Thursday, April 8, 2010

Violet's Birth Story

Richard, Lily and I are proud to announce that our little Violet Elizabeth has joined us on Monday, April 5, at 5:23pm PDT.
Baby Violet, April 6, 2010

The labor and delivery couldn't have been more different from my birth experience with Lily. After having some issues towards the end of the pregnancy (pregnancy-induced cholestasis, pelvic pain, etc.), I was looking forward to my "due week" in between the original due date of March 31 and the adjusted date of April 8, even though I knew that both my regular midwives would be out of town. I was very sure, that Violet would make her appearance within that week, since Lily also arrived very close to her due date. After spending most of Easter Sunday sleeping and joking to Richard that I was saving up sleep for our daughter to arrive, I woke up around 2:30am on Monday night and started having some minor contractions around 3am. I was not alarmed yet, since I have gone through a very long prodromal labor with Lily, and the contractions were not worse than minor menstrual cramps. Around 5:30am I got out of bed because the contractions suddenly picked up in intensity. I went to the kitchen to get something to eat and drink to see whether that would slow things down again, and also pumped up my gymnastics ball, since bouncing around on one helped me tremendously while in labor with Lily. My contractions indeed slowed down a bit shortly after I heard Lily moving into our bed around 7am, and I joined Richard and Lily in bed for a while. Soon after, however, the contractions picked up again and I got out of bed once more. Richard and Lily found me bouncing around on my ball in the living room, sipping some tea. Around 8am I called my friend Danielle, who would watch Lily while Richard and I were at the birth center, to give her a heads up that we would most likely drop off Lily sometime during the day. I expected it to be sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, with our baby arriving at night or the next morning. Little did we know.. Around 10 am I suddenly felt sick and threw up. Little Lily witnessed the situation and became very upset; I asked Richard to go ahead and drop her off at Danielle's, just to make things easier on her. While he was gone I called the midwife's pager just to get a heads up on how to proceed, submerged myself in the tub to ease the back labor and waited for the midwife to call back. With my contractions sometimes only being about 3-4 minutes apart she told me to come in immediately since we were about 45 minutes from the birth center. I dried up and started packing the last things into our bag; as soon as Richard came back, we headed out to the birth center, where we arrived around 12:45pm after a quick stop for me to vomit some more. Once at the birth center I went in their huge birthing tub, where I labored and vomited for about another 3 hours; the midwife had to perk me up with some electrolyte water and "athlete's goo" because my body had used up all sugar and carbohydrate reserves and started digesting protein. After a quick trip to the bathroom I decided not to return to the tub for now and labored walking around; shortly after, around 4pm I started pushing. Our beautiful daughter Violet was born at 5:23pm; she is 21 inches tall and weighs 7lbs 14oz; she has strawberry blond hair and blue eyes.

Richard was the most amazing partner during this birth I could imagine, and I couldn't have done it without his patience. Our midwife and the midwife student were so wonderful, helping me through the back labor and pushing by compressing my hips and helping Violet through the pelvis. Even though I tore very badly with Lily and the doctor did a poor job stitching me back up, I did not tear at all with Violet, due to the midwife's expertise in easing her arm out from under her chin and helping me stretch. I cannot express my emotions about this amazing experience of completely natural and unmedicated childbirth; it was definitely a lot more intense than my birth experience with Lily, but something I would never want to miss! As soon as I had Violet in my arms the first time, she gazed at me and the world around her. She was just fully there, not under the influence of medications or stress and started nursing immediately. 

We are greatful for this experience and to have another healthy, beautiful daughter! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stephanie. Thanks for allowing me to use your birth story. I wasn't sure if you wanted to be added to the mailing list. If so, please send me your email address. Thanks again.