Sorry for my absence! I have been busy giving life!
Oh yes, that’s right! On Thursday, November 4th at 5:00 pm on the dot (just in time for rush hour traffic), my beautiful son, Henry, was born. This past week, instead of making Green Monsters and reading about frugality, I have pretty much been sitting on my arse all day, nursing. Did you know you burn 1000 calories a day by nursing? I just found this out and have since told every single person I know.
I am not sure when I will be able to more regularly update this, so please bear with me. For now, I leave you with Henry’s birth story. It was quite the journey last week, let me tell you!
The Birth of Henry: From Pain to Joy in a mere 40 hours
On the evening of Tuesday, November 2, 2010, I began to get a bit anxious for Henry’s arrival, doing research online about how to induce labour by walking or eating spicy food. I even decided to practice some perineal stretching, which I’d only tried once before. I went to bed at a normal hour but woke up at 1:00 am with abdominal cramps. Iain wasn’t yet home from work and it dawned on me that I was beginning to have contractions. I knew this was only the beginning of a very long journey ahead of me, so I tried going back to sleep. I realized my legs were shaking because I was pretty freaked out! Part of me was ready for labour, but is anyone ever fully ready for this first-time experience?!!
Around 3:30 am, I tried taking a hot shower to alleviate the pain, and it helped. I spent the rest of the day and following night pretty much sitting on the couch, taking showers and baths, and counting my contractions. I called my midwife, Carolyn, but she thought I was only in early labour because I sounded so cheerful on the phone even though my contractions were every 4-5 minutes for 35-40 seconds at a time. I couldn’t lie down from the pain, so I spent Wednesday night upright and nodded off between contractions. By Thursday morning, they were happening every 2.5 minutes and lasting over a minute! Still, when I spoke on the phone with my midwife, she thought that I wasn’t in active labour yet because I was too cheerful, so we agreed to leave everything until my already scheduled appointment that day at 1:30 pm.
Getting into the car and making the journey to the clinic was tough work! I just kept my eyes closed and focused on breathing. When my midwife checked me out, she was surprised to find out I was 6-7 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. My body was ready to pop out a baby!
We drove immediately to the hospital, checked in, and met up with Laurie, the back up midwife, and Amanda, a student midwife. The worst part was having to lie on my back. I hadn’t progressed anymore, so they asked me if I wanted my water broken. I agreed because then I could get into the shower for some pain relief! The breaking of the membranes was a weird sensation of hot water gushing all over my lower half! They realized that Henry has pooped while inside of me, so they had to set me up to a fetal heart rate monitor which was strapped to my waist. That was uncomfortable, especially since I immediately dilated to 10 centimetres and was ready to push! Pushing felt great at first, like taking a giant poop. But the resting between contractions was incredibly uncomfortable since I, y’know, had a human being in my vagina. I was pushing from a completely horizontal position and it was tough work. I sipped apple juice and water between contractions and when I pushed I did it in “threes”. Husband held one of my legs and Amanda held the other. I remember Husband’s parents calling to ask if we wanted anything, like gingerale. They didn’t realize I had progressed so quickly. I remember thinking “Gingerale??! More like get this baby out of me ale!!!”. See, still so funny when in active labour 😉
The magical moment happened when I realized I had birthed the head out and then the body soon followed. Talk about the most amazing sensation ever, both emotionally and physically! I opened my eyes and saw the midwife hand the slimy, baby boy right to my chest. Hurrah! He had the loudest, healthiest cry! My first question: Did I rip? The unfortunate answer: yes, because he had his hand by his face during his entrance to the world. But I had my boy, my Henry! And I did it all with no medication, not even a freaking Tylenol! Husband cried a ton and went out to see his parents.
I gave birth to the placenta 9 minutes after giving birth to Henry. I made sure to say “don’t cut the cord until it’s stopped pulsing”. My midwife then spent what felt like an hour stitching me up. Having your vagina stitched is no fun, but it is made bearable when your brand new child is resting on your chest. My midwife gave me a tour of the placenta which was very cool. She said it was perfectly healthy. Then Husband’s parents came in and met their grandson which is when I felt the most emotional.
Standing up after birth felt crazy. I was very light-headed and my internal organs felt so discombobulated. They were repositioning themselves after 9 months! I had to prove that I could pee. Prove them I did! Even three days later writing this, I don’t have the peeing sensation back yet, so I have to remind myself to go every so often. Weird!
Henry checked out perfectly healthy. He didn’t cry for either his Vitamin K shot or the goop they put in the eyes. He latched onto my breast very well. Our family of three did great!
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