Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rowan's birthday - Part I

Well, it's taken 2 and a half weeks, but I think I'm finally in some kind of state to update! As per my previous post, we had a little boy, Rowan Clark Katarski at 11:27am on the 2nd of April. Rowan was born at home with no complications, and he's doing so well! Putting on heaps of weight, and he's grown 4cm in 2 weeks.

I wanted to try and get down some of my thoughts from the actual day before the details get too hazy.

The Night Before


Dad came around for a visit on Monday afternoon, and left at about 5pm, which is about the same time Hannah started thinking maybe something was going on. We were at 40+4 by this stage, and we were already starting to think "This is NEVER going to happen!" Such impatience.

The evening went along fairly normally. I made Tuscan meatballs for dinner, gave the house a bit of a vacuum and a mop, then we watched a bit of TV. A few hours into the evening, Hannah was definitely starting to get some proper surges, although they weren't super strong. By 11:00pm we thought we'd jump into bed and get one last proper night's sleep, because we figured the next day was going to be a big one.

We lasted about an hour. By midnight, the surges were pretty real, and Hannah wasn't getting much sleep, so we got back up, popped on some Star Trek: Voyager and tried for a cup of tea. At about this time we hooked up the TENS machine to Hannah's back, and I drew some accupressure points on Hannah's ankles, back, legs, hands and forearms with a fat black texta. This is something we would be very thankful for within a few short hours.

Early Morning


An episode of Star Trek down, and the surges had become regular and a bit stronger. Hannah tried laying over her fitball, or crouching down over the couch, but found it pretty uncomfortable. All of our practise positions had involved Hannah being on all fours or leaning over the ball, but as it turned out, only standing seemed to be comfortable.

This is where the accupressure points came into their own. Even with the Hannah mashing the "BOOST!!!!" button on the TENS machine, nothing worked quite as well to increase comfort during surges as my thumbs on her lower back, just at the base of and either side of her spine. I'd mash on her back, and Hannah would breathe slowly and steadily, and then the surge would pass. I think with all the practise labour surges that had occurred over the previous few weeks, the actual labour surges were familiar in a way. Very not Hollywood - I.e.  none of this "OMG! I think I'm having a contraction!" nonsense you see on the telly.

Episode 3


By the 2nd or 3rd episode of Voyager (the holographic doctor was having hallucinations due to a programming malfunction, very gripping!), there was no mistaking it. This was happening. We were going to meet the Bump on the outside, some time very soon. But how soon? We had absolutely NO idea as to when this was all going to conclude, so we just went one surge at a time. Breathing, accupressure, and lots of fluids. I made sure Hannah was drinking plenty of water and a bit of Gatorade. She wasn't hungry at all, but we'd had a pretty big dinner, so I wasn't too worried.

Timing


We figured we should be timing the surge intervals, so that we knew when to call Laura, our midwife. Hannah had some rad app on her phone which worked out the interval and the averages over a period of time. So with each surge we'd start the timer, then note the interval when we were done.

Speaking of timing... the night went so quickly! The minute or so of the actual surges obviously didn't feel quick, but the rest of the time seemed to fly by. The hours just cranked along: 2am, 3am, 4am. By the time that Tom Paris and Neelix were trapped on an alien planet, the surge interval was at about 4 minutes or so.

Resting


Hannah thought she'd sit down for a rest at about 4am or so (Tom and Neelix made it off the planet), which led to an immediate increase in the interval time. 4 minutes moved to about 5.5/6 minutes. So after half an hour or so of sitting down, Hannah was back on her feet. Immediately, the interval shifted back to around 4 minutes or so.

Missus Update


It's worth mentioning Hannah's disposition by this time. Very, very calm, very positive. We weren't worried about anything. Everything was happening the way it was supposed to, everything was natural. Hannah's body followed its inbuilt programming, and nature took its course. Hannah was able to laugh and smile and chat between surges as though it was just another day. We were both really looking forward to this day for so long, and now it was finally here, we were stoked.

Transition


We hit transition at about 5:30am I think, which is also about the time that the surges shifted to approximately 3 minutes apart. We decided to give it an hour to make sure that labour was well and truly established, continuing at the same pace. More accupressure, more fluids and more Star Trek. (Captain Janeway's holonovel was coming to life all over the ship, pretty spooky!)




Tuesday, April 2, 2013