Posts tagged pressure waves

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, 4 Days Pregnant

I’ve been having pressure waves all morning. They started last night, actually, but after timing them for a while (they were 10-15 minutes apart, but very long–about 90 seconds each) I finally was able to relax enough to sleep. I woke up a few times in the night with strong waves, but that’s been happening for the last several nights, so it didn’t surprise me.

This morning, though, they’ve been about 8-10 minutes apart and strong for the last several hours. They fluctuate in intensity, duration and frequency, though. I do think baby will come today (or tomorrow), but it doesn’t feel like I’m really in my birthing time yet.

If it weren’t for all the people who have to be on alert, I probably wouldn’t even be timing my waves right now. But both my mom and Enrique are in San Diego and will need at least 2-3 hours warning to get up here. Micaela is a school teacher and would need to find a sub. Everyone else is pretty flexible.

Dan just left for work, and Daniel went to grandma’s house. Being home alone is nice–being home alone with no expectations or anything to do is even nicer. I kind of hope things stay slow and steady most of the day so I can take advantage of this last bit of solo time. A long slow dilation would be most comfortable, anyway.

I haven’t tried using my hypnosis yet. I do have to focus and relax through the waves–they do hurt a bit already. I may start trying out the hypnosis soon–maybe when they get a little closer together.

I ate a light breakfast (just yogurt). And I’m having some nuts and an apple now with a cup of tea. I ate too much when I was birthing Daniel and I ended up feeling very nauseous at the end. I’m going to take it easy on the food today, even though I’m feeling pretty hungry. I already told Dan I’ll probably ask him to bring me some soup from Corner Bakery for lunch.

Dan is stressed out already. He’s not good at this. That’s why I need my women around me when things start to get intense. He won’t be much of a comfort to me at that point. Before I married Dan, I imagined I’d birth my children right into the eager and waiting hands of my husband. But I’ve had to readjust my expectations, and thankfully, it didn’t take much effort. The idea of birthing being a genuinely female experience is so beautiful to me. I love the idea of having my closest women close to me while I bring this child into the world–I even prefer it to my original idea of birth. I’m sure Dan is grateful for that.

Depending on how things progress, I may be able post an update before baby comes. If not, I’ll see you on the other side.

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38 Weeks Pregnant

My due date is on a Monday, but I see my midwife on Saturdays. So I’ve been motivated to write just a couple days before I actually get to the next week marker. But it’s close enough, yeah?

Last night I started having some pressure waves that were about a minute long and about 8 minutes apart. They continued that way for a couple hours before I went to bed. Some of them were fairly strong. I didn’t have the “this is it” feeling, but I contacted all my labor support people just to be on the safe side. I had a few more during the night, but nothing regular or consistent. By this morning, they were back to just two or three an hour. I’m still hoping baby waits another week or so.

Margo commented today that baby’s head felt small. Hallelujah if that is true! Daniel’s head was NOT small. It was extremely big, actually. And it tore me up. I was not then and am not now very dutiful in my kegel routine, which is supposed to help to keep one from tearing… but I’m still hoping this little one lets me stay intact.

I tested positive for GBS at my last appointment. Standard protocol in the US is to give intraveinous antibiotics in labor every four hours for mothers who are GBS positive. I’ve declined that treatment. Instead, I’ll use the European protocol which is to wash with an antibacterial wash during labor. I’m also trying to reduce my colonization by taking a megadose of probiotics daily to try to heal my gut (where the GBS bacteria grow), and megadoses of vitamin C and echinacea to boost my immune system and response. I’ve also been using the sliced garlic clove suppositories vaginally. Since these measures take one to two weeks to be effective, I’m really hoping baby stays where he is for the next week. Margo retested me today, but the results probably won’t come back until Wednesday. All I’m hoping for is at least some reduction in the amount of GBS found. If I make it to the next appointment, maybe then I’ll hope that I was able to wipe it out completely.

Daniel has been sleeping the whole night in his own bed the last few nights. Usually he comes to our bed sometime in the night or early morning–which we are glad to let him continue doing if he wants to. But when he stays in his own bed, he doesn’t get woken up by our alarms, and usually sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour longer than he would in our bed. That gives me a peaceful morning. I was actually able to take a shower this morning AND shave my legs! What bliss! And I was able to get dressed, blow dry my hair and make breakfast–all before Daniel woke up. The solo time almost makes me want to wake up even earlier… I get some solo time at night, but I don’t feel like doing anything by then. In the AM is when I have the most energy to tidy up, cook, bake, pay bills, whatever.

I don’t really know what I’m saying. With the addition of little Reid, these blissful mornings will have to wait another couple years to resurface. I guess I should really take advantage and enjoy them while I can!

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