Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mailaya's birth

I can't believe I haven't posted since I was first pregnant with Mailaya! Sheesh. You'd think I'd been tired and busy and feeling like crap for the last nine months. . .oh wait, I was/did!

But, I'm not pregnant anymore!

This is mostly for me, because this blog is as close to keeping a journal as I come these days. And I though Mailaya deserved her own post. :)

Mailaya was born Jan 22, at 2:30 am. On Jan 21, I had an appointment with Pete the midwife, and asked him to strip my membranes. I was 3 cm dilated and 50-60% effaced (I had been using Evening Primrose Oil like crazy, trying to dilate enough to be a candidate for membrane stripping. It worked!) I'm not usually so desparate for my babies to come (see Adia and Dylan's birth stories, 16 and 11 days late, respectively) but I was up against a wall this time. Tax season was already starting, so John could take one week, and one week only, and sooner rather than later. My mom was unable to come out because of her chemo. I really, really needed baby #4 to come somewhat on time, so John could help me that first week.

Lucky for me, stripping my membranes worked. I had contractions on and off all day. We were joking about how to determine when, exactly, active labor started, because they were so irregular for so long. At 9:25 pm, I was walking on the treadmill, and John said something (I don't remember what) and I told him to shut up. And he threw his hands in the air and said, "It's official! You really ARE in labor!"

Apparently I only tell him to shut up when I am in labor. Huh.

Even after that, the contractions just weren't that strong, and weren't getting closer together, although they were getting more and more regular. Finally, around 11 o'clock, I went upstairs and told John that I felt like it was time to go, even though the contractions were still 7 minutes apart. They weren't that close together but I felt shaky and nauseated. John took one look at me and said, "It's time." I took a shower, and had three contractions spaced 6 minutes apart. We got in the car, and in the 30 minutes it took us to get the hospital, the contractions went from 4 minutes apart to 3 to 2 and a half. We got to the hospital at 12:30. I was five cm upon admission. My midwife arrived at 1:30, and broke my water at 1:45; I was seven cm at that point.

The next part seemed to take forever. Based on past births, I figured breaking my water at seven cm would throw me into a quick transition, I'd push for a few minutes, and BAM! baby. Instead, even though I dilated almost completely very quickly, I didn't feel any urge to push. There was a tiny lip on the cervix that wouldn't resolve. I moved from the bed to the rocking chair to the bed again. At one point I looked at John (it was a few minutes before two) and said, "This will all be over by 2:30," and he agreed. I was trying to gear myself up for a set amount of time. At 2:15 I STILL didn't feel like pushing, and I thought about how I was wrong about the time.

Shortly after that, I sat on the bed, looked at Pete, and said that I really didn't think I could do it much longer.

I didn't notice at the time, but Pete told me later that he and Amy, the nurse, looked at each other; then he pulled on his gloves and uncovered the table with all the birthing supplies. Good thing, because I started to push with the next contraction, and Mailaya was born at 2:26 am.

Pete says when a woman who's birthing without meds says she can't do it any longer, it usually means it's time to have a baby.

So even though it FELT like forever, it was only 45 minutes from hitting 7 cm to holding Mailaya in my arms. She is beautiful (full lips, lots of dark hair, long fingers) and opinionated. Dylan was the most laid-back baby ever. Mailaya has less patience, but that's probably a good thing. Being the fourth, if she DIDN'T stick up for herself she might never get mom's attention!