My beautiful daughter was born last Thursday, January 27th (38w + 5d) at 7:17 am! She was 7 lbs, 13 oz, and 21 1/4 inches long. I've just now had time to post...
Our birth story:
I started losing my mucous plug the weekend before and had been feeling some on and off contractions, unsure whether they were for real or just more BH. At 1:45 am on Wednesday, I woke up with my first "real" without-a-doubt contraction. These continued through the early morning hours at about 10 minutes apart. By midmorning, they had slowed to 15-20 minutes apart and my partner and I were convinced we'd be waiting a couple of days for labor to really kick in. He went to run an errand in the afternoon and then...
Around 5pm, the contractions came back on suddenly, 5 minutes apart this time and really strong. I was in tears by the time he got back, pleading, "Don't leave me!!" Over the next hour, labor progressed at lightning speed. We called the doula and by the end of the hour the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and my water had broken all over the living room rug. We rushed to the hospital.
When the midwife checked me on arrival, I was already 8 cm dilated! Everyone was shocked that this was my first baby and convinced he/she would be born any minute. WRONG! I stayed at 8 cm for 4-5 hours, with huge frequent contractions and excruciating back labor. I walked, kneeled, squatted, and got in the shower, but the baby was stuck, turned sideways and unable to descend. I needed to labor on my side to get her to turn, but the pain was too much to bear after so much time at the "end" stage of labor. I veered from my birth plan and got an epidural, feeling defeated but desperate. In the end, though, the ability to change positions and the patience of my midwife made my vaginal birth possible. For another 4 hours, the nurses turned me over and over in bed like a rotisserie. Finally the baby wriggled free and was ready to come out. I pushed for 1 1/2 hours and Lucia Athena was born at dawn.
She passed a bunch of meconium on the way out and had some fluid in her lungs, so my baby was whisked to the NICU for observation while my torn crotch was sewn up. We were so sad and worried, but everything turned out okay. I was wheeled up several times to see her and breastfeed, and by the early afternoon she was rooming happily with us. We went home the following evening and are now falling in love more and more each day.
Thanks for all of your support and advice during this journey!