I was convinced for most of my pregnancy that my baby was going to come late, because first babies tend to come after their "guess dates". But the last week of my pregnancy, I was feeling more and more like things could get started any time. On Friday, I felt the need to get some last minute things taken care of and also took a long walk to try to bring on contractions (known in Hypnobabies as birthing waves).
Friday night, I woke up every few hours with birthing waves and started getting more excited! Saturday they started increasing in intensity and getting closer, so I cancelled a few meetings I had made with friends. Saturday night I was up most of the night, spent it on the couch because it was easier to change positions. When morning finally came Sunday, I was a little sad that they hadn't gotten closer together because I was ready to get things going. I also didn't really know that the beginning stage of labor could take that long because the birthing waves were coming around 10 minutes, sometimes less, apart, but not really getting closer together. So, I went through another day of birthing waves. Colin got Bridesmaids from Redbox to watch as a distraction and it was good to laugh that night.
Sunday night was pretty much spent upright on the couch. I couldn't find any comfortable position to rest in. Monday I got Colin to do something called the abdominal lift and tuck for some birthing waves to get them closer together. It worked and made them stronger, which was a mixed blessing! Once the waves got pretty close to 4 minutes apart and one minute long for an hour consecutively, Colin packed up the car, I took a shower, and we headed out. I think we got to the hospital around 2pm. We probably could have waited longer (until the waves actually were at 4 minutes apart instead of just close to it) but I was so ready. (I kept telling myself that just because we get to the hospital doesn't mean the baby will come, but it was honestly kinda hard to really convince myself of that!)
Once we got to the hospital, things were good for a little bit. My birthing waves had slowed down some. I avoided the bed for as long as possible, but they had to get a baseline fetal heart rate. Colin thinks our nurse was inexperienced because she had a very hard time getting the heart rate monitor in the right spot on the baby, but when another nurse came in, she found it right away. I guess Mavry kept moving around, because they couldn't get a good reading. Also, she was already very low, which apparently made it harder. So, from that point, things got harder. Mavry's heart rate would drop during birthing waves, which concerned the nurse and midwife. Eventually the midwife decided that for the baby's safety, she needed to break my water and insert an internal monitor for the heart rate. I wanted to wait, but Colin was very concerned for the baby and wanted to follow the midwife's plan, so we did. Initially, this set things back on course. Her heart rated steadied, perhaps because when they broke my water, things shifted and her cord was no longer compressed.
I started having the urge to push not too long after that. They checked my dilation, which was 3.5 when I went in, and it had gone up to 8. I was told to blow candles out instead of deep breathing during the pushing, which worked some, but it was incredibly hard not to push. Colin was perfect throughout the whole time - always centering me, bringing me back to relaxation. With his help, I was able to imagine widening a few times instead of pushing, but I wasn't successful other times. Mavry's heart rate was dropping significantly again with each push and they were really concerned about it, so they called in a doctor for the birth. This meant I had to wait longer and not push, which was not happening! They gave me some kind of shot in the arm to keep me from pushing, then the doctor got there and I had to push on my back. They told me to do the kind of pushing that we had learned in Hypnobabies not to do (holding my breath, chin down). I obliged. The doctor was concerned that Mavry needed to come out quickly, so she used a vacuum at the end.
Mavry Arden Thorne was born the night before her "guess date". Colin got to cut the cord. They checked her over quickly because of the circumstances of birth, and then I got to hold her. She latched on right away and has been a great nurser!
I wanted to have a totally drug free, intervention free birth and wish we hadn't had to have had the internal monitor, vacuum, etc. that we did, but am overjoyed to have given birth to a healthy, happy baby who is now 9 days old! Who knows how things would have been different if we could have afforded a home birth - would her heart rate still have been as big of an issue? I don't know, but even an hour after birth, the hard parts of the time at the hospital began to fade from memory. She is amazing and the entire process for both of us was indescribable!
|Mavry, not too thrilled, in her "coming home" outfit.|
|She gets a little more play time on her own every day!|
|Mavry enjoys being worn in the Moby style carrier.|
We stayed two nights in the hospital then came home. My sister has been here since Saturday, and will stay until Saturday, for which I am really thankful. I got to be there for the birth of both of her boys and it has been good to share the early days of Mavry with her. Her boys at home are so cute - when they Skype every night, they always ask to see Mavry. They blow their new cousin kisses and talk in cute voices to her.
We are adjusting to new parenthood pretty well. It's so amazing to hold this little girl who grew inside me for 9 months. She is a miracle and a blessing. In the birthing when things looked a little unsure, Colin and I (and the others he enlisted through texting) had our prayers answered as she was born a healthy, strong, vibrant little girl.