Sunday, November 25, 2012- Drove to Mt. Pleasant for my prenatal appt with midwife, Nicole Lavallee, I was 40 wk 3 days. Met at Whole Foods and did prenatal in the back of our van. Everything was great- and baby was just comfy.
Monday, November 26, 2012- My friend, Jen had come over and we walked around the neighborhood and then to the SurfsideLibrary and the park with my daughter,Alexa and her daughter, Leah. We then walked back to our house, and went for a beach walk. She even had me jog on the beach to help start things. Then we went to lunch and ate Eggplant Parmesan at Cecil’s Restaurant J.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012- 5 days past “guess date” I woke up and felt great. Made Alexa and I breakfast, downloaded some dance music, and set up my video camera on my iPhone to tape my moves ;) The song I chose was “I Gotta Feeling” from the Black Eye Peas. I shook my belly and my hips for more than 4 minutes. It was tough but lots of fun. After that I rested and took a nap with Alexa. Greg messaged me that he could get some Christmas show tickets for that night, and I said why not, baby isn’t here yet. So we planned to take Alexa to see some music and Santa. Show was at 7 and we got home about 10. Got Alexa ready for bed at 1030 pm and she slept in her own room. Greg and I went to sleep at 11 pm.
At 1130 pm, I felt a strong PWs (Pressure Wave- Hypnobabies term for contraction- to fool brain its not pain but pressure), but didn’t think much, since I had been having them for over a week, and even sometimes in a pattern. At midnight, I noticed that I was feeling them every 10 minutes or so. I told Greg that this could be it… but he’d been hearing that from me every night for over a week. I told him to get some sleep because I REALLY felt stronger PWs. My midwife Nicole lives outside of Charleston, and has about a 2 hour drive to the house so I wanted to keep her updated with how I was doing. For the past week I was feeling something every night as I went to bed so I wasn’t sure if this was it. My photographer, Whitney, lived about 20-30 minutes away, and Jen, who was doing our video, lived about 20-30 minutes away also. Vanessa, who is Nicole’s apprentice, lived about 5 minutes from me- so she was close. I text Nicole, Whitney, and Jen that it could be it and I was going to try to sleep. I wasn’t able to sleep much. They were pretty strong already and about every 10-11 minutes. I started listening to my Hypnobabies scripts, and rested laying in bed. Greg slept beside me. At 2-2:30 am they seemed about every 7-8 minutes, and very strong, and I started to feel uncomfortable.
I got up to sit on my birth ball. During a PW, I noticed I couldn’t sit on my ball comfortably. I text Nicole again and said they are becoming more intense and long. I text Whitney and Jen too that I think this is it. Greg woke up about 3:30-4 am and went downstairs and turned outside lights on and backed van into driveway as a precaution if we needed to transfer to hospital. He unlocked the doors for Nicole, Whitney, Jen, and Vanessa. Nicole said we could start filling the birth tub, but she didn’t want me in it until she arrived as it could speed up things too quickly. I was kneeling on the bedroom floor, and hugging my big blue birth ball. The PWs were coming every 2-3 mins at this point and lasting over a minute long.
Greg had the hose in the birth tub in the corner of our bedroom, and was filling it with hot water. Jen arrived about 4:30-4:45 am I believe—and I found out later, that only about 3-4 inches of water was in the tub when the hot water ran out so Greg went to the kitchen and pulled out all our large pots, and began to boil water on the stove. He made about 10 trips up to our bedroom where tub was at, with the huge chili pots and filled with hot water. Nicole said its easier to get the water cooler once its full. Jen arrived and I was already deeply moaning into the strong PWs… kneeling on the floor. She had her camera and was going to start video taping for the piece she was going to make. I asked her if she could rub my lower back when I was having PWs. I was timing them on a contraction app on my iPhone and they were now lasting 2-3 minutes long and coming every 2-3 minutes. About 30-45 minutes later, about 5:20 am, I asked her to call Nicole and tell her how often and strong they were. Jen had her last baby 2 yrs ago at home with Nicole so they were good friends. Jen told her that it was happening very fast and asked her how long away she was. Nicole said she was about an hour or so away.
Alexa had woken up then, probably from hearing my loud moans. Greg went to get her, and told her that her brother was coming soon and she would be a big sister. She was frightened at first and cried a little, and asked me if she could nurse. I told her to lay on the floor beside me, as I was having a strong PW… told her to wait a minute as I breathed through it. I concentrated on her and tried to keep it calm. After the PW, I kneeled into her to let her nurse for a minute before the next PW started. After she nursed, she cuddled into Jen’s arms. She knew Jen pretty well, and it made me happy she could be calm by her. She was very mature for 3.5 years old, and I was very excited for her to be a part of her brother’s birthing day. Greg told me later that she asked why I sounded like a “cow” and he told her that her brother being born was hard and painful and this was helping him come out.
The PWs were still coming on super strong and lasting over a couple minutes. Jen was sitting on the bed behind me, and rubbing my lower back. She had her camera sitting on my nightstand recording. I asked her if I could do anything different and she said I was doing everything and was doing great. While Jen was rubbing my lower back, I felt a strong pressure about 5:45 am, and felt such strong pressure in my butt, and just then my water broke and I felt my pants just soaked. And Jen said oh, I think your water broke. She asked if I wanted to take my pants off, and I said in a minute, as another PW was coming. I took my pants off, with her assistance. I asked Jen, since the tub wasn’t filled, if I could go into main level bathroom’s big tub, as that was a different water heater and could be filled quickly… and she said “you can do whatever you want” and I said “I probably couldn’t get back upstairs to get in this tub” and she agreed.
Poor Greg was boiling water still and running up and down stairs and in between running up and down would stop and talk to me and rub my back and give me Labor Aide (a drink I made of lemons, honey, salt, crushed Calcium/Magnesium tablets, and water). Whitney and Vanessa both arrived at the same time, around 6 am and came in to me moaning away— every minute or 2. Whitney was standing inside the walk-in closet, almost hidden, and taking photos. I said hi to her :) I asked, more like begged Jen and Vanessa, to be able to get in the tub, that appeared to be filled up about half way. Vanessa called Nicole, probably about 6:20-6:30 am, and said it was happening soon. Nicole said she was about 15-20 minutes away. And they told me I could get into tub.
OH what a relief that was. I needed help to climb over tub wall. I don’t remember who helped me in. As soon as I kneeled into the water, I felt it was too hot. I was going to get out but anotherstrong PW came, so I kneeled into the very hot water anyway, and moaned through the PW. Vanessa had Nicole on speaker, and she told her to tell me to slow my breathing down. I was never checked for dilation but remember telling Vanessa I felt like my butt was exploding and my body was pushing and I could feel the head. Nicole said she was very close. The PWs were every minute and so strong. My body was pushing him out- I couldn’t control it. And my midwife wasn’t there yet. My belly ached as it tightened and I felt his body turning as I felt pressure in my butt. Then about 6:40-6:45 I heard Greg say Nicole was here. She brought her daughter BB, and I was so happy Alexa had her good friend to play with. She was so excited. Nicole walked in the room and I told her that I could feel his head was coming out. She felt down and I told her I was afraid I would tear because the PWs were so fast and so strong. She told me it would be fine and to breathe him out. I was kneeling in the tub, and moaning through the final PWs. I pushed his head out, and thought I was done, because I remembered once I pushed Alexa’s head out, the rest of her body slithered out. But this time, his head was out, and everyone standing behind me, said they could see his face in the water, and his eyes were open under water. I remember Jen saying “he is so cute and has the cutest lips”. Nicole knew I wanted to catch him, and pull him onto my chest… so she told me I need to turn over and sit back to do that… and I said “nah I’m not moving – Greg can catch him.” I pushed his body out and I flipped over and he was put on my chest.
Cameron Gregory was born at 6:58 am and was 8 lbs 9 oz and 20.5 inches. He breastfed 14 mins after he was born at 7:12 am. Alexa, with Greg’s help, cut the cord at 7:25 am. She said it felt “weird”. We expected him to be near the 7-7.5 lb range…. And when Nicole weighed him, we were all shocked. After he was born, and cuddling with me and then nursing, I stayed in the birth tub as we waited for the placenta to come out. I felt some strong contractions, and it slithered out.
Nicole took Cameron from me and gave him to Greg to cuddle, and I was helped out of the tub, and helped into the shower to quickly soap up and rinse off. It felt so good. I also peed and it felt good. I had no tearing and was in great shape. I couldn’t believe how wonderful I felt. After my shower and going to bathroom, Nicole helped dress me in my comfy pants and tank top. I went into our bed, which was amazing to me that we were home and in the same room he was born in. I took Cameron back from Greg and he nursed again. Nicole cleaned up around the room. She emptied the birth tub and put all the towels in the washing machine. After the towels were done, she put them in dryer and folded them and put them away too. I felt bad, cuz I had a load of clean clothes in the dryer, and she folded and put them all away too. I love my midwife.
She checked on me every hour or so, and relaxed downstairs. Around 10 am, Jen, Whitney, and Nicole walked down the street to River City Café and had lunch. They brought back a grilled chicken sandwich for me – and one for Alexa too. Then Jen and Whitney left. I loved having them there for the whole experience. Nicole stayed with BeBe, and had a couple prenatal appointments to do while she was in town, so we insisted on her leaving BeBe to play with Alexa. It was nice for her to have a playmate while I stayed in our bed to cuddle and rest with our new baby. Cameron was doing great, and was nursing so well. His latch was great from the first latch. Nicole returned later that day and Greg ordered pizza for all of us for dinner. Nicole and BeBe spent the night at our home.
I had called my chiropractor during the day to tell them I had the baby, and all was well… except that during the labor, I hurt my left hand index finger. I think while I was on all fours on the floor, I was pushing so hard into my hand, that I couldn’t feel my finger. It was numb as if it was sleeping. I asked Dr. Cullum if he could make a “house visit”. I spoke to his wife Tamara, and she said they would come by the following day, Thursday Nov 29th at 11 am. Nicole stayed the night and the morning so she could see the Cullums, and my adjustment, and Cameron’s 1st adjustment. I loved having Nicole in our home for so long… about 30 hours… It was so nice to have her there to answer any questions I had about me or the baby. She gave me a chart to mark down mine and Cameron’s temperature. Dr. Cullum
I’m so happy I had the birth I dreamed of. I loved having my labor begin after Alexa went to bed. I loved that I could have my strong labor during the late hours while she slept. I loved having Cameron being born early in the morning. I remember the sky was pitch dark when everyone arrived at our home. I remember the sun rising while I layed in the tub just moments after Cameron was born. I had dreamed of going out on our balcony in our bedroom to stare into the ocean, listen to the waves crashing on the shore, as my pressure waves got stronger. I never had time to do that. It all happened so fast, from beginning to end my labor was about 7 hours. Everything happened very fast during the last couple hours. Cameron was born 6 days after my due date. And it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.