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