Apparently, posting that update last Wednesday sealed our fate. Our family of three became a family of four last Thursday morning (the 20th). Joelle Judith was born just about 12 hours after my last update. She made her entrance into this world quickly and calmly. Thank you, Joelle. The birth was amazing and completely different from our experience with Andy’s. If you are not interested in reading the very long, very detailed version of the birth story scroll to view the photos and see details below…
I woke up at about 10pm having my usual panic (that I referred to in my previous post). I got up to go to the bathroom and when I came back to the bed had a contraction that felt very different than the ones I had been having. Just a little painful but enough to keep me awake thinking about it. I decided after another few that this was different and thought about waking Ash. I did what any person in denial might do, I sat on that thought for about an hour. “Maybe I will wake her after the next one. Maybe the next one won’t be painful. Maybe they will stop all together.” But they didn’t. So at about 11:30 I finally decided I should at least give her a warning. Contractions were still far apart and irregular so I was not convinced yet that the baby was actually coming. After a short time I texted my midwife to let her know how I was feeling. She told me basically to see how things were going and call her back in an hour. She lives almost two hours from us so giving her appropriate notice was pretty important. We did not want to have an unassisted delivery. Of course, being in denial still, I kept on another two plus hours before calling her again. So at about 2:15 I called her and asked her to head our way.
I was timing contractions during the two hours that I was waiting to see if things got more intense and every time I would get mentally prepared to call her back, and therefore accept that the baby was coming, labor would slow down. After I called Kitt and told her to head over, things seemed to pick up. Now, by pick up I mean contractions got closer together and more intense. They went from being every 7-8 minutes apart to every 3-4 minutes apart almost instantly. Despite that fact, I was not at all thinking things were happening quickly. I guess denial and disbelief are becoming a common theme with this birth only in part due to the fact that I knew having the baby Thursday morning meant our midwife from Florida would miss the birth. Really I think the disbelieve about how quickly things were moving was related to the fact that I was mostly comfortable and able to breathe through the contractions easily the whole time. I sat on the sofa, helped get some stuff ready, sat on the bed, and just hung out for the next hour or so.
After we had called Kitt, Ashley and I got up and started getting things ready. She added air to the birth tub and put the liner on so it was ready to fill, got out the blankets and towels and all that stuff, and made the bed up home birth style, a.k.a. plasticky and annoying, to get ready.
As the midwifes approached I kept in touch via text and we called grandma, poor grandma, at about 3am to come over and be here for Andy in case he woke up during the birth and then to take care of him when he woke up for the day. The first of the two midwives, Angela, arrived at about 4am and then Kitt at about 4:30. They brought in their stuff and unpacked and got things ready. One if them took my blood pressure and listened to baby and everything was good. We all sat around and talked between contractions some for about an hour until I started feeling a little less like talking. I was still just sitting on the bed and breathing through contractions. I think I was waiting for the ‘real’ pain to start. I noticed that Ashley got up and was filling the tub to get it ready and thought, “Hey, that is a good idea. I am starting to get more uncomfortable so getting in the water may help with the pain.” But still not any sense of the “I’m dying and cannot do this” transition phase.
I got up and went to the bathroom and changed into my bathing suit top to get ready to get into the tub. I asked if the midwives would check me before getting in because I sort of wanted to know how much progress I was making. They were fine with that and did but then I decided I didn’t want to know after the fact. What if I was making little progress? What if this baby was still many hours from being ready? I decided to just get in the tub after the next contraction and see how it went. So I did.
I got in the tub at about 5:15 and felt much more relaxed. At this point I decided that I wanted to put my contacts in so Ashley brought them to me in the tub. After only a contraction or two in the tub I remember saying that I felt like things were slowing down and the midwives said I was just adjusting to the relation of the water etc. and not to worry. Turns out they were right about the not to worry part. I started to feel the need to push within the next few minutes and asked them if I should hold back. With Andy I felt a ton of pressure very early and before I was fully dilated. I remember the midwife then telling me that pushing to early could cause the cervix to swell and make it more difficult. I did not want that to happen and did not realize how far along things were at this point. With the next few contractions I went from slight urge to push during the contractions to feeling the crowning to delivering the head. I also felt my water break this time whereas the midwife broke my water with Andy after I had been pushing for an hour or so.
I announced when the water broke and that the head was out. I guess it was obvious but felt the need to announce it. Maybe for my own good.lol i was only in the tub about 15-20 minutes at this point. I was with it enough to stop after the head, turn around because I was sitting on my knees leaning forward, and relax to try and reduce tearing and such. This was something that Ashley and I had talked about ahead of time because with Andy, I was so over the pushing that I rushed the shoulders out and paid the price later in number of stitches. This time I waited and the shoulders and the rest just slid right out on the next contraction. I reached down and pulled this little girl out of the water and onto my chest.
The whole experience was very surreal in part because it was so fast and in part because it was exactly how I wanted it to go. Kitt got the cord ready when it was time and Ashley cut it.
After the placenta decided to finally come out, I took a quick shower, and the midwives got everything cleaned up, they did their checks on baby Nitro and weighed her…
Of course, I must include a photo of Andy meeting his little sister for the first time. He was such a sweet big brother, even if he didn’t want to hold her…
Joelle Judith was born February 20, 2014 at 5:51am, weighing 7lbs. 7 oz. and 20 inches long.
At just over a week now we are all doing well and will update as frequently as possible!