I will forego the extensive background information since I covered all that with Sinéad’s birth. With this story, I am just going to relate the experience I had of the day and my view of the birth. Mary will likely do one that is more thorough.
I got up the morning Aisling was born. I actually slept in that morning because I had been sick that week and needed to get some extra sleep. I hoped to sleep in an hour and get up at 06:45, but ended sleeping in until 07:15. I must have turned the alarm off when Mary got up to go to the gym. Actually, what woke me up was one of my counsellors in the elders quorum presidency. He needed my church keys because he thought he forgot his wallet at the church.
My bus left a half hour later so I did not get a chance to shower. I made my dinner, ate some breakfast, got dressed, brushed my teeth and went out the door. Mary arrived home from the gym about five minutes after my counsellor had stopped by.
I had been fully expecting Aisling to be born the previous week given that Regan was born 16 days early and Sinéad was born nine days early (Aisling ended up coming only two days early).
By this point, I anticipated she would come any day. Actually, Mary asked me for a blessing Wednesday night and, in part, I told her to make sure she got some rest. During the blessing, I had a fleeting thought-based on what I said-that Aisling might be born the following day.
When Mary IM me shortly before 11:00 that morning to tell me her Braxton Hicks contractions seemed to be getting stronger, that fleeting thought came back to me. When she told me a little later that they were definitely stronger, I related to her the thought I had the night before.
Around 14:00, Mary asked me to come home. I had already told my co-worker that it was likely I would have to go home early that day. I told Mary I would leave at 15:00 (1.5 hours early), and at that time I said goodbye to my co-worker and commuted home.
Originally, Mary asked me that once I arrived home to stop by the nutrition store to pick up some Shepherd’s Purse tincture. When I got home, she said that a friend of ours (who actually teaches violin lessons to our children) went instead. Contractions had picked up by then and she wanted me home. It was about 15:40 when I arrived home and contractions were roughly three to five minutes apart.
It was obvious that labour was getting more intense by this point because Mary was breathing through them and had to concentrate on things. I unloaded my bag and changed into some grub clothes. Mary had cleaned the house earlier in the day, so there was not much on that end I needed to do. I started up the crock-pot to keep the washcloths wet and hot when I would use them later as compresses for the perineum. I also cut up some pizza for the children to eat later if the labour went past suppertime. The children were comfortable watching TV on the chesterfield.
Mary and I were in the bedroom and I was holding her and supporting in her in whatever way I could. About an hour after I arrived home, Mary was on all fours on the bed and told me that the baby would be there within the hour.
About 17:00, Mary’s pushing became very intense and it was obvious by her reactions to the contractions that hard labour was underway. I started supporting her perineum during her contractions and it was just over fifteen minutes before I first felt the head arrive at the perineum. A few contractions later, I first saw the head and within three our four more contractions, she had arrived.
She started crying right away and there was nothing to clean out of her passages (though I tried vainly anyhow). Her brother was the same way. She had a shorter cord than Sinéad or Regan had, so it made things difficult since we do not cut the cord right away. With some awkward manoeuvring and strategically placed pillows, we had Mary in a position where she could nurse Aisling and I could clean her up. Normally we do not clean our babies right away, allowing vernix to help moisturise their skin. Aisling had very little vernix (some on her scalp), so I cleaned off the blood and some old meconium.
Mary started expelling a good number of bloodclots as she nursed, and it seemed like that placenta may have prematurely detached from the uterine wall. With the umbilical cord being as short as it was, it was not much of a surprise. When the placenta eventually dropped out, it was smaller than those of the other children were.
It was around 18:30 or so when we clamped and cut the cord and things were much easier for Aisling and Mary.
Around 19:00, Mary decided to clean herself up. I took Aisling and washed her more thoroughly while Mary hopped in the tub. After Aisling was asleep, I laid her down on Regan’s bed.
A little while later, Mary called me in the bathroom, where she told me she was not feeling well. Then she passed out. She was sitting on the toilet, and she nearly fell into the bathtub. I caught her before that happened. I revived her and she said she thought she had fallen asleep because she had been dreaming.
I gave her a blessing when I told her that her strength would be restored. Then I brought her into the living room and laid her on the couch. I brought her some orange juice and vitamins, and I made her a cheese and tomato omelette.
Her strength was starting to come back, but she was worried about the bleeding (it was done, but still a fair amount was still present) and that her uterus was not shrinking. I gave her another blessing that the bleed would subside and the uterus would return to its natural shape. After that, I gave her some Shepherd’s Purse, some cayenne in water and helped massage her uterus. Later on in the evening, I gave her some mango juice, some iron supplements and some Floradix.
The bleeding did start to lessen and the uterus did begin getting smaller, and things are going well for everyone (it is now Saturday, two days after the birth). We were all out today running some errands and everyone’s resting up nicely. The first night was rough for Mary and me since we both got little sleep. My neck and back were very sore yesterday morning given that I was still a little sick, and there was not much sleep that night. Last night’s sleep was much better for everyone and I am looking forward to tonight’s rest even more.
I am pleased to report that everyone is strong, healthy and happy.