May 11, 2010
How I Had a Baby in my Bathroom OR "HeymomI'mcomingRIGHTNOW"
Daniel John Heiner
Born 5/10/10 at 10:55 pm
8 lb 3 oz
[Note: Comments from me (Justin) are in Red]
Sunday was my due date with little Danny, and it came and went. I was hoping for a baby for Mother's Day and was disappointed when he didn't show and I didn't feel any signs that he was coming.
[Bummed me out. I was hoping he would be a Mother's Day baby like me]
That all changed on Monday. I started having regular but mild and very spaced out contractions before I even got out of bed in the morning - one or two an hour. This was the first time this had happened, all of my other contractions had happened at night, and come for an hour then stopped completely.
[I have to admit that I was feeding her spicy foods, which seemed to induce some of the nightly contractions]
I thought maybe it was a good sign, and felt like it might be my lucky day. I went out to lunch with Justin at his favorite Thai restaurant, then went shopping for his birthday. I met Sam at the school bus as usual at 4:00 and we came back up to the house and played outside for a while. Justin got home at about 7:00 after dealing with making a police report on the car break in. Since it hadn't been a great day, we decided to celebrate Justin's birthday and he opened his presents and had some yummy cake.
[The Thai food for lunch was on purpose, for a reason. I had a hidden agenda, and it wasn't because it was almost my birthday. As for the "cake", it was more than yummy, and more than cake. Fudge. Coconut. Crumble crust. Enough said]
Just before 8:00 I started having more regular contractions. They felt a little more intense than the usual and I started thinking maybe this was the beginning of labor. At 8:20 I started timing them with the contraction timer on my phone. Between 8:20 and 9:30 I was having contractions that were 40-60 seconds long between 7 and 12 minutes apart, back and forth. I was still not sure that this was it for sure, and I was wondering if my water would break like it did last time. There was a lot of doubt in my mind about how I would know when it was "real" and how I would know how long to wait before calling people or going to the birth center.
[I was getting nervous at this point. I think I came over at every contraction asking how far apart they were and if they were getting more painful. She didn't seem worried, so I didn't push it]
I had it in my head to go to the birth center whent he contractions were 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long for at least an hour. Of course if I had remembered and/or read the sheet from my midwife thouroughly, I would have called her when my contractions were 10 minutes apart since it was my 2nd child. BUT, I didn't do that. I'm not sure it would have made any difference since I think she still would have had me wait to head in to the birth center, and since the contractions were so irregular we probably still wouldn't have made it.
[It wouldn't have made a difference]
Around 9:40 the contractions started getting closer together. For the next 30 minutes they were closer to 5-7 minutes apart, and were lasting around a minute. I was starting to wonder if I was a little crazy for deciding on a natural birth this time because they were pretty painful. Justin was asking if I was still able to talk through the contractions because that was another thing that is a good indicator that you should be on your way to your birthing place.
[For the record, I still believe that natural births are crazy and if I had the ability to give birth I would be 100% medicated, but I fully understood and supported her decision. After having needles jabbed in my spine several times during Prolotherapy treatment, both with and without painkillers... I preferred being knocked out for the needles and well-medicated for the extreme pain that followed]
I tried listening to my HypnoBirthing CD a little bit, but at that point I was in so much pain during the contractions that I realized it was not going to work for me. I couldn't relax. Maybe if my labor had been longer and I'd had more mild contractions for longer, it would have been great. If they'd been spaced out further it would have been nice to relax in between. I got up, and Justin was busy packing a bag for Sam so we could drop him off on the way to the birth center and packing a few things for himself. He was loading up the car and I got my phone to call my midwife to meet us at the birth center.
[The exact words as the CD shut off and she went into the other room was "This is NOT going to work". Since the contractions weren't that bad yet, they weren't regular, and they weren't getting closer, I was still going at a medium pace getting things ready. Considering that it took Rachael until the next day for things to progress from that with Sam, I figured there wasn't a rush to get to town]
That's when things REALLY picked up. Between 10:10 and 10:30 the contractions became VERY hard. They were coming every 2.5-3.5 minutes and I was not able to talk or walk through them. I was vocalizing through them, moaning and trying to keep my voice low and remember to move my hips and breathe deeply instead of panting and screaming. I found myself on my knees leaning against the couch in our TV room as I called my midwife. I told her that we were leaving and would be there in 20 minutes, and she said she'd meet us there. At this point I was sweating and my body was working hard.
[She had a contraction timer on her phone. We looked at it when the midwife came and it literally went from 10-12 minutes apart down to 3-5 minutes in less than 5 minutes. At that point, I was rushing the bags out to the car and moving Sam's car seat from my car (that had no driver's side window) to Rachael's car]
At 10:30 Justin called my Mom and told her to meet us at the birth center, and he was ready to put Sam in the car. Then it happened. My water broke. And let me tell you, when your water breaks during hard labor? It's a much different experience than it breaking at the beginning of labor! Justin heard it all the way from the kitchen and it was very forceful and actually startled me a little. At that point I started feeling A LOT of pressure. I managed to stand up and walk to the bathroom where I sat down on the toilet.
[I was going from Rachael's car to my car after getting the bags loaded, passing through the kitchen so I could check on Rachael and I heard a "Pop!" from about 30 feet away and the sound of gushing fluid. I started running to move the carseat and put a couple of towels that we had in the car on the seat. When I got back in, she was in the bathroom]
Justin came into the bathroom and wanted me to get up and go to the car, but at that point my body was bearing down. With every contraction, I could feel my body push and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I could feel that there was no way I could sit on the car seat and make it the 20 minute to the birth center. It would have been very uncomfortable, and I could tell that the pressure would just be too much. I suddenly knew there was no way we were going to make it anywhere. I was yelling during the contractions and when Justin said we had to get to the car, I told him I "couldn't make it."
[When she kept saying she "couldn't make it", I kept getting more and more frustrated because I was interpreting that as not being able to walk to the car because of the pain, so I asked again after the next couple contractions. She neglected to mention that the baby was on its way out. I was oblivious to this and kept wondering why she wasn't getting up between contractions]
I'm pretty sure I screeched that it hurt and soon after I reached down and felt the baby's head. I was only sitting on the toilet for about 7 contractions, and they were one on top of the other. I told Justin to put towels down on the floor and got down on all fours leaning on the bathtub. Justin was behind me and gathering more towels, and asking me what he should do. I told him the baby was coming now and that he had to catch him.
[Yep, I only found out that I was going to be delivering the baby about 2 minutes before it actually came out. I am oddly calm under pressure (more to be said about that in a minute), so I just threw down some towels and started encouraging her]
During this whole time, Sam had been asleep on the couch where he fell asleep for the night. During the maybe 8 minutes I was on the floor pushing I was very loud, and he woke up and cried a little, but went right back to sleep. I pushed about 4 times and the head was out, and with 2 or 3 more pushes Danny was born at 10:55 pm. Justin caught him and I sat down onto the floor and turned around to take the baby. Justin managed to sweep his mouth out and then we just waited and he whimpered a few times, but didn't cry much, just enough to let us know he was all right.
[It was less than 8 minutes. When she got on the floor I called the midwife. I got one call in to their house phone, and spoke with her husband, who immediately called her. I hung up with him and under 60 seconds later I was holding a baby.
Thank God he came didn't have any issues, because my entire knowledge of birth comes from TV and Sam's birth. The shows that I watch occasionally dealt with chidlbirth issues (90% of them being discarded as fictional), so I had a few things in mind to check for, none of which I could really do anything about had they come up. I didn't even have a stinkin' suction bulb if I needed one. This left me holding a newborn baby and going through my very, very short checklist.
No noise coming out of him, and not really moving much...
Mouth sweep with pinky came up empty... check.
Still no noise yet...
Picked him up and patted him on the butt a couple times (winging it on that one).
Heard a tiny, barely audible whimper.
Breathing... oh crap! I need to breathe.
Baby breathing too... check.
Looked at Rachael's cell phone and noted the time. Nobody else was there to do it and it would drive me insane if there was an ESTIMATE on the birth record instead of the exact time.
At that point, Rachael wanted to hold him, so I wiped him off a tiny bit -- more out of necessity than anything else, as he was so slippery that I couldn't get a good grip on him]
I held him without cleaning him and put a towel over him as Justin made calls to our parents and the midwife to let her know to come to the house. She probably arrived about 15 minutes after he was born, and I had already birthed the placenta. I loved holding him right away for 30 minutes after he was born, even if I was getting sore from sitting on the hard bathroom tiles.
[Right after I handed Danny to Rachael the midwife called my phone, which was in other room, so I ran to answer it. She hadn't even gotten to the birth center yet, heard the crying in the background, and pretty much knew what was going on. I told her everything was copacetic, and she said she needed to grab a couple of things from the birth center and come over.
Regarding the "oddly calm under pressure" statement. In reality, I just have the neat ability to delay the inevitable shock that is to come. I am calm and collected during extreme stress, but immediately after that stress is over my brain unravels and the flood of shock sets in. I have complete recollection of the past events but I'm useless at performing any more tasks until my heart rate slows down a bit. I also lose the ability to make my mouth say what my mind is thinking. In effect, I become a mess afterwards.
I started making the necessary phone calls (ended up calling Rachael's mom twice), turning on the lights outside for the people coming, and coming to grips with what just happened]
I think we were both in a little bit of shock. I could not believe that I'd been in labor for only 3 hours, and that I'd been in hard labor for only an hour. The contractions jumped from being 5-10 minutes apart to 3 or less so fast, I didn't expect it at all. I thought it would probably be faster than Sam's birth but not that much faster!
[I chuckled when Rachael told me about the woman who gave birth on the toilet because it happened so quickly. I'm not laughing anymore. Mental note: remember Karma]
After Ann, our midwife, arrived she cut the cord and we headed upstairs to my bedroom. My Mom and her husband Paul came, then my stepdad Rob and my sister Kira. Danny got checked out and was given his vitamin K shot and weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long, so almost the same length as Sam but nearly a full pound heavier. He still looks SO small to me!
[SHE cut the cord? Let's get the record straight. I have video evidence of ME cutting it. No way I'm missing out on that. And yes, I was shooting video with my Flip and cutting the cord at the same time. On a side note, I didn't notice how shaky my hands were until I watched the video later that night]
I was doing okay, but a couple of hours later I got up to go to the bathroom and sit so Justin could clean up the bed and get it ready for us to sleep in. Unfortunately there was a bit of a mess to clean up (one of the reasons I HADN'T planned on a home birth!), so it took a few minutes. I was feeling VERY dizzy and weak, and my Mom started to get concerned. After I sat for a few more minutes and had a couple of bowls of cereal we decided that it was just a combination of getting up from bed too soon, the adrenaline rush wearing off, and not having eaten since lunchtime. With all the commotion, my midwife forgot to remind me to eat something before trying to get up, and it didn't occur to me apparently.
[I'm not going to go into too much detail, but I will say that the bed resembled a scene from Law & Order. I'd also like to note that hydrogen peroxide is magic. This morning, Rachael and I were discussing this and found out that we both were thinking about what it would look like under a blacklight. That's what too much CSI will do to you]
I moved to the floor in the bathroom, and then when the bed was done I got up to walk across the hall back to bed. Justin helped me up, but when he turned around to get something from the bathroom I was in the hall and passed out. It was really weird, I have never passed out or fainted before and I just felt my body become SO heavy and fall to the floor, then I woke up and it just felt like it was morning and I'd woken up. I crawled over the bed and climbed up, and I felt okay. Luckily, I didn't hit anything on the way down!
[I had turned around for a second as she was walking out of the bathroom. When I turned back, I saw her collapse. It honestly looked like someone had suspended Buster (the crash test dummy on Mythbusters) and dropped him. I had the teeth clenching fun of watching her just miss hitting a handrail, the corner of a door, and land with a headache-inducing thump less than an inch away from a disassembled metal endpiece from a bed that was in Danny's room. And she just opens her eyes and looks around like she just woke up from a nap. Not what I was expecting after the force of the impact]
Danny slept like a champ, which was nice since I didn't fall asleep until after 3:30 and he slept for a good 5 hour chunk! He makes adorable little noises when he sleeps and he is not fussy. Before we went to sleep last night I was able to get him to latch on even though it took a few tries, and he's eaten since then. It's amazing. It's so different from with Sam, and he is SUCH a calm baby so far. His hair and skin are both darker than Sam's.
[They went to bed at 3:30. I needed to clear my head a bit or I would never be able to go to sleep, so I went for a drive to Walgreens to pick up more hydrogen peroxide grabbed a pepperoni stick and a Jack-In-The-Box burger on the way home. I hadn't eaten anything except for half of my birthday "cake", and that was like 9 hours prior]
The morning after, holding Danny.
With Aunt Kira & big brother this morning.
After all of that, I feel good about my birth experience. Since I was planning a natural birth anyhow, it was kind of nice to be at home and not go anywhere. Plus, hey, we saved some moolah by not utilizing the birth center! Ha. It seems like it would have been silly to be there since I wouldn't have had time to even utilize the tub or anything else. I think that the quickness of it all and the quiet and everything have contributed to him being more calm.
My recovery is going pretty well, though as my friend Brie and the midwife both warned me, the after pains/cramping is definitely worse the second time around. Especially since breastfeeding is going SO much better this time (as in he's actually nursing and there is something coming out!), that makes the cramps stronger. It seems a little unfair that after all the contractions I've already had, I have to KEEP having them, but such is life, eh? I had one small tear, and Ann said she could put in a couple of stitches, but we decided we didn't really need them and hopefully it will just heal on it's own.
Well, he's sucking on Justin's finger now so I think I will go try to feed him some more. We are all doing really well here, I am sore and my stomach and back muscles hurt when I stand, but other than that I am feeling quite well today! I got a little bit of a nap this afternoon and my Mom and sister have been here helping with Sam all day which is wonderful. I'll sign off for now, and tomorrow my birthdaypalooza guest posts will continue!
[Danny has some serious suction going on. After 30 minutes of him sucking on my pinky, it was sore. I can only image how Rachael is feeling]
I'll be posting at least once a week with updates and some more photos, and I always have more frequent small updates on my facebook page - if we're not friends, there's a link in the left sidebar to hook up there!