Thursday, January 31, 2008
Nevaeh's birth story
27 February 2007..
by Mum Hannah
Nevaeh was born at home on Tuesday 27 February 2007. She is my 2nd child, but 1st home birth and in comparison to my son’s birth, this one was so much better.
My pregnancy went mostly well, I didn't enjoy the physical demands of it, but certainly seen it as a blessing. I was eating well and I felt absolutely fine, just a little tired now and then. After the 28 week bloods, we discovered I was anaemic. My midwife did not feel too comfortable to provide birth care at home and she mentioned risks associated with low iron levels. I started straight away on a liquid iron supplement, taking double the recommended dose, and went out and bought lots of iron and vitamin C rich foods. I thought I felt better and had a bit more energy, but after the 36 week blood test, the result was still exactly the same! My body obviously didn't take to this particular supplement. I was absolutely gutted. And I now only had a couple of weeks to get the levels up. So I tried another supplement, this time a tablet form, and again doubled the dose. I also started taking molasses. I had the final blood test at 39 weeks. In just 3 weeks it had gone up 10 units… "HOORAY!"
Just a few days later, I went to bed as usual and got a couple of hours sleep. At about midnight I got up to go to the toilet. I went back to bed and started getting quite sore and uncomfortable deep in my pelvis. It’s hard to explain because it felt kind of crampy, and was coming and going, but it wasn't contractions. If this were my 1st baby I probably would've thought it was contractions. At the last ante natal visit, baby still had not engaged, so I was pretty sure that’s what was happening, she was moving down. I couldn’t sleep, but stayed in bed and tried to. The most comfortable position I could find was being crouched over on my knees and forearms with lots of pillows. Eventually I dozed off.
In the morning, Jim went off to work quite early as usual, and I took Kian to school. I'd just got home and.. "wow, what was that? Was that a contraction?" hmmm…? So I stood around, by myself, waiting to see if another one came... and it did, about 10 minutes later. And then another. "Well maybe today’s the day," I thought.
We needed a few things from the supermarket, so off I went, stopping in at Community Birth Services to see if a pool was ready yet and to tell Aileen that I thought I was in early labour as she was my support person. We were planning to have my Mum at the birth too, (she lives in Taupo – 3 hours away) so I was texting her whilst browsing around in the supermarket. The contractions were still about 10 minutes apart, lasting about 10-20 seconds and were quite mild. But by the time I got half way round Pak n Save, I was having to pause, lean on the trolley and breathe. Mum called me back while I was heading back to the car... "Hurry up and get home! Hurry up and ring Jim and your midwife! I've gotta get the brakes fixed before I can come down."
Well I didn't go straight home, I needed decent batteries for the camera. So I stopped in at Dick Smiths and had a contraction there too. I think the retail guy (who is one of Jims mates!) was freaking out a little.
I got home and rang Jim, he was 20 minutes out of town. Then I lay on the couch and rang my midwife. I said I didn't need her yet but I just wanted to let her know what was going on. I was finding it hard to relax, when the contractions came I just seemed to tense up. When Jim arrived home, we went straight down to get the pool. We then went to pick Kian up from school as having him there was really important to me too. It was getting quite intense now, and I couldn't make it all the way to Kians classroom, so Jim went ahead and I leaned on the trees. That was really nice.
Once we got home I took some rescue remedy, and lay on the couch again to watch Jim and Kian set up the pool. Lying on the couch was no good, so I tried a few different positions. I realised this labour was going quite quickly. I was still tensing up during a contraction, like I was trying to resist it, knowing full well that I just needed go with it. I rang Aileen and asked her to come over. I also rang my midwife back and asked her to come. I thought the contractions were only lasting a few seconds but apparently they were about a minute long. I couldn't wait for the pool so I went and ran myself a bath.
Being in the bath felt really good, the warmth of the water took the edge off the contractions, it just wasn't big enough. Aileen arrived soon after, and massaged my shoulders which was bliss. I think Jim felt a lot better having someone else there too. Mum rang while I was in the bath and she was on her way. Kian kept coming in and asking if I was OK, and Jim was still sorting out the pool. He was rushing because he knew I wanted a water birth. I felt sorry for him as he'd never seen the pools before and had had no time to read over the instructions or practice setting it up. I'm not sure when, but my waters must've broke while in the bath. It was getting hard and twice I said "I can't do it!"
My midwife arrived and I asked her to check my cervix, despite saying a few weeks ago that I really didn't want any V.E's. I just needed to know that all this work wasn't for nothing and I felt like I was almost ready to push. The second midwife arrived too. There was a lull with the contractions for a while - they weren't lasting as long and they weren't as strong as before. By now the water was getting cold and I was fed up not being able to move enough in the bath. "I'm going to my room now," I announced, "and I'm going to start pushing soon too."
I got to my room and my midwife checked me. I was so relieved when she said I was fully dilated. Jim gave up on the pool and came into our bedroom. I got into a kneeling position over our bed and asked Aileen to show Jim how to press on my sacrum. Once I started pushing I really needed to concentrate. I had Jim on one side, Aileen on the other and the two midwives behind me, all of them encouraging me. I asked if Kian was in the room and someone said he was. I was feeling baby move down with each push, then slip back up once I stopped. I was getting frustrated with this and tried to push for as long as I could. The midwives said the slipping back is a good thing as it allows the birth canal and perineum to stretch slowly.
I asked for a hot flannel for my perineum and a hot water bottle for my lower abdomen. A few pushes later and my midwife asked if I'd like to feel babys head. It felt weird and I didn't like it but I'm glad I did reach down to feel. Jim didn't want to catch our baby, he just wanted to hold my hand. Her head was soon born, and then her body. And there was a lot of blood. She was passed to me and I was trying to see if she was a girl or boy. I was pretty overwhelmed! I had wanted a physiological third stage but blood kept gushing so my midwife clamped the cord, the second midwife gave me an injection into my thigh and Aileen was feeding me some homeopathic remedies. I felt fine, so happy to be holding my baby girl.
The placenta came out and I was still bleeding heavily, so I was given another injection into my thigh. I really don't like needles but these are really little, just a tiny prick, so I handled them fine. My midwife was rubbing up my uterus and I think they were nearly ready to call the ambulance. The bleeding must've slowed pretty soon after that because they didn't ring the ambulance. Kian had watched the whole thing. I think he was so brave and calm. He watched more than Jim who was apparently looking at the wall most of the time.
I hadn't been to the toilet during the labour and the midwives said I really needed to empty my bladder so my uterus could contract down properly. I sat on the toilet and rang my Mum to tell her the news. She was still an hour away. I couldn't pee so a catheter was suggested and after trying for a little longer, I accepted.
Afterwards I got to crawl into my own bed, with my lovely new girl and her Daddy. And being at home meant her big brother was free to do as he pleased. My mum arrived soon (with the video camera – too late to use it!)
So a few things didn’t go as planned but we still all had a great day. We had great midwives who intervened only when they needed to and our brilliant birthkeeper Aileen whose support was absolutely amazing.