Saturday, July 3, 2010

Welcome, Matilda!

And just when we were starting to think it would never happen...


...Matilda arrived in this world.


Labour started on Tuesday morning, when I woke up with very noticable contractions. At 3.15am, I started counting them, and by 4.15am, I woke Justin up and told him that this was it. We laboured at home, doing all of our relaxation exercises, watching half an episode of Friends, and taking a lovely hot shower, until I started to tell Justin that I didn't think I could do it anymore, (our "self-doubt" phase, for any other Bradley Method lovers!) and we headed to the hospital about 11am.


I was admitted at 8cm dilated, and by about 2.50pm, I was all the way dilated, at +1 station, and ready to push. So, we pushed. And pushed and pushed and pushed. We pushed forwards, backwards, kneeling, lying... every which way you can imagine.


I pushed for two and a half hours, and then the doctor checked how far Matilda had come. She was at +2 station... in other words, not very far at all. My contractions were dying down... becoming less frequent and less strong. It seemed like our plan for a natural birth was slipping away as the doctor said we needed to try some Pitocin, and an epidural, or else a C-section would be likely. It seemed like such a waste... we'd come so far without pain killers or drugs. Justin was a wonderful advocate, and argued for as little intervention as possible... which I definitely couldn't have done by myself at that point!

We finally agreed to take the lowest dose of Pitocin, but no epidural, and within about 10 minutes, I was having the most intense and painful contractions. I screamed through two of them that I simply couldn't do it, but then on the third, I pulled myself together enough to push. It was difficult, and long, but I was so lucky to have Justin there with me... he counted through each push, and encouraged me, and held my leg for hours and hours!


Tilly arrived at 7.23pm, after 17 hours of labour, and 4 and a half hours of pushing. It turned out she was facing upwards, which was why it had been such hard going, and a very big baby at 9.1 lbs and 21 inches long! When she arrived, the doctor put her straight on my chest, just as I'd asked, and immediately everything else was forgotten... it was just an amazing moment to meet her. We were so incredibly happy! And just like everybody says, it doesn't matter how it happens as long as your baby is healthy, but I was so grateful that I was given the strength to get through it without an epidural and have such wonderful, alert first moments with my little girl.


She's so peaceful and calm, and just loves to be swaddled and cuddled. And right below, Matilda is wearing a little gown that my Mum made for me to wear as a newborn! Tilly came home in it on Thursday, just in time to welcome my family who've flown in to be with us, and Justin's family who drove up from San Antonio.


We are so enjoying welcoming her into the world, and teaching her to eat and sleep. Justin is just a wonderful father, and Tilly loves it when he holds her and kisses her head! They're asleep on the sofa together now... it's so sweet!


And this next one is today: Matilda Alice with my dear little sister, Alice, from whom she gets her middle name.


Thank you all so much for the messages and notes and words of love! It means so much to us that you're thinking of us, and we're so grateful to have such wonderful friends and family. Thank you!

17 comments:

Jill said...

Welcome Tilly and hello mama and daddy! Happy to hear all is well and your soaking up this precious time with loved ones! Yay!

Justin said...

I love you Astrid! I am so proud of the work you did.

Jan said...

Welcome little Tilly and congratulations to Mum and Dad. She is so adorable! Astrid you look so beautiful too and not at all as if you have just gone through 17 hours of labour! As you say once she was on your chest everything else is forgotten. Bless you all. x

Eline Oftedal said...

Congratulations to you all!

Mami Made It said...

Tilly is beautiful! Congrats!

MJ said...

absolutely precious! congratulations friends!

Loreal said...

Yayyy!!! Isn't it amazing how perfectly everything worked out after all?! How wonderful that you birthed Tilly with so little intervention and the loving help of your husband. I'm so proud of you both, and amazed by your strength and perseverance! Tilly is gorgeous, enjoy that precious baby! And thanks so much for posting the blog... I've been checking for it everyday! haha! You must feel so lucky and blessed to be at home, surrounded by family, with your healthy, darling daughter. A dream come true =)

Jadyn said...

What a beautiful family you make! Tilly really is gorgeous. It was so great to read the story of her birth. Yay Justin for being such a great advocate! And double yay to Astrid for doing all the hard work!! Such lovely lovely photos.
xo

Daniel and Amanda Lane said...

what a beautiful baby girl. Congrats you two!

Kristin said...

This is Great Grandma Thies who is reading your blog at Kristin's house: I am getting to see the pictures for the first time of my great granddaughter Matilda! She is so very precious and I am longing for pictures in the mail:-) I don't get to get on the computer very much, so please send me lots of pictures. You look like such a wonderful little family and I am so happy for you! I did that FOUR times!! I can't wait to meet Tilly!

Beth said...

Congratulations! She's absolutely gorgeous!

gogovivi said...

Wonderful news! I am happy Matilda arrived safely and that you were able to birth her naturally! Congratulations on all counts!

Kristin said...

This really is Kristin this time. : ) What a beautiful family you are. I love reading your birth story and am so proud of you for sticking it all out - you are such an inspiration. Enjoy the high you are undoubtedly feeling and get some rest because they don't sleep all the time for very long!

Brooke said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Astrid! I love birth stories. :) I love the part where Justin speaks for you when you can't, and you were able to keep as close to your birth plan for less intervention because of it.

Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!

Best, Brooke :)

Brooke said...

oh, and 9 lbs! Whew!

Anna said...

Congrats Astrid! I have not been online reading blogs but have thought about you and wondered if you gave birth and you did! Tilly is so beautiful!

Natalie Jean (Bottoms) Kelsey said...

BEautiful story.. you inspired me to share mine as well.. Also my grandmothers Birthday was July 3rd. Good day..My son was born August 5th so we are close to the same schedule of babyhood-ness :)Have a great day!