I want to remember as many details as possible about the births of my children so I have answers if they one day have questions....as I did for my mother after I found out I was pregnant. Because the trustworthiness of my mommy brain is somewhat lacking, I need to do this post soon. There will be TMI for many of you, so if you want the basic version, just read the parts in orange. However, most of my readers are moms, many of whom love the details.
Patrick and I took a Bradley birthing class before Adeline's birth, and we planned to have another natural, unmedicated birth. We chose to go with a midwife practice this time rather than delivering at the AF base. At my 38 week appointment, I was 4 cm dilated and Camille's head was "engaged" in my pelvis. We thought she was coming soon....almost two weeks later, I still was not having any contractions. I started having occasional, painless contractions on Thursday evening, May 7, continuing into the morning. Adeline and I headed out for a vigorous walk on Friday to try to encourage things. Later that day, I started having a more regular contraction pattern, but still not anything serious. The one catch was that I needed to have two doses of IV antibiotics 4 hours before delivery or our baby would need to be hospitalized for observation (I was GBS-positive). Therefore, we decided to go earlier than we otherwise might have to the midwife practice. I got my first dose of antibiotics, and we all agreed to meet back 4 hours later. Patrick and I got dinner and then walked...and walked...and walked. He was a great birthing coach, and after several contractions, we were able to remember how he was best able to encourage and help me through this process. My mom arrived at the birth center after Patrick's mom arrived at our house to watch Adeline. She was there for Adeline's birth, and we invited her to be there for this one as well.
At 9:45 pm, one of the midwives checked to see how things had progressed. She said my water was bulging, and I was maybe another cm dilated. However, she spent a long time trying to figure out what she was feeling. She thought she felt a hand, but wasn't sure. She couldn't tell what position the head was in, etc. We decided to do some more walking to try to keep progressing my labor. My water broke part of the way, and we decided to allow the midwife to break it the rest of the way to help to get things moving. Now I started having "the REAL" contractions. I was having very strong contractions for several hours, that later changed to involuntary pushing type of contractions (the worst type). When the midwife checked me again, she said the baby had a face presentation (as in the head tilted back with the face coming down first, instead of head flexed forward with occiput coming first). This is not a safe way for the baby or me to deliver, so they made the decision to zip me off to the hospital (a wheelchair ride through the basement halls). Unfortunately, my body didn't know there was another option, so I was having VERY painful convulsive contractions at this point in an attempt to deliver. (note...I had about 5 of the involuntary pushing contractions with Adeline before beginning the 3 hours of pushing it took to get her head out....and I would do the three hours again in a heartbeat to avoid those 5). When we got to the hospital, they were unable to give me a spinal without blood work, so I had to wait to get those results. After about 1 1/2 hours of horrible labor (my entire body was in tremors), I was finally able to get a spinal and have relief from my pain. Very soon after, Camille was born via C-Section. I was sure I was having a boy, so it was quite a surprise to find out I have another daughter. Her face was swollen and bruised after being smashed in my pelvis for so long....to the point where Patrick thought maybe her mandible was deformed. However, within hours her appearance drastically improved.
She is beautiful. Camille Lynn was 8 lb, 14 oz and 19 inches long at birth. This was the birth that God designed for her, and we are so thankful for the blessing of being her parents. My recovery from the C-Section has been MUCH better than I expected or than I have heard is the experience of most women. I was able to walk to the bathroom myself the first day and took a shower the second day. I was able to sleep on my side in a flat bed the first night (which I've heard is usually very painful). I haven't needed any pain medicine stronger than Ibuprofen. I have been trying not to push myself, and Patrick and our mothers have been extremely helpful this week. Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes. We are doing well and feeling truly blessed.