After a long and trying pregnancy, Helena was born on May 21st. Here is her story:
I woke up at 4 AM, on Sunday, May 20th with contractions that were relatively close together (6-10 minutes). They continued for a few hours then spaced out again. I spent most of the day resting and taking short naps. I would be woken up about every 20-30 minutes with contractions, but I still got some nice rest. (Thank goodness it was the weekend so Philip could be with the girls.) Around dinnertime they started to pick up, but nothing I could not handle easily. We called my mom around 8 PM and asked her to head to our house. (She lives an hour away.) We told her it was no rush. I assumed we would not go to the hospital until much later that night or the next day. We put the girls to bed and told them that we may not be there in the morning when they got up, but Oma would be there. Of course they love Oma so they were very excited! My mom arrived at our house around 11 PM. Luckily we had her come when we did because my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart then. We left for the hospital at midnight.
When we got to the hospital and all settled in it was about 12:30 AM. I was dilated to 4 centimeters and feeling very much in control of labor. I knew with our previous daughter I went from 4 centimeters to giving birth pretty quickly. They started to fill the water birth tub while I got an IV. The baby’s heart rate was a wee bit too high to get in the tub, so I got fluids and it brought it down right away. I also got one round of antibiotics for group B strep. I was going to decline the antibiotics because I had testing negative on my second test and done natural treatments, but my midwife said it could be given with the IV fluids and the IV would be removed right after the fluids were done, so I agreed to it. I only had to have the IV in for 30 minutes and then it came out and I went into the birthing tub at 1 AM-ish.
The birthing tub was fantastic! It felt great to float in the water. The contractions got much closer together but I felt very much in control. I read in Ina May’s books that making deep, open throat noises would help relax your body and help your baby move down. It worked really well for me. I felt warm in the tub at first, but Philip had an ice bucket full of wet washcloths to put on my head. Everyone was very quite the entire time. I don’t like a lot of noise while I am in labor.
Shortly after 2 AM my water broke. That is when the contractions got much more intense, but I still felt very much in control. I knew that the intensity meant that our baby would be arriving soon! I felt the urge to push shortly before 2:30 AM and with a few contractions and pushes Helena was born at 2:37 AM. I pulled her out of the water and onto my chest. My midwife was very hands off, which is what I wanted. The first thing I noticed was Helena’s red hair. (Our third red headed baby girl.) She was 7 lbs, 14 oz. (The exact same weight as Ella.) She was alert and nursed right away and hasn’t stopped. We waited awhile to cut the cord and then I got out of the birthing pool. I kept her on my chest for over an hour without any weighing, eye ointments, or anything like that. I only had a very small tear, which has made recovery so much easier then in the past.
Helena’s birth was a fabulous, empowering experience. It was the first time I felt very much in control the entire time. I knew my body was capable and I knew I was capable of keeping my mind in control. I also felt loved and respected by my midwife and the nurses. They trusted me and my body to have my baby. My husband was fantastic. He was a strong, silent, support durring the labor and delivery. He’s definitely a rock.
So that's her story. More updates later. I promise to keep up with blogging.