So I had a baby. You probably guessed it by now. Ferdinand was born at 39 weeks 4 days and was perfect... of course.
He was 55cm which is the same length as his brother and was 8 pounds 9 ounces. Quite a nice step down from the 10 pound birth weight of his brother.
My birth was awesome! At 6 am contractions started, they were coming every 3-7 minutes and were about 30 seconds to a min long. They were so doable. I listened to my hypnobabies tracks and just kept waiting for "real labor" to start. I was joking around with my husband, walking around the flat, checking things on google- like apparently real labor happens when the contractions are more evenly spaced. Then I took a nice hot shower at around 10:30 am and everything stopped. I was bummed out, as I had hoped real labor would start soon. My husband and I decided to go for a walk which was lovely. We laughed and talked and I started having contractions again, although they were quite short and I was almost able to just walk through them. We called my doctor to ask if I should come in as it was a Friday or head to the hospital, they told us to go to the hospital.
So we contemplated eating lunch first but I decided that I wanted to just get it over with and then after I was sent home we could go out for lunch. I felt pretty embarrassed that labor probably wasn't going to start and that we had already sent my son to stay with my SIL, but what could we do. We headed to the hospital and I had DH leave my bag in the car since I wouldn't be needing it and we headed in. Contractions were happening again but weren't bad, when we got to labor and delivery I first was hooked up to a CTG and told they wanted to check the baby's heartbeat for half an hour. I wanted to stand or walk around but the portable CTG wasn't working and when I stood the other CTG machine was only taking my heartbeat. Of course this was first realized after about 20 minutes. By this time it was around 1:30pm and I was told to lay down for the 30 minute check, and then the contractions really started again. They were coming often and were pretty uncomfortable especially as I find laying is really just the absolute worst position for dealing with them.
The midwife came after the 30 minutes said the heartbeat was fantastic and did an internal check. When I asked if I would be sent home she looked at me with wide eyes and said I would be having the baby today. I was pretty surprised but was even more surprised when I asked for some drugs to ease the pain and she said no way- it is too late for that you are already at 8cm. I was SHOCKED. The labor had been SO easy up to that point especially before I was at the hospital. I couldn't believe I was at 8cm and I couldn't believe that no matter what there was no opportunity for me to get any sort of drugs. My last baby had been 10 pounds and a vacuum birth how in the world did she expect me to push this one out by myself?? I finally convinced her to at least give me a tylenol, which she did with a laugh and then she told me not only would I be having a baby today but I would be having the baby SOON. My last birth had been 26 hours with 2 hours of pushing so I just didn't believe her at all.
Unfortunately the baby was asynclitic (I had to look that up as I only know the German term) basically it just means the baby's head was turned to the side and that it wouldn't go down. I had a lot of amniotic fluid and since I really grow straight out it is easy for the baby to get in a position which doesn't necessarily support the birth. Of course they didn't tell me this at the time the midwife just got a doctor for support and I have to say I was SO lucky. Both my midwife and doctor were kick ass. Yep Kickass! The first thing I asked the doctor for was a PDA and then a c-section as I was finding the pushing to be excruciating. Obviously at this point I was willing to say anything to just get the baby out without me having to deal with the awful pushing feelings. She did a check and then looked at me and firmly said you are pushing this baby out now! Both the midwife and doctor knew exactly what I needed to hear and with the next push I could feel the baby's head,which was SO amazing. Wow! The doctor helped keep the baby from going back up as that is what he had been doing the whole time. The next push was pretty painful and then the whole head was out. With the last push baby Ferdi was out at 3:45 pm. Unfortunately I found out later that the little stinker had had both hands by his face but thankfully with the doctors and midwives help he had at least gotten in the right position so that he could come out. His apgars were 10 and 10 and he was able to lay with me right away.
It was such an amazing birth and I was so proud of myself. I was also in awe of how fast it went and how nice so much of it was, especially the parts at home. I honestly wouldn't change any part of it and it was in some ways even better then I had pictured.
My not so secret, secret?
I took castor oil the night before.
Here in Germany castor oil is recommended by some midwives once you hit the due date or go over to help start contractions so I wasn't at all worried about the baby's safety. In fact his heart rate was perfect during the whole birth. What I was worried about was having another big baby as I just didn't think I could do it again. Honestly, I still don't. Anyone who says giving birth to a big baby isn't that bad is full of crap. Sure it is possible and some women manage to do it with grace and I totally respect them and their abilities but I never want to give birth to a baby as big as some 4-6 week olds again. So after doing every natural thing under the sun; RRL tea, EPO, long walks, lots of sex, jumping on a trampoline (I know ridiculous right? LOL), etc. I decided on Thursday night that I was going to take the plunge and take 1 tbsp of castor oil. I knew that it might just give me diarrhea and not start the birth and I was completely at peace with that. I had decided if that happened then that was the baby's way of telling me that he wasn't ready to come and that I would then stop trying everything and just be patient. I took the castor oil in capsule form and spent the night with some stomach cramps and hitting the toilet a few times. It was absolutely fine and by the time the birth started it was pretty much over. Honestly if we have a third child I would do it again in a heartbeat. My other option was going to be an induction at the hospital and there was just no way I could have had the natural relaxed birth I did if I had been at the hospital the whole time.I also knew that my fears would continue to rise the longer the pregnancy went on. As it is if this baby had "cooked" as long as our first son the chances are very high he would have been just as big.
So far Ferdinand is so different then his brother. He is super relaxed and sleeps very well during the day, taking 2-4 hour naps, and nursing like a champ. Nights are still a grab bag especially since he already got his first cold from his brother but I don't have to wear him to keep him from screaming and he just overall seems so much more content. My midwife said that part of this might be due to not being a vacuum birth like his brother but I have my doubts about that theory. I just can't imagine that every rough birth leads to an extremely colicky baby for four months and think it was much more just Teddy's temperament as he didn't really calm down until he could walk and see the world. But you never know.
Once life settles in a bit more maybe I will even start updating here again more often, we'll see!