Monday, October 26, 2009

Pieter Arrives

Anyone uninterested in reading about my labor and delivery details of Pieter's birth, please skip to the end of the post to find pictures. I realize I can provide TMI for some people.

So life has been progressing along with our newest addition, Pieter Johannes. The boys have been dealing with him pretty well, and we're all adjusting to becoming a family of five. My mom arrived a few days after his birth and has been a big help in helping us settle in. For those interested, Pieter's birth details are below.

After celebrating Gerrit's birthday, I started noticing I was having some minor contractions that night. Nothing to be too alarmed about as they were only coming every 45 minutes... but as the evening progressed, they seemed to be progressing some in intensity.

Around 4 am I awoke and was a bit uncomfortable. (I was still not really thinking this was going to be Pieter's birthday. I assumed I had just overdone it the day before with all the running around I'd done.) I moved downstairs to the couch to be more comfortable. It became a bit more clear to me that things were going to progress when two hours I was leaking some amniotic fluid (not a gusher, as with Gerrit, but definitely noticeable). My contractions immediately ramped up to 20 minutes apart and became a bit more intense. At this point, I went upstairs and woke Gerard and the boys, told them today was the day, and began packing a bag for them and a hospital bag for me.

As a side note, I had been telling Gerrit for months that one of his birthday gifts was going to be a new baby brother, so I think it's quite fitting that his new baby arrived right after his fourth birthday. Needless to say, Gerrit was quite excited about the announcement, though honestly, I'm not sure he really understood what that REALLY meant. Willem had no clue what was going on, but was just excited by all the morning's activity.

Gerrit, still playing with his birthday gift from the previous day (a digital camera), was snapping pictures of me all morning. This was something I began to have a bit less tolerance of as time went on and my contractions became even stronger and closer together. Still, I tried to keep a happy face and take it all in stride.

We dropped off the boys with a friend of ours around 8:45 a.m. and headed to the hospital. (I really wanted to try to have this baby without pain medication. I was unable to make it through my previous two labors of 20 and 24 hours without any medication, and I hoped that this one would progress a bit faster. The long labors have been a killer for me and I caved after about 16 hours.) While driving to the clinic, I was seriously doubting my ability to have a natural childbirth. I was already in quite a bit of pain but kept imagining the midwives telling me that I was only a few centimeters along. If that was the case, there'd be no way I could last.

We arrived at the hospital around 9am. At this point, I'm telling Gerard that if I'm not further along in dilation soon, there is no way I'm going to make it without drugs. My contractions were 4 minutes apart, HARD, I was having a really hard time breathing, and I literally felt my cervix moving and stretching with each contraction. Still, not to be disappointed I was prepared for the worst when the nurse checked me. Thank GAWD she said I was nearly 5 cm at that point. Woo Hoo! If I continued at this pace, perhaps there was hope for me. The midwife was great. She told me that she would check me in one to two hours and that if I wasn't much further, we would negotiate drugs. However, she also encouraged me that I was progressing at a good pace and that she thought I might be nearly ready in a few hours. All great news to me. I was in! Gerard was good, too. I asked him to help slow me down with breathing because I could feel myself getting quite dizzy and beginning to hyperventilate.

At nearly two hour marked, the midwife checked me again- 9cm, awesome but so incredibly painful. I felt ready to push, and after two more contractions she told me to go ahead and do so. Okay, so everyone who has had a baby without drugs tells me the pushing is a relief. While that may be true, I still felt this whole experience frenetic and painful. I think it's only slightly less painful if you push and just don't stop at all until the baby is out. I had a terrible time controlling my breathing during this process and I literally just pushed nearly the entire time, with short breaths in between. When he was born, I took a huge breath like I had literally just come up for air after being trapped underwater. Thank god he was out. In the past, I've been able to watch myself deliver with a mirror and then touch the baby and the head, etc. This time, the midwife asked me if I wanted to touch the baby's head. NO WAY!!! Just get him out - the quicker the better. Apparently, Gerard said I was clamped onto his arm while I was pushing. I don't think I pushed more than 8 minutes at most before he was out. Thank goodness!! Out popped Pieter at 11:11 am.

Pieter was born on Thursday morning and I was ready to leave a few hours later but Gerard always likes me to stay at least one day. I tried to get out of the hospital Friday at 9am but was only released after 7pm. I guess they are not used to people wanting to leave the hospital so quickly. In Germany, you are allowed to stay 5-10 days post delivery and most women do, so they always seem shocked when someone actually wants to go home early. I just find hospitals uncomfortable. I'd rather recover in my own house in my own bed. Incidentally, I felt surprisingly better after delivery than I expected. My midwife thinks this is from a lack of drugs, and I think it's probably more likely the shorter labor. My midwife tells me statistically the third one comes the fastest and that after that, stats show the labors are longer again. So any of you ladies thinking a third is in order but concerned about a longer labor, I say go for it. I was thrilled to bits that this labor was so short.

So... a few pics and stats.

Pieter Johannes van Belle -Born October 8, 2009 (one day after his oldest brother's birthday). Weighing in at 3,780 grams (approx 8 1/2 pounds), length 55 cm (22 inches). We're all home and doing well, and big brothers are adjusting to the baby. On the way home, Gerrit and Willem informed me that Pieter cried too much and both of them covered their ears.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home