Thursday, October 25, 2007

Better (1 Week) Late Than Never

Willem Stephen van Belle
Born 10/24/2007
8:16 a.m.
21 ½ inches long (54 centimeters)
7.6 pounds (3470 grams)

As predicted, contractions started on Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, just as our cargo was being brought in the house. At first, they were very far apart and fairly manageable so I continued to unload boxes and run up and down stairs trying to encourage things along. Around 12:30 contractions increased to every 30 minutes and by 5pm they were every 6-8 minutes. I took a warm bath and waited for the contractions to get to 5-6 minutes apart lasting anywhere between 45-60 seconds. We headed to the hospital at 10pm dropping Gerrit off at Liesel and Martin’s house.

Waiting for cargo to arrive on Tuesday morning.
Gerrit takes after his mommy and loves the phone.

Rocking Gerrit to sleep through contractions.

I was HOPING that I’d be a bit further along than I was, but of course, I was only 2 centimeters dilated when we arrived at the hospital. Walked around for a few hours and took another bath at the hospital but only progressed to three centimeters. I know that I tend to dilate really slowly so I kept asking the midwife if they would consider breaking my water hoping things would progress faster. She was in no hurry to do so, explaining that second babies tend to come faster anyway. By 4 centimeters it was about 2 a.m. and I was not a happy camper. There was a woman next door literally SCREAMING for over 5 hours in hard labor, and I kept looking at Gerard and my mom saying, “I can NOT do what she’s doing.” I finally opted for an epidural. Just as with Gerrit, it only took on my right side, and I could still feel contractions on the left side of my body. At least it was better than nothing. They started oxytocin and after an hour I progressed to 5 centimeters. They turned up the oxytocin and I really started feeling contractions on the left side. I asked for some more medication in the epidural to help with this, but the midwife said I would still feel pain even with the epidural if I was progressing quickly. When they checked me they said I was 10 centimeters and there was no point in getting any more medication because I’d be pushing soon. During that last 45 minutes, I dilated from 5-10 centimeters. No wonder it hurt so bad!

Struggling though contractions.

When I finally began to push it was quite gentle. The midwife did an EXCELLENT job easing the head out. It was nothing like Gerrit’s delivery, where he literally shot out of me, head, shoulder, hand, and umbilical cord all together. Willem’s delivery was actually quite surreal because this time I was able to see the head come out slowly, and then the rest of his body ease itself out afterward. It was amazing!

Immediately after delivery. Note how
happy Willem is to be entering this world.

A proud Papa

A Proud Grandma

The midwife I had throughout the night did not speak much English at all but was very nice. However, the midwife I had for delivery was wonderful and spoke very good English. The doctor literally came in for a few minutes to watch the delivery and then left again. In Germany, there is a law requiring a midwife be present at all deliveries, but a doctor is not REQUIRED to be there. This means that even with C-Sections, a midwife needs to be present with the doctor (even though the doctor will be doing all the cutting). I found this interesting. At any rate, the midwife we had at the end was fantastic and made me feel very comfortable. She put up with my incessant questioning, and that’s always a feat in and of itself.

So another successful delivery… Yeah! I am a bit disappointed with myself for not being able to last through the whole thing without an epidural, but I guess my pain tolerance just isn’t up to par. Willem is very alert and attempts to nurse well already. I hope that helps speed things along for me in the milk department.

Gerrit had a grand time with Liesel and Gerard brought him to meet Willem this evening. He was somewhat interested in the baby but much more interested in having grandma chase and tickle him. Gerrit is spending the night with daddy tonight while grandma, Willem, and I stay overnight in the hospital. I am hoping to leave sometime tomorrow, though I’ve been told I can stay for several days if I want.

By the way, for those of you wondering… at the urging of my midwife, I did end up opting for the enema. No, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I’m not sure it was needed.

When Gerard asked to take a picture of this,
the midwife at first thought he actually wanted
a picture of her "inserting" the enema. You
should have seen the look she gave him.

Very tired now and heading to bed. Will likely need to wake in a few hours to try nursing Willem again. I will post this tomorrow when I get home from the hospital, along with frequent updates for you.


At October 26, 2007 at 6:54 PM , Blogger Greg said...




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