I woke up at 3am on April 29 with mild contractions. I’d been having Braxton Hicks the past couple nights, but these felt more real. I started timing them; they were coming every 10-7 minutes. Around 5am they were coming every 5 minutes so we called the midwife but she said to just wait it out since they weren’t noticeably painful. I couldn’t sleep so I got up, ate breakfast, went online & etc. The contractions continued throughout the day but both the midwife & our doula said to wait until they felt stronger/less tolerable to head to the birth center (Family Beginnings in Dayton). We packed the car, cleaned the house, watched a movie, walked around, I took a couple showers, etc.… Around 7pm I decided we ought to head to Dayton whether the contractions were strong enough or not; I was having one about every 3 minutes by then. We stopped at Chipolte so I could get a taco. The line was super long so I walked around the block while Braxton waited. Then we drove to Dayton. It takes about an hour through small towns & farmland. It was kind of excruciating. I really wanted to be at the birth center so we could get the room sorted and start using our comfort stuff. When we got to the hospital we went to triage. The midwife checked me & I was only 3cm dilated. She had us walk around the hallways on the 2nd floor of Miami Valley for 2 hours to try and get things going. I did squats and lunges with every contraction, holding to the windowsills while Braxton rubbed my back. It seemed like the contractions were getting a lot stronger, but after 2 hours I was still at 3cm. The midwife said we could check into Family Beginnings (even though I hadn’t progressed enough, but we had an hour back home & then another hour back to Dayton), but they’d probably give me morphine so I could sleep, and that hopefully the contractions would be doing more work when I got up in the morning. Our doula (Alison Vodnoy) arrived then (she’d come earlier, but we sent her away while we walked around) and she asked if we could try using the tub before they gave me the morphine. The midwife said okay… While we waited I had several more contractions on the hospital bed in triage. It was incredibly difficult dealing with them on the bed, especially when the nurse had me on my back to check baby’s heart rate & such. Finally we went to the Family Beginnings room. We had none of our stuff; it was all still in the car. I stripped my clothes and got immediately into the tub. The water was so hot at first, but it felt wonderful after laboring on the bed, the hallways, and on the road. It was probably around 10:30 when I got in the tub. I kept having contractions, with Alison and Braxton suggesting positions and bringing me ice water and putting cold wash rags on my head. The midwife came in and checked me—finally 7cm!! I have no idea what time that was. Things are kind of blurry after that. I remember the midwife saying, “this is transition,” and I thought, “this isn’t that bad.” The pushing was the hardest thing. For a couple contractions during pushing, I had a cervical lip and they wanted me not to push until it was out of the way. When they let me push again I kept hoping that this push would be it! It seemed to go on forever, and my legs were really aching (I was using them to push against the side of the tub, Braxton was sitting behind me in the tub and my bottom was floating up in the water—I kept having bad cramps in my legs and having to straighten them out between contractions). It seemed like the baby was always almost coming out but then slipping back, & I just needed to push harder & harder, even though I had already pushed the hardest I could. Our doula was fantastic through all of this, reminding me to breathe and pressing against my sitz bones/hips during contractions. The baby had his hand up over his head which was making it more difficult to push. Also, my water had never broken so the midwife had broken it at the beginning of pushing & there’d been meconium in it… I guess they don’t usually allow birth in the water for babies with meconium in the amniotic fluid, but I had progressed so rapidly she let me stay where I was… Anyhow, finally there was a last push & he was born at 2:15am on April 30, about 23 hours after labor started, and they lifted him out into my arms… It felt so great & so wonderful to have him finally in the world. He was calm & quiet at first and nurses stroked him to get him crying… Braxton cut the cord and they helped us out of the tub, taking Orryn to check his lungs and such. I had a 2nd degree tear from his arm presenting over his head, so I lay in bed with him while they stitched that.
7 lbs, 6 oz., 21 inches long :)