Iris Penelope Ford was born on Thursday April 23rd at 7.01am. She weighed a massive 9lbs 4oz and is really long, though hasn't actually been measured yet. She has extremely chubby cheeks and a bit of dark hair. From certain angles she looks like Felix, but mainly if you hold your hands over her cheeks and double chin. Haha.
Anyway, my hindwaters broke on tuesday, and I was given 48 hours to go into spontaneous labour before getting induced. We were really hoping for a homebirth and Kester started setting up the pool and everything. I was having contractions 6 minutes apart that were getting progressively more painful so it really seemed like something was happening. By Wednesday night though, things were pretty much the same. More painful than they had been but I still wasn't in active labour so we went to bed thinking we'd be going in for the induction the following morning. I was pretty disappointed really, but resigned myself to it and was at least able to see the positive in that we would soon have our little girl.
At 2.15 on Thursday morning, I rolled over in bed and felt a pop then an enormous gush that didn't stop, and soon realised this was the rest of the waters going, which was really quite unpleasant. I woke Kester up to tell him and we started to get up. However, he noticed that the fluid was green tinged, so it began to look like the homebirth was not to be. We called the hospital and they said to come in because it sounded like she had passed meconium in the womb. Pretty common in overdue babies (I was term +10 by now) yet still potentially dangerous. Having felt calm about it all up until now, I started to worry about what was going to happen, whether she would be okay etc. The contractions started coming thick and fast and were much more painful, and we made our way to the hospital.
The midwife measured me at 3am and I was only 2-3cm despite having had contractions for days, which was a bit of a disappointment. I wasn't even in active labour yet, even though they were so painful. The gas and air was doing a good job, and I put on the TENS machine, but was well aware of the fact that things were going to get much more painful and after a little while I started to wonder if I would need something more when it came to pain relief, especially now that water wasn't an option.
I managed to get by for a few hours by going into an almost trance-like state where I became really inward focussed, and used a combination of the gas, TENS, rocking in a rocking chair, and squeezing Kester's hand. By 5.30am things were really bad and I said to my midwife that I couldn't do it. She encouraged me to hold on until 6am when she was due to measure me again and we could see how long there would be to go. Both her and Kester were great at encouraging me to go a bit further but without making it sound like I would be wussing out by opting for something else.
At 6am she measured me and I was at 7cm which was very encouraging. She reckoned that at the rate we were going, we'd be looking at a 7-7.30am birth, which surprised me. I'm pretty sure her examining me made me dilate another centimetre very quickly and put me into transition. It was rather hardcore really, incredibly painful but I knew we were nearly there which kept me going. After a while I started to get the urge to push with each contraction and began making some very strange noises. The urge soon became uncontrollable, but rather than making me push to a pattern as I was encouraged to with Felix, my midwife let me go with what I thought was best and said to go with the flow.
The point at which I started pushing properly is a bit of a blur as it just sort of started without me deciding to do it. It was really intense, but not too painful. I just knew I had to get her out and although it felt like it lasted forever was only actually about 6 minutes of pushing. It actually felt like three or four massive pushes, though there was a point in the middle where the midwife said something about relaxing my knee and for some reason I thought she meant there was only the baby's knee left to deliver. I couldn't work out why it was taking so long and why it felt like there was a whole baby to go and it gradually dawned on me that I had misheard. I think I was a bit loopy by this point. Haha. I very nearly lost hope and really had to regather myself to carry on, but soon after Kester told me that he could see her head, and looked so pleased about it that it gave me the encouragement I needed to carry on, and when I did I managed to do a couple of massive pushes and out she came.
She was all the colours of the rainbow, including such wondrous hues as Meconium Green, Ribena Berry Purple and Left in the Bath too long White (and funnily enough Iris is Greek for rainbow, though that isn't why we chose it) but she was healthy and robust and showed no signs of problems from the meconium, even though there was a lot of it. In fact she scored 9 and then 10 on the APGAR. The midwife put her on my belly still attached, which I didn't get a chance to do with Felix, and it was a fantastic feeling. Kester managed to cut the umbilical cord this time because he wasn't standing there blubbing like a big girl as he did with Felix. :lol: She breastfed really well after only 30 minutes or so of being born and has a really strong latch. I'd forgotten how hard those little newborn gums are though. Ouch!
We had to stay in overnight so they could monitor any effects from the meconium, but are both doing well. She's a little chubster but we of course think she's gorgeous. Kester did say she looked a bit like Vincent Crabbe from Harry Potter, though I think this is a little cruel, especially now the puffiness has gone down a bit!
Felix isn't sure what to make of her yet. He's a little nervous of her and gets upset when she cries, but has been talking about her a lot, pays a lot of attention to what she's doing and I hope is getting used to her. I think there will be a few problems along the way but hopefully not too many.
And I'm feeling pretty well! I think that by not having drugs for the labour I felt really clearheaded afterwards and didn't have anything to get out of my system. I only had a tiny first degree tear, with no stitches and am feeling much less sore than I did with Felix, though I have to keep reminding myself to take it easy. I am exhausted though as the little madam was awake all night, so am looking forward to a nice early night tonight!
A few photos:
Grilled Chicken Burger
11 hours ago