Friday, January 27, 2006
So now that I'm not pregant and exhausted maybe I can get back to actually posting things sometimes.
Alec Matthew Buchanan was born January 21 at 3:25 am at Regions Hospital in Saint Paul.
He was 8 pounds 10 ounces
20 1/2 inches long
Following are the gory details of labor and delivery:
For three weeks prior to the birth I had what Bradley Method instructors call "Normal Pregnancy Contractions" and the rest of the world calls Braxton Hicks Contractions or false labor.
Friday morning I had a regular appointment with my midwife. My blood pressure was elevated and she recommended that I deliver as soon as possible. She stripped my membranes at the office in the hopes that this would induce labor some time in the next 24 hours. She told me to go home and rest since I might be up all night having a baby.
I began to have strong contractions every 5-10 minutes before I left her office. Sam came home from work so he could rest too, and my mother-in-law came to keep an eye on Owen. They continued throughout the day, but didn't become REALLY strong until 11:30 at night.
Sam and I headed in to Regions Hospital and checked in at 12:30 or so. It took them forever to do the admitting paperwork since their computer system was down and they had no access to my medical records.
By this time my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and so strong that I couldn't walk or speak through them. I was dilated to 4, with the baby at 0 station. Which explains why it felt like he was going to fall out.
My mom was on hand as a secondary labor assistant and photographer. The labor went so fast she didn't have to offer much assistance, but she did shoot over a hundred photos in Alec's first few hours of life.
Of the 14 midwives in the group at Regions I had only met one of them that I didn't particularly care for. Naturally she was on call that night. It was really just that her sense of humor didn't suit me. Her skills as a midwife were not in question.
I have no complaints about how things went with the birth attendants I had with me. During the delivery, this midwife was fantastic and she had a really great intern with her who took the lead on the delivery. It was kind of great to have 2 midwives, 2 labor assistants and a labor and delivery nurse who were all supportive of natural childbirth.
I needed an IV with antibiotics as I did with Owen, but I could ditch all the monitoring devices and was free to move around after the initial intake. Once the IV was in, they ran a bath for me and I did most of my active labor in the tub.
I can't recommend water during labor highly enough. It was amazing the difference it made to be supported by water through the contractions. I stayed in the bath for 20 minutes and would have stayed longer but I worried that I was so comfortable that my labor had stalled.
This turned out not to be the case.
I got out of the bath and it was only a few moments before my water broke and the contractions changed dramatically in nature.
I told the midwives that I needed to push. At the time I was wandering aimlessly around the room trying to find a position that was comfortable during contractions.
"You might want to get closer to the bed."
So I did. I shuffled over there, but was not about to climb back in. I was so uncomfortable on my back and the midwives were supportive of whatever I wanted during the labor and delivery.
So I delivered standing up. Fast. From the time the baby crowned to the time the baby was in the midwife's arms with the cord cut was 30 seconds. My mom has time-stamped digital photos to prove this. It seemed fast, but not THAT fast! I remember thinking consciously that I should slow things down and I pulled back from pushing too hard. I recommend being as vertical as possible during delivery. Gravity is great.
Baby and I are doing very well. Owen is a fantastic big brother. His first words in the hospital were, "Look! It's my baby! Isn't he beautiful?"
For the record, Owen doesn't enjoy being asked how he likes being a big brother. He will scowl, tell you he doesn't like it and it makes him mad. Then he will kiss and hug his baby brother, Alec "Marshmallow" Buchanan and say something like, "Isn't my baby quite adorable?"
Sam seems pretty pleased with the new kid too. What's not to be pleased with-- it's another Sam clone who sleeps all day and all night long. It will be interesting to see if the new one continues to look like Owen as he gets bigger.