After her birth, poor Stella had a pretty oblong skull and a hematoma on the top of her head from where she’d been banging against my pelvis for so long, so we opted to do the Vitamin K shot to help with blood coagulation (which they didn’t do immediately, but waited until I needed to give her up for a second so they could switch out the sheets on my bed). Other than that, she was totally healthy and beautiful! They waited to clamp the cord, skipped the antibiotic eye ointment, and generally followed my birth plan to a T. Thank you MMH hospital staff! I can’t tell you what a wonderful feeling it was to feel so supported by everyone around me and to know they were following my birthing wishes.
I unfortunately tore on those final two pushes (2nd degree), and my midwife said that was because Stella still came out slightly crooked and those extra few millimeters of head circumference make a big difference. She turned just enough to make it possible to get her out, but not quite enough to get her out without tearing.
Let me tell ya, she was 100% worth it!
We got to spend every minute of those first two hours with Stella, which was beyond wonderful. She was alert and looking around and nursing – all good things! I’m incredibly glad that my midwife suggested asking for two hours instead of just one hour with her before any newborn procedures were done – we enjoyed every minute of those precious “firsts” with her!
Right after Stella latched on and started sucking for the first time, I could feel my uterus contracting. WOW. Shawna massaged my abdomen (either then or just after – I can’t remember?), and told me it was time to deliver the placenta. They had given me a shot of pitocin post delivery (after asking my permission, which was perfect!) because I was bleeding pretty heavily, and between that and the natural oxytocin from the breastfeeding, I just pushed a couple of times and out came the placenta. I never did see it – it honestly never occurred to me to ask, but I assume all was well since nothing was ever mentioned about it again.
At about the two hour mark, Charlie’s parents showed up (yes, at 4am!), and my midwife returned from delivering another woman’s baby in order to sew me up. The timing actually worked out great – Charlie got 45 minutes with just his parents and Stella while I got to relax and laugh with the nurse and my midwife while she fixed me up.
Shawna warned me that the numbing needle was going to hurt quite a bit and that it would be followed by a ton of burning. I used my hypnobabies finger drop cue to drop back into self-hypnosis to use my anesthesia, and honestly, the needles weren’t bad at all. Shawna was pretty impressed that I was just calmly breathing through the whole administration of the numbing agent. I was also eating a snack size bag of Cheetos that Charlie had grabbed me from the vending machine, and it was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s., but that’s neither here nor there. 🙂
Once it was in, Shawna started stitching and the three of us started chatting.
(FYI, the nurse was about 30, my midwife in her 50s.)
Our conversation went something like this…
Nurse Alisa (who was finally filling out the paperwork that was obviously skipped when I got there): “Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
Me: Nope. Well, I used to have nipple piercings – that shouldn’t affect my ability to breastfeed now though, right?
Midwife Shawna (not phased at all): Nah, you should be fine. Speaking of piercings, Alisa, have I told you my piercing story yet?!
Alisa & me: What??
Shawna: Oh yeah, it was a scene. Thanksgiving with my family – Dad was DD, and it was one of those days were the mimosas started at breakfast and just never stopped. By the afternoon, my Mom, my daughter and I decided to visit a tattoo parlor and get piercings. I got my nose pierced!
Alisa & me: *staring quizzically at her non-pierced nose*
Shawna: Well, it got infected and was a total drunken mistake – it was out by two days later! Note to self, never go to tattoo parlors with my Mom and daughter while drinking.
Alisa & me: *busting up laughing*
Have I mentioned how much I love my midwife?!! 🙂
Overall, I really am so happy about how the entire birth experience went. It wasn’t perfect. She got a little stuck, the back pain was pretty awful, and it was hard work getting her out. BUT, thanks to hypnobabies and all of my preparation, I never felt crazy out of control. I never felt fear. I never felt like every bit of pressure and back pain wasn’t all leading up to the most amazing moment of our lives…the moment when our daughter Stella arrived.
Life is good. 🙂