I have a history of going a little later than average, but I had hopes this time of delivering somewhere near my due date. Heh. Week 41 passed without incident, then week 42 did the same. I was starting to go a little insane. Then, the morning of the first day of my 43rd week, I woke to mild contractions. "Ha! Ha!", I said, "Today is the day!"
Well, it wasn't. Contractions were pretty much gone by mid-morning. I was at the very end of my rope. My midwife stopped by to do a non-stress test. Baby passed with flying colors! That made me feel a little better, but I was still done, done,DONE being pregnant.
The next day, I had even fewer contractions. I was starting to think Tuesday was a figment of my imagination! So when mild contractions started back up every 15 minutes or so on Wednesday night, I pretty much ignored them completely and slept! Good thing Orlando did not ignore them. He spent a few hours setting up and filling the birth pool. I woke up the morning of the 8th feeling very well-rested and not at all in labor!
Around 10 am or so, they started back up. The same mild, very easy to cope with contractions, but now they were only 7 or 8 minutes apart. By noon, there was no ignoring them. I had to focus to get through them. I've always found walking during contractions to be a great help, but these contractions were different. This was not merely back labor!
This was everything labor! The pain spread so intensely down my thighs that I could not stand to walk through them. I had a feeling it was time to call the midwife! These contractions were way too reminiscent of transition! She showed up at about 1pm and she checked me, only 3 to 4 centimeters dilated! I could not believe it! She asked if we thought she should leave for a while and let us have our privacy. Well, before we could even answer her, things really went crazy!
Unbelievably intense but mercifully short contractions started hitting every two minutes or less. I have always prided myself in my stoicism in the face of labor. Well, that all just flew out the window! I am bellowing, screeching and begging to be put out of my misery during pretty much every contraction. Poor Orlando did not know what to do! He just kept apologizing and telling me the end was close. My midwife kept reminding me that it was transitional labor. I wanted to believe her, but with my history of multi-day labors, I just couldn't believe such a thing was true! "I can't take two days of this shit!", I told Orlando. My midwife and Orlando thought getting in the pool was a good idea for me. I kept jumping out and screaming, "No!" during every contraction, then running off to the bathroom to pee. They tried to keep me in there, but I just had to escape to the bathroom every single time!
After maybe 15 minutes of this, I decided I had to lie my soggy ass down on the couch. Well, I laid down for maybe 5 seconds before I had another contraction. I jumped up immediately and when I got up, my water broke all over the living room rug. Orlando suggested I get my soggy ass back in the pool! I rushed over to the pool, hoping to be able to jump back in before another contraction hit! I just made it! As soon as the contraction hit, so did the urge to push! I screamed so eloquently to Orlando, "PRESSURE! BURNS!!!!" I could feel the head starting to crown without so much as a push! "Um, Heather?", Orlando called to the midwife, who was sitting outside on our front steps at the time. Poor woman came quickly into the house and got her gloves on just in time for the next contraction. She told me to get into any position that felt right. Well, I stood bolt upright and pushed like a wild woman! Head was out after one push. While waiting for the next contraction to hit, I told myself I was done with this crap and the rest of the baby was going to be born on the next push! Soon as that contraction hit, I bared down like my life depended on it, the rest of the baby came slithering out. I was still babbling and yelping uncontrollably mid-contraction and Orlando had to tell me to look down and see that the baby was born! Heather passed me the baby and we sat back down in the pool so baby could stay warm. I
flipped baby right over to see if I was right all along about the gender. I was! We were the proud parents of a lovely, dark-haired daughter! She was born at 3:05pm on September 8th, 2011, she weighed in at 9lb 12oz, measured 20.5 inches long and, wait for it, had an almost 15" head circumference. I had no tears or lacerations of any kind, and no, pushing her out did not really hurt at all.
After two previous attempts, I got my homebirth! It was everything I dreamed of and more. A huge thank you to my amazing husband for not letting me give up on my dream, but instead insisting I try again. Another huge thank you to my midwife for believing in me and my ability to do this. I'll close with the affirmation she gave me to reflect on at my last prenatal:
Nothing is too good to be true.
Nothing is too wonderful to happen....
Nothing is too good to last.....
first off, what a beautiful baby!
and what a patient, hilarious mama! i am so glad you got to share such a sweet birth with your lovely daughter.
enjoy that freshy!
single, scholar, childbirth advocate mama + two lively, rambunctious, beautiful, insightful and whoa-spirited dds, 4.5 and 8. + a sweet chunky boy born august 7, 2011! + .....our sweet old lady dog, 10 years young. = one full cup