About 6 am Monday April 9th, I woke up, briefly, and felt a mild sensation that felt like a contraction. At first I thought maybe it was just a gas pain, but when I had a couple of more within a few minutes I realised it wasn’t that, it was a real contraction. Kim was half waking up and I told him that it looked like today might be the day.
We got up and started our day, Sinéad didn’t wake up immediately, so we left her in the bed, and I went out to wash and start breakfast. I made some pancakes, and all the while, mentally planned my day. I was getting excited. I realised this was probably really it, but because I was just beginning labour, it wouldn’t be right away.
Kim left for school and I told him I would keep him posted and that if things got really much stronger, I would be telling him to get back home ASAP. I do think a solo birth is a really great idea, but it isn’t for me, I love having my husband there, just being a strength and support and comfort. It helps that he is so calm and knowledgeable about it too.
I wanted to get some laundry finished, and had to buy some more laundry soap, as well, I had two visiting teaching appointments. Sinéad and I headed out and though she wanted to walk, I needed to have her be in the stroller, for a few reasons—the walking would only last a little while and then I would have to carry her and I didn’t feel up to that with waves coming every once in awhile, and I wanted to walk as briskly as I could to keep things smooth. One thing I really noticed was that not only did the contractions feel less intense when I was actually moving, but it really does speed things up, no matter what some people might say.
Well, we went to our appointments, and on the way, saw several people who I knew would be surprised when they found out our baby was born that day. We got home shortly before lunch time, and I put Sinéad down for a nap. Nursed her actually, which brought on some strong contractions. Hey, every little bit helps. After this I phoned to arrange to pick up some birth supplies that were waiting for us. Kim was going to get them and I needed the address. I emailed Kim with it, and told him he might want to think about coming home earlier. He wasn’t supposed to be home until 4 pm.
I was starting to really have to concentrate, and I got things tidied up and did a bit of emailing. Sinéad slept until about 1:00 p.m. and I got her up and fixed her some lunch, and started a bath for me. I was really hoping Kim would be home soon, but wasn’t counting on it. I phoned the school but just as I was trying to get a message to him, he pulled up in the driveway (he gets a ride to and from school). He then told me, as he came in the door that he wanted to surprise me and that he had knownhe would be home early…well, nice, but I would have appreciated not being anxious about him getting home!!!
I hopped in the bath and Kim started setting things up downstairs for our planned water birth. Unfortunately, shortly after starting to fill the pool, we realised it had a leak. Since all our stuff was downstairs (blankets, pillows, birth baskets, etc), we were going to stay there, but I wanted to be near the tub, so Kim hauled everything back up. Such a trooper! Sinéad was doing really well the whole time. Kim told her when I was vocalising through some contractions that it meant the baby was coming. So every time she would get a big grin on her face and say “Baby coming!”.
I really found that either being in the bath, moving around a lot (I “danced” through some contractions) and making low, strong sounds, really made a difference, helping me integrate the progression. I also said to myself when I had some really intense ones, that it felt so good, and the self talk made a difference too. Towards the end, I squatted through some as well, and that helped open me up and relieve the pressure. Around 5 pm, I came into the bedroom. Sinéad told Kim she wanted to lay down for a nap, so she was on the single bed we have right next to our queen bed, and Kim covered her up.
I knelt against the end of the bed, and one really strong intense contraction almost overcame me. It didn’t, but it was an amazing one, and I could really feel it opening me up. I am quite positive that I dilated fully at that point, and that Regan moved down some more. Kim said ” Maybe you should get on the bed now.” I did…as that was where all of our pads and stuff were located. I knelt again, like I did when I was birthing Regan. So far, my favourite position to birth in! I concentrated on relaxing, and though I didn’t scream (yay!) I continued vocalising through my contractions, and a few minutes before 6pm (the clock was right beside me), my water broke through a contraction). I had a couple more and then some more water came out. Before this, Kim was getting the crock pot ready and the wash cloths ready to support my perineum. I had asked him if it looked as though the head was coming and he said “Not yet, but you are really opening up”. Even at this point, I figured I had a good couple of hours before the baby would be born.
Well, that shows how much I knew! After the second splash of water came out, Kim was getting a wash cloth and I said “The baby is coming!” I could feel him coming down, and he sure was. Kim supported me again with the wash cloths, as I felt again that ring of fire, the wash cloths completely relieved that. Another couple of contractions and I really had the urge to push. I didn’t really feel that with Sinéad, but I sure couldn’t help it with Regan. I didn’t give it everything I had though, I let him ease out. His head emerged, and instead of pushing him right out, I waited for the next contraction. He slipped out, and though Sinéad was out of view to see him come out, she went out of the room and watched from the door. She showed no fear at all during the whole time, but curiosity and a good understanding. Regan didn’t have any mucous to cough up and when Kim turned him over to rub his back, to make sure, he complained rather loudly.
I turned onto my back and had Kim prop some pillows under my shoulders and back after taking Regan from him. We wrapped a towel around him and though he didn’t nurse immediately, within a short while he did. Regan came up to see him and was so excited. We sat there for about an hour and though I could feel the placenta had separated within a couple of minutes, it didn’t come out. About 45 minutes after Regan was born, Kim cut the cord and took him, while I got up to squat over the bowl, I decided I would rather sit on the toilet so I went in there and pushed out the placenta.
After all this, I realised how great I felt, and still feel. I don’t have the same soreness I had with Sinéad, and no tearing either. (I had a skid mark with Regan, but no perineal tearing with her either). Regan is a little angel. He loves the sling, he loves to nurse and he is a very content baby. He took to nursing so well, and has had no problems latching on. My milk took a day and a half to come in, compared to 2.5 with Sinéad. Joys of tandem nursing! Sinéad is quite thrilled with her little brother and about the returned milk. He was 2-2.5 weeks early, but is a healthy strong little guy. He is tinier than his sister was, 19 inches long weighing about 6 lbs. (we weighed him several hours after and he had already passed meconium so figure he lost an ounce or two. Then, he was 5 lbs 14oz.).
I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for blessing us with this beautiful little boy. I can hardly wait to have another. We are so happy with our little boy, he is a sweetheart and an amazing addition to our family. I am just in love with him! This birth was so wonderful and it can only get better! And he does look just like Kim…it is amazing, right down to the little chin.