Sunday, November 21, 2010

Adelaide Dorothy Von Bargen

It's a new world...for Julian and I. On November 10th we gave birth to our baby girl right here at home in our Toronto apartment. It was an amazing and surreal experience. It was everything I wanted...except we didn't have the birthing pool because it hadn't been delivered and set up yet. We were to get it the following week. I was sure Adelaide would come later rather then sooner, but she proved us wrong. I am so glad she came when she did because had I gone in to labour just 2 days earlier, I would have had to go to the hospital because I technically wouldn't have been "full-term". Here is my story:
On November 9th in the evening I started feeling like I was getting the flu. I was experiencing some menstrual-like cramps as well. I didn't take much notice because many women feel these cramps weeks before they actually go into labour. As the night went on they started to actually hurt but they weren't happening very close together, it was just randomly. By about 1am I thought I would maybe time them as they seemed to happen more often. They were still minor cramps that were about 7-10 minutes apart and lasted like 20 to 30 seconds. They were making me more uncomfortable then usual but I tried not to take any notice because I knew there were things that still needed to happen before I went in to labour, like losing my mucous plug and I still didn't feel like I had that "nesting" urge. In fact, my place was kind of a disaster. I suppose I had been baking and crocheting more the usual over the weeks leading up to that day, but still, was that "nesting"? At about 3:30am I had to pee, so I went pee and noticed a wee bit of blood on the toilet paper. I looked in the toilet and there was this gross weird thing that came out of me. I wondered if that was my mucous plug. So, I got on the internet and googled it. Of course there were images, lol. And those images definitely resembled what fell in the toilet. Oh boy, I started getting a little nervous. We were SO unprepared. We hadn't gotten anything on the list the midwife told us to have. We didn't even have diapers. The babies stuff was still in boxes and the place was a mess. I did some reading and read that some women lose there plug up to 2 weeks before they actually go in to labour. So, I calmed down and decided to get some rest. I slept for a few hours and woke up at 7am with my husband. He was getting ready for school and I told him all about my night and what happened because he was sleeping while I was going through that. He wondered if he should stay home. I told him not to worry and just go to school. I was convinced I wouldn't go in to labour for a while still. This was our first baby which means it will most likely be late, right? So, after getting his stuff together, off he went. I had a google chat date with one of my best pals back in Winnipeg. We must have been chatting for 20 minutes when all of a sudden these minor cramps I was still getting that were about 30 seconds long and about 7 minutes apart got pretty intense. She told me to call my midwife and I said I was fine and it wasn't a big deal because they weren't super intense and they weren't 5 minutes apart yet. Not long after that I was on the ground breathing through the pain of them and they were getting stronger and stronger. So I called the midwife. She told me to only count the intense ones and when they were 5 minutes apart to call her back. I asked her if I should alert my Mum as she wanted to be at the birth and she was in Winnipeg and would need to jump on a plane. She told me that now would definitely be a good time to notify her. (That's when I knew this was really going to happen.) So, I did. She packed her bags and headed to the airport to get a flight ASAP. Mean while I was still on google chat with Meghan who was luckily keeping track of my contractions. When they got worse and closer I contacted the midwife again and she said she was on her way. Meghan had our friend Sheena text Julian at school to get him to come home. He was just arriving in class and settling in when he got the text. So, he informed the prof and headed back home. In the 50 minutes it took him to get home my contractions had multiplied in pain to the point where I was most comfortable on all fours swaying my hips. When the contractions would stop, I would pace up and down my apartment as I talked to Meghan on google and was encouraged through phone calls from my cousin Fiona, my sister Christine, my brother Mike, and my Mum, (sorry if I missed anyone, it was a blurry day.) Thank you all for the support. Not long after Julian got home, the midwife showed up. She checked me and sure enough, I was 3cm dilated. She said because everything seemed to be moving fast that she would stay and see what happened. My midwife, Aimee was a god sent. She was so cool and calm and made me feel so comfortable. She pretty much stayed out of mine and Julian's way and just let us do what came naturally. She would remind me to breathe deep and hard when I felt I couldn't go on. She would make suggestions when it seemed I was struggling. Because the labour was so quick it was SO SO intense and I couldn't build up a tolerance. But ya know, it wasn't AS bad as I thought it would be. It really wasn't. Women are AMAZING!!!! At times I would close my eyes and breathe and make noises I never thought I could make, lol and I would find strength by thinking about all the other women in the world who was doing what I was doing at that very same moment. I personally found that being on all fours in my bathtub while Julian applied pressure to my lower back as I swayed my hips, the best way of getting through all the contractions. In between contractions I had some moments and I would lean against the wall and start falling asleep and then all of a sudden another one came and what I thought was a dream for a moment became very real again! I was in the tub when my water broke. When it finally broke I felt SUCH a release of pressure and it felt so good. But then all of a sudden I just needed to push! I couldn't help it, my body just naturally pushed when I had a contraction. Amiee recommended I get out of the bath and on to my bed to push because the bathroom was so cramped. So I slowly got out and made my way to the shower curtain that Julian took down from the bathroom and placed on the bed. She had me lay on my left side and told me to breathe through 3 contractions without pushing. It was SO SO SO hard not to push. Then she had me roll on my right side and do the same, only this time I just couldn't help it and when the first contraction hit I just pushed. It was so intense I can't even describe it. As the head was coming out Julian just lost it and I have never seen him SO excited in all my life, lol. She told me to make sure I didn't push for the next contraction and Julian breathed hard with me (like hee hee hee hee hee) it was one of the hardest moments through the whole labour. Part way through that contraction I screamed bloody murder ha ha ha...and I tore a bit...OUCH! (I now understand why they call it "the ring of fire".) But then a couple more pushes and all of a sudden this purpley blue thing covered in gunk was thrown on my body and I was actually in shock for a few minutes. She started crying and Julian was just laughing and saying oh my god. I will never forget that moment (obviously.)

It was 4:48pm when Adelaide was born and she was 48 cm long weighing 5lbs 13oz. A friend of ours said, "5lbs of baby and 13oz of hair", lol. I just knew she had a head of hair. I had terrible heartburn through my pregnancy, especially the last trimester. I love her hair, it's so soft and fluffy.

Because my hemoglobin levels were low to begin with and the labour was so fast the midwife shot a needle of something in my thigh. She said my tear wasn't very bad and as long as I promised to stay in bed for 5 days with my legs together then I didn't need stitches. So I opted for that because the idea of 4 stitches in my hoo-ha sounded worse then the birth, lol.

Eleven days have past already and I am doing much better! Healed up nicely! The first few days were painful and gross, lol. But everyday after that gets easier.
It took us a few days to name our daughter. We had a list of like 20 names we liked and hoped that when she was born, one of them would just stand out. But nope. None. My cousin Fiona informed me that our grandmother (on my Mum's side) who we have never met because she passed away when my Mum was only 8 years old, would have celebrated her birthday on November 10th! Her name was Dorothy. And Adelaide was a random name we saw on the internet and both really liked. We couldn't decide if she would be Dorothy Adelaide or Adelaide Dorothy. But she just looked like an Adelaide. So on Monday November 15th, we made it official. Because for 5 days she didn't have a name and she was so tiny, we called her "Bug" and I am sure that nickname will stick forever. You can see in this photo that she wears that nickname well. How adorable.

She is so tiny. All the newborn clothes that we thought were so tiny don't even fit her. She drowns in all her clothes, lol. I am sure that won't be for long. She is doing VERY well. She is very calm and content. Nights have been great. She feeds every 3 hours on average, so I go to bed around 1am after feeding and changing and then she wakes around 4 for another feeding and changing and then again at 7 and then we sleep until about 9:30-10, so I feel pretty rested. I would say the hardest part is dealing with the gas. Burping her can sometimes be challenging, but i am getting the hang of it. I love how gas makes them smile, lol. It's so adorable. She has the cutest dimples!

Adelaide caught on to the boob after a bit of effort, but once she latched she became a pro. It was awkward at first, I had to find a good position for us and everyday I get better. Breastfeeding is magical. I really don't know why women who CAN breastfeed choose not to because seriously, the bonding that goes on is wicked. Not to mention how GYNORMOUS my boobs are!! (Man, people pay a lot of money to have boobs this big and hard, lol) I also couldn't imagine having to get up and prepare bottles and warm them. Sounds like a lot more work. And also the fact that your body bounces back faster if you breastfeed is really a good enough reason for me! I can't believe how fast my stomach disappeared. A few sit ups here and there and I will be right back to normal. I am already back in my pre-pregnancy jeans! YES!

Sadly, since my labour and delivery was short, my Mum wasn't able to get here in time. She arrived at 11pm that night, but was so helpful! She took care of us as we adjusted for the first week. It was wonderful to have her here for those days because I was bed ridden and a little clueless. She gave me great tips and advice and boosted my confidence so that when she left I knew I could do it.

She cooked, cleaned, did laundry and helped with Bug. She is the master burper, so she tried teaching me and I've gotten pretty good, and will get better.

Our friends were so ridiculously helpful and generous. They came over and brought heaps of gifts and food so we wouldn't have to cook and could concentrate on baby! The gifts were beautiful and the food was and is so delicious. We feel SO loved. Julian's Mum was also here over this weekend to meet her first grandchild. She was amazing as well. Made pizza, cinnamon buns and other food! She restocked our cupboards and bought enough diapers to last us 'til we go home to Winnipeg which is when we'll stock up on AMP diapers. She is still under 6 pounds and AMP diapers suggest your baby is at least 7lbs otherwise they won't fit properly. So at the moment she is wearing preemie diapers. Oh so little.

Adelaide has the cutest lil' gas smiles.

She also has adorable elf ears, that are unfortunately starting to look less elf like.

When she's waking up and stretches, she makes the sweetest kissy face.

And she looks so amazed as she's discovering her hands.

This little girl is blowing my mind. I'm in awe every moment of everyday. We left the apartment for the first time yesterday and went for a walk to the grocery shop.

The world really is a different place!!


Jessica said...

EEK EEK EEK so excited for you! :) Thanks for providing so much detail about the birth, obviously labour is pretty much all I can think about these days, haha! Your description of the experience provided me with some much-needed reassurance!

I LOVE the picture of her kissy face, what a sweetie!

Best of luck to the three of you, I look forward to hearing more about your parenting adventures!

Cindy said...

Heather, congratulations to you and Julian! Adelaide is SUCH a cutie! What an amazing story - I cried a little as I read through it. (Happy tears!) The thought of a home birth sounded so scary to me until I read this. Now it sounds like a wonderfully amazing experience!! I'm glad everything went well for you. ALL THE BEST! -Cindy (Ens)

leezle said...

CHRISTMAS CANNOT COME SOONER!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phineas Quimby said...

Heather, my parents sent me the link for your blog entry. Wow. Your very detailed recounting of the details was extremely interesting, and of course extremely beautiful. Your and Julian's child is exquisite and wonderful. I loved reading about your experience, and the pictures are awesome too. Must have taken ages to capture all those different subtle expressions on Adelaide's face so perfectly.

Phineas Quimby said...

This is Thomas Kroeker, by the way. Congratulations!