Becoming a New Mom -- Again
- Wednesday, 23 March 2011
My husband and I welcomed our third child on January 30th, 2011. We had a beautiful little girl and she weighed 7 pounds 1 oz.
Going into Labor
It was a Saturday night and I was looking forward to a nice relaxing evening since my older daughter had been sick that day with fever. About 30 minutes after I sat down on the couch to relax I felt my first contraction -- at 7:58 pm. At first I wasn't sure if it was labor pains. You would have thought that being my third pregnancy I would remember what 'labor' feels like, but somehow I still questioned it. So I got my iphone and started monitoring the contractions. At first they were very sporadic -- 10 to 15 minutes apart, lasting anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds. The contractions remained sporatic for hour before I decided to call my midwife and let her know what was happening. My midwife, Robynn, told me to continue monitoring the contractions and to call her back in an hour for an update.
An hour passed and the contractions got stronger but they were still pretty sporatic so when I called my midwife back, she told me to go and take a shower. She said that if I was in labor, a shower would help to bring it on fully or stop it. I had never heard that before, but I listened to her and got into the shower at around 9:30 pm. At around 10 pm I called my midwife back and told her she was right -- the shower definitely helped to stimulate labor as there was no doubt in my mind I was having a baby that night (after the shower my contractions were every five minutes or less and lasted about 50 seconds to 1 minute each).
We called our relatives to come and watch my other two kids and we arrived at the hospital around 11:45 pm. Upon my arrival, my midwives checked to see how much I was dilated and I was at 5 cm -- halfway there. I was disappointed because the pain was very intense at that point and I really thought I was much further along. Robynn told me she estimated we had another 2-3 hours before I would be fully dilated so I put on music (I had my iphone with me), drank lots of coconut water and organic apple juice, and sat on a birthing ball and waited.
There were two midwives present at my birth -- the primary midwife (Robynn) and a student midwife (Meaghan). They were awesome. There was supposed to be a third midwife (Vicky -- a 30 year veteran who coached Robynn through my ECV), but she didn't make it until after I already gave birth. The reason was because Vicky asked Robynn to phone her about an hour before she thought I was going to deliver. Since I was only 5 cm along, we all thought I wouldn't give birth until around 3 am. That wasn't the case.
At 12:50 my pain intensified and all of a sudden I felt a gush of water on my legs. My water broke! That was the first time my water ever broke while in labor (it had to be broken for me with my first two deliveries) so that was a new experience for me, which I thought was pretty cool. However, I did know from previous births, that once my water broke, the baby wasn't far behind. And I was right. At 1:03 am, my beautiful baby girl was born.
So how did I go from 5 cm to 10 cm in only an hour? It could be that it was my third baby and it usually happens faster. Or it could be that I used these energy patches that a friend of mine gave me weeks before I went into labor. He told me to put them in my hospital bag and to put them on when I went into labor. He told me that the patches could help minimize my labor pains. I was sceptical, but since I decided not to have an epidural, I willing to try them (I figured it couldn't hurt). I forgot about them until I got to the hospital and was looking through my bag to get some juice. I put them on and then forgot about them until I was in the recovery room thinking about how painful the delivery was.
It had been a while since I last delivered a baby (5 years, 10 months to be exact) and I forgot just how painful it was. Luckily it was short lived and the intense pain portion of my labor only lasted for about an hour. As a whole, I don't think the patches helped to reduce the intesity of my pain during the actual delivery, but I do believe they helped in other ways. For example, I beleive they helped to relax my body, which in turn helped my cervix dilate faster -- which is why I went from 5cm to 10cm in such a short time period. I also believe the patches helped me in the recovery room as the post-delivery contractions were manageable and I only needed to take pain medication once (early on).
The patches are made by a company called "Lifewave" and they work by stimulating acupuncture / acupressure points on the body. I am a big believer in acupunture and have it often (in fact I had acupuncture the day before I went into labor to help induce it and it worked) so I understood the premise of the Lifewave patches. I would love to hear from other women who have used the Lifewave patches during labor if they experienced similar results to mine, so if you or anyone you know have birthing experience with them, please email me.
This was the second time I delivered a baby using midwives and I loved it. The care I received throughout my entire pregnancy was superb and their philosophy is in line with mine. After experiencing both natural and conventional births (I delivered using an OB with my first child), I would have to say I enjoyed my natural birthing experiences much better. It isn't for everyone, but it is worth looking into soon after you hear those three amazing words: "You are pregnant!".