Monday, June 27, 2016

Claire's Birth Story

Baby Claire is here! I've been wanting to post her story, but haven't had the chance. Here goes. (it's rather long)

Tuesday June 7, my estimated due date, came with much anticipation. Both Quentin and I were hoping that this was the day we'd get to meet our little one. Here's a picture of me on my due date.

Baby girl was very low in my pelvis. But that didn't stop me from running errands! I went to the grocery store, then to my appointment at the birthing center. After the midwife finished checking me (everything was good), we set up a 41 week appointment. She said, "You'll most likely not need this appointment. We just make it to break it." As I was leaving, I said, "Who knows, I might be back here tomorrow." I had no idea that would prove true.

As we went to bed on the night of the 7th, Quentin and I talked about how the baby would probably come on the weekend. We went to sleep around 9:30, and everything was normal.

June 7, 11:30pm - I woke up to a slightly painful cramp in my lower belly. I thought it might be a contraction, but I didn't want to get too excited. So I went back to sleep. 15 minutes later, I woke again to a more painful cramp. I started using my contraction timer app on my phone. I could tell when one was coming. My belly felt like it was tightening slowly, then the painful cramping came, then it slowly loosened.

I think I woke Quentin a little before midnight to tell him I was in labor. The contractions were coming 7 minutes apart, lasting for almost 1 minute each. I thought that was a little fast for early labor. As the pain got more intense, I had to get on my hands and knees in bed and sway my hips.

June 8, 2am - Contractions were coming 3 to 5 minutes apart, and I was finding it a bit harder to make it through each one. We called the birthing center around 2:45am, and the midwife asked if we wanted to come in. She gave us the option! I didn't know what we should do, 'cause I thought I'd be in labor for at least 6 more hours. But, Quentin helped me decide to go in at 4am.

June 8, 3:30am - As we were getting ready to leave for the birthing center, contractions were 1.5 to 2 minutes apart, and very intense. I thought, "If I have to do this for 6 more hours, there's no way I will make it." With the contraction right before we headed out the door, I actually said aloud, "I can't do this!" Quentin encouraged me by saying I could do it and, "You're doing a great job, sweetie." The car ride wasn't fun. I couldn't move like I had been to get through contractions. But, Quentin let me squeeze his hand, which did help. He was so sweet.

June 8, 4am - We got to the birthing center. Stephanie was the midwife who was there waiting for us. She had set up one of the birthing suites for us. The building was very quiet and inviting. I felt safe there, like it was a second home. The suite was dimly lit, which was nice. When we got into the room, Stephanie checked me and told me that I was fully dilated. I replied, "Really? Already?" (I had only been in labor for a little over 4.5 hours at this point) She confirmed it, and said she would call her birth assistant, Rebeca, to come help. 

Stephanie asked if I wanted to try for a waterbirth. I said yes, so she filled up the tub in the room. Rebeca arrived at some point before I got in the tub. Contractions were coming farther apart then, so I got a little break before the big finish. The warm water in the tub felt so good, it helped me relax more.

The pushing stage was the hardest for me. I was scared to push because I didn't want to tear, and I said this out loud. At 5:14am the water bag broke, and I kinda freaked out a bit, saying "Oh no! I tore!" Stephanie was quick to say, "No you didn't. That was your water." After that, contractions were stronger and so was the urge to push. I got on my knees and had my hands on the rim of the tub. Quentin, who was sitting outside the tub at my head, let me squeeze his hand. I squeezed so hard that he had to take his ring off. And I was very vocal at this point - moaning and yelling "Ow". I'm glad no one else could hear me.

Baby crowned at 5:25am, then she was born at 5:30am. She cried very briefly, then just looked around while Stephanie held her partly submerged in the water. After a few minutes, Rebeca helped me out of the tub and over to the bed, while Stephanie carried Claire still attached by the cord. Once I got into bed, Stephanie laid Claire on my chest and I got to look at her. I immediately fell in love, especially with her cute little nose. :)

I got some stitches, because I did end up tearing. It wasn't my perineum though, thankfully. The rest of the morning was a blur of getting to know Claire, having the midwife check on us, and sending text announcements out to family and friends. Claire was measured and weighed about 2 hours after she was born. 7 pounds even, and 19 1/4 inches. We were sent home at 11am, just 5.5 hours after birth. It was nice to come home so soon, and not have to stay for days.

Ok, here are some pictures!

 Claire's first minute of life outside the womb. (sorry it's upside down)

Claire, 2 days old. Cutie pie!

Her first dress. 

Our little family of 3. :)

Bonus tip for pregnant moms! Want to know how I had such a short labor? Well, it was all God's plan, but I think some of what I did while I was pregnant helped too.

1. I kept doing all the normal things I always did before I was pregnant. I didn't use pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and watch movies all day. Most days I was on my feet for the majority of the time, even in the last few days of pregnancy. Exercise is super helpful for a smooth labor!

2. During the last month of pregnancy, I drank raspberry leaf tea and ate dates every day. I drank at least one cup of tea a day, sometimes 2. And I ate 6 dates every day. I found these tips online, so I gave them a try and they worked!


Friday, June 3, 2016

4 Days Left

My estimated due date is only 4 days away. What? Crazy how close that is!

I'm doing well. A bit tired and uncomfortable, but that's normal when you're almost 40 weeks pregnant. :)
Dresses are my favorite thing right now. I just don't like anything touching my belly anymore. And dresses keep me cooler too. The weather has been in the 80's lately!
I've been having a few sporadic, very mild contractions/cramping the past couple days, which my midwife said is my body getting warmed up for birth. Exciting times!

Here's a silhouette of my growing belly.

On Monday, for Memorial Day, Quentin was off work. I love getting to spend the whole day with him! We went to the Botanical Gardens, where we saw a lot of pretty flowers and butterflies. And then we went to a mini golf course to play a few rounds. That was fun, 'cause I haven't played in a while. :) After that, we went out for dinner, then came home and watched a war movie. Long but fun day!