So… I was kinda right with my last post. But we’ll start from the beginning. We named our baby Delilah Rose.
Delilah’s due date was August 15th. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that date came and went. Matt and I spent that day hanging out at Sunset Cliffs and we took the last pictures of my pregnant belly. We were going to try to get one where I hold the starfish in front of my belly but never got to do it. We were trying to hang out until sunset because it’s particularly beautiful at this spot but my bladder won and we ended up going to dinner at El Rancho in Ocean Beach. El Rancho serves vegan and vegetarian mexican food that’s fairly good. It needs some work in the service department but overall, a good dining experience.
Here’s what I looked like on my due date.
The next week, Matt’s parents drove into town from Minnesota. They drove a Toyota Matrix that we bought from them and stayed the week visiting. We mostly just hung out together while Matt worked. They had a flight on Saturday morning and left just 1 hour before Delilah was born.
Since I was 40 plus weeks, I decided that I needed to give my baby a “push” to come meet his/her momma. (I didn’t know the sex of the baby until she came out. I had been drinking red raspberry tea pretty much the whole 3rd trimester. Red raspberry tea helps strengthen your contractions so your labor may be quicker. By week 40, I still was having braxton hicks contractions but nothing that stopped me in my tracks. So I decided to get some advice from my hypnobirthing instructor about natural induction methods. She suggested long walks, sex, and just waiting. She said that evening primrose oil taken orally and vaginally would help soften my cervix. So… off to Henry’s I went to buy some Evening Primrose Oil. I bought the big bottle thinking I might need it. I ended up using only 4 capsules.
By Tuesday of last week, I still didn’t feel much so I called up Indigo Dragon in Encinitas for help. I scheduled an acupuncture session and a massage designed to help you go into labor. These techniques don’t work unless your body is ready for labor but I can vouch for the effectiveness. I scheduled my appointment for Thursday. I really wasn’t sure if I believed it was going to work. So Thursday, I show up for my first ever acupuncture treatment. Matt’s parents drove out to Encinitas with me and they explored the town while I got my treatments. I filled out some initial paperwork then Amy took me back to a very calming room where I disrobed. She inserted very thin needles into my lower back, shoulders, back of neck, feet and hands. None really hurt although I did feel a small pinch when she inserted the ones in my feet and hands. (These parts are more sensitive). I did feel some tightening in my uterus but nothing to write home about at this point. Then came my massage with Lori. She asked me how many weeks pregnant I was and she proceeded with the massage. I asked her to apply as deep of pressure as she could, and I basically got a deep tissue massage. Gosh that felt good! After it was all over, I relaxed for just a few minutes and stood up to get dressed. The second I did that, I felt a cramp in my back that made me stand still for a few seconds and catch my breath. “Gosh, could this be working already?”, I thought.
Matt’s parents came to pick me up and we went out for lunch at Q’ero in Encinitas. They serve Peruvian food. Very highly recommended by yours truely. The cramps continued thru lunch. I managed to drive us home as the cramps were noticable but didn’t stop me in my tracks. Yet. We got home and the contractions all of a sudden got stronger. I retreated to my bedroom with Waldo in tow. He saw that I was hurting and licked my face and just laid next to me as my cramps gradually got stronger. They were strong enough at one point that I called Matt to come home from work. The contractions were strong enough that by dinnertime, I actually didn’t want to eat. Actually, I did eat a cut up apple, but didn’t want anything more. At around 9 pm, the contractions stopped. I was both disappointed and relieved at the same time.
The next day, I woke up and had some breakfast. Then the contractions started again. I had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Biter that day and decided that I would wait it out until the appointment. I was contracting all thru lunch. Matt’s parents and I went to a little chinese restaurant that I love. I decided that if this was going to be my last meal, I’m going to have my favorite vegetable mu shu. After that, we all drove to the Dr’s office for my appointment. I was contracting pretty regularly and the girls at the office had me lay down in an exam room while I waited. Thank goodness. It was really hard to sit in a chair.
Dr. Biter walks in and sees that I am contracting. He says, “I’ll check your cervix and see where we’re at”. I told him that I was probably going to be closed but thinned out like I was last week. I had tried to check my own cervix the week before. It was 0 cm dilated but soft. But I had to really reach back there to find it and it hurt like the dickens. Dr. Biter did the exam and said that I was 1.5 cm dilated, completely effaced or thinned out, and the baby was really low. “I’ll see you tonight or over the weekend”, he laughed. I was sure that I wouldn’t birth the baby until later in the week. He offered to strip my membranes as my cervix was favorable to this procedure. As he said that, I had a contraction and begged him not to. He said that was fine and I would probably go into labor without stripping. I told him I was scared of labor and he really helped me by reiterating that this is the process that would bring my baby to me, that it’s normal, and nothing to be afraid of. He’s an awesome doctor especially if you believe in the power of birth and of womanhood.
We did a 4D ultrasound and biophysical profile that day to make sure everything was ok with the baby. The BPP is when the doc looks at baby’s movements, muscle tone, and makes sure that baby is “practice breathing.” My baby scored the highest 8/8 which was very reassuring. We saw some really chubby cheeks on this ultrasound which made us think the baby was going to be a boy. I told Matt we needed to decide on a name quick. Dr. Biter laughed when we said this.
Magically, my contractions stopped as soon as we left the office. We drove Matt’s parents around Encinitas and looked at the ocean at Moonlight Beach. I remembered that I was going to look at my contractions as waves. Each one would start, peak, and end. Then another would start but there would always be an end to them. We had dinner at the La Costa resort and headed home for sleep.
My baby wasn’t one to sleep at night and she kicked me contantly the night before she was born. I remember looking at Matt and Waldo jealously because they were able to sleep.
Around 5 am, my contractions started again. I went to the bathroom several times and at last noticed some bloody show. Contractions got stronger and stronger so I woke Matt up around 6:30. By 7 am they were coming regularly every 3-4 minutes and by 7 am, I was no longer able to talk thru them. I told Matt, we needed to go. He called Dr. Biter and they both thought that it would be a few more hours at home before I needed to go to the hospital. I said that I felt like I needed to go now but would wait until I was absolutely sure. By 8:45, I told Matt that we needed to go. We got dressed and threw the bag in the car and were on the way by 9 am. At this point, I didn’t even say goodbye to Matt’s parents because I needed all my wits to stay within myself. Poor Waldo was so confused. He tried to run after us according to Matt’s parents. He dug under the fence and was inconsolable. Matt’s parents got driven to the airport by mine.
We arrived at the hospital by 9:30 am. I listened to my hypnobirthing CD the whole way there trying to concentrate. At home I was able to cope by moving around and moaning but I didn’t have that option in the car. Matt said I was very quiet in the car. We got to the hospital and they led us to a room right away. The nurse had me get undressed then she hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor for a few minutes. Then she checked me. I was 3 cm. OMG…. She asked me about a birth plan and I replied that I was planning on a drug free birth but I was currently rethinking that plan. She placed an IV in my arm and told me that she would get things ready to make that happen as soon as I told her. She left Matt and I alone. I thought it was to get the anesthesiologist but I found out she called Dr. Biter and let him know that I was going to get an epidural. He told her that he would be right down to discuss this with me as it wasn’t my birth plan.
He showed up and gave me the pep talk of my life. I looked at him (I’m sure piteously) and said “I hurt.” He said that he knew and that I needed to ride my waves one at a time. My cervix was rechecked and he told me that I was now 6 cm. I changed 3 cm in the span of 30 minutes. He told me to get in the shower with Matt and ride the waves one at a time. I was stronger than I thought I was, he said.
I stayed in the shower for about an hour. Dr. B rechecked my cervix and I was closer to pushing. By noon I was completely dilated and ready for pushing. I pushed for 53 minutes until my baby girl was born. Here we are.
I found out later that Delilah tried to come out with her head crooked and her shoulders unturned. Dr. Biter had to do some fancy manuevers to get her out. I also had quite a bit of bleeding and they ended up having to use my IV to give me pitocin. I also got some other drugs to control the bleeding. Delilah Rose was 6 lbs 14 oz, 20 inches long. Here are some pictures instead of words:)
So we’re home now and adjusting to life as parents. Our big challenge now is breastfeeding and finding time to sleep:)
Until next time…