soon I was nursing her and my mom and other daughters were coming into see the new baby. I rested in my own bed or in the recliner all day, and had good food to eat. It was the most restful birth day I have ever had. That night I took the baby's vitals when she woke up to eat - on her schedule not on the hospital schedule. One of my favorite things about the homebirth was not getting woken up every 2-3 hours by the nurses. Oh, and not sleeping on a plastic mattress. And the homemade food. And the... well, you get the picture.
Box Score Stats:
Lauryn Skylar was 10 lbs., 10 oz., and 23 in. long with blond hair and blue eyes.
Born November 23, 2004 at 10:03 am.
Labor total: 2 hours 18 minutes
Now, if you have been keeping track, I have been in labor a total of 19 hours and 9 minutes with all five babies. So all you women out there who have 12-24 hour labors each time, hats off to you because I do not know how you do it. Now, the trade off is that I am in latent labor the entire last month, so am varying shades of miserable during that time, but the truly painful part is very short. But it makes for a very long final month, especially if I go late. That also makes the active labor quite intense, as I go from nothing to full throttle transition in about 4 contractions. It also makes for jumpy midwives and a jumpy husband. When I call my husband now I have to preface the call with "Hi, I'm not in labor, I just need ..."
I'm anxious to get the next birth story posted. So is the rest of the family. Lauryn glared at me yesterday and told me (almost accusingly), "The new baby is ready to COME OUT!" Like I was purposely keeping it inside me! If she only knew...