The Story of Petra’s Birth

Petra’s estimated due date was June 17th, making her exactly 2 weeks early – just barely full term. In fact, she is quite healthy and well-developed. After her cousin Iris was born 12 days early in January, we had decided we’d try to be ready for our baby to arrive by June 1st, just in case something similar happened. We actually pretty much were ready then, which is good, because (in retrospect) that is the day I started labor.

Walking back from pre-natal yoga class Monday night, I started having what I thought were just “practice” contractions. Although they were fairly regular for a couple of hours that night, they died down and I put a full day of work in at the office on Tuesday. Tuesday night the contractions got more regular again, about 10 minutes apart. My water broke around 1 am on Wednesday, at which point the contractions got much more intense and came every 2 to 4 minutes. Around 2:30 pm I walked across the street into the hospital and was examined by the midwife on call. We had been hoping and preparing for a natural, unmedicated birth at the Cambridge Birth Center, part of Cambridge Hospital. The breathing and relaxation techniques we’d learned from Hypnobirthing were helpful in coping with the contractions. However, there was a glitch in the plan.

We had known for a few weeks that Petra wasn’t in the correct position most of the time – she liked to move around into various positions. In fact, I had appointments on both Wednesday and Thursday for procedures to try to turn her into the correct position. But she wasn’t waiting that long! She was breech when we arrived at the hospital, and various factors meant that a C-section was necessary. Although it felt like an eternity to me, from check-in at the hospital to Petra’s delivery was only about an hour and 15 minutes. Matt stayed with her during weighing and other procedures, while our doula stayed with me.

The C-section definitely has not been a pleasant experience, and I will take a few weeks to recover. I’m not used to being an invalid. However, Petra is very healthy (she could have left the hospital Friday; it was me that kept us there until today), and that is the most important thing! We’re very happy to have such a wonderful baby, and hopefully that will sustain us through the sleeplessness and (on my part) pain and mobility restrictions.

Sorry we haven’t posted photos yet, although we’re lucky the new Flip video camera arrived by mail the afternoon before she was born. Cambridge Hospital’s internet blocks Flickr, Facebook, Youtube, LJ, most blogs, etc. Now that we are home we will eventually get stuff up on Flickr.

One thought on “The Story of Petra’s Birth

  1. Wow, I guess it’s a good thing I’m not travelling in the last two months – just in case!

    I’m glad that you and Petra are healthy. It’s too bad about the C-section – I’m sure you’ll be back on your feet soon.

    I love the Flip – we got one too a while back for the same reason.

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