If anyone else out there has birth stories they would like to share, I would love love love to read (and post!) them. I've said it before, and I'll say it again SHARING BIRTH IS IMPORTANT :-)
Here it is, Brandon's journey into his parents' arms:
Thursday, June 16, 2011You're Here!
Dear Brandon Connor,
You're finally here! You were named after Daddy's oldest brother, who tragically lost his life in a car accident in 2000. Connor is a name that both Daddy and I liked.
At about 12:15 am on June 14th, I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep when I felt and heard a "pop" in my abdomen. I had heard that that's a common sensation to feel when the amniotic sac (bag of waters) breaks. I didn't feel any fluid right away, until I sat up in bed to switch sides. I woke up Daddy and told him that my water just broke. He turned on the bedroom light and sure enough, the sheets were wet. Good thing we'd put the waterproof mattress cover down a few days before! We first paged Beth, the midwife on call at the time and told her. At that point I wasn't yet feeling any contractions, so she advised me to take a few Tylenol, and try to get back to bed, as it can sometimes take up to 24 hours to start having contractions. Next I called my parents to let them know, as my Mom was planning to come over and hopefully be there for the birth. She would have to wait until the morning to catch the ferry over. Daddy sent a text message to his Mom. So we went back to bed despite our excitement and realization that the day had finally come. I was shaking like a leaf! About half an hour later, I started to feel some contractions. They weren't painful at first, just uncomfortable so I was able to partly ignore them. Within a few hours they were getting uncomfortable and I had to breathe through them, while at the same time sitting up in bed and walking back and forth. Around 4am, it was obvious that I wouldn't be getting any more sleep, so we got out of bed and moved to the living room. Daddy started timing my contractions, and they were about four or five minutes apart. Over the next two hours, it started to get intense. I generally would get down onto the floor on my knees, and put my arms on the couch. I moved my pelvis around which felt better than staying still or standing up. I was breathing quite hard by this point, and Daddy would help me take drinks of water when each contraction was over. Around 6:30am, Daddy called Beth again to let her know that things were getting pretty hard for me. I managed to speak to her on the phone and answer her questions, but I had to stop talking during the contractions. She suggested getting into the bath, and let us know she was on her way. Daddy ran the bath nice and warm, and in I got. I found it relaxing to lay back a bit in between contractions, but found I had to sit up and squeeze Dad's hand to help me through. I was already starting to feel pressure and was getting the urge to push, but was trying hard not to until Beth arrived. About 45 minutes later she finally arrived and I soon got out of the bath. I moved into our bedroom and got on my hands and knees on our bed. She checked my cervix and found that I was fully dilated and could start pushing anytime. Daddy held my hands the whole time and I started pushing with each contraction. It wasn't long before I laid down on my side, with one knee bent and facing the ceiling. This helped to open up my pelvis so that you could come down as easily as possible. After 20 minutes or so, Beth told me to reach my hand down and feel your head. That was pretty cool, and it gave me more energy for pushing, knowing you were so close. After about an hour of pushing, I felt some intense burning and stinging as your head and shoulders emerged. Then your body and shoulders came out, and that was the best feeling ever! After about nine hours, the hard work was done and we finally got to meet you at 9:35am on June 14th. I was 39 weeks and 4 days along. I wanted to have music playing during my labour, and you were born to the song Let Her Cry by Hootie and the Blowfish. It seemed appropriate, since I had a few tears of joy! You laid on my chest for a while, and Dad was able to cut your umbilical cord. Eventually one midwife did your newborn checkup, which included listening to your heart and lungs, and weighing, measuring you. You were smaller than we thought you'd be; 6 pounds, 14 ounces! You were 21 inches long.
After your birth I still had to deliver the placenta. I was given a shot of oxytocin in my leg as you were being born to help my uterus contract and squeeze out the placenta. I just had to push a few times gently and it came out. The next part was a bit scary for Daddy and I, because I continued to bleed, and lost more blood than the midwives generally consider to be normal. They said I lost about 800ml, and the average for a vaginal delivery is 500ml; 1000ml for a C-section. They gave me another shot of oxytocin and began to massage my uterus on top of the abdomen. It wasn't working though, so they had to give me another drug that just dissolved under my tongue. That did the trick, and the bleeding finally stopped. Beth had to give me a few stitches since I had a bit of tearing, but she said they were very minor and would heal within a few days. Once that was done, I finally got to hold you and try to breastfeed. Daddy and I just admired you and couldn't stop staring! You were born with dark hair like me, and the typical bluish-grey eyes that most newborns have. It will be interesting to see what color they turn out to be.
My mom arrived about two hours after your birth, and was sad that she missed it. She did her best though, and she fell in love with your gorgeous face right away! So that's the story of my labour and your birth! Beth told us that it was a relatively quick labour considering this was my first pregnancy. She also said I have a very high pain tolerance, since I didn't have any painkillers during labour and it all happened quite quickly. As I said it was intense at the end, but part of me also wondered when it was going to get worse!