Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oliver Linden

Oliver Linden is here! He arrived on June 9 at 11:30 PM. It was an incredibly quick and easy delivery. If you are interested in the details, keep reading!

Oliver Linden Hall

Saturday, June 8, Chris, Agatha and I had a wonderful time at the neighborhood celebration that was happening in the park across from our house. Agatha went in her first bouncy house, rode a pony and got a balloon and an ice cream cone. It was a pretty big day. I'm really glad we got to spend that special time with her since her brother would be arriving the next day - a week early! Later that evening, we headed to downtown Minneapolis to celebrate my niece's graduation from her Medical Assistant program. It was lovely to see a few of my brothers and sisters as well as my niece and nephews.

Sunday morning, Chris took Agatha to a kids in-store performance at The Electric Fetus. I took a ginormous nap and waited for my mom to come. Agatha's daycare was closed for two weeks, so my mom had been up watching her, since I was still working. My mom had thought about coming into town on Monday morning, but I had a midwife appointment scheduled for 9:00 and she had my car. So, she decided to come Sunday afternoon.

Around 4:30 or so, I was picking up the house a little and had what I considered to be my first contraction. My mom showed up around 5ish and I had another contraction soon after that, but nothing major. We just hung around for the next few hours and then Chris and I decided we had better get our bedroom set up for the little guy. (Procrastinate much?) After Chris and I did the initial rearranging, my mom and I gave the room and closet a good cleaning and organization. I also finished packing my hospital bag. During this time, I was having contractions fairly regularly. They weren't terribly painful, I would have to stop what I was doing and breathe through them but they were manageable. Then I noticed it was almost 7:30, so I decided I had better make dinner. My mom and I made dinner and I sat on my exercise ball at the table. I decided to call the midwife at that point, because the last few contractions had been 7 minutes apart. I left a message and my favorite midwife, Carrie, called me back about ten minutes later. I was so excited that she was the midwife on call. I had seen her for most of my prenatal appointments and secretly hoped she would be the one to deliver my baby. I told her I would be at the hospital in about an hour.

At that point, it just made sense to wait until we had given Agatha a bath and put her to bed before leaving, so Chris bathed her and we did our normal bedtime routine. I had to stand while Chris read to her - standing was the only way I could work through the contractions. They were getting more painful, but my standing and breathing technique was working really well for me. I remember being in the bathroom at one point and getting a contraction and yelling, "Time it!" through the door. My mom thought that was pretty funny. The only really, really painful contraction I had at home was when I was sitting down when one started. I tried to stand in the middle of it and it was extremely painful. I think we left for the hospital soon after that.

Minutes before leaving for the hospital.
Chris and I said goodbye to my mom and left for the hospital. I was not looking forward to the ride since, as I said, I was managing the pain by standing straight, not sitting. When the first contraction in the car came, I said to myself, "Draw the pain up, breathe the pain out." That became my mantra and really worked for me. hilariously, Chris got on the wrong road on the way to the hospital and we drove in a big circle for about five minutes. Soon enough, though, we arrived! At this point, contractions were about 3 or 4 minutes apart. We had to stop in the parking ramp while we were walking in for a contraction to pass. A group of people passed us and said, "Good Luck! Congratulations." which I thought was pretty funny.

Once on the labor and delivery floor, I got admitted to triage. I was admitted at 10:18 PM. They told me they wanted to monitor me for twenty minutes and I said they'd have to do it standing up because there was no way I was laying on a bed for twenty minutes. The nurse agreed and hooked me up. Soon my midwife and her assistant, who was training to be a midwife, came in. Her assistant checked me and said I had bulging waters, the baby was at -1 station, I was fully effaced and dilated 8 centimeters! I was in shock - Chris and I were hoping I had progressed to 6 centimeters but 8 was crazy! At my midwife appointment the previous Monday I was 3 cm, so I was just hoping to be more than that.

They decided to move me to my room right away and continue the monitoring from there, while they filled the birthing tub. We got to our beautiful room and I went to the bathroom and then was hooked back up to the monitors. They started filling the tub and fiddling with the temperature. The L & D nurse and midwife assistant were very encouraging and calm while I labored during the monitoring. Chris was amazing, rubbing my arms and reminding me to drink water. My midwife was out of the room at the time, taking care of a repair on another patient, so her assistant was an amazing asset to have.

I was finally able to get into the tub at a little after 11:00. The first contraction I had in there was very uncomfortable. I was really nervous about laboring in the tub since I was managing so well out of the tub, but I decided to try it. After the first contraction, I tried a different position, basically laying flat, floating in the tub. That was a lot better. After about three more contractions in the tub, my water broke. The assistant said the contractions would get a little more intense after that. She also asked me to be more vocal about how I was feeling, since I was laboring in almost complete silence. I would talk in between the contractions, but during them I just closed my eyes and breathed. I had three more intense contractions and then felt an incredible urge to push. I told them that and they immediately ran over to the intercom and asked for a delivery team. My midwife finally got to the room - she was very surprised that it was my room she had been called to.

I definitely lost my cool when it was time to push. I remember saying, "It hurts! It hurts!" and that I couldn't do it. The pushing was much more painful than the contractions. Luckily I only had to push three times. The first push had him crowning, the second delivered his head and the third his body. He was here! And he was perfect.

Having a water birth was a wonderful experience, even though I was only in the water for about 20 minutes before he was born. Chris said he looked down into the tub and saw Oliver kind of floating peacefully there waiting for the midwife to scoop him out. He scored an 8 and 9 on his first and second APGAR tests, the staff told us water  births usually get sixes or sevens, so he was very healthy. Final stats were 6 pounds, fifteeen ounces, 20 inches long. Head was 13 inches around. I had no tears or repairs needed - thank you, Oliver! Eight minutes passed from when my water broke to when he was delivered - 1 hour and 12 minutes after I was admitted to the hospital! I feel like my recovery was so much faster this time. I really liked being able to walk around immediately and I felt pretty much back to normal by the time we left the hospital.

I had wanted to get my placenta encapsulated again this time, but the staff accidentally threw it away. There was some confusion as to whether I had wanted to keep it or not, and it turned out to not be a big deal. I took some of leftover pills from when Agatha was born for a few days, but in the end decided I didn't need them.

Our time at home (three weeks already!) has been really great and Agatha is a wonderful big sister. We are enjoying getting to know this little guy - he's a keeper!

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