Jane’s Birth Story by Karen
Another birth without midwives!!!!!! We are getting better and better at this 🙂
Jane Plomp was born
12:07am on July 21, 1997
home water birth (this time a planned one 🙂
7 lbs 8 oz
20 inches long
head: 13 3/4 inches
caught by daddy!!!!
I had been having more Braxton Hicks and lost some pinkish mucus over the last few days, but nothing really exciting or intense yet. Sunday the Braxton Hicks got stronger and more frequent and I just felt the same as I felt the day Tara was born. We had a strong suspicion that this baby would be born that night.
So we started the panicking phase of getting all the last minute things ready, getting all the groceries in the house (we had been wanting to shop for groceries for the last 3 days already 🙂 and preparing the bed etc for the birth.
End of the morning, I went to Gymboree with the 3 kids. This was a nice outing with them. I don’t think I had any contractions during that time, but they definitely picked up during the day. Especially when I nursed Tara to sleep for her nap, the contractions immediately came every few minutes, but spaced out again after that.
I went to the farm stand with only the boys, no contractions there either, but when I came back, I got more. I think I just felt more comfortable to labor at home, instead of outside of my home.
We contemplated whether we should call people, our gut feeling said this might be it, even if it didn’t look serious yet. I was really worried about getting everybody here and then have the labor stop on me, because it was only pre-labor. But after supper, we started calling people, first Mary, the person who is making a film about midwifery that we are participating in. We wanted to let her know that things might be happening, even though we still weren’t sure 🙂 and that she might want to come over. The same for the midwife, but she wasn’t at home, I got her daughter-in-law and she thought she was out for dinner. I left her a message to call me back when she came home, I didn’t want to beep her yet, since I felt things weren’t moving very much yet.
We timed the contractions around dinner for about an hour and they were coming on an average of every 4 minutes, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. But they weren’t too strong yet.
I called one of the neighbors to take the boys, we really didn’t feel up to trying to get Timmy to sleep in the middle of my labor 🙂 We got them ready and I walked them over to the neighbor’s house. She freaked out that I was walking around outside while having contractions 🙂 Afterwards I walked to one of the other neighbors, to have her on call to take care of Tara. We hoped Tara would sleep through it, but we had somebody to come over if we needed it.
Back at home, the contractions picked up again. Sander was going to put Tara to sleep (I didn’t want to nurse her now, because I feared this would make the contractions pick up too much without the midwife there 🙂 and Mary arrived. I noticed the contractions slowed down when Mary was there. Even though I was totally fine with having her there, it still seemed to have an impact on my labor to have somebody else there. I was kind of surprised about that.
Sander got Tara asleep and we decided it was time to beep the midwife. I kept getting ‘this call cannot be completed!’. Great, now I wanted to talk to her and I couldn’t get into contact with her! I asked Sander to do it and he was able to figure out how.
The midwife finally called back at 10:30pm after we had beeped her 2 more times and figured out you needed to key in a phone number, the voice message was not being delivered! I talked to her and told her how things were going. I still didn’t know how labor was advancing, but the contractions were not too strong yet and I could still use breathing to get through them and I could even talk through them, so I figured I had at least another few hours. So I told her I didn’t need her yet (deja vu from last year 🙂
She called back around 11.10pm to ask how things were going, still about the same. But I said that maybe she should come over now, but that I had no idea whether it was going to be 50 minutes or 50 hours from now. So she was coming over.
I went downstairs now, to see how things were going with setting up the birthing pool (this was an inflatable kid’s swimming pool). Sander was almost finished pumping in the air. This had been a lot more work than we had anticipated. I lied down on the bed and the contractions now were definitely getting stronger and I even had to start using vocalizing to get through them. I was looking forward to being in the birthing pool, this seemed like the right time to do that.
Sander filled the tub and my contractions got much harder to manage. I also was very nauseous, but I was sure this couldn’t be transition yet, I just hadn’t had enough hard labor yet (another deja vu from last year 🙂 I was now at the stage that I wasn’t able to handle the contractions very well any more, but luckily the tub was finally filled.
I waited until the next contraction was over and then walked over to the pool. Before I was submerged the next contraction hit already, but it was much easier to handle in the pool. The pool worked out great, much more room than the bath tub! The contractions hit really hard now, but I didn’t have to wait long before the baby was moving down and decided to be born. Her head came out during a contraction and I had to wait for the next one for the rest of her body. That was a weird experience to see her head stucking out of me underneath the water! We felt for a cord around the neck, but she wasn’t out far enough yet. Next contraction she was born, she had her cord around the neck, but we could just flip her over to unwrap it. Sander caught her and put her on my chest. I checked between her legs and found out that we had another girl!!! Sander said ‘Welcome Jane!’
This went really quick! I think I was in the pool for less than 20 minutes before she was born. And I am not sure about the labor length, since it was so on and off, but I am sure it was not more than an hour of hard labor. I liked that!!!!
We admired her for a while and then I got out of the pool. We cut the cord and got some cord blood and then waited to deliver the placenta. The midwife arrived just when it was plopping out, so at least this time she made the delivery of the placenta 🙂 When she arrived, Sander went outside to greet her. She didn’t believe him when he told us that the baby was born already. I remember on our prenatal last week, she told us that she had never missed 2 births of the same person. Well, now she has! 🙂
I was glad that Mary was there, I think she got some great shots for her film. And I am really looking forward to watching the video of the birth, it will be nice to see it from the other side for the first time 🙂
I went onto the bed we had made up downstairs and tried to nurse her. She nursed for a little while, but not too long. The midwife checked the placenta, 3 vessels in the cord and perfect!
Then she did the newborn exam and found out that she was 7 lbs 8 oz (the heaviest of our kids, the other ones were around 7 lbs) and she was 20 inches. Everything was OK with her.
I had a shower and when I was clean again, I went downstairs and that was when Tara woke up. So she met her new baby sister. She was not sure about everything, especially not about Mary and the midwife, but she was fascinated by the baby and kept checking her own belly 🙂
Mary and the midwife left, I started the birth story and announcement, but Tara was too difficult to get that finished. So I decided to just send out a short announcement and write the rest of the birth story later.
We wanted to go to bed, but found out that Jane had passed tons of meconium already, that was all over her butt and her legs and her feet, so we spent quite a while cleaning her, while Tara tried to climb on top of us the whole time….. By the time I had her almost cleaned up, she passed more meconium. By the time that was cleaned up, even more! This was kind of stressfull, especially since it was 4am or so already….
We decided not to worry about emptying the birth pool, but go to sleep now. We did end up sleeping from 4:30am till 9:30am, so that wasn’t too bad. Then I called the neightbor where the boys were and I talked to Cees and told him he had a little baby sister. His reply: ‘Again?’. Then he asked whether I was at work now 🙂
The boys came home and admired their new baby sister and jumped on the bed. They both were leaning over her and Timmy said ‘Oh, isn’t she SHUTE?’ Then they continued jumping on the bed. Jane slept through all this, I guess she is used to a lot of noise with 3 older siblings 🙂
She is 2 days old now and doing great. She had a hard time nursing yesterday, I think she was very nauseous and did throw up some mucus. But today she is more and more getting the hang of it.
The lab messed up again though. We sent in the cord blood and got a message today, that they couldn’t determine the Rhesus factor, because it was not the right kind of tube…… The midwife had always used this kind of tube and never had problems before. So now we’ll just do the Rhogam anyway, even though we don’t know whether it’s needed or not. I thought this was really stupid of the lab!!!!!! Very frustrating! Last year we sent in blood and they had a lab accident and could not determine it…… Another deja vu…
So, this was definitely a very quick and easy birth. I was really surprised about how fast she was born after the contractions did kick in. It was on and off for most of the evening, but when they kicked in, they REALLY kicked in. I felt like I was holding them off until the pool was ready, so that I could go in there, relax and give birth. I think I was right, because that is exactly what happened!!! 🙂