So where to start. Well, my due date came and went on Wednesday (12/12/12 for those who forget). I had an appointment the next day, and my midwife agreed to perform a membrane sweep the next day after clinicals (so that way, if it worked, I would have the weekend off). So after clinicals I go in, and she checks me first. At this point I was about 80% effaced and 3-4 cm dilated, although she said she could stretch it to a 5. She also told me that Sophia was very low, which I knew already, and that she's ready and was probably just waiting on me. So, she did the sweep and there was a decent amount of blood after. She said she thinks that it would probably work, and the contractions usually start to pick up in 3-5 hours.
So, I went home and waited. I had some contractions around 3 min apart for a little bit, but then they went away. Around the 5 hour mark (7:30) I was getting tired and figured nothing was going to happen, since the contractions hadn't really started back up like they were before. That is, until around 9:00 when I woke up to the contractions. I couldn't sleep, and felt like maybe this would be it FINALLY. I went to the bathroom and the contractions really started to pick up. I felt like maybe I should call Nate in to help me, but instead stayed in the bathroom. The contractions were getting painful, but I could work through them through pelvic rocks and controlled breathing. Around 9:30 I had texted my midwife, telling her that it felt like things were really picking up, but I was still working through the contractions. Well, then things really picked up. Fast. The contractions kept coming and were definitely getting more painful. I wasn't sure how painful they should get before going to the center though, so I stayed in the bathroom. I was a little confused though, because all at the same time my stomach was upset, I was getting hot flashes, I felt shaky, and when Nate came to check on me (I was having a hard time keeping quiet through the contractions now) I couldn't give him any straight answers. I felt like I was going through all of the stages of labor at once, and I didn't really know what was going on. Then I started having to push with the contractions, without really any control. I reached up in there to help support everything, and could feel that she was RIGHT there. My water hadn't broken yet, and I was starting to get worried that she was coming very soon and what I would do if her water hadn't broken yet. Random thought, but that's honestly what I kept thinking about. I told Nate that I was needing to push and he asked if he should call my midwife and I told him yes and to tell her I needed to push. So he started running around, calling her and the birth photographer and trying to throw the bags in the car, while at the same time I had wandered out onto the bed. He was trying to help me get dressed, since by this point I couldn't stand having clothes on, while still running around to get everything. With the next contraction my water broke, right there on our bed, just after I had kicked the pants he had partially gotten on me off. I started pushing more and scream for Nate to get in there and that my water had just broken. I felt like she was right there and beginning to crown, and I told him she was coming NOW. He came around and I guess saw her crowning. All I heard was "Oh my God, what do I do?!" and I told him "Help me catch her!" So I THINK at this point he called the midwife back and told her we weren't going to make it, and that I was having Sophia now. During this part of the call I pushed out her head, and was waiting for the next contraction to push out the rest of her body. I think Nate was starting to freak out a little bit because I remember him asking if I was going to push out the rest of her, and I told him that I needed to wait for the next contraction before I could push again. And with the next contraction and one final push, Nate caught our beautiful baby girl at 10:08 on December 14, 2012.
Nate placed her on my chest and got a lot of towels to put over us to try and keep her warm. She was quiet at first, just wide awake and alert, looking around, but I could tell she was breathing and such. That didn't last long though, and soon we found she had a VERY good set of lungs on her! She started rooting around and I set to work trying to help her start breast feeding. About 20-30 minutes later, I delivered the placenta, which was good because her umbilical cord was on the short side. Once that was delivered, it was a lot easier to move her around. Slowly, everyone started to show up (meaning my midwife, the two birth assistants, and my photographer). We both checked out perfect, although I had some minimal tearing that I needed to have sutured. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 6 oz, and was 19.5 inches long. She's so beautiful!
In one word, I would call the experience empowering. Definitely not how we were planning it, and we were for sure lucky that there weren't any complications, but just me and my husband working together to catch our daughter was amazing. We did this ourselves, and Nate was great.
Breast feeding has been MUCH better this time. She has a little trouble latching onto me, but with the shield I feel like we haven't had any trouble. It's already going much better than what it did with Blake. My milk came in today, and I've definitely noticed that she's more interested in feeding now. That on its own is amazing, getting to feed my own baby from what I've exclusively made.
When she was first born, she looked JUST like Nate. Now she's starting to look more like a mix of us. I can definitely still see a TON of Nate in her, but I can see me now too. :) Oh, and all her hair! It's so long in the back, pretty brown silky hair. And she has all her fingers and toes, which is nice because one of Blake's feet had some that were under developed. Me and Nate are so in love with her! Even if she doesn't want to let us sleep at night lol.
Also, a little update on the newborn diapering thing, the tiny Gdiapers have been doing great. They aren't bulky, don't irritate her stump, and we haven't had one leak with them. :) And they're just as cute as can be!
Well, now I guess it's picture time!
40 week belly shot!
Sophia Gracelynn Kelly
All of that hair!