Izabelle was overdue. I was having rather strong contractions even a week earlier when her Daddy, Patrik was getting on the plane to go back home to Sweden. She was born one week later!
I started getting really noticeable contractions around 2am on Saturday morning. About 7/10 and at 3:46am I had my 6th one that woke me out of sleep. I got up and went to the toilet and then went to the bathroom and weighed myself. 238.3 lbs I then went and made some raspberry leaf tea. By 4:38am the contraction strength was back down to 3/10. The contractions stayed irregular and low in pain over the weekend.
On Monday 13th, I had my antenatal appointment and overdue checks. The usual prodding and questions. Blood pressure and ankle swelling all normal. I then had to go from the midwives room and go to another room nearby and sit in a chair. They hooked me up and monitored my baby's heart rate and the contractions. I had to push a button every time I felt her kick and every contraction. They were happy with everything and I even had a couple of 7/10 contractions while there. My midwife asked what I was doing today and if I wanted to hang around. I think she thought I should probably stay as it looked as though I may be having my baby that day. I told her I had a couple of things to do and then I was going home. She shook her head at me lol. Well she said, would I be ok with an ultrasound to check on the amniotic fluid around bub. I said sure that's okay. I was going to ask if that could be done. So then we went to the Doctors room. She decided to use his little mini ultrasound machine that just looked like a laptop. That way she could get his opinion straight away. He was in between patients and he helped her to use the machine as it was different to the other machine. She checked the first two quadrants and I was already showing way more than enough fluid to pass their test. The 3rd was obscured with the umbilical cord and they couldn't get the reading and the 4th put my amount up to more than 6 times their 'safe' quota. That's without the 4th reading. The Doctor said okay to my going another week safely. I was happy and relaxed as that meant no more pushing me to induce, which I was against. So I left the hospital happy with the thought that I had done all that the midwives needed me to do to keep them happy with their 'requirements'. I also new that all was well as I had suspected and that bub was fine. That my choices were safe and right. I went to the shops I needed to go to, but quickly wore out and just wanted t be home. Standing in line while people take their time, while I'm in pain with contractions was making me rather irritated LOL So I went home, 40 minutes drive with a few contractions slowing my driving. ;-)
The contractions remained erratic.
Tuesday morning at 10:56am the mucous plug finally started to come away. The first 'show'! By 12:45pm I started feeling sick. 6:17pm a piece of the plug came away with a streak of brown blood. Enough to cover a thumb nail. I had 4 contractions over 20 minutes and they were getting stronger and more painful.
More and more of the plug was coming away throughout the evening. From 8pm I was trying to get some sleep. The contractions kept waking me. They were 7-8 now and sometimes dipping to 5 and sometimes going up to 9. By 12:46am there was now red blood in the mucous. By 3:45am I was about 5cm dilated and after4:30am I was hitting pain of 9 more often.
By 7am I passed small red and brown clots of blood and the pain was reaching 10. Just had to breathe through it. Getting Faith ready for school was hard. My contractions were hitting 9 and 10 here and there. The OMG level that you cannot talk! Faith would be asking me questions and all I could do was pant and breathe until it subsided. I told her about the pain, why I could not talk to her and that her sister would be born that day. I told her to stay at school and not come home at lunchtime. After she went to school I made sure everything was where I needed it in the bathroom.
After 9am the pain backed off a little to a 9, at 9:30am I threw up. The pains were coming steadily now. Not even 10 minutes between them consistently. I spent the morning in and out of the bath. The weather was still cold enough to keep making the bath water go cold, faster than I liked. I was getting worried about running out of hot water. I had my camera set up on a tripod near the bath so I could take pics after she was born. After 10am I stopped writing and tracking because the pains just kept coming full on. I got in the bath... again! I heard the school bell go at recess and the end of recess. Well when she decided that it was time finally, I had moved the tripod away from the bath edge. The pains ran so close I couldn't get out and get the camera close again. I glared at it....willing it to move closer LOL soooooo frustrating! I was still only 5cm dilated and finally went to 10 just before I had her. When I checked I could feel her coming down. I cried and was so relieved that the pain would soon be over. The pain was much worse than Faith had been. But Faith was much smaller too!
The only way I could get comfortable..ish was to squat in the bath. I pushed down hard with the contractions. They had become unrelenting, with barely a breath in between. There was no holding back, I was getting so worn out after enduring the pains for too many days. I had to remind myself it was nearly over. I knew that I had to just push. I felt and heard something crack in my pelvis as she came down, I remember thinking...that can't be good! Her head was crowning and I could feel the sac over her still. I kept myself in a squatting position in the water and then the next push I felt the sac break and she pushed out. I stopped pushing to allow my body to stretch that last bit, so I would not tear when her shoulders came through. That was so hard to do... I felt her head in the water and felt all her hair swishing as I rubbed her head... WOW! Soooo much hair... it felt so awesome. Then the next big contraction came and I could no longer wait, I pushed her out and scooped her up out of the water. I sat down in the bath water with her and marveled at her hair and how chubby she was. Hardly any grease on her. She was born when she was ready alright. She started breathing straight away and I didn't even have to rub her back to encourage her ( I had to with my previous bub ). Her eyes were open and alert. She was trying to look around but I could see the oily film over her eyes and knew everything would be blurry for her. She didn't flop her head around, instead she was already strong enough to hold her head up. Amazing! I stared to feed her and she took to the breast and fed easily.
I remembered that I had to massage my belly to make sure the placenta all came away. The next contraction came and I pushed out the placenta, but a little held still. The bath filled with blood n stuff, I continued to feed her and stroke her while waiting for my body to let go of the last bit. I still glared at the camera, so close yet so far away. I couldn't get a pic until I could get up and out... The water was getting cold and I didn't like sitting in bloodied water. I wet the facewasher and put it over bub to keep her warm, then pulled the plug. I started running the water and used the small hose attached to the tap, to clean the bath. I saw the bottom of the bath and saw that bub had done her first poop after being born. A big green/black area on the base of the bath. At least it wasn't in a nappy. That fist poop is grose n sticky and hard to clean off. I hosed it all down the drain. I wanted clean water, not bloodied so I also hosed the placenta to clean off the blood. The water pressure helped to dislodge the last of the placenta, wish I had known that would happen, I would have done it earlier lol. Yay! I can finally move. I filled the bathwater to get bub warm and give her a rinse in clean water. Then I checked the umbilical cord completely and saw that it was finished totally of delivering blood to bub, got the ribbon pieces I had been soaking in white spirit... gin... lol. I tied the cord off near bub and then again about an inch further away. Then I cut the umbilical cord with my big strong material scissors, which I had also sterilised, in between the two tied pieces of ribbon. I put the placenta in a plastic container I had nearby then finally, I was able to step out of the bath. I could finally get to the darn camera!! I put bub on the warmed blanket and towel near a heater I had set up. I checked the radiating heat and turned it down to a safe level that was warming on bubs skin and not too hot. Then I grabbed the camera and took a photo of her.
I put an old towel down to kneel on and started to put a nappy on bub, that done I dried myself and got dressed. I then threw the towel I had knelt on in the water to soak off the blood.
Dressed now and bub all wrapped up with a nappy on, I went to the bedroom to dress her and then take it easy and give Patrik the news via a phone call. Then my house phone rang, I went to the kitchen to get the phone. My daughter Eve! She asked how I was going and I told her that her sister was born. She was happy and sounded teary! She said she would ring Jess, my other daughter for me to let her know.
I then finally got on my computer to call Patrik. He was already at work by this time and I was able to talk to him until he HAD to go. The machine doesn't stop and his job was to put the compressed sawdust logs into bags and seal them ready for the shops. They kept coming and the belt started overflowing and dropping them on the floor...ooops! LOL Glad he has a great boss! Then Jess rang me and said she was on her way, Eve had spoken to her and she had started crying, her boss had thought something was wrong LOL. She told her boss that she was happy and always cried when I gave birth to her siblings. Her boss told her to go. So she was driving 40 minutes to me to drive me to the hospital. I got a little rest and when she arrived we talked and she held bub while I slowly got stuff together and got ready to go.
We waited for Faith to finish school and after she got home, we went to the hospital.
I ended up driving as she doesn't like driving my car and it felt good having her sitting next to bub in the back while I drove. There is nothing worse than having to put your baby in the backseat of the car and drive for 40 minutes, when all you want to do is to stay home and hold your bub. When I got to the hospital I parked close by and told Jess to go to the emergency department and grab a wheelchair. I didn't feel up to walking all that way up to the birthing rooms, so soon after delivering bub.
Finally a group of staff came out fast to me LOL They panicked I reckon. Jess told me later that when she went into the emergency department that the lady started asking questions and trying to fill out forms. Jess told her that she is not answering her questions and filling out forms, that her Mum had just given birth and needed a wheelchair now! LOL That's my girl! One of the women that came out was one I had seen in the midwife clinic, antenatal appointments. She remembered me and my wish to have my baby at home, she knew I had done this before and so was relaxed with me. I asked her if she could put a clamp on bubs cord so the ribbon wasn't getting soiled and creating a problem. She did this on the passenger seat of the car for me after bub was taken out of her seat. She asked about the placenta to which I told her was in the container on the floor beside her. She checked bub over and said I did well! She looked alert and healthy. Jess and her then helped me get everything together, with Faith, then she wheeled me up to the birthing suite. I got put in a room and then she handed me over to the staff there. The midwife asked if I was staying and I said that I would stay long enough for them to do their checks and that I was then going home. I said that I had spoken to the woman who ran that department while I was pregnant and she had said that it was okay to do so. That said the midwife started on the paperwork. Another midwife did check on my blood pressure and prodded my stomach and looked at the blood loss etc. She asked me if I wanted to be checked over to see if I needed stitches. I said no and told her I was happy being left alone and that I never tear and I only had a small graze that stung a little when I went to the loo. Nothing bad. Then the food was being served and I got a really yummy spread of food. I was so grateful as I hadn't eaten all day. There was juice, tea/coffee, soup, sandwiches, fresh chicken and salad, bread roll, cheesecake and fruit, I think...! It tasted so yummy! It was worth driving to the hospital just for the food. ;) Plus I wanted to know her weight and height measurements. I had weighed myself at home and then weighed myself holding her and that showed her at 9 pounds. When they weighed her they said 9 pound 1 ounce. 4135 grams. They didn't do her height though. I got that a week later with her 1st maternal health visit/checkup. By then she was 52cm long, her weight was 4150g. Later the midwife asked if I wanted the placenta checked in front of me or in another room, I said in front of me. So she brought it in and explained everything to us as she did it. Faith thought it was fascinating, got really close. Jess was interested but grossed out at the same time LOL. All of it had come away and all was well.
Later bub got her Hepatitis shot and I got the whooping cough booster. All went fine with the doctors check on bub and about 5 hours after we arrived, I was able to leave. All paperwork done including the letter I needed to register her birth. We then went home, all of us exhausted.
Overall it was a long painful birth except the pushing time of unbearable pain which was nice and short. Looking back there was no particular time that showed to be the best time to go to the hospital. Even if I had wanted to. Even at a point when I thought maybe I would, it as already too late to be able to drive. I didn't consider an ambulance as there was no emergency. I am thankful again that all went well and I did it on my own without any interference.
I feel blessed to be able to hold our baby daughter... Izabelle Lilja, my daughter to my soulmate!!