I woke up on the morning of the 24th of December to a small gush of fluid. My water had broken with your brother and sister, but this was different. It wasn?t much fluid. I spend the rest of the day prepping for Christmas, and trying to decide if my water had broken. Finally, around 5pm, I had had some larger gushes, and I called my midwives, and they told me to wait until contractions started. So I waited?.and waited. Nothing. I so wanted to make it through to the morning?.I didn?t want to miss Christmas morning after I had worked so hard to get it together! I didn?t sleep much that night, watching the clock, ready for morning. Around 1am I had another gush, and again at 5am. After the 5am gush, I got up to go to the bathroom, and the fluid was pink. This made me nervous! I?d never had anything like that, so I called the midwives back again. She said not to worry, as it was a sign that labor was starting soon. Your sister was already awake, and we woke your brother up, too, thinking we needed to go downstairs to see what Santa had brought before mommy and daddy had to leave for the hospital! I didn?t think we had a whole lot of time!
We had a great morning, but still no signs of labor. What was going on? Around 11am I decided to take a nap, thinking that I?d need to rest if you were coming today. I rested bit, but the phone woke me up twice. The second time it was the new on-call midwife, Melanie, calling to check in. She said that we?d say that 1am was the official time my water broke, since that was the first big gush, and that we had 24 hours to get me into active labor. I was worried. I?d had pitocin to help labor with your brother, and I didn?t want that again. She also said if I hadn?t had contractions by 2pm, to call back, and we?d meet at the hospital to talk about options. Of course, 2pm came, with no signs of labor. I called, and we decided to use castor oil to get things moving along. Better than pitocin, but this still had me a bit nervous.
I had a few contractions on the ride to the hospital, but not much. We got to the hospital around 3:15pm, and checked in. This was so different than your sister?s labor, which was hectic and fast. Checking in not being in labor was a strange experience. I finished the castor oil ?cocktail? by about 4pm (it wasn?t all that bad!). Melanie then said to go walk the halls until 5:30pm, and to make sure to do lunges up the stairs since we thought you were posterior. This was to help get you to turn. Daddy and I walked and walked?.and the contractions started. By about 5 they were good and strong, so much that I didn?t want to do the stairs during them. We went back about 5:15, with contractions about 5ish minutes apart, much stronger.
I was worried that once we got back in the room, labor would stop. But the contractions continued, thank goodness. I had to be monitored a bit, and everything looked good. We started our music, dimmed the lights, and waited. Daddy got hungry, and went to get some dinner. This was a very new labor experience for me! Waiting around on contractions, dealing with them, waiting again. I had heard that some women found early labor boring, and for about 30 minutes, I understood this! Things picked up very, very quickly, though.
The contractions kept building, as I labored standing up, leaning over the bed, with daddy rubbing my lower back. You were posterior, and the contractions felt very sharp. Daddy was amazing! He kept offering me food, which I wanted nothing to do with. I had to keep moving during the whole labor. In between contractions, I paced the room, and used the bathroom. I was vocalizing a lot differently than with your sister, as the contractions felt so much sharper. I felt like I was very loud, and much more aggressive sounding.
I kept taking the contractions one by one, as they increased in intensity. I asked when would be a good time to get in the tub. Melanie said to hold off a bit longer, since we didn?t want to stall labor. She said she would also need to check me first to make sure I was at least 5cm. Things took a quick turn, though. I remember having a contraction, going to bathroom and quickly having another one in the bathroom. I really hated being in there alone to deal with the contraction. It finished, and I quickly had another one once I got back to the bed. It was time for the tub?now! No need to check me; it was obvious things were progressing.
I got in the tub, but it was not the relief I?d hoped for. I think maybe I was too far gone at that point. I squatted down deeply, and swayed my belly. I managed to stay in for 5 or so contractions, but then felt like I might need to push. It was hard to tell, again much different than your sister, I assume because of your position.
I got out of the tub, and wanted to get on my hands and knees on the bed. I thought I needed to push; again, it was hard to tell. I was kind of pushing, but it didn?t feel effective. Later Melanie told me she thought I wasn?t quite complete at that point. Finally, I wanted to move to the birthing stool. I was pushing, but still didn?t feel quite effective. You were descending very, very slowly, and I was getting frustrated. Melanie then had me lean back onto Daddy, who was sitting behind me. This really helped, and having Daddy hold and support me felt so wonderful, and things felt like they were moving along, although still slowly.
Finally, I got to a point where I felt like your head would be out at the next push. This happened at least three times, with no progress. I lost it! I was so frustrated, so ready for you to be here. And the stinging was getting hard to handle! I had wanted warm compresses during pushing, but there was a mix up, and the water wasn?t warm, so I had the full effect of crowing. Wow! It was intense, and I was ready for you to be here. I started yelling, but Melanie calmed me down, basically telling me yelling wasn?t going to help get you here. I calmed down, quieted down, and your head was out on the next push, followed by your shoulders and body! (The nurses later commented that they wondered if I had asked for a ?quiet? birth, because the room fell silent for your arrival.)
You were here! 8:02pm on Christmas Day! You were so pink, and I got to hold you while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. It was awesome, and a first, since your brother and sister needed help right after birth. APGARs were 9 and 9, and you were 7 lbs, 8oz, 20 inches long. And a ton of dark, dark brown hair. Amazing!