I wanted to write up a quick birth story for Maximus, both to share and to get it out in writing so it's not just swirling around in my head. Having only a desktop has made it surprisingly (to me) difficult to spend much time on the computer. But babe is sleeping at the moment and I'm feeling somewhat inspired.
I went into labor Thursday the 20th....regular contractions starting around 8pm at about 10 minutes apart. I spent some time alone bouncing on my birth ball, listening to music, and trying to remain relaxed but keep things going. I was officially 42 weeks on Friday and wouldn't be able to birth at the birth center after that so I really didn't want things to slow down. Contractions progressed to about 5 minutes apart pretty quickly and I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to make a good decision as to when I should be calling the midwife/going in (she didn't really want us to call in the middle of the night unless I was getting really close, I was afraid I would wait too long). My husband seemed to be an even worse judge as he was ready to go in as soon as I said I was in labor :o) We called my doula to ask her to come over and time contractions as well as help us decide when it was time. She arrived around 11pm, just getting back in town after an intense sweat (in a sweat lodge). Contractions seemed to be right on top of eachother and pretty intense at one point and so we called the midwife (around 1 am) but she said to call back when I was really uncomfortable in between contractions. Our videographer arrived around this time, and we called my mother to come over as well. I spent some time in the shower, bouncing on the birth ball, leaning over the bed and getting hip squeezes during contractions, and my mother brushed my hair for me which was so wonderful. My husband accidently spilled a bunch of ice water on me at one point which I was able to laugh about......he was so sweet and supportive and was running around like a mad man trying to get everything together and be useful. At about 3 we decided things had definitely progressed enough (I had entered the zone of active labor, contractions were strong and close) and headed to the birth center.
I had been 3.5 centimeters and 50% effaced at my last NST a few days before, and when she checked me I was 100% effaced but only 4cm! I was so dissappointed. My midwife told me I needed to go walk for 1-2 hours. I was very very cranky, but walked for an hour and a half....til about 6 am. The twilight and the breeze made it kind of magical, but my feet ached and I was exhausted by the time we went back inside. I wanted counter pressure on my hips for every contraction, I felt like they were being slowly yanked apart......my birth team was so awesome and had to be really exhausted at this point. I bounced on the ball while inside.....my contractions seemed to have spaced out a bit although they were still strong. She checked me and I was still at 4cm. She said I could go home and see if labor would get going more later after some rest (I didn't feel like I could sleep at all), she could break my water, or I could go to the hospital for an induction. I decided to have her break my water. Contractions got way more intense within 15 minutes.....I eventually got in the shower and then the tub, which was not as big of a relief as I was hoping. I spent the next 6 hours laboring in and out of the tub....the last hour my body had started the fetal ejection reflex.....first just once every contraction and eventually 3-4 times per contraction (which were 1-2 minutes apart) Everyone was encouraging me to go with it and to push because it seemed like I was ready, but after an hour they checked me and I was only 5 CENTIMETERS! My midwife said that this was now beyond the realm of normal and she thought we should go to the hospital. I was disapointed but incredibly frustrated with the state of things so off we went.
At the hospital the first nurse who I came into contact with in my room kept telling me it was 'mind over matter'. If I wasn't so preoccupied with the crazy involuntary pushing which was causing involuntary growling/howling/screaming I probably would have given her a piece of my mind.....but everyone else was really awesome. I told them I wanted an epidural immediatley, and they insisted on checking me because it seemed like I was pushing (duh). Still at 5cm. They got me hooked up to an iv and fluids, and after about an hour the epidural came. I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to hold still as the contractions were causing me to double over, but we got through it. Almost immediately after the epidural my next contraction was without the involuntary pushing, just the contraction. I felt a million times better. I was able to sleep for about 3 hours, get fluids, and when I woke up I had dilated to 8, and 10 shortly after that. I was able to push him out in about 5 contractions (10 minutes) at 6:07pm. My husband caught Max and he was on the breast within a few minutes. His umbilical cord was soooooo long.
I had a good long cry in between time time they told me I was fully dilated and pushing. I was worried about not being able to feel what was happening, that the epidural would affect connection with my baby, that I was missing out......I think I was able to deal with and process a lot of my grief in that time and it was really really helpful. I had to change my expectation for my birth in that moment. I cried when I felt his head, I felt felt overwhelming bliss when he was brought up to my chest.....it was wonderful!
My only issue post partum so far has been mastitis, which sucks. Max gained went from his post birth weight of 8lbs 14 ounces to 10lbs 6 ounces in 10 days, and is regularly sleeping 5-6 hours at night (so far). So happy, so blessed. This was much longer than I planned, but it's good to get it out. I look forward to reading everyone's stories and looking at photos.....babe is still asleep so I'm might have some time now :o)