I figured it was about time I actually write up his birth story now that he's 11 days old!! It's taken me this long just to get a good block of time on the main computer (otherwise, I've pretty much been exclusively on my phone.. it's great for short postings, but not for a long story).
A bit of back story.... With my first three girls, I birthed in hospitals and was induced each time. With dd1 I was induced at exactly 42 weeks and with dd2 and dd3 it was sometime after 41 weeks, but before 42 weeks (terrible that I don't exactly remember)... The first two were highly medicalized, first the induction (one time cytotec -- yes, I know the evils now! -- one time with cervadil), then pitocin, and ending up with epidurals... both were born vaginally (luckily!) though. With dd3 I was induced with cervadil, but had nothing after that -- no pitocin or pain management medication ... so... I call dd3s birth *semi* natural. Then with dd4 I had a midwife! But midwives couldn't be licensed in Wyoming, so I travelled to Montana for her birth. With dd4 at 40w5d, I had bloody show that night, went up to Montana, started having contractions a bit during the night, more during the day, then she was born at 41 weeks exactly in the afternoon.
Basically, I know that I bake babies longer. I like to say I have a cozy uterus. Pregnancy really is good to my body and I feel fabulous for the most part, considering I'm growing, nurturing, carrying a child in my womb. In the last month or so I was able to go RUNNING! Yes, RUNNING! (something I ditched early on... since this was my rainbow baby, I think I took extra precautions... I just needed to... that way I could avoid blaming myself if anything happened). And I kept running and running and walking really fast hoping to encourage baby to come out.
41w4d (I think) ... and before a run... or a walk... or both? ;)
But even knowing that, I wasn't prepared to go past 41 weeks. This was my FIFTH birth! They're supposed to come faster and sooner with more births, right?!? ... well... WRONG!
41 weeks came and went. I got increasingly frustrated because as every day passed, I felt farther and farther from birthing Baby Five. I had considered trying a list of 'natural induction' methods my midwife had (knowing that 'natural' and 'induction' are kind of contradictory, but the methods are much better than medicalized ones) at 41w1d, but it didn't feel right. I felt like it was only going to fail because my body/baby wasn't ready ... and my mind wasn't in the right place... and birth is very much mental as well as physical, and if my mind wasn't in the game, my body wouldn't work either. So.. I gave it more time... but I was still very aware that at 42 weeks, my midwife wouldn't be able to attend my homebirth any longer because of the legalities of her license. Obviously, baby wasn't ready early since I stayed very pregnant through that date and beyond ;)
At 41w5d I felt it was time to try the list. Sex, big breakfast, prayer, blue cohosh, castor oil, and 2+ mile walk were the first items on the list. Knocked those out of the way, grabbed a light lunch, then headed up to the mountains for an hour plus of hiking. Heading up into the mountains, I started having a few light contractions, but nothing really of significance. While hiking, I was afraid they had disappeared, but in reality, it was just that we were hiking up such STEEP climbs/stairs (we hiked up to a fire lookout tower at a high peak in the mountains... GORGEOUS view!)
Here's a picture from two years ago, with dd4 passed out on my back in the mei tai (don't worry, her head only flopped back for a moment, then we secured it better ;) ):
Coming down from the mountains, contractions were happening pretty regularly, but nothing that really hurt. They were merely a tad uncomfortable because I was stuck sitting and couldn't move or anything. We got down from the mountains around 4 p.m. I think.
The midwife had come down (she lives in Montana and three hours to the north) and I had a VE and nothing much was really happening... We ate dinner, watched a movie and still not a lot was happening, but contractions hadn't stopped -- but they weren't significant in the least. So, my midwife got out an electric breastpump, and for an hour maybe? That really picked things up. Contractions were much more regular, but still not doing much. So, dh and I went on another walk around the neighborhood (it was dark by this point) and timed contractions and they were 2-3 minutes apart... some I could walk through, some I couldn't. Then I came home and took a bath (while sending dh out for a chocolate milkshake). The midwife left about 11 p.m. (she had a hotel in town, figuring baby would arrive the next day), telling us to get some sleep and call if needed. Before leaving, she checked me and I was "maybe at a 2" in dilation.
I couldn't sleep. Laying down made things too uncomfortable (with contractions). So... I pretty much hung out in the bathroom, mostly just messing around on my phone on Facebook and on here ;) And then contractions began to pick up in intensity (not just regularity). I got some bloody show and goopy mucous sometime a bit before midnight and I was so excited! ;) After that I had to focus more on breathing during contractions, first just breathing out through my mouth, and then progressing to horse lips. Just before 3 a.m. I had started with some low tones vocalized during contractions... so a bit later I woke up dh to discuss whether I should try to take a shower and relax or maybe call the midwife. At this point, between contractions, I was perfectly happy, content and joking with dh. But even in talking with him, things were getting more and more intense. During contractions I had to place both hands on the doorway to our bedroom, lean forward, and vocalize low tones through them... while swaying... while vocalizing in low tones, I was actually reciting the Hail Mary in my mind. There happened to be a rosary hanging on a jewelry hook right by the door and having it there as a focal point was just right and the Hail Mary was just long enough to make it through most contractions.
And then, there was the Contraction That Would Not Quit. I swear, it lasted like five minutes and it Hurt So Bad. I cried during it as I looked at dh and said, "It. Won't. Stop." ... Then we decided to call the midwife. Or rather, dh said *I* needed to call (ugh... seriously?! He avoids the phone like the plague.. so.. in the midst of contractions and labor *I* had to make a phone call!!!!). So I called her, told her the contractions were picking up in intensity and were hurting a bit more. She was there in a flash. This was about 4 a.m.
I layed down on the bed and she checked me and I was COMPLETELY DILATED! I knew I was feeling some pressure (like needing to take a great big poop!) and was bearing down a bit during some contractions because it felt better to do so... but now, somehow, knowing I was dilated, my mind knew I had a the "all clear" to push... and I did. I didn't move from laying on my back because I felt like I just couldn't bear the thought of changing positions (contractions would go wild with sudden movements), so I pushed and my water broke... then I pushed baby down close. Then... next contraction I pushed and could feel the head coming out... but Had To Keep Pushing and the WHOLE BODY flew out!! I leaned down to pick up baby to my chest... and I looked down, looked at dh and said, "WE HAVE A BOY!" and started crying! I couldn't stop repeating that over and over!! Then I handed him to dh so we could work on getting the placenta out.
The midwife then said that we needed to get it out ASAP. When Leo was born, his cord was already done pulsing. The placenta had *mostly* detached, but not completely, so I was bleeding a lot, but because the placenta was just attached a bit, my uterus wasn't contracting and clamping down to stop the bleeding. I was pushing and pushing, but nothing was happening. The midwife was praying out loud.
I was suddenly terrified of a hospital transfer.
The midwife made dh put Leo down. I had to sit up on the edge of the bed, dh had to get behind me and SQUEEZE on my stomach to try to help the placenta come out... and the midwife was in front of me with the pan to catch the placenta. Eventually, she had to be "all up in my business" basically trying to scrape it out. She said it should look like liver, but looked more like hamburger. Eventually... THANKFULLY.. it did come out!!! I was *so* nervous and it Hurt So Bad. SOOOOOOOO much worse than birth! But it worked!
Leo was measured and he was 9lb 14oz, 22.5 inches, and perfect in every way.
I was in love.
I still am.
Edited by judybean - 10/2/12 at 12:57pm