In honor of August 15th, Annika's due date, I thought it appropriate to write out her birth story.
Last Sunday, I was feeling so great, so content to be pregnant. Then I woke up on Monday.
I didn't feel good. My body hurt. And just ugh. I had
We took him to the meeting place since they had to come near our house for a dentist appointment. I had asked if I could pack him an overnight bag "just in case". This is a family with 4 boys, the youngest 2 being 6 and 8. Later that day, she offered to keep him overnight and I decided that was a great idea.
I had contractions on and off all day, but nothing really significant. Probably about one an hour. From 3 to 4, they started coming more frequently. But the more I moved around, packing a bag for the other boys, picking up the house, the less I felt them. I just felt so irritable and yucky. I would read a blog comment about how great it was that I was so content and feel worse because I was feeling so yucky!
Drew was working late that night. He had a ton of work to do last week with a presentation on Tuesday morning. I felt some pressure not to have the baby since he had so much to do. I guarantee that was all in my head and Drew didn't put that pressure on me.
So, around 5 I started to get the feeling that these weren't really going away, maybe we should be prepared to do something about them. I finished packing my bag, packed a bag for Kolby and Levi, and texted Drew.
I started to get irritated around 6 that Drew was still at the office and not on his way home. I had been texting him the contractions, from 5 - 6, they were about every 10 minutesish. Not super consistent but some bringing tears to my eyes. Did I mention that the previous Wednesday at my appointment I was dialated to 4, probably 5? And received instructions for what to do if we delivered in the car? We were told not to mess around with contractions.
I called Drew and talked to him about the contractions. He asked what I thought we should do. I said "I think you should come home!"
When he got home, I called the midwives to let them know what was happening. We still needed to take our boys to a different friends house, so I told her we were probably still about an hour and 15 minutes away by the time we dropped them off and then drove back to the med center. She seemed a little like hmm, your still an hour away?
Drew took the boys inside, I said good bye from the van, I was crying a little because of a hardish contraction. Our friends were so sweet yelling encouragement as we gave them no instructions for our kids and took off.
As we drove towards the hospital, my contractions kept coming but kind of further apart. I started to think we might get sent home. Maybe laughed at.
We pulled into the valet and a wave of pain overcame me. I told Drew I would get out in a minute.
After we got admitted, Titi, the midwife, checked me and said I was 7, probably 8. A wave of relief overcame me and I smiled. I was so glad she wasn't going to send us home!
We asked what she thought about breaking my water. (Some of the midwives would be a little more hesitant and want to see what happens) She said it's up to us. We said, bring it!
We told her we really wanted an 8-9-10 baby, she smiled and said "Well, lets get this going!" You have to imagine a beautiful black woman with long dread locks saying that in a British accent. She is Nigerian British. Her voice is incredibly smooth and calming.
She struggled breaking my water saying I had a hard bag of waters. I guess that was a good thing! After she broke my water, the contractions changed dramatically. It was 9:45 pm. I have no idea how often they came, but they hurt, a lot. She monitored the baby through a few of them and then let me get off the bed.
I immediately moved into a position of leaning on Drew and rocking side to side. She was rubbing my lower back, the perfect place where it had hurt all through my pregnancy.
I moved to leaning on the bed and even squatted through a couple. She was really encouraging and told me to think about those muscles relaxing and opening up and bringing the baby down.
She suggested getting back on the bed at one point so I climbed up. I remember gasping and Drew asking "What's wrong?!" I gave him a dirty look and said "It hurts!" I was proud that was the only mean thing I said through the labor.
She checked me again and said I was complete but still at a plus station. Here's where it might get too graphic. She kept doing something, pulling something back(? fuzzy details, for a reason! I can't remember and it's probably a good thing!). I just know it hurt terribly. And I wanted her hand out of there!
At that point, she said if I gave her two or three good pushes, I'd be done.
Then she made me turn around and face the back of the bed. It felt worse, so I turned back around. Later, she told me she saved me from a lot of pushing by having me do that.
It probably took 5 good pushes with me telling myself I can do it and Drew and Titi kept encouraging me that the baby was coming. She's right there.
With one of the pushes, I felt her right there, I felt her coming and pushed harder. There may have been some screaming involved.
I heard Titi explain to Drew that she would deliver the head and then he could catch the baby. I heard her explain how to position his hands. I remember wanting to open my eyes and see what was happening but I couldn't. I had to keep pushing.
It was 10:32 pm. 47 minutes.
Drew describes catching her like catching someone who had bathed in plaster of paris. And it was beautiful. He laid her on my stomache and there she stayed for awhile. Then she went over to be weighed, 8lbs. 9oz. We were surprised she was so big, our second biggest after Sage, 8lbs. 14oz.
After she was weighed, measured (19in.) and swaddled she came back to me to be nursed for the first time. After nursing, her blood sugar was low, so I gave her an ounce of formula by syringe. It came right up and stayed up after the next time I nursed her. She scored an 8 then 9 on her apgar.
I loved the midwife that I delivered with, Titi. She stopped the nurse from giving me an iv and she kept reassuring the nurse that she wasn't worried about my bleeding. The nurse seemed to think it wasn't enough.
I also loved the hospital. They were very hands off. I even gave her first bath. The second night, they didn't come in once, just let me take care of her as need be and get as much sleep as possible. I enjoyed not being poked or prodded all night long.
I'm hitting publish because I want to be done and Annika needs me again! Sorry for any typos, I'm trying to remember everything for my sweet baby girl.
She is perfect in every way.