My sweet Rose is 3 weeks old today, and I've been busy nursing and processing everything, so it's taken me a bit to get to writing the birth story.
I started having contractions early in the 3rd trimester, and actually went to the hospital twice to get them stopped twice. Because I kept having those contractions, and that I was HUGE (!!) everyone (me included) thought she'd be early. Matter of fact, I had started to think I wouldn't even make it to January. But, I did- and boy was I miserable, and making everyone around me miserable, too. LOL I was having contractions all night long that would stop during the day. I went on maternity leave 2 weeks early because I couldn't teach on no sleep.
The weekend before my due date I went to the hospital thinking she was coming. My last 3 labors had a pattern in which I'd have very manageable contractions for a full day that would slow down and then stop. When they stopped, I'd be around 8 cm, and in about 8 hours the contractions would start again and in just a few contractions I'd be holding a baby. So, when I'd been having contractions all day Friday that slowed down on Saturday- I went ahead and went to the hospital to get checked, because it was just like the pattern of my last 3 labors. I got to the hospital to discover that I was not at 8cm like I'd expected, but still 3cm and 80% effaced as I was at my appointment the previous Wednesday. I was so upset. I was very uncomfortable and ready to not be pregnant, in addition to being tired of having contractions, and not sure why my body was acting so differently- I'd even been having tons of bloody show, so why wasn't I in labor?? I kept thinking that this is my 5th child, why aren't things going like I was used to?? I really just gave up ever having this baby.
A few days later, on Monday the 21st, my husband and I stayed up (too) late talking and finally laid down to go to sleep about 11:30. As soon as I closed my eyes a contraction hit. A *strong* contraction, much different than the contractions I'd been having, and much more like the contractions I'd experienced in the final hours of my 1st labor. 10 minutes later, another one came. I told my husband that this had better be labor, because I wasn't going to do contractions like this night after night.
I decided to go get in the bath to get the contractions to stop, because I was convinced I couldn't be in labor (the baby was NEVER coming out, after all), but they were VERY uncomfortable contractions, and I didn't want to be up with them all night long. I told my husband what was going on, and he helped me get in the bath, and stayed in there to talk to me. The contractions were coming anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes apart, and would go back and forth in intensity. One contraction would be very strong, the next easy, the next very strong, etc.
I decided to get out of the tub when a couple of contractions were 15 min apart. I got my labor infusion of red raspberry tea ready just in case. I sat on the birth ball for a little while, and they stayed 15 minutes apart. My instincts told me that these contractions were labor, but after so many times of contractions starting and stopping, I didn't want to believe it. I told my husband we should just go lie down and get some sleep since they were slowing down. We laid down, and he got an hours sleep, The contractions were still 15 minutes apart during that hour, but getting stronger. When that hour was up, I had a contraction that made me bolt out of bed- I could NOT lie down during it- then another one about 5 minutes apart- I woke up my husband and told him we needed to leave for the hospital NOW. I was having to vocalize through the contractions to cope at this point, and seeing how hard I was working through the contractions, he called his mom to come from next door to wake up my other kids and drive them to the hospital so we could leave.
It's almost an hour drive to the hospital, and about 10-15 minutes down the road, just as we were pulling onto the interstate, I started feeling intense pressure, and told my husband I didn't think we were going to make it. He was making calls to my parents, and the whole ride there people kept calling my phone. I was going nuts, I just wanted my phone to stop ringing and my husband to stop having to answer it!! The ride was horrid, I'd forgotten how bad laboring in the car sucks!!
When we got to the hospital, I was feeling very pushy, and the contractions were coming pretty close together. My husband went and got a wheelchair to get me up to L&D, because it would've taken way too long for me to walk up at that point.
We got up there and told the nurses it was baby #5 and I was feeling pushy, and boy did they kick it into high gear! LOL
They checked me and I was 8cm. Things started to get really fuzzy after that as I entered transition and "labor land." I remember asking them if the midwife was almost there, and they said they had called her, and it would only take her 15 minutes. I told them someone had better let her know that she was NOT to come in the room being all happy and cheery like she normally is, or I was going to kick her out. :D They assured me she wasn't cheery at this hour of the morning.
I had a few more contractions and started grunting some. The nurse checked me again and told me that I only had a lip of cervix left, and not to push quite yet. A couple of other contractions went by and I decided I was going to "secretly" push just a little, to see if it felt better and I could push past the lip of cervix left. The nurse chuckled (I was making pushing noises without realizing it) and just said, "Mmm-hmmm- I know what you're doing over there," with a grin. LOL
My midwife finally arrived- it really was only a few minutes, but felt like *forever.* I was pushing, but not very hard. My last 2 babies pretty much fell out- my uterus contracted and did all the work, so I was expecting the same thing this time. I started to feel the baby move through my pelvis- I'd forgotten that ache in the hips as the baby moves through! My sweet nurse was massaging my hips and my husband was holding and rubbing my hand. I felt very cared for. ;)
At some point my mother in law arrived with my kids who were not expecting to get there and me be ready to have the baby, because my labors are usually so long. My husband told my oldest, who wanted to catch the baby, that she needed to go ahead and get gloves on now. I was getting frustrated that the baby still wasn't out yet. Total pushing time was only 25 minutes, but again, it felt like forever. I couldn't understand why this baby wasn't falling out like the last two. My midwife was telling me to push harder, and I was thinking that this shouldn't be this much work after the ease of the last two babies. I started saying crazy things- I want a c-section, just pull it out, WHY is this taking so long, I can't do this, etc. LOL
I heard my midwife say, "Call Dr. Andrews," (her back up doctor). As soon as she said that, I knew something was up and I'd better get my act together. I thought- oh hell NO, we're not calling Dr. Andrews! Then I really started pushing. It was the hardest pushing I have done out of all 5 babies. I needed help getting my legs back far enough to widen my pelvis enough to get the baby out. The next push, I felt that feeling that my whole pelvis was going to split apart, and her head was born. I heard the midwife say to cancel the call to Dr, Andrews, which was a relief. I figured I was done with most of the work at that point, but I was wrong. I had to push really hard a few more times to get the baby's shoulders out, something I've never had to do before. My daughter, instead of catching, had to actually *pull* with the midwife's help to get the baby out.
The midwife put the baby on my belly, and I quickly looked and got to announce that it was a GIRL! Someone asked my husband what her name was going to be, and he was in such shock it took him a minute to remember the name we had decided on for a girl. LOL Audrey-Aleatha Rose was born at 4:32, after a 5 hour labor, about 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital.
My parents, sister, nieces, and best friends arrived just after she was born. I latched her on and we rubbed her quite a bit to get her to pink up. The baby nurse got her to get her to pink up a bit more and weigh her. 9lbs, 11.7 ounces! No wonder I was having to work so hard to push! I guess we can be grateful she was that big, or she would have most likely been born on the interstate!
I was really pleased with my birth experience. My husband was amazing, and my rock- his constant, close presence made all the difference while I was working so hard. My birth team was fabulous! The midwife & the nurses were great about my birth plan, and helping with comfort measures while pushing, I was so glad my daughter did get to catch (pull) like she wanted. It was a very special moment.
We are enjoying our sweet little Rose very much, and after a couple of weeks of working out some latch issues is now nursing like a pro.
Edited by birthjunkiemom - 2/13/13 at 1:03pm