Monday, March 10, 2014

Elena Jo's Arrival

Miss Elena Jo-March 9, 2014
As today is Elena Jo's due date, it seems quite fitting to post her birth story.  I'd been feeling like I would not go all the way to my due date, for probably a month or two.  I couldn't explain why I felt that way, and part of me thought it might just be wishful thinking and that I would be regretting voicing that feeling right about now.

I started feeling Braxton Hick's contractions much earlier in this pregnancy, probably as early as 25-26 weeks.  But in the month before Elena was due, the contractions gradually became more painful, lasted longer, and there was usually some point in the day where they had some regularity to them.  Several times in the evening, I could time them as lasting 45 seconds to a minute and being about 3 minutes apart.  This would go on for a couple of hours and then they would fade away.  Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night with uncomfortable contractions that I wouldn't be able to sleep through and would read or watch tv for an hour or so before they faded away.  Despite all this action, I never really felt like I was in labor.  The contractions just didn't feel like they were actually moving baby anywhere.  They were annoying, but I kept telling myself that they were helping get things ready for this baby to come. 

On the 22nd, we woke up to a few inches of snow.  Scout and Andrew played outside in the snow, and I ventured out once for a brief walk (before I decided that it was just too much work to layer up in all of those winter clothes).  That afternoon, we had a baby shower with our closest friends and celebrated our soon-to-be new arrival.  The snow really picked up on Sunday and school was canceled for Monday.  We had some awesome snow drifts around our house and felt very snowed in.  Sunday night (23rd) I got the best night of sleep I had in months.  No contractions, slept 9ish hours and only woke up once to use the bathroom.  For a very pregnant lady, this is a miracle!
Scout in the snow-February 24th.
Sunday and Monday we were very lazy, watch tv, read books with Scout, and did a lot of lounging.  Monday night (24th) we got a call that school (work) was canceled again for Tuesday.  We alternated feeling annoyed by how the snow days would affect my paychecks, and loving laying around being lazy.  We watched a few extra episodes of our tv show and went to bed around 10, knowing we could sleep in and be lazy again the next day.  I'd been having my regular evening contractions again, nothing special.  Andrew promptly fell asleep, but after laying in bed for an hour, having slight contractions and unable to get comfortable, I decided to get out of bed.  I got a snack and watched some tv, then noticed our snowed in mess of our living room and kitchen which started to bug me.  So between 11-1, I watched tv, read a bit of a book, ate some snacks, cleaned up the living room and swept, did everything but washing dishes (I thought it would be too loud and wake Andrew up).  By 1 the contractions were feeling more crampy and uncomfortable, but I didn't really think I was in labor, or at least, on the slim chance that I was in labor I thought it was very early labor.  I was starting to get tired and annoyed at being awake at this point though.  So I took a bath to see if the contractions would stop enough for me to sleep.  The bath woke Andrew up, who asked if I needed anything.  I told him no and to go back to sleep because if I could ever get to sleep, he would be getting up with Scout in the morning.  The bath made the contractions spaced further apart, but more uncomfortable and I was feeling claustrophobic and stuck in the bathtub.  I really just wanted to be up moving around.  So I got out and went back to the living room.

Around 2, I woke up Andrew.  I told him that I was sorry but that I wanted company.  He asked if I was in labor and I said something like, I don't know but I want you to hang out with me and tell me what you think.  Only slightly annoying and vague at 2am.  We ended up watching a tv show and timing some contractions.  I still felt very fine, having normal conversations, just uncomfortable when the contractions happened.  Around 3 or so I couldn't watch tv anymore and kept getting up to go in the kitchen lean on the counter during a contraction.  It just felt better to be standing or moving during them, I couldn't stay sitting.  We started talking about calling our doula and our midwives to give them a possible heads up...but I still felt so good in between contractions that I didn't trust them to not just stop suddenly.  I got in the shower to see if the hot water would help me relax and Andrew sat outside, timing contractions and talking to me.  After a quick bit, I told him to call people.  He wasn't sure we needed to yet, but suddenly, during that shower, I was.  While he was on the phone with Kathy, our doula, she told him he needed to call the midwives right now.  He called our midwives, it was Eloisa who was on call that night who asked to talk to me, and I said no.  She could hear me in the background and said she would leave right away.

Kathy arrived around 345 or so.  In that time, I got out of the shower and went back to standing at the kitchen counter.  Andrew had to go out and help her into the house because the snowdrifts were so high.  After about an hour of laboring in the kitchen, I started feeling like I needed to push some.  Eloisa, still hadn't arrived (she lives farther away and the roads were awful).  Kathy convinced me to go kneel on the bed to try and slow things down a bit. About 430ish, the midwife's intern, Mary, arrived and started setting things up some.  Andrew also went out to help her in.  Eloisa arrived around 5, finished getting set up, and checked how far along things were.  Because of how Scout's labor went, I was very concerned that I was feeling like pushing when I couldn't possibly be that far along, and that I would end up stuck and worn out like I did the first time.  While Eloisa never said how far along I was, she seemed quite fine with me feeling like I need to push.  After the ok from Eloisa, to keep doing whatever I felt like doing, and that things were really progressing that fast, I asked to move back to the kitchen.  I just felt like I needed to be able to stand up and move and sway.  And the kitchen counter was the perfect high to lean on while still feeling like I was standing.  After what seemed like a short time, Elena Jo was born, in the kitchen, with Andrew and Kathy supporting me while Eloisa and Mary caught her.  She was born at 556, about an hour after Eloisa arrived.

With assistance, we moved to our bed to rest and got cleaned up.  Elena Jo nursed quickly and easily.  Scout woke up around 620 or so, having slept through the entire labor and delivery and was quite delighted to climb into bed beside me and snuggle up with her new sister.  Elena Jo weighed 7lbs and 2oz, and was 19.5 inches long, no problems whatsoever, definitely seemed ready to come out!  I had no tearing, no swelling, and minus a few after pains, felt back to normal with a couple of days.  Night and day difference between my first delivery!  Couldn't have asked for an easier experience! 


Kourtney Camarillo said...

thanks for sharing! congrats again! glad all went well!

Kourtney Camarillo said...

oh and she is beautiful!!! :)

heather jane said...

I love your birth stories. Welcome to little Elena, and congratulations to you on a happy home birth. It doesn't erase the painful memories of the first birth, but it definitely makes birth feel more positive, doesn't it?