Clara’s Birth Story

October 5, 2012

in Blog, Family

Hey everyone! It feels like forever since I’ve done a family update.  Forgive this long-winded post, but I have a bunch to update on!  My last pregnancy update was at 35 weeks, and I had Clara at 38 weeks to the day! So I’ll give you the deets about how things went down the last few weeks of the pregnancy, how the birth itself happened, and how these first 6 weeks have been going (I can’t believe I have a 6 week old already!)

The Final 3 weeks

Ok, so they weren’t pleasant, at all.  My pelvis pain was getting really bad, and I was just in an all around crummy mood.  I’m not one of those glowing and smiling pregnant women.  By 36 weeks, I am DONE!

At 37 weeks, I had a midwife appointment, hoping to get “checked” and get things moving along.  But since I wasn’t quite 37 weeks yet, the midwife wanted to hold off.  I understand why, but at the time I was pissed 😉  So between 37 and 38 weeks, I was feeling some strong braxton hicks contractions. Note: I gave birth to Sienna at 37.5 weeks.

So finally, the day of my 38 week appointment came.

This is the last photo I took of myself that morning, and the last one I have preggo…

The midwife did her “check” down there and determined I was around 3cm dilated, and my cervix was thinning.  It didn’t really mean much.  I could have gone into labor in 2 days or 2 weeks.

The Birth Story

But that night, I started getting a little bit of contractions.  I felt a little bit into the night, but it dissipated enough for me to go to sleep.  At 2:30am I woke up with some stronger contractions.  Laid in bed until 3:00am and waited to see if they got stronger.  They did, so by 3:30am I was calling the midwife.  She said to meet us at the hospital, so we got Sienna all packed up, dropped her off at my brother’s and headed to the hospital.

We got there, and the midwife determined I wasn’t in active enough labor, I went home.  I relaxed (kinda!) at home.  Then, at 8:30am my water broke, and things started happening fast and furious!

My contractions got VERY strong and close together, so I called the midwife again in a lot of pain.  She suggested we go to a different hospital as it was faster to get there.  I was happy about it, as it was the same hospital I had Sienna, and I had a great experience there.  So at 9:00am, we got in the car and got to the hospital as fast as we could.

We arrived at the hospital, and since I wasn’t pre-registered, they sent me up to maternity while Brent filled in the paperwork.  These incredibly nice nurses met me in the hall and brought me to my room.

My midwife hadn’t arrived yet, so the nurses were doing a great job making me feel comfortable.  I was in a lot more pain than I was with Sienna, so almost immediately upon arriving in my room I asked for an epidural! Ha! Or morphine or something. I was like, “Give me SOMETHING!”  I was having back labor too, which I had never experienced, and let me tell you, it hurts like nothing I’ve ever felt! So they got me to sit on an exercise ball and lean over onto the bed in hopes to turn the baby from the face up position.  Much to my dismay, I got nothing (aside from laughing gas) as they couldn’t give me anything until my midwife arrived.

The contractions were fast and strong.  The nurse checked me upon arrival and I was 5-6cm dilated.  It couldn’t have been more than 3 contractions that I started making a pushing yell at the end of each contraction.  The nurse was like, “What was that?!”. I had no idea! Obviously, my body was starting to push!  Just then my hubby walked in the door from parking the car.  The nurse directed him right away to push on my back to help relieve the back labor.  The nurse checked me again and I was already 7-8cm.  Then the midwife arrived…just in time.  Then my body was in full on pushing mode.  There was no time for any drug or epidural…this baby was coming….fast! Not that I knew what it was like having “something”. My birth with Sienna was drug-free as well.

At this point, I was SCREAMING with each contraction.  I had this out-of-body experience during one of them and was looking down at myself thinking, “Where is that scream coming from?!”.  It was completely uncontrolled.  It was new to me, as I never experienced this much intensity of pain with Sienna.

After one of those screams, the midwife knew it was time to push.  I had one foot in a stirrup and the other on the midwives hip, and braced myself.  The midwife did a quick look, and she could already see her head!  In 2 pushes, her shoulders were out.  Then she told me to stop pushing as she wanted to turn her a bit.  In 2 more pushes she was out!  I can’t believe it happened so fast!  If the midwife arrived 10 minutes later she would have missed it!  Brent was shocked how quick it happened too! He thought he’d have time when we arrived at the hospital to get coffee and a sandwich!

Clara’s Stats: 6 lbs 9 oz, 17.5 inches

I came out of it with no tearing or anything! Clara was very alert and nursed right away…for about 40 minutes!

Brent looked at his parking ticket and it was 10:02am.  Clara arrived at 10:21am! Since I had such an uncomplicated birth, I was discharged from the hospital that night and arrived home at 7:00pm.  It was wonderful to sleep in my own bed the first night!

The Name

So our 2 top picks ended up being Alyssa and Clara. It took us a few hours to mull it over.  We decided on Clara because I pictured an Alyssa to have dark hair, whereas Clara we pictured to be fair with light hair and blue eyes which is how Sienna looks.

The Last 6 Weeks

So as with having any new baby, its come with its set of challenges.  Clara has been doing great and gaining weight like crazy. She’s probably close to 10 lbs already.  She’s a bit on the fussy side (usually at the same times everyday) between 8:30am – 11:30am and in the evening from 5:30pm-8:00pm.  Its usually related to gas.  But otherwise great and she’s usually never up more than twice in the night. Lately she’s been doing some 6 hour stretches, so that’s nice.

Warning: TMI ahead (especially for the dudes!)

The biggest issue so far has been feeding, which I’m no stranger to as I had challenges with Sienna.  Off the get go, nursing seemed to be going ok with Clara before my milk came in.  Perhaps because she was sleepy at that point still, she wasn’t ravenous.  It took longer for my milk to come in this time, and when it did, it was very gradual…I didn’t even know if it was there.

By day 7, she still wasn’t back at her birth weight. The midwife wanted me to nurse, then top her up with expressed milk, or else I would need to start supplementing with formula.  So I hauled out my double pump and started giving her pumped milk after nursing. If it wasn’t for the top ups she definitely wouldn’t have gained weight.  She was taking most of her feeds from the bottle, not the boob.  She obviously wasn’t nursing efficiently on the boob.  She’d suck, but you’d rarely hear swallowing, so that wasn’t good.

I resigned to the fact that I would have to pump…again.  The whole procedure of nursing, then pumping was totally thrashing on my already tender boobs.  The nursing didn’t get better, so I decided to just take her off all together and pump only, and give bottles.  I did this last time with Sienna.  Her problem was not being able to latch, but I still ended up in the same place….pumping.

That was going ok, for about 4 weeks, until I became so tired and sore from pumping constantly.  My boobs are literally black and blue. So this week, I’ve decided to go to formula.  I’m done with pumping, and I also want to get off the Domperinone drug for increased milk production as its been giving me bad headaches (side effect), and the safety is being questioned. The fenugreek alone wasn’t working all that well, and with nothing my milk supply was weak.

If I had only Clara, I’d maybe think about gritting my teeth and pumping longer, but I don’t have the time or energy to stick it out as long as I did with Sienna.  I’m disappointed, as I really wanted it to work out this time. I love the idea of nursing, and not having to deal with bottles, but I wasn’t going to stress myself out and instead I’ve chosen to opt out to save my sanity.  I do feel guilty, as of course I believe breast milk is best. But it is, what it is.

Sienna has been adjusting well to being a big sister.  She’s had a couple jealous moments (naturally), but she’s loving being a little mommy and helping, and having a baby around. She helps me take off the diapers, and picks the outfits for her to wear everyday. It melted my heart to see her hold her for the first time…I was crying like a baby!

I’ve been feeling great this time around.  After 1 short week, I was starting to feel like myself again.  At 4 weeks post baby, I even started back at the gym. I’m doing a weight training focus right now to get back my lost muscle from not working out while pregnant.

I’ll have a different update about the program I’m doing and my progress pics etc, so stay tuned for that!

Hope you enjoyed reading the story!  I’ve been trying to get back into a regular posting routine, but it hasn’t been working out that well.  Lots of recipes to post, its just a matter of having the time to type them out!  I’ve also got a GREAT contest planned…another “My Favorite Things Giveaway” so hopefully I can get that up in the next couple weeks.

Gotta run…baby calls!



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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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Latest posts by Kristine (see all)

  • andersen610

    Nice Blog! Have you seen tepelbedekkers before? I have seen some at and those products might be interesting to blog about for you?

  • Anna @ The Guiltless Life

    I’m reading this on a major delay but that’s a GREAT birth story – my mom’s birth with me was very similar, fast and quite easy – which she said is expected of second children so perhaps that’s why? But I’m juts so glad it was such an easy birth and that things went well and Clara is truly beautiful. I’ve come to understand from my sister and friends that nursing isn’t the easy process we expect it to be before we get pregnant so although I get that moms are going to always feel guilt, take it easy on yourself and know you did all you could! She’s still a beautiful and healthy baby growing well! Congrats!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Thanks Anna, I appreciate it! Neat to hear your Mom and I had similar births!

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

    AWWWWWHHHHH!!!! Congratulations, Kristine! What a blessing she must be in your life. 🙂

  • Dairyfreebetty

    awesome thanks for sharing, and I cannot believe 6 weeks has already passed!!  🙂  She’s perfect and I love her name!! 

  • Stephanie

    Wow I hadn’t heard the whole story. Sure glad you weren’t stuck in traffic! I felt your pain with talk of back labour. There is regular labour which of course is awful but then there is a different form of evil which is back pain. Had it with my first and it truly is horrific. As for the guilt you have to let that go. If your not in good physical or mental health your not able to be mom or wife at all. Taking care of yourself is the first step although we always seem to be last on the list. My advice is don’t be so hard on yourself and…go get a massage 🙂

  • Terraklassen

    Wonderful story Kristine, and the girls are so sweet.  I am glad things are going well and really try not to beat yourself up to much about bottle feeding as I bottle feed all 3 of my babies due to various reasons and they are all healthy and happy.  Some of the most planned out things dont work but in the end its usually for the right reason. 
    Looking forward to see progress pic’s and hearing about your new fitness routine as well as all your wonderful receipes.
    Take care Terra

  • Kcoish

    Wonderful story!! Great reading your story.
    My daughter had difficulties latching and I bought a nipple shield..used it for a couple days and after that all worked out without the shield.
    Enjoy your new Clara!

  • Shirin Khan0om

    best wishes for your and your lovely family <3 

  • Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom

    Congrats on your beautiful Clara!!! I loved the birth story but they always leave me wanting another baby, ha!! As for breastfeeding…save the guilt, there will be plenty more things you will feel guilty over in the future. You have to do what is best for you and baby and being black and blue and frustrated isn’t good for either of you!!

  • Jeannevanderveen8

    What a beautiful story. I also teared up while reading it! Enjoy your two beautiful kids!

  • LJ Martin

    Congratulations on your newest addition.  The domperidone link has scared the crap out of me.  I have been taking it since November and just finished my last prescription on Tuesday night.  I have had a couple of dizzy spells recently and had noticed that my heart rate was very low (53bpm).  Waiting to go for a holter next week to see if anything is wrong.  Perhaps this was the cause…

  • Erica Petty

    Such a great birth story! I got teary eyed a couple times I know how you felt it all happened so fast. I had some issues both times breastfeeding and I really beat myself up over it but I totally agree your sanity is very important. You are such an inspiration Kristine!  😉

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