My successful HBA2C!!January 16 was just a normal day. After the intense contractions of the day before (on the car ride up and back to MA), I had hoped that /something/ might happen overnight.. Nothing.. nadda.. not even a twinge.
I was feeling a bit annoyed.. Not that I was ready to be not pregnant or feeling ‘done’. Quite the contrary. I have never felt better in a pregnancy than this time around. I didn’t feel ‘big’ or cumbersome. Aside from the need to pee all night long, I had no real pregnancy complaints. In fact, I was happy to still be pregnant for one reason.. it meant that I hadn’t ‘tried and failed’ yet. For this specter was still in the back of my mind.. and while I felt very confident that all would work out as I wished.. there was a small part of me that doudted my body.. So, if I was still pregnant.. the dream was still ‘alive and kicking’ so to speak..
On the other hand.. and this was a bit of an anxiety issue.. was the baby’s size. My hopes for an early baby, and thus one that might be smaller than 9lbs.. and increase my chances of success, seemed to be slipping away each day. And at 38 weeks 4 days, I was wondering if I /would/ be pregnant until 40 plus weeks.. The herbs, epo and DH didn’t seem to be triggering anything…
I got up early.. Melissa was coming for tea and I wanted to make her favorite coffee cake.. and I was craving some carbs and sugar myself.. Spent a busy early morning getting DS ready and off to school. DH was leaving later in the day for a meeting and headed out around 10 am. Melissa came over and we enjoyed a nice chat. She mentioned she had to work that night and to reach her via cell phone if I needed her. I assured her that nothing.. NOTHING was happening and it wasn’t going to happen that night..
My friend Sarah called.. and I really can’t recall what we chatted about. Later she would say I was the strangest she had evern heard me be on the phone.. totally on another planet.. although I felt like I was normal.. She wasn’t the first to mention this after the fact, so I guess I was not really all in the present.. Not a single contraction all day long.
Went to get DS at school and chatted with his aide (who the next day told DH I seemed out of it.. see another person saying the same thing.) and took him to his social skills class. Had one or two twinges while sitting there and headed home. On the way home (now 5pm) stopped at Kim’s house.. (she also later said I was totally weird) to pick up some things and headed home to get the kids dinner.
Now 6pm and they are happily watching a movie as I heat up a quick dinner. Suddenly my right hip starts hurting badly and it feels like the baby’s head has crash landed into my pelvic floor..making walking difficult but no contractions.. I sit the kids down.. feeling a bit grouchy about the hip and pelvis pain.. and take my 10 drops of herbs.. I notice some odd contractions that seem centered in my lower pelvis.. no where else. Very new and strange feeling.. unlike any contraction I have ever felt..so I dismiss them as more of the same annoying twinges..but they are quite painful even though they are brief. DH arrives home at 7pm and we get the kids to bed.
Around 8 my mother calls to go over DS’s test results and I am not feeling anything different that before.. If I sit on my birth ball, the pelvic pain eases nicely and there are no other contractions. So I don’t mention anything to her on the phone. By 8:30 things seem to be kicking into a higher gear.. the pains are becoming steady and I have to breathe through a few. I mention them to DH and say I’m heading for the shower. He agrees it seems like more weird pains than anything else and continues to check his email and do some work on the computer.
A brief shower and things are much of the same. I decide to start moving things to the bedroom.. just in case. I clean the bathroom and get towels etc all in place. The birth kit and supplies are placed near the dresser and I head downstairs. It is now 9 pm. I ask DH to start timing the contractions. They are truly contractions now, centered in my lower pelvis but traveling down my back. I assume they are just some nasty Braxton hicks contractions and this seems confimed when DH says they are lasting less than 45 seconds, but coming 1 to 2 minutes apart.. what kind of contractions start like that?? None that I have experienced before.. at least not starting out that way from nothing.. With my second labor the contractions built all day long.. this was different..
DH heads to the shower.. in case.. and I call my MW.. convinced I am not in labor. Since she has heard that story before (from my telling her about my second labor..) she says she is heading over in an hour. I get off the phone feeling badly at bothering her and getting everyone over here for what I think is probably nothing. A call to Kim has her on her way, she had been expecting my call.. funny enough.. and I try to reach Melissa, but I can’t. I am kneeling in the living room, we are watching Dirty Jobs, and using the birth ball to rock through the contractions. DH is doing a great job applying pressure and massage to my tailbone, which is painful, when suddenly I feel this weird ‘pop’ in my lower right back and I say “wow.. that was weird..” and suddenly realize my water had just broken.. The time is now shortly before 10 pm..
I quickly crawl into the kitchen.. grab a towel and head to the bathroom.. my mind going 1000 miles a minutes.. all I can think is “crap, we didn’t want my water to break until this baby was in a good position and I went and blew it!”. I do note with relief that the fuild is clear but there is no mistaking.. my water has broken and this is happening tonight!
DH calls the MW who heads right over. I remember asking “did she want me to stay on hands and knees?” thinking maybe that might help this baby tuck his chin.. DH says she didn’t mention it. I have a huge contraction on the way back to the living room and it gives me a moment of panic.. the thought of “I really don’t want to do this right now..” flashes through my head… and I hope the MW arrives soon.. as I try to stay calm.
I am back on the birth ball, knees on the floor, as this is the most comfortable and seem to help keep me from entering into a panic with each contraction. They are painful but not overwhelming and I concentrate on breathing and keeping a loose face and neck to help dilate my cervix.
Kim arrives first, a few minutes after 10 and shortly (around 10:10) after the MW arrives. She checks the baby’s heart rate during and after a contraction. He sounds fantastic, and she heads upstairs to set up the room. I am thinking that this could go on for a while.. I haven’t puked yet and last time that was my signal I was in transition.. “no puking… I must have hours to go yet..” Suddenly I go from having a contraction to pushing.. it was in the blink of an eye.. one second I was breathing through a contraction and the next I am trying to get my nose to go out my butt.. Kim rushes to get the MW who comes downstairs “feeling pushy” she asks with a smile as I gasp “what the hell was that?”
Feeling pushy?? FEELING.. there was no FEELING.. it was my whole being taking over every conscious part of me and making me push. I have a moment of panic.. this is NOT how we discussed this labor progressing.. I was going to labor around the house, keeping myself occupied.. I was going to get to 10 cm.. and then I was going to lay or kneel and not push until I felt I had to..I envisioned pushing like last time.. hearing “ok.. this is a contraction.. take a breath.. count to ten.. blah blah blah” Yeah.. nope.. not this time… I have never heard of it going like this.. but no one else seems to think it is out of the ordinary…but this wasn’t going as planned and certainly wasn’t going how I had ever experienced or imagined labor to go..
My MW, cool as a cucumber says “we need to get you upstairs now..” I wasn’t sure I could make it.. I managed to half walk and half crawl to the bottom of the stairs.. have another “pushy” contraction.. managed to make it to the bedroom and close the door before another one hits.. My MW’s cool and calm,asks if I want her to check me.. I vacillate but then think it is a good idea.. what if I have a lip again?? What if I’m not fully dilated..?
Fully dilated, no lip..hurray! I’m still in a bit of denial.. afterall I haven’t thrown up yet…
Time now stops for me.. Kim helps hold my head as I kneel on all fours.. trying to push my way through the floor with my hands as each contraction. Water is offered between contractions.. a cool cloth appears.. all I see are feet.. people walking here and there..getting things.. low voices speak.. DH massaging my back, whispering “you’re doing it.” Or “ I see his head”. I am not sure I fully trust the status reports and it certainly doesn’t feel like much is happening other than my pushing. The urge to push is overwhelming.. I cannot control it, I must just surrender to it. It is like I am trying to get my nose to travel out my behind.. every wave is intense but not painful.. just overwhelming and full of pressure.. between each wave I wonder how much longer I can do this. I even say at one point “Not sure I like this pushy phase” to which everyone chuckles. Later I’m told this is a great sign.. that things are progressing as they should. I ask often “is it working? Is anything happening? Is he stuck?” to which I get many reassurances.. Dh keeps up his litany of reassurance. My MW says to reach down and feel the baby’s head and I do.. it feels soft.. I am surprised. I hear her say to DH “that is more head than you have ever seen huh” to which he happily replies “oh yeah” DH leans forward and says “I can see his head.. so much of his head.. you are doing it!!”
Now I can feel him lower.. I feel him trying to push out and yet at the end of each contraction I feel him slipping back in. I comment on this with frustration. My MW chuckles and says that it may feel like he is slipping all the way back in (which, to my dismay it does) but he isn’t.
Soon the tenor of the need to push changes and I struggle to keep my voice low and moans low pitched but the pressure and burning make it hard to stay in control. Calm steady voices reassure me that all is well.. help me breathe.. I am sobbing at one point.. begging someone to tell me that this will all be over soon. I even wonder if I can do it.. can I keep this up.. when suddenly, with a woosh and a sense of relief.. his head is out.. I feel it pop out with a gush of warm fluid and happy cries erupt. I hear my MW say “well.. a nuchal hand!” My MW says to me “you can push now..” to which I reply “I am not sure I want to..” She cracks up and suddenly I must push and he is out..
I am sobbing with relief.. DH has caught our son. He appears between my legs (I’ve never left all fours) and I reach down in total disbelief and gather him up to me.. DH says the look on my face was like I had won a billion dollars. I am sobbing and laughing all at the same time..in total disbelief that I have DONE IT!!
A few minutes later I am helped onto the bed. Kim takes the baby and he reaches out and grabs my hair, refusing to be separated from me. My MW says “oh your placenta is already detaching..” to which I worridly ask “is that ok?” I think I crack her up.. she laughs.. “sure is.. “ and before I can ask if this part hurts too.. out it comes.
Now I am in a blur of happy emotions.. He is on my chest.. messy and so new and I can’t get enough of holding and kissing him. Someone is taking pictures.. my MW is making sure all is well and decides that I need a shot of Pit. He latches on immediately and spends the next hour or little more sucking away. The bedroom is a flurrly of quiet activity.. things are cleaned, put away.. then we are left alone for a few minutes to just bask in the glow. I have never felt more happy than this moment.. never.. Soon everyone returns.. I need stitches.. I have two large labial tears and a nearly second degree perinial tear. I look at the needle and ask “you have to stick that where?” but the numbing agent doesn’t hurt much going in and in fact some of the stitches hurt more than that.. A few are very painful, but one of the MW assistants stroked my arm and it helps distract me from the pain.
I get up and am helped to the shower and have to pee so badly.. which is a little intimidating.. but I managed. Showered and tucked into bed.. we now can focus on our little man.. Elias James.. He seems to tiny to me.. I guess 8lbs 13.. Melissa (poor Melissa who arrives after it is all done.. but who is thrilled beyond words) guesses 8 lb 7. The sling scale shows a surprised.. 9 lbs 9 oz!!! They weigh him again.. yes… My biggest baby ever and he came out with a nuchal hand!!!! He is 23 inches long and later a head measure shows him to have an approx 37 cm head. I am in shock.. I really am in shock.. Not only did I do it.. but he was my biggest baby ever!!
I am told to eat, checked again and everyone clears out by 2 am. It takes another hour for the euphoria to calm enough to sleep… DH and I wake early.. and talk about the birth in soft voices.. each of us just in awe..
I could have never done it without the support of my wonderful team.. I am forever grateful for their confidence in me, their steadfast belief that I could do it..their unwavering support..
I did it!!