jan_andrea: (critter)
Susan Elizabeth Rose H.
7lbs 14 oz, 20.5" long
Born at home at 5:50 am on Dec. 27th

Short version of story (some TMI details, sorry):

I'd been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for ages, but the morning of the 26th, started having some that I actually had to breathe through (posted about that, I think). They went away after I got up, but then started up again after we watched "The Hogfather" and went to bed, around 9:30ish. I was having the same manageable-through-breathing ones, so I didn't think anything major would happen for at least 24 hours and didn't call Mom or Robyn, thinking they'd have plenty of time to get here if I called in the morning. Well, then my water broke at 1:10 am and I woke David up... from the first sleep he'd had in days, naturally -- and we called Mom, but it was so late we just said it'd probably be best if she came around 8am, thinking she could wrangle the kids while I was in labor.

For better or worse, though, I had the shorter labor I thought I'd wanted, apparently not realizing the same amount of work would be compressed into a shorter timespan and that meant that it would hurt more! After my water broke, the contractions very quickly turned from manageable-through-breathing ones into "Aw, f*ck, that hurts!" trying desperately to relax through them ones. The only way I could get even marginally comfortable was either sitting back on the toilet (so dignified!) or sitting on the edge of my bed, leaning back on my arms -- anything besides that and they got even more intense. That went on for roughly 4 hours. Ouch. I think if I'd been in the hospital, I would have asked for *something* to take the edge off -- the peaks of the contractions were just agonizing, and I was surprised by my own inability to really cope with them. As it was, of course, that's not an option in a US homebirth attended by a CPM (I envied the UK moms' options of gas-and-air and TENS machines!), so just dealt with them as best I could, which meant trying to keep relaxed while simultaneously whimpering and moaning. Quietly, though; the kids didn't wake up, except for Sophia at 2am and she went back to sleep quickly.

I was getting really frustrated when, after 3-4 hours of these contractions, it didn't feel like I'd dilated as much as the pain should have meant. Then there was another gush of water and suddenly it was more comfortable, and 30 minutes after that, there was just a lip of the cervix left. I was so tired of laboring like that, I pulled it out of the way during contrax. and started pushing, and she was born after 3-4 of those pushes. Way too fast again, of course, despite all my plans to "breathe her out" and wait for my body to push, and so I have a couple of little labial tears and a hematoma (witch hazel is my friend!) but those are all superficial. Her head hadn't even had a real chance to mold, and was quite round when she was born!

She latched on like a champ very quickly, placenta was all in one piece, and she's been adored by her brother and sister since they woke up when she was born. They've actually been squabbling over whose turn it is to hold her, and are very disappointed when she's nursing because they don't get to hold her then. This evening has been a little bizarre; she slept for about 4 hours (!) but then nursed for another 4 straight, and then woke up and wanted nothing more than to be held in a light room, which is why I'm up and posting now. I ought to go back to bed this very second because she's sleeping again. We'll go see her pediatrician at 9:45am  today and have her checked over, but everything was as it ought to be when she was born (quick to cry, great reflexes, etc). As for me, I'm sore and feel like I've been punched in the gut (probably from the weird way I was sitting while laboring) but happy; she's perfect, and a wonderful finale for our family :D

Pictures to come when I bring the camera upstairs and upload them -- haven't done so yet, and went all of yesterday without touching the computer! Shocking! But she is round and healthy and has a full head of dark hair, just like her siblings, though I suspect it will lighten up after her bath.

And now, to bed!

January 2017

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