On Sunday, May 12, at 37w4d. I had started getting some labor symptoms. Called my midwife and got assessed to find out I wasn't in labor. I was happy that I wasn't, but was preparing for it to be any day. My sister in law, a certified Doula, was flying down on the 15th and staying for 2 weeks, hoping to catch our birth in that time. I was really hoping to make it to the 15th so she could be with us for the birth. Thankfully she arrived and still labor had not started. My first was born at 38 week gestation, so I was expecting the same with this one. I was a little disappointed that this babe didn't want to come at the same time as her brother, but by the time I was 38w5d I accepted it and just let go of the "when" and wanted to let it happen when it was meant to happen. (Heck I wasn't even 40 weeks yet! But I was sure done) on May 21st, The very next morning at 3 am I awoke to a very different contraction. Not the usual BH that I had been experiencing. I immediately started timing the contractions because I just knew this was different. It was a Tuesday morning right after a long weekend and my DH was due to go back to work that day. After timing the contractions for 2.5 hours and having them about 10 minutes apart regularly, I told my DH to stay home that day. But in my head I was still questioning whether or not this was it. But I knew these contractions were different.
I phoned the MW and told her at around 7am what was going on. I was GBS positive so needed to go in for antibiotics during labor. She told us to meet her at the hospital for my first set of antibiotics. So we drove our son to my MIL's house and picked up my SIL/doula and headed to the hospital. My contractions slowed down once we got there because I was laying on the bed. So my MW didn't want to give me antibiotics too soon. She told me to call her again when my contractions were regular and 5 minutes apart. But I got the hep-lock in my arm because she knew this was it. It was around 8:30am when we headed back to our house. I spent some time on the exercise ball and paced back and forth hoping to bring the contractions closer together. We watched a funny movie in the meantime and it helped to take my mind off of the pain during contractions. And I had heard laughing was good for labor, so it was great to just relax and watch the movie. Finally at about noon my contractions had picked up and were 5 minutes apart. I was having to stop and breath through them at this point. I was also getting nervous about what was going to happen and how in a short while I would be in the most pain of my life. I just kept telling myself I've done this before, and that I would be able to hold my sweet baby girl soon. My SIL helped a lot too by talking me through the anxiety. I was so glad to have the support.
We called the MW and were at the hospital by 12:30pm. I was checked and was at 5-6cm. I was surprised to be that far already. I was still laughing and joking around with my DH and SIL at this point only between contractions of course. My DH was awesome because he lightened the mood quite a bit. We took some "in labor" pictures, including my last belly picture, while I was getting the antibiotics. After the antibiotics had finished, I wanted to get into the shower. My MW's in the meantime were filling the birth tub and getting everything ready on their end. Right before I got in the shower I had a good cry. I started to think about my son who would no longer be an only child, and was thinking about how much more pain I would be in. My emotions were taking over and I decided to just let it all out. I felt so much better after my good cry and reassured myself I could do this and got into the shower. While I was in the shower my water broke and the contractions got a lot more painful. I started to feel some pressure during contractions but wasn't feeling pushy yet. I knew we were close though. At 2:30 I finally got into the pool and it was amazing. I could finally see what other Moms were talking about when they say how relaxed you feel that moment you get into the water. I loved it. The contractions were horrible at this point but I just kept my focus. My SIL and DH were telling me how great I was doing and that helped a lot. I found myself asking them to talk to me so I didn't feel alone. The MW's had there own little room right off the L&D room that they stayed in so we could have our space. Once they heard that I was involuntarily pushing with each contraction, they came in and took note of what The baby's heart rate was doing while I was pushing. I was leaned over the edge of the pool and it was not a good position to be pushing in because her heart rate would go down with each push. She was a little posterior which I didn't know at the time. They got me moved to sitting with my back to the edge of the pool and my bum almost floated off the bottom Of the pool. It was actually a much more comfortable position for pushing. And her heart rate was better in this position. I continued to push and was literally feeling like I was being ripped apart. I hadn't had that feeling with my son. I pushed for 2.5 hrs with him. But this time there was no way I was going to do it that long. I just wanted to get the baby out. The pain was so intense. With my son, it felt good to counteract the contractions with pushing, but this time there was nothing that felt good. My body was involuntarily pushing and there was nothing I could do but push. Finally my MW said to feel for her head crowning, and I did. I was amazed. I thought for sure it would have taken longer than that. Then when the contraction ended I could feel her head going back in and it was horrible. So I told myself I wouldn't let that happen again, her head would be out the next contraction. And sure enough the contraction came and her head was out. Then I pushed again and out came her body. I was able to pick her up out of the water and hold her to my chest where my DH looked and saw that it was a girl! I was bawling because I was so happy. I was so happy that I had done it and that it was over and there I was, holding this little angel I had been waiting to meet for so long.
Lily Elizabeth was born at 2:55pm a short 25 minutes after I had gotten into the pool. And only 2 hours and 25 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital. She weighed 7lbs 1oz. I got to hold her for about 5 minutes until the cord stopped pulsating then my SIL/doula cut the cord. She was so happy to do it!! My DH took his shirt off and sat with her skin to skin while I got out of the pool and delivered the placenta. After about 10 minutes I got to hold her again and she breastfed right away with no troubles. What a champ!
I had a slight tear but no need for stitches. I got cleaned up and got dressed so we could have our son come visit us at the hospital. He was elated with his baby sister. We had some other family come to see us as well, then at 7pm we were discharged and we got to go home!
I just can't stop thinking about how blessed we were to have such a natural hospital water birth. I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was an amazing experience and I love my little Lily more than words can express. What a great day it was.