ok, it's finally here. it's been busy and stressful and tiring and overwhelming and wonderful these past 6 weeks! warning: long post ahead!
on may 19th, exactly 8 days past my due date i went into my midwife and said quite bluntly "get her out of me". i was anxious to meet her, and plus, my due date was the 11th. that was the plan. and i like to plan things. a lot. i had it written in my dayplanner, on the fridge calendar, and mentally for 9 months i had prepared that on may 11th, we would meet our little girl. God had a different plan.
my midwife, knowing my planning tendencies, chuckled and said that typically they wait until 10 days overdue, but that she knew i was going to drive myself nuts, so she agreed to do a stretch and sweep. for those of you who have not had children, or are unfamiliar with this term, it's exactly how it sounds ladies. they stretch, and they sweep. uncomfortable.
i went on my merry way with the instructions of taking a series of homeopathics that night alternating between two, every 15 minutes, for 2 hours. i was also told to RELAX, which involved a wonderful steak dinner with asparagus, corn on the cob, salad and a wonderful glass of red wine. yep, the midwives told me to enjoy a glass of wine. it was pure bliss (minus the heartburn with each sip).
around 3am i woke up feeling a little crampy. i passed it off as gas and tried to continue to sleep. it persisted, so i got up. i went to the bathroom, still feeling crampy and sure enough, i had to GO. figures, the wine and all those veggies upset my stomach. i proceeded to go to the bathroom 4 more times within a 30 minute period. boy was i ticked off. then the cramping changed a bit and i wondered if i was in for a long day of an upset stomach. just i case, i pulled out my little sheet from the midwives that said "signs of early labour" i had about 7 of the 8 signs. but i wasn't in labour, it didn't hurt enough. my mum was working the night shift, so i emailed her and asked and explained the feeling. her response?
"you probably just have to take a big poop."
gee, thanks mum.
around 5am the cramping intensified and i began pacing around through the living room and kitchen. j finally awoke and asked what was up, and i said i didn't know (as i sat at the computer in between pacing, googling "false labour"). i tried to send him to work, but he looked at me like i was nuts. i certainly didn't think i was in labour, it really wasn't hurting enough, and i was so worried about looking stupid if i called the midwife and it turned out to be nothing.
around 6am things intensified. j called into work and also forced me to accept that i WAS in labour. he called the midwives for me, since i was still in denial. annie arrived around 7 and checked my progress. 75% effaced and 4cm dilated. she left for a bit and said she would be back in a few hours. around noon she came back to check on me again, 100% effaced and 6cm dilated. i was officially in active labour! the pain wasn't all that bad, i was handling it. i draped myself over my exercise ball on my knees and rocked back and forth while breathing deeply. we had a nice morning, complete with breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs, and lunch of chicken noodle soup with crackers and cheese. i was even pleasant!
then things picked up a bit, the pressure was intense. the only words i can use to describe it (and also used at the time, which made everyone burst out laughing) is that it felt like i had to shat the world's largest watermelon ever. ever.
annie explained to me that she could break my water at home and i could continue to labour but that usually when your water is broken things speed up so it might be hard to travel (since it was up in the air if i wanted a home or hospital birth). in the moment i decided hospital was best (which i would later regret). around 3:30 we took off to the hospital. we arrived and because of my wonderful midwife i got to skip all the registration mumbo jumbo and head right into my own private room. right across from the shower.
i had to be hooked up to the monitors for 10 minutes, which was pure torture to lay there on my back, but it had to be done. after the 10 minutes, i was FREE and it was glorious! another thing that was glorious?! when they broke my water. i laughed and breathed a huge sigh of relief. who knew labour could be comfortable (for now). the pressure was gone and i could focus on my contractions. i went into the shower for about an hour which was so nice and relaxing. when i came out, things really picked up and the pain became so intense that i needed more and more energy to get through each contraction.
my need for planning and knowing things in advance was still with me though. multiple times, the conversation with annie (my midwife) went like this.
me: "how much longer annie?"
a: "i don't know, if i had a crystal ball to tell you these things, i would be rich and i wouldn't be a midwife." went back to reading and highlighting
me: "no seriously annie, like how much longer? an hour maybe?"
a: "melissa, i have no idea. now stop asking me and focus on your breathing, you can't plan this"
me: "no REALLY annie, how much LONGER? i don't think i can take this"
a: "melissa, shut up and breath. she'll come when she's ready."
i hated her and loved her at the same time. little did she know that i had absolutely no concept of time at this point, so she could have told me an hour, and for all i knew 3 hours could have gone by and i wouldn't have known the difference. around 6pm they checked me again and i was 8cm. i then progressed pretty quickly, and at about 7pm i felt the urge to push. annie and j coached me along, and i could feel her slipping back in a little each time. finally all i heard was "j are you going to catch her?" and he dropped my leg and stuck his hands out so fast to catch kinley! it was amazing that he was able to catch her. 30 minutes of pushing with annie, j and my mum there to help me along, our daughter was born! unfortunately they couldn't place her up on my stomach, since her cord was too short. i was a little disappointed to miss out on that aspect, and the fact that they had to cut the cord early in order to place her on my belly, rather than waiting until it was done pulsating. but that's ok. having jordan catch her and cut the cord was so worth it!
kinley anna arrived full of life, with a full head of hair at 7:22 weighing 7lbs 11oz
everything went so smoothly, and quickly (for a first timer!) in hindsight, i would stay at home. i was only in the hospital for 6 hours (4:00 until 10:00), but annie thinks that moving from home to the hospital broke my stride and i lost some concentration. had i stayed home, she may have been born a few hours earlier. that's ok, now i know for number 2!
and now for a few pictures.
in between contractions, i even managed a smile!
minutes after she was born
getting all checked out
i need my food ~ don't judge
overall, it was the BEST experience of my entire life thus far. seriously i would do it again in a heartbeat. call me crazy but i actually ENJOYED labour. am i weird?
and on that note, i should go, as the munchkin is awake and ready for some food.