Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What REALLY Got Used at WC's {HOME BIRTH}

What I actually used at my home birth – since I've now birthed mylovely WC... I thought I'd go back over my Home Birth List and edit what I found useful (and what did not get used).

General Stuff
New (small) bottle of olive oil – WC has wicked dry skin (not even remotely surprised, TT, C-McC and I all have dry skin), we have actually switched to coconut oil because the olive oil was just making WC smell like antipasto.
DIY 'Tucks pads' – I kept putting off making these (because I excel at procrastination), so I never ended up actually making them. They are supposed to be wonderful for sore, swollen tissue... so I might still get some made up.
Chux pads – my midwives supplied these, so I actually didn't have to have them on hand (yay!)
Heating pad or hot water bottle – had it on hand, but never even took it out of it's package... we had the fire place going so our birthing room was toasty warm!
2 Large bowls - for the placenta and in case of vomiting (did I mention that birth is messy?) These definitely came in handy, while I didn't harf during child birth... I definitely felt queasy afterwards!
2 Large laundry baskets/garbage bins lined with black garbage bags - 1 for laundry and 1 for garbage
Bright lamp + extension cord – no stitches required :)
Big maxi pads/mama cloth – These are vital!
Thermometer - self explanatory
Cookie sheet or tray – I don't think this was used... it however was a necessity, if babe needed to be resuscitated the mw's needed a firm surface to work on.
Vinyl table cloth/tarps/etc – these were used everywhere... on the family room couch, under the birthing pool, and on the spare bed
Tylenol – and Advil. After pains are a bitch (and they lack the satisfactory conclusion of child birth – you know, the child)
Crockpot – didn't even pull it out of the cupboard
Bucket – labour went quickly enough (once it actually got going) that we didn't need to bail any water...

For mama
Fan – I was actually cold this time around... we had the fire place going...
Music – silence... I just wanted quiet & solitude, so that I could get my birth on
Snacks – snacked like crazy after the birth
Fluids – didn't drink a tonne during labour but I was thirsty after
Phone list - people to call, 'nuff said
Adult 'sippy cups'/straws – just a regular ol' cup worked for me
Pot of soup/stew – this didn't happen... but I had some wonderful family members that fed us (seriously, I didn't cook for a week... I lurve my family)

For babe
Sleepers – had a few soft & snuggly sleepers on hand (I'd purchased a girl sleeper... so we'll have to share that with someone else... )
Receiving blankets – I think we used maybe one or two receiving blanket(s)... WC was mainly snuggled against me (skin-to-skin) and covered with a towel & blankets
Hat – a good friend of mine whipped up a couple adorable hats... so they graced his noggin' (and still do... especially the 'Dr. Suess' hat... très adorable!)

Diapers – we started off with 'sposies... actually we've been gifted a couple bags, so I've yet to seriously use my cloth dipes...

2 fitted sheets – WC & I cuddled up in the spare bed after the birth... the double set of sheets (plus the waterproof mattress cover) was a definite nessecity!
Pillow cases – ditto to the sheets
Towels – I had a small laundry basket full of towels... one was placed on WC after he was born (and we were still in the pool) a dry one when he went to the hubs for a moment, I needed a towel to dry off and WC may have peed on a towel... so all in all, I think I had 6 towels and we used most of them!
Wash clothes – didn't really use the wash cloths (I believe we used 3... and only because I may have thrown up on one)
Blankets/flannel sheets – just used one flannel sheet under the birthing pool (so I wouldn't be stepping out onto a slippery surface)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Wild Card is Born!

You may have surmised from this particular blog title, that I have indeed birthed my wee Wild Card, and just as I suspected... WC was going to be unlike any child I had birthed before (oh how I make it into a grand adventure, such a wordsmith I am... you would think I had a dozen or more babies stacked up somewhere).

True to the feeling I've had since day one WC threw me.for.a.loop.  Prodromal labour started Wednesday evening (I've never experienced prodromal labour with either of my births before), I was so sure that it was time... we called my mama, we called the midwives and we gave our photographer a heads up.  I mean, I was having contractions, I have gone through this whole birth schpeal twice... obviously I was in labour (and not so much... ). 

What should have tipped me off that this wasn't the real deal?  If I sat, my contractions slowed down.  If I hopped in the bath, my contractions slowed down.  If I lay down, my contractions stopped.

So, Thursday, we get up and things get going again.  After a discussion with our primary, we decide to try some natural methods of labour induction - which ended up really ramping up my contractions... to the point where I was starting to have a problem visualizing my way through them.  After what felt like an eternity, we checked and dilation-wise, I was no further than the night before (changes were occurring, just not as quickly as I had anticipated... ).

Feeling absolutely defeated, I retreated to sleep... at which point all activity ceased.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday I contracted on and off... I was called, messaged and questioned about how I was feeling and it was starting to make me neurotic.  I was second guessing every.last.twinge.and.cramp.  Was this the start of a contraction?

My biggest fear surrounding home birth, was the prospect of a UC (unassisted childbirth).  The hubs and I had a good talk about it Sunday night and we were both in agreement that chances were if the contractions continued as they had been... we wouldn't have a damn clue until I hit transition.  When all was said and done, we both were in a zen-like state regarding a UC, it wouldn't be a part of our ideal birth plan... but if that was the way babe was meant to be born.  That was the way it would be.

Monday the hubs went back to work... I took my boys to their respective schools.  I puttered around the house... I read up on UC's and mentally went through how it could/would go down.  I relaxed and enjoyed my last moments of pregnancy.

The hubs came home and we decided that we needed something spicy for supper (curry & butter chicken... yum!), he set up a fishing date for the next morning and the house was dark by 9pm (exceedingly rare in this Muddled Household).

At around 3am I was jolted out of a dead sleep by a contraction... I tossed and turned, trying to sleep through them.  At 3:30am, I had to get out of bed... I grabbed my laptop and cellphone (to time the contractions) and went off to join the Muddled Dog in the family room.

For an hour I rocked, swayed and breathed my way through contractions... finally at 4:30am I woke the hubs up and asked him to help me draw a bath... I wanted to make sure that these damn contractions were going to  continue before I made a fool of myself and called my midwives again (part of me hoped they would slow down... I thought my primary didn't go on call until 8am and I really wanted her there for the birth). 

After 30 minutes in the tub, it became clear that the contractions were not slowing down (in fact, they increased in intensity)... so I paged my primary (and was ridiculously happy to hear that she was indeed on call).  I sent the hubs to set up the birthing tub... and I just zoned out in the bath while I waited to get in the birthing tub.

The moment that I could hop in the birthing tub, I did.  It was glorious.  Absolutely glorious

Labour was definitely progressing... my primary arrived... and I was vocalizing my way through contractions.  The water felt wonderful, the buoyancy was amazing!  I could rock, sway... lean, bend (and I did... I moved around trying several positions searching for the one that felt just right).  The hubs called my mama and our photographer... telling them both to get on their way.

I was so in the zone... I didn't notice as people were coming in the house.  Our photographer, my mama... the secondary midwife.  I just know, I looked up and they were there.

The atmosphere was amazing... I had my eyes closed and I just chanted (in my head, I think) relax relax relaxopen open opendown down down.  That was my mantra.

It was such a surreal feeling to be alone in the water and yet completely surrounded and supported.  Hearing the strong, encouraging words of my midwife... looking up and seeing my mom there (our photographer captured this beautifully... I was hit with a contraction where I believe the words I uttered were this fucking hurts and my mom is crouched in front of me... the look on her face is pure and absolute belief in me... ).

I had my moments, where I lost faith in my body... it felt like I had been in there for hours and I still hadn't felt (what had been my previous experiences) the mind-numbing pain of transition... I was afraid that I was in for the long haul... my primary asked if I wanted her to check dilation.  I waffled.  Did I?  Did I want to know?  Did I want to find out that I wasn't nearly as far along as I thought?  No... no.I.did.not.

So, I reached down and I felt... and holy crap, there was a head.  Seriously!  Right.freaking.there!

With the next contraction I pushed (and I vocalized way more than I did at either of my hospital births... thank goodness my boys are sound sleepers!).  With the next contraction I pushed again... I could feel the head coming out into my hands.  Honestly, words cannot describe how amazing a feeling that is... to birth my own child into my own hands!  Someone (maybe everyone) said that the head was out and in my head I thought no fucking shit people... I felt the head come out... into my fucking hands

The next contraction and out came the shoulders and babe.  It took me a moment to reach down and pull my baby up... I was shaking.  But up to my chest I pulled them... and I finally opened my eyes.  

I looked down and... BOY.  I was shocked!  WC had thrown me for another loop!  I had spent my whole pregnancy preparing for a little girl... heck, the hubs & I didn't even have a serious boy name picked out! 

Was I disappointed?  Hells no!  I was amazed.  I was in awe.  I was shocked and I was in absolute love.

We let the cord finish pulsing and my mama cut it.  Babe was handed out and I went about the business of birthing the placenta (and even though my birth plan called for an unmanaged third stage of labour, I will admit I was asking for 'the shot' to help things along... luckily for me my midwife told me to just wait a moment... ). 

Off to the spare room we went... I was a shaking mess at this point (with both my boys I had a wicked case of the shakes after they were born).  WC was handed back to me and he immediately went for the breast (he is one Boob Master Supreme). 

It (the birth) was exactly as I had pictured it in my head.  In the water.  In front of the fire place.  With the people I love (and the moment being captured). 

My boys came downstairs and met their newest baby brother... I can quite confidently say that we are all smitten (that's not to say that two adorable boys aren't a little out of joint over the newest addition... they are, but they are also showering him with love and kisses).

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

The other day TT wanted to bake... with blueberries... so we (I) searched high & low on the interwebs for a blueberry muffin recipe that piqued my interest...

I came across How to make the best muffins (Scroll down to, One-Bowl Oatmeal Muffins: Basic Recipe) and was intrigued by the soaking of the oats.

Now, I didn't have a whole cuppa milk... but I did have some vanilla coffee cream.  So I substituted that in place of the milk (I've made a couple batches since, and I honestly don't think I'd even bother trying the milk... the coffee cream, while obviously more fattening, is.to.die.for... gives such a lovely, subtle vanilla flavour).  I also added a whole pint of blueberries (obviously, otherwise they would have just been oatmeal muffins). 

I wish I had a picture to share but the boys squawk for their muffins the moment I pull them out of the oven... so there are never any left when I have time to find the camera... just know that they are delicious.

Try them.  I double dog dare you.