Cyprus Que Anderson

July2

Welcome Cyprus Que Anderson


It is hard to find a place to start a birth story. Since I have not written a lot about the pregnancy, I post the full story here.

The Pregnancy

My pregnancy with Cyprus was actually rougher than with Daphne. I was positive that the hyperemisis that I had with Daphne was a fluke and that I would be better prepared to handle anything sickness again. It turned out that was I wrong. As soon as I was 6 weeks pregnant, I was back into the routine of severe nausea and vomiting. I got to the point that I was vomiting 40 times per day. I tried all the same remedies that had failed with Daphne. I even tried some new ones. I was able to manage it for a while with a B-6 injection every day, but it eventually got so out of control that I ended up taking Unisom again. I took Unisom with Daphne, but only until around 20 weeks. With her, I was even able to taper off to taking 25mg every other day rather than every day, and after 20 weeks, I was able to stop. With this pregnancy, 25mg per day was not even making a dent in holding me together, so I ended up upping the amount to 50mg per day. This went on well into the pregnancy. It wasn’t until 33 weeks that I was able to taper down to 25mg per day and I was still taking 25mg every 2-3 days until the last week of the pregnancy. I was frustrated and discouraged.

Gestational Diabetes

When I was 32 weeks pregnant, I started to feel dizzy often. I went to see the midwife, and she suggested I check my blood sugar. After testing, it looked like I was dealing with a case of gestational diabetes. It was quite devastating to hear. Not only was I having a hard time with food in general, gestational diabetes puts additional severe limitations on what foods I could eat. I spent a lot of time working hard breaking my sugar addiction and revamping my diet to include many more complex carbohydrates. After doing all of that work, we discovered that I did not in fact have gestational diabetes. My glucose meter was not accurately reading the blood sugar levels, and I was actually well within normal range. I was excited to have the food restrictions lifted, but disappointed about the stress of having to revamp my diet.

Due Dates

Another pregnancy obstacle was the fact that my due date was inexactly known. There are several different ways to measure due dates. According to LMP, I was due on June 30th, according to conception date, I was due on July 12th and according to ultrasound, I was due on June 20th. Considering that the due date is really the middle of a range of 3 or so weeks that a baby can be born on, I was looking at a considerable birth window that extended from the first week in June to the first week in August as a possible birthday for the baby. I spent a lot of time at the end of the pregnancy trying to “assess” what week I was in and when I would have the baby. Not really knowing where I was at was incredibly stressful to me, and it made it hard to enjoy the last trimester. Ironically, he was born ON the original June 30th due date (only 5% of babies are born on their due dates). The midwife and I both agree, that he looks like a 40 –week term baby, not early and not late, which makes him a very punctual little man.

I had 2 midwifes, an apprentice midwife and a doula assigned to the birth of my baby. I could not have assembled a better birth team. The hitch was that the 2nd midwife and the apprentice midwife were both taking the month of June off and would not be back on call until July 1.

Feeling Anxious/Prodromal Labor

As I was getting into the 38th week of being pregnant, I started to feel anxious and ready to be done. I felt like the baby was ready to come out, and I was starting to have some early signs of labor. On June 23, I was having some contractions and bloody show. I was quite sure that it was all going to develop into labor, but every single night for the rest of the week I was stuck walking around the house with painless Braxton Hicks contractions that I was discouraged would never amount to anything. I was having other small signs that labor was imminent, so it made me anxious when I woke up to another day with no real signs of labor.

Water Broke

On Saturday the 27th, I spent most of the night thinking about how it was not a big deal that I didn’t have a baby. I decided that I was going to enjoy my time with Daphne and start some other fun projects that I had put off working on. I got up on Sunday the 28th and went outside to do some manual labor I had been working to avoid. I pulled up some bolting parsley to dry and moved some rabbit cages that were in desperate need of cleaning. As I was getting ready to do some other gardening work, I felt a large gush of water stream down my leg. I looked up to Jared and told him that I had either just peed my pants or my water had broken. I went inside to investigate and change clothes.

After a shower and a clothing change, the water was still gushing, so I was certain that my water had broken. I was worried that it was in fact a small “leak” but the fact that I was soaking an entire infant prefold every hour was an indication that it was an actual rupture. When I went back outside to see Jared, he was all but ready to head to the birth center to have the baby. I told him that I wasn’t having any contractions and that it would be a while before the baby was born. I called my midwife, and she told me that in 80% of women labor spontaneously starts within 24-48 hours of a membrane rupture. In the medical model, once the water has broken, you are put on a time clock that requires that you must deliver within 24 hours of a membrane rupture because of a belief of a risk of infection, so it is considered a failure if labor does not progress immediately. The truth is that if sterile technique is practiced after a membrane rupture, and the mother and baby are both monitored for infection, no risk is posed by waiting as long as it takes for labor to start. I do know of one woman who went for 9 days before her baby was born.

I spent the rest of the day shopping and getting things done around the house so that when we had a baby everything would be fine. I was surprised to go to bed and wake up to discover that not only was water still leaking out of me with impressive quantity, that I was having no other labor signs. I was feeling frustrated and stressed, so I spent the day hanging out with Daphne waiting for labor to begin. As I was again getting ready to go to bed, I decided that I would be able to go as long as I needed to for labor to start and that I was going to stop stressing about it.

As I crawled into bed, Jennifer (my primary midwife) called me and told me that she had just heard from Jesica (my secondary midwife) that she had decided to go back on call one day early and that if I went into labor that night that Jesica would be able to attend the birth. As soon as I hung up the phone, I experienced some mild contractions but decided to not read anything into them and went to sleep. I was occasionally woken up with a contraction here or there, but they had little intensity and not much power. I finally got up at 1 am and decided to try to time them and pay attention to the intensity in case they would develop anything. I went out to the computer and put on a TV show to watch. I spent 40 minutes watching TV only to discover that the contractions were very mild and were only 6-7 minutes apart, nothing to write home about, so I went back to bed.

True Labor

At 3:30, I woke up and decided to start timing the contractions to see how far apart they were. The intensity was increasing rapidly, and I lay in bed watching TV timing them out at 5 minutes or so, but not feeling intense. At 5 am I decided I would get up and take a shower and make breakfast because I was incredibly hungry. As soon as I was vertical and in the shower, the contractions became really intense. I found that it was necessary to vocalize through them. I had 5 contractions in the shower, and got out only to realize that I had only been in there for 15 minutes. I got out of the shower and was being hit so hard that I had to stay on my hands and knees to make it through. The contractions were right on top of one another and I was unsure I would be able to call the midwife. In the middle of contractions I ran in and told Jared to wake up and come help me. He called Jennifer and I was able to get out that the contractions were every 2-3 minutes apart and intense. She asked if I wanted to go to the birth center, and I said it sounded like a good idea if it looked like I was in labor.

We were in the car very quickly, and the contractions spaced out a bit. I hear that this is very common. Getting in a car can interrupt the labor routine a little. I was actually really glad to have the break. It is an hour drive to the birth center and we were possibly going to run into some rush hour traffic. We had left the house at 5:40.

The closer we got the more I urged Jared that we needed to be there. As we got to be about 15 minutes away, it was becoming clear to me that we needed to get out of the car and to the birth center. The contractions were close and intense, and I was actually worried that there was a possibility that the baby was going to be born in the car.

We got to the birth center to find that only the doula had arrived. Luckily, she is also a midwife, so she was at the birth center getting things ready for me. The tub was not full of water, but I was just happy that I could be somewhere that I could get back on my hands and knees. I spent a half hour leaning on the birth ball vocalizing through contractions as the tub filled and Jared and Daphne got situated.

The more intense things got, the more I wanted in the tub. It takes a while to fill up the birth tubs, and I decided to hop in and try to labor while it filled up. I really was looking for relief. Though the water wasn’t a total cure to the intensity, I felt like things were more manageable than they had been on dry land.

I was feeling a little worried that things were feeling intense but that it was possible that I wasn’t progressing. I wasn’t feeling like I was going to make it through the labor if I was only in the beginning stages, so as soon as Jennifer came through the door I asked if she would check my progress. My birth plan actually states that I didn’t want any exams during the birth because I didn’t want to focus on numbers and time, but an indication that I was far along would have been enough to keep me going. She checked and confirmed that I was 8 centimeters dilated. I was in transition and well on my way to having the baby. Things were incredibly intense, but the confirmation that I had come so far was enough to keep me going. I spent another 45 minutes laboring down before I knew that it was time to push.

Pushing

I was so relieved after one contraction when I reached in and was able to feel the head of the baby. I knew that I was making progress, and I was able to feel for myself with every contraction how far the baby was moving down. My body was working without help from me to push the baby out. I felt at total effect of everything, and the only way I could feel better was to add any extra force I could to the pushing. I could feel the baby trying to make his way through my pelvis, and it felt like my pelvis was separating. The more effort I added to the pushing, the better I felt. After pushing for about 30 minutes, I was starting to feel that things were not moving along, and I started to wonder if this was going to end up in a c-section with Daphne. I started to live in her birth a little bit because I had pushed for 4 hours with her with no effect. The only consolation I had was the fact that I could feel the baby moving through my body. With each push, I could feel as he moved past the cervix and into the pelvis. As soon as he got to the pelvis, I could feel pressure on the perineum. As the contraction ended, I could feel him move back up (babies move down and up to stretch out the mom to make a gentler exit).

It does totally feel like the baby is going to come out your bum, so I spent every contraction putting pressure against my perineum to relieve the pain and pressure. At least I felt like I was doing something about the pain.

The midwives assured me that everything was textbook perfect but I was SURE it was going too slowly and that like with Daphne, pushing would be futile. I spent a long time feeling at effect as though things would not go my way. At that point a tip from a friend popped into my head. She had told me that it would not happen unless I made it happen. I focused on pushing with intention to birth the baby, and that is when I started to feel that progress was being made. I could feel him moving down with each push, and eventually the head was not going back in after a contraction.

Jared had been playing with Daphne helping me through contractions here and there. At this point, he grabbed a mirror and held it so that I could see the head coming out. It was nice to see the progress being made. Within a few pushes, I felt incredible burning, and the head finally slid out. I knew that with the next push that the whole body would come out, and I was anxious to hold him. I waited what seemed like forever for the next contraction. I wanted to catch the baby, so as it was starting, I reached down with Jared and Jennifer’s help and pulled him out and up. He was wet and slimy and covered in vernix, but it was awesome to be holding my own baby. He did not cry at all, but he started breathing immediately, and he turned pink right away. It was so lovely to sit in the tub and hold the baby I had worked so hard to birth. Daphne was out of the room when he was born, but she came back in moments later, and she was so excited. She jumped in the tub with me and helped me hold and adore him.

After sitting in the tub for 15 minutes with him, we decided to cut the cord so that Jared could hold him and so that I could birth the placenta.

It was so lovely to be able to get cleaned up and head to bed to snuggle with the baby.

Afterthoughts

The labor was 6 hours from start to finish, and was incredibly intense. I am so excited to have had a VBAC. In fact, I have a renewed upset for the c-section I had with Daphne because I realize how close I was to having her.

I found the advice from my friend I mentioned to be incredibly helpful. I have no idea where the birth would have gone if I had not remembered what she had said.

I think that the birth went so quickly and so smoothly because of some advice from a book. Ina May recommends that when birthing that you keep the vocalizations very low, almost like mooing. I made sure to do that with the contractions and to give in to what was going on. I think that helped things go along very quickly because I was not feeling tense in my bottom.

The truth is that I get misty eyed when I think of the accomplishment of having a VBAC. If I had been seeing a doctor, I would never have even gotten the chance to “attempt” the VBAC. Even if I had been given the chance, the “risk” of having my water broken for so long before the start of labor would have gotten me to the OR with great haste.

My midwives were fantastic and never listened to me complain that I couldn’t do it or that I just needed to have a c-section. I’m sure I could have complained a lot less in labor, and it would have been more pleasant for them, but the truth is that they were just the support that I needed.

Having Daphne there was actually lovely, and there were some sweet moments when she put on some gloves and came over to help me through the birth. She was even happy to jump in the gross bloody water with me to help me admire the baby.

I love my husband and thank him for being the support I needed. He was at the right place at the right time, and offered the perfect amount of support. He really is the star of the birth because he was able to step back and let things happen.

posted under Babies, Daphne, Pregnancy
8 Comments to

“Cyprus Que Anderson”

  1. On July 2nd, 2009 at 4:43 PM Melissa Says:

    What a story! Congratulations again. (Can I say it enough?) I can’t wait to meet him! :)

  2. On July 2nd, 2009 at 9:48 PM Rosalyn Says:

    He’s very beautiful! He looks just like you. And it is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. On July 2nd, 2009 at 11:27 PM kelley gueron Says:

    Wow-its truly a beautiful experience expressed.
    Well done darling! Welcome to the world Cyprus!

  4. On July 3rd, 2009 at 9:33 AM Tkeisha Says:

    Great birth story! You did a wonderful job! I think he has a bit of Jared in his face! I love the name too!

    L,
    Tkeisha

  5. On July 3rd, 2009 at 7:28 PM Rachel Karl Says:

    Chris! I can’t even see right now because I’m crying after reading your birth story. Beautiful. There are no real words to describe it. Lovely.

  6. On July 5th, 2009 at 2:17 PM Trish Greenstreet Says:

    Beautiful birth story, thank you for sharing, and CONGRATULATIONS on your adorable little one.

    Trish
    also birthed at Andaluz

  7. On July 5th, 2009 at 10:47 PM Jennifer Gallardo Says:

    Lovely story and such sweet pictures of Cyprus. I am so proud of you for having your VBAC! Love and rest and healing being sent your way.
    Warmly,
    Jennifer

  8. On July 13th, 2009 at 10:20 AM Renee Richmond Says:

    As a mother about to deliver her 3rd child in hopes of a VBAC your story is very encouraging, thanks for sharing.

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