I went to work on the 27th and was working from 12:15 noon until 6pm. Around 2pm I started getting nauseated and noticed some menstrual cramp feelings. One of my coworkers/besties who was due 6 days after me made a joke that maybe I was in labor and we laughed all day about it since we were both having contractions. Slowly over the rest of my shift they got stronger and when I left for work they felt somewhat steady.
I got home and started timing them. 5-6 mins apart. Okay- No big deal. We did this 2 days ago and the ctx stopped. Let's just see where this goes and not get our hopes up in the meantime. So we continue and they are getting progressively uncomfortable. Nothing that was unmanageable, but it def felt like stronger menstrual cramps. Tony's best friend, Kyle, came over and we were just hanging out for a couple of hours. Towards the end of his visit Tony went ahead and called the midwives to see what they thought. (from this point on let's refer to them as M [midwife] and A [assistant midwife]). They both told me to get some rest and to call if anything changed. So around 10pm I went to bed after they slowed down a bit (7-8mins apart). Kyle left and Tony went to work shortly before 11pm.
I wake up and it's 11:30. I can't sleep through these. It's really uncomfortable. I'm rocking through them and timing them. 3-4mins apart. I take a bath which seems to relax me and go back to bed around 12:30 midnight. I wake up again around 2am, piddle around on the computer for about 30mins, drink some water, and go back to bed. Wake up again at 4:30. OMG... I just can't sleep. What little sleep I AM getting between these contractions is very short and interrupted. For every 2hrs of sleep, I got maybe 30-45mins of actual rest. Another bath and I lie back down. Back to sleep and the alarm goes off at 6:45am.
I get up, get Christopher ready, Tony takes him to school, and I call M. I tell M that I just can't sleep and that these ctx won't go away. M is concerned that my lack of sleep is stopping things from progressing. She tells me to take some benedryl or valerian root to help me sleep and just rest. My mom agrees to take Katherine after M tells me that I NEED to get someone to take her or I won't get rested up enough. I'm frustrated. I don't know if she's taking me seriously or not or if I'm just being silly. I'm tired and emotional. It's been 17 hours at this point and I just want to SLEEP. I started crying. Tony gets me something to help me sleep and I go lie down around 9am. Tony comes to bed about 10am and we both sleep.
I'm up again at 10:30am. Something has changed. I'm moaning through these. I can't stay quiet. Each peak brings a soft "Ooh" from my lips. I struggle through them for about 15-20mins and then come to the living room so I don't wake Tony up. I'm on the couch sleeping in between the ctx, which are about 4-5mins apart. Just as I dose off, another one hits me and I'm writhing, rocking, moaning. I call M again. "I'm moaning through these. I can't get comfortable. Something is different." We had a prenatal appt for 1pm that day but canceled it for sleep and she went ahead and said she'd come over. She calls A and they both come on over. Waiting for them, I'm yet again sleeping through the ctx, getting what little sleep I can.
M walks in the door 15 minutes after 1. Just moments after she walks in another ctx hits- "OOOOH!" I moan. She tells me that I'm sounding beautiful and that it looks good. She watches me through a few and times them. After about 30mins or so, I agree to a palpation and vaginal exam to get an idea of a what's going on. She knows I wanted a hands off labor, but with my lack of sleep we feel okay with going ahead. She tells me he's in a good position and then she checks me (1st exam in my pregnancy). I'm 2cm and about 30-40% effaced. She can't feel suture lines to see how his head is positioned on the cervix. 23hrs into labor and I'm 2cm. *sigh of slight disappointment* I remind myself that it's okay. But I can't help but be discouraged. A shows up and they talk for a minute. We're going to try some knee/chest for 20mins to get him off my cervix and then try to reposition him with 20mins of squatting. OWW- Knee/chest and these ctx are REALLY uncomfortable.
We wake Tony up shortly after 2pm so he can get the heating pad for my back. He's tired after only 4hrs of sleep. He helps hold the heating pad on my lower back, providing wonderful counterpressure, while I'm squatting on the birth ball. My 20mins is almost up so he gets me something to eat. I'm still singing my birth song through every contraction. Loud "OOOHs" permeate the room. This makes eating my bowl of cereal very interesting as I'm rocking through each contraction and moaning loudly. He turns on soft new age music that is very relaxing hoping that it will help- it does. It's so soothing. I get off the ball and onto the couch.
It's time to go get Christopher from school so Tony leaves to do that and decides to go get Katherine and my mom and bring them back as well. During this time, the MW's turn the lights down low and leave me alone to do my thing. I start to sleep through the ctx once again- what little I can. My moans get louder. They become more primal. I agree to one more check, although a little hesitant. They tell me that I can decline, but I tell them to go ahead. I need something more than 2cm. Anything. I'm 3cm and 70-80% effaced. It's something. But I'm just tired. I just want to rest. I just want to hold Matthew. It's been 26hrs.
M & A think that the introduction of the kids and my mom might change the atmosphere. As I'm making the call to try and hold them off, they pull up. Katherine's asleep so we they lie her down in her bed. Christopher hears my moaning about 2mins after he walks in and my mom takes him to his room to talk to him about what's going on. He's excited. The moan scared him at first, but my mom and Tony told him that that's what all mommas do when they have babies and it was okay. Now he comes up to me, hold my hand, and tells me hi. I can see from the smile on his face that he's okay and that makes me feel better that I'm not scaring him. He hangs out with my mom in his room and they do his homework.
I decide to go off into my bedroom. The pool is waiting, but unfilled. I pile pillows on the bed and try to lie down to see if I can rest. Nope. Not happening. So instead, I squat over the side of the bed with pillows supporting my upper body as I sway my hips and squat deeper down during ctx, moaning loudly into the pillow. I want the pool. I'm afraid to get in too early, but I want the pool. I NEED the pool. Things are getting pretty intense and I can't relax well enough. Tony starts to fill in while boiling more water on the stove. It's 5pm and M & A decide to go get something to eat since I'm only 3cm. They tell Tony to call if anything changes and they leave.
The pool is finally ready. I step in and the warmth feels sooo good. The ctx slow down, but I don't care. For about 10 minutes I get some rest. Not completely, but I have about 2 ctx where my moans are quieter, where it's a little less overpowering.
I'm leaning over the side of the tub and suddenly a ctx comes on that took me by surprise. I get loud. Really loud. Something is different, but I can't place what it is. Another one hits. I scream. My moan turns high pitched and Tony comes in there. I tell him that I'm feeling it more. Another one comes on. I scream again. I hear Christopher in the background and he starts crying. My mom takes him outside and I can hear her saying "It's okay." I have a weak ctx and no noise comes through my mouth. The next one comes and it's like it took all the intensity from the previous contraction and doubled it into this one. I scream louder than before, making my throat hurt. I ask for a cough drop to help soothe my throat. He goes off, brings me one back, and then I can hear him dialing numbers on the phone. While he's gone I feel pressure after the next ctx. It confused me. I had been feeling downward pressure for hours at this point, but this was different. I ignored it. The next ctx brought on the same sensation... I was involuntarily bearing down but I was still confused. I reach down out of curiosity but can't feel anything- I think it's all in my head. No way could I be pushing. I was JUST 3cm.
Tony came back in and told me that the MW's were coming back and should be here soon. Next thing I know, I'm pushing down on the side of the pool with all my strength, lifting my body up out of the water while keeping my pelvis in the water, and throwing my head back as I ROAR. I spilled some water over the side with the downward force I put on the pool so Tony told me to use him instead. I pushed again and screamed out "HE'S COMING!" Tony keeps encouraging me, telling me to do what feels best. I leaned down and bit into his shoulder, yelling out as I felt Matthew's head come down. I kept instinctually lifting my body up and roaring him down. My mom comes in with Christopher and I hear the MW's walk into the room. I feel this intensity and yell out "There's his head!" M grabbed the flashlight to look and I roared out once more and his head came out all the way. It felt so amazing and I cried out "His head! Oh my god, that feels great!" I stopped for a minute, my body giving me a small break. They mentioned that he was still in the caul. I angled my pelvis forward, trying to see and started to reach down when another contraction came. I wanted to catch him but my body didn't like the angle I was at. I reached up for Tony only to find that he had hopped in the pool behind me. I bore down on the side of the pool, once again lifting my body up and angled to the back.
SWEET RELIEF! His body shot out and Tony grabbed him as the water sac broke open and he lifted him out of the water. M & A stood there watching, letting us do everything, never once touching any of us. My mom was in the corner by the pool crying and Christopher was in her arms with a huge smile on his face. He cried as Tony held him in his arms.
Matthew Evan was here. After 28 long and intense hours, he was here- born into Daddy's arms at 6:08pm on Sept 28th.
I turned around, finally sitting and carefully avoiding the cord. Once I sat down and got comfortable, Tony handed him to me. There was nothing but silence and the sweet sounds of his voice & joyful crying. Katherine somehow slept through it all so my mom went and got her and we introduced her to Matthew. She was confused at first, not knowing what had happened, but soon got excited and was trying to hop in the pool and love on "Baby Maffew." We finally got the camera- OOPS! That's why I have no pictures of the actual birth- everything just went too fast! 3cm to 10cm in just over an hour.
We sat in that pool a good hour, just enjoying everything. No rush. He pinked up right away, was nursing, and we looked great. After that hour we decided to try and get the placenta out, thinking the counter pressure from the water might be delaying it. The cord had long since quit pulsating and was limp & white. So we clamped it off and Tony cut the cord. Nothing there- Matthew had gotten everything he needed. Tony takes him into the living room. I get up and deliver it and we all check it to make sure it was whole. Matthew wants to nurse again so Tony brings him back to me and we just relax in the bed while A gets my herbal bath ready. We decide to do the newborn exam... 2 hours after the birth, lol. The MW's are happy to finally get to hold him. He's perfect. And we're all shocked when he's weighed and comes out to 7lbs & 13oz. He looks sooo tiny and was all swore he was smaller than Christopher, who was 7lbs & 9oz. Nope- just had a MUCH smaller head than his sister's whopping 15cm head, making him look tiny in comparison. They check me now and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had not a single tear, skidmark, stress point, OR hemorrhoid! Not one! I have a super vagina! In fact, M told me it was beautiful, he he. I take my herbal bath and get cleaned up. I'm feeling fabulous. Tired but fabulous. M & A leave, giving me instructions on how to take care of myself and what to look out for. The kids go to bed and I come in here to announce Matthew's birth to everyone since family had been notified. We just hang out and bask in the glory of what had just happened a few hours before, all of us in amazement. My mom's about to go home so I go lie down in bed, snuggling with this perfect little person. Everyone leaves and I fall asleep, holding my beatiful new baby boy in my arms.
Happy Birthday, Matthew. Welcome.
Amy Lynn, Loving wife and mom to 3 sweethearts. Christopher (8/06), Katherine (10/08), and Matthew (09/11). 2 time VBAC Momma and NCB & BFing advocate.
He is beautiful! Enjoy your little man!
Robyn - In with Tyson, Gothy Mama to Jasmyn (March 12 2003), Grayson (August 2 2005), my Aurora Hope (m/c Nov 10 2010), and Sydney Rayne (September 17 2011) x3
huzzah, hurrah, congrats, and yippppppeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Enjoy your baby moon, and thank you for sharing such an amazing experience!
Be pretty! Be practical! Be Pagan! Visit Pagan Hearth & Home!
mama to (4/05), (6/07vbac), (8/09vbac), and (9/11vbac)
Thank you so much for sharing your story, how beautiful
I especially love that first picture, I remember that feeling well :)
Midwifery Student and Mama to 2 daughters and 3 sons.
I have given birth a variety of ways and I am thankful for what each one has taught me.