Sunday, January 4, 2009


***warning*** do not read any further if you're hoping for/needing to read an endorsement of natural childbirth (said only very slightly tongue-in-cheek)

I'm having a hard time remembering what day it even is... okay, Sunday afternoon...

Last Wed (Jan 31st) at my midwife appointment, I was told I was 2-3cm dilated with a very soft cervix and given the names of two homeopathic remedies to take that might help start labour (the homeopathic versions of black and blue cohosh). An afternoon-long hunt to actually find these ended in them just being given to us (!), because they'd already been opened and a few granules take out. While they did seem to bring on a few contractions, nothing lasted. Thurs night I had hours of Braxton Hicks, but no labour even with a repeat of the homeopathics.

Friday evening, standing at the stove, I felt a few drops and rushed to the bathroom thinking I was once again being let down my weakened pelvic floor. I thought there might be a chance that it was my water breaking... however if it was, it was VERY underwhelming.

My midwife stopped by that night to confirm that it was in fact amniotic fluid, examine me, and do an uncomfortably thorough membrane sweep. She also gave me some more homeopathics and left instructions for a castor oil smoothie if I really wanted to get things going. I was 3-4cms dilated and about 20% effaced that night. I took the homeopathics, which unfortuanately did very little, but decided to wait until morning for the castor oil.

Saturday morning, after a delicious banana/orange/raspberry/castor oil smoothie, and a call to my midwife to arrange to meet at the birth center around 10am, I laid down to try to rest. Well... the castor oil had other plans. So not wanting to stray far from the facilities, I decided to make sure everything I'd need/want was in my bag, the camera memory card was empty, batteries charged, etc.

We met the midwife at the birth center and, at around 10:30am, started a "natural induction" using the breast pump - 5mins on, then 5mins of walking, repeat. It made my toes curl, but it seemed to work. The midwife also offered a tincture of black cohosh (I couldn't have the blue cohosh tincture because it was a VBAC), which I wouldn'tve have taken on my own, but felt comfortable taking with her present. Right from the get go, my contractions were 1.5-2mins apart and lasting 45-60sec. So not much rest between. At that point though, they weren't too intense.

Things really picked up around noon. That's when the midwife said my real labor seemed to start (apparently the previous hour was just for kicks!). Even though the contractions were getting stronger, I thought I was doing really well at managing the pain... although I was anxious to get into the tub! Midwife checked me while the tub was filling up, AND I WAS STILL AT 4 CENTIMETERS. That was seriously discouraging. I was more effaced -like 90%- but I felt like all those contractions (remember they were almost all less than 1.5mins apart) should have produced more progress.

I got in the tub just before 3pm. It did feel nice. It didn't make the pain go away, but I seemed to be able to relax and focus better. The midwife checked me again and I WAS STILL AT 4CMS at which point I began to question whether or not I could do this. My midwife was great though (as was Peter, but what does he know? HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A UTERUS) and stressed that I really had to relax because I was fighting the contractions too much. With that challenge, I managed to go from 4-7cms in the next three contractions. 

7cms. We had progress.

But then it really, REALLY started to hurt. 

Yeah, I know labour hurts, but remember that I had epidurals for my last three births! When I really started to vocalize, the midwife checked me again and -get ready for this- I WAS BACK TO 5 CMS!

At that lovely news, I totally lost it.

Started crying. Saying I couldn't do it. Praising the invention of the epidural. Begging my midwife to forgive me for being such a wimp, and inwardly totally freaking out at the fact that I could see no way out of the MOST AWFUL, PAINFUL SITUATION OF MY WHOLE LIFE.

After only 15 mins in the tub, I somehow managed to get my heaving, moaning, bawling mass of contractions onto the bed. I landed there on all fours and that's how I stayed. I think I started pushing when I was only 9cms, more out of UTTER DESPERATION to have it all over than that actual urge to push. IT WAS THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY OUT I COULD SEE.

So I pushed.

The midwife kept saying that he was "right there", but I would respond (sobbing), "No... he's... not! I can tell! He's... not... there... at alllllll!" So after what seemed like the most excruciatingly pain-filled, hellish, never-ending eternity OF MY LIFE -but what I've been told was in reality ONLY 12 MINUTES- Andrew Russell Faer Bundy made his slippery entry into this world.

It was not the quiet, peaceful, calm entrance I had imagined for by sweet boy. The poor couple down the hall probably thought I was dying -AS DID I. Although I don't remember everything that came out of my mouth in those long, LONG twelve minutes, I do remember screaming, "BABY, GET OUT!" several times.

And out he got. THANK GOD.

One of the first things I said after I was finally laying down with him was, "THAT. SUCKED." In all seriousness, WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I don't think I was unprepared for the pain, but more for my ability to manage it. Or maybe my ability to handle the disappointments and set backs of labor... not being able to do something well that I'd planned to do well. Whatever it was, I think it'll take a few years before I'm willing to ever consider doing this again!

However the end result is definitely worth it!

(Sorry to all the men in my life who were perhaps unprepared for that picture, but cmon, you can't see anything.)

Andrew was 8lbs (but was weighed AFTER unloading several ounces of lovely meconium poo on Peter's bare chest) and 19.3" long. In the end it was 3 hours of labor on land, 15 minutes in the tub and 12 minues of pushing. My placenta took 12 minutes to deliver (likely cause I was just too tired to push any more), during which time Andrew stayed attached.

We left the birth center when he was about four hours old.

The boys were so excited to have us home and to meet their new brother. Simon constantly wants "my turn" to hold baby and Liam thinks that Andrew is "the BEST present".

My midwife did an awesome job of stitching me up, even fixing a botched job from Simon's birth. It took most of an hour, but she was super pleased with her handiwork. And for all the stitching she did to piece me back together, I feel pretty great.



  1. WHOOHOO MAMA!!!! Awww, I am sooooooo happy for you all!! Andrew is such a handsome boy and I think you did an absolutely amazing job!! Enjoy snuggling your sweet newborn and all the precious moments with your boys!!

    Much love, hugs and blessings being tossed out east to you all! I miss you!!xoxo

  2. Congrats Amy! I think you're crazy but am very impressed and proud of you. I have to admit, I belly laughed reading this account of Andrew's birth. I know it wasn't supposed to be funny...sorry. I love the name, it's perfect. You look wonderful and the pics with the boys are precious. Lots of love sent to you all.

  3. We're glad he is out too! Hopefully he will always be good to his mama after what she went through getting him here. :) Tobiah and Asher are thrilled to have a new cousin! Can't wait to see more pictures and am so glad that I get to be a part of Andrew's life as his Auntie Susie!

  4. Susie, your name shows up as "Purpose of Blog"... .weird! That's a pretty grand sounding title!

  5. Love all the pictures! Liam and Simon look so cute holding their new brother. I laughed pretty hard reading your story of Andrew's birth (you're a great story teller) although I know it wasn't funny for you at all while it was happening! You are one strong woman! After your story though, maybe someone can rewind my life about 6 1/2 months? You look great,and I can't wait to see more pictures! Love you all!

  6. Amy,
    Great story and pictures! The boys look so cute holding their new brother. He was a big boy for such a small mama! The picture of you nursing is a classic- you need to have it framed. I'm so glad your mom is still there to help you. Writing is your strength! What will it be--fiction or nonfiction? That is between sleep, hugs, feedings, shoveling snow, being a wife, etc. Ha!
    You, Peter and boys are loved! A. Dianne

  7. Amy,well, it sounds to me like you handled everything perfectly. Three and a bit hours, and you lost control for just a few of those minutes. Amazing. As for the words that may have been spoken in the midst of the blessed torture...we get a few moments in life as a Mom, when we can say it just as it is, and not regret it, Labour is one of those moments. Congats, he's gorgeous....try one more need some more estrogen in the house!!!! Love Lesley

  8. Look at all that dark hair! Can't wait to meet him!

  9. Congrats Amy!

    Thanks for all the insight on natural (no epi) childbirth! It is definitely not in my plans any time in the near or distant future, let me know how you feel about it in a couple of weeks! You know, how the two compare!

    I love you and am so glad that you have your precious boy! A wonderful addition to the family!

    Way to go Peter! Just thought I throw that in there for all his great work, 9ish months ago!

    He is beautiful and we (the Rousseau Fam) is so happy for you!


  10. Congrats Amy and Peter! Andrew is beautiful and his big brothers look so proud! What a way to start the New Year. We are so happy for you both. You did a great job Amy. Something to be proud of for sure! I am not nearly that brave. Sending a hug to all of you.

    Tree (and Geoff, Sam, and Grace)


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