I haven't written much here but have really gained so much from reading everyone elses experiences.
I have been experiencing pretty major prodromal labor for the last four weeks and had to go on maternity leave early to try and keep the baby in. Pretty difficult to rest when you have a toddler running around!
Anyway, Last Saturday evening I started with early labor contractions. They continued through the night and we called the midwives at 2am. They were 3-5 minutes apart and getting stronger, but not unbearable. So, i told the midwives to hold off coming over for a while.
I lay in bed practising my hypnobabies stuff and finally around 4am I guess I fell asleep. When I woke it was 2 hours later and the contractions had stopped. I was left with terrible and continuous cramps in my stomach and terrible lower back pain. I was shivery and nauseas but we just figured it was a stalled labor. The midwives told me to keep up with fluids and rest.
On Monday it was the same. I had an accupuncture appointment that I tried to go to but had to ask him to stop after 15 minutes because I felt awful. On the way home we had to stop the car twice for me to throw up and I was in so much pain. The midwives rushed over, thinking I was in labor. But, my cervix was only 1cm dilated.
That night my fever spiked to 102.5 so we were rushed into triage at L&D at the nearby hospital. The midwives came with us and baby was monitored. She seemed to be doing okay at that point and no cause for my symptoms could be found. It was decided it was a virus and I was instructed to take tylenol to keep the fever down and return to the hospital if the fever spiked again.
By wednesday I was still in so much pain, and with fever so I was admitted to the hospital. Baby was now showing signs of distress and there was low amniotic fluid levels. I was put on constant monitoring and IV fluids overnight. The plan was for a medical induction the following morning (we had originally planned a natural homebirth). We were 37.5 weeks.
Thursday morning came and I was feeling better. Baby was doing amazingly well and the amniotic fluids had increased. It was amazing and noone could believe it, but we were discharged, with a follow up appt Monday.
Well, I woke up on Friday morning with contractions 5 mins apart. They were certainly bearable, but I was aware of them. I also passed my mucous plug. Somehow I just knew I was in labor though. My husband had to be away for three hours that afternoon so somehow the day just continued with the contractions inrceasing ever so slightly. I finally asked the midwives to come over when my husband got back, just to check on the baby and to check that I actually was dilating. Baby was fine and I was now 2cm. The midwife was very sweet but said that she thought I would have a more dramatic labor than this and probably still had some time to go. I told her that I thought I was waiting for my husband to get home before it all kicked off! That was 4pm.
As soon as she left they got incredibly intense and closer together. I had worked though so much preparation for this birth that I felt so calm and in control. I wasn't afraid of the pain and wouldn't let myself think of it as pain. Instead I kept visualizing the cervix opening wide and the baby pushing down and out.
Soon I was naked in the bath, groaning loudly through each contraction, asking for our daughter to go to a friend's house and for the midwives to come back and set up the tub. My husband was amazing. He just got everything done, whilst I focused on getting the baby out. I felt a huge sense of calm in between each contraction.
The midwives arrived and set up the tub. By the time it was ready I felt that something had shifted. Going from the bathroom to the tub downstairs was so hard. Just as I was leaning over the tub for another contraction I saw there was a notice printed on it saying "no diving" I just burst out laughing mid contraction......really weird as they were sooooo intense at this point.
Soon after getting in the tub I realised I was bearing down. One of the midwives suggested checking me just in case i wasn't fully dilated....she couldn't believe I had progressed so much in such a short space of time (about 2.5 hours). I said I couldn't stop bearing down, so I felt it was the right thing to do. She was very supportive and let me continue. It felt so good and I was sure that I was going to feel the baby soon. Suddenly there was a pop with one of the contractions and the waters burst. That gave me a shock, but soon after I could clearly feel the baby moving down. I reached down and held her head as she crowned. My husband caught her as her body came out and passed her to me.
She was born at 7:30pm, just three hours after I was told I was 2 cm and could still be pregnant on Monday!
She was so tiny - 6lb 10oz and covered in vernix! she breathed, screamed and then latched on straight away. We have named her Noa Lise
It was an amazing experience. My second homebirth but so different from the first. I didn't tear, I wasn't scared and felt so powerful and in control throughout. I knew that we had been so much in the past week I needed it to be a fast labor. It is amazing to me how powerful our minds can be through the birth process.
(sorry this is sooooo long)