After an extremely speedy, but otherwise smooth delivery our daughter Femke (say: femkuh) was born yesterday evening April 18th at 11:19 PM CEST (that’s 6 hrs ahead of Eastern, 9 ahead of Pacific summer time). Both Femke and I are doing very well.
I’ll check in again in a couple of days with some more details and perhaps a picture or two.
Good luck to minnmom, littlepear and Rocky – let’s see who goes next, or who has beaten us to the punch after all.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
As promised, a bit more about how things went, and of course a few pictures (scroll right down to the bottom if you want to skip the birth story).
But first of all, heartfelt congratulations to minnmom and littlepear and their respective families! Both of them ‘beat’ us after all. Wonderful to hear that all went well.
Also, good luck to Rocky: may your delivery be soon and smooth!
I had two fairly restless evenings Wed and Thu, when the extremely mild cramps I was having subsided as soon as I went to bed. Friday morning the same cramps started again. I had a regular checkup with my midwife at 2 PM and when I mentioned that we were considering to ask my parents to come pick up DD (a 1.5 hr drive) she said that it really could still be another two weeks. So back home I went.
After dinner the cramps got slightly stronger but I still found them far from convincing. Around 9:30 they started to get a bit stronger and I was more or less convinced that the delivery would start soon(ish); also because I had to go to the restroom all the time. The whole evening DD was very restless and wanted to see me when waking up (she has drawn to DH strongly during my pregnancy, so this was an odd change – I guess she felt something was up). By about 10 PM I was having proper contractions every 10 minutes or so. DH checked in with our neighbors and dropped DD off towards 10:30 and by that time contractions had sped up so much (strong and every 5 minutes) that it was time to call the midwife and ask her to come.
Meanwhile, contractions were getting stronger and more frequent very quickly. We went upstairs, where I sat on the edge of the bed in our guest room (soon to be baby room), because our own bed is elevated to 70 cm (16 inches) at the moment. This is due to workplace regulations for the postnatal care nurse we have here for almost 50 hours this week – standard, and almost completely covered by universal health insurance. Effectively, I could not sit down on the edge of it comfortably.
About 15 minutes after DH’s call the midwife arrived. They were quickly talking over how things were going before she came upstairs. By the time she got to the room I was ready to start pushing – I didn’t quite realize this at this point (in retrospect this is probably because the delivery of DD1 was extremely hectic because she was in severe distress and simply had to come out immediately) and dryly commented that she hoped the mattress on the bed was an old one… Quite funny really, because I’d been sleeping on a protective sheet on our bed for weeks, but there was no way I was going to be able to move to another room (only 10 feet away). After DH and my midwife jointly rotated me to be able to lie down on the bed I could start pushing immediately. After the head was born (with a hand on the side!) we had to stop briefly so the midwife could cut the umbilical cord, which was wound around the neck, but very soon afterwards our second daughter was born. The great thing was that this time around, although things moved along extremely quickly, I was fully aware of what was happening, almost felt in control (as far as you can be while delivering). Especially in comparison to my first delivery, it was a pretty amazing experience. I am very happy that a home birth was the plan all along, especially because I don’t think we would have gotten to the hospital a 10 minute drive from here before I was ready to push, which would have been extremely uncomfortable and hectic on all.
Femke Maartje was born around 11:10 PM CEST (that’s what DH clocked; the midwife said 11:19, which is therefore the `official’ time of birth). She weighed 3300 g (7 pounds and 4.4 ounces) and is 52 cm (20.5 inches) tall, with big hands and feet. She was a bit short of breath initially (with the cord, and all), so her APGAR score was 8 initially, but 10 at 5 minutes and everything went swimmingly from there. After the placenta was born and DH cut what was left of the cord we had an initial attempt at nursing which worked like a dream. The midwife gave Femke a check-up and dressed her, after which she lay in DH’s arms for a while. Meanwhile it was time for some stitches: the scar from DD’s birth tore again this time, but luckily stayed half an inch from requiring surgical repair (which would have been a real bummer, as we would then have had to call an ambulance to go to the hospital after all). The midwife then helped me to the shower, after which I was happy to finally move to our own bed around 2 AM. DH put Femke in her crib and the midwife left our house around 2:30. Femke was slightly nauseous due amniotic fluid that had not come out of her lungs and stomach because the delivery was so fast, so she woke up regularly. We nursed again at 4 and after that all three of us actually managed to get some sleep. Around 8:30 AM DH picked up DD1 again from our neighbors’ and we could introduce Sanne to Femke.
Since Saturday, things have been going well. Femke is nursing very well and the only minor problem has been that I have too much milk. Things seem to be moving towards a better balance so in short, all is well.
Finally, the pictures:
Femke 3 hours old
All four of us
11 hours old. She has light brown hair
Femke very attentive to her big sister
Now, it’s time to nurse again, and then get some sleep!
Apologies for any typos – no time to check right now.