Friday, June 18
Her first story...
I welcomed Caroline three weeks ago. She was born on May 28th, at 4:24 in the afternoon. I'm typing with one hand, playing chase the passey with the other. She's mostly very laid back. Like now. Eyes closed, hands grasping the edges of her blanket, pacifier occasionally bobbing up and down.
I spent most of the day having mild occasional contractions, wondering if it was real labor, but knowing that my body felt different, my contractions felt different, and being glad. Being so glad because I was so tired of being pregnant and I didn't want to be a big whiner, but I was uncomfortable, and couldn't sleep, and the heartburn was killing me.
We called my Mom and my sister early in the day. I got bored. I shaved my legs, checked my bag, cleaned the house. Things were slow going, but I knew that's how they started wit Jonah, and once they picked up, there would be no slowing down.
I laid down and started timing things around noon and by 1:30 things were getting pretty intense. My body was telling me that it was time to go... funny how it can know so many things that my mind isn't sure of. We called the midwives and told them that we were headed to the hospital. No questions. We were coming. The car ride was pretty rough. I ended up on the floor with my head in Tara's lap. Josh drove and I was thanking the Lord that we had gotten a van so I could fit in the floor. Sitting was out of the question.
When we arrived Josh went to park and Tara walked me up. They got a little information pretty quickly and took me back to get me gowned and ready. I just wanted to get into the bathtub at that point, but They got a base reading on the fetal monitor and saw that we were both good, and I gave them my birth plan. No questions after that. They didn't try to change my mind about any of the choices I'd made. It was very respectful.
Josh showed up after a few minutes and we walked back tot he delivery room. I had to stop at one point to let a contraction pass, but once we got in the delivery room, I got right into the tub and felt better immediately. During contractions Tara sprayed my lower back with the water and between contractions she make jokes about feeling like she was washing a car. My cousin Audrey showed up to take some pictures (and probably now has PTSD). It didn't take long for me to start to feel pushy. I thought I might wait out the feelign until it got really strong, but that only lasted through the first contraction. When the second one started I told Josh and tara that they better tell the midwife.
My midwife was stuck at the clinic, but I had met the midwife on call. She was wonderful. She had me check myself and my water hadn't broken but I could feel Caroline's head. I got out of the tub and into a gown and into the bed where the midwife could check me. She offered to break my water, but I declined. Not that it mattered much at that point, but I didn't really want the contractions to get much more intense just yet. My water broke on it's own about five minutes later anyway. I ended up pushing with my upper body draped over the head of the bed. It was kind of like being on my hands and knees but with more support. She came fast and furious and I must admit that I got pretty scared after the second push. I was afraid of tearing, of the pain I anticipated, of being unable to do what I needed to do... but I didn't really need to be. I held back on that third push, but I steeled myself and after the fifth one, there she was. I picked her up and held her in my arms and wondered how I could have been afraid. It wasn't comfortable, but it wasn't so bad that I should ever have been afraid of giving birth.
She was red all over and a bit swollen because her cord was wrapped around her neck, but the redness went away in a few hours and the swelling wasn't all that bad- she just has big cheeks. She slept a few hours but she was hungry, and she let me know it that first night. She's spunky and yet tolerant of us. Nice to know.