May 5, 2012 – our Super Moon baby!
10:20 PM – 5 lbs 14 oz
You might have guessed that I finally had him, since I’ve been off-line for so long now. I’ve got quite the circus on my hands with the latest addition to the brood, so it’s been even harder than usual to find time to post anything. Like most of my other babies, I went over due again. This time 9 days, and it took the power of the May 5 Super Moon to get things in motion.
I thought this pregnancy might never end. I was having prodromal labor for a couple of weeks prior to actually getting some labor that was very productive. We had prayed all along that this one would be fast, after the last two each being 40+ hours. Joab was born after only 8 hours and 20 minutes of labor, so I think those two weeks prior of slow, slow labor – while super miserable – helped to shave some time off in the end. Things got very intense, very fast since it was so abbreviated, but at least it was done!
That Saturday, just after noon, I had received a bouquet of flowers from work with a note that said, “Even if you aren’t in labor yet…” that they had sent because I had been having such a hard time physically the last few weeks. That was a nice surprise! After the older little boys had their lunch, I was getting ready to lay down for a nap with the three year old, when my water broke at 2 PM on the nose!
My husband had just left a short while earlier to go running errands, so I called him up and told him I was going to try to rest a bit and that he didn’t need to hurry, but not to poke around either. I tried and tried to rest, but laying down and napping wasn’t working because I was leaking too much so I went down and ran a hot bath to relax in. At least that way I was comfortable and already wet anyway! I ended up staying in that bath until about 8 pm, adding more hot water all afternoon and into the evening to keep it nice.
As I said before, things got intense FAST and it was a pretty hard labor. Having it go quickly was a saving grace, but it was hard. As it got near 10 PM or so, I was starting to feel a bit pushy. I also started to get this feeling like I had to get it all done NOW. I didn’t feel like he was moving down as quickly as he should have been for how I was feeling. This was the point in which education and instinct kicked in together and I started doing things automatically that I didn’t have time to process or understand until later, after it was all over.
Because he was slow moving down, I checked his progress and found that I had an anterior cervical lip that was holding him back. I pushed and spread my cervix with my fingers and managed to get the lip resolved so that I could get him to come on down. Not long after, his head was born and normally there is no huge urgency at that stage and I just let the rest happen as my body directs. This time though, I just felt that he needed to get out NOW and I was reaching in and hooking him under the arms with my fingers to help rotate and pull him down the rest of the way. I was pushing like crazy to get it done!
My husband caught him as he was born and he was a bit floppy and blue/grey in color. Mike passed him through my legs to me and I cleared his throat with my fingers, rubbed him vigorously with a towel and gave him some quick breaths with my mouth over his. Mike was at the bedside praying. Joab had not made a peep at this point, and his eyes were still closed. While working on stimulating him, I kept talking to him. He was starting to make some small cries but they were sporadic and weak. I was telling him it was ok and to just get mad and let it out. I don’t know how long it took, but it felt like time was standing still. I wasn’t scared strangely. I was perfectly at peace and just doing what he needed to have done to help him come around. Education coupled with instinct guided all of my actions without me having to actively process any of it. It was really pretty amazing! (It’s also one of the factors that made me comfortable with UC – in crisis, I tend to focus and become very calm and clear. I don’t lose my head.)
Joab began to cry finally, but then settled quickly and pinked right up. Actually he got RED and stayed that way for several weeks! He was hyper-pink! As I was holding and looking at him, I shifted to get more comfortable. (I was sitting on the floor on a pad at this point because I had been on my knees on the floor, leaning over a chair to birth him) When I shifted, I had a HUGE gush of deep red fresh blood. It was more than expected, and more than I had bled with any of my other births. I immediately went back into crisis mode and started assessing my own color, breathing, heart rate, how I was feeling in general, etc. to decide if I needed help or not to deal with a possible hemorrhage. I felt ok. My head was clear. I wasn’t experiencing any of the danger signs for excessive blood loss, so I just kept a close eye on things. Mike had come in the room just after the gush happened and was pretty concerned about the amount of blood, but it slowed after that and didn’t seem to be an active bleed anymore.
After a while of just meeting our newest little one and spending time with him, we cleaned him up, cut his cord and got him dressed. Time for me to take a shower! I had not yet birthed the placenta, so I checked myself to see if I was making progress. What I found was something that appeared at first glance to be a possible uterine prolapse. I didn’t want to scare the husband though, so I got myself gathered up enough to get downstairs to the bathroom and check things out there. As it turned out, it was the placenta, partially delivered but not completely detached, just sitting there! I don’t know how often you’ve had the chance to examine a placenta, but they look way different rolled up like a burrito where you just see the end than they do laying flat on a pad!
I was able to get the rest of the placenta delivered in just a few minutes with a little uterine massage and gentle pushing, and then I got showered up. Very little in this world feels as good as a nice hot shower after giving birth! It really is just so awesome!
We all got into bed about 1:30 AM that night / next morning, and slept wonderfully. Over the next couple of weeks I was able to finally process and put together all that had happened during my labor and birth. I believe that I had not only the anterior cervical lip, but also a late, partial placental abruption and possibly a mild previa. That is, the placenta began to separate from my uterine wall sooner than it should have, cutting off or at minimum reducing the oxygen that Joab was receiving prior to birth which is why he was born blue. The abruption and the possible mild previa would have been responsible for the gushing blood I experienced. Since the placenta was partially separated but my uterus was unable to contract, due to the birth not being complete, I was bleeding from my uterine walls, and it was backing up behind the partially delivered baby and placenta. I had suspected a very minor previa (part of the placenta covering the cervix) early on because of the location I had pinpointed it to be using my hand-held doppler, and I think that was accurate, which would have added to the bleeding.
Joab Aleksandar is 4 and 1/2 months old now and I still can’t quite believe that we have yet another baby in the family. I don’t know when it’s going to become real to me. It’s crazy! We are getting our new routines and life patterns more in order at this point, and the other kids absolutely adore him. They actually fight over who is going to spend time with him and constantly want to touch, kiss and hug him. I would never have chosen to have another at this age (42!) but I think it’s going to work out. JoJo is a sweet baby and usually pretty easy to care for – not to mention cute as can be!
Thanks for your patience while I try to get back to life!