Sunday, November 27, 2011

Introducing Adelle Jane

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On Saturday, November 19 we welcomed the newest addition to our family:

Decorations by E and N, proud siblings.
She was born at home at 12:57 pm, after about a 13 hour labor. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and is 20.5 inches long.  She is the exact same dimensions as her sister was at birth!  She is quite clearly a different child, though. She has dark hair all over her head, and slept most of the first two days of her life. She's a very peaceful child, and rarely fusses or cries without a clear reason.

If you're not interested in reading about the details of Adelle's birth, please feel free to skim through and just look at the pictures! This birth story is a little bit harder to share than Nathanael's because the whole experience was a much harder one for me.

One hour after arrival - tired but happy mama and sweet baby.
On Friday November 18, I started having some light prelabor contractions in the morning. After lunch I decided to try timing them. They were more than 5 minutes apart and shorter than 40 seconds. Nothing intense. The kids and I made pumpkin muffins, and I made some buns for our burgers for supper. I called the midwife, N, to let her know things might be gearing up. Around 8 pm, I saw some bloody show.  Jude and I thought 'this might be it!' and decided to turn in early.

Day 2 - resting up in bed - what a difference it can make!
We went to bed around 9, and it took me quite a while to settle. Contractions were distracting, but not so much that I couldn't fall asleep around 10:30 or 11:00. I slept until about 12 midnight, and then was up with contractions that continued to distract me. (Although the midwife wasn't there at this time, she suspects this is about the time that I transitioned from pre-labor into the real thing).  I worked at breathing through contractions, and I used a contraction timer app on Jude's iPad throughout the night. I could doze lightly between some of them.  I was definitely applying some of my relaxation and breathing techniques! Jude got up to help me out by rubbing my back and applying pressure. It felt nice! They gradually got closer together, and I called the MW around 5:30 am to let her know things were moving along, and we thought it was time – contractions were less than 5 minutes apart and generally about a minute long. She said she'd come over to check on things and we'd go from there.

Mama, E, and Adelle - E loves being with her sister - she totally called it!
She arrived at 6:30 am, and a cervical check showed I was about 7cm dilated! The kids were up about 7, and Jude put in a movie for them. N and I had talked about how I thought I labored better if I didn't have people hovering around me, unless I requested some help. She was respectful of this, and stayed in a different room, except to come and check in on me once in a while. The midwife's assistant, L, arrived around 8, and I got into the bath tub to see if it could offer some pain relief.  It did for a while - I listened to my labor playlist, and sang along through some contractions, which helped me to focus. The kids would come up and talk to me every once in a while. Contractions seemed to slow down, so I got out of the tub at about 9:30 am. Another cervical check – a stretchy 9 cm – almost 10! 

Calm in the water - she liked to stretch out!
I stayed out of the tub and walked around briskly to encourage contactions, which did the job. They got more and more intense, and I was moaning and vocalizing trough them. I spent quite a while in the bathroom, alternating between squating while holding on to the edge of the tub, leaning over the tub and swaying my hips, sitting on the toilet, and doing some side lunges. I just wanted to be done. Things kept going along without seeming to get to a pushing point, and I was getting tired of being upright. I was still able to keep my humor between contractions, although I got more and more serious as time went on, because I was so tired and hurting.

I remember hearing Jude talking on the phone, and the noise of the kids and the midwives talking, and I found all of that noise really annoying. I told the midwives I wanted to lay down, and headed back into the bedroom. I got into a side lying position on my left side, and found that lying down did seem to help some with the pain, but I also was having a hard time with all the energy. I took to gripping Jude's hand, which helped. After a bit, N suggested I try a push to see if it felt better putting some energy into that. At first, it didn't seem to matter either way, but then it seemed to feel better to be pushing into the contraction.
Day 4 - Naming Day! Cuddling up with Daddy.
I never felt a distinct urge to push. I continued to put my own effort into the contraction, and I felt my body start to kick in some automatic bearing down. It hurt a lot, but pushing seemed better than not doing anything. N suggested I put my upper leg up. L tried supporting my leg, but that felt tense, so I had Jude hold it for me, which helped. I felt like I was yelling now through the contractions, and I kept throwing my head back. N reminded me to tuck my chin. It was so intense, and I really didn't want to keep working at it anymore. I was pushing, and I knew I needed to keep pushing more. I would start in pushing at the beginning of a contraction (because it felt better than not pushing) and about the time I was done, my body would kick in some urge to push, and it seemed to go on forever. I could feel the pressure in my face and lips. I was squeezing my eyes shut each time. Jude was encouraging me all the way. (Still glad I didn't have a chorus of "push! push!" - I just did what worked for me.) I remember trying to talk the baby out - 'Come on baby, I want to meet you!'

Day 5 - with Papa, an experienced baby holder.
I didn't want to move, but I felt like I needed to get over onto my hands and knees, and work that way. I rested my arms on a stack of pillows, and Jude was holding my hands. I was gripping him so tightly! He said something, which I interpreted to mean that I needed to put the energy into the push and not the grip (not what he said at all, though!) I knew I had to push to get through this, but it just kept hurting and burning more. I could feel the baby sliding back in at the end of a contraction a couple of times. Pushing through, pushing through. Oh, how I wished it would get over with! I kept thinking it couldn't get worse, but it did. N was trying to help by stretching things, but after a bit, that felt awful, and didn't help, and made it harder to handle the contractions. I really did feel like things were just going to rip apart, and I couldn't help myself from making some noises indicating my distress. But finally, we were there! I felt her crowning, and coming, out, out, out, and then relief! I pushed for about 30 minutes, but it sure felt like forever.

Baby girl was pretty blue to start with, but she was breathing and crying right away. N was vigilant in suctioning the mucus out of the way and stimulating her make sure the baby was clearing her airway. I flipped over (with assistance) and we got her right to my chest, skin to skin. She was crying quite a bit, and pinked up nicely. I was so happy to see her! It totally made all the work worth it, but unlike the previous two babies, I didn't feel this “wasn't too bad," or "I would do that again.” It was a lot of hard work.

Day 6 - We give thanks for our wonderful children!
Elizabeth and Nathanael both saw their sister born, sitting quitely on a bench next to the wall. Both seemed pretty excited to be there, and still talk about it.

Afterwards, I stayed on the bed for quite a while, snuggling with the girl. Jude tells me that shortly after the birth, Nathanael left the room. Jude went to find out what he was doing, and found him getting a cup of water for the baby (Elizabeth said the baby was thirsty). I remember Nathanael bringing a cup of water to us. He also got a cup of yogurt for the baby, because Elizabeth said the baby was hungry! He is quite attentive and loving with Adelle.

It was nice to get to see the baby weighed and measured, something I missed out on with the other two. Adelle started nursing at about a hour after birth, and continued for the next hour.  It was nice to just cuddle in and get to know her. N and her assistant stayed around for more than and hour, making sure everything was going well, and giving us some reminders of things to watch for to make sure that baby and I were doing well.

We are absolutely in love with our beautiful little girl!


Jen M said...

Congrats Carrie! She is lovely. :)

Melanie said...

i absolutely adore her name and she is just beautiful! so glad you are both doing well.

Crystal said...

Congratulations! Wow,she is sooo cute,great pictures with the family! I am new to your blog but am looking forward to your fun future posts..have a magical week:)

Colista said...

She is SO pretty! Congratulations! I LOVE new babies! :)

Unknown said...

Congratulations!!! I like the yogurt and water story. :-D

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