She's here!

Fiona Siobhan was born this morning at 10:39am after an intense labour! Contractions really started/picked up at 2am, they were less than 2 minutes apart and over a minute long by about 4 or 5 (and checking myself I guessed I was probably 6 or 7 cm dilated already), then they just petered out and around 6 they were only 8 minutes apart or so and Kris and I were dozing between them. I checked myself again and I was down to 4 or 5 cm. Around 7 Kris called the midwife. I was really discouraged that once again it was just fake labour (and so close this time!), since I’ve been having so much prodromal labour, and she reassured us that it didn’t sound fake and to lie down to rest and we’d likely be having a baby later that day. Just before we laid down I went pee and felt a small gush, and had some bloody show. I checked myself and commented to Kris that I could feel lots of hair.

We went to try and lay down, but though the contractions stayed quite far apart, they were suddenly quite intense again after my water breaking and so we didn’t actually sleep, but we dozed for an hour or so until Meredith woke up at 9 (she had slept the whole time until this point, straight through the night except for stirring once and was settled easily back to sleep by Kris!). We got up and the contractions started again almost immediately. Kris called the midwife to ask her if it was okay to use the same water that had been in the pool all night now that my water was broken, and she said it was fine. I was having a contraction while he was on the phone and she asked if she should come. I said something along the lines of “I don’t care, whatever you want” lol. Kris emptied the pool a bit so he could reheat the water, and meanwhile my contractions were quickly becoming more and more intense. I’m not sure when they started coming right on top of the other but it wasn’t long afterwards. I couldn’t believe how fast it went from every 8 minutes to transition. And it was very intense/painful. Meredith’s labour had been painful, but in a different way. Lots of back labour, but not nearly so intense. Probably because it was longer. I was very loud, way louder than with Meredith. I’m sure the neighbours heard lol.

Through this Meredith was standing by the pool feeding me frozen grapes (thanks to Paxye for this idea, they were the perfect labour food), stroking and kissing my head, and doing her own thing quietly. She apparently asked Kris to watch a movie at one point and he told her I didn’t want the TV on and she said “oh ok Daddy” and went and found something else to do.

I’m not sure what time it was when the midwife and her student showed up, but I was very close to pushing. The time was actually kind of perfect as Kris and I had had all night to do our own thing together, but when it got really intense and difficult for me (and just when he was wondering how he was going to do things like reheat the pool when I refused to let go of his hand), they showed up. The midwife listened to a few contractions and commented that it sounded like there was a little lip of cervix blocking the baby. I have no idea how she would know that from listening to me! Anyway, she asked if I wanted her to check and potentially hold it out of the way a bit. She did mention that she certainly didn’t have to and it would get out of the way on it’s own if she left it. I had originally told her I didn’t want to be checked at all, but at this point I was feeling like I wasn’t coping very well and I remembered how much I enjoyed pushing with Meredith. I asked her if she did that if it meant I would push sooner and she said yes, probably, and I was like “do it, I want to push!” (I also made her reassure me that she’d stop immediately if it hurt or I wanted her to, which of course she did.) It ended up making the next contraction better and there was a lip, that the head managed to slip past.

The contractions really slowed down at this point, but when they came they were intense. I was yelling very loudly with each one and saying things like “I don’t want to do this anymore”. I had made clear how much I was looking forward to pushing, but when the pushing started I hated it this time for some reason. I really enjoyed pushing with Meredith. Anyway, once I started feeling pushy there was no stopping me lol. I wanted her out of there. I only pushed for 9 minutes and then she burst into the world and Kris caught her and put her on my chest. Meredith came over to check her out and then climbed into the pool with us. We sat and rested for a few minutes and then checked and saw that Meredith had a little sister.

My only real regret about the whole thing is that the water had got cool in that last little bit and I’d been too out of it to remember to mention it and they hadn’t noticed. Her cord was a little short. It wouldn’t have been a problem if the water was nice and warm but because it was so cold I was having a hard time keeping her out of the water enough that we could wrap her. I also couldn’t easily have gotten out with the cord still attached. She was nice and pink and noisy when she first popped out but after about 10 minutes in the tub she had gotten quite quiet and was turning a bit blue. We tried to wrap her up on my chest but I just couldn’t keep her out of the cool water and agreed to cut the cord. I had wanted to wait until the placenta came out to cut it but it had been 15 minutes at this point so I agreed that I was okay cutting it a little sooner. Meredith ended up being the one to cut it, and we tied it off with a braided tie I had made (I had actually made two just in case and am wearing the other around my wrist now :) ).

They took her while I got out and decided to give her a little puff of room air, which worried me a bit seeing them put the little mask on her, but the midwife assured me it was mostly precaution and that she was just fine. She pinked up really quickly with the air and started squalling. Because I hadn’t pushed for long she was still a tad gurgly but nothing that concerned the midwives at all. I didn’t want the oxytocin shot, and at about a half hour after she was born my placenta hadn’t come out. I was lying on my back with Meredith nursing and holding the baby on the other arm, so she asked if I was willing to squat or change position to see if gravity would help the placenta out at all. I don’t think she was worried about it yet but wanted to be proactive. The placenta came out pretty quickly after I changed positions. Kris passed her back to me and she started rooting and latched on and nursed like a pro. I actually am amazed at how well she nurses; her latch is pretty much perfect already and she’s got a powerful little suck. I’m kind of glad I’m used to a toddler nursing already lol.

Meredith was fascinated by the placenta and the midwife showed her how it worked and how the cord attached to the baby (and where). About an hour after she was born they weighed and measured her. We all guessed how much she would weigh and everyone else was guessing under 7 pounds. I guessed 7lb 6oz. She ended up being 7lb 8oz so I was pretty close. (Maybe even right on if we had weighed her before she nursed. ;) )The midwives left soon after that and Kris and I talked about names and settled on Fiona Siobhan pretty easily. We made our phone calls and have pretty much relaxed and just enjoyed our baby the rest of the day. Unlike Meredith’s labour, where I hadn’t slept in about 27 hours and so slept that whole day, I was feeling pretty good and only had a short nap in the afternoon when Kris and Meredith went out for some food.

We will be EC-ing with her as well, and we’ve already caught one pee and one of her meconium poops today, which is kind of neat. :)

I’ll post more pictures when I get a chance, but here’s one of Fiona. I was right when I had checked myself, she has tons of hair! It’s so strange to not be pregnant and that I have another little baby. Very surreal, but I’m loving it again. :) Meredith adores her right now and wants to hold her and touch her constantly. They were both nursing and looking in each other’s eyes while doing so, with Meredith’s hand stroking her head. I wish Kris had been around to get a picture. I hope Meredith continues to enjoy her so much as she realizes how much time and attention she will take up for a while.

4 comments to She’s here!

  • Thank you for sharing the birth story. It makes me feel so happy for you that everything went smoothly and Meredith could be there like you wanted. I can’t wait to meet Fiona. Talk to you soon.

  • That birth tub picture is divine! I loved reading her birth story. Congratulations!

  • So beautiful thank you for sharing!!

  • Sorry to leave this comment here, you don’t need to publish it. I cannot seem to find where to contact you via email on your website (which, really is a good way to filter out spam!). I wanted to say, I’d be honored if you would like to share your empowering birth story on my Birth Stories section on my blog.

    I am a local doula, placenta encapsulator and attachment ‘parenting’ nanny, all while trying to make our first baby. My goal by listing empowering home birth stories is that more and more women can find inspiration for their home births, and you story is a perfect example! I want it to be a safe place for mamas to come to read stories at any time in their pregnancy without worrying about anything fearful etc.

    I loved how most of your labour was just you and your husband, and your daughter. This I’d love to share. Anyways if you ever feel inclined to share this gorgeous story, or talk more, email me at Include the story, photos, and a wee bit and blog link.

    Warmest thoughts,

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“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
~ Albert Einstein