My due date of December 8 came and went. I was feeling frustrated because I had had Cody two days before his due date so I never expected to go over. On Wednesday I had a midwife appointment and we talked about scheduling a non-stress test and ultrasound. I was disappointed because I had NOT had an ultrasound or really any testing done this pregnancy and here I was at the end, having to do that. On Thursday, when Cody and I got home from preschool, I started to feel a bit crampy, which was exciting because up until that point I had felt NOTHING in the way of cramps, contractions or even many Braxton-Hicks. So it was nice to know that something was going on in there. Friday, I wasn’t feeling crampy anymore, which kind of got me down so I went and did some depression shopping! Cody and I went to the dollar store and got some craft supplies and other random crap that probably wasn’t necessary. I did pick up an inflatable bath pillow, which came in very handy later. We went to another store, got some goodies and had a snack and then headed home. I was getting nervous because there was a huge storm coming through bringing record low temperatures and high wind and I hoped the power wouldn’t go out and ruin my chances for a homebirth.
We went to bed at about 9pm and at 11:30pm I woke up with a contraction. I laid there a bit and had a couple more so I decided to get up and start timing them. All night long I timed them and they were anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes apart. I sat at the computer and bounced on the birth ball. At one point I had to take Cody to the potty and at another, he woke up and wanted me to come and lay with him. Adam got up and times some for me too. The contractions were bad enough that I had to breathe through them and concentrate a good bit, but definitely manageable. At around 5:30 am I decided to call the midwife because they were getting less manageable, but they weren’t coming any more regularly. I also called my sister who was going to come over and take care of Cody during the birth. The midwife said that I needed to try and get some sleep, to take a bath and to call her when the contractions were 1 minute long and 5 minutes apart (FYI they NEVER got to this point!). My sister showed up and then the contractions really spaced out. After Cody woke up, we had breakfast (the eggs benedict I was saving for after the birth) and Cody and my sister went outside to play in the snow. It was COLD! My sister was going to go home for awhile and Cody wanted to go with her, so I said ok. Adam and I hung out all day, watched some shows that my mom taped for us, I vacuumed, we cleaned the house up, all the while I was still having stop-me-in-my-tracks contractions. I was able to get about an hour nap through all that, although it was NOT pleasant to be laying down through contractions. I took a bath and that was relaxing. At around 4:30pm we took a walk around the block and I had several contractions during that period. Back home I labored for several more hours. We called the midwife who told us that I really needed to get more rest. So I took another bath, had a glass of wine and took several ibuprofen! These things helped for awhile. I was glad that Cody was with my sister, they were having fun making gingerbread cookies. We decided that he would stay the night over there.
The rest of the night is kind of a blur, but by 12:30am I had finally had enough. The contractions were not like I had with Cody. They would start and instead of going in waves, it was like all of the sudden the baby would punch my cervix a couple of times and it was excruciating. The problem was I didn’t know when it was coming. At least with regular contractions I could anticipate the wave and when it would be over. The midwife was coming from Seattle, at least an hour away. The weather this weekend was NOT ideal, she said that she white-out snow conditions all the way until she got to our town! She got there around 1:30am followed by her student assistant. I heard the assistant pull up because she was driving some old blazer that was LOUD! It was some huge thing with giant tires. Guess she wanted to make sure she got out here ok. I had made it through the whole pregnancy without a cervical check but by this point I was dying to know where I was at. She checked me at I was at a 7 with baby’s head right there. She told the student that it was unusual that I was that far with my contractions still not being regular. She also said that when she had her fingers up there, the baby was bouncing around on my cervix. That’s why it hurt so bad! My contractions were still coming irregularly, sometimes 3 minutes apart sometimes 8, sometimes lasting for 2 and a half minutes! The midwife had me walking around and doing lunges up on a chair during contractions. That wasn’t so much fun. Finally I asked if I could get in the pool. During all of this Adam and the midwife/assistant had been filling the pool and getting things ready in the bedroom. It was nice, they lit my candles that I wanted and the water was perfect. Actually it was a bit hot. As I went to get in the pool, a huge bunch of bloody mucous came out, I remember being like, ew, gross! The tub felt great but for some reason it wasn’t as big as I had remembered. We then realized that the bottom tube was not inflated! So Adam had to go out to the garage and charge the compressor. Then he brought it inside and blew up the last rung. Which was nice because it made the water deeper. The midwife wanted me to labor on my knees to try and help the baby down through my pelvis. Definitely not the most comfortable position, but I was doing whatever it took to have this baby! I was starting to feel like I had had enough and I wasn’t sure how much more I could take. That’s when I started feeling a bit pushy. I never got to where I did with Cody and had a full on body-push feeling, it was just a slight pushing feeling. I pushed a few times and then she wanted to check me. She did and said that I had a slight lip of my cervix that had not dilated. She wanted me to push while she held it back. That SUCKED big time. The worst, most excruciating pain ever. I think I may have done this 3 times or so and I thought I was going to die of pain. I’m pretty sure that several times I said I couldn’t or didn’t want to do anymore. I know that one time, when she was holding back the lip, I said that it hurt like a f***ing b****. Ha! It was super windy outside and I remember saying that I hoped the power wouldn’t go out. My contractions were really spaced out, like 8 minutes apart. I was falling asleep between them. So the midwife had Adam do some nipple stimulation, which was kind of weird with three other women in the room! (The other student had arrived by then) With Cody, I only pushed for 10 minutes, but this baby had me pushing for almost an hour! Toward the end I was pushing with all of my might, holding on to Adam’s hands (he was behind me), my adrenaline was through the roof. It was so crazy, I had completely forgotten what crowning and the ring of fire felt like, plus this baby was hanging out there for longer than Cody so I had plenty of time to experience that sensation! Finally, after almost an hour of pushing and a day and a half of crazy contractions, I pushed my baby out. The midwife asked if Adam wanted to reach down and get the baby and I said NO! I needed to hang on to him! The head came out and with the next contraction I pushed out the body. She put him on my chest and I said, “I’m DONE! I’m so DONE!”. What a feeling of relief.
And he looked nothing like Cody! He was chubby and didn’t have much hair. I was so happy to be done with labor, it was the best feeling in the world. Oh and I was kind of expecting a girl, so when I looked between his legs I said, “Cody has a little brother!”.
After the cord stopped pulsating, Adam cut it. I stood up to deliver the placenta, but it wasn’t coming right away so I moved to the bed. I started nursing the baby and when I had the next contraction, I pushed out the placenta. It was a big one! I’m saving it in the freezer so I can plant it under a tree or something. I was so happy that I didn't tear. After newborn checks and giving me postpartum info, the midwife and her assistants made us some breakfast, leftover eggs benedict, tucked us in and headed out. It was a wonderful peaceful (and snowy) morning for us!