Saturday morning, while I was sleeping, I dreamed that I got so fed up with still being pregnant that I swept my own membranes (funny, but impossible as my cervix is so far back). I half awoke and realized I was having a contraction, but I went back to sleep. I don't know how long it was until my next contraction, but the second one, at 5AM, woke me from a dead sleep and I realized I should get up. I went to the bathroom and had a little spotting and another intense contraction. After weeks of being dilated and off-and-on mild contractions, I was fairly sure this was it.
I called my friend and doula-in-training, who lives in Cheyenne (I'm in Denver), which is 2 hours away. Cool thing was she had just woken up for no reason and kinda felt something was up. She initially said she would wait until I talked to the midwives before heading down. I kept hinting that she should just head down now, but being that it was 5AM, and I hadn't had time to time the contractions, I didn't want to be too pushy...yet.
I got off the phone and timed a few contractions. They were already to the point I had to lean over a counter and breathe through them. After about 5, I found the pattern... Could that be right? 3 minutes apart already? Uh oh.
Immediately, I called my first babysitter. No answer. Called again. No answer. Gave up on Plan A and went to Plan B babysitter (my sister), who thankfully picked up her phone. I told her to take her time, but she said she'd be over right away (and she broke every speed limit on the way to the house).
Then, I called the midwife on-call, who proceeded to tell me to get to the birth center right away. I told her I was waiting for my sister and was going to take a shower. Methinks the midwife's head exploded. Then, I called my doula back and told her to get on the road (which she was already) and meet us at the birth center.
I moaned and rocked through another couple of contractions in the shower while DH packed the car and my sister arrived. DD had woken up from the commotion and the hardest part of that whole thing was trying to answer her questions and demands for juice while in the midst of contractions. Thank god my sister could meet us at our house, rather than the birth center. I don't know how I would've made it through another couple contractions with DD (horrible to say, but yikes, it was hard). We got on the road and I called my MW back to let them know... to which they mentioned something about making them nervous.
6:30 AM - Once we got there, DH and I quickly got settled between contractions (DH was tasked with pressing on my hips and lower back, as I was still dealing with back pain from the car accident. Needless to say, his pecs are a little sore). MW checked me and I was 6cm, 100% effaced and at +1. MW talked about how people usually experience a lull in contractions, once they get to the birth center, due to adrenaline and relief that they made it there. She also mentioned waiting 30 mins before getting in the birth pool, to relax and get the contractions back into a pattern. Well, no "lull" for us! By the time I had put on my music (Papa Legba and ancestry chants), my contractions were a minute apart and not giving me much recovery time in between. I also had a couple that were so intense, I pushed through them a bit to ease the pain. I cheated the 30 mins a bit, stripped, and got in the pool. Like everyone always says...it was niiiiiiice. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to have a water labor and birth.
It wasn't long before I started getting pushy. Thankfully, my doula arrived and the last part of me relaxed, knowing she had made it in time. I started pushing and my water broke. I'll be honest and say that my first DD's pushing was MUCH easier. I don't know if that was because she was smaller or just because I didn't know what to expect the first time around. I had a hard time keeping myself grounded and frequently was cutting my pushes short to pant in between. I got slightly frustrated, but kept as much focus as I could and didn't let anyone know that I wasn't doing as well as I thought I should be. The head, especially was harder (though to my defense, this DD's head was nearly 2 inches bigger than my first DD's) and I fought hard to not scream when she crowned.
20 mins of pushing and Niamh was born - at 7:38 AM. She was 7 lbs 3oz, 19.5" long, with nearly a 14" head. (Nearly a pound larger, 1/4 inch shorter, and her head was 2 inches bigger than my first DD) Her cord was short, but the MW managed to pass her between my legs and the first thing I said was "I forgot how small they are!". All that to-do for something so tiny! I was given a pitocin injection to deliver the placenta, due to my platelet count being slightly low, and delivered the placenta after we had gotten out of the water and settled on the bed. We left the birth center at 11:30AM and settled in at home. DD #1 is already so protective of her little sister and just fascinated with her (I'm enjoying it while I can, as I'm sure the fighting is just around the corner). I had no tears, just bruising, so I'm feeling great (though I probably overdid it slightly, as I got the "mom rush" when I got home and was chasing around DD more than I should've).
Niamh latched on immediately and didn't stop until we left the birth center, some 4 hours later. I'm so glad she's got a good latch. I had so many problems with DD #1. She is also a champion pooper!
So in all, a 2 1/2 hour labor and birth. Didn't beat first DD's time, but I'm kinda glad it took slightly longer, so everyone could get to where they needed to be. Everyone was incredible and I couldn't have asked for a better birth. The MWs let me do my own thing, but were there to offer encouragement and instruction when needed. And I got my Water Dragon Baby!
ETA: I credit going into labor to the two Dairy Queen chili dogs I had the night before. Had the same effect as castor oil, but much tastier going down!
Edited by Conchobhar - 1/29/12 at 8:30am