Hello from a mostly quiet member! We didn't quite make it for August, but we tried... :)
I was due on the 20th, but I've gone past for most of my kids, so I really wasn't expecting to have a baby too soon. I've even gone to 42+3 with one, so I'm kinda used to that. But this pregnancy at the end was SERIOUSLY taxing. My hips and pubic bone were really sore and I only felt human sitting down. When I stood up I felt like an old lady, hobbling around. Every time I bent down I'd get Braxton Hicks so it was always hard to make the decision to clean up, but the alternative wasn't too great either!
I did TERRIBLE with nutrition this pregnancy. I was too tired/lazy/whatever to prepare food, so most of the time I more or less did without. The first few months I couldn't eat even if I wanted to. And the last month I had a daily XL Slurpee to deal with the heat and get me more hydrated.
Seriously, this pregnancy did NOT bode well, and it was for sure harder than my twins.
Now for the story... warning, it isn't so pretty but it has a very happy ending! Also a little convoluted, but then again so am I right now ;)
A few people told me I was going to have my baby today. My husband also said he had those vibes, so we made some tentative preps to make things easier.
Shabbat morning, I woke up at 6:00 am with a moderately painful contraction, which was very short. I stayed in bed, and glanced at the clock with subsequent contractions, which seemed to be about 7 minutes apart, and felt very short. Since this is how my last (2 hour) labor went, I decided after 25 minutes of this that I'd better just get up.
I woke up my husband and told him that I MIGHT be in labor, but the contractions were very short and not too bad. He very wisely ignored my minimization of the situation and called the midwives to come right away.
I tried to find comfortable positions for the contractions, but nothing felt quite right. Still, I could cope, so I just went with it. I regularly practice total pelvic relaxation in the shower, so I was able to really let my body just go with it. A few minutes after the first midwife came in, my water broke with a lovely gush!
Contractions were harder, but still manageable - that was what I was expecting. I even felt a little pushy, but the bearing down just wasn't working.
My second midwife came in, they set things up, and told me how wonderful I was doing :) (I was cheerleadering myself on in my head, too.) I had them start hip squeezes, which are generally wonderful.
Now things started to get fuzzy. I glanced at the clock, and noted that I'd been in labor for 1.5 hours already, which coincides with the birth time of the first twin last time around. And I knew I wasn't making any progress.
The contractions started getting harder, and knowing that they weren't DOING anything, I was starting to lose focus. I KNEW I was fully dilated, and I KNEW that the baby was more or less descended, but the pushing just wasn't working.
The pain started to really ramp up, and changing positions wasn't helping, the hip squeezes weren't helping, I was starting to cry and say I can't do it, this pain isn't normal, I can't - baby just get OUT!
I was trying to push and the pain was EXCRUCIATING - all over my thighs, my stomach, down my legs, my back - shooting pain, crushing pain - I was hyperventilating and crying and moaning and trying to push through it and knowing IT WASN'T WORKING.
My second midwife is VERY into "trust the mom" and she offered me to go to the hospital, which of course I refused - how would that help? She said all they could do was set up the birth tub, but I knew it would take too long. (I later found out they asked DH to set it up anyway, which he didn't manage to finish.)
We tried different positions - kneeling, on one knee, standing leaning, standing upright, on the toilet - finally they told me to try side-lying, which turned into practically lithotomy (the LAST position I'd EVER think to try!) I was groaning and grunting and gurgling with pain, I felt like I was breaking. Finally I felt like the baby was actually coming, but SO slowly, and it hurt SO much. I was sobbing and gurgling as I pushed with all of my strength - my legs were shaking and I was not sure I could survive anymore.
Finally I felt the burning, and they told me he was crowning (thank you, I knew that!) but STILL so slow! I was pushing and pushing through the burn and it didn't feel like it would ever end. Then they told me to flip over to hands and knees, which I said of course I can't, they said "for the baby," which I mentally questioned but did it anyway. Finally, finally, the burning was over, I felt a little slither, and I knew the baby was finally born.
I managed to crawl over the cord so I could take the baby. He was so fat, and all covered with vernix. I checked and saw it was a boy - I knew DH would be thrilled! I was still shaking but my head was clearing - all I wanted was for the placenta to come out and for it to be ALL OVER.
I held my newborn, wrapped in a towel (I KNOW I had a few blankets in the birth kit, but nobody could find them) and tried to get that placenta out. It was also a slow process, but finally I was able to push it out. I was a WRECK!
I had them cut the cord (very fat cord - too big for clamps!) and handed baby off to DH so I could change and try to get myself back to human again.
The midwives told me he had a nuchal hand, which accounted for some of the excitement! We weighed and measured him - he was 12lb 1 oz, by FAR my biggest baby, and had a generously sized head and chest with no moulding (midwife said she called what I had "chest dystocia"). That definitely explained why my labor was so miserable. But, thankfully - NO TEARS!!! Not even a skid mark! (Midwife was suitably impressed!)
They cleaned up and left, I and I basically went to bed for the rest of the day! I have a Tylenol 3 prescription that I got before in expectation of the afterpains, which helped but didn't eradicate them completely, and I think it drugged my little/big boy, who slept for much of the day. We couldn't call anyone until nightfall when Shabbat is over, so it was a very peaceful and private welcome. The kids are LOVING him to pieces, one 2YO DD insists that it's HER baby that DH BOUGHT for her... :D
Oddly, despite me being VERY noisy (I am usually near silent in labor), the kids in the next room didn't even wake up! Well, one 2-year old did, but that's because someone went into the room - not because of me. DH took care of her, and she didn't seem to mind my noise (DH was seriously traumatized).
I can't belive I survived that. If not for my past record of really good birth experiences, I'd promise I'm never having another baby after that! But he's so cute he is worth it all. (No name until the Bris next week.)
Final stats were...
2.5 hour labor, 1st contraction to the end
12lb 1 oz
and I can't remember the head, chest, or length measurements :) (They were big, apparently)
Oh yes, and I forgot the best part - he was born on our wedding anniversary!