Looking forward to Judah's story when you both are ready!
Leo (3 1/2) with Malcolm the cat
Ok, here it is finally!! It's edited for Facebook, so just fyi, the "signs" were that I lost my mucous plug parts on Saturday and Monday.
Judah's Birth Story
Signs of labor really began on Saturday the 6th. I don't need to get into the details; if you've had a baby, you know what kinds of signs to look for. I was able to enjoy a haircut and color, pedicure, and massage that day which was perfect timing, unbeknownst to me.
On Monday I had more of the same signs of prelabor and also felt a lot more pressure and what felt like mild contractions throughout the morning. I had a doctor's appointment later that day and told my midwife about it. She checked me and found no dilation or softening and the baby's head was not noticeably low. Since I was only 38 weeks that day, I wasn't surprised and honestly was a little relieved. I figured baby was waiting until after their due date just like their brother and sister. Later on I chalked the contractions up to just feeling painful Braxton Hicks and kept making plans to go shopping and do all of my usual activities for the week.
On Wednesday morning at 2:30am I woke up suddenly when I felt what I hoped was NOT me peeing myself. I got up to go to the bathroom and Tim, who had been on alert since Monday, asked me if everything was okay. I said “I'm not sure.” He prodded me more and I told him I thought my water might have just broken. I felt like I was still losing small amounts of it.
So we called the midwife who said to get some rest and keep her posted. I tried to lay down and sleep but my mind was so busy thinking of all the things I needed to do that it was hard to relax. Tim never went back to sleep. After about an hour, I started having contractions – ones that hurt more than the ones I was feeling on Monday. However, they were very infrequent, and apparently I was able to get some sleep between them because Tim said he heard me snoring a few times. They stayed at about 4-6 every hour for quite sometime. I called the midwife again and she basically said it sounded like I was in labor so we started making preparations. We made arrangements for the kids and I packed bags (of course none of them had been packed yet but it wasn't a big deal because my contractions still hadn't picked up much). I wondered if I should eat something because I was hungry but in the past, I've gotten sick during labor and I didn't want to just throw it all back up so I decided not to eat anything.
I wanted to labor at home for awhile but the kids were now awake and needing things and because I tested Strep B Positive, I needed to go to the hospital asap so I could get in the required two doses of antibiotics that, if not administered, would require them to run tests on my baby to make sure him/her didn't get infected and possibly keep us there longer which I wanted to avoid.
After we dropped off the kids, we headed into the hospital. I munched on some peanuts on the way since I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to eat anything once I got there. At the hospital I was checked to make sure it was my water that was leaking and learned that it seemed like I had a small tear in my water bag, was 5 cm dilated and 80% effaced! Hard to believe that it can change so fast in two days! By this time it was about noon and I started my antibiotics about 15 minutes later.
For the next few hours, I labored on the ball leaning against the bed. My midwife Barb and Tim took turns massaging my back and helping me visualize the baby moving down.
Time went by pretty fast and at 3:30 the midwife checked me. I was at a 7 – only 2 cm more than I was four hours ago. Then they started my next round of antibiotics, hoping that this is what baby was waiting for and that once I got them in, maybe my contractions would start coming faster. They were still coming every 4-5 minutes. After that, the midwife kept checking baby's position and she said he was moving a bit posterior so we tried some positions to get him to move back in a better position. He was moving around a lot and she kept asking if I felt any pressure but I wasn't. My contractions never got very close together even though we kept hoping they would. Maybe that's why I was progressing so slowly. But at least I was progressing! And it also made the whole long labor more manageable. I think God just knows what he's doing and how much I could handle! Barb checked me again (not sure at all what time it was) and I was at a 9. Somewhere in there I had some Italian water ice; I was SO hungry and a lot of times my hunger is what distracted me from concentrating on contractions. I was still worried about throwing up though so I declined a second water ice.
Despite all the different positions, I just really liked rocking on the ball and leaning against the bed so that's where I resorted to. A couple times the baby's heart rate went way down during some contractions and the midwife said the cord was probably getting compressed. I was starting to get really tired of labor and just wanted to push this baby out. I was really just trying to focus through contractions and then rest in between so I was so zoned out and really wanted to come back to reality again.
Eventually I got checked again and I was at a 9.5, so Barb tried to have me push through the lip.
Now with Noel, the pushing phase was a welcome relief; this time it hurt like Hades. It was hard to do at first; I really think my body doesn't feel the pressure to push until the very very end because I had no desire to do so; in fact it hurt way more to push. Despite being in labor for 16 hours so far, the pushing part was by far the worst part. The nurse was worried about my next dose of antibiotics and the midwife said “She's going to push this baby out in 15 minutes, we won't need it.” It helped when Barb started getting all prepped to catch the baby; I knew it had to be soon and that motivated me a little more to push.
Baby was still presenting posterior and Barb was trying to get me to push him into a better position but he just wasn't having it. At one point, his head must have been right in my back because I felt such awful strong lower back pain through one of my contractions. I realized that if that's what back labor really felt like, I would never make it without meds if it was like that the entire time! Just those few seconds of it were excruciating.
Finally, his head was coming and I felt the irresistible urge to push. This is when it got really intense. I started yelling because it hurt so bad and I'm NOT a vocal laborer normally! I kept saying I couldn't do it and that it hurt! Tim was holding my leg up and even though my body was telling me to push, my mind could not get past the pain. At one point, Tim said, his head was halfway out and I just stopped pushing and that totally freaked him out. Barb said the cord was around his neck so we needed to get him out which totally helped me push through the ring of fire that I definitely felt this time around. Even when his head was out, the cord was around his arm as well so everything happened all at once and he was born just like that!
I don't remember who announced that he was a boy but since I was already leaning towards that anyway, it was just confirmed in my mind.
Judah Patrick was born on April 10th at 8:15pm (RIGHT when my third dose of antibiotics was due) – 12 days early! He didn't get weighed/measured right away because they encourage skin to skin and nursing during the “magic hour” after birth. I did really want to know how much he weighed though since he was early and asked the nurse and midwife what they thought. He was pretty chunky so we were guessing at least 8lbs! Sure enough, he weighed 8lbs 4oz (my guess!) and was 21.5in long.
I was really anxious to get into my actual room so I could eat – I was STARVING. There were snacks in there and the nurse got me a fridge pack with a sandwich and stuff. I was up for awhile and of course Tim was out.
Congrats Vicki! I enjoyed reading your birth story. I have not experienced pushing to be an urge I couldn't control or a relief with either of my two. I remember thinking when pushing with DS2 that it hurt alot more than I remember with my first. He was 2.5 lbs bigger too. I hope I get an urge this time. Glad his birth went well and you were able to do it the way you wanted.