Congrats Wendy, Vivienne is simply gorgeous!!
Congrats Eminencejae, can't wait to hear more!
Baby Hassan is here! I am kind of late posting his birth but he was born on Wed. 12/26 (on his birth date!) and was 8 lbs, 3 oz, 20.5 inches.
Like many of you, I had lots of prodromal labor for about a week or so before with the contractions gradually increasing in duration and intensity, but they would always stop after several hours. So, for a few days before he was born, I decided to just take it easy and rest as much as possible to conserve my energy. Luckily, BET was showing the entire "Roots" miniseries, so that kept me occupied for a few days :)
The birth center I was scheduled to deliver at is in a hospital so all laboring moms have to go to triage first before being transported. On Christmas Eve (Monday evening) I went to the labor/delivery triage after having contractions 5 minutes apart all day. The midwife on duty checked me but I was only 2 cm dilated but the baby was at 0 station. She suggested I could walk for a few hours and be checked in a few hours or just go home and wait and see. We opted to go home and all day I felt a little nauseous and crampy. On the morning of the 26th, I felt a popping sensation and woke up to much stronger contractions at 3:00am. While running a warm bath to relax and labor in, I noticed lots of bloody show and felt encouraged that finally active labor was imminent. My 9 year old daughter happened to wake up to use the restroom 15 minutes later and sat with me for a while and helped me time the contractions which were between 2-3 minutes apart at this point. Finally, we decided to go to the birth center at about 4:30am and when I arrived and checked by the midwife, I was already at 5cm.
The next few hours progressed steadily and I was hoping to go to a birth center room as soon as possible but was still stuck in triage. Luckily, I had awesome nurses and my midwife there the entire time who were kind, loving and a little bit firm, like an auntie, you know? I think I underestimated how long triage would take and while in transition, quickly realized that we had to make do with pain relief techniques without the advantages of a laboring tub, birth ball, etc. Breathing techniques made all the difference at this point. Finally, around 7:00am, just as I was being taken over to the birth center, I felt an urge to push so my midwife checked me again and I was at 10cm! From there things went pretty quickly and there was just enough time to be wheeled into the nearest labor and delivery room. Pushing was hard work but such a relief to have some way to direct the energy from the contractions. Baby Hassan was pushed out in about 12 minutes. The feeling of his head emerging and the rest of his body wiggling out is unlike any other sensation. He was placed directly on my tummy and took to nursing right away. It was love at first sight.
While resting later that night, I was rereading birth stories from "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth". There's a passage in the book when Ina May discusses the process of childbirth and the role of the uterus in particular. She says, and I'm paraphrasing here, "If men had something like the uterus, they would brag. We should too." Amen to that! For all the mamas, it's easy to be matter of fact about the processes of pregnancy and childbirth, but let's also congratulate ourselves for the amazing strength that God has blessed us with. Please take good care of yourselves mamas and rest, rest, rest during the post-partum period.
ps - these pictures of Hassan are at 8 days old