Yaaay congratulations! So happy for you! And I love the name!
Martha is here :) **Updated with tremendously long birth story in post 29!!** - Page 2
Monday I had sent my midwife the whiniest email, about how I was just SO done being pregnant, I felt so overwhelmed, blah blah blah. I didn't know how I could do 2 more weeks! She responded that I was loved, and that I was doing great, and that something "low impact" I could do would be to drink some RRL tea. So I made myself a gallon of it, and drank all of it over the course of the day. I went to bed discouraged, because the RRL hadn't done anything -- I'd been reading for weeks about all you ladies having contractions, and being partially dilated, and all that stinkin' tea hadn't even increased my braxton hicks! I had absolutely NO signs of impending labor -- no extra braxton-hicks, NO real contractions to speak of, no nesting, no bloody show/mucous, no cleansing of the bowels...
With my pelvis being what it was through the last of the pregnancy, I didn't really fall asleep until about 3:30 Tuesday morning. I woke up a few hours later to pee (ah pregnancy!) at about 5:30, and when I returned to bed I laid down and felt a pop. I sleep naked, so my hands went to cup my crotch, and I hopped up and hobbled quickly to the bathroom as fluid dribbled out of me. As I sat on the toilet, more fluid came out, and I smelled what was in my hands just to be sure. It smelled sweet, and was thankfully clear. I waited a few minutes before getting up and grabbing a prefold to stuff in my underwear. I then went to wake DH, who normally gets up at 5:45-6 anyway, so I didn't feel too terrible about waking him 20 minutes early. I was excited! Today would be the day!! With DS, his water broke before labor began, but it was just a tiny trickle. This was really a *break* and I was sure that labor would start soon. Such a rush of adrenaline though, which probably wasn't really productive to getting contractions to start.
I also called my midwife, just to let her know to clear her schedule for the day, find out if there was anything I should do, etc. She had me lay down for 5 minutes to make sure bebe was still moving, but I was pretty confident that the cord wouldn't have prolapsed. She had dropped several weeks earlier, and was so low in my pelvis that I could feel her head very easily through my cervix. No room for a cord.
DH wanted to go into his office to get his work laptop, which we went back and forth about for a while. I didn't want him to leave me, but I was feeling kind of nauseous, and didn't really want to get in the car. This was the only part of the day that DH wasn't stellar about. I was pretty annoyed, and then DS heard us talking and woke up a full 2 hours earlier than normal. Once I realized that DS was probably up for the day, I finally just agreed to drive with DH to his office so he could grab the damn laptop. At least he heeded my instructions to not dilly dally in the office!
After we left, I called our other midwife, to give her a head's up as well. While technically not our "main" midwife, she was one of the apprentices at DS's birth, and I loved her presence and wanted her to attend this birth if she could. While we were out I wanted to grab some doughnuts for the midwives from this place that my city is famous for (Google VooDoo Doughnuts), and also to grab some groceries so we'd have some easy food for the midwives and DH throughout the day. I had no idea how long things would go. Unfortunately the grocery store wasn't open yet for the day, so we just got the doughnuts and came home around 8.
We did some tidying around the house for a little while, I hadn't had any contractions yet, and was pretty tired from only getting 2 hours of sleep, so around 9:30 I sent DH with DS to the grocery store so that I could try and sleep alone for an hour. I was able to rest a little bit, but still no contractions. Around 10:30 we decided to contact our neighbor who would be watching DS for the day to see if maybe she'd be willing to watch him so that maybe I could concentrate more on "doing my thing." She's a home birth mom herself, and she was totally willing, so we dropped DS off at 11. I laid down again and listened to some music for about 20 minutes, and started having contractions. They were anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes long, and started coming anywhere from 7 to 2 minutes apart. I called my midwife at about 11:30 and asked if she could come, even though they weren't super regular, and she agreed. I realized at the time that it was silly... That labor was clearly not established. I had a feeling, but was totally unwilling to acknowledge it lest I jinx myself.
Of course, as soon as I got off the phone with her, the contractions spaced back out to 7-10 minutes apart, and shortened in length. Still, DH wanted to set up the tub. I thought he was being absolutely ridiculous, that we would just be wasting precious hot water, etc. But never try to argue with an engineer... So I bounced on my birth ball and had some pretty manageable contractions for the next hour while DH fiddled with the tub and hose and all that junk. I think he enjoyed having more to "do" at this birth. DS was a freestanding birthcenter baby, whereas I think this time he sort of enjoyed having tasks. Regardless, he finished filling the tub to the height I had asked right about 12:30, and then a few minutes later my main midwife arrived.
She asked me some questions for her charting, watched me have a few contractions, and listened to the baby. A few minutes later, my second midwife arrived, and we all hung out for a bit. But I think they could tell that maybe their presence was distracting, or that a watched pot never boils, so they decided to go and grab some lunch together about 1:30 and encouraged DH and I to snuggle and relax together for a bit. We did that for about half and hour, and by about 2:00 I was starting to have some real zingers. We weren't keeping track at this point of time or length... Between 2 and 2:30, they were officially "hard," for me, and I had to vocalize through them. I asked for DH to call the midwives back, and he kind of chuckled. I guess they had gone and gotten lunch and then come back and were just sitting out front of the house. They had debated going to Buffalo Exchange (a really awesome thrift store near us), but decided not to. And boy was that a good thing!
So yes, they came inside about 2:30. I had some contractions on the couch, and then asked them about getting in the tub. My midwife said that she'd like me to be in well established labor, or at least 5cm before I got in, and that she doesn't normally like to check when waters are broken. I said that I was having a hard time relaxing, and could she please just do the one internal exam. I really suddenly just wanted in that tub. She agreed, but I wanted to go to the bathroom first. I had another two contractions in the bathroom with DH, and when I came back out she told me that she didn't need to check me -- that I could just get in whenever I wanted. I sounded *that* great in there...
I will mention here that we went with the Aquaborn tub, which has a lid, and holy moly, that thing holds heat GREAT. I waited through one more excruciating contraction while the midwives added a few pots of cold water to bring down the temperature of the tub that DH had filled at noon. As soon as it was ready, I hopped in at about 3PM. The sides of the Aquaborn are really high, perfect for being basically upright while still having my body totally under water. I had a couple of really intense contractions that had me begging everyone for a break. I got it -- probably about 5-10 minutes where nothing happened. Thank god, the universe, whatever. But I got my short little break before contractions started coming one on top of the other... Awful, awful contractions. I couldn't stay on top of them, and I started to yell that I couldn't do this for hours more. What would I do? What would I do? I couldn't do this for hours! I was absolutely panicked, because it felt like I was in transition, but it had been so short. I had only really been in active, hard labor for about an hour. I was literally clinging to DH, begging for the baby to please, please come quickly.
On the next contraction I felt the sensation of the baby moving down -- but again, my brain didn't want to think, "yes, this is happening" because I was *sure* that it was too soon, and I couldn't bear the idea of thinking things were almost over when they weren't. Still, another contraction came as soon as that one ended, and I gave a push. I immediately felt the ring of fire. Another contraction came just as quickly, and at that point I think the midwives and DH realized what was going on. I believe one of them said, "oh, uh, Michelle, that's the head, it's almost out, you're almost done honey..." I gave another push and out came his head, and I gave 2 or three more good pushes, and he came out, literally in a matter of a minute I pushed him all the way from transition to being born. There wasn't enough time for DH to get in the tub, or really even move around to the other side to catch her, it happened so fast, so the midwife caught her, and DH helped me pry myself off the tub edge to quickly flip around and grab her. She was here! Oh my goodness!! It was about 3:30PM -- a little over an hour after active labor had begun.
I was pretty shocked, it happened so very fast. She was covered in thick white vernix, and didn't want to cry, but she was breathing well and pinking up nicely. DH and I cried and oohed and ahhed for about 5 minutes before I delivered the placenta, and then I handed our baby girl to DH so that I could get out of the tub and on to the bed. I just couldn't believe it had happened so fast, so much more easily! With DS I pushed for over 2 hours, with this little girl it was mere minutes.
The midwives checked me out, and I requested a piece of the placenta to eat. I was bleeding more than they normally like to see, but not to hemorrhage status yet. Still, I continued to bleed more than they'd like for about the next hour. I could feel that I needed to pee desperately, but walking across the house to the bathroom nearly made me pass out, and I had to get off the toilet to lay on the floor in the bathroom. I tried to just pee on a chux pad on the bathroom floor, but couldn't do it, and was still losing blood. At this point, my midwife asked if she could give me some pitocin, and catheterize me to get the pee out. I just wanted to stop losing blood, and I agreed.
The midwives helped me back to the bedroom, where they gave me the shot of pitocin (OWIE!!) I instantly felt better though, and then they did the catheter. It was kind of ridiculous how much pee actually came out, but that was NOT a pleasant experience. But immediately afterward, I could feel the bleeding pretty much stop. I had them make me a placenta smoothie, which was actually really nice -- I truly couldn't taste the placenta (they made mine with frozen marionberries, frozen banana, and frozen mango, with ice, coconut water, and emergen-c).
The rest of the afternoon was pretty boring. They drained the tub for us (comically, our chickens were ALL over the bloody afterbirth bits in the yard), cleaned up all the trash and medical supplies, got laundry going, did the newborn exam, etc. I think they left around 7. We had a friend bring us some takeout Indian food, as lamb curry was the only red meat I could think of that I felt like eating.
I'm really bummed about the hemorrhaging, as it's left me feeling pretty puny. But the birth was crazy intense and wonderful. Despite feeling weaker, my body feels SO much better than with my first birth. Less bleeding, WAY less soreness. Only the tiniest little tear on one of my inner labia where I had torn before (I call it my extra petal).
Her stats: 8lbs, 14ozs, 21 inches long, 14.5" head.
That's all for now I suppose!
(PS, it should be mentioned for all of you posterior ladies, that she turned in labor, with no special positioning or tricks. She just did it on her own)
Michelle, it's so nice to read your birth story! I know exactly what you mean about contractions being so intense and just thinking that you can't go on for hours more this way. That's exactly what happened with DD for me. And Martha is so lovely! She looks so peaceful and I love all her hair!
Oohh mama!! What a birth! I can identify with so many aspects of it -- how quickly things happened, how intense, the disbelief of it all!! What a rollercoaster ride, huh? Oh I'm so happy everything went so well for you -- well, despite the bleeding and the pitocin and the catheter, I suppose!
Martha is just a gem. You must be incredibly smitten! Enjoy her!! Congratulations!!
Oh my, reading parts of your labor made me chuckle since it seems like even though we had quite different labors (mine longer towards the end, yours longer at the beginning) some parts of it seemed so close to my heart! I can relate to the not being able to think and just being able to ask for a break...just a little one. and i did like the aquaborn and how comfy it was.
Sounds like you did great so did you birth team!
I am very happy for you that she came out in the pool and it was a smooth and faster active labor. She looks ADORABLE!
congrats and welcome again to sweet martha!
thank you so much for sharing your story- I read it word for word! And the postscript was very much well-received from this PTSD posterior birth mom. She is simply beautiful - i hope life is treating you all well. I am so looking forward to the bliss of a new baby :) Stay in touch as much as time and energy restraints allow :)