My Second UBAC – Link’s Birth

His story started so long ago it’s hard to know where to start.

After Midna, we thought we were done having children. It’s hard to want more when you might end up with only more loss and not life. It took us a long time to realize that the fear of loss wasn’t reason enough to not try, and we needed to believe we could have another Midna, beating the odds and sticking around.

In June, after catching the very first postpartum egg in May, we found out we were pregnant. To say we were shocked was an understatement! I took a test simply to rule it out, and when it came up positive, Blake and I couldn’t speak. Glade was the first to say something, and she was simply so excited it broke us out of our trance!

His pregnancy wasn’t easy. My best friend’s baby due the same time left too soon leaving a hole in our hearts and lives, HG hit hard and early, I had spotting and bleeding yet again, needed progesterone supplementation again, and further into the pregnancy had heart issues that turned out to be nothing but were scary before we knew what was going on.

But on we went. Soon we were nearing the end of another journey and about to embark on something we couldn’t have planned for.

On February 11th, at exactly 39 weeks, I had contractions most the day, but that wasn’t abnormal for me. When Midna went to bed at about 8:30 that night, they picked up and started to hurt in my back, a sign I was in labor with Midna, but wasn’t sure it would be the same this time. Blake was at work until 2am the next day, so I went about cleaning a bit and setting up the pool and other things, just in case. It kept me occupied.

At 12:30am, I decided things weren’t going to happen, so I went to bed.

SURPRISE! At 1:22am I woke up thinking I had peed myself, and was able to get to the bathroom without leaking much, but when I sat down on the toilet, my water broke in a giant gush that wouldn’t quit. I’ve never had my water break when I could see it before, and it was the strangest thing watching my belly shrink before my eyes.

The light was off since I thought it was simply pee, so as soon as it went from a gush to a trickle, I turned the light on. I was shocked to see the water wasn’t clear, baby had definitely passed meconium, though it wasn’t thick. I panicked a little, not having planned for this, and as soon as I got up, I called Blake to tell him. He went about getting someone to come in so he could come home, and I called my best friend Brenda to tell her to head up, even if birth wasn’t soon, I knew I would need here there just for her calm and strength.

I listened to his heartbeat a few times, before, during, and after contractions, and he was doing so great, most of the meconium fear went away. The rest left when Blake came home and gave me a blessing. We weren’t worried at all about it anymore, it seemed like just another part of this birth now.

One thing I knew but never realized or internalized, when your water breaks, it just keeps leaking every single time you move or baby moves or it just feels like it. I soaked through so many pads I eventually just used towels and cloth diapers instead! It was wonderful when the pool was finally warm enough to get in, then I didn’t have to worry about leaking.

Blake got home at around 1:50am, our girls woke up around 2 (I’m betting they could feel the energy in the air), and Brenda got here at about 2:30am. The pool was full, but cold, so pots were set to boil.

Blake had been up since 7am, so he tried to get Glade back to bed around 3 and he fell asleep instead. Brenda worked on getting the pool warm, and let me just say, this woman is a goddess. While I had very irregular contractions that hurt worse than my entire labor with Midna, she was heating water, keeping the girls occupied, cleaning, giving me counter pressure and massage just when I needed it most, and just being amazing.

My contractions never became regular. They would range from double peaking to two or five or ten minutes apart, and there was no way to know what would be next. The pool took the edge off, but even then, every one felt like my back, hips, and abdomen were being ripped apart.

At 5:30am, after Brenda got Midna to sleep in the Boba, I transferred her to the bed and got her to sleep next to Blake. The two contractions I had getting her to sleep deeper were the worst pain of my entire labor. Women that lie in bed during labor are my heroes, there is no way I could have done it. In the back of my mind I kept thinking that the hospital was just down the road and I could get an epidural so fast and be out of pain. Thank goodness it was never more than a hormonal thought of a woman in labor.

Once Midna was asleep, I spent a few contractions leaning over the birth ball with Brenda being amazing with her counter pressure. Soon after I got back in the pool, and she dozed on the couch, while still making sure I was drinking water and the pool was staying warm.

At around 6 (I think, I’m really fuzzy on times), I couldn’t find a position that was comfortable at all during contractions. Kneeling hurt, hands and knees hurt, sitting hurt, floating in the pool while holding the handles on the side hurt the least, but was still painful. I ended up lifting myself off the bottom of the pool, stretching out, and wiggling like a fish during each contraction. I must have looked ridiculous.

I wanted this labor to end so badly. In the back of my head I remember thinking that low tones and mantras birth babies, so during every contraction I would try to keep my voice as low as possible, and say “open, open” over and over. When the peak would near, I would feel almost out of control, like nothing would help and this contraction would last forever, and I would almost beg my body to open and have this end. Then it would ease, and I would rest until the next one.

The double peaking contractions were the worst. Just when I thought it would be ending, it would start again, and I felt so incapable of handling it. Thankfully they didn’t last as long as the first half, but I was so tired by the end of them that I worried they would keep going that way and I wouldn’t be able to catch up.

I knew that I could still have hours of this left, and tried to push the thought out of my head. Thoughts like this don’t help, and I needed to stay positive, even if just in my head.

At one point I remember looking up, and I could see outside getting brighter as the sun came up. This made me so mad. It had been less than six hours since my water broke, in my head I knew it could last until the sun went down, but seeing that light was so unnerving.

Right after, I had a contraction that felt completely different. It hurt so much worse, and then in a burst, my body started pushing. I had no transition, no regular contractions, no sign that I was this close, and my first thought was that it was too soon, but then I felt that hard head move down, and I flipped over to lean over the side of the tub.

Everyone was sleeping, Brenda was dozing, and I remember (and I’m so sorry about this!) getting mad at her and yelling for her to get Blake, as if that wasn’t what she was doing! He ran out, and calmed me down, and I made sure Glade was out there.

I pushed two more times and his head came out, while giving myself counter pressure on my clitoris and labia, and I was expecting it to be just like Midna, but his body didn’t follow. The contraction ended, and I felt his head and body rotate. I reached around to feel what was going on because my brain didn’t understand why he wasn’t out. His shoulders rotated, another contraction hit, and I pushed out one shoulder and arm and the rest of him followed right behind! 7:22am, exactly six hours after my water broke, he was born!

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We’ve never found out baby’s sex before birth, it’s not something we’ve ever wanted to know or have someone else tell us, so seeing we had a boy was such a huge shock!

(For some backstory, we were sure Midna was a boy, and were shocked when she came out a girl. A little bit after her birth I came to terms with the fact our boys just might always die, and I would be happy if we had three girls and no living boys. When he came out, it was as if that shield was torn down completely, and I lost it.)

(You can see the video of his head out to about 2 minutes after birth HERE)

After he was born, we stayed in the pool for over an hour. He nursed for a half hour, and once his cord stopped pulsing and I was ready, Blake cut the cord and took him. I have a hard time birthing the placenta, with Midna it took two and a half hours, and I finally just had to be alone to get it out. I tried to see if I could get it out in the tub, but it wasn’t happening. I took a dose of Angelica, and got out.

We put a bowl in the toilet, I sat down, and closed the door. It took only about 10 or 15 minutes of me talking and coaxing and praying, but all at once the placenta dropped into my hand, and into the bowl. No training membranes or stuck sac, the whole thing just came out, at around 9am. Being alone seems to be the thing I need to do for this final stage.

I peed, then checked for tears. My perineum tore the same place as it did with Midna, a long first degree/almost second, and this time I also had one of my labia tear on the inside.

I came back out to the living room and we weighed and measured him, 8 pounds 6 oz and 21.5″ long, my biggest baby by almost a pound!

His birth, well everything about him, was nothing that we planned. But now that he is here, it is so very fitting. He’s our surprise, the baby we didn’t know we needed so very much.

As I lie in bed breastfeeding him, I feel so very blessed to not only have three amazing living children, but a second beautiful UBAC to call my own.

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3 Responses

  1. Oh Kayce… He is exactly what you & your family deserve. He was written in your stars. And you his. I’m so over the moon for you. This baby truly deserves you. Enjoy your babymoon. Rest. Take it easy. I love you guys so so soooo much!!

  2. I was there and I am still in shock at how amazing you are! So calm even when you “lost control.” Amazing. I love how you worry about ME. Like I cared that you “yelled” at me I didn’t view it as yelling at all just your need for your husband. I am sad that I don’t get my Valentines baby, but so very happy that yours stayed earth side. I had a long night with you, but every moment of pity for myself I knew your night felt longer than mine. You and Link were worth every second. I love you lots.

  3. That was awesome. Just watched the birth and read it. You were very much in control the whole time. Nicely done. You rock.

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