I will write up my birth story soon but I need Ducks here with me to do it. She had to sneak off to work today – despite the fact that she’s technically on a months leave!
In the meantime I thought I’d post a quick update on just how cool our little Squeak is. There’s no denying that this is a tough job but really, we got very lucky with this little boy. He is one chilled out, content soul who has caused us very little stress or worry. Even our sleep isn’t suffering too badly.
This kid loves boob! He is feeding like a star and my supply is great. If anything, I may have a little bit too much. At 4 days old, Squeak had returned to his birth weight. Yesterday, at 8 days, he was 220grams (~8ounces) above it. That takes him to 4.48kg (~9.9 pounds). I am so thrilled and incredibly grateful that breastfeeding is working so well for us. I know the stress and anxiety that breastfeeding causes so many new mothers – I even expected it for myself but other than the horrible day when my milk came in, all is super fantastic.
We got a babe that sleeps too – even when we bathe him!! Again, I know we got lucky and I know it could all change in a flash. The first 4 nights were hell but we quickly worked him out and I’ve now had several nights of 7 or 8 hours sleep with only 2 feeds and easy resettling. They say that bigger babes are better sleepers and make it through the night earlier. I’m really hoping they’re (whoever they are) right!
For sure, life has changed immeasurably and I have certainly had moments of wondering what I was thinking but generally, I’m one blissed out Mama. Poor Ducks however has the crap end of the deal. It seems like all she does is loads of washing and loads of dishes. All this with a nasty case of shingles which came on during my labour. Our nappy wash service starts today so here’s to silence in the laundry for at least a few hours a day!!
…best run and get a job or two done before the boy wakes…
Oh…and love to Tiff who may just have her own babe earthside by now!
I know I owe you all a detailed post but it’s Xmas Eve and we have a newborn and I just don’t understand how other bloggers have managed to keep up post baby! I have the most amazing support from Ducks and my Mum and still I can’t get a single thing done.
The interesting story of how I came to be in labour will have to wait until another day. So will my early reflections on mothering a newborn. I will leave you, however, with some pics of our lovely boy and his very tired but very happy mothers.
Sebastian Felix was welcomed into the world, without intervention, at 12.05am on Sunday 21st December. A summer solstice babe! And a sagitarian – which is what I was REALLY hoping for!
Just under 8 hours of labour with 3 and a bit hours of pushing. My contractions started at 2mins apart, 1minute long so it was a pretty huge shock but with the amazing support of DP and our doula, I did it.
He’s huge. 4.3kg (about 9pounds 5ounces) and 56cm long (22inches). He doesn’t even fit his newborn clothes or nappies.
We stayed at the BC until this morning and are now just settling in at home.
More later. Must sleep while babe sleeps!
This is a slightly edited version of something I wrote when I was incoherent and exhausted yesterday. It mightn’t make much sense but it’s certainly reflective of the stress and pressure we were under…this all happened between 8am on Thursday and 12pm on Friday.
Still here though with much more patience than previously. I’ve had a hell of a 24hours –
I was risked out of the birth centre by the consulting obstetrician yesterday morning. Just before I left she decided to do an internal where she discovered I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced. Her conclusion was that I was in labour. She decided that I could go back to the birth centre straight away and they could break my water. Of course, it’s against bc policy to intervene in any way, including breaking water. They, however, were happy to let me labour naturally there..YAY! I was back in.
I still wasn’t convinced I was actually in labour but foetal monitoring showed that i was having contractions 2 mins apart, I just wasn’t feeling them! Everyone was in awe. I was feeling very fortunate.
I called my doula and explained the situation and she came up to the BC for a few hours. Nothing was happening and I was bouncing around happily, still with minimal pain so we decided it would be fine to let her go off to her daughters Christmas concert. By 9.30 last night, still nothing was happening so we asked to come home. The consulting obstetrician said no – that if we left now, there was no coming back to the BC. So, against better judgement, we stayed the night and had a fairly peaceful nights sleep.
When we woke up this morning, I had still not really progressed so it made sense to come home and wait for my water to break. It all seemed very uncontroversial and the midwives were happy for us to go home home. The most superior ob however, not only said I couldn’t come home but that I had to be admitted immediately to the HOSPITAL for induction. They wanted to break my water and syntocinin and constant fetal monitoring. EVERYTHING I’ve been working to avoid. This despite perfect blood pressure and endless perfect results from monitoring. I got very scared and very shaky. I felt bruised and blackmailed and bullied.
Anyway, after lots of tears and long conversations with our doula and the BC midwives, we made the decision to ‘act against medical advice’ and come home. The BC midwives were wonderful and have committed to do all they can to keep me with them when I do go into natural labour.
I feel completely traumatised but I’m also thrilled to be home and thrilled to have yet another opportunity to birth naturally. I cannot believe that despite all my knowledge and preparation, I have been trapped in the web of intervention. Sure, thus far I’ve avoided it but I had to fight every.step.of.the.way. I can’t imagine how it is for women who haven’t had the opportunity to learn as much as me.
So, I’m actually hoping this boy stays in for a day or 2 longer because I need the time to recover and find some strength.
Postscript: It’s Saturday morning now. We’ve been home for almost 24hours and I had a pretty good sleep last night. I’m definitely feeling stronger but very happy to wait it out a bit longer. I’ve got another induction acupuncture at lunchtime and Ducks is convinced we’ll be going straight from there to the BC to have the baby. I’m happy for her to be right or wrong.
One thing we feel pretty confident of is that when he does decide to make an entrance it’ll probably be quick. At 6cm dilated, 100% effaced and with waters bulging, it’d be a surprise if it weren’t. The other thing is that his head is right there. The midwife had a hard time working out my dilation because his head was is the way. Clearly this boy knows what he wants and he’s waiting for the perfect time to tell us.
I’m struggling here folks. The story is getting old now but this time, I really am hanging by a thread at the birth centre. Essentially, I’ve got ’til Thursday to have this baby or I’m out. The hospital wants me to transfer to them and they’re keen to induce. I had to do some serious negotiating to get the extra 48hours.
The thing is, there is nothing wrong with me and there is nothing wrong with the baby. My blood pressure is borderline (120/80 – I started at 130/60) but I’ve done a billion repeated tests and there is still no indication of preeclampsia. I’ve sat attached to monitors for hours. Squeak is happily bouncing around in there with a strong, healthy heartbeat. I’ve done my research and even the most conservative medical viewpoints aren’t telling me that it’s time to panic.
I’m not stupid and I wouldn’t do anything to put Squeak or I at risk. If it looks like preeclampsia is developing, I’ll be the first to conceed to a transfer and induction if necessary but I’m not prepared to submit to the pressure and bullying just because it’s more convenient.
So today, it’s back for more acupuncture – this time with a pregnancy/birth specialist and if that doesn’t work, then I’m gonna bite the bullet and drink me some castor oil. This babe has to come out, and frankly, the ickiness of castor oil is a much more tolerable thought than a continued fight with hospitals and obstetricians.
Has anyone ever told those ‘professionals’ that all this stress is not good for a pregnant womans blood pressure???
The Birth Centre just called. They’re unhappy with some test results. Ducks now has to miss a dentist appointment she’s been waiting 6 months for, drive an hour home to collect me and take me in there for more tests. I so wish I could get myself there on public transport but I might have overdone it on the exercise front yesterday. My pelvis/pubic bone is unbearable today. Oops. Anyway, I know that caution is good but this is becoming a boring pattern – every second lot of test results come up abnormal, so they give me more tests and they come up fine.
It all seems so bizarre for something so impermanent. If Squeak would just hurry up and arrive, there’d be no need for all this fuss.
No news today. I’m officially overdue. I’ve been bouncing on the birth ball, tilting my pelvis in all kinds of ways, vigorously vacuuming, walking, acupressuring, taking all kinds of supplements, herbs and homeopathics and more. All to no avail. This baby is just not ready yet. I’m ok with that. Really, I am…most of the time.
So, instead, I focus on the beautiful Christmas Tree that we bought yesterday. Our house smells amazing and when I do finally go into labour, the beautiful lights will offer me mucho soothing and something pretty to fixate on. I pity the souls who keep checking in on me today. To the question “any news?” I’ve been joyfully answering “yes!!! – we have a Christmas Tree and I love it.” (Because if I’d had the baby, don’t you think I’d have let you know?)