Actual labor with Quinn was short, but the prelude was long. I’d had regular, time able Braxton hicks contractions since seven months, and several rather convincing false starts to labor in the weeks leading up to his birth. The Saturday before he was born I had regular painless contractions all day, bloody show, diarrhea and by evening was thought I was in labor. The midwives arrived, set up, and labor continued to progress slowly until about 11 pm when contractions just stopped. I was only 2 cm stretched to 3 after 16 hours of regular but mostly painless contractions. Sunday and Monday I spent recovering from the exhaustion of such a long false start. Tuesday I felt very sentimental about spending time together as a family of four, and we had a great day all together on an outing to bangor. Tuesday night I had a few contractions strong enough to wake me, but I went back to sleep. When I woke I didn’t have many contractions at all, it was a clear beautiful day. Phoebe was being extremely clingy and was after me to nurse, which I finally let her. I noticed the contractions I had when nursing her were a little stronger than usual, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I took the kids to the playground around 9:30, and they were so well behaved I hardly had to get up off of my seat the whole hour they scampered in the bright spring sunshine. I had regular contractions at the playground, I’m guessing about 5 minutes apart, but again, I’d had contractions like this most days for several weeks. We left the playground and I dropped the kids off at their grandparents for a few hours, so I could go home and take a rest. When I got back into the car after dropping them off I felt a small gush that came along with a contractions. When I got home it happened again, it didn’t smell like pee and it was slightly tannish on my pantiliner. The next couple contractions at home felt more intense. I called my midwife Julie, and she came over about ten minutes later (around 11:15) to test if my water had broken. She decided it probably had, and left to go get her daughter situated. She returned about a half hour later and things were definitely picking up, I was very glad Aaron had been at home and was with me. She checked me and I was 6 cm, but there was still a bulging bag of water. Julie decided I’d either had a small high leak or it was some water from between the two layers of amniotic sack. At this point I got in the tub, which helped a lot. I was still managing the contractions fine, but I was vocalizing though them with low groans, but able to talk and relax between them. One contraction came and I could feel the baby move down, and at the same time I pooped, it was like the movement of his head pushed it out of me without my consent! I got out so Aaron could clean out the tub and got in the shower, which was great as well. I labored in a semi hands and knees position with the water spraying my back. When the tub was ready I got back in, the contractions were really starting to mean business by now. Not long after this the second midwife arrived (I think around 1:45?). Aaron was by my side rubbing my back, and I was being quite loud by now. Just before 2 Julie checked me again and I was 10 cm, and I decided to get out of the tub and rest on the bed. This was the part that sucked. I didn’t have an urge to push and the contractions hurt so much. I rested a few minutes and Julie suggested I try to push a bit at the peak of the contractions so that maybe my water would break. It didn’t break on its own so I asked if I could sit on the birth stool and have her break it for me. When she did there was some light merconium staining (and there wasn’t any in the leak this morning, meaning the liquid was probably from between the layers of amniotic sack). Julie said it was light enough not to be worrisome and the baby had sounded so perfect during monitoring that it wasn’t concerning. I now felt more of an urge to push and started at it. Once I started I didn’t stop, I couldn’t tell one contraction from the next, I just pushed like crazy and got him out in about 5 minutes. I was able to catch him with Julie and had him right on my chest the moment he was born at 2:17 pm on April 18th, just about three hours from when I thought I might be in labor. He had an Apgar of 7 and then 9, and weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces, by far the biggest of my babies. I tore, just as I had with my previous births, and had to get stitches, but they don’t hurt too much at all. He nursed well immediately, and the placenta came along shortly after. We have been enjoying our perfect baby boy in the comfort of our home, which has been wonderful. Watching Briggs and Phoebe meet Quinn for the first time melted my heart, and we are happily starting our journey as a family of five.
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4/19/12 at 5:24pm