Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A month overdue - Homebirth of Henry, Our Rainbow Baby

Our rainbow baby is finally here! ♥

What is a rainbow baby?

Rainbow Babies is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.

It was a great birth and quite the experience, but not what any of us expected. I'm ecstatic I finally got to have my homebirth. Waited so long for it.


Mark arrived home on R&R Christmas morning. That night we 'baby danced' twice hoping it would put me into labor. I did get contractions ranging from 3-5 minutes apart for about three hours, but there was no change in dilation or effacement. I was still 5 cm and 80% effaced. My midwife did say my cervix moved more anterior and wasn't off to the side as it was before. So some progress, but not labor or anything.

The 26th was the day we had long planned on inducing me. This was the day my midwife and I talked about getting things going as Mark was due to arrive on Christmas and I was ready for this journey to be over. I finally wanted to have my rainbow baby. We got up the morning of the 26th prepared for a long day ahead of us. We knew with induction it could take time. The girls were already at my mom's house, but we decided to get them to give her a break. I spoke to my midwife about our plans. The methods of induction included castor oil and herbs. We figured we'd start with the castor oil first since it's known to work within 2-4 hours. This is what we were hoping for anyway. I took my first dose of castor oil at 1:30 p.m. It was a CO concoction I bought a while back that had other stuff in it (blue cohosh and clove and lemon EO). Thinking it would kick in within 2-4 hours we filled up the birth pool. The girls were getting very excited. It still didn't see real to me or Mark.

My midwife arrived a little after 2:00 p.m. After a few hours of waiting for the CO to take effect we decided to go for a walk around the apt. complex. The girls were getting restless and we were hoping walking would help with getting my bowels moving. I took two doses of CO total. We hoped the second would take effect. The first dose was utterly disgusting. I took it in V8 juice. Gross. The clove and other stuff didn't help, either. The second dose was better because I mixed it with rocky road ice cream. Much better. My midwife was confident this time it would work. All this time had passed and we were beginning to think I was an anomaly. No bathroom trips at all 6 hours after the first dose and 2 hours after the second. Time for herbs. We alternated between black and blue cohosh. I believe I took 4 doses total inside of two hours. During this whole time I was getting braxton hicks contractions. No active labor contractions or change in cervix. They were muck like warm up contractions like I'd been having on and off for over a week. We spent a good amount of time watching TV to kill time. The girls started getting restless so I had Mark take them to my mom's. We had planned to call her as soon as we knew I was in labor.

The good stuff

We were beginning to think the CO would never take effect or if it did it would be after the birth. 8 hours after the first dose I found myself taking a trip to the bathroom. Finally! I think I took about four trips to the bathroom. I would get contractions during the BMs. I felt cleaned out. More braxton hicks started coming here and there around 10:50p.m. Whenever I did get them they felt somewhat productive, but nothing to write home about. To my disappointment they never stuck. I'd get a few that were 3-4 minutes apart and then they'd go away. My midwife checked me around 11:00p.m. and said I was 6 cm. My guess is from me sitting and rocking on the loo during all those trips to the bathroom. For my FaceBook buddies you will know this was around the time I updated my status. I took my laptop to the bathroom with me so I could rock on the toilet. It seemed to help. I'm told it helps bring the baby down. I'm not sure at what point I went back into the living room, but I went to get a drink and my midwife and her intern looked at me wondering what was up. My midwife asked if I was having contractions and I told her I was. I was in the middle of one when I was in the kitchen. Apparently I'm one of the quiet ones. I go on about my business as usual during the whole process. From my end I wasn't in 'labor' so it was completely normal for me to behave as if nothing was going on. I felt fine, but very impatient.

With the news that things were sort of progressing I decided to call my mom to let her know. I was in the girls' room when I was talking to her on the phone. I had about three contractions during our phone conversation. I would just keep swaying and circling my hips. At some point during our conversation I felt something leaking. I felt to see what it was. I thought it was fluid, but no, it was blood. I didn't really think anything at that point. Just walked back into the living room and showed my midwife the blood on my fingers. They laid me on the bed to check his heart tones and all was good. Heartbeat in the 140's. She checked my cervix and it was a stretchy 6 cm. It was swollen and puffy in the front, which was the cause of bleeding. A lot of pressure on the cervix can cause it to swell, which she thinks was from me sitting on the toilet. I was still talking to my mom on the phone when they were checking me.

As soon as I got off the phone they had me turn on my left side to relieve pressure on my cervix. The next contraction I had was intense. Lying down made contractions worse. The one after I felt some pressure. I was clinching my sheets with the next contraction. That pressure was intense. The thought of getting into the birth pool came to mind, but there was no way I was moving. The contractions seemed like they were coming back to back. I told my midwife I was feeling pressure and she said not to push yet because my cervix wasn't ready. I felt like I had to hold him in. With the next contraction I propped myself up a little and said, "He's coming!" She rushed over and could see his head was already out and my legs were still partially closed. I reached down to feel his head while trembling and shaking. I was in such shock that I didn't know what to think. Holy hell! How could his head be out when not 5 minutes before I was still 6 cm? I was *just* on the phone with my mom! She quickly moved my right leg back and he just shot out. I'm pretty sure my membranes ruptured when his body shot out. My midwife caught him and put him on my chest. He was born at 11:51p.m after a virtually nonexistent labor.

Mark said he called my mom as soon as I said "pressure." He was born right after he hung up the phone. During this short period of time Mark was just standing there looking completely shocked and stunned. I think we all were. We all know I have fast labors and births, but hell, that was crazy. I was in such shock after he was born I didn't know what to think. I felt him move and heard him cry and breathed a sigh of relief knowing he was alive, but my mind was racing with thoughts of "What the hell just happened?!" After I was able to take it all in I looked him over. I thought he looked more like 7 pounds than 9, but my midwife said he looked 9 lbs and he was. 9 pounds and 22 inches. His head was 14 inches. With the very precipitous birth I was left with a skid mark, labial split and small tear. No sutures were needed.

It was a crazy experience, but a good one. There was a huge mess. Blood and fluid everywhere. All over my sheets and mattress and floor next to the bed. My poor down comforter. Fluid went flying when my membranes ruptured. Good thing we had hydrogen peroxide to get the blood out. Hopefully next time I'll get to have a waterbirth. No mess! I was just never sure when to get in the pool because my contractions never developed a pattern and were barely noticeable until right before his birth. There really was no real "labor." No video or pictures of his birth. They were charged and ready, but there was no time to do really anything. Things progressed too quickly.

I'm so happy he's with us now. Feels like I've waited so long for this. My arms are no longer empty. He's real. He's here. Finally! I love looking at him and smelling him. Oh how I missed that smell. He's so lovely and sweet.

Here's some sweet baby goodness:

Isn't he yummy?

Exam pictures:

Sunshine After A Rainy Day

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones