YES! She is finally here!
Apologies for the novel -- the important details are at the end! :)
I spent last weekend trying everything I and my midwives could thing of to get labor going, but Monday morning I awoke Still Pregnant, at 42+5. My husband and I packed for a hospital stay and went to my midwives' practice for a transfer-of-care/what to expect at the hospital talk. I had spent the weekend trying to come to terms with the change of my birth plans and I was feeling okay and pretty open to what the situation dictated. I felt like we had all tried everything we could, and at this point it was the law that we were running up against.
My husband and I went from the midwives' office to breakfast while we waited to get another BPP appointment so we could assess whether we were dealing with an emergency situation or a more straightforward induction. We went in to the hospital at 11:30, had another beautiful ultrasound with a perfectly healthy baby, but the doctor did not want me to be pregnant for another day (he even said that my placenta was probably rotten since they stop working at 40 weeks (?!)), so he sent me immediately down the hall to labor and delivery.
When we got settled into the room and I got hooked up to fetal monitors, I broke down into tears again. I kept saying to my husband "I don't like this! I don't want this!" My super nice nurse came in at this point and helped calm me down a little by just being friendly and sympathetic to where I was coming from and what I had been expecting for this birth experience.
Soon the Dr. came in and she. was. awesome. She was actually familiar with the midwifery practice I went to because she herself attends LLL meetings there! She checked my cervix and I was almost to 3 cm already/70-80% effaced. She suggested starting by breaking my water so I could avoid pitocin and continuous monitoring if it worked. I agreed, and she did so at 1:30 pm. I was sooo happy that the fluid came out clear after all the scare stories the of pea-soup-thick meconium-full amniotic fluid I was *sure* to have at almost 43 weeks. She said she'd be back in a few hours and encouraged me to order some lunch, take a walk, and have fun getting into labor!
I took her up on both of these suggestions, and by 2 pm I was definitely feeling things. I could not stand the thought of sitting or lying down, so I ate lunch standing and gazing out the window. My husband went to get some food. I called my mom and told her not to hurry to the hospital because it would probably be a while.
Not long after that I remember calling my mom again and telling her that I needed her as soon as she could be there (45 minute drive from my house to the hospital). She was already on her way and I wanted to wait to get into the tub until she got there but I couldn't wait any longer. At this point I was throwing up all that nice lunch I had just eaten and was too far gone to pay any attention to timing contractions or answering questions or really doing much of anything besides laboring.
At some point my mom arrived and I was in the tub and she and my husband had the jobs of running fingers through my hair, keeping the tub full of water to cover my belly as much as possible (it continuously drained), and pouring water over my belly during contractions. They achieved all this through what I consider now to be pretty impressive feats of mind-reading, since I was unable and unwilling to speak and only communicated these desires to them through hand-flapping.
I kept throwing up, which was kind of frustrating me because it was not fun. The nurse offered me medicine for nausea and I remember telling her I was not nauseous, merely throwing up! I also remembered Ina May Gaskin's "Law of Sphincters" so I imagined that when I was throwing up my cervix was also opening, which it clearly was because I had an ENORMOUS surge that had me throwing up all over the edge of the tub, pooping in the tub, and losing a HUGE wad of bloody cervical mucous all at the same time.
The Dr. came in at this point (I think this was somewhere between 6 and 7 pm?) and since I had to get out of the tub for everything to get cleaned up, offered to check me. I was at 5 cm, 100% effaced. I felt like I was going to have a long evening ahead of me and wished at this point that I had not agreed to the check. I doubted whether I could stand to throw up through 5 more cms of dilation. The intensity of the contractions was totally fine with me, it was just the puking that had me disheartened.
I got back into the tub, though, and after this I felt like things got a lot more intense. I have no sense of time at this point. A new nurse came in and she was great, reminding me to breathe when I got overwhelmed. My mom and husband kept up with their mind-reading. I quit throwing up and added ice-sucking to the routine of what my support folks needed to do (I signaled this by opening my mouth, I think).
Soon the nurse said I was grunting and asked if I felt the urge to push. I said "I don't know!!" so she had the doc come in for another check. I was reluctant because I knew I was not going to be much farther along than the previous 5 cm because certainly not enough time had passed for anything more to have happened. I wondered why someone had pulled the shades when I went to the bed, then realized it was dark. The doctor said I was between 9.5 and 10 cm and that I was welcome to push whenever I got the urge!
The pushing stage was amazing, totally visceral. I don't remember much of it. I think my mom was worried about how I was holding my head (and damn if my neck isn't sore today -- not that I have any recollection of what exactly I was doing). At one point I asked if anything was actually happening so they brought over a huge mirror and I could see my baby's head moving when I pushed!! I kept wanting to move positions but I didn't know what to try. The doctor was super about suggesting changes. Everybody was cheering me on and it was so exciting. I loved having the rest between pushing urges but the urges themselves were also so satisfying. I roared and hollered and it was great.
Finally I started feeling the "ring of fire" and I thought my clitoris was splitting in half. I had a break in contractions while she was stretching me at this point and I remember saying how much I was looking forward to that next contraction! Finally it came and then I had my BABY!!!!
They put her right on my belly and let my husband cut her cord after it stopped pulsing. I have never felt so amazing in my life.
8/5/13 10:56 pm
7 lbs, 20" (so much for being a giant even at almost 43 weeks, eh?)