Posts tagged labor

24 Hours Old

Baby Reid Cameron Hanson was born just over 24 hours ago. He weighed 7 pounds exactly (after a big poo) and was 21 inches long. He’s quite skinny! Most of the newborns in my life up to now have been at least 8 pounds–including Daniel. It’s surprising how much of a difference one pound makes.

Reid’s head was smaller than Daniel’s, too. I don’t remember the exact measurements, but I’ll ask Margo when she comes to check on me tomorrow.

The night before Reid was born, my waves started getting stronger and more regular when I listened to one of the Hypnobabies scripts. I had set up a pillow nest in such a way that I could lay face down–my belly in a pit. I think it was the combination of being relaxed from the hypnosis and that position that jump-started things. The waves were about 10-15 minutes apart and I timed them for about an hour. It was after midnight and I was pretty sure I could sleep.

Though I woke up a few times to a strong wave and to go to the bathroom, there was no indication that “this was it”. But when I woke up in the morning around 7:30, the waves were still strong and continued to be about 10 minutes apart. They fluctuated from 15 minutes to 7 minutes apart all day and continued to get stronger and occasionally longer. I still wasn’t sure I had officially entered my birthing time because they weren’t regulating themselves and I’d heard that second babies can produce several false starts.

Sue came over and picked up Daniel so I could relax, just in case. I ate lightly all day, as well, just to be on the safe side. I had several soft BMs which did give me some indication that this was really it. After lunch, I took a little walk to the Paseo and actually ducked into some of the shops–not something I ever get to do with Daniel in tow. By the time I got back, I lost my mucous plug and was by then pretty confident that I would meet baby that day.

By the time I did my second Hibiclens rinse around 3, I gave myself an internal exam and discovered the bag of water was bulging and I was dilated to 5 or 6. I wasn’t really sure, since I didn’t have a lot of experience with measuring cervices.

I sent text messages to all my support people updating them with the news and Dan and I decided to head over to his parents’ house before things got too intense. I really didn’t like the car ride when I was birthing Daniel and wanted to avoid that.

When we got there, I sat on the birthing ball and waited for people to start showing up. By then, things had slowed down and I was only having waves every 15 minutes or so, though they were very strong by then. When Margo arrived around 6, she checked me and I was already at 7–even though things had never regulated or gotten closer together. Micaela was here by then, too, and I got in the tub and just chatted with her between waves. Except that the waves were strong and mostly in my back (and yes, they did hurt), in general, I was very comfortable and relaxed.

Besides practicing deep relaxation, I didn’t really use my Hypnobabies until the end. I probably should have tried using it sooner if I wanted more pain management, but I was really enjoying my very social birthing time and didn’t want to disrupt something that was so enjoyable.

My support people all ended up making it to the birth before I hit transition (something we were all worried wouldn’t happen due to Memorial Day traffic–they were coming from San Diego). At one point, I turned around in the tub so my back was facing everyone to allow someone to press on my back through my waves since all the pain was localized there. I was able to relax the pain away in my abdomen, but it was just too intense in my back for me to melt it away.

I decided I probably needed to use the Hypnobabies now, since there was not much socialization I could do at that point. Less than 30 minutes after putting my headphones in, I got an enormous wave that lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I was very vocal through that wave, and by the end of it, I was unintentionally pushing. Everyone knew exactly what that loud moan had meant, and I could tell there was a flurry of activity behind me. I pushed one more time in the tub and Margo felt to see if baby’s head was coming, and found baby ready to come out! My water burst on her finger and she told me if I didn’t want to have baby in the water, I needed to get out now because baby was coming out.

I remember saying that I didn’t care, but the water was too cool for him to be born in the water and the faucet wasn’t heating up fast enough. So I hobbled to the bed, and within 5 minutes, Reid was born! I really felt the ring of fire this time, which was not so pleasant, but I also felt baby’s head coming out bit by bit with every push, so I was very motivated to push through it. I could really feel my skin blipping over each of Reid’s features, his forehead, nose, chin–it was surreal. And then I felt his body slip out and I was so relieved. It was so different from Daniel’s birth where the episiotomy caused him to just blast right out of me.

I only tore a little bit with Reid, and although I’m sore today, it can’t even compare to how uncomfortable I was after Daniel.

Reid is nursing well, pooing a lot, and is so far an agreeable little guy. He does cry more than Daniel, but he’s fairly easy to sooth. I’m about to go to bed now. I’m hopeful for more than 4 hours of sleep tonight.

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39 Weeks Pregnant

So I did some more research on GBS, and found out that I was wrong about the European protocol of using an antibacterial wash in labor. Perhaps this is standard in some European countries, but not across the board, as I was led to believe by some other blogs. In any case, I’m still going with that protocol–wherever it is standard. I did find out that in the UK, women are not even tested for GBS and their infant infection rate is nearly identical to ours in the US, even though here AT LEAST 30% of women receive intravenous antibiotics during labor.

Today was the day I predicted I would start my birthing time. So far, I’m still pregnant! I have had a few minor indications that birthing will begin sooner rather than later, but nothing really significant.

Yesterday and the evening before, I experienced some intense pelvic pain. I’ve had some pelvic pain that’s varied from discomfort to outright pain for the last couple of months, but yesterday it was the worst it’s been. When it has flared up in the past, it is usually due to my doing a lot of walking, and I believe that was the case this time, too. However, when I felt for baby’s position–which I always do when I wake up–I discovered his head was kind of sitting right on top of my pubic bone. I believe that was putting extra strain on my pubis symphysis (the cartilage that holds the two front halves of the pelvis together). I spent a lot of time with my rear in the air–to get some relief from the pressure. I was so afraid that baby would stay in that position until birth. Thankfully, he had settled into my pelvis by the time I went to bed last night. Today I was MUCH more comfortable.

Margo discovered that baby’s head is flexed (chin to chest) and nicely sitting in my pelvis now. A flexed head is ideal for birthing as it means the smallest part of the head is the presenting part. The only thing that concerns me about this is that it took a few minutes of feeling around to come to that conclusion because it seemed like his head was simultaneously in my pelvis and not in my pelvis–meaning he may have a large/round forehead. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I’m imagining all kinds of strange head-shapes now. I kind of feel like Margo would have recognized his head position more easily if his head were shaped more normally.

With Daniel, the ultrasound technition made a comment about how big his feet were, and I worried that maybe he had abnormally sized feet. It turns out they were just fine. I’m sure this baby will be just fine, too.

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37 Weeks Pregnant

I’m two days shy of 37 weeks!

I had my midwifery appointment today. As soon as she saw me, she commented on how baby has dropped. He certainly has! The upside to that is that I can breathe more easily and eat more food. The downsides include pelvic pressure, having to pee constantly, and almost losing my pants as they ride so low.

I’m feeling fairly patient right now waiting for baby to come. I still feel like I have at least another week, if not two, to go before he decides to come. I have been having a lot of pressure waves and they have been getting stronger and more frequent. They are completely welcome as I know they are already dilating me and getting me ready for the big event.

I’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished, but not nearly enough. This week will be a major work week for me getting everything set up and ready for baby. We’ve got all the necessities ready to go–I’m just trying to get all the little stuff taken care of that I know I won’t be able to do very easily after he gets here–I need to catch up on the laundry, change all the sheets, vacuum (which includes getting all the junk off the floors), mop, and deep clean the shower.

I’m so unmotivated to do any of that when I’m tired… and lately I’ve been tired. I’ve been staying up way too late. My midwife slapped me on the wrist for that today. I’m not allowed to let myself get so tired anymore. She says I need to always feel rested since I could begin my birthing time any day now. She told me she doesn’t think I’ll make it to my due date. I’m hoping she’s right. For some reason I keep thinking the 16th will be the day. We’ll see.

Daniel has been a dream lately. He still has his moments where I have to remind myself to be calm and patient, but the tantrums have ceased and he’s becoming more and more independent. He’s also clinging to Dan a lot more lately–which makes me so pleased. I’ve actually been able to go out a few times and stay out as late as I want! Until just a couple months ago, Dan had a hard time getting Daniel to go to bed without me around. But it seems that he’s gotten over that.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks and months.

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35 Weeks Pregnant

The weeks seem to go faster and faster now. I have one more midwifery appointment with a two-week spread, and the remainder of my visits will be one week apart. I absolutely love meeting with my midwife, Margo. Dan does, too. She’s a delightful woman whose calm and wisdom give us the utmost respect and trust for her. I can’t say enough good things about her and am very excited to enter my birthing time with her by my side.

My Hypnobabies class is beginning to change my vocabulary a bit. I was resisting it at first–it feels awkward to say things like “birthing time” and “pressure waves” in place of the more common terms–but I guess the fact that these words and phrases are beginning to come more naturally to me suggests that the hypnosis sessions really are working. I am still really enjoying it, though I don’t find the time to listen to the scripts every day like I am supposed to be. I started out listening to them right before bed, but I would fall asleep to them because of the deep state of relaxation I was in. This is supposed to be just as good–as it is your subconscious mind the scripts are speaking to–but I want to consciously experience the hypnosis. It feels wonderful to emerge from hypnosis–something that doesn’t happen when you are sleeping.

I have been quite successful practicing the self-hypnosis on a daily-basis, though. Last week, I was practicing putting myself into a deep state of hypnosis that required me to be entirely limp and relaxed. This coming week, I’ll be learning how to keep myself in a state of hypnosis while being able to open my eyes and even get up and move around. I’m curious to see what that will be like and if I will actually feel like I am in a state of hypnosis or not. With the deeper hypnosis sessions, I definitely feel like I am experiencing something almost transcendental.

I learned a tiny bit recently about hypnosis and brain waves. Interestingly, the frequency of the brain waves of a person in hypnosis are the same as for someone in a deep state of meditation or prayer and the same, still, of an athlete in deep concentration, or “in the zone”. Having experienced this state of hypnosis as such a relaxing and pleasurable one, I hope to continue with this practice in the future–except I hope to be able to direct the experience toward communion with God in the form of meditation or deep prayer. Having learned these invaluable tools for calming my body and mind in such a way that I am not distracted by anything around me is just what I have been seeking on a spiritual level.

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33 Weeks Pregnant

There are only 7 weeks until my due date. It sounds so much better to say 7 weeks than to say a month and a half. I am really looking forward to this baby with joy and excitement. I only feel a little bit of nervousness and it is mostly related to how Daniel will handle the transition. I am most excited about having a nursling again. I really miss breastfeeding and can’t wait to be able to share that with another child.

I started my Hypnobabies home study class today. I am feeling very confident that I’ll be able to achieve a pain-free birth. And even if I do end up feeling some discomfort, I am sure it will be minimal. I tried hypnotherapy recently with my fear of flying and it worked quite well, despite the fact that I only had one session and only listened to the CD 3 times. The Hypnobabies course is five weeks long, during which I am to listen to at least one of various CDs every day. And then every day thereafter until baby comes.

Baby Reid gets the hiccups every day. Just like Daniel did. And he has very long hiccupping sessions that can get annoying after awhile. And I have been getting heartburn/reflux nearly every day for the last couple weeks. Sometimes it’s so bad it feels like my throat is on fire. And earlier this week, that was coupled with some intensely uncomfortable constipation that affected my entire digestive system. It was painful even to eat. I lost a pound and a half in just two days! Thankfully, it came back a couple days later when I was finally able to recover and start eating properly again.

I’ve had a few bouts of insomnia in the last couple weeks, too. Two nights in a row last week, I was awake for 3 or more hours in the middle of the night. It’s been about a week since my last episode, and I’m praying it doesn’t come back!

I’ll be having a baby shower at the end of the month to which all female friends and family are invited. The term baby shower is a bit of a misnomer in this case, however, since I’m asking not to be showered with gifts. Instead, I’ve asked invitees to bring a gift for a mother in-need–particularly a mother residing at Elizabeth House, a local shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children. There are four women currently residing there who are due in the next few months. Especially now, when charitable organizations are receiving a much lower level of donations than they’re used to, I don’t need to be given a showering of material things. There are very few items that I want to have for this child that I don’t already own, that I should easily be able to get them for myself.

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30 Weeks Pregnant

Wow! Only 10 weeks to my due date–only 7 weeks until I’m considered “full term”. This pregnancy has gone by so much more quickly than my first. I am less anxious about things and have been able to relax a lot more this time around. Also, having a toddler to care for certainly keeps me distracted.

My low-sugar diet has been going well. This time around I’m not stressing over every bite I put into my mouth like I did with Daniel. My meals tend to be similar to what I was eating before–I just make sure not to indulge in the carbohydrates. I don’t really eat sweets, though. Before the high glucose reading, I was eating oreos, peanut butter sandwich cookies, chocolate, ice cream, brownies, whatever–and whenever, too. Now I only let myself eat desserts on occasion, and I make sure they include protein and are reasonably sized. I’ve been enjoying homemade peanut butter milk shakes every now and then. Mmmmm. We’ll see how my diet has affected my sugars this weekend when Margo gives me another glucose test.

Baby Reid has settled into the same position as Daniel was in at this time in the pregnancy. He’s head-down, facing my left side. Back when I was seeing a chiropractor, he told me my pelvis is tilted, or off center, or something like that which was probably the reason Daniel was positioned the way he was. I wondered if future babies would settle into the same pocket. And I guess the answer is yes. I just hope baby Reid figures out how to get himself turned around before labor starts so I don’t have so much back labor this time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our sleeping arrangements are going to work when baby comes. Currently, Daniel goes to bed in his own bed, but usually climbs into our bed sometime between 1-3 AM. He comes to my side of the bed to get in, and usually just rolls over and goes back to sleep. It is lovely to wake up with him next to me. We start our day with hugs and cuddles. But when baby comes, I’m worried that middle-of-the-night diaper changes and crying episodes will wake Daniel up… and then we’ll have two little boys not sleeping. Also, I’m afraid there will be times when I’ll have just fallen back to sleep after nursing or changing a diaper, and Daniel will choose that moment to climb into our bed–waking me up again. I’m thinking about making him climb in on Dan’s side starting now so he gets used to doing it that way before baby comes. I was hoping by now he’d be staying in his own bed all night. He used to do that occasionally, but he hasn’t for quite a while.

Today Daniel had his first melt-down in a couple weeks. I could tell he was exhausted while we were eating lunch, and could have predicted that nap time was going to be difficult. He complained a bit about having to take a nap, but the real drama came when it was time to take his shoes off. He insisted he was going to take them off himself, but he just put his hands on his shoes and looked at me with that “I’m testing you” look. I told him either he needed to take his shoes off by himself, or I was going to help him. I gave him several opportunities to take the shoes off–all with the same touching/testing pattern. So I ended up taking off his shoes. That set him off like none other. I miraculously stayed calm, hugged him, told him I knew he wanted to do it, but that I’d given him lots of chances to take off his shoes and he didn’t do it. I told him that next time he could take off his shoes by himself. I told him he needed to get into bed and stay there–which he resisted quite violently for a while. Finally I got him to get into bed. I told him he either needed to stop yelling at me, or I would leave the room until he could calm down a bit. I had to leave the room. Every time I went back, I stood in the doorway and asked him to stop yelling at me and to lay down and I would come back into his room. Finally, he just put his arms out to me through his sobs and said, “I just need to hug you!” So I went in, hugged him, layed him down and told him I was so sorry he felt so sad and that I loved him. I stayed with him for a couple minutes until he could relax, then I left the room again so he could nap. When he woke up, the first thing he said to me was, “I’m sorry I yelled at you.” How’s that for a sweet boy?!?!

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26 1/2 Weeks Pregnant

Blast! I got the news that my glucose test came back high again. It’s borderline, like it was with Daniel, but high enough that I have to start restricting my sugars. I’m so disappointed.

The obvious upside is that my overall nutrition will improve dramatically. No more peanut butter sandwich cookies at bed time. At least I got to enjoy a giant brownie a la mode last night before finding out my results this afternoon. The downside is that I’ll have a hard time meeting my calorie requirements without the aid of yummy treats. In my pregnancy with Daniel I fluctuated within one pound or so for nearly 3 months. I’m hoping to be able to gain at least a little more weight through the end of this pregnancy. I’m already at about a 30 pound gain, though, so I’ve got at least some stores to keep me going.

I’m rather looking forward to labor and birth this time around. Margo (my midwife) asked me why, and all I could come up with was that I believe I can handle it better this time. Most second births are shorter and easier than first births, so that’s in my favor. My first birth was rather painful, but it was tolerable for the most part. (Of course, transition doesn’t count.) This time I’m hoping to be able to meditate into a deep state of relaxation which should ease some (all???) of the pain. Of course, being able to labor and deliver in a comfortable space with all my closest female friends and family around me is pleasant in and of itself, but in the end I get a beautiful baby, to boot.

Daniel and I had a nice morning together. I’ve been pretty busy the last couple weeks babysitting twice a week, and running errands in between. I thought Daniel ought to have a relaxing just-for-him day. He wanted to get in the shower with me this morning. Usually, I try to persuade him to do other things instead so I get washed more quickly. But today I just let him get in. He wanted me to hold him and sing him songs… for over half and hour! Once I’d finish one song, he’d ask for another one. I went through all the kid songs I could think of, then started in on the hymns. We just swayed and sang. When we finally got out, we got dressed and headed to the zoo with grandma. Daniel’s favorite animal was the armadillo. It just kept running around and around the pen. He went back to see it several times, shouting, “It’s so wierd! Come on!” The “come on” was not an invitation to follow him, but more of a “what in the world?!?!” variety. I’m not really sure where he got that, but he’s said it before. It was quite amusing.

In the children’s area, there were two very strange looking animals–both deer-like and rather small. One was thin with a long neck, the other was shorter, rounder and less graceful-looking. The smaller of the two was continually licking the taller one’s behind. The taller one suddenly squatted and started to pee and the smaller one continued to lick… it was disgusting and altogether strange. Thankfully Daniel had no idea what they were doing. He just exclaimed, “Look Mama, he’s having his milk!” I was so relieved he didn’t ask me what they were doing. I don’t know what I would have said.

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