My sweet little girl, Lucia Frances, was born late thursday night (12/15) after a long. mellow early labor and a short, fierce active phase.
She was 8lbs4oz and 20.5 inches long @ 40 weeks and 3 days along.
Here's our (long!) birth story:
please excuse the typos. NAK.
During the night before her birth, i was experienceing contrations that woke me from my sleep, and this was something new. i had been feeling a little "different" that day, a little tired but hadn't anticipated that labor was on it's way. In fact, after my due date passed, some part of me stopped expecting labor to ever come! But at 5 am when i got up to pee, i saw pink on my toilet paper and realized this was this beginning of something.
I got my older boys off to school, and my DH off to work, telling him to check in around luch time. I called my mom who's about 3 hours away and told her not to go into work that day, to come north when she was ready. I texted my midwife and told her about the ctx through the night, the bloody show in the morning, and then the low, rhythmic almost menstrual cramps i'd been having all morning. She texted back "horray" and "keep in touch!" i then went into super nesting mode, cooking spanikopita and carrot cake muffins and making a big batch of granola; finishing all the laundry, vaccuuming, etc etc all the while having frequent, but really brief and manageable "cramps". When my mom came she told me to sit down, for goodness sake, and get some rest, but I realized that if i stopped moving, they cramps were more painful and harder to deal with.
I wasn't entirely convinced that i was in labor because the peak of each ctx was so quick, but by the time my kiddos and husband got home, at 3ish and 5ish, i was able pull them to me confidently and whisper that i think the baby would be coming tonight, or early in the morning. I also called my midwife back, gave her an update, and she told me that she believed i would know when to call her, and she'd be ready. It was all so relaxed!
I ate dinner around 7, and went right up to my bedroom/birthing room afterwards, now realizing that i'd better try and rest. My first birth had been an all nighter, so i figured we could be in for the long haul.
But as soon as i got there, up into the darkness, the tenor of everything changed and suddenly i had to really work with my contractions. I tried sitting in the rocking chair while my DH blew up the tub, then i tried sitting straight up in bed, my legs crisscrossed with my heel pushed into my vulva during contractions, and releasing back into the pillows during breaks. Finally i decided to turn over onto my hands and knees. I think it was 8ish at this point, and DS1+2 had just fallen alseep. During that first ctx on hands and knees i fel a funny pop, i said to my DH (who was napping beside me "What was that!?" and when i lowered my hips i felt the gush of fluid. my water had broken! I told DH he'd better fill the tub, cause it would probably pick up quickly, and it did. Soon i was moaning and growling and shaking and shivering and asking for the puke bucket (though, thankfully i never actually puked). We called the midwife and she came right over, which took maybe 1/2 and hour. by the time she got here, i was still on H&K and just beginning to have an urge to bear down.
Now my midwife is amazing. i think i had as close to an unassisted birth as a could have with a midwife and her assistant present. I think they listened tot the heart tones three times, never checked me, basically never touched me at all! THey just listened to me and to the sense that they were getting about the baby and the labor, and it was clear that everything was alright, so i just did my thing! I got into the tub as soon as it was full, and began pushing during contractions right away. After a little while though, i remembered that i wanted to see what would happen if i just let my body do the pushing, and i just sort of relaxed, which ended up being wonderful. Soon enough i began to feel a little squishy head during pushes, and then the stretching and pressure in my bum, and finally i siad to the room that it was time to wake my older boys. They came in, their faces bright with awe like christmas morning and with that next contraction, her head was out! The midwife shined a flashlight so they could see, i reached down and wondered at the perfect little ear i felt, my midwife said, "everything looks good, i just going to trust you Eliza", and whoosh, with a another big push there she was coming up thought he water into my arms!
I held her to my chest, DH announced "she's a girl!" and she slowly slowly began to squeek and breathe and work out some water or mucus or something that was in her chest. I knew she was alright, and didn't worry, just rubbed her back and kissed and spoke to her. She was beautiful! A full head of dark brown hair, dark, shining eyes, pink pink skin, and dark fuzz on her shoulders and back and ears. THe older boys said she felt like velvet.
She was born at 11:18 pm, about three hours after my water broke, and 4 hours after labor really got active.
We all crawled into the bed together, Lucia nursed, i got one small stitch, and the midwiives went home.
It's not so blissful at the moment, we had a bad latch during the second night and now i am so sore! I'm engorged, sleep deprived, emotional, hungry etc etc etc, but incredibly grateful for a wonderful birth and for this sweet sweet little love.
Edited by ElizaBird - 12/18/11 at 12:39pm