Our beautiful baby girl was born on October 31, 2008 at 9:40 AM. She was 7 lbs 7.5 oz and 20.5 inches long. I only labored for about 7 and a half hours! The contractions that I thought were real labor contractions on the 27th actually petered out. At our appointment that Thursday, our midwife told us that I was right on the brink of labor, and about 3-4 cm dilated. We decided to not sweep my membranes, and that I would go back on Monday for a sweep if she wasn't here by then. Well, at 2 AM that Friday, I woke up because my contractions were really painful and about 11 minutes apart. I timed them for an hour and a half, and then when Tim woke up to check on the dogs (they were barking), I told him I was having really painful, strong contractions. I tried to sleep between them, but they were too intense at that point for me to keep lying in the bed. So I told Tim I wanted to get up, and he brought my birth ball upstairs. I sat on that, in our darkened bedroom and labored like that until it was time to go to the birth center! Tim stayed up with me the whole time, and we talked and read together (I used a small flashlight so I wouldn't have to turn on the lights). At some point, they started getting painful enough that I asked Tim to provide some counterpressure on my back and that was really helpful. We also took a shower at around 6:30 AM, and I just sat on my birth ball and let the hot water pour over my belly. I was in great spirits, and I felt like I would be ready to go to the birth center in about an hour, so Tim called his parents to let them know (his dad was going to come over to watch Nick). He also called the midwife, Judy, who told us that Lesley (our other midwife) was the one on call and would meet us at the birth center at about 7:45 AM. I kind of felt like that would be cutting it too close, although at that point logically I felt like I would have a much longer labor. It's so cool and strange how your body just knows when to go! Well, after getting everyone situated (Nick woke up at 7:30 AM), giving Tim's dad directions on what to do with Nick, getting the car loaded etc. we got to the birth center around 8:10 AM. Lesley was there waiting for us, and since we were the only couple there, I got to choose the pink room to labor in! Lesley checked me and I was at a 5.5 with a bulging bag of waters. I had to have some monitoring done, and it was SO painful to have to lie there in bed while my contractions were about every 4-5 minutes! Ow!!! Thankfully, we only had to have that done for about 20 minutes and then I was able to get in the tub. The contractions were soooo much more manageable under water! I started to feel them coming closer and closer, but no one thought I was progressing as fast as I was. I remember feeling like I wanted to just be left alone, so I asked Tim to not touch me or look at me during my contractions. When they came, I felt like I wanted to cry, but I would just lay my head on the side of the tub. I did this for about two or three contractions, and then I turned to Tim with my next one and just lunged at him! I hung my arms around his neck and he just instinctively knew I was past my "don't look at me or touch me" phase, and started doing his coaching again. I think I must have hit transition around this time because I felt tears coming down my face, and I said, "I don't know how much longer I can do this, baby." He held me and told me I was doing great, and I was going to be able to do it, and we would be meeting our little girl soon. My contractions at this point were right on top of each other, and it was so intense! I just remember feeling like, "Oh my God, how much longer?!" And then I also started to feel pushy. I told Lesley and Cheryl (the nurse), and Lesley said it was probably my bag of waters wanting to pop. Soon the pushy feeling got stronger and stronger, and I was pushing with every contraction! I had only been at the birthing center about 30-45 minutes at this time, so Lesley didn't realize that I was pushing. I was on my hands and knees in the tub, and I remember looking up at her and saying, "I'm going to need coaching on how to push." She said, "Okay", because she thought I was saying WHEN I push, not that I was pushing right then! But Tim asked, "Do you feel like you need to push?" And I said, "I AM pushing!" So Lesley checked me, and I was at an 8 cm and 0 station. She said, "You still have a little bit of cervix left", but immediately, I felt like I had to push again and I started to do it. So she had me get into the pushing position (my arms wrapped around Tim's legs, with my torso against his), and yep, I was complete! She coached me amazingly well, and Maya started to descend! I pushed for about 10-15 minutes, and I knew I was making progress because I could feel the intense pressure of her head! And suddenly, Lesley was saying, "Here she is!" And Tim said, "Oh my God, look baby, here she is!" I looked down, and there was a gorgeous little baby emerging from me, into the water! They picked her up and put her on my chest, and she just curled up against me, all pink and sweet. She didn't even cry, she was just so content to snuggle! I was laughing and crying, and they said, "Here's your beautiful baby girl!" And Tim was saying, "She's here! There she is!" And the nurse said she looked just like me. We held her like that for a while, and when the cord stopped pulsing, Lesley asked who wanted to cut the cord. Tim didn't want to, but I did! So I got to do that for her. After that, Tim and Maya went over to the couch to snuggle and warm up, and I got helped out of the tub to go deliver the placenta. Lesley checked me over, and I didn't even have one tear that required stitching! I had a laceration, but it was minor and they didn't do anything to it. Such a difference compared to Nick's birth where I had to be stitched up for an hour!
The whole birth was about 7.5 hours from start to finish, with transition and hard labor only lasting a few minutes. If I had to write a birth story out for myself, envisioning the perfect birth, this is exactly how I would've written it. The whole experience struck me as so entirely peaceful, there is nothing I would change. We just murmured and whispered through my contractions - there was no yelling, no screaming, no loudness at all. I whimpered through some of the harder ones, and of course grunted through the pushing, but everything was just so calm and quiet with our music playing on the IPod. It was amazing in every way.
Breastfeeding is challenging because Maya has a hard time latching, but the second time around I knew what to expect so we are working on it! I just keep in mind that it will get easier and easier as time goes on, and that there is a learning curve that we have to get used to - both of us. We have her first pediatrician appointment on Monday!
Nick is adjusting to her well, although he is showing some signs of jealousy, especially because for the past two days he's been hanging out with his grandparents more than with us while we get adjusted to having her in the house. He also likes to go up to her and touch her and pull on her clothes, but doesn't like it when she squawks in her newborn way. I think he's going to be a great big brother once he gets used to her!
I can't wait to see us all unfold as a family of four. It has been an amazing past two years, with two pregnancies so close together! Now life has truly begun for us all!
What a fantastic birth story Sandy Congrats again.
Congrats! I am so glad you had the birth that you wanted! oh and Maya is the name of my horse as well! And she is a sweety too! Can't wait to see pics of her
"To the world you are one person, but to one person, you are the world"
"Live like you'll die tomorrow, ride like you'll live forever"
congrats! she's beautiful!