Friday, 9 August 2013

Changes and challenges

I really should be more consistent with this. Oh well.. one of these days, maybe I'll get my act together.

So many changes. My baby girl joined us April 14th, and her arrival was soo different than what I'd planned for. First of all, she was late (I'd been expecting/hoping she'd be a week or two early!).. 3 days past my due date, in fact. Second, she was born in a hospital -- had been planning a home birth -- but due to an ice storm that damaged power lines and downed trees, we had no heat, power or running water in our home. Can't have a baby without those things! Third, and this I still don't quite understand, I didn't realize I was actually in labour! I had 4 children previously, and I don't recognize labour? Wha.. ?  But it's true. Mostly because I'd been having contractions for days, and when contractions started on the 13th, I didn't really pay much attention to them.

It worked like this: we had no power in our home, and we have several small children. We were wanting to go to my mom's for the time it would take to restore power -- a little longer than typical at our home, because of specific storm damage. But... due with a baby, so we couldn't go just then. Like I said, I'd been having contractions, so I called my midwife and asked if we could turn the what-I-assumed-were-false contractions into the real thing, through some kind of augmentation.. breaking waters, stimulation, etc.. so we could have this baby and then go someplace safe. She agreed, given that I was already overdue, and because of the circumstances, and told us she would meet us at the hospital at a certain time. So we packed our kids off to relatives, and headed out.

I was still contracting, and noticed they were getting stronger, but didn't really think much of it. We were on the road by 11:30 Saturday night, and walked into the hospital at midnight. By then, I had an inkling that maybe augmentation wouldn't be necessary -- the contractions were making it hard to walk! My midwife took one look at me and smiled. She knew..  Things kind of sped up then. I got undressed and settled in, and the contractions were coming fast and furious, about a minute or two apart. I tried to focus on some music on a playlist, and cracking jokes with my midwife between contractions. I didn't keep track of time.

Every delivery is different! Some have been so overwhelmingly fast, I never felt anything but pain. With my 2nd youngest, I had enough breaks between contractions to feel her moving into the birth canal. With this one, I had the overwhelmingly fast contractions, but not so overwhelming I couldn't feel her move! I felt the smooth move down, and then felt her shoulders stick a bit -- a first! Definitely my biggest baby. But I only pushed for a few minutes, and we had a beautiful baby girl, 8 lbs 4 oz... at 1:35 am! Only an hour and a half after we had arrived at the hospital. One of my fastest labours ever! And she was almost a pound bigger than my last biggest baby.

My midwife was amazing. She put orders on my chart that I wasn't to be disturbed unless I needed something. And that I was feeding on demand, so there was no nosy nurse wanting to insist I feed her on some artificial schedule. She slept that night for almost 4 hours... then nursed for almost 3 hours, lol. We stayed over Sunday, and Monday night, where she slept again for a 4 hour stretch before feeding again.. lovely sleeper (which has continued!) We did hit a minor hiccup, when the hospital almost didn't want to release her because they thought she might have jaundice, but again, my midwife went to bat for us, and signed the papers after a blood test, because she had no worries. The child was eating fine, after all.

So.. discharged from the hospital, went back to the house, and while our newborn slept in her carseat, I proceeded to pack up clothing for 5 children and 2 adults, along with all the baby paraphernalia, for a week! Then we picked up our kids, showed the baby off to various relatives, and hopped in the van for a 7 hour ride to Grandma's!

The only downside to the hospital stay? Both baby and I came down with a cold... but we were fine, and she was back up at her birth weight before the week was out.

Today, she is a happy, healthy, smiling, cooing, rolling over almost-4-month old, adored by siblings and parents alike. And she sleeps 6-7 hours at night! This is a happy mama...

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