(Partly written as it happened, and partly written afterwards. Sorry if it’s confusing!)
Woke up around 6:30 because of a rather strong contraction…
Had them all day, not very strong but quite a few strong enough to stop me. They’ve been roughly 10-20 minutes apart, I haven’t been timing.
I cleaned and tidied the house, and then Suki and Leo came over to talk and play. Noah and Leo played the most they have yet, which was really sweet to see.
Noah napped and I showered, cleaned a bit, rested and listened to birth affirmations, and knit.
Brian, Richie’s cousin, and his family came over right as Noah woke up, and they’ve been here since (it’s 7:40 right now). Jenn and Doug and Family came as well. We’ve had a good time… their boys are playing nicely with Noah, and Bella started a lemon squeezing party. She and I made lemonade as well. They all ate Chinese and I ate soup from Mrs. Ursu (I was planning on eating Chinese, but I suddenly worried about accidentally eating gluten and having a stomachache as well as contractions.)
After they left, I finished the green baby hat.
Had a nice warm bath, and then went to bed…slept/rested some and then contractions got strong enough to where I was making noise during them and got out of bed… had the bloody show at about 4:30am.
Stayed up for a little over an hour, timing contractions (8-10 minutes apart, over a minute long), journaling, drinking water, and having a little snack…
Noah woke up and wanted me, so I snuggled him back to sleep and then laid down myself… dozed and rested for almost 2 hours. Contractions got more uncomfortable so I got up and used the bathroom and am sitting in Noah’s room again.
We’re all up and Peter is painting… Noah’s been having a rough time and my contractions are to where I’m moaning through them. This last one I had Noah moaned with me, haha. It’s 10:40 right now.
It’s 11:30am, contractions are spaced out but strong when they come. Mama came, and Emily and Cheryl came and got Noah.
Cathy is coming soon.
12:06, Cathy just got here.
She checked me and I’m 6cm dilated! His heart rate is steady, and my vitals are good.
Definitely getting to be less fun at this point… they’re about 5 minutes apart and quite strong. I’ve asked Peter to stop painting the bathroom and start helping me through contractions.
Writing this on January 4th now… quite a bit has happened since my last entry!
The contractions rapidly intensified and grew closer together… it freaked me out a little bit and I struggled to stay relaxed and calm (which of course made it more difficult!). Cathy reminded me to focus on my breath, which helped some.
At one point I got ahold of myself and realized that I was probably in transition already and really needed to relax and allow my body to do the work it knew to do. I knew that the more I surrendered to transition, the sooner it would change to pushing… and the sooner I’d meet my baby. I sat in the rocking chair and focused really hard on my breath and on keeping my body relaxed and my thoughts positive. I thought about how strong and capable my body is, and how soon I’d be holding my baby.
That helped tremendously and it was much easier to handle— though, as is usually the case for transition, some of the sensations were quite intense. It was definitely a very conscious effort to surrender to them.
Hannah came when I was in the chair… I told her between contractions (which were one on top of another at this point, so it was hard to say much at a time, haha) that I was pretty sure I was in transition… she mentioned that I was much calmer than last time and I said well, I wasn’t a bit ago, haha.
Not long after she arrived, I felt the contractions change to the expulsive, pushing kind… I could feel him getting even lower and felt the intensity of the contractions move to the top of my uterus. I also noticed that my breathing pattern changed. I told Peter and Hannah to let Cathy know, and she confirmed… I moved to the toilet for a short time, which felt good. They set up a makeshift birthing stool for me, and I transferred to that.
Had to stand up between contractions as much as possible to keep my feet and legs from going numb… once I figured out how to do it carefully it wasn’t too uncomfortable to stand.
After Cathy told me to stop letting my breath out during the contractions (I’d take a deep breath, hold it for a bit while my body pushed, and then take another deep breath and repeat till the contraction ended.), he started moving down and out quickly. It was only after a couple of contractions with me adding a tiny bit of effort that his water broke and he was born! All in one contraction (if I remember right). Peter caught him and he and Cathy untangled him from his cord and handed him to me… they helped me onto the bed (we had a stool and my legs weren’t numb this time so it was way easier!) and I enjoyed looking at my new son. It was a very sweet time and I felt more “in love” right away compared to last time, I assume mostly because with Noah’s birth I was half dead with exhaustion!
Then the placenta was delivered a half hour later, and we had a bit of a scare with bleeding… but thankfully it was over quickly and everything turned out to be fine.
Shortly after that, we successfully latched and he had a good feeding on both sides. This was probably the best part for me, since it was SO very difficult with Noah. (He wasn’t able to latch and feed for days after birth) I was quite hungry this time and had two kinds of soup, cornbread, lots of water, chlorophyll, tea, and some snacks.
Noah came to meet him after we were all cleaned up and stable… I sat on the rocking chair and Peter held Caleb. I snuggled Noah for awhile and we talked about the baby, and then Peter let us hold him… Noah was intrigued and touched him gently. He was a bit unsure what to think, as well. When my sisters were about to leave he started crying because he thought they were taking him… once he snuggled up to me in bed on the other side of me from Caleb he felt better about everything again. 🙂
Here are a few pictures of Caleb today. 😊