Here it is!
I went to bed at around on Tuesday night but I could not go to sleep. The baby had some pretty violent hiccups that shook my entire belly, and was moving around a lot, causing me to feel pressure. So I went downstairs and did some crossword puzzles, hoping to wear my mind out so I could sleep. I went back to bed at and slept until when I woke up with contractions. I constantly felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and it felt good to sit on the toilet anyway so I walked back and forth from the bed to the bathroom a few times. I had a pretty strong contraction once while on the toilet, stronger than anything I remembered feeling with Micaiah. Finally, I sat on the bed again cross-legged and timed a few contractions. They were about 5-6 minutes apart so at around I woke up Tim. We then went ahead and called my midwives and my parents who live two hours away so they could be here with Micaiah.
We timed a few contractions which were still five minutes apart and I went to take a shower. I then lay down in the bathtub for a bit. Tim came in to check on me and all of a sudden I got nauseous and had to get out of the tub to throw up. This is when I finally believed I was really in labor. Up until this point I wondered if this was all just practice. I was worried that my parents would make a wasted trip down here and that I had woken my midwives up for nothing. But when I was in labor with Micaiah, I couldn’t keep anything down either so it was no surprise that it was the same way this time around.
Right after that, I noticed a few drips of something come out of me and I thought it was probably my water starting to break so I put a pad on just in case. Looking back, it might have actually broken in the shower because it was broken when I got to the birthing center and I hadn’t had any more water come out.
Tim and I now started to get all the last minute things together to leave. He called a family from church to watch Micaiah since my parents were still on their way. Meanwhile, my contractions were consistently 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds. To get through the contractions, I was either sitting cross-legged on the couch or lying on my belly on top of a pillow and sticking my butt up in the air when I had a contraction. I’m sure it was attractive! I also had a rice pack on my lower back to take away the slight pain there. When we called the nurse midwife again (we’ll call her Midwife C), she said to try to stay active and walk around, but that wasn’t very attractive to me. DH made me do it through a few contractions and swivel my hips around for the possibility of her being posterior (since I was having some back pain). It really helped me to just zone out and focus on the contraction, then just rest as much as possible in between. I threw up a couple more times, too. I realized it was when a contraction was stronger than the ones before it had been, it made me nauseous.
We finally left the house at around . I sat in the floor in the front seat and leaned on pillows. It was harder to focus in the car, but not unbearably so. DH would steady me when we went around a curve which was helpful but distracted me from concentrating. We dropped Micaiah off and arrived at the birthing center at around 8am. Midwife C checked me and said I was 6-7cm. Then the other midwife (Midwife L – who saw me through my first pregnancy but can’t deliver VBACs) decided to see if she could tell what position the baby was in. She tried to turn the baby during my contraction to see if it would help with back pain. Looking back I don’t think she was turned at all; I was just having mild back pain that can be normal in any labor. This was when I asked about all the liquid that I felt coming out and she said it was water, but that it had already broken and she didn’t break it herself. At that point with all of that poking and prodding she did, I was up to 9cm so they ran the water for the tub. Man did I want to get in there so bad! While I waited, DH would try to help by massaging me and I remember telling him to stop touching me. I was so focused on getting through the contractions and resting in between that any unwanted touch was a distraction. Sometimes I wanted him to massage me but only if I asked him to first.
Once in the tub, I was allowed to go ahead and push, even though I didn’t really feel like pushing. It was a slow process, but something I expected for my first vaginal delivery. I don’t think DH realized that pushing could take so long. Everyone was so encouraging, saying to wait for a contraction to push and then saying “Almost there, she’s definitely coming out, keep pushing, you’re doing a good job, etc.” DH was wiping my forehead with a cool cloth in between, and pushing against my back with all of his might during a contraction. He also kept asking me if I wanted any water and at first I did but after that I didn’t need more and I found it slightly annoying when he kept asking. Eventually Midwife L, who was coaching at the end of the tub, gave me a mirror so I could see what was going on myself. When I’ve watched birthing videos in the past, the thought of actually seeing what was going on down there made me cringe, but this really helped me to *know* that I was making progress and it made me push even harder to get that baby out! I also often put my hand down to feel her head and was surprised that it had a decent amount of dark hair on it! As I kept pushing, I realized that it didn’t really hurt at all. It was exhausting, but I didn’t feel that much pain. Maybe twice I vaguely felt that “ring of fire” feeling but I knew I had to push through it. I also realized that at this point, I was automatically pushing without even thinking about it. Midwife C kept slowly stretching me the whole time; she never let me push without having her hands around the head. DH said later that he was surprised at how happy I was in between pushing.
Finally the head was out and a few light pushes and the body slipped out and I was handed my daughter. First thing I thought was she looked like her daddy. We checked the gender to make sure she was still a girl and were relieved that she was. (I had only had one u/s and they gave me the “don’t see anything to say it’s a boy so it must be a girl” line.) I held her and cuddled her and looked at her in awe for awhile. I tried to get her to nurse but we were both so slippery that it wasn’t working very well. I was also surprised at how clean she looked, but I guess that’s because she was born into water. The cord stopped pulsing and DH cut it and took the baby while I pushed the placenta out. Midwife C had to make sure she got it whole so there was nothing else stuck inside of me. Then I was washed off and led out of the tub and into the bed.
I had a pretty good tear, unfortunately, but it was only first degree so Midwife L was able to stitch me up there. Let me tell you, NOT a comfortable experience.
Looking back at the whole thing, the labor and contractions were not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. They were never so close together that I didn’t have time to rest in between. I never had that transition stage where I questioned my body either. And even the pushing wasn’t that painful and even though it was hard work, I never thought I was too tired to keep going. Oh, and DH was very encouraging despite my jabs at him. He did perfectly!
March 3, 2010 10:07am
8 lbs. 2 oz.; 21 in
Sorry some of the pics are so big, I c&p straight from Facebook.
Still pregnant! Smiling in between pushing.
DH, me, Noel, Midwife C (delivered the baby), Midwife L
"Big yawn" as Micaiah kept saying after this