Artist Elite Series New models for 2020. Ballsy and very feminine at the same time. It can enhance, rename, delete, and extract files inside unique image archives in the very informal method. I am completely new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal every day. The commercial VPN industry is a minefield to navigate and many open source solutions are a pain to use or ill-suited for the task. See more ideas about Learn sign language, Baby sign language, Sign language.
To anyone who posted her birth story right after her baby was born – mad respect to you. I haven’t had the time/ energy/ sanity to write mine until… well if I don’t write it now, I’m going to forget the whole damn thing. This will get long, so GRAB YOUR DECAF LATTES AND HERE WE GO.
First, to get the specs out of the way: Name
: Riley Josephine (Josephine is after my late MIL, who would have spoiled this girl rotten) Born
: 4/4/2015 11:24 AM Pacific Time Weight
: 6lb 12.3oz/ 3,070.25 grams Height
: 19.5in/ 49.53 cm Apgar
: 9 at 1 min, 9 at 5 min
Pictures, musings, and tips are at the bottom :)
OK, so I’ve been thinking about writing this since the moment Riley clambered out the depths of my uterus 18 (already?!) days ago. But since my labor was so long, I wasn’t sure what day to start the story at. So I’m sticking to the main event (active labor), with a smattering of summaries for the days leading up to it. Wednesday 4/1/15, T-minus 3 days
After DH (who I will refer to from here on out as Mr. Linux) left for work, my morning waddle to the bathroom revealed a bloody show. Wiping produced a mucousy, pink-tinged substance, kind of like strawberry jam. More wipes, more jam. I hadn’t bled this entire pregnancy (not even after sex) so I knew something was happening. Contractions every 10-20 minutes started. I was both excited and nervous! Mr. Linux and I had just tried perineal massage for the first time the night before, with evening primrose oil. Seems like it worked like magic. After losing my plug and having several contractions, I texted Mr. Linux. Mr. Linux
: I told my boss that things “could be happening”. Everyone up to my CEO was very understanding, since they’ve all had children already. They told me to GTFO and work from home as needed.
A quick call to my doula and midwife revealed no guarantees that I was in true labor. So for the remainder of the day, I tried to rest. But every time I managed to fall asleep, I would wake up to a pretty painful contraction. As a result, I no longer liked sleep. I got about 2-3 hours of collective sleep in that night, waking every 10 minutes to a contraction. Thursday 4/2/15, T-minus 2 days
True to my midwife Lin’s words, nothing exciting happened yesterday beyond losing my mucous plug and the beginning of some contractions. The joys of prolonged pain and lack of sleep! Strangely enough, I wasn’t remotely tired. I’m convinced there was some sort of hormonal magic going on because I don’t usually function at all with less than 7 hours of snoozles at a minimum. And here I was bouncing around, willing my contractions to continue and for the interval to shorten.
My 39-week appointment was at 2 PM. Since my contractions hadn’t gone away altogether, Mr. Linux decided to work from home again and accompany me to see Lin. This day is largely a blur now, except for these highlights:
Friday 4/3/15 6 AM, T-minus 1 day 5 hours
- A cervical check by Lin revealed I was at 1-2 cm. Bag of water hadn’t broken yet, but she said that she could feel the baby’s head. That, for some reason, weirded out Mr. Linux a bit.
- We stopped by my favorite milk tea place on the way home and picked up my favorite drink (milk foam green tea with white pearls by Gong Cha – Google it) and ran into my coworker, who was due on 4/17 with her 2nd. We chatted as we waited for our drinks and I told her I wasn’t sure if this was the real deal, but I had been contracting for a day already. She wished me good luck.
- After we got home, we did another round of perineal massage.
- The cervical check + massage kicked my contractions into gear. For the rest of the day I was consistently on a 10-minute schedule, lasting about 1-2 minutes each. The pain was slowly creeping to my back.
- Again, I had a night of catnaps between contractions.
AGONIZINGLY slowly, my contraction intervals shortened to every 8-9 minutes. By 6 AM, although I didn’t feel physically tired, my mind felt wrung. We decided to call doula Alicia over to show us how to make labor progress.
Alicia arrived shortly before 7 AM with her handy dandy doula bag of goodies to find me in high energy and good spirits. This promptly told her that I was not far along in labor at all. To quote her, “you get meaner when you’re in active labor.” This coming from a woman who had a successful home birth 15 months ago. I believed her.
Friday saw me eating 3 square meals (which I NEVER believed would have been possible because my sister only managed to eat a bit of breakfast, and my SIL didn’t eat anything at all. They both had ~12 hour labors), taking 2 walks at the park next to our house, marching around and around our condo community, doing squats and lunges up the stairs, bouncing on the birthing ball, slipping into our bath tub (which SLOWED DOWN the labor, argh), hanging on to Mr. Linux as my contractions grew increasingly painful and focused on my back… by late-afternoon I was growing seriously tired of the slow pace of progress, and the back labor was NOT helping. Every contraction felt like a Super Saiyan was shooting energy balls directly into the small of my back (because I know exactly how that feels).
At 7 PM, mid-contraction (I was in a hands and knees, head bowed into the rug position), I let out a sob. Then I sobbed for the next 15 minutes. I had reached a breaking point and my mind and body were struggling to accept that – I felt like a weak piece of crap. I wasn’t even in active labor yet, and I was making the decision to throw in the towel and go to the hospital. Both Alicia and Mr. Linux assured me that we were doing the right thing, that I wasn’t weak because I was on day 3 of practically no sleep and continuous contractions. They mutually agreed that a change of environment might move things along as well. This helped a lot, though I still couldn’t stop crying.
I finally settled down enough to call the midwife’s office to let them know I was headed to the hospital. I noticed I was having more trouble talking through my contractions now, and that felt encouraging.
Mr. Linux summoned our good friend Mike, who had agreed to babysit Korra
while we were at the hospital. He got our hospital bags packed into the car while we waited. Korra leaving the house had a certain sense of finality for me – like, this is it. There’s no going back now.
We piled into our car, and Alicia into hers. And off we went for a 35-minute drive to the hospital. I was terrified that my water would break in our brand new car, so I was sitting on a puppy pad. But my amniotic sac hung on resolutely. Mr. Linux drove super gently, and my contractions mercifully backed off and were very manageable during the car ride. 9:50 PM
– we arrived at the hospital’s ER, and I waddled in clutching my VIP (very important pillows). Starting with the reception nurse, EVERYTHING about the hospital was fantastic. It turns out that Maria, not Lin, was the attending midwife of the night. Didn’t matter to me – both midwives have over 30 years of experience catching thousands of babies. I knew I was in good hands.
I was promptly wheeled into our private labor and delivery ward. The hospital was peacefully quiet, and the admission process was quick and easy. Alicia arrived and met us in our room; a nurse quietly floated in to hook me up to wireless fetal heart rate and contraction monitors, and then we were promptly left alone to settle in.
The lights were shut off, and Mr. Linux and Alicia set up the four flameless candles we had brought along around the room. I think some soft music was started. I changed from my PJ pants and Mr. Linux’s t-shirt into a hospital gown. Another friendly nurse came in around this time with a hospital-branded water bottle with a sippy straw, filled with ice water.
Once we were all comfortable (me contracting still), I decided it was high time to hit the labor Jacuzzi tub. The nurses set up the tub right away and paged us once it was ready. So off we waddled. Another nice nurse showed us the way and brought us towels, while Alicia and Mr. Linux clutched a few flameless candles and the robe I had packed. Alicia retreated and Mr. Linux settled into a straight-backed chair next to the tub.
The bath once again slowed down labor, so we started nipple stimulation. I promptly had one of the longest and most intense contractions yet. About an hour spent in the tub, and I decided to return to our room because I was pruning and the water was getting cold. The walk down the long hallway back to our room was so cold; I shook a lot. I’d guess this was around 2 AM. Contractions were every 6-7 minutes now. Progress.
Back to our room, more back labor. Alicia had been using a Spinning Babies technique to attempt to correct my back labor all day by shifting the baby. It had worked well when we were at home, but it didn’t really work now. It took the pain from an 8 to maybe a 7.5. Saturday 4/4/15 2 AM – 6 AM
- Another 4 hours of labor, and an unspoken consensus that nobody was happy with my snail-pace progress hung in the air. Maria the midwife came in at some point during this to check my progress, and explained that I had a bulging bag of water. This meant that my water wasn’t allowing baby’s head to engage or get lower. She suggested that she break my water to see if that got things moving, and if it didn’t, she would probably get me on Pitocin.
I uttered weakly that I didn’t want Pitocin and she asked why. I told her it was because I knew it would ramp up my contractions a LOT. I really meant “an unnecessary amount”, but I couldn’t elaborate anymore through the haze of contractions. She laughed lightly and said “that’s what it’s meant to do!”. They all probably thought I was crazy. Since I wasn’t happy with my progress, I decided to take the gamble anyway.
In she came with a foot long tool with a tiny hook at the end. A quick prod that felt like a REALLY deep cervical check, and something like hot mercury pooled out quickly.
My contractions ramped up as promised.
I somehow got through this part of back labor by chanting a mantra to myself (looking back, I was definitely delirious already): “this is not pain, this is just a sensation. Transcend it”. It’s how I used to get through my Charlie horses. Around 6 AM
- I was finally, FINALLY physically exhausted. The contractions had gotten so strong, and were 3-5 minutes apart (but it felt more like 30 seconds). I was peeing every 10 minutes. My final bathroom trip went something like this: contraction
, collapse onto Mr. Linux. Get helped into the bathroom. Contraction
before I reach the toilet. Collapse again. Contraction
on the toilet as I peed. Wipe, and collapse in front of the sink. Tried to exit the bathroom – contraction
again, this time throwing me onto all fours. Exited bathroom, one more for posterity
. Mr. Linux was terrified now, because I tried to punch the floor, REALLY hard. I couldn’t express my pain in any other way. He caught my hand, and I was angry that he wouldn’t let me finish my punch. I think my body wanted me to break my hand, so I could be distracted from the pain of back labor.
I should note that at this point, Mr. Linux had been chanting the same Hypnobirthing script to me for 24 hours. The script was about letting my body feel relaxation sinking in, and counting down from 5 to 1. By this point in labor, I loathed every stinking syllable of the word “relaxation”. Mr. Linux
: When we talked about the labor after, I agreed that I also REALLY hated the stupid word. It made no sense anymore.
I stayed on the floor after that last contraction, crying and shaking violently. Alicia and Mr. Linux tried to help me up but I refused; pain was wracking through my entire body. In a wavering voice, I uttered that I needed to see Maria the midwife. They both asked what for – and uttering my explanation made me feel, for the second time in under 12 hours, like a weakling.
I explained that I needed Maria to check how far along my dilation is. That I think I wanted the epidural, because “I can’t do this anymore”. I had been told that when women reached this stage, that they were hitting transition and it wouldn’t take too much longer for pushing urges to begin. Maybe an hour. I wondered if I had reached transition, or if I was simply too weak.
Admitting that I wanted the epidural felt like a huge wave of defeat, but equally a blanket of relief. Mr. Linux helped me into bed, and I gripped his fingers tightly as more back contractions crashed into me – they were extra painful when lying in bed. Mr. Linux
: She started passing out in between contractions. She’d hold onto me, then when it was over, she was just out. Until the next one started.
For some reason I was still afraid of vomiting all over myself at this point. I knew the risk of that increased with the epidural. Alicia helpfully pulled a pink-colored tub from a drawer and placed it by my head.
After some time Maria and a nurse bustled in and checked me. “6… no, 7 cm. Baby is at 0 station.”
Disappointment rang in my head. I was hoping to hear 9, 10 cm. My body knew before I did that it was time to wave the white flag. “Are you sure you want the epidural?” Mr. Linux asked. I nodded and, through violent trembles, I spoke our previously agreed key word for “I want the epidural and I’m serious”: Simba
Mr. Linux scanned the small crowd around my bed and said swiftly, “She means it. She wants the epidural.” I could hear the relief and urgency in his voice too. My mind and body then shut down. The only thing left for it to do was to shake in exhaustion.
Someone, a nurse maybe, muttered quietly that it would be another 30 minutes before the anesthesiologist could tend to me. In my mind, I despaired. 30 minutes was a lifetime now. That’s 6-10 contractions! But then came the saving grace from the same nurse: “we’ll get her hooked up on some Fentanyl now to take the edge off. It’ll make her a little disoriented…” I didn’t stay conscious long enough to hear the rest.
Next thing I knew, the nurse was by my side, gently guiding me through the IV hookup and getting reattached to the wireless baby heart rate and contraction monitors. At some point between now and the epidural, I was also put on the catheter. I felt the sting of the IV. The Fentanyl followed quickly, and I felt my next contractions noticeably wane in pain level. I also found that I was extremely dizzy, so I kept my eyes closed for good measure.