As Lily’s due date came and went, it seemed like she was NEVER going to be born; and life went on as normal.
On Thursday 25th, Iris had a membrane stretch and sweep in the hopes it would induce labor, as the fear of transferring out of our midwives care at 42 weeks (October 30) would lead us to a hospital birth. The S&S caused some bleeding, which we knew was normal. At noon, Iris drank 4 oz of Castor Oil to help induce labor.
Throughout Thursday Iris was experiencing contractions with more bleeding and a slow leaking of amniotic fluid. By Thursday at 5:00p we activated the Birth Team and Pre Birth Plan (eat, shower and sleep!) because Iris was definitely in labor!! She couldn’t get comfortable and was having painful sensations, different from her Braxton Hicks contractions.
My phone rang at 6:00am with Iris in labor and ready for some help. She had a bad reaction to the Castor Oil and had been unable to keep food down and had been unable to sleep through the night. We took a walk around her neighborhood and her spirits were good!
We tried to feed her throughout the day, we knew she needed energy in her system. But an hour later it was vomited up. Luckily she was able to keep drinking water. We were all able to rest and take short cat naps through the day and each hour I would time her contractions.
Knowing that women labor better and for less time when they were at home, Iris decided to stay home for as long as possible. Our midwife said she trusted Iris and her body and Iris would know when it was time to go in.
At 7:00pm, Iris was READY. We packed the cars and headed to the Birth Center.
With the heightened nausea that the castor oil caused, Iris couldn’t get into any positions to ease her back pain. Anything other than sitting up would cause her to vomit again. We spent some time in the tub, in chairs, she tried to sit back in a recliner…but couldn’t get comfy. I rotated hot and cold packs against her back to ease some of the pain.
At 10:00 the midwives had to check Lily’s heartbeat, requiring Iris to lie in bed. She was so uncomfortable but endured it like a champ. We also found out that Lily was in position and when ready, Iris could start pushing. Iris also got to feel the top of Lily’s little head!!!
Because of the tremendous back pain, Iris didn’t want to labor lying in bed. The midwives created a spot on the floor for her to kneel but Iris was on the toilet and decided not to get up.
I think repositioning on the bed for that short time moved Iris into the pushing stage of labor, cause 3 contractions later Lily was crowning. On the 7th contraction her head was born. Followed by her arms, one arm was extended right at me and I gave it a rub them coaxed her forward toward the midwife. Then she was born!!!
The castor oil might have caused Lily to have some stomach problems also because she had a massive BM during labor. The midwives suctioned the meconium out of Lily’s lungs.
Unfortunately, Iris’ body was so exhausted from days of not eating or sleeping, it stopped contracting and she couldn’t deliver the placenta. There had been some blood loss and we all decided it was better for Iris to go to the hospital to get the placenta out.
While Iris was at the hospital, I stayed with Lily at the birth center. As part of our emergency plan, I had asked Iris if she was ok with me doing skin to skin with Lily. It was a wonderful few hours of holding this brand new baby girl against my chest. She was passed around the birth team and slept comfortably with each of us.
Iris and Lily are doing great. Perfectly healthy and bonded!!!
And, I know this is what I want to do for the rest of my life!!!!
Check out Iris’ blog post about this wonderful birth day!!!
*Technically, I did get some sleep; off and on over night Thursday/Friday, on Friday I slept for 30min on Iris’ floor, and the team let me sleep for a GREAT hour at the birth center Saturday morning!!!